April’s Sudden Panics
Restrictions are gradually easing. The exam timetable is out. The end of the academic year is in sight.
Surely these are all good things, right? We can see the end of the workload and the promise of a slightly more normal summer ahead.
All of this is true but somehow April has still been a month of sudden panics. I’ve found time after time that I’ve managed to find something new to stress about so I thought I’d just share a few in the hope that anyone feeling the same stresses might find some comfort in the shared turmoil.
Of course the biggest stress at the moment is, and has been for a while, revision. No matter how many sets of exams I sit they never seem to get easier. I should be an expert by now but, truth be told, the first exam of every season feels like the very first all over again.
Even so, I feel that I must have refined my revision strategy by now and, yes, I have but this just means that I am always comparing to what I have done in the past. That adds another chunk of stress because I’m constantly thinking I was doing more at this time last year or the year before that and it seems I’m progressing in the wrong direction.
To an extent this is true and I am going backwards. I’m finding it much harder this year just to motivate myself and probably have spent slightly less time at my desk but comparing myself to my past self really hasn’t had any beneficial outcome.
On the plus side, finally having the exam timetable is great. I have found the past few days that having structure and something to aim towards has gotten me somewhat back on track. Sitting down in front of the computer screen is still a challenge each morning but one that is getting back towards becoming a routine.
Restirctions easing affects all of us, not just students and for the most part it’s a good thing. My issue with it is that (selfishly) I had gotten quite used to motivating myself to work with the excuse of there being nothing more interesting to do outside. That doesn’t work quite so well now.
Social media doesn’t help here. I see people day after day out and about making the most of the pubs, restaurants and shops that are now open and I’m still at home working on physics all the time.
I also find myself feeling guilty for not having rushed out to reunite with the world but I just don’t have the time. The other frustration is that whenever I’m at home everyone else is back at uni and whenever I go to uni everyone else comes back home. This probably isn’t entirely true but it does feel as though something is working against me here.
It’s been getting a bit demoralising but hopefully we’re settling back into some sort of normality and it won’t be any harder than before Covid to motivate myself to work.
I’m on a four year course so have another year to go after this one. This means I can’t say that I’m frustrated with missing out on the end of my university experience but all of my housemates will be graduating this year and I am really disappointed not to be back at uni enjoying this final term with them. There’s no simple solution to this one really.
I don’t trust myself (or the internet connection) doing exams back in Leamington. I find doing them at home I’m much more confident that any bad grades would come from a lack of work rather than some technical fault and I don’t need that additional stress on my mind. But again, seeing everyone else finishing up dissertations and enjoying the final weeks at uni while posting pictures all over social media is quite difficult.
It all just comes down to a fear of missing out and prioritising. I’ll make sure I’m back as soon as I can be but I can’t bring myself to jeopardise my exams.
So yeah, no solutions offered today. Sorry about that but just know that if you’re struggling with similar things right now, you’re not the only one.
I seem to have a bit of a reputation among my friends for always being on top of things and never struggling to find motivation to work but I haven’t agreed with either of these statements for well over a year now (if I ever did). Just focus up, get through these exams and then reward yourself with a semi-normal Summer.
(Photo by Adrien Olichon on Unsplash)