As we pass the halfway mark in the Michaelmas term, take a moment to reflect on the memorable moments this term. Whether you had a seriously spooky Halloween, an explosive Bonfire night, or a dazzling Diwali, Autumn is truly the season of growth and change.
With the leaves changing colour and nights getting darker, it can feel like we are approaching the festive season at an unstoppable pace. Though, I invite you to sit with your thoughts for a while and reflect on the weeks past since the new term sprang into life. Congratulate yourself for not giving up, and for powering through what is arguably the most academically difficult time of life. It has been five weeks packed full of new content, hours of reading, and settling into university life once again, or for the very first time. This term marks the transition from the overwhelming relaxation of summer paired with a rigorous new schedule. Though it may be a rocky road, you’ve made it this far and it’s important to remember your strength for not giving up. As F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall”.
This time of year can be a chance for new beginnings, new habits, and new goals. It’s a time of great motivation, but it can also be a time of great burnout. Remember to set time aside to relax and care for yourself in the ways you need. In the words of novelist May Sarton, “Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that nothing stays the same for long, not even pain, psychic pain. Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go”. If you’re feeling particularly stuck or unmotivated, know you’re not alone and that it’s an essential part of the student experience.
So for now, remember to take those breaks, nurture your mental health, and celebrate the beauty of the season past. Remind yourself that the festive season is on the horizon, and that everything will work out as it is meant to.
Featured image by Melissa Rumbold