Week 5/6: A sad blogger’s tale


After spending the past week feeling like crap-ola, and the past two days in tears, it’s time for a blog post.

My mid semester breakdowns seem to be quite predictable, it’s a bit sad really (see here for the last one). And yes, THAT time of semester is here.

I don’t know where to begin with this post, so I’m just going to start typing and see where this goes.

Assignments can go and die and never come back

This week has been assignment-mania. And no matter how much I’ve tell myself I would start them earlier, it’s always the last-minute dash. So I had a paper due for Animal Behaviour on Monday, another paper for Experimental Marine Biology due Wednesday (today), and my Evolution of the Human Condition paper due next monday.

I’m not overly fussed about the Behaviour or Evolution assignments. No grades will be assigned to them, they’re just drafts that other students will give feedback on. Then the final one is due later on. But you know, I can’t just submit a shitty draft.

And for Marine Biology, that “draft” is worth 60% of my entire grade.

I was stressing about it a little. But hey – at least I don’t have to sit an exam so I’m okay with that.

I never know if I’m on the right track when I’m working on assignments. And I guess you don’t find out until I get my assignments back and realise that no, I was definitely not on the right track. And it’s too late.

With the marine lab report, we had to do some stats and all that. And I struggled like crazy with this components. Stats is not taught well, if even taught at all at uni (from my experience). However, in saying that, my second year subject Comparative Animal Physiology taught basic stats incredibly well. And I owe the coordinator, Laura Parry, everything for that.

But then when we have to do stats for larger experiments and such, it’s like, a whole new level. And I have to teach myself how to do everything because there’s no one to help. No doubt that stats is an important component in research and such. It frustrates me that learning how to do stats is so unsupported at Uni.

But meh, the assignment is done for now.

Shut up about postgrad. I don’t want to hear about it.

I am so sick of hearing about how competitive postgrad is…that there aren’t many spots available in postgrad…that my marks aren’t good enough to get into postgrad…or that there aren’t many jobs out there for me.

It makes me feel incredibly shit hearing all that. It makes me feel that I’m not good enough, not smart enough, and that there’s no future ahead. It’s kinda heartbreaking to hear that stuff about postgrad and about the road ahead. How about some support for a change?

But hey – if anything, all this stupid postgrad talk is just motivating me more to graduate, do postgrad, get qualified, be a science communicator, and somehow change all this.

And you know – I really don’t think my undegrad has set me up well for postgrad/life beyond uni. Hell, I don’t know how Masters ‘works’. What do you do in Masters? It kinda feels like I’m back in year 12 trying to figure out what uni is all about.

And – I want to study postgrad here at Melbourne. But it I don’t get in, well…that really sucks.

What am I doing with my life? Is Uni even worth it?

Somedays I find it hard to justify why I go to Uni. I haven’t been to classes since last week (14 lectures behind woo!), and have basically put my life on hold to get these assignments done. I tried going to class this morning, sat down for 5 minutes, then packed up and left. I just…argh!

When I choose Zoology as a major, I was expecting to be outdoors, getting hands-on experience with pracs and such. Not really. My two main subjects all completely theory based. NO PRACS AT ALL. It is actually killing me.

And if you want to do a practical subject in Zoology, it’s a bit like..”here’s your topic, now, get lost, and do your experiment!” You get thrown in the deep end, and you don’t even know what you’re doing because no one teaches you how to run your experiment. Again, not preparing for postgrad life very well.

I sit in lectures and think, it’s great that you’re telling me all this, but how can I apply this in real-life? How is this relevant? You’re just throwing information at me, and what am I suppose to do with this?

I don’t know.

Who am I? No really, who the hell am I?

I don’t think I’ve spoken out about this on my blog before, but gosh – it’s sometimes challenging to be a student and a staff member at uni. Most of the time, I do a pretty damn good job at switching from “student” to “staff” mode, and vice versa. I can easily switch from those two different mindsets. But sometimes, I feel like I’m stuck between worlds.

As a student/staff – I’ve find myself questioning everything I do when I’m at Uni. Will the things I do and say as a student, be frowned upon by the uni since I am also a staff member? That includes the things I write here on my blog.

