rants

Take a Break | The Last Year of University Pt.5

the short story

And get away…

Just go away with them, Hamilton, geez! Save us the heart ache.

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Maybe I need to take a break…
the long storyMy landlady was telling me today about her exercise regimen in preparation for the Marathon des Sables she’s participating in next year. That alone is impressive, since it’s a marathon in the Sahara Desert, but on top of that, she’s turning 59. As a result, she’s training really hard. It’s a brutal schedule, where rest days are just working not as hard as the day before.

I feel like this is a similar approach to how I’ve been working at school.  The work piles week after week, and a chill day takes the form of just less homework than the day before. I hit the ground running–doing six courses my first semester back after sixteen months of co-op.

And those sixteen months have taken their toll.

I’ve written before that I don’t really remember how to study anymore, and it’s not even the process that boggles me.

It’s the frame of mind.

With work, yes, I may be experimenting for weeks. But when I go home, I know I’ve clocked my eight hours on the project for the day. I can turn that part of my brain off. Maybe I’ll think about it a little, sort of aimlessly while I’m doing dishes or something like that. But not seriously. Not dedicating all my brain space to it.

School is different. School is taking that work home with you. School is purposely putting yourself in that frame of mind all the time. School is going over notes after a day of lectures. Of problem sets and readings and papers and the ideas never stop because if you don’t stop thinking about it, you’re screwed when you have to write a test.

I’m sort of surprised that I haven’t burnt out yet, because it’s absolutely exhausting. In ways, I feel like I’m just running on a lower gear (i.e. slacking off in some classes), but that just reminds me that I need to catch up.

And then something beautiful happened.

Today was my last chemistry lab. Yes, that chemistry lab. The one where it’s one credit but >50% of my effort.

Granted, I still have to write the report, but once that’s done, it’s done. I will not have to worry about that course for the rest of my natural life.

(Unless I fail, but that would be just cruel after all the work I put into it.)

So tonight, I’m taking a break, to reward myself for making it this far into the semester. I’m just going to watch videos on the internet, work on the fingerless gloves I’ve been meaning to finish, and lay in bed. I’m going drink tea and let myself close the part of my mind that thinks about school work for the night.

So good night everyone, and take care of yourselves. And if, like me, you’re in that constant frame of mind, try and find time to let your mind rest. It will appreciate it.

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