Saturday, August 17, 2013

Oh Uni, How Familiar

I have recently returned to University for my (potentially) last semester of my very long degree and it almost feels new again. Last semester I did not attend a single lecture (they were all too early in the morning) and did not find it necessary. This semester though, this final semester, in my fourth year of attending University.... I have decided to actually be the responsible organised student that I've been promising to be next semester each and every semester. It's going well so far. I attend lectures and those I can't (and some I legitimately can't) I listen to online. I read my textbooks and I finished an essay more than a week before it was due so I would have more than a week to work on another one. I'm doing so well.

And oh boy does it feel good to have it all sorted out for once. I'm doing a first year unit. An intro to the general idea of everything it seems called Ideas in Action. Different lecturers come in and say things about community vs autonomy and witch trials and all sorts of things. It's great because I walked in to this lecture theatre after not having been in a lecture since 2012 (and even then my lectures were all small theatres hidden in the humanities department building) but this... this theatre is huge. It's two stories tall at least and it is filled with hundreds of eager students with their ipads, laptops, pens, pencils, notepads, textbooks, highlighters, binders, and of course: that fresh faced look that says "I'm new here."

It is the iconic University experience. The massive theatre that's filled with a sea of faces that all look down at the tiny old professor talking about some subject that they find endlessly interesting whereas a lot of us are just learning about to pass this unit and go onto other, more interesting, subjects. It was both nostalgic and new all at once. It was the kind of lecture you see briefly in movies, not the kind of lectures I was used to where we would get told about the conventions and techniques of those movies. It feels great. It feels like I'm taking part in something.

Then I go to class for this 1st year unit and everything is just adorable. They've assigned us an 800-1000 word essay and oh gosh it's tiny. It's positively bite sized. All these first years are all so clueless. The tutor talks on and on about things and she is ever so helpful and understanding. She is really keen to make sure all those bright young first years are comfortable asking questions on things they're not sure about (and they are not sure about a lot of things) and it's all just so amusing to have put myself in such a relatively simple environment. While she was talking to the class about very basic essay related things like structure and choosing to express a single argument etc I was busy ignoring her and writing it anyway. I nearly finished it in class and would've had I not periodically interacted with the people around me/turned away to pretend to listen.

That may paint me in a bad light what with the whole not paying attention in class and being pretentious about it but I do actually aim to learn... just if you're going to spend half the class discussing the basics of essay writing then I don't need to really pay attention. I've been there, done that, repeat a dozen times over and then repeat again. Like I said, I'm actually being a responsible Uni student and doing work. I plan on evenly spacing everything out to minimise the rushed attempts to finish near crunch time that leads to being shut away in a room for hours on end with no distractions. I know I cannot do everything a week and a half in advance forever but that's OK because the more I get a headstart on now the less I'll need to do later.

Yes. I did it. I beat procrastination by simply just not procrastinating. I learned a valuable lesson last semester which was just that: do things sooner in advance and everything will be fine. Thankfully now I am doing only essay based units instead of film production units so I have this thing called "time". So much time and I know that if I don't waste my time I will enjoy my time a lot more.

Here's to a successful and slightly less stressful final semester!

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