Update – after a bit of a hiatus

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I haven’t blogged in a while for a few reasons….

1. Deadlines. Deadlines. DEADLINES!
2. I’m tired a lot.
3. I’m kind of unhappy.

Lets tackle 3 first and get it out the way. Please skip these next couple o’ paragraphs if you want to read about library stuff and not my EXTREMELY BORING FEELINGS. I don’t think feeling unhappy is necessarily a bad thing. It’s one feeling mixed in with a bunch of others you will feel over your life time. I think the reason I’m unhappy, or one of the main reasons, is education.

This is something I’ve wanted to talk about for a little while. I’ve never really enjoyed education. I don’t remember much about primary school or enjoying it, I didn’t really like secondary school (who does?) or sixth form or university.
I feel like you only ever learn about 2 kinds of people. The ‘delinquents’ who didn’t like school, and either were still super successful or were not, or the A star amazing students. I am average with a capital A. My secondary school education can be summed up as A for effort B for content. My effort is way up there. I really do try. I just never quite get it. That’s been me pretty much my entire life. This makes education really hard when you feel you’re really putting your all in, but you don’t feel like you’re getting what you want in return (I imagine a lot of people feel this whatever grade they get).
I don’t like talking about how education makes me unhappy because I know I’m privileged to have this amazing opportunity to do a Masters. I love learning. I love learning weird stuff or facts or stuff about animals (yes I’m 12) or useful things. I just don’t like being tested or I don’t feel the way I’m tested works. Or maybe I am just not that academically smart and that’s something I have to accept. I knew the Masters would be hard and everyone told me it would be hard and I told myself over and over ‘You are going to find this tough. This is going to make you unhappy’, but I don’t think I took it in. I can feel myself withdrawing from people (what I do when I’m sad; hence no blogging, less tweeting, less interaction overall) because I don’t want to talk about it or anything, I find feigning happiness exhausting, I just kind of try and hide. Also tis the season…. Christmas is hard. Expected to socialise. Organised fun. All that jazz.
My current plan is ride it out. Feel unhappy and let it do its thing and it will pass.

2. Is what it is. I’m finding my commute to work and uni harder. I was really strict and doing uni work most nights and weekends and that’s slid probably because of my mood. I’ve been feeling rundown so my health hasn’t been great, but not so bad I feel like I can rest properly. All this just makes everything feel even more difficult that usual.

1. Deadlines! I handed in my first piece of assessed work last week. I handed it in well before the deadline then manically checked it to make sure it had definitely loaded properly. I’m not particularly happy with it. It was a critical literature review on Organisational Learning. I’d never written a critical literature review (heads up BA History of Art course I took… this would have been really useful!) so I had to learn how to do that, then read a load of stuff and kind of learn what organisational learning was too. It’s not my best piece of work by any stretch, but I did it, followed the rules and handed it in.

Lets move onto some Positives!

I haven’t blogged in around a month about my course so weeks 5, 6, 7 and 8 have all happened.

My favourite thing I’ve done recently has been using Proquest Dialog in the Information Literacy lectures. Proquest Dialog is an online information service that’s lots of different databases you can search. We were given 6 tasks in one of our lectures to find information (e.g. find this article, find an article by these two specific authors, but not by this author and this author) and I LOVE THIS. Seriously. I am a total nerd. Someone is like ‘Find this thing’ I am on it! I love searching out information. We were shown how to use the command line and more about using Boolean searching .

I’m still working on my Annotated Bibliography, which is in next month, and I’m still really enjoying this. I’ve read so much on how arts students find information and because it’s something I would like to focus on in the future I feel like everything I’m reading, even if it doesn’t make the cut, is great. I don’t know if I’m allowed to share my uni work online, but if it gets a decent grade I’ll be posting about it on here or at least giving a summarised version with all the entries. Sharing information is important so I don’t want to keep anything good I learn or put together to myself.

So that’s it! I’m not sure when I’ll post next. I’ve had loads of ideas for blog posts from my thoughts on information literacy recently, to my tips on how to stay organised with your Masters, and the differences between studying at Masters level and Bachelor level.

Watch this space.

6 thoughts on “Update – after a bit of a hiatus

  1. Hi Harriet. I finished the Masters last year (distance learning). Don’t beat yourself up about not enjoying it, I found most of it either over-complicated, dull or like a box-ticking exercise. There were some enjoyable and interesting weeks, and overall I am glad I did it. Like you, my effort isn’t always reflecting in grades and this frustrated me in prior studies, but now I accept it, grades mean nothing in the real world! I try to adjust my effort level to stay sane, I know I won’t achieve top grades do I don’t want to kill myself for mediocre.

    I guess I just wanted to say, I hear you. I think your attitude of just getting through it is good. At least holidays are long. Getting to week 12 of Semester 1 is tough but after that it’s really not too bad. Stick with it, use it to explore what you Like/ don’t like for the future, it is a good opportunity to get a feel for other sectors.
    Keep going. I am sure many others will benefit from your brave, honest blog.

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    1. Hi Hannah, Thanks so much for this lovely comment. I really needed to hear it! Thanks for the advice too. It’s great to hear other people’s attitudes and opinions about the course/library courses in general. Thanks for reading my blog and taking the time to get in touch.

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  2. I keep mulling over responses to this – I want to respond to let you know that you are very much not alone, but I also kept trying to think of something reassuring…it will probably get better, but then it will probably get worse again too? I am very firmly doing my MA for the piece of paper, and never really expected to enjoy the process of getting there, which…kind of helps? It means anything I enjoy is a bonus?

    So that’s all to say: while I haven’t thought of anything particularly reassuring to say, I did still want to let you know you’re not alone by any means. If you ever want help/a vent/affirmation I’m happy to lend an ear – I am finding that support networks of all kinds really do make the difference in getting through!

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    1. Hi Cassandra, thanks for reading. I hadn’t thought about the stuff I enjoy is a bonus, but you’re totally right. That’s a really good way to look at it. Everyone’s been so nice and helpful replying to this blog post and it has made me feel less alone and reassured me only if it’s people saying ‘Yeah it’s terrible sometimes’ haha. Thanks again for taking the time to read and reply!

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      1. I mean sometimes it is helpful just to know that everyone else is also suffering haha! Do you have a student community at all for your course? We have a distance learning G+ group which is very helpful for getting reassurance that we are all finding something terrible (though venting on Twitter also sometimes serves this purpose)!

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