Do you hear that clock in the background? I don’t, but that’s probably just because I’m too busy to notice it. I don’t even know where my time is going, but I guess its split between essays, classes, work, readings, eating and exercising. Oh, and maybe a bit goes towards sleep.
I find that school is like a rollercoaster. Semester One is the part that goes up to the top of the hill. You spend it relatively at ease, looking at the scenery and talking to the person beside you. In the back of your mind is the fact that what goes up must come down, but that’s a minor detail at the time. Going up the hill is, at its core, fun. But its main purpose is to get you to the top so that you can go down and head into Semester Two. Just like going down a rollercoaster hill, Semester Two is scary, fantastic, makes you want to scream and forces you to throw your hands in the air (in ecstasy or fear?). It’s also a speedy trip down.
January is already nearing an end, and exams are in 74 days. That seems like a big number, but it’ll dwindle pretty quickly. If it makes you feel better, summer vacation starts in 94 days. I love the sun as much as anyone else, but a part of me fears the start of summer. What will I do? I have no plans. And I have only 94 days to figure it all out.
Like a rollercoaster, Semester Two is goes by much too quickly. For that reason, I’m stuck coping with essays, reading volumes of books and handing out resumes.
I don’t have enough time to do all of this. If only I could flash-forward to July when school is out and I have my summer plans worked out and essays are a thing of the past. But even then, I’ll still be occupied waiting for a better moment. When I’m on the clock at work, I’ll be counting down until I can get out and go enjoy some summer sunshine. And when I get out to the sun, I’ll be waiting until the weekend when I can get a full day of outdoor activity.
Waiting for a better day never works because every time you get closer to it, it moves further away. Such is the way of this world. What I’m learning to do is to make each day my better day. I don’t want Semester Two to fly by—I want it to go at my desired pace so that I can enjoy every moment it offers. I try to do at least one thing each day to make my days better than the day before. Even small things help make a day great. Sure, I still look forwards to July when I’m enjoying the outdoors but that doesn’t mean I can’t have fun today. Here are some things that I’ve been doing to enjoy every day this semester offers:
- Get Outside: Nature is a wonderful place to relax and have fun. I love to go jogging on the Thames Valley Parkway trails that go through campus near Elgin and MedSyd—you can take these trails across the city. If the weather is bad, try exercising at the gym—even if it’s not outside, exercise can still give you a natural high.
- Volunteer: It might take up more of your schedule, but volunteering is a great way to not only make yourself feel better but it also makes other happy. London has lots of community groups; find one that interests you and offer your assistance.
- Find a Hobby: Pick up some knitting needles, a book, a yoga mat or whatever else tickles your fancy.
- Bake: Baking and cooking is an excellent way to relax. Find a recipe you’ve never tried before and spend some time making it. Give handmade bread, lasagne or cake a try. Best of all, you get to eat it in the end.
- Go to Campus Events: Pick an event offered though the university or a campus club, and go to it. I promise you that you’ll be able to take something away from it, even if you don’t like it. This is a great way to get immersed in Western’s culture and discover new friends, activities and services.