Keep breathing

I haven’t been very active around these parts, have I? I’ve noticed that the consistency of my blog-posting directly correlates with the amount of time I spend at school and not at home. It’s not to say that I’m busy to the point where I’m only getting three hours of sleep per night and am stumbling around campus hopped up on caffeine and fear (at least, not most of the time), but saying that the mere action of being at school invokes a fair amount of stress, which doesn’t really leave me in a fantastic state of mind to be writing stuff about EXO’s debut or whatever it is that Super Junior is doing at the mo’.

I’ll be done with my sophomore year in less than a month, and obviously, the halfway point in one’s college career is the best possible time to completely lose your handle on your sense of self-confidence. The weirdest thing about this is that it makes you question whether or not you had a good handle on your sense self-confidence to begin with, and whether or not you’ve spent a good chunk of your life believing that you were a more capable person than you actually are.

Admission of guilt: I basically slacked my way through grade school but still graduated at the top of my class and took comfort in my existence as one of the token “smart kids” amongst my peers, never letting myself know what it felt like to work hard, to reach my limit, to know where my capabilities ended.

And then I came to college, where there is no way to get a so-called “easy A,” or even an A at all (we even have an official grade deflation policy, just to make sure!), so you must work harder in order to get that A, and unless you have gotten that A you have not worked hard enough — but is there ever an end to “working harder”? What happens when there’s nothing left to wring out of that “-er”? Or is such a sentiment nothing more than a self-reassuring lie, because there are always more books you could read, more texts you could study, more hours you could spend reviewing material, more ways in which you can train your brain to be more intelligent, more thoughtful…

So basically, I’ve done a good job of setting impossible standards for myself while simultaneously telling myself that unless I achieve these impossible standards, I will continue to be inadequate, and it will be my fault.

My ability to suck it up when things get tough has always been one of my favorite skills, but this time it seems to have become my greatest downfall. There have been times when I’ve reached a point of complete shutdown, eventually emerging with a resolution that I would study and work only for my own pleasure, never for the feeling of validation that comes with a high GPA. But this sentiment is quickly squashed upon receiving yet another crappy grade on a test or paper, looking at all my errors and concluding that I’ll have to do better next time because look at all those circles and arrows and places where you can improve for next time because you did not do your best the first time around and these mistakes prove it. Oh hey there, Vicious Cycle. Wuddup.

I feel very insecure about my current existence at this school, and the fact that I honestly don’t remember the last time that I’ve ever felt good or confident about any academic work I’ve done really doesn’t help. But how much of this insecurity comes from my brain, and how much from this muthaeffin’ school and its inherent nature as a 2,300 person-capacity pressure cooker?

Maybe I just need this semester to be over. Scratch that — I definitely need this semester to be over.

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  • Hey there. 

    My name’s Candace, I’m a graduating senior in college. I was procrastinating on studying and searching the web for something on SHINee (don’t remember now, I’ve been reading your blog for awhile and its all mooshing together haha) and somehow your blog hit. So I started reading stuff on (AHA I was looking up SHINee’s voices and their different timbres, I wanted to see if someone had done an analysis or a comparison. Ever since Sherlock came out I have been obsessed with Taemin’s voice. I mean, I was before because he’s my favorite little dancer out there [I dance as well, hence that is 50% of why he is my bias -.-] but his voice is AMAZING now. Improved leaps and bounds. Let’s go Minho, your voice is getting better but still sounds like a frog to me. Follow the maknae.) SHINee and their various albums you reviewed. I really enjoyed reading all of them! You’re a great writer and really funny. I’ve read quite a few reviews and blogs over the years and most are extremely biased and not well-written (I have a huge pet peeve about proper grammar and spelling. Seriously people, how hard is it to PUT A COMMA IN THERE or NOT write run-on sentences up the wazoo? So your writing was wonderfully easy to read and my housemates think I’m a nutjob for busting out laughing at random times while reading. I don’t agree with EVERYTHING you say (but nobody ever will, we are each our own person ^^) but I agree with many and I love you for that! So thanks for the reviewing and keep up the good work. I was surprised not to see more on SHINee’s comeback, since it seemed like your a SHINee fan as well. I agree with you in saying this album wasn’t magical or anything but I fully believe their performances live and their hard work really make anything they come out with a-okay (with a few notable exceptions I didn’t like in the past). 

