Ending exams is always the best feeling in the world; as I put my pen down and closed the exam booklet, I felt a huge weight lift from my shoulders: I was done my third year of university.
My semesters are always vastly different, and this is mostly for the fact that ultimate starts up in January, goes until May, and takes up a significant amount of my free time. I always have a minor panic attack over winter break, wondering how I’ll fit manage to make everything fit. Now that I (somehow) finished my third year, I figured it would be a good time to reflect.
First semester featured some of the most interesting courses I’ve taken so far. In particular, I took a “Politics of US Policymaking” course, and while it was incredibly hard, my fascination with US politics meant that I truly loved it. My other courses were very different but enjoyable. For the most part the semester was hard but the workload was manageable. However, my exam period turned out to be a little bit of a mess, because the deadline for my Honours seminar essay was extended, pushing the due date to the very last day – this was a blessing and a curse, because my retail job needed me for the Christmas rush, but I was still working on essays! It was a stressful few weeks, and my mental health definitely suffered.
A byproduct of this extended and unduly stressful exam schedule meant that I started my semester feeling tired and unmotivated; I didn’t feel ready. Luckily, my winter semester was manageable enough that I was able to ease myself into the course load. With the exception of one bad period – reading week, which I discussed in my mental health post – I managed to make everything work: school, practice, and work. Of course, March was an overwhelming blur of papers and assignments, but overall, I’m happy with how this year went.
I think I’m finally starting to figure out this whole university thing. I enjoy my courses; I’ve figured out how I study well; and I love my campus. I’m not graduating next year – an Honours major and a minor is a lot, plus I have come to recognize that I don’t do well with five courses; I take four instead, which allows me to stay on top of all aspects of my life without letting anything suffer.
This summer, I’ll be working on campus, doing something that I think I will really love. I’m excited for that, and I’m excited for the next school year as well.