My undergraduate studies are coming to an end.

It is almost unbelievable that my undergraduate studies in the British capital are coming to an end so fast. Two weeks of my last semester remain, in which I have only the last essay to finish. Then, during the Easter break, which lasts a whole month, I will devote myself to finishing my dissertation and to exam revision. And then, in the first half of May, approximately in two months, I should be done and ready to enjoy the summer.

I am not having less work to do; quite the opposite, in fact. I almost feel as if my life had shrunk just into satisfying basic human needs (yes, there still naturally is just the bare minimum of sleep), going to lectures, reading, and writing essays. As for extracurricular activities, I am also unfortunately managing just very few. When I meet with friends over a cup of coffee for an hour or two each week, it is almost a miracle. I have a strong feeling that, given the absence of social activities, it is sometimes very challenging to find topics for conversation other than school. Alas, that is what life looks like in the last year of studies. Either way, I cannot wait for everything to be finally behind me. I am greatly missing experiences from the outside of university walls.

As for academic successes, my endeavors to achieve the best possible results certainly persist. However, around Christmas I had to admit that I also should keep my mental health in mind. Unfortunately, I am the kind of person who sometimes tends to overthink things I cannot influence either way. How will I do? Will I be able to get sufficiently prepared for the exams? Am I able to finish everything in time, and in good quality? Haven’t I bitten off more than I can chew? Thoughts like these have been haunting me and gnawing away at the back of my mind. I find it difficult to fall asleep, I get stressed out easily, and then I feel I cannot properly focus on anything I should be doing. My concentration is all over the place and I am not doing anything as well as I would like to. Hence, when Christmas came, also regrettably affected by the stress I have been going through, I realized a reevaluation of my attitude was necessary. Sure, good academic results are important; they can decide your future (not only academic) career. But my health is a priority.

I had to accept that given my good results from the first and second year at university, I am effectively guaranteed the second best qualification on my diploma. I only have to obtain the second best grade on one of the exams, or two essays. And that is very manageable, since I have never gotten a grade worse than that. I am still trying to do the best I can, but I stopped clinging to the idea of having to be the best. For one, it is not very realistic, and for two, even the top universities and employers normally accept students having “only” the second best degree classification.

Well, I also should have at least some fun in my last undergraduate weeks, not sacrifice my health in the process. Hopefully I will manage to strike the right balance between relaxation and good performance. I am very grateful to those dearest to me that they stand by me, even when I am sometimes stressed out these days.


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