Getting back into the swing of things

How did we get to Week 3 already?

You’d think that adjusting back to uni gets easier over time (I mean, this is my fourth year here), but I’ve found the past two weeks quite challenging.

Trying to find my feet back at uni has been exhausting, both physically and emotionally.

I think the appropriate word to describe uni so far is – overwhelming.

Waiting for the dust to settle.

The first few weeks are always bound to be shaky.

Don’t know about you, but it’s been difficult trying to snap out of ‘holiday mode’ and getting back into a routine.

There has been a lot of changes made to my class timetable because I’ve been swapping in and out of subjects, and from coordinators shuffling lecture theatres and tute rooms around. Or you know – when people forget to schedule in prac times or whatnots.

Now that I’ve (hopefully) settled on my subjects, my timetable should start to stabilise (phew!).

And with so many changes happening around the University, I feel a bit…lost and out of place?

Don’t even get me started about the new ‘Biosciences’ department (or whatever they want to call it) and the renaming of Zoology, Botany and other buildings. Ludicrous.

It feels like I’ve returned from the summer break to a different university.

How do I study again?

Finding the discipline to sit down and focus for lectures is so foreign after having such a long break.

There is so much work being thrown at us, and I don’t even know where to start.

I’ve also been lacking the motivation to get through this final slump of my degree, and I’m just…tired of studying (first year Daphane would be appalled at what fourth year Daphane just said).

It’s been a bit lonely.

Even though you’re surrounded by so many people, it can sometimes feel isolating, especially in the first few weeks of classes when you know not a soul in those subjects.

It’s no news that the people you have in classes make a huge difference to the subject.

It’s a bit challenging (and intimidating) to make friends in classes where people have already established their ‘groups’. And it can be somewhat dejecting when you’re trying to make conversation with the people around you and no one’s engaging (this happened in my tute last week, and we ended up sitting in silence for 20 minutes because the tutor was late. It was very awkward).

But you know, it’s only the first couple of weeks.

Side note – if anyone’s doing Marine Ecosystems, Sustainable Development or Applied Animal Behaviour and wants to chat – I’d love to grab a coffee!

In general, it’s been tough.

Like I mentioned earlier, it’s just been so overwhelming lately and I’m exhausted.

The pressure of living up to people’s expectations can get to your head, and trying to strike a balance has been putting my time management skills to the test.

Juggling uni with work (although I can temporarily rule this out of the equation now), family, friends, extra-curricular activities, the confusing world of relationships, and life has been hard.

But hey, it’s a brand new week.

After having a not-so-enjoyable two weeks, it’s time to make some changes and turn it around.

If you’re finding things tough at the moment, Academic Skills and Counselling and Psychological Services are two free University services you should consider taking advantage of.

Academic Skills offer lots of resources and services to help with anything study-related. I highly recommend their ‘Individual Tutorials‘, or ‘itutes’ for short. I’ve found them to be very helpful in the past. The itutes are 25 minute long sessions, and you get one-on-help help with an advisor during this time.

Counselling and Psychological Services also offer a range of resources on their website, and they also offer individual counselling. From experience, it does take a while to get an appointment with them and if you don’t like your counsellor, I’d suggest you keep changing till you find one that you like.

It’s easy to get caught up with the stresses of Uni, and I fully empathise with you if you’re on the same boat.

This has all been a timely reminder to take care of yourselves (and your friends) during times like this.

Here’s to a positive and somewhat productive Week Three.

– Daphane

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