I guess I’ve reached that stage in the year when I’ve decided that it’s time to rest up and reflect on the year so far. In light of recent events heading back to Wellington to continue studying, personal matters and the creation of my blog I think it’s time we slowed down a notch and discussed things from a growth based perspective.
Since my time back at Victoria University this year, I’ve taken on another degree majoring in public policy. For me, this change happened after my work as a youth advocate swayed me into realising that while I’m terrible at helping people on the ground but I’m amazing at telling adults they’re shit at doing their jobs.
This coming after working for the Ministry of Social Development as an advocate, advising ministers on their shortcomings in creating a new children’s ministry. I guess the revelation was recognising how bad things were at a systematic level and noticing how people in power very rarely utilised their ability to make well-informed decisions and instead settle for second best all of the time.
Choosing to take public policy means that I’m aiming at governmental analysis. It means that when I leave university it’s likely that I will work for the government in some capacity. My ability to communicate both audibly and through words has basically pushed the boundaries of what I thought was possible. Having a strength is visual communication from taking a degree in architectural studies also gives me the edge to clearly articulate what it is I’m trying to portray through media and I’m hoping that this array will accumulate to acquiring a role for the ministry beyond my studies.
Coming into this winter these discussions become more important, with examinations with assignment hand ins. All are linked to a stress factor at the top of the scale saying that it’s almost imperative that I maintain a high level of concentration and also a huge resilience to whatever work is put down in front of me. Day’s of procrastination are spent best as reflection days and days of resting so that when push comes to shove I’m ready and prepared for whatever comes next.
Although resting is important, most of us can relate to the whole Sunday-itis thing when we can’t be bothered because we need to be somewhere in twenty minutes and it’s super cold outside. Just one day might be fine every now and again, once or twice a week I have found is unacceptable because it shows an unwillingness to complete the tasks at hand. A building won’t be structurally sound if not all of the supporting weight bearing columns haven’t been put in place.
Being a typical kiwi kid, laziness is what I’m good at. But also being a kiwi teenager it’s easy to doubt yourself a lot. I’ve found over the first half of my first semester this year that I’ve been doubting myself heaps and being very critical of my work. When I miss a lecture it’s almost like things will never be the same and that grades can’t be recovered from what they could have been previously. Like someone died and they can’t be replaced almost. It’s an interesting discussion to be had.
There must be an existing parameter that suggests people in New Zealand are generally quite head strong. There must be a statistic somewhere that evaluates on how stubborn and tough kiwis are because when I look at the general culture it does have something to that effect. When the majority of the population are in the working class demographic it does seem logical to assume that New Zealanders like Australians have a very staunch approach on “Hardening Up” and “Doing It Yourself.”
It almost seems as though the culture of New Zealand is so intrinsic with defining how we as individuals tend to be a lot more individualistic in comparison to other countries because we are isolated and rely on ourselves to bring the bacon home so much. Everything seems a lot more imperative such as work shift hours, hand in’s, exam times etc. When we miss those schedules, for me it seems as though I’ve failed in life. Like it’s my fault that this has happened therefore shade should be applied to all of my achievements.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that it’s so easy to get stuck in that reoccurring pessimism. Going from missing a deadline, or a lecture, or a shift at work without an excuse into feeling anxious about doing it again and then becoming upset about it, doubting that you are amazing in every right and then losing a piece of identity in the process. Only to miss the next deadline. It’s a really vicious cycle and it’s really hard to overcome when you’re so entrenched in it.
University life for me has been a whole barrel or rise and repeat moments which have characterised how well I do in classes. It always comes down to that anxiety being the hinderance from success. Growing up realising that you’re a lot more amazing than you think to go into these environments surrounding yourself with people who can and beginning to doubt how incredulous you actually are.
Leaving university to go home during the easter holidays taught me how important family is. It taught me how massive the contrast is between spending time with family versus being caught up in the little rinse and repeat bubble of doubting my ability to achieve. Going on bike rides and spending tie with my family completely removes you from any importance of university and it makes you believe again that it’s possible to do anything you’d like so long as you put in the hard yards to do so.
The best way to achieve those hard yards I’ve found is to remove the anxiety by getting used to them. I’ve found that telling myself how amazing my achievements are so far is just not enough to bring sunlight through the anxiety but instead accept the fact that something has happened, hurt for a moment and then carry on. Remembering that family will be there at the other side of the tunnel and that the sun will come out again this Spring.
This is all a big part of growing up. Learning about the culture, making tough decisions to move on to something else when it doesn’t work out. Riding through the bullshit to grow and become stronger. Reflecting often and removing yourself to restore some identity whenever possible.
Looking back on the time where I went home to spend some time with my family has been a really stark contrast. Noticing that my general behaviour was a lot more hostile, understanding that it was because of other people’s drama that made me feel the way I was and made my efforts seem a lot more shit than they were. Coming back to Wellington this half-semester has taught me how imperative it is to get away from it all. Physically remove yourself from that space so that you can be content with what you’re doing and that other people’s bullshit attitudes such as “Hardening Up” and “Doing It Yourself” is completely useless because you simply cannot do everything by yourself and you can’t just harden up. You weren’t made to be by yourself in life.
For those non-Christian readers skip this paragraph if you’d like but God asked us to love ourselves and love others. Which means to be humble and care about those around us. I don’t see that being interpreted as, “be yourself and be mean to others”. It doesn’t seem natural because it’s not. Condemning yourself to a life of independence is false faith because you’re relying on yourself rather than relying on a God who has blogged his whole life recording every situation that happens. Why wouldn’t you build your life around that?
Coming back into Wellington after being away fro a couple of weeks made me value life outside of university too. It made me notice how robotic we all become because we value deadlines above health, we tell ourselves that it’s more important to get it all done because we are paying a heck of a lot of money to do so. In many way’s that’s true. It’s really hard out there. I’ve recently written a blog regarding Blog 080 Working In Retail. In it talks about the dependency on work to hold up families, to feed children, to bloody survive. University is an expensive place that some simply cannot afford so will go all out to make sure that they stay on top of the workload put out in front of them.
I’m totally all for that. But it’s a messed up system. A system that operates in these gigantic facilities when it’s 2017 and mostly every student has a computer (Macbook Pro) and it’s still valued to move away from home from the comforts and reminders of having a family etc. The system is what makes little sense to me. In that University is a massive business that exists to care about your education no more than a psychologist cares about your mental wellbeing.
The system itself is a flawed one that makes ono sense whatsoever. So don’t take it to heart when they all flock to your door telling you that what you’re doing is non-sensical because at the end of the day you just slept in, you’re still alive and your family still gives a toss about you so it can’t all be bad.
This was a wee update on all things growth related! If you want to check out my daily blogs I usually post daily between 10am-1pm so around that lunch time period – WMS.
Thanks for checking in!