With fall semester just days away, it’s easy to anticipate the homework and activities that will soon be upon us. It might begin to feel like classes and exams are the only things that matter. Activities we’re the most passionate about may be harder to focus on. That’s why as we dive into a fresh semester, this is the time to intentionally make space for things that make us happy. As another hectic season approaches, here are some ways to focus on your passions.
This option may not be viable for everyone, but having at least one class that you actually find interesting is incredibly important. Rather than loading up all your dreaded classes in the same semester, consider spacing them out and choosing at least one you will want to go to. Whether it’s a DeCal on squirrel biology or a math class you find interesting, having one lecture you look forward to will help keep you from feeling like every day is the same blur of mundane classes.
While joining clubs can typically be an intense feat at UC Berkeley, this semester, consider joining a club that revolves around something that sparks your interest. Maybe that’s a club for students in your major or a dance organization — as long as it’s something important to you. Taking even a little time each week to work on something you choose and have a genuine interest in can help you be energized to keep working throughout the semester.
Get to know professors and students
Even if your schedule doesn’t allow for some classes, there are still countless professors and people on UC Berkeley’s campus who are sure to have extensive knowledge on something you care about. Reach out to professors and see if they’ll let you stop by their office hours, or see if there are any research applications you could apply for. Also find students who are taking classes you’d be interested in. Talking with people who care about the same things you do is one of the best ways to stay invigorated in your passions this semester. Let their interests spark your passions and encourage you to stay intentional about pursuing them.
So as the semester starts, I encourage us to make the effort to fight burnout. School is hard, and classes are long — but that doesn’t mean we have to fall victim to an endless cycle of never-ending work. Making even a small choice can help us stay passionate this semester!