Sunday, October 6, 2013

Day 34: Study, Panic, and a St. Andrew's Sunset

It happens every term. You’d think I’d be used to it, what with being in fourth year, but it still hits me every time.

The shocking fact: going to university means you actually have to do work.

Revolutionary, ain’t it? It seems like it should be obvious, and it is, really, but sometimes the obvious things are the ones that slip your attention.

Obviously, I knew that coming to study at St. Andrew’s would require a certain amount of, well, studying. But all the hustle-bustle of Fresher’s week and auditions and general craziness made me forget about the actual point of being here.

The end result of my thoughtlessness was that essays that were apparently due far in the future were suddenly not so distant. And trying to learn five hundred Old English words in two weeks is certainly not optimal.

I’m kicking myself now for not working harder in the first few weeks, since it means that I’m currently quite busy, and will potentially get lower marks on certain assignments because I simply don’t have the time to complete them as well as I really should. However, at least I have an excuse—everything else going on in St. Andrew’s distracted me.

The odd thing is that this happens every year, even when I don’t have a million societies to steal my attention. Every year, about two or three weeks in, I suddenly realize that I have an essay coming up that I haven’t even thought about. Or a test in a few days that I haven’t studied for. Or a presentation on a book I haven’t read.

Once the realization hits, I kick into full study mode and get everything done, but there’s always that moment of panic when I find out how “behind” I am. And, at this point in my academic career, there’s the frustration when I recognize that I still haven’t fixed my study habits in order to combat the week-two-shock.

I suppose there’s not much hope for me, considering that this is the last autumn I’ll spend as an undergraduate student. Maybe things will get better in grad school? We’ll see… For now, though, all I can do is to make the best of the situation and tell myself that even if my marks aren’t as good as they really should be, going to St. Andrew’s was still worth it.

After all, even studying is tolerable when my break involves a walk along this beach:

Castle Sands at Sunset

The Cathedral and graveyard

PURPLE CLOUDS (slightly edited, yes. But they were definitely close to this colour!)

The pier 

Fishing boats. And lobster traps. And people ask me if St. Andrew's is very different from home... :P

Having the ocean here means so much to me.  It's amazing how much I love it, how just walking by it and watching the waves thunder along for a minute makes me feel so much calmer. Coming to the sea is like coming home. 

View up towards the castle

From the end of the pier looking up towards town

The waves were really crashing against the rocks

Tip of the pier

Reflections at East Sands

And there was even a heron who posed obligingly 

The Castle at sunset
(the upload made this picture look pixelated... sorry...)


  1. Lovely blog, Elanor; you take amazing pictures! (kinda helps to have this kind of scenery, but still, your talent is obvious... :-) About the procrastination: I think it's universal, really; it is hard to keep everything we need to attend to on our immediate radar, especially when exciting, timely things are directly in front of us! Sounds like you know how to make the most of your time in a new location, and now that I know about your blog I hope to visit regularly and read about what you're learning. Best wishes from PEI! :-)

  2. Rachel! I love your blog, so inviting! Stunning pictures too! Keep us posted :)