I heard the bells of winter break coming two weeks ago…..and i knew i would once again hear the curtains close down on this precious break and now its time folks.
Studying in a foreign country, in UK for that matter, with the immense pressure and responsibilities that come with them can be quite traumatizing and that is why the thought of a break sends chills of excitement down the spine of every scholar….However, the chills of excitement are mixed with anxiety over what awaits UK scholars after the break…the end of semester exams. Eleven weeks of, i would call it, hard work in reality but smart work eventually can take a great toll on anyone….pushing oneself beyond human elastic limits (if it exists) to beat assignments submission timelines, preparing for CATS (continuous assessment tests), working really smart to prove yourself and everyone else that you can do it, catching up with what others know that you seemingly knew before and you have forgotten( that is if you have been away from the classroom for quite sometime), thinking of the certain uncertainties that await you after the end of your studies…thinking of how your family is doing while you are away and many other anxious thoughts that seem to send one over the sun.
When you are over the sun, and one suggests a break, a winter break for a whooping three weeks, where you do not have to wake up early and get into the cold to board a bus or walk…oohhh no, walk to campus each day, then human nature, which by far correlates to students nature, dictates that you grab it with all the energy it requires. The only reality that student life never runs away from, a dilemma that now awaits me and you most likely is the E…X….A….M…..S. And that is why, i chose the library as a very close friend during this break, to test some hypothesis, that close friendship with the library equates to high grades, improved readiness for the assessments and reduced anxiety against the alternative that the reverse is true. The ambiance in my lovely warm room at Hazel farm, i would say was incomparable to the cold outside, and this friendship was highly tested when for a whole week, i made no appearance in the library. Despite the fact that while living in university accommodation at Hazel farm, each student has an annual free bus pass allowing you to hop onto any of the selected bus company( for this year, Arriva bus) to any destination in Guildford, including the university library, my new winter break friend, the cold, the mist, rain and the fog that has characterized this break could make one think again; but as my life has been, a resolve had been made and it had to be respected…i had to make this friendship work.I await the fruits of this friendship with excitement come the results d-day.
But as i was saying, the winter break has proven to be quite invaluable and timely. Getting time off to handle some part time work was great. I call it the beauty of studying in the UK, as long as you can do something, there is something for you to do and make an extra coin). During Christmas period when everyone wants to take a break, several part time opportunities come up and grabbing some of them is ultimately helpful. Some realization about the UK, the value of an hour of work in the UK in terms of pay is way above where i come from.
But the break, the precious break is now over, and the reality sets in. Time to continue with the students core business, study and study, research and research, prove and prove, analyze and analyze, propose and propose, test and test and forecast knocks at the door. But am sure of one thing..that the anxieties i had at the beginning are now managed, and am ready for the next big one…the exam and my final semester as a post graduate student, and possibly my last year in the UK.
And for everyone back home and around the world considering post graduate studies and UK as a study destination, register for the upcoming University of Surrey webinars, in January and February. Go to www.surrey.ac.uk/postgraduate-webinars, register and get as much more information as possible before you make that one important decision.