Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thoughts running through my head

The title post is from the song "Angels" by Robbie Williams.

Hello there, my readers!

I'm upset and annoyed for not fulfilling the personal goal of attaining a distinction for one of my electives. I know I’ve done my best and relieved that it’s a credit. It’s an assignment-based elective, so had I failed it, I might have to retake the course, which will definitely be the death of me in Sem 2, 2017. For some, a bare credit would have been a relief. Not me; I’m disappointed in myself that I scrapped a bare credit. Has my knowledge dipped in that course to the point where that's my best? Or did I suffer from the serious case of mismanagement of time and a stress overload in silence?

Before I lose the fervour for the degree, it's about time that I set a realistic ambition for my grades. Don't get me wrong. I was never this obsessed. Sure, I was ambitious but not to this stage until college time. People have always said that you need to enjoy your college experience because you only live through it once. That’s true, and that made CPU more memorable in my heart. The truth is I don't think my university experience can be compared to my college one - not by a million miles.

Due to unknown reasons, I can't seem to achieve most of the goals. The catalyst could be anything from the environment, mental exhaustion to the continuous pressure on myself. Not to mention, I can be hard on myself. A little too hard, you could say. I’ve shed tears over a History presentation and lied upfront to a mate that I was alright. I’ve experienced incidents where my eyes would burn after I’ve received a lower result. It’s like you’ve given your all but nothing's going in the right direction. The disappointment can be a hard thing to swallow like a bitter cough syrup. Being hard on myself definitely brings out the worse in me. It causes emotional outbursts that could lead to either damaged doors or a basket load of tissue papers. I’ve never allowed anyone - not even close friends - to see me in tears because what's the point?

Oh gosh, am I back to those days when I used to have late-night snacks?

I need the occasional timeout where I’m left alone to my devices, away from humans and emotions, to recover and realign my thinking. I need the healthy balance between me, studies, blogging, and volunteering duties. One wrong move, and it’s a nervous breakdown I’ll have to deal with instead. It’ll derail everything that I longed and dreamt for. Maybe I hadn't thrown myself into studies in the same manner as CPU, which may explain why I’m frazzled. You see, academic stress has messed with my psyche until I’m contented on spending time indoors alone rather than breathing the fresh air outdoors. The rational side, however, is fully conscious that humans need the occasional interaction with homo sapiens. That's the main reason why I actually force myself to socialise and hang out with friends periodically. The friendships will slip through the cracks if we don't make an effort to maintain it.

Friends. Isn't everyone swearing on their lives that they’ll be there as a friend for better or for worse? Then, why can’t I shake the fear that I’ll be taken advantage of and manipulated like a ragdoll by people close to me? It's happened before, so how can I be sure that it won’t occur unless I adopt a mafia stance? I mean, we are all competitors for the coveted spot. It's easy for anyone including myself to say that they are a friend unless their actions can prove themselves. While I’m willing to be of help, it’s not at the expense of me being the ladder. Put it this way, I’m there when I’m needed, but when it is my turn, most, if not all, flee the scene like wanted criminals.

What's worse, folks have said that I’m overthinking or imagining things. It's not the best thing to say to a person who merely needs a pair of non-judgmental ears to ensure that she's not sliding down the wrong track.

My brain must've suffered a bout of mental harm after all those intense studying with no break in between.

What's frightening me is the possibility that I might be unable to empathise with people. I can make the appropriate noises and facial expressions for sad or joyous news but chances are I’m not feeling the vibe. You can blabber away about something awful or exuberant and I’ll be looking at you like, and your point being? Don't feel bad when I do that. It's not your fault, it's mine. I can handle it if the cause is from stress, not depression or anxiety. A lot has been going on and I’m a worrisome person by nature. I know what you're thinking. I should see a psychiatrist and change my cognitive approach. Easier said than done. While I’ve no fear of them, I already know what their advice would be: you're stressed.

Time to prioritise - and, pelicans, you're right: I need to start taking better care of myself. On that grounds, I'll be taking temporary leave from the blogosphere. I'm heading somewhere (abroad, that is) to clear the congested mind and, hopefully, regain the mojo that I've lost.

Flight's tomorrow morning and I really should be packing now...


  1. Congrats, you got a credit. At the end of the day, it is who you are that matters not how many strings of As you have to show.

    I was a teacher, and I never went to uni - but what I achieved over the years would put a lot of graduate teachers, Masters and PhD holders to shame. All the marks and grades, they are like age - just a number. Of course, I lost out on some "fringe benefits" owing to my lack of paper qualification...but at the end of it all, I can say I am proud of all that I had done over the years.

    1. Thanks, STP. It's for a course that I knew I could achieve a distinction in - that's why it's painful to swallow. I've never believed that scores will dictate a person's journey in his/her career yet the company representative mentioned that they'd prefer to hire a graduate with a higher GPA. I'm still wondering why, though.

      I agree with you when you write that "marks and grades, they are like age - just a number". One of my friends is a graphic designer/copywriter and while she didn't get the opportunity to study for the degree, she's successful in her career. Then again, I'm not sure how Australian companies operate. It could be the same or different from Malaysian companies...

  2. Taking a break sounds like a solid idea. Yes, yes... I'm going to be one of those ones that says try to change your approach. If you ever get a chance to do some Choice Theory I highly recommend it. It changed my life in ways I wouldn't have thought imaginable. Basically, it divides behaviour into four quadrants: feelings; physiological response; things you say/ think; things you do. Changing feelings and the physiological response is hard, but you can (even if you don't feel like it) change what you say and do, and that in turn can change your feelings and body's response. Anyway... blah, blah, blah from me. Wishing you a restful and fun break. See you in the new year?!

    1. I had to skip town for a little while, Yum List. While it's been a hectic year, last semester was a total pain because of the intensity and stress I landed myself in. Everything - including the exams - were due at about the same time. I'm actually back now, and I'll write about the trip after Christmas.

      Not to worry, I'll have a look into Choice Theory and see if it helps change my approach towards things.

  3. A credit or a pass is good. You should give yourself a pat on the back for coming this far in your studies. It might be disappointing for not getting distinction but is just not what it is. I've always been good at English at school and university, but it was always my mathematics that were my best subjects no matter how much I studied for English :/ But it didn't stop me from writing today.

    "The friendships will slip through the cracks if we don't make an effort to maintain it." I so agree with this. There have been friends of mine over the years who have slowly faded out of my lives. Maybe I didn't make the effort to catch up with them, but it seems that differences make it hard for us to find things to do together, even if it is just a simple catch up over coffee. People change as we get older and we lose touch, as much as we don't want that to be.

    I hope you enjoy your trip and see you when you get back :)

    1. My folks are alright if it's a pass, but it's me, Mabel. I'd love to see a higher grade on my transcript and boost the GPA. I guess why the scores turned out this way is because I placed too much emphasis on a particular course (Canadian Law).

      I reckon it's more on the fact that people and priorities change over time. =/

      I'm now back - and I should be able to resume blogging after Christmas.


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