I don’t know if anyone else feels the same way but coming back to a hybrid schedule has completely uprooted my routine, learning style and in some ways – my life.
Last year during midterm season, I didn’t have to factor in commuting and the impact it would have on my fatigue and burnout could feel. Last year in the full online semester, everything was in the same place and most tests were open book. Studying for midterms, preparing approved study sheets and overall managing the workload seemed to be much easier.
I also chalk it up I was able to list out my entire days on the whiteboard in my room and with everything visualized, I could keep track of deadlines and course work easily.
This semester I feel like I am out of my depth, like I’m back in first year – relearning how to learn and write for certain classes. Commuting, not having lectures to re-watch, or having easy access to office hours — it’s a huge readjustment.
This year, most of my midterms are timed essays, major essays or presentations, very different from the usual multiple choice and short answer. Worse yet, somehow all of the deadlines are just one after the other. Every day.
The burnout is real, and as you know — overwhelming. It’s affecting my motivation to commute to campus and keep everything organized.
While it is hard, the reality is – deadlines have to be met. Even though I do feel overwhelmed at times, there are various ways I have been working to keep on top of these but also maintain a semblance of work-life balance. For example:
- Making studying a group activity
- Whether its a Virtual Study Hub or a ZOOM session with some friend
- Taking walks or going for a quick workout when I feel overwhelmed or anxious
- Making sure I am prioritizing my mental health with self-care nights
- Spending time with my family throughout the day, even if its just getting to eat a meal with them
I can’t lie, midterm season this year has been a hard one. However, it’s still important to make time for yourself and to keep grounded, and don’t be afraid to ask for extra help with Profs or TAs! There are also great programs at Academic Success that may help with traditional exam prep, or studying strategies and the various Writing Centres that can help you with planning out your essays ahead of time.
Best of luck U of T!