I have’nt worked for 4 days now. I feel scared. I’ve got 35 days till the papers start and I’ve got a lot of work to do. All this analyzing, all the intellectualizing I’ve been doing, in the end it comes down to a simple thing really: I’m a lazy person. I don’t want to be in the difficult situation that I’m in. I’d rather be up in the skies as a writer, or want to develop ‘ridiculously enthusiastic’ philosophies of life.
Once a friend of mine approached two respected seniors whom I happened to be sitting with at the time. This friend was some 2 weeks away from the Step 1 exam he had been studying for over a year and a half for. He sat down with us and told the two seniors that he was not giving the exam. He said he was having severe anxiety attacks and he didn’t think he was ready to give the exam. He was going to pull out and give it next year (this chap was giving the Step 1 while in final year and he told us he now wanted to give it after the final year exam). The two seniors spent some three hours talking to him, trying to boost his morale, encourage him, to tell him he’s just panicking unnecessarily etc.. etc… In the end, he changed his mind (although he changed it back, and then back again – he finally gave the exam 2 months later than originally intended and got a 92). One of the seniors, tired from the effort of talking so much said with a grin that they should have used Pakistani psychological techniques from the very beginning: get a big stick and beat him till he came to his senses. I laughed a lot.
But he’s right in a way. In this difficult field that I’m in, there is no easy way out. There is no way one can breeze through these difficult exams feeling wonderful and peaceful and safe all the time. These big exams bleed you. They take away your self-confidence, inject cold fear into you, making you doubt yourselve, and make you think you’ll fail.
There’s no easy way out of this. I’ve got to plow through the rest of the time I have and just work screw the psychology, screw the efforts at maintaining my sanity. I’ve got to bleed. I think I had it right a few posts ago. I have to bleed for my bread.
Maybe I’m feeling so messed up and so pessimistic because I haven’t worked for a number of days. The main reason for that is my insomnia (at least that's the excuse I keep using). I would wake up two hours after going to bed, unable to sleep, and while in the beginning, the “ridiculous enthusiasm” saw me through and got me through the day, eventually the lack of sleep caught up to me and I spent the whole day extremely sleepy despite drinking dangerously large quantities of coffee. To counter this, last night I went to bed early, determined to get my full 8 hours this time, so as not to have excuses. I woke up two hours after going to bed, unable to go back to sleep. Rather than ‘mistake’ this for enthusiasm (which I definitely wasn’t feeling) I decided to get up and have a bite to eat; that might get me sleepy. Sure enough, an hour later I fell asleep again and I went on to sleep another 5 hours. Seven hours total. That should be enough to ward off any sleepiness for the day. I’ve got to learn to respect my mind and body. If it needs sleep, I’ve got to give put it to bed. Otherwise I’ll just waste the following day very drowsy. I need to adopt a more sober approach to studies. This isn't magic, afterall.
Let’s hope the morale picks up by the end of the day.