Things have been weird lately. Just really full on, in terms of things to do, but also emotionally. Semester 2 at uni has been really really busy, with group projects and assignment after assignment due, usually more than one a week. I suppose it didn't help that I started semester 2 exhausted, needing to take naps most days to make it through the day. I don't really know why, it could have been a side effect of a increased dosage of one medicine or just me not being completely recovered from being worn down last semester.
I eventually adjusted and wasn't so tired all the time, which is awesome, but eventually new stuff came up. My average pain level increased, leaving me really tired after each day because of the effort of functioning like that. Ironically, I also stopped being able to sleep properly. When I do sleep 'enough' the quality of sleep must not be so great because I still feel tired after waking up. I can sleep for 11-12 hours and still be tired. It's ridiculous.
Luckily, not the semester's over, and I survived, so that's good. The exam period hasn't been particularly nice either though. I quite a bad virus the weekend before my first exam. It took me almost a week to recover which means I had to reschedule one major exam and my French oral, as well as get a extension for this one assignment.
I haven't been feeling like studying lately, so I've been studying way less than I should be for exams (but at least I studied a bit), and watching a lot of TV and movies. I managed to finish the current season of House and NCIS I've been watching, and also watching If I Stay and re-watched The Fault in our Stars. I think If I Stay is an amazing movie, I just connect with it completely, possibly due to all the classical music references and the mix of good and bad that's represented in the movie. I suppose I think life's a lot like that? There's good and bad and you just have to cling onto the good and try to cope with the bad.
The annoying thing that's happening lately is that my pinky finger on my left hand started hurting when I bend it, and now my wrists and various other parts of my hands have decided to join in with a reasonably mild pain. I tried playing piano with it and I was too nervous about it to push things too far so couldn't just mindlessly express the emotion in the music like I try to. I really hope that this doesn't become a permanent thing. I don't even know if this is enough to be worried about, but I already have one chronic illness so I guess I've lost that misconception most people have that illness is something that always goes away and that young people are always healthy. It makes life kinda scary, and there isn't anyone that I know of that I can talk to about this. Most people wouldn't understand. Like, I do know people that would be really nice, but that's different from understanding and being able to relate.
So I guess that leaves me doing what I'm currently doing. I want to change neurologists because my current one is an idiot, so hopefully the next one is better and there can be some kind of breakthrough. I'm kinda sick of the current set of circumstances, and could use something going my way for a change.
Uni so far has been both awesome fun, and extremely tiring. I've been on campus until 5 or 6 each day, starting in the morning, and have had most of my breaks taken up with things, so there has not been much time to relax.
This week I had my first French assessment task (which was probably a disaster), my first proper Physics lab, my first Maths quiz (I may or may not have failed), and on Friday my first engineering practical class.
Physics was kinda awesome. We got to use a platinum thermometer, but had to calibrate it from scratch. Well, we didn't do a great job with that because our calibration was 50 degrees C out from the expected value. We weren't even close. But, the good thing was that while out data was out, it was consistent within itself and created a near perfect line so we technically proved the law.
Not much else of interest to say. I have lots planned for Friday, including two meetings, one for Engineers Without Borders, and one for French Club. I am now the head of one of the (minor) projects in the EWB group, so I will probably be more involved in that from now on. It will also take up a bit of time (not sure how much yet) but I suppose it's good practise for any potential career.
So that's about it. This semester should be busy, stressful and kinda fun. But then, that's uni.
It's been three days of uni and already I'm exhausted. The idea of studying triggers an extremely definite 'no' from my brain. My subjects all look interesting (and kinda hard) and I am slightly intimidated by the workload and how much thinking I'll have to do in such a short space of time, but hopefully it'll make my brain better at processing things. I know last year did.
Currently it is 7pm and I am still at uni since I used up all the internet at home and my mum has an online lecture so we're both here doing various things on the internet. These last few days have all been like that. I've been trying out some new clubs since I actually want to do non-studying things at uni too! Monday was Debating which I left at 6 so I got home kinda late. Tuesday I tried out the uni choir which I don't think I'll be going back to, mostly because I get the feeling that it caters more for the people with 10 hours a week of classes. I got back really late from that; I was home at about 9 and then proceeded to watch tv for another couple of hours before getting up at 6:30 the next morning. I guess that's probably the reason for my recent exhaustedness and even more of a reason to be more sensible and not take up too many things at once. This whole pacing thing never gets easier, even though I am extremely aware of my limits. I always feel like pushing the boundaries.
Today my wish for a choir that doesn't have ridiculous rehearsal times was answered. I was meeting up with a friend today and she had an impromptu choir meeting so I ended up coming along. Technically the choir is supposed to be only for medicine students since it's part of their student society, but I guess they really don't mind if I come along as long as they aren't suddenly overrun with non-med people. It was nice to sing high again, but since it's been so long I don't think I was much good.
