The Twelve-Week Challenge: Day 14

Having made it into the Final Fortnight of this challenge, I’m very proud to report, that my second essay is IN.  Go ahead, clap, cheer, pat me on the back.  That’s what I’ve been doing for the last 33 minutes.  While I may not exactly be shaking my future self’s hand when I receive the result of this particular assignment, based upon its contents, nevertheless it has been submitted, both online and to my Faculty Office, at possibly the closest to the deadline I’ve ever made.  Big thanks to my housemate, Fen, for letting me borrow the car in order to make it to said Faculty Office in time for the 4pm deadline.  I couldn’t have driven any faster had I been the getaway driver for The Italian Job

Anyway, essay number two is in, and I’m trying to remind myself that I still have two more due, with deadlines of a week tomorrow.  All I really want to do is go and lie down in a dark room right now, which is possibly due to the intense pressure of the deadline which I haven’t quite calmed down from yet, or could equally be due to the four hours’ sleep I got last night, having worked through til gone 2am re-reading The Help.  While the temptation is to relax, at least for a couple of hours, that is not really an option, due to having a uni friend come to stay tonight, and I know she’s bringing wine.  So after around 8pm, I’ll be focussed on the vino, so I should use the next three and a half hours to prep for my next essay, and make a decision on going to London to view flats at the weekend.

While the thought has occurred to me that maybe in ten years or so, I might wish I’d worked harder to get a better mark for my work, the way people wish they had in high school, right now I realise I am doing all I can.  I know I am capable of working harder, but my emotional and mental state won’t allow it, and I won’t kill myself with the stress of trying to achieve a piece of paper with a slightly different number on it.

I am at the stage now where I care little about what mark I get.  I know what mark I’m likely to walk away with, as long as I can focus long enough to write papers of half-decent calibre.  But it’s more important to me now to just graduate, and if I can’t submit a first-class paper, which would have been my ideal a year ago, then I will submit a lesser paper, because now it’s time to finish this.

While I was in high school, I was asked to represent my year at the hurdles.  I was a complete outsider at school, and was decidedly rubbish at sport, my worst subject (with the possible exception of science).  That year, I managed to run the race, coming second, which left me feeling ok.  The next year I was asked to run again.  I tripped over the first hurdle, in front of the whole school, who were sat alongside the running track.  As a teacher ran up and asked me if I wanted to finish, I embarrassingly told him no, I just want to get out of here.  Well, I’m not running away any more.  I’m going to finish the hurdles, whether or not anyone laughs at me.  Like the Jamaican bobsleigh team from Cool Runnings, I’m seeking a standing ovation for my effort, not necessarily for my actual achievement in the olympic sport which is acquiring a degree.  I want to be able to stand there with my funny hat and my gown in September, with the people I love watching, knowing that I did what I had to do, to get to where I want to be.  While that may not be what others may do, it’s what I am doing.  If there’s one thing I learnt at school, it’s that people won’t necessarily like you for who you are.  But it’s up to you to be that person anyway.  It’s my life, and I’ll live it my way.  To quote another great film, which actually has a similar ending to Cool Runnings, I’d like to use this line from Baz Luhrman’s Strictly Ballroom: “A life lived in fear is a life half-lived.”

I’ll leave you with a song that was playing in the car as I drove home from the Faculty Office.  It sums up pretty much everything I want to say.


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