I made it my aim to complete to program in 4 years because I'm so excited for all of the opportunities that will await me after I finish, and I just want to be there. However, a constant theme that keeps arising is that all of life is a journey, and to gain the most out of it, we need to treasure every moment, experience, and what they teach us.
I think another reason I've been pushing myself to complete this program in 4 years is because I finished university in 5 years instead of 4, and I would compare myself to others who finished in 4 years or even 3 and think that they were smarter and more competent because of that. Yet, I've also noticed that I forget to remind myself that I took 2 years to adjust to workload, environment, and expectations - being a first generation student. In addition, I was so used to working part-time in high school and used to saving money for my education that I worked throughout university as well - that time was taken away from studying. My work opportunities led me to leadership opportunities and vice versa - without all of those things happening within those 5 years, I think I'd be a very different person. So, those 5 years were incredibly valuable to me, and I wouldn't have wanted it to turn out any other way. 6 years would've definitely been pushing it, but 4 years would've been too short.
Now back to my life now, and why I'm highly considering changing my pace to part-time (so, finish in 5 years instead of 4), rather than staying on the full-time track, and finishing in 4 years.
These 11 weeks of my life have flown by! The only constants I can remember are being in class most of the day, going to the gym on Tuesday nights for Step or Combat, and Pump on Wednesday nights. Every other evening is different whether it's what I'm working on or need to plan to work on. It's very go-go-go! I enjoy that pace because it feels like I'm working towards something, as opposed to the summer where work became quite consistent. However, I miss working, and I'm sad about the opportunities I have to miss out on because this is my first priority. Yet, those outside opportunities are what excited me about taking this path.
I was speaking with a third year student last week who I had met at a supplement dinner, and she was telling me why she doesn't regret going part-time: time to attend workshops, you actually enjoy class because you don't experience as much information overload along with more time to process everything, you have time to work/volunteer which keeps you motivated. She was speaking to me! Then, I compare what she said with what I'm hearing from other 3rd year students who mention that there are endless assignments, it's so stressful, you don't have time for anything else, and there's a sense of desperation to finally get out of the quicksand and begin 4th year. They'll all make it through, but I don't like the thought that they're disliking it more than enjoying it.
Although my mind seems to have been made up, I'm going to complete this semester, and possibly my winter term on full-time track before I make my final decision. You see, once I choose to take the part-time path, the program is set up in such a way that I won't be able to go back to the full-time track - so I want to be sure.
The reasons I want to go part-time are because:
- I want to put more time towards this blog (it feels awesome to be writing again!)
- I want to get my vlog up-and-running and learn more about making videos (I know virtually NOTHING!)
- I miss sleeping, especially now that I'm working hard to have a regular routine
- I want to invest more than I'm currently able to in my closest relationships. Although my loved ones are understanding, I want to be present in their lives, and I need them too
- I want to start a club on campus (for now the topic is a secret *wink*)
- I miss working: not for the money as I understand that I will be in debt regardless, but it gives me motivation and a context for why I'm spending all of those hours in class
- but most of all....I want to understand myself
As in Naturopathic Medicine we search for the root cause of illness in order to facilitate the healing process of the patient (through the healing power of Nature - the Vis Medicatrix Naturae), I realize that I have my own emotional problems which are stagnating my ability to heal, and they manifest as migraines, insomnia, and social anxiety. One of my priorities is to work through my personal problems which will allow me to heal myself, and also be more understanding of, and able to connect with my patients. Thereby, it is more important to me to invest in both my personal and academic progress, rather than put all of my energy towards progressing academically and losing some of my inner peace.