As the end of term approached a couple of weeks ago, some of my friends at college were alarmed when I explained that I had to do some studying over the holidays. This term’s lectures for the MSc course I am taking are examined in the first week of January, which strikes me as somewhat brutal, seeing as term doesn’t start until the 10th.
Other students were less surprised…one commented that he would be in the lab over the vacation, another had a report to prepare for January, and a third, although she was getting away, was printing out a stack of `bettering’ reading to pile by her bed.
From the number of us who spend our days, evenings and nights reading about, writing about and doing science, it is a wonder that we seem to get so many other things done. (Example.) Having taken a few days off slobbing out in front of the telly I am fighting a tide of festive distractions, trying to get my brain back into gear and do some past papers. I recall a snippet from the Guardian that I read in the run-up to undergraduate finals. Sometimes – or so the article claimed – you need to hang work-life-balance, and to immerse yourself in your deadlines until the pressure has passed. I must gird myself for the coming week and leaving my new Christmas reading until the dark nights of January.