Walking in late to a lecture has become second nature for me.
I have significant time-management issues that I have never treated. But there are also factors out of my control like someone holding up the O-train’s doors resulting in a thirty-minute delay.
As we’re now moving into the second half of the fall semester, it’s as good a time as ever to understand the steps that can be taken to maximize my learning experience.
With the help of a few college services such as mindfulness and wellness workshops, I have been trying to solve my issues.
I tried out a few mindfulness seminars first. The one that made a difference was Knit and Knatter held in the Spiritual Centre, Room E211 in early September.
Knitting is not a skill set I had anticipated gaining this year.
It was awkward and intimidating at first.
Walking into a room with mostly women – both staff and students – knitting away at their creations. I felt out of place and anxious as Shelley Neilson, coordinator for the Spiritual Centre, explained the basics.
“Take these and pick any colour,” she said, while handing me two seven-inch metal prongs.
I picked up a ball of maroon yarn and learned the basics from Neilson. There were moments within the sixty minutes where I thought this was leading nowhere. Until I figured out what I was doing.
“Students just come and knit, it’s lovely to knit and just create something,” said Neilson. “But the act of getting out of your brain and making it with your hands feeds your spirit in some way.”
It was more of the mindless repetitive hand motion that helped me. Getting lost in what I was creating helped me to create a makeshift safe space to think.
There are many escapes people use to cope with stress in their life. Knitting was a subtle one that just clicked and seemed to work for me for the time being.
Tafhima Ali, a mental health nurse and co-ordinator for health services, says every student is different in the strategies they use to manage their time.
“People are motivated in different ways, they live different lives,” Ali said.
Students prioritize in different ways. They motivate themselves in a way that works for them. it is often left for them to understand the most effective way to study and live their life.
“Some may need the planning and the buildup to tackle an assignment or project others might rely on last-minute pressure,” Ali explained.
Knitting did not change my life. I am, in fact, still late to class from time to time.
It did however provide me with a space to think, a new skill to share with people and it worked as a coping mechanism.
And I made a neat little mini wool blanket for my imaginary dog.