Queen's University Logo
--IMPORTANT NOTICE-- Up-to-date COVID-19 information Click Here

How can it all fall into place?

Hi Gaels, happy 2022!!

I’m writing from my hometown, Guelph, and I’ll most likely be staying here until we’re allowed to go back to campus (goodbye, rent money; hello, good food!). Wherever you are for the beginning of winter term, I hope it is where you want to be and that you’ve made a comforting space for yourself.

I took a lot of winter break to relax and do nothing. My body and mind needed to heal from last semester and final exams, so I gave them lots of sleep, food, and hugs from family. I revisited books and shows I loved in high school and elementary school. My mind felt at ease when it was thrust back into a time where I wasn’t as worried or stressed. I watched the new Spider-Man movie with my younger cousin. Despite her shrugging review of “not bad,” I loved it to pieces. Overall, the winter break was one of the best things of 2021.


Cat sleeping on an open book

Since it’s now 2022 and a new year, I’ve asked and been asked about new year resolutions. Some of my friends have shared their commitments:

  • take more risks and do more things they want to do,
  • go to the gym more and get a specific GPA,
  • attend all lectures,
  • prioritize their time and who they talk to better,

For me, staying on top of my health and tasks and better prioritizing my time are key.

Despite a long time reflecting over the winter break about what exactly went wrong last semester, it’s still difficult to pinpoint how it all came crashing down. Like I said in my last blog, the catalyst may have been failing my test, but nothing else went wrong. I was doing everything I needed to do, albeit wordlessly and without a lot of passion.

Thus my goal for 2022 is to focus on the things I love to do and to stay on top of my responsibilities. I believe that one of the reasons why last semester turned bleak was because I didn’t set aside time to do what I like: baking, going out with my friends, or just reading a book. School drained a lot of my energy, and I didn’t give myself the love to recharge. In my first year, I wrote a SASS blog that explained how our roles and responsibilities are filled with tasks that are analogous to glass balls and plastic balls. Plastic balls are tasks that can be dropped, and they’ll be okay. Glass balls shatter when they’re dropped, which is why taking care of them is vital.

A plastic ball that I could have dropped was a homework question that I spent 30 minutes trying to solve, a problem that was worth 1% of a 15% homework set. Instead, I sat there, frustrated at this homework question rather than taking a break and hanging out with my roommates. I know how important homework and school is, but at this point, all I was dropping were glass balls that centred around friendships, relationships, and my own wellbeing.

I want to prioritize my time to include talking to the people I love and focus on the bigger tasks that are worth more. In school, that means big exams or big assignments. In my wider existence, that is my health, my relationships, and my impact to the world.

I read a few days ago a quote from the Zen monk, Shunryu Suzuki, a few days ago: “When we have our body and mind in order, everything else will exist in the right place, in the right way.” To me, this phrase is reassuring and comforting. I want to remain calm in a chaotic world and focus on what’s best for myself, which is why I’d like to stay on top of my health and my tasks. I want to believe that when I’ve tried the best I’ve could to keep my life in order, everything will fall into place.

Our 2022 goals may be totally different, and that’s what exciting about a new year. Every day is a new day to restart and try to achieve our goals, one step at a time.

Good luck to everyone on the beginning of your semester! 😊

– Liyi