November, a Month of Two Halves: Part 2 The Not-So Great
As is it probably quite clear from the title of this blog, and from what I have mentioned in the first part, which can be found here: https://our.warwick.ac.uk/?p=36587, November has had some low moments. Whilst this did not detract from the good times I have already explained in Part One, they certainly made me really struggle, and sometimes even cry.
The problems I encountered in November came mainly from the fact that my laptop broke halfway through, and I seemed to have every deadline for this semester (aside from one exam on the last day of term – thank you so much, Russian – and deadlines in the Christmas holidays) within week 7. To give you an idea, in 5 days, I had 3 presentations, 4 tests, and 2,500 words to write about Don Quixote for the Monday of week 8. Yes, I concede, not all of these went to my final grade, however, as a sort of perfectionist, by Wednesday night, I was so worn out from trying to do it all to the best of my ability, that I really didn’t want to study anymore. This culminated on the Friday of my week 7, where my laptop broke, and I called my brother in tears and spent the afternoon comfort eating in pyjamas whilst watching Glee… only a week before I was swanning about Madrid, how times change. (This was made possible by literally taking the bus to Kenilworth to visit my friend in my pyjamas, at 14:00 in the afternoon).
Having your laptop break does not make the work magically disappear. Well it does if you don’t back up what you have already written, meaning you have lost everything you have worked on; don’t worry, I am not writing from experience, having managed to back up all my documents and pictures to Warwick’s One Drive and an external hard drive before all was lost.
Tip for everyone: if you do not already use the Warwick One Drive, please do, it is really easy and means 1) if your laptop dies, all your work is not lost and 2) it can be accessed from every computer using your Warwick IT login.
Therefore, I have spent so much studying on campus, using the computers in university house to try and get everything done. Of course, it is only when you don’t have something that you realise how integral it was to your life. Luckily, I am not a massive fan of using a laptop in lectures, so my grammar classes were not too hard to manage, however, needing to go the library or University House every time I needed to quickly print something or whatever got boring really quickly.
As for my mountain of deadlines, like any other student, it got to the point where I really hated studying my degree sometimes. This is normal, and acceptable. There were times when I was so bored walking around my room trying to learn statistics about Olive Oil production in Italy, the genitive case in Russian, and trying to explain why absence makes someone more authoritative in a novel that I just really didn’t care about languages anymore and would have happily dropped out- the whole world speaks English right?
The last point was particularly painful, as that was my essay about Don Quixote, the craziest thing I have ever studied. Writing essays can feel really fruitless sometimes, because once you have done all the background reading, where so many intelligent people have shared their opinions for the last 400 years, it is impossible to avoid thinking “well what on earth do I have to say that is worth reading, when all these people who are far more intelligent than I am, have already spoken?” Literature essays can sometimes feel like you’re just regurgitating what everyone else has said, losing your own opinion in the midst of referencing. I don’t really have a solution to this mindset, as even though I felt happy when I finally submitted the essay, I still thought that it could have been better, and definitely felt a bit disappointed. But what is done is done, and thankfully I won’t have another essay until after Christmas.
However, as I have already mentioned in the title, this is a blog of two parts, to reflect my month of two halves. Like any uni-student, I have had some serious highs and lows this November, but the most important thing is that I just keep going, trying my best, and remembering the positive moments when things are looking negative.
Only two more weeks until Christmas, I believe that we will all make it!