The Vengeful Polyglot

My Last Great College Screw Up (Hopefully)

Posted on: May 18, 2011

As the quarter draws to a close and graduation (and two summer session classes) draws near, I have fallen victim to what I’m calling “anxious lethargy.” I’m burnt out, but while I’d rather mess with Tasker scripts on my phone or blog or play WoW, I am entirely anxious about actually blowing work off. Basically, it’s all the downside of senioritis without any of the fun of relaxing (no grad acceptance or job yet, so my grades can’t “safely” tank) or not caring (my anxiety is legendary).

This came to a head with my Networks exam. Most of my classes, with the exception of Linguistic Anthropology, are not exam courses (and, really, how much do I have to study for a lower div ling class after progressing through several upper divs? While also fun and interesting, Ling functions as GPA padding for me). Project in AI is, well, project-based. My Studio Art Game Design class is making a game in a specific Flash SDK and not much else. Networks, though, has one big exam, called a midterm but in actuality a final, since afterward we split up to work on group projects. For some reason, I got a total block on actually preparing for this exam.

If you know me, you know I don’t let things slide. Since procrastination sends me into panic attacks, I tend to do things well in advance. And yet the night before the exam came and I … had done nothing. I didn’t review the book or the slides. I didn’t make the study sheet. I didn’t want to look at it. I didn’t even want to think about it. (Of course I did, though, and my anxiety grew steadily worse.) I just couldn’t force myself to sit down and prepare. This isn’t a problem I’ve had before. In college, I have been annoyingly on top of things because, as previously mentioned, I freak out if I don’t — it’s really not an entirely positive quality. I didn’t get senioritis in high school — ingeniously, Buckley farmed us out to various professionals as interns post-AP exams to avoid the idle lull before finals most of us didn’t actually have.

No such luck here. Just 3 or 4 projects and one stupid exam. I don’t think it was overconfidence which sent me on this collision course with Networks failure; though my grades so far in the class were solidly in the A range and I felt I understood the material much better than I expected to (I fully expected to aim for a C in this class, since I didn’t think I would find it intuitive), I tend to over think exams, especially when math is involved. Nevertheless, I continued to steadfastly ignore this coming disaster until it was far too late. By the time I got my ass in gear, it was the day of the exam. I only had time to review part of the relevant material from the book, and I didn’t even finish adding things to my sheet from the last chapter before I needed to run to get to class on time.

It turns out, it didn’t matter that I didn’t finish the stupid sheet. Only one tiny protocol definition on there actually helped me. I guess I did all right on most of it, even so, but since I didn’t review the solutions to the last homework I didn’t finish the last problem. That’s one problem out of only six; at least one sixth of my grade a no-go. Total, utter fail. And completely my fault. I still don’t know how I let myself do this. I could kick myself. Weary or not, this was some stupid shit. (There was also a spider which fell onto my test out of nowhere halfway through — because exams aren’t bad enough without spiders. Karma?)

So here’s to dropping the ball. (And here’s to hoping for an awesome curve.) As tired as I am, I doubt I’ll let myself so completely miss the point again. Hopefully, this will be my last college screw up.

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1 Response to "My Last Great College Screw Up (Hopefully)"

Bet you get an “A-” in the class. 🙂

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Blog by a programmer cum linguist cum writer cum total geek. One who pretentiously uses "cum" in place of any other logical connectives. Direct questions to the Ask Lauren page!

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