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A Reflection of This Past Semester

May 14, 2024

Wow, another semester has flown by. It feels like just yesterday I was gearing up for the new Winter semester, and now we're already at summer break!

Celebrate Yourself

Take a moment to congratulate yourself and reflect on the past few months. University isn't easy, and neither is being a student or navigating through the winter months. Yet, here you are, having successfully completed another semester—a significant milestone in your university career.

Consider this: if you're on track to finish your degree in four years, you only have a total of eight semesters, which pass by quicker than you might anticipate.

Does it seem to you that university flies by faster than high school? In high school, each year felt distinct, but in university, it can feel like a continuous push forward without many breaks to pause and assess your progress. It feels like just yesterday I was a newcomer starting my first year, attending classes... well, that phase didn't last too long (just kidding! Attending classes is crucial—you're investing in your education).

We all know the tears shed during exam season and the late nights spent finishing assignments. So, treat yourself to some downtime—watch good movies, sleep in, and hang out with friends.

Reflect on Things You Did Well On and Things That Need to Change

Reflect on what went well and what needs improvement. No one is perfect, so there are bound to be habits that either contributed positively to or hindered your academic success and mental well-being.

To help with reflection, consider what you did differently this semester. Make a list and note how each habit affected you academically and mentally. If a habit positively impacts both your personal and academic life, keep it up! For those habits that negatively impacted you, analyze why and make adjustments that are best for you.

Stop and Look Around: Is This What You Want to Do?

During the semester, it feels like everything is moving at lightning speed, making it challenging to take a step back and evaluate your direction. Now that the semester is over, take this opportunity to ask yourself if you're happy with where you're headed. Do you like the trajectory of your program, courses, friendships, and personal life?

It's crucial to consider if you enjoy the path your degree is leading you on. As you progress through your program, you gain a clearer picture of your future in terms of upper years and post-graduation life. If you're content with this trajectory, that's fantastic—stay the course. If not, don't hesitate to explore other options. While you may have invested time, think about the potential years wasted if you stick with something that doesn't align with your goals. Explore modifications to your current program or other programs where your existing credits can be applied.

Whatever decision you make, have a backup plan. Remember, you're investing significantly in your education, so pursue something you're passionate about and envision working in the long term.

Lastly, take care of yourself, and to those tackling summer courses, best of luck! (How anyone manages schoolwork in such great weather is beyond me, but kudos to you all!)