We did it! Eleven weeks of lectures, tutorials, socializing, working, staying warm – it’s finally the end of semester one. Well, almost. For most people, we are now in ‘the final stretch’.
You know this time of year. Those last couple of weeks before the holidays, when the joy and relaxation of the winter break glimmers on the horizon, just beyond a mountain of essays and exams. Forget Christmas – it’s officially the season of 12-hour library marathons and looming deadlines.
And I find that a little intimidating. Not to mention frustrating, the tourists are starting to rock up in their droves, ready to enjoy the Christmas markets and festive fun of the city while we’re confined to our desks. It’s not just the work itself that’s a challenge: before you can even begin to contemplate the mammoth amount of knowledge you have to memorise or words you have to write, you must first tackle the even more daunting task of securing a seat in the library – and this time of year it’s practically The Hunger Games. It wouldn’t be an understatement to call this time of year one of the most intense of the academic calendar.
As a second-year, this year seems more intense to me than last. Perhaps it’s the return to in-person lectures and tutorials that has made the term seem to drag on for longer and be more exhausting. But eleven weeks of full-on work, without a real break, is bound to take a toll – especially when it cumulates in that much-feared period of exams and essays. By this point, I am particularly looking forward to the holidays, there’s nothing like a mountain of work to make you excited for a little time off and festive fun.
As much fun as university can be, it can also be overwhelming. It’s okay to admit if you’re feeling burnt out – everyone else probably is, too. Remember to put yourself first, take a break, have a night out, even give yourself the day off. If the final stretch is feeling difficult, think how much sweeter the lie-ins will be after you’ve handed in your essays and closed down all those hundreds of open tabs on your laptop. Just a couple more weeks of hard work and soon we’ll be heading home for Christmas.
Image Credit: photograph by Eden Kersse, used with permission.