My first semester at the University of Auckland has come to a close. A lot of things have happened in that time, most of which were good, and all of them presented opportunities for growth. The end of this semester has given me a brilliant opportunity to reflect on the things I’ve learnt in this first half of the year.
Keeping all the essential activities present in the right amounts is key. Living in the University Hall- Towers, it has been easy to see the entire spectrum of people who span the whole range, from those studying 24/7, to those who sleep 14hrs a day and those who party it up every night. Doing too much of any one thing is unsustainable for most people, including myself. Because of this, the importance of having balance in daily life has become apparent: having a good mix of study, sleep, socialising, exercise and downtime is needed for overall Hauora- health.
Keeping things in perspective. Keeping the ‘big picture’ in mind has been an important realisation, as getting hung up on the small stuff is easy to do, especially getting caught up in the competitive nature of pre-med. There is an acceptance that is necessary in approaching many things in the course.
Everything from pre-labs, labs, tests and exams can be a source of doubt and stress, occupying your thoughts with where you went wrong. While it is important to identify where I did not do as well as I could have, it is equally important to realise that what has happened has been and gone, and moving forward and improving in that area is the best mindset to have.
Infinitely important, and for me, I only realised how important it was when I needed it. That was when both keeping things in perspective and balance had gone out of whack. The presence of friends, floormates and family to uplifted and encouraged me in the times that were challenging and helped me stay in the right headspace when stress really got to me. Taking a night to escape the environment of Unihall in exam period to stay over at my grandparents’ house was a welcome retreat to help reset and refocus. One of the key factors in my decision to study at UoA was the presence of my extended family to support me in my first year at university. This has proved to be of massive help. Here’s to the upcoming semester two!