Lag Month – Starting Afresh
I’d like to wish a happy belated new year to everyone! You’re probably wondering why I'm late to the game in wishing you this as you read, but I've often thought, especially for those working in education either studying in it or delivering it, that it isn't really a new year in January, is it?
I’d like to wish a wonderful and happy belated new year to everyone! You’re probably wondering why I am late to the game in wishing you this as you read, but I have often thought, especially for those working in education either studying in it or delivering it, that it is not really a new year in January, is it?
The previous year always ends in cramming in festive meetings and celebrations, getting presents and thoughtful things for those we love, putting aside some of the things we had intended to do in both the short-term and long-term plans of our year. This cramming always spills deep into the Christmas holidays and often into the newly hatching year ahead for a little while.
Whilst many of us will be revising for increased workloads and assessments in that usually busy time, we really do struggle to find the time to fit everything in as we intended. Given that we students also have a ‘break’ where we see all of those people when we go back home and try to fit in study time for the incoming assessment period, it really is a squeeze.
This is why I call the first month of the new year ‘lag month’. I know most people call it January, but not me, January feels more like a myth. We have to endlessly revise and finish off our assessments during lag month where we try and get a lot of those things we had intended to do throughout the previous year completed. We see some of the people we had unfortunately forgotten about. We set ourselves new resolutions and sometimes old ones. And we also neglect ourselves a little in the post-Christmas, exam season frenzy that the academic institution has rather crudely structured for us.
They always say never start a sentence with ‘and’, but throughout the last year, I really had been meaning to – you see, another lag-month job crossed off!
I know it is a strange concept to begin with, but I think most of you reading this will understand it. Christmas is gone and with either looming assessments or returning to work, January really is bleak in a month where daylight seems to evaporate in the blink of an eye. The darker days are beginning, ever so incrementally, to wane into longer ones, and soon enough, the nightlight will itself become sparse and we will have the daffodils piercing midwinter soils, the budding of new flora on trees and bushes, and hopefully, that strange little heatwave that seems to be almost expected now over the last few years in April to look forward to.
I do see the end of the exam season as the real end to 2021. January 2022 Lag Month 2021 really is a rush, but now it is over. The last few assignments are due around about now and we have the ability to really start afresh and plan our new years in a better style in February 2022 than in Lag Month 2021, where we are likely a little heavier for all the Christmas gluttony, a little more lethargic for the winter nights, a little more fatigued by constant revision and re-revision of academic content. All of these shackles that bind us to the unfinished elements of 2021 are seemingly lifted.
I see New Year’s really beginning here as we are offered a clean slate to start again, and we ought to start as we mean to go on – so hopefully, we all start splendidly and hear a little less of that pesky virus! I wish everyone the best for this new year and hope that your lag month was not too harsh.
Written by DP, Digital Student Ambassador, on 3 February 2022.
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