This is my final semester as an undergraduate and I haven’t quite decided on how to spend it. The start of the final semester felt like a natural continuation of the lab work which I was doing during the December holidays. I treat each day simply as another day for experiments, rudely interjected with mandatory routine classes. But this is not just an extension of the research work which I have been doing. It is my final semester as an undergraduate in an institution which has given me ample opportunities for growth, exploration and self-discovery. I need to get a life outside of lab but what should I do? How should I divide the time among family, old friends, new friends, self and work? Here are some pointers that I came up with on this lazy Sunday afternoon in the hope of spending time more wisely (as compared to what I am doing now) in this last semester:
1. Get in touch with old friends once in a while.
I need to stop using experiments as an excuse, I need to meet people outside of my lab group. Many university classes force the students to be critical and to participate in class discussions and consequently, many people in the university are able to express themselves well but they are terrible listeners. I need to listen to what they say when I meet them, understand where they are coming from and stay supportive.
2. Spend time reflecting properly.
I feel that reflection is an art. We learn how to reflect in the religious manner by giving thanks for good things that happened; we learn how to reflect practically by thinking about how to do a task, which we had performed before, in a better way. I feel that a good reflection is a mixture of both types where humility meets critical thinking. I will reflect more in this semester and in this year.
3. Love learning.
It’s so great to be in a conducive learning environment where we get to learn so many new skills and information everyday. I want to enjoy the process of learning and not be overly bothered about the results.
4. Be spontaneous and follow my heart.
Sometimes I think too much and get nervous and frightened. Sometimes I hold myself back from experiences. This is the last semester, no more holding back.
5. Do something cool and different every (other) weekend.
It’s just not right to spend every weekend doing work and feeling bored. Get out of the house and get new experiences.
6. Love my family and make them feel loved.
When I was younger, it felt uncool to say this. But as I grow older, family becomes more and more important to me because they are always there to support me and shower me with unconditional love. I know I love them but I need to work harder to make them feel loved.
7. Get an exercise regime and stick to it.
I am getting older and I am beginning to feel that exercise is so essential to stay healthy. I need to stick to what I set out to do.