Transitioning From Winter Break to the Winter Semester

by Kaitlyn D’Souza, Staff Writer

Photo source: Shutterstock

On December 15th, 2023, I completed my last exam for the fall semester. Like most students, a weight was lifted off my shoulders as built-up stress and anxiety were finally released with the click of the “submit” button. The month of December had yet to be one of holiday spirit and joy. Instead of long nights by the fireplace with hot chocolate, December involved long nights at Robarts, cramming lecture notes into my brain rather than freshly baked cookies into my mouth. So, when I finally submitted my last exam, I felt free! I was not only free from exams but finally free to enjoy the holidays. Exam season had locked up all the shows I wanted to watch, friends I wanted to catch up with, and places I wanted to see. Luckily, I still had three whole weeks to do all that I wanted to do, which was more than enough time. 

After submitting my exam, I messaged every group chat I was in, researched different winter festivities in Toronto, and truly dived into the holiday spirit. I was able to meet up with friends I hadn’t seen in months, get back into a consistent gym routine, and pick up more work shifts to fund my Christmas shopping expenses and activities. Unfortunately, the time passed all too quickly as the three weeks of break turned into two, then one, and before I knew it, Monday, January 8th had arrived. The three long weeks of break suddenly didn’t feel so long and as the new semester inched closer and closer, reminders of tasks I meant to do but didn’t flooded my mind. Catching up on lectures and readings which I had meant to prioritize went untouched, with textbooks sitting in the exact same place I left them on December 15th.

Despite being a new semester with new courses and professors, it did not feel as such. Mentally, I was still on winter break even though my calendar told me otherwise. And, beyond the fresh start to the semester, it was the start to a whole new year. To many, New Years is a fresh start, a time to implement resolutions and better oneself. And, though I find motivation and merit in these ideas, this year I could not feel them as genuine realities. To me, the start of 2024 didn’t feel any different than 2023. This significant change is one that I struggle to truly recognize, noted through my constant erasing of “3” when writing the date. However, I still want these positive ideas of change and new beginnings to be realties for me. I want to hold onto all the positives from 2023, leave behind the negatives, and improve the trajectory of my journey. So, while I am bound to struggle, my resolution this year is to embrace change and all the positives that come with it. 

Adjusting to a new semester after the break certainly won’t be easy, but by slowly appreciating the new aspects 2024 brings forth, I’m sure the task will become easier. Instead of moping around missing the friends I spent the break with, I will welcome the idea of new friendships, viewing school and my classes as opportunities for them to form. Instead of missing my free time, I will value my time spent working towards achieving my academic goals, basking in the sense of accomplishment and pride that comes with the acknowledgment of my time being spent working hard. Embracing change is, and has been, far from easy for me. However, rather than waiting, hoping that one day time will slow down for me, I will work to make the most of the time I have

Though part of me is still in 2023, messing up the date on every paper I write, there is another part of me filled with optimism and hope for the exciting encounters and things I may chance upon in this new year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *