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The Learning Institute

The Learning Institute

It's the most wonderful time of the year

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, according to Andy Williams that is (or it was, it’s probably a raining January morning by the time you are reading this).

Let’s just say this time of year is busy, with all the shopping, cooking and preparation, and that’s just at home!  In our professional lives we’ve got Nativities to stage, parties to throw and Christmas fayres to staff, but we wouldn’t change it for the world, would we?  Add an assignment into the mix and it would be really easy to feel overwhelmed.  Well, I’m here to tell you that it was manic, busy and full on, but it can be done.  Before the Christmas break I was discussing with my fellow students how stressed we were all feeling, desperately trying to be superheroes so we could be done for Christmas when we realised: why?

This year has been another challenge, with the levels of Covid infections rising again and adding to the pressured feeling (a factor we hadn’t even considered), and I’m sure next year will be no different.  So, with this in mind, is it worth it?  Will you be doing your best if you are rushing it?  Will your families be getting the best version of you if you are exhausted from the pressure you put on yourself?  The answer we came to was a resounding NO!  We realised that sometimes you just need to put yourself first, slow down and realise it will all get done.  The turkey will be cooked, the tree will be decorated and 2,500 words evaluating the benefits and limitations of partnership working will be completed, but at no expense to your mental health.

This is not me saying that this course is too much or unachievable, it really is.  And I can say that because this afternoon I finally completed the assignment I started weeks ago by prioritising and planning my time well (in the end).  Now, I’ve got time to celebrate New Year and spend the last days of the holiday with my family before we start the new semester.  But this is me saying that you and your mental health and wellbeing must come first.  A matter which is very much appreciated and understood by TLI, in fact.  Just before the end of Semester 1, we had one of our regular tutorials with our PAT, which is a time to be able to discuss how you are doing, what you might need support on and if there is anything your tutor can do to help.  These tutorials can happen whenever and as regularly as you like or need to ensure you are doing okay.  Along with this, the tutor and pastoral team emailed out details of places which provide support for anyone who may be struggling with anything and to remind us their inboxes are always open.

Now, it’s time for me to enjoy another vegan hot chocolate.  I wish everyone a very happy, successful and prosperous New Year.  I am proud of you, and that goes to anyone who might be reading this.  We’ve had a very different and overwhelming 2020 and 2021 but because of this I know we can do anything we want to and succeed without limit in 2022!