Now that the storm of mid-term season is done for me and the Fall Break is upon us, my mind turns to my neglected readings and upcoming essays. This year, I had the unfortunate luck of having a bunch of mid-terms one after another. By the end, I felt completely drained and ready for relaxation. But after a bit of relaxation time, I realized that I was two weeks behind on readings in all of my classes. Oops. In my majors of English and Book & Media Studies, I have a lot of readings that range from novels to textbooks. When I looked at everything I had missed out on over two weeks, I noticed that I was behind on over 500 pages of readings total (granted, that total included a 250 page novel). I’ve started the process of catching up on those readings and trust me, it’s important to do so. Every year, my profs have emphasized two key aspects to success: attending class and doing the readings. They know what they’re talking about, so take their advice! So far, I’ve learned a few things about this process.
As a campus tour guide, I receive a lot of questions surrounding student life and whether a school-life balance is something one can expect to manage at the renowned U of T.
Seeing everyone’s defeated, exhausted expressions on campus, I thought it’d be a good time to share some of my tips and tricks of the trade that have helped me to juggle three jobs, three sports and a full-time course load.
1. Sometimes you need to downsize. Sure, juggling five balls looks really cool but if you’re exhausted and you’re about to see them all fall to the floor, consider whether you might be able to take one out of the equation. I know it’s hard, we’re very ambitious students and we prefer to be able to persevere and to succeed without giving anything up, but I encourage everyone to critically evaluate whether the cost is worth what you’re gaining.
I didn’t know if I was going to like tutorials when I came to U of T. I’ve been notoriously known for not participating in class and it was never for any reason except for the fact that I preferred to listen rather than input my thoughts. When I received those syllabi for the first time, my heart dropped. How could participation in tutorials be worth 15% of my final grade? I dreaded going to that first tutorial because I had so many questions. What was a tutorial? What was a TA? How would I participate? What if I said something ridiculous? Never fear, I have the answers here (Ha, I rhymed).
For Self-Care week, I want to share an experience that literally changed the course of my entire university career and perhaps, changed how I will live my life from now on.
Okay, yeah, I’m overly dramatic usually but I’m not exaggerating here, promise. Brace yourselves.
October is HealthyU month at U of T, an entire month dedicated to celebrating physical and mental health! October 17-21 (starting today!) is Self-Care week, which promotes ways to take care of yourself physically and mentally as well as how to de-stress. Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that when I initially thought about self-care, I wondered, “Why do I have to be concerned with how I’m doing?” Well, after some careful consideration, I realized that if I don’t care for myself, I get burnt out…easily. I can’t always be on the go, go, go (although I do enjoy that) because otherwise all aspects of my life: social, academic, and personal would suffer.
My not-so-secret way (according my friends and family) to de-stress from the enormous amount of midterms I have coming up all in the same week (scary) is to watch some good TV shows and movies. But first, let me explain the source of my stress. I prefer to study in 2 to 3 hour blocks, even though concentrating for that long can sometimes be difficult. Finding time to study for that long can also be difficult, especially with my other commitments. Sometimes I feel stressed out because I feel like I haven’t studied enough. However, at the end of my long studying sessions, I mostly feel like I’ve just come out of a deep slumber, blinking rapidly and looking around wondering “Where am I?”
I’m think I am an introvert, I probably always have been. I try not to shy away from it anymore because I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing. Also, I think a lot of people misunderstand what introversion means. It can mean “a shy person” but I like to think that the psychological definition of introversion is much more relevant:
“a person characterized by concern primarily with his or her own thoughts and feelings“
This makes a lot more sense to me; I’m not a quite person because I have nothing to say or I’m scared to say it but more so because I’m taking everyone’s inputs in and assessing my own thoughts first. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t need to have other people around in order to feel happy, energized or active. I’m perfectly content spending a weekend with myself, just going about daily life and reading a book or two (or 10). I like listening to my music and staring into space (or simply staring into space).
Hi, my name’s Liana and…I’m a member of the Procrastination Nation. It’s a magical nation where I go to avoid all of life’s responsibilities and PROCRASTINATE. I discovered the Procrastination Nation fatefully in the 9th grade when I said to a friend, “There’s a whole group of us that procrastinate. It’s like we’re in our own world,” and thus, the Procrastination Nation was born.
In all seriousness, it was just a silly term that I used to describe moments when I was procrastinating school work and was off to the “Procrastination Nation”, meaning that I would do anything to avoid actually working. But the funny thing is…I’m a “planned” procrastinator. I know what you’re thinking, “Liana, please stop throwing all these random, weird terms you’ve come up with at me.” Okay, okay, I promise I’m done. But really, I’m a planned procrastinator which means I actually PLAN when and how I’m going to procrastinate, instead of doing what I actually need to do.
I’ve realized I’ve done you all a great disservice by not expanding the perspective from which I write. I’ve recently come to appreciate just how easy it may be for me to engage in physical activity on campus compared to some of my peers. So this year, I vow to do my best to step out of my shoes and into some of yours.
To start, I asked what prevents students from participating. With help from my peers and the people of Reddit, I’ve become aware of a few big hurdles…
Nobody likes to be the new kid. Being new at the gym can be incredibly unnerving. I can totally understand that. Gym culture these days is hard to avoid and it seems to be growing increasingly garish.