Dear Diary

December 14, 2011

FINAAAAAAALS!!! Plus: the greatness of Heathers and cookies.

Dylan

Final exams make me CRAZY. The brain wheels start churning at hyperspeed the second I come back from Thanksgiving break and get all my assignments (in art school, most finals are huge projects instead of written exams). And by the weekend before everything’s due (i.e., last weekend)…wooooof. I reach a soda-fueled stress delirium, and I don’t do too well with carbonated bevs, so I’m burping every other minute. Just burping across the stress plain.

Am I sounding sufficiently nuts now? Does it help that I just forget to wash my hair this time of year?

The downward spiral proceeds like this:

1. When I’m working at home, attempts at productivity end in distraction. Doesn’t matter whether it’s the internet, making playlists, organizing my closet, or staring longingly into the fridge, wishing pizza would appear. Honestly, sometimes pizza does appear, but it’s my roommate’s pizza. Then life becomes that much more miserable. Fuck that pizza.

2. Even if I dutifully wake up at like seven every morning, that DOESN’T MEAN I’ll automatically do my homework. At least twice last week I spent the entire eight hours before class on the couch, eating cereal and getting lost in the black hole of the internet. And when the internet gets boring, I enter the endless cycle of nail biting. I’m a lifelong nail biter, and I can go insane OCD on any raggedy edges. It’s a weird tic that obviously flares up during times of stress/pressure/sucking of the soul such as finals. The tips of my fingers can’t poke anyone anymore. They’re just the soft stubs of my fingertips. That is how short my nails are. Gross. I couldn’t scratch you if I tried. Like a declawed kitten. One sad, declawed kitten that can only swat. Swat swat.

3. I’m at school right now, and I just was trying to get some work done, as my first final is due tomorrow at three. Then a pigeon flew into the large, open main building and, two hours later, it has not left. It’s a thrilling development; I simply can’t take my eyes off the thing. He’s lost in a world of confusion! Just like me! Ugh, really relating to this pigeon. Yes, I have spent two hours staring at a street bird run into a glass window. This saga must be paid very close attention to.

4. I’m very close to losing it. My group projects in particular are driving me totally bonkers. It’s so hard to work on artistic projects with other people, since everyone is always so opinionated, myself included. My only mechanisms for coping are to create playlists that consist solely of eight-minute psych songs and old-school Beyoncé, and put in my headphones and hide in my brain. What does that even mean? I don’t know. I just don’t know anymore. Hide in my brain?!

5. When my best bud and I are working together in the studio and anxiety is running high, we have competitions to see who sounds most like this girl. He’s a dude, so I always win. Sometimes this is the only thing that gives us any relief during this stressful time.

To be honest, though…I secretly kind of enjoy the whole thing. Walking down the hallways where everyone’s blood-sweat-tears work gets displayed is super exciting! There’s also a weird sense of solidarity during these few weeks. I love having an excuse to be as weird as possible in public, to act totally cracked out in the middle of the hallway and not care because “hey, it’s finals!” Everyone else is feeling the same way, and acting just as strange! I wasn’t the only one entranced by that pigeon, let me tell you. I saw some kid cooing at it, a breadstick in his hand.

Enjoying the pain of finals is masochistic, but I think anyone who tries to do what they truly love has to be at least a little masochistic. If you go after your biggest dream, you have to sacrifice time, money, or, as in this instance, sanity. I see finals week as a privilege—twice a year I get a chance to prove my worth. It’s painful and it turns me into a cracked-out zombie Beyoncé addict—but it’s worth it, you know? I complain about it a lot, and average two nervous breakdowns around each semester’s end, but it comes with the territory of working hard at something I love to do. And when it’s all over, I get to go home and see my mom and dog and hide for a month.

It’s worth it. It’s worth it. It’s worth it. That’s what I keep telling myself.

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27 Comments

  • Adrienne December 14th, 2011 7:16 PM

    Hehe my high school’s finals are after the winter break… but then I get stressed out during the holidays, :\

    Oooh I’ll have to watch Heathers! Sounds like a good movie. :) I love the giant flower brooch(?) Veronica is wearing.

    • Dylan December 14th, 2011 7:24 PM

      My high school was that way too, it was so much better. That way I could enjoy the holiday season instead of being at school for 15 hours a day for 3 straight weeks. I miss making gingerbread houses on the last day before winter break, instead of sitting through 4 hour long art critiques.

    • Sphinx December 14th, 2011 8:33 PM

      Everyone should watch Heathers, seriously.
      Oh, and that’s not Veronica, it’s one of the Heathers ( Duke maybe?).
      Anyway, Winona plays Veronica, being all awesome and stuff!

  • Nomi December 14th, 2011 7:19 PM

    Our generation’s Heathers will be Mean Girls.

