It's coming to February, a month which for some the pressure starts to build up especially when faced with deadlines to meet in the upcoming weeks, group work, commitments and opportunity seeking. For me, I was faced with a lot hanging over me with group tasks to contribute to along with my various ambassador duties and other commitments. Health wise, it became clear I was starting to suffer a little from exhaustion and tiredness. However, it was vitally important to keep my head down and prioritise my roles and responsibilities thereby University work started to dominate my time. Eventually with good levels of determination and resilience I managed to get back on track with my work. At some point near my birthday I opted to leave the UK and travel to Europe for a weekend break. If I feel overwhelmed, I don't hesitate to plan and take a break should I have the spare capacity to do so. I highly recommend anyone does the same. It doesn't have to be long or abroad. Just somewhere cheap where you can rest your head and come back refreshed and ready for another charge with completely assignments and extra-curricular activities. My doctor advised me to consider heading somewhere in which I can get a lot of fresh air.
In my scenario, I chose to spend a weekend away in Belgium, was nearby and cheap so thought why not? I have the spare time and my head needs a break before I put my head down, study and work for the University as the case in the previous months prior. Brussels was a beautiful city to visit with so much culture to explore. With all the talk about Brexit and Europe, I felt it was time to take a visit to a city which dominates the news so often. Funny enough with my visits to the European Parliament, I never once thought about Brexit. My mind was more focused on how impressive this European Institution was! So, organised and the structure/layout was incredible. To think that this was just one of three cities across Europe that EU institutions exist… WOW was my reaction. Along with the EU, I also spent some time in Brussels famous Grand Place central district. There's a lot of stores there, famous landmarks and buildings. Along with that, I also visited Mont Des Arts. At some point I came across a student from the University of Brussels, of course I shared my experience at the University of Manchester with her and to my surprise told me she knew of the University and considered taking on an MBA at AMBS. I guess it all goes to show how highly valued the University is among global students. If I needed evidence to back up that claim, it was right here.
It was the exact same scenario for me this year. The semester in Singapore starts earlier subsequently ends earlier than Manchester, hence the workload got more intense around the early stages of February. I took 12 days in Japan around my birthday then just to gather myself together and rest my head after signs my health was slowly deteriorating. Now this like Brussels was not a luxury trip, not at all! I'm someone who likes to learn about the culture of other cities be it abroad or in the UK. There's a lot to learn that can actually help me in the future. I picked up quite a few nice and helpful tips on stress relief and motivation across the many cities I visited. Worth noting I visited a lot of cities; Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Kagoshima, Himeji, Akita and Osaka to name a few.