I have no motivation to study today, even though I have a plan and I felt pretty satisfied and accomplished after setting said plan. I can’t seem to concentrate. Even though I know if I went to campus I would probably be better, it’s cold, rainy, and grey for the first time in a week or so and the idea of leaving my room to walk 20 or so mins to the library is heartbreaking.

I feel so much better now that we have more daytime and more sunlight in general. The turn around is amazing. This (long) winter has been hard. The temperatures haven’t changed much from the winter but the aforementioned daylight is my marker for the winter being over as it looks like I won’t get any other. I think if I lived farther north in the UK it would have been far worst for me, so I am glad my university is as far south as one can without being in Cornwall, jutting out into the ocean all alone.


I drink so much tea, almost 2:1 ratio of herbal to black just to keep my feet warm. That’s the thing about damp cold. Even if it is 50 degrees (Fahrenheit) my feet will still be numb. So weird. This insane tea consumption matches my familiarity with my bathroom— I am grateful I have an en suite toilet otherwise my flatmates would think I have a door fetish or something I would be opening it so much.


I am beginning to realize something about myself: I have no self-discipline. Especially long-term discipline. I am terrible at sticking to schedules and habits and have little experience in doing so. I can do the short-term. A week or a few weeks. I am awesome at planning and coming up with reasonable schedules and ‘habit plans’. Following through is something else entirely. Part of this is to do with the fact that I haven’t had to be self disciplined or an autonomous student nor has my life really required me to learn to hold to schedule or adapt my life in whatever form or fashion. My life has been mostly short-term and I have been lucky enough to have outside forces dictate my schedules…I’ve always been busy. I worked almost 4 years in a library where my student job allowed me to study at least half of my shift…which conforms to most research regarding attention span and efficient studying anyway. I didn’t have much problem working almost 30 hrs week because 15-20 of those hrs were mine to study/browse the internet etc. The library set my study schedule for me. I went to class and went to work, studied at work and generally speaking the rest of my time was mine, so I have no practice in forcing myself to spend non-work or non-class time studying. Which is terrible if you are doing a one year intensive mostly independent study Masters program!


Waking up at 8am and spending 10-6pm at the library, not employed there, and studying? No way. My mind is like, “psssh, you don’t have anything pressing, here let me throw any self-discipline and motivation out the window for you”. I hate you mind. I hate you. Despite this being a logical and reasonable schedule for a unemployed Masters student.


I think the other large part is that I am burned out, far more than I truly realize. I haven’t taken an easy semester…ever. I think I spent a total of…no summers… not working and taking classes. That’s how I graduated with two bachelors in 4.5 years. I took the most challenging classes I could every semester and if I wasn’t, it was because I was living on another continent being a study abroad student. South Africa was definitely my happiest semester and easiest as far as coursework went but studying abroad is constant socializing, exploring, travelling, learning and adaptation that is a whole other kind of stress (and amazing fun). I have been an intense student since….the day I entered school pretty much, but my last few high school years, my entire undergraduate, and my Masters experience have been especially grueling and it’s starting to show.


That’s 8 years of intense academic work without much thought for hardly anything else. No wonder my motivation and energy is not what is was even a year ago. I’m tired and I have no discipline. A potent combination. That’s why questions about PhDs and careers in academia as well as fears about the economic recession, the general job market, the status of social science and humanities graduates, plus the stress and depression of abruptly moving to another country have culminated into a serious identity crisis over the past 6 months. I should have journalled more and blogged. It would have helped.


PS- My transition to British style spelling is now a serious concern.