It’s about 2 and a half weeks until my final exams. I’m stressed. obviously. But actually not as stressed as I have been previously. I think i’ve realized that I should try and put my health before anything like this. That doesn’t mean not give it your all and best shot, but when your body says it’s had enough, give it a break. Like, at the end of the day, they are just exams. You can resit them.
I’m guessing this may be a common scenario but I don’t know for other courses. Vet school is a hot steamy bed of perfectionists and high achievers who cannot face the idea that they are going to have some off days. Days where learning is not happening and concentration stayed in bed where you should have remained for longer. And what these people do when they’re struggling? They take a photo of their revision notes and post it on the internet. I have done this previously. So i know what it’s like. And because I have done it and seen my friends do it I have realized that people mostly do it when they’re feeling pretty crap.
Those times I posted “studying in a coffee shop”. “study in the sun” … mate, there was v little efficient studying going on. The coffee shop was probably too noisy and the sun was probably too bright. I think we do it when we are feeling guilty or stressed or anxious. There’s the guilty taking a night off people – “Finally having a break”. And those who like to let us know they’re working late into the night. As if it means that they care more about passing the exams the we do? And I wonder if part of it is that we want to give the illusion that we’re on top of everything and making those who aren’t either feel even worse?
Though maybe I’m being a bit harsh! I mean all sorts of posting.. including blogging (!!).. is some form of attention seeking!
I’m writing this blog because I’m having a pretty crap off day. For whatever reason I didn’t sleep well last night and I couldn’t get out of bed this morning. I am so tired. I have been at this desk at university for about 6hours now and I have been working. slowly. but most importantly i don’t feel like i have taken much of it in. And i don’t really know what I should be doing instead. So i’m writing this. A change, something a bit more creative.
My methods for revising are pretty primitive as I haven’t been able to successfully change them over the years. I simply write, re write and condense and re-write and condense some more. That takes hours and time and so yeah, i accept that this is just going to take up a lot of time. And I accept and understand that other people are hugely better at retaining information than I am and so they probably don’t need to spend as much time sitting at a desk. But for me it also means that If I have had a crap day of revision, at least i’ve written something down to go over another day. or maybe condensed something a bit more so that it shouldn’t take longer to try and go over next time. That’s a positive of it anyway….And also, i do think we take in more than we realise.
What I hate most about this time of the year: The stress. I’m finally getting a little better at dealing with exam stress. In my final year, it’s only taken 6 haha! Na. I’m doing okay. Before this year, I would cry myself to sleep several times a week if not every night. I would be up early and go to bed late. I would give up reading and exercise and all the fun stuff. I just couldn’t balance it.
This year, still crap at the balancing. – I haven’t done much exercise, though have been doing some yoga once or twice and maybe a run once or twice a week. And reading is hit and miss too. But I’m trying. I’ve been staying at Rosie’s. It’s pushing us as a couple at the moment but I do value going back to her place in the evening and being able to shut off the vet world and sleep.
We’re both under some pressure at the moment. I tend to get irritable and snappy with long term stress and lack of sleep. I definitely woke up on the wrong side of bed this morning. Very irritable. It’s horrible. I think we both understand what’s going on but I hate that this just seems part of university/exam life. That stress is a necessity. I find myself wondering if me feeling less stressed means I’m not working as hard or as well. Or maybe i think i know more than i do..?
But i’m not really there as a partner for Rosie. I’m not there to listen to her and ask about her day. I’m less often laughing with her and my mood is fluctuating so much that I can’t keep track of it let alone she can. I feel with Rosie that she becomes similar, more self centered in a way, worrying about things that she needs to do more, and being sucked into this kind of cycle. I know I’ve been more selfish recently too. I’ve realised that with pressure I tend to forgo a lot of things, lose the ‘baggage’ and concentrate on only the high priority things. Rosie on the overhand becomes more controlling, wanting to know and be in control of everything so we have clashed a little there too. She’s been quite snappy if I have been a bit lousy or forgetful and I get quite snappy over why she’s caring about something I consider to be insignificant.
We just all deal with stress in such different ways and this is probably this first time we have spent considerable time with each other in these kind of circumstances.
I know myself that it isn’t specifically Rosie. When I was living at home or at uni it would be the people that I lived with, spent most time with. At home, I found my mum overbearing and too much. In the worst stages of the revision stress I would hate myself and the idea of being praised or hugged made me resist and get annoyed at mum. Friends, I just found myself getting irritable and little things they did that I normally wouldn’t care about. I wouldn’t spend much time with them and them vice versa for fear of stress spreading i spose! You do find yourself absorbing other people’s emotions more.
But like I say, this year is actually better! Haha! I’m treating myself a little more. Buying healthy (more expensive lol) food, buying tea when i’m out, having one or two nights off a week or at the weekend taking things a bit slower. I met my mum and her boyfriend for dinner on Sunday evening and actually it was so so nice. They were in a great mood and I really felt lifted afterwards.
I’m not really sure what my message here is. But just i suppose a reminder to myself and you that we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves. if you know that you have spent the last 45mins on instagram. Fine, it’s done, now turning your phone off for 45mins and try and do some work. Or if you were on instagram to avoid the work, why? maybe you don’t fully understand the topic, try reading up on it a bit more, or asking someone else about it. I tend to leave the topics I least like until last but that can be the worst, because then you’re stuck with a pile of topics that you really don’t want to start.
Try making little progresses rather than massive unachievable goals. And remember that you are absolutely worthy and meant to be there. Give time for life as well as revision. Don’t put off things or get controlled by everything else that you need to do. Right lists of life-admin so that you aren’t worried you’re going to forget about them. Set aside an hour in the morning as your settling into study to send those emails etc.
Don’t believe or be suckered in to what you see online. No one is perfect and no one has mastered anything. Do what you have to do and try to not compare.
And importantly. Actually, try and enjoy it! Encourage yourself to enjoy what you’re learning. Enjoy having a good couple of hours of study done and then treat yourself to something afterwards, whether it’s a read, some exercise, a phone call, etc whatever! You’re worth it x
Onwards and upwards i suppose. I’ll see you on the other side x)