I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit recently, as I noticed my exhaustion and stress levels rising to levels that I am really, really uncomfortable with over the last few months. I know it relates to studying, and I know that it is finite, but I wondered what precisely it is that bothers me. I think I have some answers.
Initially I assumed it was the pressure of writing, something I belived I was not good at after a crappy English department at my High School removed my confidence in my ability to write, compounded by an Engineering degree.
However, I now write for a living, and this semester’s assignments are based on the same format that I write to every week at work, so that’s not it.
Here’s what I think the problems are:
- Higher education essays are based primarily on individual unbounded research. YOu are given some guidance on the subject area, and maybe the key theorists, BUT one of my stresses is constantly feeling like I don’t know enough and have not done enough reading and that I’ve not been able to find the key text(s) that will ensure this assigment is credible.
- I’m an empirical thinker, I hate theory, being forced to frame my empiricism into a theoretical essay is/was tedious and seemed rather pointless since I have no desire to be an academic and hence this was useless jargon based knowledge that I had to try to understand.
- I prioritise study above almost EVERYTHING else, and fret that I am not spedning enough time reading and writing, despite the fact that I now know exactly how much time it takes me and what my rhythm is for this process. This means that my house becomes a mess, I stop seeing the people that I like, who give me balance in my life, I don’t plan the other aspects of my life and so they all fall over. Likewise my friends get the impression that I am too busy and get scared to disturb me, despite the fact I probably desperately need company. My points of serenity and stability disappear.
- I live in my head, which means I neglect the physical side. On Monday all I could think was that I wanted to go and get a full body scrub, then moisturise, and a hair cut and a facial. Essentially I stop feeling attractive. In other semesters, whenever I’ve handed an assignment in my first impulse has been to seek out a snuggle, to just ‘be’ and reconnect with the physical, to get out of my head.
All of these aspects sap. my confidence and energy. In previous semesters there has been lee-way at work to get some headspace, or I’ve been more lenient on myself at home about the mess, or I’d not felt attractive anyway, so didn’t notice the difference.
This semester? They all those factors came home to roost at the same time, and I added the stress of trying to move overseas. I am so very, very glad that my assignments are now over. One exam to go and then I’ll have my Masters, and it will be done!
Someone throw a soft object at