Yeah, so remember last week when I said I was going to model my blog posts for the next six weeks on essays I had to write for my mechanical design class? Yep. That was before I boarded the crazy train, next stop: the scenic countryside of stress, chaos and mild nervous breakdowns. There’s really too much blog fodder happening right now to limit myself to prescribed essay topics. For those of you waiting with bated breath to read my next class essay, here’s the jist: “the necessary ingredients for creativity are a well-defined problem and time spent doing something that allows your mind to wander such than an idea can emerge in your subconscious.” Woohoo! Writing about creativity actually really sucks because creativity is extremely intangible. We know it when it happens. Yup. I didn’t meet the page requirement and the paper is “meh.” But it’s done. Moving on.
Back to the crazy train. What happened this week? Oh nothing specifically awful, just a string of stressful situations that together have brought out the worst of my paranoid-control-freak-low-stress-tolerance personality. I nearly had a panic attack on Friday night upon the realization that I have no idea how to do the homework for my electrical engineering (ECE) class. Queue the negative feedback loop in which I remember that I didn’t have a great teacher for Physics 2, therefore didn’t learn enough about electricity, therefore am semi-lost in the first few lectures of my ECE class (which are supposed to be review), therefore am behind from the get-go in basic circuits concepts, therefore need to review simple problems, therefore am incapable of completing the more complex problems assigned as homework, therefore fear getting behind in the class before I even get started, therefore fear failing the first exam, therefore fear failing all the exams, therefore fear failing the class, therefore fear not being to graduate on time, therefore fear becoming a failure at life and moving into my parents’ basement.
Yes, this is the kind of thought process that happens at midnight after staring at unintelligible circuits problems for the five hours and being on the verge of tears for three. A more rational person would have realized that this series of events prevents oneself from thinking clearly and would have just gone to bed, but instead I pressed on, Googling like mad. By some miracle, I was finally able to find some examples that allowed me to actually do the problems (though possibly incorrectly). That hint of clarity slowed my heart rate and allowed me to finally put it all away and go to bed with the (rational) intention of visiting the Help Room on Monday.
In addition, I discovered that the machine shop, which I have to use extensively in my group project (mechanical design) class, is only open from nine to five Monday through Friday, meaning that I not only have to schedule time with my teammates to work in the shop (never easy with myriad schedules), but I also have to take vacation time at my job to do it. On top of that, one member of my four-person team has jumped ship for the other class section leaving me with only two teammates*. What does this mean? I don’t know yet, but you can be sure that the most likely scenario in my head is that the world will explode and I will fail at life.
Let’s not forget that we are also hurtling toward October first and second, the dates of the massive on-campus engineering job and internship fairs. For this, I have to do extensive company research, take two vacation days from work, have a perfect resumé, look polished and professional**, say all the right things and land the perfect internship (since I can only do one internship, unlike my classmates, most of whom will do two or three) so I can land the perfect job. No stress there!
Also, I got invited to a frat party. As I don’t own a tube dress or four-inch heels and have long ago outgrown getting drunk on cheap beer, I didn’t go. Most of my Facebook friends have concluded that this was a poor choice. I disagree.
No life lessons here this week, folks. Just tales of me trying to keep my head above water and acknowledging my selective amnesia wherein I forget that I’m always in a panic at the beginning of the semester, but somehow I always get through it. And I will.
*Update: we have obtained a new teammate. Now only 476 sources of stress in my life instead of 477. Phew!
**I did find a suit, and I even look vaguely professional while wearing it.