So many people seem to struggle with either being in Dundee or going home. A lot of us, including myself, become obsessed with the idea of how much more relaxed we will be when we finally get to go home for the holiday, but once we are there, we cannot wait to get back to Dundee. Why is this?
For me I have unrealistic expectations. I think leaving Dundee means I can leave my stress and responsibilities behind. In fact, they follow me home. I try ignoring the work that is piling up and then blame the fact I have so much work to get on with on my home life and distractions that come with this. Seeing friends and family, preparing for Christmas or birthdays, taking time off and just plain being lazy in front of the TV – my days seem to just run away.
I have realised how important it is too just knuckle down and deal with what is in front of me. Once the New Year hit, the stress of how much work I had to get on with hit me like a tonne of bricks. I struggled concentrating and my motivation seemed to have just died. I jumped from one task to the other in a matter of hours trying to find the “easiest” place to start. I’ve learned from my mistakes and I am here to give some advice for next year:
- Don’t abandon your tasks for longer than a couple days – everyone needs a break, take the time to settle back home and see friends as soon as possible. Plan things before you leave Dundee and you can instantly enjoy your time back. Then, revisit your tasks by finding a quiet place in the house (or out width) to concentrate.
- Organise early – Make a schedule. My problem this Christmas is that I made no schedule. When events popped up and friends wanted to go out, I didn’t even question if I had the time. I had made no time for my studies and therefore I just did whatever popped up. If you set some time to work and the rest to social life you’ll find you will have felt more productive and happier.
- Even a little everyday – It sounds easier than done, I agree. But I wish I had followed my own advice. The hardest part is getting started. Even an hour or two a day will be a hell of a lot better than nothing.
- Delegate time to different tasks – Instead of being unfocused and hopping around different coursework’s and tasks every two minutes, pick one and stick with it for a couple hours. The next day you can focus on something else.
- Remember, you will be going back to Dundee eventually – Don’t pout, if you are desperate to get back and are unhappy being home, then you’ll only be making yourself even more unhappy. Try appreciating the time home with your family – as much as they may annoy you. Remember how much you wanted to be back home in the first place and why that was.
- The last few days – these are the easiest to deal with (I think). You are excited to get back to Dundee – for me its for the quiet, getting back to the gym and focussing my days on getting the dreaded work done that I have pushed aside. Pack your stuff back up gradually and appreciate the last few days with the fam.
- Back in Dundee– Luckily, this year classes start later, and you have extra time to resettle back into student life. Get your shopping done and fill the empty fridge so you are ready to start fresh and healthy. You have all the responsibility again to feed yourself and get up in the mornings – so be good to yourself.
I can’t turn back time on mistakes I made when I got back home. I brought my laptop home ready to do all this work and I barely even used it. But it is a new year, filled with new chances. Maybe next year, I will read on back on my own blog and follow my own advice.
Best of Luck in the New Year and second semester at University!