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Balancing the turkey and the pumpkin pie

By Rachael Harkes, 4th-year History/Art History major

As Thanksgiving looms at the end of the week, excitement is in the air for journeys home, good non-student life food, time with the family and most of all, relaxation. Wait, relaxation?! That word can be hard to fit into one’s vocabulary during midterms, but it squeezes in there in anticipation this upcoming weekend, along with freedom (albeit temporary), turkey, and pumpkin-flavoured everything. It helps us push through this stress of Week 5 midterms, but it is important to remember that Thanksgiving isn’t the end but just a slight break.

This is our recovery time – well deserved, for all of us are working hard! – so take time to enjoy it, and recuperate and breathe in this period. Unfortunately, reality lingers not too far away, and it can difficult to balance relaxation with staying on top of upcoming papers, assignments and studying for midterms in Week 6.

Here are a few quick tips to make sure that you come home from Thanksgiving weekend feeling not just full of Turkey, but of energy that allows you to be prepared for the weeks ahead!

Use found time: take advantage of the moments when your family are just sitting around, hanging out. This is the perfect moment to ask your brother, grandmother, or family friends to help quiz you on an upcoming midterm. Prepare cue cards/flashcards on your journey (that bus ride can be long!) and then ask someone to flash a couple cards your way to quiz you and keep you on your toes.

Talking out loud, repetition and teaching someone are all good tactics in retaining information for your midterm. Personally, I plan on getting my brother to quiz me on Latin for my midterm next week (I’m sure he is going to be thrilled to help learn a new language. Perhaps “new” is the wrong word, “dead” might be more accurate!). Your loved ones want to see you succeed and will be more than willing to give you a hand in your studies! Besides, it’s a different form of entertainment for them – they get to learn new things too!

If you are used to waking up fairly early, consider getting up at the same time and studying before the rest of your house wakes up. You can have a moment of peace and quiet to concrete on your work. Don’t have any quiet time over the weekend? Give yourself a chance to organize your schedule for your upcoming assignments. Planning your time wisely is half the battle, and something you can very easily do in between courses at your big meal! Create a schedule for the rest of your semester, or a weekly to-do list. Feeling prepared and organized is a great way to start back at school without doing any mentally strenuous assignments.

Balancing recuperation time and preparing for the upcoming half of the semester can be difficult, but it is attainable! Remember, balance of a healthy body (although maybe a little excess of the pumpkin pie won’t hurt this weekend) and mind will be your key for success! Enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend, and spoil yourself!

P.S. Make sure to give thanks for all the opportunities you have — such as education. You have worked so hard already getting through these first five weeks. Now it is time to push through till winter holidays…better yet Homecoming!

Photo courtesy of Jeremy Seltz under Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license 2.0.