I keep thinking about how much work I have ahead of me this semester and I keep doubting I'm up to it. It's going to be quite a battle trying to learn all these new concepts, a battle I'm not really used to. I think the thing that really does it is the thought of six exams at the end of the semester. Having to do all the prep and having to sit so many exams, even some of them aren't worth much is kinda intimidating. I think physics freaks me out the most. I'll have five hours of exams (though not in a row) which is a lot of time to be spending on the one subject, especially when I have two more (and possible three but I don't know yet) demanding subjects to study for too. I guess I should have known it would be like this considering my subjects, but somehow physics took me my surprise. Five hours of exams is a lot of stuff to remember...
Uni is back, bringing to a close the boredom (but in a nice way) of the holidays. Today I had the first four of five different kinds of lectures this semester and so far it's been... interesting.
I was late for the first lecture despite leaving home early because for public transport delays which was less than ideal. After a break I had my first French Culture lecture which was also easy. Unfortunately the next lecture (Quantum Physics) wasn't so nice. We were greeted with an assignment which is due in a few weeks and told that 'we weren't expected to ever feel comfortable with this material' since it is so counter-intuitive. Straight after that was a French Grammar lecture which at least told me that my French subject will probably be manageable this semester. Tomorrow I have my first Mechanics of Materials lecture which I hope isn't too bad, but judging by the usual workload for engineering subjects is going to take a lot of time and effort.
So, I have no idea how I'm going to do this semester since it seems like it's going to be crazier than last semester and I am completely out of study mode since then. I guess I'll take it one week at a time, because that's probably how I'm going to be assessed.
Hi Uni, I either love or hate you... or both... anyway, I think I'll stick around you for a bit more than I originally planned...
It's been an interesting day. In between going to the beach and celebrating my dad's birthday it's been rather eventful. But all that aside, today was the day I got the email saying I've been accepted into the French Diploma at my university.
I'd been waiting for confirmation one way or another since just before Christmas last year when my managing faculty approved and sent my application to the next stage. And now that I know I've gotten it for sure, and even though I made up my mind about it months ago, it's still a little intimidating.
The Diploma adds another year to my degree. I'll be at uni for 6 years just doing undergraduate stuff. It's a bit weird to think that I'll still be studying when quite a few friends will have jobs in the 'real world'. It also means I'll spend the same amount of time doing my undergraduate degrees and diploma that I did in high school. High school seemed like a very long time, and I suppose it was a huge chunk of my life, and I can't help wondering if this will be the same.
I'm not sure if I can deal with five more years like last year. It was so wonderfully fascinating and yet so utterly draining at the same time. I think I'm addicted to learning; even when I am completely drained and should probably be resting I can't help looking into my textbook and learning one more thing. I'm not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing that I love my subjects so much that I'd literally study myself to exhaustion but that's what happened some days. I'd be really tired but the alternative is doing nothing on the bus home so I start reading my textbook and get fascinated by some and have the need to know everything about it. Learning a language might even be good for me. It's mostly rote learning so more relaxing for the brain that the other stuff I do.
I'm not sure how I feel about finally knowing that I'm doing French next semester, but I've decided to try it and hopefully it all works out!
It's a new year, and a chance for a new start. I'm determined for this year to be different, to be better. That doesn't mean that 2013 wasn't an alright year, it necessary and full of new experiences and life lessons, but it certainly had a lot of room for improvement.
2013 was a year of new things. I was finally able to study the things I wanted to study and nothing else. I met lots of new people and made quite a few new friends. I found a strength in myself I never knew I had. And most importantly, I stopped being frustrated at all that is wrong and out of my control, and started focusing on the things I can improve and succeed in.
As this new year starts, suddenly there is so much more enthusiasm and motivation for making changes in my life for the better. People normally make new years resolutions, but I think I'll just name one area in my life I want to focus on improving. And with no contest, it would have to be my health. I think it's time to take it more seriously. To make sure I always take my medicine, even if I don't want to. To finally make that appointment that I've been putting off for four months. I need to tell more people about what's happening so I have the option of talking to people when I start wondering what the point of trying is, because nothing is changing. I need to consciously commit to changing my life for the better in all ways, by sleeping regularly, eating the right foods and adding a bit of exercise to every day because every time I've tried doing that before I stop doing it after a week or even a few days. I need to take time to relax every day so that I don't get too stressed by everyday life. Isn't it funny how one word, health, can involve so many different things and more.
It's going to take so much willpower and strength to actually follow this through, and I have no idea if I actually can. But a new year somehow brings new hope and determination, and right now it all seems possible and I sincerely hope that it is.
Has almost come to an end!
After what seems like forever yet no time at all, I am in the last week of the uni semester. I submit my last assignment for the semester tomorrow and now have no obligation to do anything except turn up to one thing tomorrow and one thing on Friday so I can get a few more marks. So of course I am slacking off as much as possible.
I spent most of yesterday listening to Les Mis the stage show on youtube in my break and then later when I started feeling restless during my maths lecture. I had to stop just after the song 'One Day More' which is probably just as well since the musical gets really sad after that. I think music is all that's really getting me through this week. Without it I'd probably have some sort of mini emotional explosion because of all the stress and lack of sleep and general not-feeling-wellness. It's not as bad as last semester, probably because I paced myself better but the fact that it's still there makes me wonder if I can ever work things out so that it won't happen at all, or at least not beyond the normal 'I'm sick of studying' thing that everyone has.
