Personal Development

Restart, Jumpstart: Make This Semester Meaningful

After a long, relaxing month off, starting the January semester typically means saying goodbye to winter break, and hello to the winter blues. When looking at another 4 months of hard work, and harsh weather, it’s easy to lose track of your goals, and develop an apathetic approach to university. However, with the second week of school approaching, it’s important to remember that “Our attitude toward life, determines life’s attitude towards you.” Look around you, those people who take on every day with positivity, and excitement, tend to be overall happier, and more successful. Obtaining a positive attitude towards school work can be a difficult task for some, but it is a crucial step in excelling in university.

Identify What Exactly You Want to Change

Simply floating through your university experience may feel like a comfortable position to be in, but just “getting by” shouldn’t be enough. Look within yourself and visualize where you want to be when you’ve graduated. Whether it be on a personal, or professional level, learn what it is about yourself or your habits that you think needs changing. Simply identifying your flaws, and learning what you don’t like about yourself  is a crucial step in discovering who you are.

Set Goals

Feeling like you’re wandering around aimlessly without purpose can play an equally negative role as doing poorly in school might. Set short term goals for yourself each semester, and spend every day working to achieve that goal. Do you want to focus on your friends more? Do you want to take better notes? Or do you just want to reduce your stress levels? Having a purpose, and a challenge to overcome, will help motivate you to stay on track this semester.

Visualize Positivity

The more you visualize, the more you’ll believe, and the more you believe, the more likely you will be to take action. Stop telling yourself you won’t pass that class, or that you can’t do that group presentation. Constantly remind yourself that you can do it, and you’ll slowly begin to take actions to support your goals!

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

One of the most detrimental things to do in university is to compare yourself to other people. It shouldn’t matter if the grade that you’re proud of receiving is below the class average. Everyone has different abilities, and different methods of learning, keep reminding yourself that you don’t need to be better than other people in order to better yourself.

Set Aside a Specific Time to Worry Each Day

Pick a time of day, everyday, and dedicate that time to focusing on your stress and anxieties. Instead of repressing your negative thoughts throughout the day, allow this to address your concerns, and then move on with your day worry free.

Find Balance

Your grades are important, but they’re not the only thing you should be focusing on this semester. Make sure you take time away from you studies to focus on something else that makes you happy. If you lock yourself in your room all day trying to study, you won’t get much done. If you feel like you’ve hit a road block, and can’t retain information, leave your room, meet up with a friend, go to the gym, do anything; just step away from what your doing, and take your mind off your studies, then come back to it when your ready.

Stop Hating Studying, and Start Loving Learning

Don’t be one of those people who wastes their entire university career by just getting by. Your education is far more valuable than the degree you’ll receive at the end of four years. Ryerson offers an incredible variety of quirky, interesting, and valuable classes that you’d never be able to find at neighbouring schools. Find a class that makes you excited, or a professor that motivates you to do well. Stop focusing all your energy on trying to retain information on a subject that doesn’t excite you. Take advantage of your education while you’re here, and fall in love with learning.

 

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Ellen Smith
Ellen smith is a fourth year Arts and Contemporary Studies student currently blogging for RU Student life. Ellen can be found getting booed off the stage at karaoke or in the sale section of shoppers looking for the most obnoxiously bright shade of lipstick she can find.