Exhausting postgraduate life

I knew that this MA in Librarianship was going to be extremely hard work when I started it, but only in that theoretical way you embrace at the outset of exciting times. When it comes down to it I can’t remember ever being so consistently exhausted at any other time in my life. What doesn’t help of course is all the travel from York to Sheffield; I’ve spoken to some of my fellow students who travel and we all agreed that it’s a killer. Some Monday mornings when I stand at the tram stop out the back of the railway station in Sheffield at 8.30am, having got up at 6am, I could just weep with tiredness. I don’t think I ever want to have to commute like this ever again.

Of course it’s not just physical tiredness, there’s the mental exhaustion too. I had completely forgotten that aspect of being a student that at any given time you could be working. Something you don’t have to contend with in the workaday world: once you’ve left the building you don’t carry on working. Certainly sometimes you mentally take home work with you and think about things, but not like this student way of living where you have to motivate yourself constantly. Displacement activities! Pffffft! The Web was in its crappy infancy when I did my undergraduate degree (1994-97) but I still found stuff to do rather than study – clean, organise, read, potter, faff etc. Now, I don’t even have to leave my seat to get distracted! Of course it doesn’t help that my dissertation is on Library2.0 so I can almost kid myself that I’m doing work when really I’m reading something of no earthly use. But it could come in handy, file away all that information somewhere as you never know – information hoarding!

This is something I used to refer to as “essay guilt”, when you’re not working but you feel you should be – which feeling is present whenever you aren’t working. Good job I’m not a Catholic, I’ve got the guilt thing already, don’t need any more on top.

Submitted some work yesterday, printed out some more to hand in next time I’m in Sheffield. About to get started on the next piece – but of course I’m blogging instead – aaaaaarrggh!


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