I ran cross country in high school, so you’ll have to bear with the distance running analogies that necessarily creep in from time to time.

I started this semester really pumped about work and on top of everything. Naturally, as the work load increased I began to feel overwhelmed by all I had to do and by the end of my first wave of midterms I was feeling really burnt out. Unfortunately, it’s only about halfway through the semester, so I can’t really afford to take a nice relaxing break. It feels a lot like being halfway done with a long run, and yet you feel like you can’t run on any longer.

Luckily, there is a phenomenon known to runners as the second wind. For some reason, if you press on through the overwhelming exhaustion, you eventually break through a sort of fatigue barrier and experience a new level of freshness and energy. Well, today I got my second wind for the semester – or whatever you want to call the academic equivalent. I went in to my materials science professor’s office hours and was able to figure out a lot of the concepts I’d missed (an unfortunate side effect stemming from my mind’s tendency to wander during 8am lectures). I also don’t have any exams this week, which has allowed me to catch up on some of the reading I had put off in order to meet actual deadlines. It’s been really refreshing.

My parents are coming tomorrow for parents weekend and I’m really excited to see them and enjoy a few delicious (and free!) meals with them. I’m also feeling like I just might have it in me to take on the next set of midterms and finish the semester strong.