Tag Archives: perfectionism

The lack of adventures of a middle-aged coed

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As I wrote a few months ago, I’ve gone back to school to finish my senior year of college, and to finally lay claim to those letters that I gave up on 30 years ago. And I don’t regret that decision. Not at all. I just wish someone had told me how much freakin’ work it entails!

I was quite excited about being in the classroom again. Firing up some old neurons that hadn’t been sparked in decades was something I was looking forward to. Perhaps even meet some new interesting people with whom I would spend my leisure time chatting with at a cafe or lounging on the quad discussing some obscure philosophical treatise. Ah yes, college life.

But somewhere in this fantasy, I forgot about having to complete actual homework assignments; papers, projects, and presentations.  Oh right. So, most of my non-school evening nights and weekends are now dedicated to homework. I do allow myself one evening of guilt-free TV viewing. Which, course, is not to say that I only watch TV one night a week. I just watch it and feel guilty about it.

The old, bad habits that got me in trouble the first time around are once again rearing their ugly head. I am a major procrastinator. But, at least this time the procrastination gives me a jolt of adrenalin and I finish the assignment just in time. Before, I would procrastinate until I would be awash in panic which would then turn into hopelessness and I would just give up. I’m not giving up anymore. And apparently whatever I’m doing is working because I’ve been getting A’s on all my assignments.

One thing is different this time around, though. I’ve found I’ve developed this streak of perfectionism. Or maybe I’ve had it all along, I just gave up before since I knew I couldn’t achieve it. Now, I’ve developed this delusion that I can actually achieve it. I polish my papers until the prose glistens. We’re required to use at least five citations on our research paper? I use 15. I question my art history professor’s qualifications because she gave me 100 on a paper when later I found a misplaced comma. I really only deserved a 98 for that mistake alone.

Hopefully, next semester, I’ll calm the fuck down. I doubt with my class load I’ll have time for my neurotic shenanigans. My Humanities seminar (non-Western civilizations) requires us to read a book a week, and in my Critical Inquiry class I will be producing two to three 15 page research papers.

Why yes, yes I am crazy. But I’m kinda loving it.