I had a teacher in high school who never let us sit in the same place in class each day. He did this because he believed that we’d approach the class differently each day depending on the people we were sitting near. As someone who loves routine and will shy away from change on a general basis, I was not super on board with his theory. There’s safety in these kinds of routines that cannot be understated, but in my experience, I’ve also found that there’s importance in breaking out of them every once in a while.
Obviously, no one here is too afraid of change, seeing as we’re currently studying in a foreign country and for many of us, environmental science is a field outside of our major. In a program like this where the schedule changes on a day-to-day basis it’s hard to find and keep a steady routine. But over the last few weeks, as things have started to normalize a bit, I have found myself building habits and I’m sure other students have too. It may be that personal routine is the only thing keeping us sane. I absolutely understand that.
But I encourage everyone reading this, in reflection now and over the course of the day or even the week, pay attention to your routines. Notice what is helping you and keeping you sane. Notice as well if there is anything that might be holding you back. I encourage you to change your routine in ways that feel comfortable. Wake up early and enjoy the empty morning porch with that book you’ve been trying to read lately. Conversely, sleep in late, be the last one to breakfast and finally get that coveted seven hours that you’ve been chasing all week. Go to Zumba!! I can promise nothing, but it will probably be worth the price of admission. Even in a new country, or a program where everything might be constantly changing, note the ways in which you can foster change as well.