Enter that sigh of relief that comes after a massive 13 week semester… I am currently sitting in the air conditioning, reading about some conspiracy theories, getting ready to read a novel about Robert Plant and do some journalling. Even though I only studied 3 subjects this semester, I was also a Student Mentor and had a lot of personal travel going on, which left me having many panic attacks and my stress levels soaring for most of the past 13 weeks.
It was exhausting, but oh my it was wonderful as well and, as this has become somewhat of a tradition, I am so excited to reflect on the semester that was.
Favorite subject this semester:
Group Work, without an ounce of doubt. It’s funny how my favourite subject this semester was taught by the same lecturer that my favourite subject last semester, was taught by. So even though I obviously love the lecturer, I just fell in love with a new way of doing Social Work, with the idea that we as workers, don’t always have to work alone and that together, we can create something incredible that can assist in improving the lives of the people we are working with. I had the opportunity to also delve into a type of work (working with groups) that challenged me because I am both shy and introverted and so it was kind of cool to get to challenge those aspects of my personality.
I am most in my element when I:
I am meditating. I meditate in so many different ways through guided meditation, journalling, taking time out to be in water or by stretching and I tried to do a lot of that this semester. I think it just helps to take that time to be present in the moment and not worry about everything else that is happening-it allows me to just step away from studying for a moment to think about myself and my mind.
Most scared moment:
Probably when I failed an online exam for my Policy Analysis class. I am a perfectionist and so I put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed, so to then have failed an exam was terrifying and upsetting. Little did I know that this ‘failure’ was a stepping stone to much larger successes, as ‘failures’ usually are…
Favorite study spot:
I still maintain that it’s my University’s library. I love sitting in such a large building, a table to myself and being surrounded by students who, despite all studying such different things, are filled with the same anxieties as you, is the most comforting experience. I feel so odd saying that, and you probably think I am crazy, but I find comfort in knowing I am most certainly not alone in procrastination and stress.
Being asked to be co-lead the student mentor team next year.
Most humbling moment:
Getting asked to make a speech at my best friend’s 21st birthday party. I can’t even say any more about this, it was just a moment where I felt so humbled that someone, who I adore immensely, would ask me to take part in such a great honour.
I feel most empowered when:
I am speaking in front of a crowd. It’s crazy because all through high school I wasn’t exactly a fan of public speaking and then lately, I’ve just fallen in love with it! I still get incredibly nervous beforehand, but once I’m up in front of the crowd, I just fall into this relaxed version of myself that becomes incredibly confident and empowered-two feelings I never thought I’d feel when taking part in public speaking.
Most inspirational moment:
When in Port Vila, we had a taxi driver that explained to us the perils that the people of Vanuatu faced when hit by a massive cyclone not too long ago. He described to us how everyone lost everything, yet the next morning, when the worst was over, everyone headed outside, smiling and laughing. It was such a reminder that I sit here, with so much, and yet I complain about so much, yet people who have so little, just love the little that they have. That was an incredible and awe-inspiring moment.
This has changed every semester, I swear! I have really become fascinated with the possibility of doing something in relation to public speaking. I’d love to be able to spend my days speaking to crowds, interacting with communities and individuals and somehow making a difference through my words.
At the moment, it’s to read a lot (not related to anything scholarly), exercise more and fall into a deep relaxation period for two weeks before I jump into a semester of study over the Christmas period.
Last semester’s challenge:
Begin reading through the emails I receive from the Australian Policy Online (APO) website, and to take more photos.
Did I do it?
Unfortunately, not really. I think I read maybe one or two emails from the APO site and just deleted the rest when they came through. Slightly disappointed in myself but I did read more of the policies than I did last semester, so I guess that’s progress!
Did I take more photos? I don’t really know if I took more photos than what I’ve taken in the past but I do know that I did spend a lot of time behind the camera lens.
Challenge for next semester?
My next semester starts in two weeks time and I’m only taking one subject because it’s Christmas time! The subject is Women’s Studies though and I think I’d really love to further my knowledge on Feminism and the importance of women and women’s rights and therefore am going to challenge myself to find at least one extra article, youtube video or discussion (anything really!) surrounding the topic, just to deepen my knowledge on the topic!
Advice to future self:
It’s okay to constantly be exploring; to have itchy feet and a heart full of wanderlust.
It’s okay to constantly be confused; to not truly know what or who you want to believe in yet.
It’s okay to not really know where you want to go from here; to not know what career path you want to follow.
But so long as you’re always ready to learn, to travel, to educate yourself and to further your knowledge on any and every topic in this universe, then you’re doing okay.
Also, never forget about you, about taking time out for yourself, to re-energise your heart, your mind and your soul.
Once again, this post has been inspired immensely by my friend, who I miss intensely as she continues to work toward becoming an incredible Doctor on the other side of the world, Sami.