After such a long break, filled with lockdown and deadline stress, it is understandable that you might feel overwhelmed heading into semester 2. Although it’s hard to feel sorry for yourself when you know everyone is going through something similar, you need to allow yourself a little down time. It is okay not to feel 100%, we’re in a third lockdown, we have to revise, work from home and our social interaction is limited. However, I have some good tips and tricks to make you feel a little more 2021 positive.
- Work backwards. During exam time we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to complete lots of different tasks in one day. When it comes to deadlines this month it’s good to try and work backwards. Sounds a little confusing I know, but it’s really helped me. See how long you have until a piece of work is due in or an exam and work out how much you need to do every day to cover the content you want. This may sound simple, but I use to get so frustrated at myself if I’d planned ten things to do in one day and I only did five. We’re under different circumstances and it’s hard to concentrate with so many distractions at home. So, my advice would be to not be so hard on yourself, have a short and concise list of what needs done each day, and reward yourself. In the words of Kris Jenner, “you’re doing amazing sweetie”.
- Read a book. I know you’re probably sick of reading secondary sources and critical opinions but trust me on this one. As an English lit student, I use to adore reading (as you kind of have to) but the amount of information I had to read at uni made it feel like a chore. I’d put off reading things and I started lacking interest in authors and genres I use to love. I think we need to read more things we enjoy so we don’t resent the task itself. Even if it’s just ten pages a night, its better then being on your phone, and as cringey as it sounds it can help us escape this 2021 pandemic.
- Write a letter to yourself. I was sceptical at first too, but it is a great way to leave the troubles of the past in 2020. Address the letter to yourself with a date you want to open it on (mine is for 01/01/2022). Write in it what you hope to achieve, how you’re feeling in that moment, what you feel lucky to have but also what you want out of this year. It really helped me let go of 2020 and all the things I didn’t get to do and express what I want this year to bring me. Putting something on paper really helped me envision what I want and be content with what I’ve got. It put things into perspective for me and hopefully it will for you too.
- Make a vision board. Specifically, second and third-year students, pressure looms over what you want to do. Year abroad, placements, grad schemes etc. This amount of pressure can be hard to deal with but, rest assured there is a solution. Go on Pinterest or find photos that suit what you love and feel passionate about and make a vision board for this year. It’ll help you strive towards your goals but also help you figure out what you want to dedicate this year to, whether it be travel, getting fit, seeing more of your friends, getting a job etc. For me, looking at different pictures made me realise how much I want to travel (pandemic pending) so then I know I need to save up money and think about where I want to go and how long I can go for before uni starts again in September.
Some of these things sound simple, and I understand how difficult a time it is for everyone and how much stress we’re all under especially this month. This, however, doesn’t mean we can’t move on from 2020. If you are feeling particularly low this month, please try one of the things above and I assure you, you’ll feel much better. Each task helps you put things into perspective in a time where are emotions are, rightfully so, all over the place. Remember to stay safe, it’s a new year, same you, but a better outlook.
Header image credit: Minutes