Last week I didn’t want to exist. I avoided my coursework and had the urge to hibernate all winter. I spent the first half of this week still avoiding my homework; I wrote reams of my own material instead. I read for my own pleasure and copied down quotes that made my mind active again. Then I couldn’t dodge my obligations any longer and managed through a fog of angst to start my 3,860 words of source analysis for my history class.
There are two main reasons why I can’t stand assignments like this. First of all, it takes weeks of effort for me to even start to comprehend beginning such an essay, simply because of my fear that it won’t be good enough. And if it’s not good enough, what is the point? Second, as I am sure most students would agree, this kind of thing is dull as fuck. Writing so many words about something I struggle to care about (rich white men making history as usual), reaching into unused parts of my brain with the aim of steadily forcing out coils of useless knowledge, tires me out so that I can’t do any writing for pleasure.
The whole thing just makes me feel blank and grey as a slug. Even as I was writing this diary entry, I had to resist the urge to check the word count. My whole life feels like checking the word count. Do I have this, do I have that? What’s left to get? Why do I want so much? Why am I suddenly discontent? Have I been using this looming coursework as an excuse for my bad mood? Have I been using my bad mood as an excuse to avoid doing coursework? Why do the most boring things send me into an existential crisis?
Anyway, I just finished the first draft of my paper. But I don’t feel relief, just exhaustion. My friend came around earlier and helped me drape Christmas lights across my ceiling, but I don’t feel much holiday joy yet. My friend is too wise for his own good and left me with some things to think about, just when I wanted to stop thinking. But I am thankful. I will mull them over and probably write all about it next week. Unless I am too full of Christmas cheer. ♦