This is a pretty special semester. It’s the last semester of my degree where I’ll be heading back to the typical classroom setting. It’s also my little sister’s first ever semester of university. She just moved onto campus and watching her excitement is unreal. It makes me so proud of her and it reminds me of the day I moved into residence at York University– where I met Linds.
I just wanted to check-in during the first week of classes to remind you of a couple of things:
- You are not defined by your grades. Don’t beat yourself up if you score a little lower than you’re used to. It’s the end goal that matters- that diploma or degree- not what grades you scored along the way. That number doesn’t define how smart you are or how hard you’re working.
- Never be afraid to reach out. When the semester gets tough and hard to bear, never feel like a burden or a nuisance if you need to talk to someone. We all need a heart-to-heart or a cathartic vent every now and again. That’s part of being human. Call your parents, your sister, your best friend. Message a classmate. Book an appointment with a professor during office hours or with a counselor or therapist. Chat with someone and get it all off your chest.
- Eat a healthy snack. It’s easy to get into a study grind and forget to eat. You might get hungry and scarf down a bag of chips or pizza pocket. It’s just as easy to grab a banana or bag of carrots and your brain will thank you for it. But don’t restrict yourself. We all love to spend a late night with friends eating cheesecake and ice cream– just eat real meals too.
- Budget some ‘fun money’. As a student, our bank accounts can get real tight. When you’re budgeting for the next week, month, or year, don’t forget to allocate some cash for a night at the movies, on the town, or another old-school fun activity like go-karting or mini-golfing. Reward yourself with quality time with friends doing something super fun.
- Get outdoors. It is so easy to crawl in a hole for the semester because you feel so weighed down with readings and assignments. Get some fresh air and sunshine. It can make you feel like a million bucks. It can inspire you if you’ve been hung up on how to conclude your paper and it can clear your mind if you have that buzzing headache behind your eyes from hours of reading. Even if it just means walking outside to get to class instead of taking the tunnels or walking to Tim Horton’s for your coffee instead of making one at home. You’ll appreciate yourself for it.
College and university are supposed to be the best years of our lives. Take pride in your academics and have loads of fun along the way. Say yes to new opportunities but be careful not to take on too much (I’m bad for this). Meet new people, hang out in new locations, try new hobbies, study hard and be open to what you’re learning. Introduce yourself to your profs, but don’t feel bad if that’s not your thing. Speak up in class, but don’t feel bad if that’s not your thing. Be your best self and know that it is okay to slip up, chill out, or throw it all down for a day.
Most importantly, have a great year. We wish you all the best!
Take care of yourself,