Thursday, November 6, 2008

Just a little, but a little too much

Waking up to the wind howling outside your window after five hours of sleep is always a challenge. Firstly because somehow you have been deprived of your full forty winks, and secondly because chances are it is going to be a dull and gloomy day.

The later you have little control over, and at times it unfortunately seems not much could have been done to prevent the former.

In times like these you need to ask yourself why your head feels like a ton of bricks, and why it would have been easier to prevent it.

Before long comes the all too familiar 'well if I hadn't played chess on the computer half a dozen times until I won I would have had an extra half hour,and I suppose reading that piece of fanfiction was not terribly necessary either...' Somehow all the little things pile up to make something quite big, and as always, we don't figure these things out until it is too late.

That is exactly how I feel about my failures during the HSC.

I approached the HSC(the final exams in high school for those unfamiliar with the jargon) with reasonably high hopes of giving everything I had to prove what I was made of. Being the dux of year 11 with a conditional $20,000 scholarship in my back pocket put me in good steed as well.

After tireless hours pounding away at the keyboard and raking my brain for the best way to achieve full marks for assessments, I usually succeeded, and consequently came first in five of my eight subjects. A school record.

Sounds good so far, however somewhere above lay one of my major problems.

Eight subjects. I did 14, and later 13 units, when I only needed 10. I spread myself far too thin with my idealistic view of being able to nail everything I set about achieving. To only compound this, I spent many a nights procrastinating doing any substantial work in favour of taking the easy way out to play silly computer games or surf the web.

At times when my brain was 'hurting' due to being what I thought was over-worked, I allowed myself to take a little break. These little breaks swiftly transformed into whole hours feeding my petty wants. 'Just one more video', 'just one more game', 'just ten more minutes, then I'll go to bed'.

I whittle it down to poor self-discipline; when I had no schedules to meet, my last-minute innovative self full of good ideas was lost and nowhere to be found.

In effect, I expect my end result of sitting in the exam room making stupid little decisions to compound into a loss of whole bands and benchmarks I myself hoped to set and reach.

If I was to do my HSC again, I would indeed have made different decisions which would have benefited me in the long run.

As always, hindsight is a marvelous thing. Even so, just as those bludgers who say they will pick up their effort in year 12 don't, it would take a large effort to say no to the little inconsequential things and make the best decisions when at the time I had no idea what they were.

In a similar way to the multiplier concept in economics, what may seem little in the short term will accumulate in the long term into something far greater and more harmful.

I kept on giving and giving; spending my time on this extra curricular activity here, that extra shift at work there and those countless hours dedicated to subjects which ultimately will not even count. All until the loss of precious time came back to bite me where I was simply left with the words of my mother echoing in my mind; "you will never get this time back".

Now, as my final score is out of my hands, all I can do is hope that the number which will be forever burned upon my brain is an accurate indicator of my effort.

At the completion of this journey of my life, there are many lessons which have been learnt, and hopefully if nothing else, I will learn from my failures and turn them into successes further down the line.

'All the wasted time' was simply a case of just a little, but a little too much.

1 comment:

bunyface said...

I must say that procrastination is something that is quite difficult to learn from...

Having already done my HSC, finished university and now onto my Masters, it is exam time now and I find that I'm still whittling the hours away doing nothing at all in particular finding myself with lost minutes also :)

Enjoyed reading the blog :) keep it up!