I’ve reached the point of the semester where every class wants a 15 page research essay, 30 minute presentations, and other generally strenuous projects. I’ve had to facilitate so many class sessions. I’m a total nerd; I like school, and learning. I always sign up for ridiculously involved projects because I’m excited and passionate. I want to work hard because I don’t understand the point of paying for school if you’re only going to skate through.
But, by this point, inevitably, life starts breaking down. I’m too overwhelmed. I’m seriously regretting taking a full undergraduate course load, adding that graduate class, and agreeing to work so many hours every week, instead of doing the bare minimum that everyone else seems to be enjoying. And that’s not even accounting for the still-living-out-of-boxes-and-sleeping-on-couches dilemma.
When there’s too much going on, I turn into Tortoise Lydia. Or Ostrich Lydia. Or Caterpillar Lydia. I retreat into a shell, stick my head in some sand, cozy up in a cocoon. This is how I spent Saturday:
I should be proactively checking things off my long To Do list but doesn’t taking a cup of tea and Katherine’s SIGNED COPY of The Lover’s Dictionary into a blanket fort sound a billion times better? Yes. In fact, shouldn’t I just spend the next few hours staring at (and maybe stroking a little bit) the page that DAVID LEVITHAN scrawled a lovely note and his signature across? Yes.
No. I can totally write this paper! I’ve already done all the research! It’s only ten pages. Putting it together will be a breeze. Actually, it looks rather breezy outside. I should go check. Oh, it’s raining? Well. I can’t just let that weather happen. I should go run around in the rain, really appreciate the precipitation!
…but now I’m cold and sopping. PC Hammer is a handy little space heater. I can transition to lukewarm and damp while watching Netflix! And I’ll keep Word open so I can compose while I dry out. Multi-tasking! Plus, I’ll totally watch a social-activism documentary to help build my awareness and engagement- that’s a good use of time! Nope. Nope, I’m going to watch RuPaul’s Drag Race. How have I never seen this? These queens are infinitely more beautiful than I will ever be.
That’s a little depressing. I should probably eat away my feelings, because hey! It’s lunchtime and I haven’t eaten yet today. A healthy snack will help me focus and motivate me to work on this paper! Or, I could just eat this bag of candy floss. Yeah. That actually feels like a better choice. A sugar rush will inspire me to make progress!
SUGAR IS A THING THAT IS IN MY BODY. I can’t focus on anything! What is sentence structure? What is grammar? What are words?! Obviously, the only thing for me to do now is to PHYSICALLY EXERT MYSELF until the sugar is gone! I’ll just go for a run. Two miles in thirteen minutes is… okay. But now I’m tired and sweaty and thirteen minutes is hardly any minutes! That’s not even a THIRD of an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race! Ugh, those beautiful drag queens. They’re so witty and gorgeous. I’m socially awkward and weird-looking! I should probably put some effort into my appearance. Or, I could work on my brain. I could work on this paper. Nope, I should try to paint flowers on my nails!!
Maybe I’ll just look at the internet for half a second. J.K. Rowling wrote a book for grown-ups?! I miss Harry Potter. For me, nerd is a much more salient identity than English Major, so, shut up. Harry Potter is cool. Oh, remember Pottermore? That was a thing, right? I should go sign up for that.
HOW IS THIS SO COOL? Look, I can get sorted! I’m a Ravenclaw. Well, OBVIOUSLY. What else would I be? Oh. But if I’m going to be a real Ravenclaw I should finish this paper… that’s unappealing.
Wait, it’s TEN PM?? All I’ve put in my body today is a bag of sugar. And approximately 12 cups of highly caffeinated tea. I should eat a real meal. That will help! Nope. All I am is sleepy now. I should go to bed. Tomorrow is another day right? I’ll just sleep it off. Nope. Nope, I can’t fall asleep. Sprawled out in the dark, my entire essay spins itself together in my head. It was right there the whole time. I just need to type it! Oh, it’s twice as long as it’s supposed to be now?