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Making the best of the midterm season

Let’s face it, this time of year is not easy for law students. With midterm exams, papers, OCIs and trying to hold it all together, it is hard to see the positives about this time of year, although seeing the positives is critical to maintaining a healthy outlook on life and making the law school experience more enjoyable. If you need some help to see the joys of the season, look no further to find 10 key points — in no particular order — to keep you going through the next few months.

Seasonal food

The amount of delicious veggies harvested at this time of year is astonishing. From squash, cranberries, sweet potatoes and apples, there are tons of delectable delights to be created from these seasonal succulents. If you’re looking for some hearty and healthy meal ideas for the fall, look no further than a great stew recipe (with carrots, potato, and squash, using either meat or mushrooms as a base) or a delicious apple pie.

Stress buster: Get together with friends and cook a double-batch meal using seasonal ingredients. Everyone brings a few ingredients to contribute, and everyone leaves with a leftover serving or two. This gives you time to either do work as the meal cooks or clear your mind and relax together.

Seasonal beverages

Seasonal beverages go hand in hand with seasonal food, but both are plentiful enough to merit their own categories. It is this time of year that coffee shops start playing with hot chocolates, mochas and, of course, pumpkin spice.

For something stronger, breweries are trying seasonal recipes for ciders, porters and stouts, and wineries start making fresh wine. Seasonal beverages are warming to the soul and provide a great reason to get out and try something new.

Stress buster: Organize a trip to a brewery and get a flight (sample selection of beers) or to a coffee shop to taste new flavours. A simple Google search will allow you to see what is available in your region. Don’t forget, if you’re going alone to a wine tasting or brewery, arrange a ride back home for when you’re finished your fun excursion.

The great outdoors

Canadians are lucky to be surrounded by a natural beauty that only gets better in the fall. With the changing of the leaves, the cool, crisp, fresh air provides comfortable temperatures that allow for hiking and biking, visiting pumpkin patches and picking apples at the orchards.

Stress buster: Get together with your friends (or pet) and get moving. Whether it be a hike or a visit to the apple orchard, the benefits of getting fresh air and getting some blood flowing are substantial.

Wardrobe changes

It’s no joke that the cooler weather is here, which requires digging out those knit sweaters that have been hiding in the back of the closet since last May.

The good news is that fall wardrobe wear is quite comfortable, is easy to dress up or down and looks great on everybody. For women, an easy and pulled-together fall look is as simple as boots, black pants or jeans, a nice sweater and a scarf. There are many variations on this outfit, by mixing in scarves, coats and, of course, headbands, hats or mitts. For men, it is as simple as a nice pair of pants, a long-sleeve shirt or sweater and a smart-looking coat. Whatever you decide to wear in fall, make sure it keeps you warm in the crisp temperatures.

Stress buster: Spend time pairing outfits and getting opinions from friends. This way you’ll have outfits ready to go without much thought into your daily wardrobe selections when you want to look and feel great in a snap!

The holiday season

This time of year has no shortage of holidays from Thanksgiving (both Canadian and American, if you’re in the dual-JD program) and Halloween to Oktoberfest and Black Friday, there are tons of awesome holidays and events to celebrate before winter break.

Stress buster: To beat time constraints and busy malls at Christmas time, take advantage of so-called cyber-Monday sales. It helps to browse items at certain websites in advance, so you have an idea of what you’re looking for when the big day comes. Sports

With the fall season comes the recommencement of sports! It is this time of year that hockey, football and basketball start up again.

Stress buster: Even if you’re not a sports fan, going to a game can be fun once you get into the atmosphere of the match. Some tickets can also be found relatively cheaply. Entertainment

This time of year is known for the release of good horror movies and other festive films. If horror is not your thing, there are still great classics, such as A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving or The Nightmare Before Christmas to keep you entertained during the holiday, or should I say, haunting, season.  

Stress buster: Host a movie night for yourself or for you and some friends. Bring along some popcorn and enjoy!

Daylight saving time

This is a bonus if you’re somebody who likes to sleep. In fall, the clocks ‘fall back’ an hour, therefore ending daylight saving time. So, for one day, we get an extra hour of sleep. This year, daylight saving time ends on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 1 a.m. Don’t forget to change your clocks.

Stress buster: If you’re somebody who does not do well with the extra hours of darkness, start each morning by immediately turning on the light. While it is not natural light, it will still help you wake up while it’s still dark outside!

Student events

By this point in the semester, budgeting for clubs has been worked out and events are in full swing. As discussed in my previous article, Back to School 101: How to Prepare for the 1L Year , there is a club (and event) for everyone.

Look around your school or a club’s Facebook page to find events that interest you. 

Stress buster: If you wish to contribute to organizing an event, offer your services to the club executive. They’ll be happy to have someone willing to help out, even if it’s just selling tickets around the school.

Halfway mark

If none of these things helps you see the beauty in the season, just know that the semester is about halfway finished. If you’ve survived this long, you certainly can keep on surviving for the rest of the semester. Get some much-needed rest during the winter break. Stay strong, fellow law students!

While school may be picking up, it’s important to take time for yourself, to see the positives in the season and savour your law school years. Stay warm, everybody!