Why Worry [The All-American Rejects]

Sunday, November 15, 2009

One of the things I haven’t missed about academia is the immense feelings of stress that accompany the end of a semester. Here I am, four weeks out of completing my first (of four) semesters of my master’s degree. I have six papers to write (totaling over 18,000 words) and an exam to study for (which has to be passed with a B- or better, or else you cannot graduate). Needless to say, I feel like there’s a two-ton weight constantly hanging from the rafters over my head (Á la one of those old Loony Tunes cartoons where Yosemite Sam is chasing after Buggs and there’s a huge block of steel about to come crashing down on him. I feel like I’m about to become a Courtney-pancake).

I feel like every moment I’m not working on something academic (including this moment right now) is wasted. It feels like my time is slipping away faster than I’m able to do anything productive with it. It’s like being American has instilled in me a great dose of ADHD or something equally as bad for an attention span. I mean, it’s not like I’m not doing any work, but rather I’m doing the work to get by week-to-week and the work that actually matters, that’s due at the end of the semester, that accounts for the majority of my grade keeps getting pushed further and further back.

Oh, and I’m a perfectionist. This is something which I am aware of, but still don’t control. I like when my work is good. I like when I can be proud of something I turn in or display. So if it’s a matter of just getting it done, or taking longer and getting it done well (re: perfect) I will 99.9% of the time take the latter option. It’s a curse, I guess. But it also means that my writing is usually pretty darn good.

I guess I just need to stop freeking out able the amount of work I have to do, and just start doing it. I don’t like to whine about the issues I’m having or the stress I’m under, because really I put this stress on myself. I truly am my own worse critic/enemy/opponent/etc. It’s just really overwhelming to have so much looming ahead of you and you have to chose a starting point. I’m grateful my deadlines extend well into vacation - and some even are only due “before the next semester begins, if possible” (though I would prefer to have most done before I leave for home). It could be much worse, they could all be due by December 11, the last day of classes.

I am looking forward to going home. I’m not one to get homesick, and I really am enjoying it here, but there’s just something comforting about understanding life around you. I’m excited to see my friends, to cook my own food, to go for runs in neighborhoods I know, so many things that you miss when you’re away. New Hampshire is an awesome state, and I can’t wait to just be able to run around and do what I want to do without classes looming over me. I grew to love North Carolina a LOT while I was there, so much to the point I kinda want to move back there some day. But for now, a visit down for a week while I’m in the states will have to do.


  1. oh I hate the end of the semester with a passion! Right now as I am reading your blog post I should be working on a literature review. Which honestly is pointless and I have no idea what I am doing but that isn't for me to decide, sadly!

    Good luck! Come to TN if you want!

  2. I know the feeling and am with you, happily finished my masters!


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