Student Voices: Ruminations on end of term | Work of Arts
Student Voices: Ruminations on end of term | Work of Arts

Student Voices: Ruminations on end of term

Aboriginal blogger Corinne Riedel realizes that sometimes, you just have to take a breath

End of term is always an exhaustive, yet generative, time for students. We are exhausted from being pushed beyond our limits and even though we run outta gas we keep going because we have to. We continue to do, to make, to consume whatever we can, whenever we can, because that is the mode we are in—a machine that can’t stop or else it might shut off entirely, never to work again.

The student knows this. Or ya know… maybe it’s more like riding a bicycle. The student recalls how learning to ride a bike means that if you pedal too slow or that if you over-steer that you will crash to the ground and that the bike will fall on top of you and that that bike probably has a scrapey metal pedal with teeth that chews the skin off your shin and now your friends in the ’hood and your Mom have watched you fall on your face and you have a grapefruit-sized bruise on your bum and you want to cry but you can’t cry while people are looking at you because that’s embarrassing and if you start crying now you might never stop.

Yeah, it’s like that.

And falling down can take a lot of recovery. Which takes time. Which is something we don’t have. And your body hurts.

It all happens so fast: three months of classes, then exams, a Christmas break that isn’t really a break in the sense that we are rushing around trying to make money, buy gifts and reconnect with friends and family, reconnect with ourselves. How much can we do, make or consume in those few weeks before the next round of courses and exams? That was year three for this gal.

Falling down can take a lot of recovery. Which takes time. Which is something we don’t have.

It was a tough year. My family and I experienced a lot of grief and the grief came when I had to write a huge essay or exams or both. How do we do it? How did I do it? How do we keep moving when our entire world stops… and if we stop with it, how much time are we allotted for this?

At times like these I become a soldier. I am militant. I have duties to carry out. I go from student to sister soldier in a snap.20160327_222350 (1)

But I did it. We did it. I’m learning to relax but it takes a while. I feel a little less guilty for watching four hours of Netflix last night. My boyfriend told me to slow down, to take a bubble bath and to watch movies on the couch. He said I needed to stop. Just stop. So I did.

Sometimes we need our loved ones to tell us what to do so that it feels okay to do it. Rather, we need those lovely people to give us permission to stop doing, making, consuming so that we can get back to ourselves. I know I need to get to the woods. The woods is where I breathe, where I heal.

My list of things to do is massive. But I think I will drink some berry tea, do yoga — or maybe not do yoga — and watch TV instead.


Student Voices is a WOA blog feature that presents the experiences and viewpoints of current Arts students. Through their posts, you’ll experience the creativity and passion of our students as they present glimpses into student life. The views and opinions expressed within these posts are solely those of the authors.

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About Corinne Riedel

Corinne Riedel

Corinne Riedel (Métis) is in the third year of her Bachelor of Arts. She is working towards a certificate in Community Service-Learning while majoring in English and minoring in Creative Writing, as well as co-instructing a junior English course in Aboriginal literature and writing. Forever reading and writing poetry, tea and fruit in hand, she enjoys being outdoors. Whether on or slightly off campus, she cannot get enough sunshine and conversation with campus cousins. She is interested in knowledge-keeping for the purpose of sharing as much as she is interested in truth, humanization and activism through the arts.