Why? Why is it 4.02 am and I am not dreaming of nice things, my eyes deeply shut in stage-3-style-REM bliss?
Because they’re not and I’m far from in bliss. In fact, I am in stress mode.
You see, there’s that assignment due in week 5. I have started but I’m aiming big time this semester. If it’s lower than a distinction, I’m not interested. Of course, there is not just that essay. There’s that other one due a week later but that requires a bit more technical work. My brain treated me to some extra worry about that one last night. You know, the usual: what if I can’t work out the program, despite having printed out all the cheat sheets that are stuffed along with my style guide, grammar workbook and reference lists? Should I have eaten that feta cheese last night despite it being two days out of date?
And other such things that like to torture the computer inside my head that will, WILL, provide me with a GPA-busting score this semester.
So since I’m up, I may as well take advantage of it and use the time wisely. I have class at 8 am so…I’m not really hungry now but I probably will be soon. I could just eat something at the brasserie. I do like that lady there who always calls me ‘love’ and seems to sense my stressful eyes. But then, I’m going to the gym and have worked out a plan with the amazing super-fit Aaron and he’s making me track my food and I’m sure he would inwardly disapprove of my consumption of hot chips, which, let’s face it, I’m going to go for. Or worse - outwardly disapprove.
So I’ll get my stuff together, grab a banana, have a shave so I look fresh for the lecture despite feeling like an extra from a George Romero movie and wear enough cologne to feel like I’m in some mid-70’s ad. Then I’ll study. Hang on though. I might as well bring my gym gear ‘cos I could do that after my second class in between my break.
But I was going to go to the Guild and see my mate Donna and de-stress and have a cuppa.
Hang on…relax? And you want to raise your GPA?
Yeah, righto mate, you enjoy that 2 hours of ‘de-stressing’. I mean it’s not like journalism is a competitive industry or anything. And nah, you being a mature-aged student? Of course there won’t be any barriers to you getting the job you want! That’s discrimination, dammit!
And this is an average morning during a semester. Assessments, rubrics, extracurricular activities not just roll around in my head, they threaten to detonate.
Damn, now it’s 5.02. Maybe I will have breakfast after all…
By Lloyd Copper
This was the winning article in the USC Blog-off competition.