What can I say? The times, they are a- changin’.
To think that I managed to make it through my entire first semester and still seem like a functioning individual! I was going to absolutely all my classes, no excuses. I was eating (somewhat) healthy, I was handling all my time well and had no need or cause for staying up past 12 other than watching Gilmore Girls, I was even running every single morning. I was posting on my blog more or less regularly, dammit! Where did it all go wrong?
You see, one of the things that really shocked me the most in comparisson of life in highschool when I first started at Glendon was the difference in schedule and the general structure of my everyday. Back home, I used to get up at 6:22 every morning after listening to precicesly 7 minutes of music to fully wake up, get ready for school, and study from 8am untill 3pm. Afterwards I would usually stay an aditional hour in school for extracurricular activities and go home to keep on studying and doing homework. Which is roughly 8-9 hours of only studying each day. How does life at Glendon compare? On my bussiest day I have 2 courses, so 6 hours of class max.
However in no way should the last sentence be in any way taken as an indication that university is in any way a breeze compared to highschool. It is just different. Mainly because while you don’t spend so much time in actual class infront of the professor, you are expected to make up for it by studying on your own, revising and keeping up with the plethora of assigned readings.
I guess I could say my problems all started when 2 of my courses ended. Last semester I had at least one class every single day of the week, which was perfect. I had this down to a science. It gave me a reason to leave bed early everymorning in order to be able to go running, shower, eat a healthy breakfast and get ready go into York Hall and get educated into the complicated artistic science that is Linguistics. I needed all that time to keep up, and I like to think that I spent that time well. It was a simple life, and I enjoyed it.
Everything changed when my 2 Spanish half courses came to an end. It created a gap in my schedule, that hurrible limbo-like state known as “free time”. And I no longer had my biweekly French classes, either. In the begining I didn’t really feel it. At first I thought “So I have two whole days in the week without any classes, bid deal! I can use this time to study or run more than my usual 10k, right!” If only I’d known.
Thinking about it now I suppose I should have seen the signs. I started sleeping in a little bit on Tuesdays and Thursdays, not enough to cause alarm but definitely out of the ordinary, and with every passing week the numbers displayed on my alarm got closer and closer to 12. I even left campus one day to go to the ROM, in the middle of the week!
So because I slept in late a little bit more everyday (oh god did I really sleep till 1pm yesterday?), here I am, 3 am on Friday the 5th of February, alert as a 6 year old in Disneyland that was given candy and a puppy. My parent’s imposed bedtime does not look so bad now, does it? And it is during these rare moments of lucidness and composure that I think about Emily Bronte, as you would, and more specifically the following quote, which has been turning over in my mind for some weeks now.
I do realize that this quote was spoken by Nelly Dean, one of the servants in the house who, in the 1800s, would have had to get up very early indeed to fulfil all her duties. But it does resonate with some of our contemporary habits. A year ago, by ten o’clock I was already out of bed, dressed, finished with breakfast, in school, and was done with at least 2 hours of studying. How does 2016 Isabel compare? By ten I’m awake, sometimes. It depends really on whether I have an early class (6/7 chance I do not,) the mood, the weather, what time I went to sleep the night before, etc.
To be fair I did use to get up pretty early until January came along, with its cold (to me) temperatures and its refusal to let it snow. When I could go running through the fall-clad street of Toronto without risking frostbite I did manage to be more productive. I swear! Yet it does feel like now that I am not getting up as early as I used to I struggle more and more to study as diligently, or keep up with all of the things I did last year.
But it goes so much further than that. Much of the whole going to university deal is the part where you get to know yourself. I am no longer dependent on my parents to make decisions for me. I am here because I want to be, and not because I have to be. And I am not only figuring out the 5 Latin declensions but also who I am and how do I handle living in the Real World
I used to get up pretty early back in Ecuador. Not only just for school; I rarely, if ever, slept in past nine during the weekend. So if I no longer get up before 12 every single day then what am I? Am I the kind of person that sleeps all day, works little in the afternoon and then spends the rest of the night trying to catch up on sleep? So many questions arise! Am I the kind of person that exercises daily or those who keep claiming that they’ll go to the gym but never do? Do I make healthy life choices or not? Do I read of watch Netflix? Am I happy with who I am I, and happy about where I am or am will I perpetually wish I were living in another eternally elusive time?
And most important of all: if I go to bed at 4:00 am will I manage to sleep enough to be alert for my Linguistics class at noon?