A new decade, a new year, a new spring term. The hustle and bustle of summer job search starts as early as the 1st of January and everyone is busy polishing their applications. The thesis seminars take my peers closer to graduation. Everyone is living a perfect, healthy life with their Dry Januaries and fitness-vegan challenges. My own activity tracker reminds me accusingly: “Last workout 10 days ago.”
I’ve never really liked the spring term. As a person who’s transitioned from one field to another, I’ve been through a few entrance exams and the reading marathons they’ve brought along. It didn’t get any easier once I got into the university. Others seem to get jobs in February and I just don’t seem to get lucky. It’s hard to balance between studies, job search and other life but for all my peers it seems to be a piece of cake.
This is of course a fallacy. Chats between lectures and social media updates don’t give a complete picture of anyone’s life. No one’s really as innovative as on LinkedIn or as dazzling as on Instagram. I doubt anyone lives their #bestlife every day.
A better lifestyle and self-improvement are really cool things. It’s good to fine-tune your LinkedIn, and job search tends to be an alright experience in the end (at least when you succeed). Still, it’s neither healthy nor realistic to put this kind of performance-oriented lifestyle on a pedestal. The pressure to succeed in everything makes it hard to share about the hardships in your own life. We all want to keep up some sort of appearances.
People aren’t perfect, which is why I think it’s admirable to speak openly about your hardships. Asking for help is hard but also very brave. In this exceptionally depressing weather and stormy state of the world, it’s totally understandable.
Studies may be delayed, your field might change and even the healthiest person sometimes orders pizza. The most important thing is that we understand how natural those things are. So don’t get sucked into the stress about the future that the spring semester pours on you. You don’t always have to achieve a lot of things, sometimes you can just focus on your studies or on your state of mind. People progress on their study paths in their own pace and this should be totally ok. Failure is a part of life and it shouldn’t cause shame.
I’m really excited about this year myself. I’ve been orienting myself into the TREY board activities and already started planning exciting communication campaigns. I’m already prepared for both success and failure. I also told my thesis supervisor that I’ll be picking up again next year. I hope you get inspired by this to prioritise your own life and to try new things, as far as your own well-being allows! Even though the spring term is full of stress and pressure for us all, let’s try not to idolise that and let’s face the challenges together!
–Aleksi, TREY board 2020, communications & brand