Ok, so the title may be slightly melodramatic but it’s fair to say that the last couple of weeks have been somewhat manic. I feel like I’ve spent more than my fair share of time running in circles.
In the last week alone, I have: celebrated my 21st birthday, taken about 70 photos towards my mammoth photojournalism assignment, chased about five different stories that have fallen through for one reason or another, not done nearly enough shorthand practice and written and submitted a proposal for my major project.
Over the next six weeks I am faced with what currently feels like an impossible workload. I have to: take and edit 600 photos, produce an improved version of my CV, write a report on the journalism job market, partake in several newsdays and produce numerous original news stories. I also have to practise shorthand, revise for a media law exam and hopefully pass my 100wpm. Oh and there’s the small matter of starting my major project.
From previous experience, I know that in the run up to deadlines there are various levels of fear that you have to go through. First there is the no fear stage, this is generally around the first couple of weeks of term when you get all the assignments but know that you have ages to do them.
Then you reach the stage where you begin to realise you have a lot to do so you start writing to do lists of how you’re going to get all this work done (note: at this stage you probably don’t do very much work but you do spend a lot of time doing more interesting things).
Then you reach the optimum fear level. This is where you have a complete realisation of just exactly how much work you have to do and the space of time you have to do it in and you start to actually do a decent amount of work. You start ticking things off the to do list and you feel really great about it. However, it is worth mentioning that this optimum fear level will only stick around for so long so make sure you utilise it by doing a lot of work during your optimum fear level.
Especially as after that you reach the paralysing fear stage. This is where you have a realisation of how much work you still have to do and how little time you have to do it in. Panic will set in and no matter how hard you try to sit down and work, it will simply not happen.
Then you’ll experience one final level of fear which can only be described as deadline day fear. This generally manifests itself in an allnighter and an assignment that is handed in with minutes to go before the deadline.
With all that in mind, I am planning on utilising my time over the next few weeks as I hit my optimum fear levels. Through sitting here collating my workload, I have realised how much of an Everest it is, but at the same time I have realise I have six whole weeks in which to conquer it . And I think it might just be possible. It’s going to take a lot but I won’t be defeated. At the risk of sounding like a total dork, I love my course. I know why I’m doing it and I’m constantly reminding myself that after the next few months I’ll be free of studying.