This spring we have had some wild weather, from flooding rains to temperatures soaring above 25 degrees Celsius within a week’s span. When the rain is pouring and storms are blowing in and out, it is easy to stay motivated on courses and work. But when the weather flips and it is sunshine and blue skies that motivation can wane.
How do you stay inside and work when you could be outside enjoying the early summer? I think it is important to find balance throughout the year, but especially in the summer months. It is okay to take a few extra hours, or days, to get out to enjoy the weather. I think now, more than ever, having a workable schedule is important. If you maintain a strict schedule that has you locked away all day, every day working on coursework, it will start to feel like a prison rather than a pursuit. I always found that when my mind was fresh and I had allowed myself time away from the desk my time spent there was more productive. When our hearts are in the projects we are working on it always turns out better.
So schedule your days a little lighter and allow a few hours off to take the dogs for a swim at the lake, or go for a walk in the sun. Schedule a couple days a week that are for catch up?in case an opportunity presents itself that you just can’t pass up. Give yourself a bit more flexibility in these months because, at least for me, they are short lived. I can’t turn my back on the work that needs to get done, that I want to get done, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t grant myself a bit of freedom as well.
A wonderful thing about studying at Athabasca is the flexibility it offers. You can study through the summer months?always working towards your goal?but you can lighten your load during these months. The first summer I studied with AU I found it challenging. I was enrolled in 19th Century literature, they were all (mostly all) novels I enjoyed reading, but hunkering down and reading these heavy novels was challenging. I found it hard to concentrate on them when there were so many other things I wanted to be doing. Yes, I read outside a lot, and I found time in the evenings, but it made the course a struggle and the stress of not getting through it as quick as I wanted soon dampened my enjoyment of the other aspects of summer.
If I had allowed myself a bit more freedom that summer, acknowledged that this one might take me a bit longer?or had the forethought to enroll in a bit lighter of a course as I did the following summers?I would have been able to enjoy the summer, and the course, more thoroughly.
If you are picking courses for the summer, consider ones that are a bit lighter and that you can take outside and study on the deck. Take an honest look at the things you want to accomplish in these months and make sure it is a reasonable list. Make sure to schedule some free time, some catch-up time for those impromptu summer adventures, and work time. Because if I learned anything in that first summer it is that the guilt of not feeling accomplished enough in a course would seep through and impact any adventure I was on.
Deanna Roney is an AU student who loves adventure in life and literature. Follow her path on the writing journey at https://deannaroney.wordpress.com/