I finally feel like I am getting somewhere with actually writing the next assignment, my spring term paper. I am acutely aware of the fact that I have been whinging to my friends about it for weeks now and they must be bloody fed up of it. Well, let me put it this way, I am bloody fed up of hearing myself whinge about it so they must be! It is due on the 20th April and I have been stressing about it for a good seven weeks now. I have been stressing about having enough time to actually do the damned thing. I have a few days leave from work for Easter and that has been set aside as my writing time for ages now. Today I sat and wrote and wrote and then I wrote some more. I had a go at starting the writing up last week and I got 400 words done. 200 of those I then rewrote. Today however, I started on 400 and had written 1640 when I stopped for the day. I feel such a sense of relief that it is started and that I am managing to write it. It has not even been really difficult or hard going today. I think the most difficult thing is just that I am so very tired and my attention keeps on wandering. I have not done anything much else today. I went to bed early last night and woke up at about 8am today. I have spent much of the day writing but had several breaks so shouldn’t have been a particularly tiring day. However, it is now only 9:30pm and I am exhausted. As soon as I finish this post I will go to bed.
I do sometimes wonder why on earth I ever contemplated studying for a Masters while I am working full time. In spite of my best efforts, I didn’t fully anticipate just how difficult it would be. This sometimes induces a feeling of despair that can last days. Then, at some point, I think about what I get out of it. I do enjoy doing it, really I do. In balance, over the last 6 months, it has been well worth all the brain hurting effort, skirting of the edge of my sanity and sitting down to read bastard texts when I really could do without it. Even the desperately humiliating presentation I suffered through was worth it and was not wholly a bad experience (though I will admit that I didn’t see it that way at the time). Then there is all the really good stuff, the amazing texts and literature I have been introduced to and all the hugely fascinating people I have had the opportunity to encounter and even talk to in many cases. There is also the fact that it has boosted my confidence a great deal and has and will continue to give me an excellent opportunity to figure out how I learn and what I am capable of. Further, it has given me an excuse to write in a structured way and to explore different ways of communicating through the written word.
Last term there was a point where I seriously considered giving up on the study. I was miserable, because I felt tired and under huge amounts of mental pressure. I was convinced that I was hopelessly naive and stupid in comparison to the others studying the same programme as me. I am stubborn, however and I remember bargaining with myself about it. I had been so excited about starting studying and so proud of myself for even getting as far as starting the course. When I started debating it whether or not I could cope, I had just settled on a vague topic for last term’s term paper. I resolved that I would have to see out the term and write the paper, I couldn’t give up before doing that. I decided that I would write the paper, somehow, and then make a decision on whether to carry on based on my mark for my paper as that would be an objective measure of my progress. By the time I got to the last two weeks of term I started feeling differently. I had a clear direction for the paper and I felt like I knew what I was doing (!) The reading I had done throughout the term was starting to coalesce in my head. I don’t even quite know what changed, I was just relieved and pleased that it got better. The feeling of euphoria that perhaps I did deserve to be studying and perhaps I was going to manage to do something useful as a result was amazing. It was worth all the stress. Its not even so much the hard work that bothers me, it is the stress and mental pressure that I experience as a result of studying that I find upsetting.
I didn’t contemplate giving up at any point this term. I learned from my experiences last term and, during the stressful and difficult bits, I had a grim resolve to get through the term. I was waiting for the bit where nothing makes sense and everything is all completely overwhelming. It wasn’t any more pleasant this time around, but I did have more faith that I could weather it. I can’t say whether or not I have managed it yet, that will have to wait until I have finished the current term paper. I have enjoyed it immensely though.
I am going to fall asleep at my laptop if I don’t leave this here and go get some sleep. Funnily enough, after spending much of the day busy staring at my laptop and writing, having a rambly blog writing session has been quite cathartic.