Same Old, Same Old

I’m struggling again. It seems that the experience of cramming for exams in January wasn’t enough to spark me into action for exams in June. Could it be the added pressure of a 2000 word essay, photography project and 5000 word dissertation to complete in 2 weeks? I think so.

I always start off my day well, getting up when my brain wakes me up at 7.30am and starting work by 9am with a note of hopefulness in my head as I press play on my motivation playlist. But even my dad was shocked that I only managed to write 346 words of my dissertation in 5 hours. My justification was that there was at least 2 hours of reading journal papers to make sense of my results but even then, 100ish words per hour is a dismal attempt at something so important.

I’ve begun to set myself timers so that I do my work in 25 minute slots but every time it starts beeping I don’t feel ready for a break and every time I finish my 5 minute breaks (which often turn into half an hour) I don’t want to go back to work. This has ended up with me just staring out of the window or sat with a glum expression thinking about how crap I am at staying focussed on uni work.

Even writing this blog post is a sign that I’ve had enough. My attempts at starting on a lecture instead of doing my dissertation are non- existent except for loading the lecture recording and opening a word document. The more I write this however, the more I realise that if I just get on and do it, the better I will feel about my efforts for the day and those 346 words will be accompanied with 3 pages of lecture notes and a smile.

This is also the first time in 6 months that I’ve been at home with my parents and although there is less distraction from tasty food to go hunting for, I’m beginning to feel like those tasty treats were what got me through those horrible days. No. I gained weight and I wasn’t happy about it so best to stay away and resist the temptation to cycle to the shops for a chocolate bar!

It’s at times like these when I wonder how I’ll fare in my masters. If I can’t motivate myself to write more than 500 words a day, what can I motivate myself to do? Before I write myself out of a job though, I think I’ll argue that I’ll be doing something that I’m actually interested and passionate about in a way that I could never get passionate about lab work and my results. Yes, I’ll be fine in my masters; facts and figures are hopefully kept to a minimum and I’ve chosen modules that are more creative and hands on than I’ve ever experienced. This coupled with the fact that it will be a step closer to getting my dream job will hopefully be enough to fuel an enthusiastic final project.

I’ll be fine in the future, but what about now? Birdy is singing to me in her mournful, soothing tones from my little speaker on the floor and whiling away the minutes; not ideal when I’ve only got 5 weeks to my first exam and I know nothing. I need a kick up the ass and fast but I feel like it’s me that needs to provide it this time. My parents are good at trying to get me to keep going but there’s only so much you can say to a stressed 21 year old who should have figured out how to be consistently productive!

It’s decided then; I’ll switch Birdy for the mournful tones of my parasite immunology lecturer and get a move on.

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