To start on a positive: this academic year was a lot more successful than the last, and not only because it really couldn’t get much worse. Like I wrote about a bit before, my experience at Berkeley did change my outlook a lot, in the sense that I realised that it’s not me, it’s probably not even this particular university, it’s just a mismatch. Knowing this, I gave up on hoping that Things Would Get Better and just resigned myself to the fact that I am not going to get the University Experience I was hoping for. Tough luck.
Instead, I focussed on trying to take the best care of myself as possible, and to focus on finding healthier ways of dealing with my extreme exam terror, which I have always suffered from in some form or another, but which (re)intensified like whoa last academic year. While it’s still a “trial and error” process with setbacks here and there, I have finally managed to pass a class I got stuck on because of always being sick on the exam date, and passed the exam I walked out of a year ago, so I did make some good progress.
I also made a conscious effort to not be such a bitter bitch about my studies. While I refuse to lie and tell everybody I’m having the time of my life, my at some point near-constant whinging, whining and why-meee-ing REALLY annoyed the bleep out of me, so I’m quite sure other people were f*cking sick of it too. And besides, it didn’t change anything, it only killed off the little fun I sometimes did have.
So nowadays I just tend to talk about it as little as possible, really. I’ve come to consider it as a shitty job situation: we’ve all had them. And the huge advantage of this “shitty job” is, that it has a clear end date and a diploma at the end. With my previous shitty jobs, there was no clear end date and no reward at the end, so my current situation is clearly preferrable to that.
On top of this, I did get some practical help and have resigned myself to being That Student, the one who needs extentions and exceptions on a regular basis. The one who will never really be caught up completely, and who will only rarely be able to perform her best due to the unfortunate combination of bad health and excessive amounts of work to be done in too short an amount of time. And while it is not the way I want to do my studies, it is the only way in which I will ever get a degree in this “8-8-4, heaps of fragmented material, no breaks, we teach a class once a year and change the program around all the damn time”-program. Which, mind you, was not the program I signed up for when I enrolled. *yells “I want my semesters back!”*
What also helped, was getting WAY more alone time and sleep, and having my horrid neighbours move. No more 24/7 uhn tiss uhn tiss uhn tiss at a “just too loud to ignore, just too low to complain”-level (yes, dude thought he was a dj), no more general bad vibes and stale sigarette smoke chronically wafting underneath my door. What a relief it was when I saw their house was empty. My new neighbour seems like a chill guy, hoping things will stay that way, he’s been living here since December or so, so I’m not expecting a sudden personality transplant. Still keeping fingers crossed.
So yeah, in short: things were not magically wonderful, but a lot better than the year before, and I’m definitely inching towards my degree.