J-Term has finally come to an end! This one-month term was really as intense as introduced, no doubt. There were a lot of things I wished I knew before I started this semester, but I guess I can only advise anyone who's taking J-Term next year. Here's what I wished I knew before J-Term:
Sign up for your shifts as soon as possible! Sign up right away when these workplaces announce vacancy for J-Term hours. However, remember not to take too many hours per week because J-Term is as intense as it sounds! It varies for different courses but it would be better to not take the risk. I actually found myself spending 6 hours out of class studying like what my advisor said. If you're looking for more hours, you can always sub for someone. Believe me, a lot of students need subs during their J-Term because there are mandatory field trips for a lot of courses.
Don't take your weekends for granted! You definitely will get all the rest you need, but remember you don't need the rest you want. Your weekends are perfect to complete your readings and assignments due on Tuesdays. You don't want to begin on a Monday night with more readings to finish up.
Spend as much time as you can with your friends. It's almost impossible to see them during the weekdays except during caf hours because you guys have completely different J-Term schedules and activities, like some of my friends who are off-campus everyday until dinnertime. Take some time off to cook together, visit each other, or even have nap dates. Nap dates are a must.
NAP AS MUCH AS YOU CAN.
The workload for J-Term varies with different courses. All the courses are designed to be just as intense. For my class, it's the readings that puts the most pressure on me. Some classes do not have readings nor homework, so it's their activities everyday that are intense -- like my friends who go off-campus to do teaching etc. At the end of the day we all still have to spend about 9 hours for J-Term whether or not we have homework. So, be sure to get to know your preferred courses more carefully -- because you might like homework at nights more than waking up 6am everyday to teach somewhere else.
BE CONSISTENT. I've never thrived to be more consistent than ever until J-Term because you really do need it. Imagine an entire 4-month semester cramped into a single month. You will be overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge you have to absorb at the beginning, because classes are three hours everyday. However, only studying a single course does help you focus better on what you're learning better because you do not have to worry about other subjects. Also, try your best not to skip classes as much as possible because it affects your attendance and participation grade massively. One class teaches you a lot, and for my course we have quizzes on the lectures; so it makes sense to attend classes everyday and take as many notes as we can.
WEATHER, WINTER, WARMTH
The weather in January isn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I think it's probably because we've already gotten used to the cold. We do have the occasional warmth when the weather could go up to 7०C (44०F). Recently, it's been consistently around -1०C to 1०C (30०F to 33०F). This isn't exactly something I wished I knew, but in case you're of tropical breed, here's some good news for the next January?
Allocate time for napping! It's absolutely necessary for J-Term, but remember not to oversleep because you need those other hours for reading and assignments. Set aside 30 to 45 minutes everyday, according to how much rest you need. Try not to over-nap, because it's going to leave you restless and you won't get anything done by the end of the day. Set aside naps for weekends too!J-Term was definitely one intense ride of a semester for me. It's taught me more on how to manage my time, precisely. It became so important to plan everything everyday because you really do not have time. I also think it's made me realize what I want to pursue throughout my four years here, because somehow the courses are all designed differently from the regular semesters. It's exposed you to things you wouldn't learn in those regular semesters. Believe me, it's actually a fun term.