Maybe I am just not cut out for academics.

This month will be spent desperately trying to scramble together English coursework (thousands of words, I can’t remember how many exactly) due in March. I am worried about this, and I am worried about exams in June and I am worried about another whole year of work until I finally get to my goal: UNIVERSITY.

I just can’t cope well with huge amounts of work or engagements or activity without getting ridiculously tired or stressed. I am so fed up with it. I don’t want to be one of those people anymore. I don’t want stress. I want to be able to get on with my life.

Thing is, I don’t know whether it’s a reflection of my current mental state or whether it’s just my character. And even so, my current mental state isn’t that bad. I keep on trying to un-wrinkle my forehead and drop my shoulders and relaxxxxx.

My therapist says that my brain has been conditioned to tense up and that I have to re-train it. I can’t re-train it in a day or even a week. But even re-training can be stressful&#8212it means I’ve always got to have some kind of consciousness about how relaxed I am!

So January has been quite anxious, but that’s a natural reaction to actually doing stuff I want to do.

I think university is what I want at the end of all this. I really, really love learning. Knowledge is one of my favourite pleasures in life. I don’t mean equations or memorising French verbs, but knowledge I can actually apply to my life and pop culture, man. People shouldn’t underestimate this&#8212shout out to Anne Helen Petersen who writes the best pieces on the Hairpin. I love making connections between everything. The other night my mind was going on a connection spree, you know Hamlet →Nirvana →Sylvia Plath →e.e. cummings →Bon Iver. Those kinds of connections. It’s the grading scheme that I don’t appreciate. It’s the competition. I am so fed up with being competitive! Come on society, sort it out.

I think often “What the hell am I doing?!” and I realise: I don’t need to know right now. I can just enjoy the things I enjoy without being so hard on myself about how good I am. I can experiment and dip my toe into everything that intrigues me and Future Me can figure it out (fingers crossed). ♦