Fall 2022 #3
October 10, 2022
by Meghan Melillo, MUDEC student
With midterm season underway, I am feeling the stress of keeping up with schoolwork and still getting to enjoy all the amazing parts of studying abroad. Balancing self-care, social activities, traveling, and studies, all while immersing myself in a new culture was a difficult adjustment. Trying to do too much leads to burnout and makes it very easy to fall behind with work.
In this newsletter, I am going to share some tips and tricks I have found very helpful in combating burnout and staying on top of my schoolwork while still enjoying my time abroad!
Tip 1: Take Time for Yourself
It is super important to make time for yourself. Prioritizing self-care will make this experience a lot easier and more enjoyable.
Self-care looks different for everyone. It may include anything from exercise to journaling to reading. The key is to find an activity that makes you feel good and gives you the chance to truly relax.
Personally, I go to the gym three or four times a week before class, listen to podcasts on my train ride from Luxembourg City to Differdange, and watch a movie by myself in bed once a week. These are ways I have found to help me relieve stress, focus on myself and my well-being, and avoid burnout.
A glimpse of my gym (left), and Aquasud, a popular gym for MUDEC students (right)
Tip 2: Take Care of Your Body
If your body doesn’t feel good, chances are other aspects of your life will struggle as well, such as your grades. It is easy to feel run-down with such a busy lifestyle, so paying attention to how you are feeling physically is important.
One thing I have found difficult to do here is to drink enough water. To combat this, I bought a reusable water bottle and I make sure I drink a certain amount of these each day.
It is also crucial to make sure you are getting enough sleep! Making healthy choices such as eating enough fruits and vegetables and a balanced diet, as well as getting outside are also critical for taking care of your body.
Some delicious meals I’ve had since arriving. Balance is key!
Looking ahead a week or so in advance is important in making sure you can budget adequate time for assignments and studying. Also, be sure to account for things like leisure time, social time, and traveling.
I bought an agenda on Amazon that I use to keep track of my class schedules, due dates, exams, travel plans, and other activities. Each Sunday night, I sit down to look at the upcoming week and plan when I will get my work done, do my laundry, exercise, etc. This has been key to staying on top of my assignments and keeping organized!
Another tip is to never save work for a weekend when you plan to travel. Plans almost always go wrong, and delays and cancellations are common. Once you get home, you will be exhausted and need to shower, eat, and rest. Having an assignment to do will add unnecessary stress, and chances are it won’t get done. Therefore, planning is key!
Tip 4: Find a Study Space
Having a designated study space will make it much easier to get schoolwork accomplished. This may be hard in such an unknown environment, but there are so many great options that can become your study sanctuary! The library or the cave at the Château are usually pretty quiet with students doing work. This is where I typically do my homework in between classes. At night, if I have an assignment to do, I sit at a desk in my host family's house. Another option that other MUDEC students love is the Belval University Libraries!
The library (left) and the cave (right), two student study spaces at the Château
Studying abroad is an amazing opportunity and experience, and it is so important to feel your best during this time in order to make the most of it! It is also important to not forget the “study” aspect of studying abroad. Everybody's tactics for avoiding burnout and maintaining good well-being look different, which is normal and ok! I hope some of these tips can be incorporated into your daily lives in order to feel your best, stay on top of your schoolwork, and have a healthy and happy rest of the semester.
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