Letters to myself · Life · Medical school · Mental health · University

Academic year goals

It’s the last month of the summer holidays and I’m getting to that stage where I’m restless and wanting to dive back into university. No doubt, come September, I’ll get two days in before deciding I’m a masochist. But hey. Right now I’m capitalising on the excitement to pin down what things I’m going to aim towards this academic year.

  1. Join a society and stick to it all year. For the past two years I’ve been guilty of joining about fifty thousand societies in Freshers Week, coming regularly to about five, and dropping them all by the middle of second semester. Feel the guilt, resolve to stick to the societies I sign up for, repeat the above process. I’m going to pick one club that I like the sound of and try to commit to it, rather than being the society-hopper I’ve been for the last two years.
  2. Run 10K. I know I can do 5K on a very good day at slightly faster than walking pace. Though I’ve generally been good at keeping up my fitness, I haven’t really been working towards a goal. It would be interesting to see if having a concrete aim would change the way that I exercise.
  3. Cut down on my possessions. Having lugged an unnecessary amount of stuff between my parents’ and my student housing, I’ve decided that I really don’t need all the stuff that feels absolutely necessary now. It would probably halve the stress moving in and out of student accommodation.
  4. Save money. Last academic year I got into the habit of setting money aside each week to save up for a wedding (that fell through, but that’s another story) and it’s really surprising how much I ended up with at the end of the year. I’ve decided that it’s a habit that I want to keep up even sans wedding.
  5. Look after emotional health. Probably a biggie considering last year’s train wreck. Reflect on what works and what doesn’t work. Take drugs, see medical professionals as needed, cultivate deeper friendships, strike a nice life balance, explore my relationship with God, generally enjoy life.
  6. Eat healthily. Yep, I’m guilty of grazing throughout the day. Also maybe more fibre? Fibre is good.
  7. Drink more water. Considering I’m well aware that I have pesky issues with low blood pressure, I don’t drink anywhere near as much as I should. Also, if I’m going to believe what my lecturers say, my kidneys will thank me.
  8. Look after my intimate relationship. Learn how I can bring the best of myself into the relationship. Compromise gracefully. Love extravagantly. I’m gonna stop there before it gets more corny.
  9. Learn to say no. I got into a silly number of ridiculous situations purely because I didn’t want to say “no” to someone. Just… going to try to be less worried about cushioning other people’s feelings at the expense of my own.
  10. Define my worth by the things that matter. I’ve invested a lot more time on social media in the past couple of months. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and, yes, WordPress. There have been many times where I’ve tied my self esteem on how many mentions, likes, and follows I’ve accumulated. Probably not healthy. I need to worry less about defining my own worth as God has decided that I am worth sacrificing everything for; I am priceless in His eyes. All very well on paper, I just kind of need to actually believe it.

I’m excited. Well excited. I’m already looking forward to the end of this academic year that hasn’t even started so that I can reflect on how I’ve been doing. Life is good.


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