My Ode to Autumn

By Constance Lam

I am writing this moments after escaping the austere silence of the library and retreating back to the comfort of my own home, where I promptly changed into my jogging bottoms and made myself a cup of tea.  One month ago, I was doing the exact opposite, for I was very occupied by the following activities: lounging by the pool, eating ice cream, and watching Grey’s Anatomy. Despite my love for my degree, I was very reluctant to go near a single book on my astronomically high reading list. Therefore, I started the academic year on a highly unacademic note, causing me to worry perpetually about falling behind. However, once lectures started I was reminded again about why I enjoyed my course and gained motivation to re-establish a study routine.

Although it took time, my initial lethargy and grumpiness towards the new academic year slowly started to fade. I started to immerse myself in extracurricular activities and my reading, and the start of term started to feel like an opportunity to start afresh. Improving the study habits you created the year before, developing your strengths, and exploring your interests will help you enjoy the year wish fresh eyes. Panicking and commiserating, as I learnt during exam season, will only hold you back and prevent you from exploring the wealth of opportunities that university has to offer. Instead of comparing yourself to your course mates who seem so far ahead with their studies, focus on yourself. After realising that my slothfulness at the beginning of the year was not unique to me, I felt much more confident about myself.

My slothfulness at the beginning of the year was not unique to me

The transition from seeing my friends almost every hour of the day in college halls to living 12 hours away from them during the holidays was not particularly easy but seeing them after four long months made the start of term much more enjoyable. Dancing to music with my friends after a long day of back-to-back contact hours, cooking dinner together, and attempting to make cocktails with a leaky shaker brings a lot of much needed excitement to my otherwise uneventful life.  If you’re in your first year of university in college accommodation, the start of the year is the best time to get more involved in college life, have fun studying with your friends, and make new memories with your friends.

Autumn in Durham holds an unrivalled place in my heart. The biting crispness of the autumn air, juxtaposed with the warmth of my room, makes time indoors and time outdoors equally delightful. As the title suggests, John Keats’ ‘Ode to Autumn’ portrays autumn as a time of fruitfulness and productivity. This autumnal peacefulness helps me thrive in a place I love with the people I love, and it will help you do the same.

The biting crispness of the autumn air, juxtaposed with the warmth of my room, makes time indoors and time outdoors equally delightful

Photograph by Couleur via Pixabay

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