Now that I've finally turned in my proposal and last group project, I can finally let myself relax a little, but I don't want to lose momentum, so even if for just a few hours, I will do research every day. When I let myself slack off during Chrismas I found it much harder to get back to a study schedule, and now I realize that a few hours per day is very reasonable.
Speaking of group projects and work in general, it is extremely beneficial at such a diverse university to interact and collaborate with as many different people as possible. However, the extremely beneficial part depends on who you are put into a group with unfortunately. I've had both amazing people to work with this year and also some that frustrated me to no end. Making group work fair and mutually beneficial is definitely a work in progress because with everyone having different knowledge of English, laziness and procrastination are a curse. We are here first and foremost to learn and challenge ourselves, so it should never happen that in a group of five people only two complete an assignment. And my advice to those groups struggling to get everyone to do a fair share is to speak up; tell your professors, tutors, etc. what is going on and they will take it seriously. You are not here to work for others. Showing initiative, conscientiousness and responsibility should not be so difficult, and I have heard many horror stories of group work problems. That being said, as each year goes by, it would be great for professors to learn from the problems at hand and take them seriously because like I said, I also know how wonderful it is to experience cultural diversity.
As far as Easter break goes, I think I will just be here chipping away at my research, enjoying the sunshine and counting down the days til my trip to Paris in May. A handful of my friends are staying here over break, so I definitely don't feel as lonely as during Christmas vacation.