    Anyways, back to why I’m commenting here. It seems like you’re having a bit of a rough patch right now and you probably don’t want to hear it, but I WAS you two years ago. And I will tell you RIGHT NOW…it gets better. It truly does. I was like you, coasted through grades K-12 and was the “smart one”, the “gifted” one, took Honors classes, was enrolled in Gifted Socieities, great SATs, accepted to a good college, blah blah blah we are the same person essentially. Right after freshman year was over and the awesomeness of being away from home, living with all friends at all times, and having COMPLETE FREEDOM wore off I realized I have screwed up royally in my classes freshman year. Like majorly. So I then planned to work hard and get more A’s, like old times. Yea…yea…no. Unlike HS, in college everyone is not only there because they WANT to be there…they FOUGHT to be there via applications. The “dumb” tier of the class that could be relied on to boost everyone else’s scores is back at your hometown community college so it’s nonexistent in your college now. I kept thinking all through Chem, Biochem, Ochem, Bio labs, etc. that oh, if I work harder next quarter I’ll get those A’s! Just gotta work harder, study more, ready more…except at some point there IS NO MORE that you can do. I was definitely depressed and hopeless for awhile. I questioned my even being in college at all. Questioned all those people who told me I was smart. Hated myself for awhile because I believed I was being lazy and not fulfilling my potential. DON’T GO THERE GIRLFRIEND. You are smart. You are meant to be where you are. You are doing what you are doing for a reason. If any of this is offending you because I am poking my nose in your life I apologize and you can stop reading lol. I am definitely just trying to bring in some perspective since I was literally in your soph college girl shoes not long ago >.< People say that college is not teaching us really to be better people or to be smarter…it is teaching us how to most effectively take a 200 question scantron test and how to efficiently take notes from a professor and regurgitate them later. So don't beat yourself up. Realize that now. My grades have skyrocketed since sophomore year, starting with the Fall Quarter of my Junior year. Because I realized all of this, and that it wasn't me that was wrong; it's just the way college works. Work hard, harder than you ever have, but know your limits. I don't pull all-nighters anymore and watch the sun come up. I sleep at 2-3am, get a few hours of sleep, then wake up at 6am to study some more before the exam. I'm more awake and more efficient in my studying, yet before I thought the longer I was awake the more I was studying. ::buzzer:: Wrong lol. This is now my last quarter of college ever, I have a midterm in 2 hours, and I have a daily battle over whether I am excited or devastated that my college career is ending. College is supposed to be the best years of our lives according to everyone else. But to me it has been ambiguous. There have been memorable and wonderful times that I never want to give up. There have been horrible, painstaking times that I never want to remember. But I feel like that's all what it is, all of college is supposed to be. Everyone's in the same boat, same as freshman year. Once college ends, thats over and everyone goes their seperate ways in seperate lives. I'm not gonna say you should enjoy it while you can because that's an old person thing to say and I'm only 21 haha. It's also not true; not everything is enjoyable. But do appreciate the good points. Your trait of sucking it up is a good thing so use it to get through the nasty parts. In a little while it will get better. 

    I wish I knew everything I know now when I started college…makes me feel old but really we don’t age in college, we mature :) Cheesy I know, but bear with me. Anyway, keep writing! People enjoy reading it. If it ends up not being feasible in your life right now though, then it is perfectly okay to stop. But it seems like something you enjoy, and I myself enjoy writing about kpop and my thoughts on comebacks, albums, concepts, and members. It’s almost like an outlet, an escape from my shitty schoolwork for awhile. Then when the schoolworks over, you can hang with your friends, go to the beach, go on a mini-shopping binge, or out to lunch somewhere yummy! You are where you are supposed to be and nothing will change that, so for now, make the most of it :) Are you going to the SMTOWN Live concert next month? That’s something I am looking forward to and it’s my motivation for working hard now haha. Good luck & give me a holler if you ever need to vent or fangirl with someone ^^.