I was actually in the middle of studying for an exam a couple weeks ago when I’d begun writing this, but now that my 1A university term is over I realize it was probably for the best. After the jokes, good times, and “interesting” conversations with friends back home for Christmas, as well as the transition into my co-op work term starting in a week, I’m excited to really dig into things for myself. Oh and I’ll also try to make this one shorter than the last, but I mean the last one was a reflection on growing up so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
“It’s okay, I’ll get the hang of this”
- me to myself after getting my marks back for the term.
(I really don’t want to make this a sort of advisory article or anything of that nature for others, because I feel like there are enough of those out there and that’s not why I write. I don’t want to write sob stories, I don’t want to showboat — I find solace in writing, and enjoy providing a perspective as something for you to think about alongside your own experiences)
I was actually rattled — I mean, I knew I’d be put through the wringer at Waterloo, but it really had me thinking about all sorts of things — a bunch not even related to engineering. At the end of the day, I remember the fabled King Solomon’s ideology, as something my Grade 11 Physics teacher ingrained in me — “this too shall pass.” The more I think about it, it’s like every time this happens I hit myself with an “it’s whatever though”, or an “it’s not that serious” expecting myself to do better next time.
But a lot of the time I feel like I don’t improve. I’m constantly oscillating between amplitudes of disappointment and satisfaction, and never excel to the comfortable point of excellence in what I’m dealing with on my own. I always end up unhappy with results of the work I put in, the changes I make that in the moment seem drastic, don’t last too long and have little to no effect, and I return to that all-too-familiar notion of cognitive dissonance. I descend to the diffident parts of my demeanour, far outwards from a shell of happy-go-lucky consciousness I maintain when I inadequately finish homework to do something else or miss an 8:30 AM class because of the paltry sleep I get.
And this isn’t from the point of view from that kid who naturally manages to succeed in every endeavour, yet still is insecure and gets frustrated with that 98%. I’m honestly probably your average joe when it comes to this whole school thing. I feel like it’s been that way for a while, and it gets me thinking. A lot of you might feel exactly this, but just know that there have been others before you.
Even outside of academia, there’ve been people in the same seats with similar sentiments. Breaking out of long-standing habits you've developed to gain different results if tough, especially if you’re like me and really just enjoy “chilling”. But when it’s necessary, you better believe you’re going to work harder than ever before. It’s hard to get there sometimes because the outcome can be so unpredictable and have so many daunting potential consequences. Who’s to say I won’t become a workaholic? What’ll I miss out on with friends? You have to maintain that mentality to know yourself, but at the same time, “you gotta do what you gotta do” (I treat that as life’s number #1 rule, rule #2 probably isn’t appropriate for this).
Make adjustments, get organized, sharpen up, and grow.
But I honestly feel like no one will ever get it. No one will comply with the changes I need to make, no one will be able to help me develop a plan for myself except me, and no one will ascertain the thought processes behind a lot of my decisions. That’s because life’s going differently for them, ongoings are different for everyone else and that’s alright. I mean, a lot of my friends get mad at me for being pretty bad at responding to my texts (but when I do, I can make a hell of a conversation I’ll tell you that much). Break out of the comfort zone you’ve set up for yourself, and sometimes that means taking risks or catching flack.
But I’m trying. I’ll always try, and someday I h̶o̶p̶e̶ know I’ll be able to tell myself,
ㅤ ㅤ ㅤ ㅤ ㅤ ㅤ ㅤ ㅤ“Okay, I’m getting the hang of this.”
“Same old me, still no good, tied up with the talk and the drama” — Amir Obè
Hope your endeavours go well, and I wish you a happy new year!