Okay, so the people who tell you when you’re doing the HSC that nothing will ever be stressful or busy again are dirty liars. Which probably should have been an intuitive conclusion to draw, but I was stressed and desperate and I clung to the (tragically false) hope.
There is, though, a bit of a difference. Several differences. Mainly, there’s perspective. No matter how many times people reminded me the HSC was not that big a deal, it felt like it. Objectively, I knew it wasn’t, but objectivity isn’t in the survival kit. I think you kind of need to believe that it matters, at least a bit, to survive it. I don’t think anyone comes equipped with the mental strength to go through that entire ordeal completely and firmly aware of how little it matters. When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
Now is different, though. Post-HSC, you don’t need to survive it any more, you have survived it. The objectivity comes flooding back. I routinely make the realisation at uni that I would be doing exactly the same subjects, living exactly the same life right now, had I done very differently in the HSC. But at the time, it felt a bit like an unforgivable waste to aim any lower. Uni is a different. My expectations of myself are high, and my efforts are high, but my self-forgiveness is higher, too. I’m getting better at letting go of perfectionism and just doing what needs to be done. I’m getting better at taking breaks and dropping subjects. Slowly, albeit, but I am.
My time management’s getting better, too. I have a really busy few weeks ahead. I know I’m going to be stressed later. But I’m not procrastinating and avoiding it like I would have in the past. I’m using my time as well as I can. I’m giving myself breaks, like tonight. Today I told myself I’d write a 2000 word essay, and I did. It’s 500 words over the limit at the moment (classic me), and makes no sense in a whole bunch of places, but I got it done early enough that I can put it aside and out of my mind and draw a line at the end of the day where work stops and I sit here and blog and listen to things on spotify and contemplate the stretch of an evening of whatever I want to do ahead. I know I have a shit tonne to do tomorrow, but it will get done tomorrow. I got enough done today that I can say that. I finished my to-do list, actually, for the first time in so long, and made it to the screen that tells me this:
I can confirm that this is the best feeling ever, and you definitely wish your to-do list wished you a good afternoon when you got shit done.
Have an awesome day/night/etc, everyone.