As I write I'm wondering if I can listen to Les Mis some more during my maths session or if I'll just end up going home early instead. It's so awesome that that's all I have to worry about now :D
Last year, a girl in my school asked me why I liked physics, and I couldn't tell her a reason other than 'I just do' or 'I find it really interesting'. Like sure, those are true, but I find many things interesting so it hardly explains this drive that seems to only be getting stronger as I learn more and more about it.
A year was a while ago, but I guess my subconscious may have been wondering about it ever since then, because a few days ago I realised the answer.
I'm using physics to try and work out the world. It's like every new thing I learn adds a new piece to the puzzle that I never thought existed, and it broadens my view of the world in ways I didn't know were possible. It's about knowing exactly where you are in the world, and how everything around you works at the most fundamental level. Like, I now know now the basics of how car gears work, which cleared up a lot of worries about me destroying the car if I do this or that while changing gears.
But when I talk about broadening my view of the world, I don't mean just basic things like knowing how things work, although that's useful enough. When I learn a bit of relativity it was extremely hard to understand. Not the maths, the maths was easy, but the meaning of the things the maths was saying. How is it possible for the time to be different depending on how fast something is going compared to the speed of light? Or that the length of something contracts as it goes faster (measuring in the reference frame that is at rest)? Like, it quite literally gets shorter. At least according to the theory (which is well proven). I'm still not sure if I believe it.
The thing that I'm currently (since 2010) fascinated by quantum physics. It's probably because I don't understand it in the slightest. Quantum physics is complex and confusing, and I'm yet to formally study it. Physics goes weird when it goes quantum, and it's going to be really interesting to see how what I learn about quantum physics will fit in with how I view the world at the moment.
So, apparently I think too much. At least according to this personality questionnaire that I did as part of a leadership workshop at uni. It's supposed to be a 3D assessment which gives a better picture than most quizzes that are a 2D assessment, or at least that's what they said.
According to this workshop, to be a good leader you have to understand yourself first, hence the quiz. My results told me that my main motivation in life was supposed to be Wisdom, I have an extremely optimistic outlook on life, and apparently my IQ is way stronger if you compare it in ratio with the other intelligences. We spent quite a few hours learning some of the theory behind this stuff which I won't go into here, but the website is here and there is a free version of the questionnaire there although it does take a bit of effort to fill out.
For the Wisdom motivation, the strengths were supposed to be being able to understand the full situation and get the best outcome for all others in the long term. This sounds awesome. Apparently overdoing it may make me 'appear too hypothetical'. I wasn't sure what it meant at first, but discussed it with the guy I was sitting next to (who happened to get the exact same results as me for this section) and we came to the conclusion that it means that we think too much. So then we thought about how to think less and realised that this was probably not going to work out...
Another thing I found out, is that contrary to what people have been telling me for a while, I am actually really really optimistic. Optimism isn't about 'looking on the bright side' or anything like that, although positive thinking like that is probably quite good for your mental health. Optimism is all about the way you approach a hard situation. It's not about ignoring the bad, but accepting it and doing everything you can to change it into something that suits you better. I suppose in that regard I've had a lot of practice recently... I guess that explains the high score in that area because it's supposed to be one of those things you can improved with training.
The thing that I really find strange is that the ratio of my IQ score was a lot higher than my EQ score. I always thought I was reasonably good at reading people although I have been feeling that that ability has been slowly diminishing over the years, probably ever since I decided in year 7 that I couldn't just keep being overly sensitive and reacting to everyone else's emotions. So now I'm starting to realise that I never actually solved that problem (assuming it was a 'problem' that needed solving) and to have any improvements in that area I'll probably need to start all over again.
I get the feeling that I'm just thinking too much about everything. They say that ignorance is bliss and I completely agree, but somehow I just can't help thinking and learning and reaching for knowledge about things that I probably would be happier not knowing about. I can't help wondering if maybe ignorance may not be worth the temporary bliss it produces, because things keep changing and there's always something to shatter your bliss in the end, and what're you going to do if you're not prepared?
Wow, this post has been all over the place. It's strange how my thoughts can feel so clear and I can see the big picture when I apply it to something external, like uni or other people, even if there are unanswered questioned and I don't completely understand it, yet when I try to puzzle out what's happening in my own life that I'm actually living I come up lost and confused in the maze of my own thoughts. It never used to happen. When I was younger I could see the 'big picture' in my life. Things were so simple then. *sigh* I suppose with external things I don't have to factor in any thoughts and wonder in depth about a variety of thoughts and feelings. I guess that makes it official
When I spend ages working on (and failing) to solve a question in maths: Maths you are stupid, I hate you and I never want to see you again.
When the same thing happens in physics: Physics, it's not your fault I don't understand your mystic ways, I still love you.
And I have to major in both of them...