Wednesday, March 4, 2015

What-To-Know Wednesday : Finding the Heaven in Hell Week

Hello all!
Well, it's that time of the semester again...midterms, last minute projects, and the hasty wrap-up of material before spring break: commonly referred to as Hell Week.
And what a hellish week it's been.

Currently, I'm in the middle of a few things. I just had my Media Law midterm on Tuesday, and I'm also in the middle of three different projects (two of which are for the same class!).
For my photojournalism class, I'm currently in the middle of a partnered project called "A Day in the Life". Everyone in the class was matched into pairs and instructed to capture what a typical day looks like for them in no less than 200 frames. Thankfully, we have the option to photograph different parts of their day over the duration of a few days. After interviewing our partner and a close friend or relative of theirs, we had to determine the aspects of their personality that we wanted to capture in our photos of them. (Essentially, we follow them around through various activities of their week, whether that means awkwardly crashing a water polo practice, or creeping in the corner of a dorm room on them and their friends.) Either way, it's going reasonably well so far, but it's a tough thing to coordinate with another person's schedule on such an intimate level while barely keeping your head above water in your own schedule...
...because, additionally, I also have two Media Law projects going on simultaneously. The first is a group project in which we find a journalist in the area who has experienced some kind of ethical dilemma in their career. (Where did you even begin, you ask? Great question. If I remembered, I'd tell you.) The next step is to track that journalist down and interview them about their particular ethical dilemma. Thankfully, our group is relatively ahead of the game, and we've already had an interview. More to come on that.
Also in Media Law, we've just started an individual project through which we are to sit in on a local town meeting and take notes, attend an arraignment (or a set of arraignments) and obtain a copy of its case file from the clerk, go to a local city clerk's office and obtain a set of data points on a residence that was recently sold, as well as get the name and detailed crime of a sex offender in the area. If we're given trouble with any of the above? We are obligated to use our freshly gained knowledge of media law and fight them on it. Unfortunately, we only have until next week to get all of this done, because a research paper detailing our entire experience of the above, highs and lows, is due immediately after break. (Dying. Just dying.)

All this considered, I can honestly say that I've never felt more buried at school. Unfortunately, everyone else seems to be on the same boat, so voices of reason are few and far between. That being said, it's very important to remind yourselves of a few good things going on around you. Whether you're currently immersed in Hell Week, or it's merely a matter of the distant future, here are a few things to keep in mind to hold on to your sanity:

1.) Take a Break

I can personally understand the argument: "If I take a break, I lose my flow, my motivation, my sanity..." But, it's incredibly important to take some time to relax once you've jumped over a bunch of hurdles. Watch a TV show, listen to music, anything. (Just be careful of the deathly nap cycle: she's a stern mistress, and she comes for us all in the end. Whatever you decide to take a break with, in fact, make sure you limit it according to the work that still needs to get done that day.)

2.) Rely on Your Friends

A good conversation with someone you're close to is invaluable to all of those times that you're feeling overwhelmed. (Don't go for a dramatic one though. I don't need to tell you why.) You never know, they're probably going through something similar. Sometimes you just need someone else to tell you to snap out of it and that it's all going to get done.

3.) Enjoy the Little Things

Go get a pint of Ben & Jerry's. You deserve it.

4.) Get Out

It can be anywhere. Just be sure to take at least a small break outside the recirculated air and unnatural light of the dorms and the library. I'm convinced this air is tainted with germs and stress.

5.) Go Easy on Yourself

Hey, you're trying, right? Just keep it up, and it'll all get done. Then you've got one of the best rewards of all ahead of you: spring break!

Hope you all enjoyed today's What-to-Know Wednesday, be sure to stay tuned for the next Sum-It-Up Sunday on the 8th!

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Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire

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