Monday, 11 November 2013

The three rules of blogging and surviving a university semester

I mentioned last week that I'd broken the three rules of blogging.

I honestly can't quite remember the rules now which inevitably means I'm breaking them all over again.

Anyhow, the one I do remember is that a blog entry 'should be useful to others'.

I'm mid-semester on the Journalism MA at the moment and I think we're all starting to feel the strain a little bit.  One of our cohort has dropped out entirely.  I've certainly had a weepy moment.  Others have been knocked sideways by illnesses personally or within the family.  The usual stuff of life.

None of us really know the extent to which other people are coping or suffering or bounding blithely through the sunshine filled grasses of further education (or anything else for that matter...) but any which way my 'useful' offering of the week is to share some advice a very dear friend of mine was given some years ago whilst undertaking her undergraduate degree.

My friend had a number of essay deadlines looming and, despite being a committed and enthusiastic student, admitted fretfully that she hadn't made a start on any of them and was staring down the dark tunnel of paralysis that comes at the foot of such a mountain of work.

The first piece of advice she was given was, to be frank, very northern:

"You can only do what you can do"

It was a bit of an anticlimax I imagine.  I think she'd been looking for something a bit more 'whizz-bangy', something that would help get her motivated.

She persisted however, earnestly explaining that whilst she was grateful for the advice given, that it may well be true and everything, she was still faced with impending deadlines and the fact that she hadn't done anything at all as yet on any of the work.  To which she received the following response:

"You just have to make a start"

I offer these up in my blog this week because they tend to be amongst the things I think about when I start to panic about large blocks of work ahead of me.

They might not be the most useful words you've read but I can guarantee because of the simplicity of them, as well as the goodly common sense they contain, they will almost certainly come back to you when you're in the middle of a pink funk.  Or whatever colour you call your moments of mild panic when you're not quite sure how you're going to get through whatever is ahead of you.

I hope the blog police, with their three rules of blogging, will be pleased to see that I have made some attempt to adhere to at least one of them....Oh and just for your information my friend actually did get all her essays in on time, having made a start and done what she could do.  She even got some pretty good grades for them too.  So sometimes there is a happily ever after.

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