Something of which I have become accustom to over the last 3 years of my degree adventure is what is commonly known as ‘pressure’. That invisible layer of discomfort, intensity and struggle that seems to affect the majority of students, whether it be when an essay is due, dissertation preparation is looming and 150,000 pages of recommended reading has been given. If you haven’t felt this almighty pressure yet, you will. It is different to normal pressure, certainly different to the pressure you will have felt whilst at school, although fear not, you shall grow accustomed to it and you will eventually reach a stage in which you welcome it with open arms.
Because this pressure is a sign that you’re doing something right in this world of further education and concentration headaches. That you’re taking your degree seriously and that you’re not as likely to fail. Without this pressure from time to time I would spend the majority of my days watching Desperate Housewife reruns, getting up close and personal with my array of onesies and generally not partaking in any form of ‘hard work’. Unfortunately I do not possess the ability to work for extensive periods of time, all day, every day. Quite the opposite. I shall only work when I feel this pressure, whether it be 4 weeks until exams begin.. or 6 hours until I have an essay due. And yes, I have written an essay within 6 hours of the submission. I wouldn’t recommend it, but sadly I’ve yet to find another motive than my beloved pressure for writing an essay.
I’ve also discovered the benefits of befriending fellow students of whom shake hands with pressure on a regular basis. Those of whom spend the majority of their waking hours sat in the library, studying hard and panicking for exams of which are months away. Granted I will often watch them in their natural habitat of post it’s and neon striped pages and wonder ‘why?’. Why do they do this to themselves? Why get so heated up over something that isn’t occurring until after the Greys Anatomy season final? Although my after thought is usually then ‘should I be this panicked?’ I’m lead to question my own working ethics, wonder why I’m not feeling the pressure in quite the same context and subsequently stress that I will inevitably fail my degree because I have not yet had to buy another note pad or shake the last of the neon goodness out of my highlighters. Having said that, I’m unlikely to rush home and throw myself in to a pile of books, and by ‘unlikely’ I mean I’ve never once done it, and probably never will. After all, you have to build up the momentum to subject yourself to hours of endless reading and stressing.
Currently I have not yet had a hit of this famous university pressure. In fact I’m on top of my reading, I’ve submitted all voluntary essays and I’ve even set my alarm for my 9am lecture tomorrow. Pressure, what pressure? I almost panic that I’ve not yet felt the need to study until I’m questioning the spelling of simple words, drinking 5 cups of coffee a day and contemplating a trip to the opticians due to late night eye straining, should I have reached this stage? Or will it come later? When will I feel the desire to work?
Eventually the pressure will find me and I can guarantee I shall become an emotional wreck and question my reasons for ever wanting to further my education. Yes this pressure will come a lot later than my peers, perhaps a lot later than it should, especially given that I am now in my third year. But I will feel it, and it will give me that incentive to put in the extra hours, dust off my textbooks and give me hope that I shall one day complete a degree and have the ability to finally pay off that overdraft.
Oh pressure, you sneaky little pest, you!