Part two of the Mental Health Month Project. Heads up, this one is not going to be as positive as the last.
College is a painful yet rewarding experience. For the most part, I have really enjoyed studying this year, making friends and learning new skills. Unfortunately, at this point in time, the stress overpowers the few successes.
This is my second time studying at college. In fact, this very blog was born from a class assignment from my time at the original college. Outside of the friends I made, this little website is the best thing to come out of that college. Let’s just say I don’t have a lot of nice things to say and if you can’t say anything nice, you know the drill.
This time around is far more stressful for me since I ended up losing my chance for University because my graded unit mark was too low. I need to redeem myself. I simply can’t afford to fail again. To this day I still get reminded of my failure.
Mostly from my dad as he casts it up on a near daily basis which adds to the stress pressure. Am I taking a break? he brings it up. Am I going to Shiloh’s or D&D? he brings it up. Am I panicking about getting coursework done before work? he brings it up. Thanks, dad!
On top of that, this course is far more intense than the last as we need to learn so many new skills, have more tests and overall have way more work to do. About half of which is practical filming, lighting or recording. Don’t even get me started on the mountains of paperwork!
I often end up burning the midnight oil to try to get everything done. This often leaves me so burnt out to the point that I don’t feel anything for a bit afterwards.
I’ll talk about this more in the next article but I have these days that I call my ‘Empty’ days because well, that’s how I feel. Or rather, what I don’t feel. On these days in the back of my head, I know how I should feel or react but I just don’t. It’s like there is nothing inside me, no soul or spirit. All that is left is an empty husk.
Empty days aren’t always brought on by stress, sometimes they are but somedays I just wake up Empty for no reason.
On Friday I was editing my short film and it just seemed to get worse the more I edited it. The longer I watched the footage, the more I grew to hate it. It got to the point that I finally made a 12-second stop-motion style transition shot and I was so happy I finally made something good I nearly broke down in tears right then and there, happily muttering “it worked” over and over again while trying not to let any tears spill.
As a matter of fact, just yesterday I ended up talking to one of my managers at work who gave me some advice and recommends I talk to the store manager about getting my hours cut. I had considered it before but frankly, I can’t. I really need the money as I am paying my own way and last time I told my parents I was thinking about cutting my hours they kinda scoffed at the idea.
I think they see it as me admitting defeat. After all, both they and my sister managed to work part-time when they studied, on top of that they worked longer hours.
I am the least successful member of my entire family, they don’t realise how often they absent-mindedly remind me of that fact.
They keep pushing me, telling me that I’m better than I know I am. Maybe they are right, or maybe they just refuse to acknowledge their daughter isn’t as good as they want her to be.
If I fail to get into the second year, I honestly fear my family will not exactly disown me but not far off that. I need to pull this off, but I can’t ask for help. I am really struggling and my friends do help, either with the coursework or even just emotionally support me but I am actively trying to hide my true feelings from my family.
I can’t let them down, not again.
So I pull all-nighters, forgo my mental health and physical health to try to make this work. I just hope I can keep this up as pushing myself like this is really starting to take a toll.