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20th (Part II)

November 10, 2012

My wonderful readers, I would like to apologize for all of the changes on my blog lately. There were some unexpected obstacles, but hark, the angels sing and my blog layout is almost complete! I am sorry – some of the changes must be making things terribly confusing. But don’t worry, I’ve had to deal with my fair share of changes too. Read on and you will understand! (Cue part II of “20th“. If you didn’t catch part I, click here.)

Leave a comment and tell me about the changes in your life! And remember: subscribe.

xoxo,

T

20th (Part II)

Because I felt so inadequate next to everybody else in the Honours Philosophy program, I spent if not all, then most of my time reading and rereading all of the assigned material. I kept telling myself that this was making be a better student. I was pushing myself! This was good!

But it wasn’t enjoyable. I was miserable.

There was more to be nervous about; I was starting to prepare for the M.A. level-equivalent thesis that I was going to write in January. I had a general idea of what I wanted to write about, but had no idea how I would go about executing it. What’s more, the idea of working privately with two distinguished professors scared me. Soon, the truth would be out – they would know that I had no idea what I was talking about. My anxiety escalated at the realization that people would soon find out that I was a fake – that I wasn’t really as good as they all thought I was.

Three quarters of the time, I was completely anxiety ridden because of my Honours classes. The other quarter of the time, I was completely bored out of my mind in my two “bird” courses: Math and Bioethics. Needless to say, I just couldn’t find my balance. But being unhappy with my courses wasn’t all that there was to it (although the majority of my unhappiness did stem from my courses). I was unhappy because… well, because I wasn’t happy. (Can you say tautology?)

I missed Toronto; I missed my family; I missed my friends; I missed summer; I missed being happy. Needless to say, I was trying to find every possible reason as to why I was unhappy with where I was in my life. With each passing day, I thanked my lucky stars as that meant I was one day closer to being home.

Sounds bad right?

I became more time-obsessed than usual. In my apartment, I had a total of eight devices that kept time: two clocks in my living room, a clock on my oven, my laptop, my cellular phone, my iPod, my alarm clock, and my watch. Each of them was reminding me to hang in there because “all of this” was soon going to be over. Every night, I opened my agenda to put a giant X through another day. Every morning, I woke up to the feeling at the bottom of my stomach that today was going to be the longest day yet.

September 25th, 2012 was that fateful day when everything changed…. (And yes, I make my own agendas….)

Armed with the knowledge that I was heading down a bad path, I forced myself to go out and engage in some extracurricular activities. This was the only part of “school” I enjoyed; it reminded me of my high school days when I was “Queen of the Extracurriculars”. In a short period of time, I had met some wonderful people and was, at least for a short while, not unhappy. But still, this didn’t cut it for me. I tried going to meditation classes and even tried seeking out professional help at the McGill Mental Health Clinic. But all they did was make me fill out some paperwork and inform me that there was a two-week waiting list. Wait, what? Didn’t you hear me? I am mentally unstable!

There didn’t seem to be a way out. The only thing that made me less nervous was doing my readings because it meant that I wasn’t going to fall behind. But still, doing my readings meant participating in an activity that made severely unhappy.

As the days passed, I became unhappier than I had ever remembered being. But, I wasn’t just unhappy with my courses. Even though I hated them, taking some courses for a couple of months didn’t seem like a big deal. I was unhappy because I felt like I was digging myself into a hole.

My unhappiness stemmed from lack of knowledge of where my life was heading. I was nervous all the time because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I was insecure about who I wanted to be; every waking minute was spent worrying about the future. Everyone in my life knew that I was planning to go to grad school after finishing undergrad. What they didn’t know though, was that I didn’t really want to go. You see, when I first entered university, I thought all I wanted to study was psychology. So first semester of first year, I took as many psych courses as I was able to, when really, I should have been taking a bunch of bird courses to test the waters. It took one elective in philosophy and a slew of bad grades in psych to get me to switch permanently to philosophy. But I didn’t really mind. I actually really loved philosophy. It was so different from anything else that I had ever encountered. What’s more, I was enticed by the whole, “pondering life’s questions” thing.

Now there is something you should know about me if you don’t already: I am so extreme in my ways. When I like something, I really like it; needless to say, I have such a hard time finding balance in my life. So when I “fell in love” with philosophy, I decided that I wanted to take as many philosophy classes as possible. After all, why waste my time taking other classes when I know I love philosophy? I even took philosophy classes as electives. By the end of my second year of university, I had taken 13 of my 25 courses all in the Department of Philosophy. In other words, I had finished a philosophy major in two years.

I had everything planned out. I was going to finish an Honours Philosophy degree from this “prestigious” university. Then I was going to go to grad school. Because my marks weren’t really cutting it, I figured that the thing that would set me apart from other graduate school applicants was finishing my degree early. So I killed myself last year and took four courses this past summer. By September, I was set to graduate in exactly one and a half years. I was going to be done all of this in December 2013; I could already see the end. Though I was glad that the end was near, the thought made me nervous. What the hell am I going to do if I don’t get into grad school? Is grad school even what I really want?

Remember to come back tomorrow night for Part III!

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