And I worry, because I don’t want to get the social media team that I work for in trouble because of silly me. And just to be clear, the social media team are awesome and they’ve been really supportive of my blog.

Is there a line between when I’m a student and when I’m a staff? Where is it? Who am I when I’m at uni?

But you know, there are props of being both a student and staff. When I’m a student, it’s like, I get to go ‘undercover’ and see the day-to-day happenings on campus. What is working well, what is bad, who is being horrible, what needs improving etc. And when I’m a staff member, I can try to fix the things that needs fixing!

Then, there’s this blog. Which makes this whole student/staff thing even more complicated.

Or maybe I’m just overthinking things…

I don’t know.

I just, I don’t know where I fit in with the scheme of things at Uni. Where do I belong?

And whenever I catch up with non-uni people, like high school friends etc., they’re all “oh you go to Melbourne Uni, you’re all stuck up rich people, blah blah.” And it’s a bit hurtful to hear that. And sometimes when I meet new people at bars and such, I would leave out the name of the Uni that I go to just to avoid all that. I’ve been told that I’m now “too good” for people because I go to Melbourne, that I don’t have time for non-Melbourne Uni friends, and that I’m so different now etc. Yeah, it makes me a bit sad.

I should be proud of the Uni I go to. But somedays, eh.

I think I am broken.

Beside from Uni being incredibly stressful, I am annoyed at myself. Everyone has their own battles, and mine has always been dealing with anxiety and stress. And the most annoying thing is that all this anxiety and stress come from me. I am the one who is inflicting this on myself.

I set really high expectations of myself, and I always end up hurting myself because of that. I want to do well, I want good marks at uni, I want to do good things and help people. But…I can’t do it all. And my stupid brain just won’t let that sink in.

I hate the part of me that wants to be a perfectionist. (And if you are a perfectionist, read this. It really helped me)

I hate the part of me that always wants to give 200% on everything.

I hate…me?

Seriously, I am a psychologist’s dream.

Now, don’t mind me while I put the broken pieces of me back together.



EDIT: I am feeling better today! :)

6 thoughts on “Week 5/6: A sad blogger’s tale

  1. I think its pretty amazing you’ve got the confidence to share this stuff on a blog. I would just sit there and bottle it all up. And yes I’ve been feeling alot of what you are saying. Head up, Im sure you’ll pull through :)

  2. Aw Daphane, *hugs*
    You sound exactly like me awhile ago so trust me when I say that this stage is labile.
    I know we all innately strive towards perfectionism but sometimes it becomes so counterproductive, that it just ends up crippling you. You should remind yourself that you’re going through all this torture because you want to do well. That you won’t settle for anything less and hey, it takes a resilient person to keep going despite all the rain. You shouldn’t place your happiness in grades because what happens when we reach our desired mark? We just change the goalpost and keep continuing along. We never really arrive at that happy zone because we’ve set our mind up to characterise ‘happiness’ as something that can be quantified in terms of grades, money…etc. As if happiness can be really quantified right?

    Most importantly, I want you to stop giving a fudge about what other people think of you. What they say about you says a lot more about them. You can’t change people nor should you try to; you can only change yourself. If you take this in, I feel like you can just really let go of peoples’ judgements. Redirect your efforts and focus on what is important to you.

    Don’t forget to reward yourself. In between working hard, you need a life too girl. :) Read a book, bake some cupcakes. Sit on South Lawn on a sunny day and just listen to music.

    I hope you find comfort in knowing that you are not alone. You really aren’t. Everybody is dealing with an unspoken hardship. It’s just that you decided to share yours.
    All my love! Olaf x

  3. Daphane it’s not you! When I did a zoology major over 40 years ago at UoM, there was a 50:50 split for lectures: prac for just about every unit. And we loved it. Evolution was the only lecture-only subject (unsurprisingly). I weep for you and your colleagues, such has been the decimation of tertiary teaching and learning.

  4. I hope things pick up for you! It’s amazing of you to post this, but you aren’t alone! And everything you do with uni, this blog, and working for uni is admirable.

  5. You are a fantastic human being and you do so much for the people around you, don’t let the world get you down. It’ll all work out in the end, and you don’t have to listen to the people who upset you (this isn’t debating, after all :P).

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