Image: Term/Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

Looking after yourself in Term Two

Term Two is often very intense for many of us in the Warwick bubble. From my own experience, with deadlines, interviews, and applications looming over us, I can certainly say that Term Two is always one of the toughest times in the academic year. As someone who loves the festive season and being with family and friends, I often feel deflated when January rolls around. This gloom certainly dampens my enthusiasm for the term ahead. This year, however, I have vowed not to let it get the better of me and I’m going to share my tips and tricks for keeping the Term Two blues at bay.

First and foremost, balance is key. It can often feel impossible to make sure you have time to eat and sleep, let alone finish those essays or lab reports. It’s difficult, but there is a way! I always start with the old faithful to-do list. The key is to break intimidating tasks into smaller parts. This makes the whole ordeal seem far more manageable and you can congratulate yourself after you’ve completed each of the smaller tasks.

I find January really tough after the excitement of Christmas and being with family

I would also advise finding yourself a study buddy. This could be someone from your course or a flatmate who is also feeling the weight of impending deadlines. I find that I’m perfectly willing to let myself down and watch my days waste away as I bury myself in Netflix, but the prospect of letting down a friend is the perfect incentive to get on with my day. Making study plans with your mates will be the perfect motivation to get stuff done and you can celebrate together once you come out the other side.

The next tip is something I first stumbled across on Facebook and it has been a lifesaver. Today’s culture preaches productivity. It equates our value to how productive we can be and condemns procrastination. Unfortunately, this only serves to wear us down and send us down the road to a burnout. So why not try pencilling in some dedicated time to procrastinate? It sounds odd but by allowing yourself the odd hour to purposefully relax and rejuvenate yourself, completely guilt free, you are then able to approach your tasks with a clear mind.

On the note of avoiding burnout, I want to share some tips for preserving your wellbeing. After all, if our mental health is in a bad way, it makes it more difficult to tackle our ever-growing to-do lists. As I mentioned before, I find January really tough after the excitement of Christmas and being with my family. In an attempt to combat this, this year I decided to really make the most of my weekends.

While relatively mundane, these plans really boosted my mood

Before I had even got back to university, I had planned something for each weekend that I could look forward to. The anticipation got me through the long weeks. I’m lucky enough to live relatively close to home, which I appreciate is not always the case, so my best friend from secondary school was able to visit and we spent a lovely day in Stratford-Upon-Avon. I’ve also been able to pop back home myself and visited family down in London. While relatively mundane, these plans really boosted my mood and got me through the first half of term.

If you aren’t able to get home easily, or home just isn’t your thing, I’d encourage you to re-watch or reread a favourite film, TV show, or book as part of your planned procrastination. For example, I was gifted the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for Christmas and it has been serving me well as an evening read. Alternatively, go out and get involved with societies if being around people is more your vibe. Societies like Warwick Student Cinema (a personal favourite of mine) offer so many great opportunities to get involved, meet new people and relax.

I hope that my little tips and tricks can help you achieve a more balanced lifestyle and encourage you to look after yourself in Term Two. I wish you all the luck for any upcoming assignments, applications, or interviews – you will be incredible.

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