I’m staring at the screen, wishing the words would come easier. They’re there, wrapped up in some part of my head that feels a little unaccessible at the moment. The wrapping; layers of self doubt, perfectionism and pressure… winding around them tightly. Writing should come easily, I do it every day as part of my job; and yet when the pressure is on, it seems a much more difficult task.
I’m used to deadlines, it comes part and parcel of working in content and media. It’s strange that those kind of deadlines seem so run of the mill. Perhaps it’s the level of anonymity that I can hide behind when I write for the website where I can become the voice of the organisation. In reality it is still me! And of course, there are many people around me that know it’s me. The veil of anonymity a little shattered. Next explanation? Perhaps it’s because it’s expected of me, I want to do it as well; don’t get me wrong. But writing is my daily responsibility, it’s my role and job… so maybe it isn’t that!? The reality is perhaps a little more simple. This is the final piece of work I’m completing before my degree is done. There I said it. Last chance saloon, achieve now or never. This is the grade that could make all of the difference, it’s weighted more and could be the key to the degree classification I desire! The pressure is on, it’s the final countdown… you know the feeling!
It’s hard to keep reminding myself that all the work I’ve been doing has in fact led me to this place. I didn’t happen upon it by chance. I learnt the skills, practiced them and perfected them with everything that came before this stage of the course. The problem lies in being able to accept that I am capable of completing this final section and shelving the negative thoughts to enable this block to pass! It’s not a test, set to trip me up and prove that I was in fact never going to get a degree. My lecturers weren’t just being kind to me and telling me I was going to be ok for the fun of it. It is something that is completely in my power to complete and succeed in. And the reality is, even if it’s not the most amazing piece of work in the entire universe, it’s not a reflection on me as a person. And in all likelihood it’s going to be pretty alright judging on my other marks! I will pass my degree because I have worked hard to do so, of course a shiny classification at the end would be wonderful, but actually it would be a nice bonus. The past five years have, in many ways been a bit of an upward struggle with mental health problems trying to block the way every now and again. It has been a time of struggles but also achievements, the worst and the best parts of my life in a long while!
Of course, the stress I’m feeling is not uncommon. Just walking into the library, you can sense the culmination of pressure and tension radiating from a multitude of students, all doing what I am now. In the next few weeks, there are going to be plenty of blank screen moments. There’s going to be a lot of the time when perhaps it feels like we’re all on the track of an impossible task. But in a few weeks time we’ll be able to finish and look back on this time as the final push to complete Uni. It’s going to feel stressful because it matters, we all want to do well. The main thing I will be remembering is that I will probably do better if I try to look past some of the pressure and fear and just do what I’ve learnt to do!
Good luck my fellow finalists! We’re going to get there in the end!