Half Time

The walk home today certainly required the maximum volume one can hope to achieve from JVC headphones. It was required to blast out the stresses of the past five weeks which made up the first half of Term 2. With my flashcards written and filed under their coloured drawing pins, the five week plan is complete, and 75% of this academic year’s material has already been covered.

As expected, these past five weeks have been challenging due to the unexpected. It’s time for a break.

The story of this brief period has seen a full-throttle start followed by the frustrations of injury and the slow recovery that followed. Towards the end, having to adapt my lifestyle to physical limitations certainly jolted my mental strength in meeting my targets, and by the end of this week I found myself weary, with illness beginning to creep in.

I would like to be able to push harder, and I will need to in the following five weeks.

I have no problem in committing to five week sprints. They may be exhausting at times, but in the long-term they’ve proven to be productive. And they always have an clear end.

I’d like to call these five weeks an overall success, even if I learnt a few hard lessons along the way.

The ten days I spent writing flashcards for the whole of Term 1 from the moment I got out of bed to the collapsing of my eyelids at night expended a considerable amount of energy, but it was a particularly pleasing effort which has sorted me into a very favourable position come the revision period. If I make this year a success, the ‘Flashcard Fortnight’ will certainly have been a flash point in its making.

That same week came with euphoria over one assignment result, and disappointment over the other. Each week grew more tiring, but crucially I kept on schedule, and worked smarter, as well as harder. Choosing the right areas to concentrate, and adjusting lectures and notes to be geared towards the exam are key aspects of making good revision resources.

Previous years have forced me to sit down with a textbook many nights and write my revision resources all at once. While this has been true for the first term, I will hopefully be thanking myself later that I took Term 2 week-by-week.

Running has quite literally been start-stop, but crucially I’ve managed to return to form in time for the marathon schedule. I’m officially running towards the goal now.

With university’s bustling business over for one week, I’m going to take some much needed time to disconnect from the working mentality. This had not been entirely possible during term time, even with the company of friends it was difficult to refrain myself from the guilt of feeling the need to be at work. I didn’t feel like myself in those situations either. My working mind and social mind just do not seem to mix. To be fair, it’s a strange time of year.

A change in environment is very much needed, and swapping the concrete bubble of London for the slower pace of the Medway Towns is ideal. One other factor I’m looking forward to is breathing safe air again; whether it’s someone’s cigarette, the emissions of vehicles or construction sites, walking through London really weighs down the lungs.

Clear air, clear mind.

I have three essays and two presentations in the second half of this term and I expect it to be a bloodbath. But that’s in the future. This week away is a gift, and rare opportunity to forget work without falling behind and bearing any guilt. It’s a week to find a rhythm in running, and focus on some ideas that have been brewing in the back of my mind for a few weeks now.

I just want to enjoy myself again.  More so than before, primarily living in one area and then working in London makes working and resting so much more black and white. But that doesn’t have to be a disadvantage. It’s the fives rule- five weeks work, within five months work and then five months to relax. I can work harder and play harder. Fortunately these half-time interludes exist to break up the term, and by the time I return, winter will be in its dying days, and the year will finally begin to blossom.

With that in mind, I’m immediately going to push it to one side for a week. It’s time to disconnect, plug back into familiar surroundings, and recharge.

We’re doing well so far.


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