Friday, September 6, 2013

Stressed Senior Speaking

I'm starting to get the feeling that I'm not going to be allowed to have fun until all my college apps are in. Which will not be until December, so...hurrah. Well.

I realize I haven't really been doing well on my resolutions, even though I only set them a couple of weeks ago. Things I need to do more: tutor people in math, mentor band underclassmen, feed my brain.

Thing is, I have a lot of stuff to do, but I don't. Let me explain - I have a lot of things that I need to get done each day, so I find I never have time to relax afterward, but relative to people who are actually in college or working I have an easy life. Therefore I need to take this, my last year with a huge safety net, in order to put into place the systems that will keep me from burning out later on when things get harder. In other words, a system that scales.

Problems I notice with my own workflow: essays. Essays take a helluva long time to write, way more than I ever expect or budget in. Essay time eats other time, and because I take pride in my writing I let it.

College stuff is another huge time suck, and I never know if I'm spending too much time on something or if I'm spending just the right amount of time. My parents are making me get a college counselor, about which I am intensely ambivalent, and she's giving me a lot of writing to do also...

The problem with me is that - okay, one of the problems with me is that when I see a big project or any sort of undertaking I can't see the components super well, so I feel as though I'm going to get crushed under a mountain of Stuff To Do. Which is why I need to organize myself constantly, make lists, make schedules (and stick to them!), get as much done as I can at school or in the odd hours tucked away here and there throughout the day.

All the stuff I have going on is adversely affecting my creative writing. There's not enough room in my head, or my head is not good enough at switching from one mode to another, that I can work on college apps and college essays and forms and log in and out of the Common App five times a day and still write good words in my personal projects at the end of the day.

On Tuesday I said that writing college essays wasn't really hard, but after my first consultation with my college counselor ("my". Gods, oh gods the guilt) I'm retracting that statement. I thought my essay was clear about exactly how losing band camp affected me but apparently none of it got through. "I don't see in the essay how it changed you as a person, how it brought you to another level of insight." That was what the entire essay was supposed to be about. Why am I such a hack.

What I need is time and space and peace of mind. I still haven't found the optimum work setup, particularly for essay-writing, and I really should. You'd think I'd have figured something out...okay, I'm rambling. My eyes are getting bleary.

What on earth did I want to write about today?

If I didn't have college apps to contend with, this would be an easy semester. Wait. Yes, I think this was what I was going to write about.

My default state is going to be tired and frustrated and stressed for the rest of the semester, probably. Maybe I'm being pessimistic, and maybe I'm being accurate. I've got to operate under the assumption that things aren't going to get much better this semester, that I'm going to have a thousand things to do each week and a confused sense of how to allocate those things day by day, and so I'm always going to feel behind.

It's been over two weeks since I went on a really long walk and I think that's part of the reason I'm feeling so heartsick.

So how do I take care of myself while also getting everything done?

I don't have an answer, but I'll be working on one. To start, I'm going to publish this post even though it's all rough edges, and I am going to do some light coding to relax myself, and then I'm going to go to bed. I have a busy weekend coming up, and I need to be productive, and to do that I need to have energy. Thus.

Good night.

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