    • Miarele December 15th, 2011 12:25 AM

      YES! Recently one of my friends said she has never watched Mean Girls before (!!!) and everyone is so shocked that we immediately have a sleepover to watch the movie. She said that her life has now forever changed LOL

      But yeah, it gives a look of the modern social culture (albeit exaggerated) and it has spawned sooo many iconic references. And come on, who doesn’t love Mean Girls? :D

  • Freja December 14th, 2011 7:24 PM

    I think I love you, Naomi! I relate to you in the scariest ways and have to reflect for a moment just to reassure myself that I’m not blacking-out and writing these entries myself – ha!

    Best of luck “checking in”. It’s weird and frustratingly difficult (why does going to the grocers’ feel so complicated??) but you can definitely pull through it!

    • Naomi December 15th, 2011 1:28 PM

      well then i love you too!

  • regina December 14th, 2011 7:26 PM

    naomi, i am so proud of your progress. i know how amazing it feels like to be able to look at yourself after a long period of inner turmoil and finally like what you see.

  • puffytoad December 14th, 2011 7:30 PM

    Katherine-

    Those girls sound so odd! Anyway…

    COOKIE HUSBAND. yes.

  • MissKnowItAll December 14th, 2011 7:40 PM

    I read Naomi’s entry and teared up a little. Sometimes When I’m having a particularly crappy day I look in the mirror and tell myself “I love you”.

  • Marguerite December 14th, 2011 7:46 PM

    I never realized how much time i’ve spent worrying about things that i don’t care about! LIKE TODAY! I was walking, and it started sprinkling, and i got all worked up and worried cuz i thought i would start pouring, and then, i remembered, i like getting soaked by the rain…

  • talia December 14th, 2011 7:57 PM

    Heathers is priceless and lines like “fuck me gently with a chainsaw” and the use of the phrase “you’re beautiful” as a comeback should live forever!

  • Sphinx December 14th, 2011 8:31 PM

    Heathers is brilliant, I love every bit of it ( even the huge shoulder pads and hair)!!

  • Maddy December 14th, 2011 8:42 PM

    I just watched Heathers on Sunday!!! because it was oddly enough on my Dad’s netflix instant queue…yes both my parents loved it too. it was soo good! but there is this continuity issue in the first “suicide” that has been bugging me

  • Chimdi December 14th, 2011 8:48 PM

    Ummm… Heathers seems WAY too scary for me! I can’t even sit through The Night Before Christmas!

    Ohh, and I can completely relate with Ruby when she says sometimes she feels that she has friends just for the sake of having friends…Besides four besties of mine, I feel like that with a lot of people. Especially because I don’t share interests with most of my peers.

  • emilyelizabeth December 14th, 2011 9:55 PM

    Dylan, finals are stressing me out too!!! my left eye keeps twitching–i think it’s the combination of the stress, lack of sleep, and the massive amounts of coffee i’ve consumed. but i know what you mean about the solidarity of finals and actually kind of liking them.

    Ruby, i was just watching Heathers the other day because it is finally on netflix instant watch! such a great movie! glad you liked it!!

  • erin December 14th, 2011 11:04 PM

    I love Heathers!

  • MayiMayi December 14th, 2011 11:41 PM

    Katherine,

    Just wait until you’re 23…it will only get worse. However, I find that cookies and a good episode of 30 Rock usually cheers me up.

  • fizzingwhizbees December 14th, 2011 11:58 PM

    ugh. finals. SERIOUSLY. my last exam is tomorrow morning and i’m going to die.

  • Minna December 15th, 2011 2:10 AM

    I’m gonna get ma gurl gang onto him!!!

  • timelady December 15th, 2011 3:25 AM

    I love Heathers so much. I watched it the first time ages ago (before I ever saw Mean Girls) and fell in love with it. I love the dad’s ‘I don’t patronise bunny rabbits’ bit, and I don’t know why. Such a quotable film.

  • fran December 15th, 2011 11:13 AM

    Naomi – your story sounds exactly what a close friend of mine is going through/was going through last year. I really wish I could show her this and let her know she’s not alone. Thank you for giving hope that, even if it takes a while, things can get better :)

  • FashionHauties December 15th, 2011 12:02 PM

    This is a really relatable article. I definatley procrastinate way too much because I really could care less about what I’m learning. And of course there’s that little thing about how I end up cramming and doing all of my work at the end of each quarter… Oh. I just like to call myself procrastination nation. Pretty much all I do is blog. (BTW my blog is fashionhauties.blogspot.com). That’s my life.

  • pushelildaisies December 15th, 2011 3:23 PM

    Naomi, I know exactly how you feel. It’s like Plato’s analogy of man coming out the cave for the first time – you see that the world has managed to get on without you, and you realize that you best get livin’, cos no one is going to force you.

    I live in a basement apartment, and the current December Canadian weather is depressing as fuck. Hopefully I can find a UV light or something, but for the meantime, I keep on chuggin’.

  • Harriet December 15th, 2011 5:34 PM

    Sorry Katherine, I watched it…. and I cried.