Owen Jow Just your everyday writer // Blog

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It’s 5:00 in the morning again. That in itself is hardly new, but recently I’ve been so much more tired than usual. And while I mostly blame f. lux for that, I can’t deny that a little more sleep would do me good. Unfortunately, my workload isn’t going to allow me that luxury today. I’ve got a 作文 [essay] due, a midterm in a few hours, and... well, it’s kind of pointless to complain about my life on the Internet, isn’t it?

The thing is, none of that stuff is really all that significant. Not unlike my sleep schedule, my workload is nothing new. To anyone. I wouldn’t be surprised if you had an even busier timetable than me at the moment. No, my seemingly enormous workload shouldn’t be a problem at all. The real issue is that instead of applying myself to my to-do list, I’m writing a post on my blog right now.

See, I’ve figured it out: herein lies the source of all my academic struggle. I mean, last year I was a great student. Sure, I missed some lectures here and there, but on the whole I kept up with my assignments and got everything in on time. In contrast, this semester has been a complete wreck. I don’t go to class, I don’t study for anything; I barely even get my homework in. Honestly, sometimes I just don’t. What the hell happened to me?

Well, this happened. GitHub happened. Side projects happened. After a 4.0 freshman year, I have to admit I didn’t feel all that fulfilled. Yeah, I declared my major. I got what I wanted, and I proved that I had what it takes to excel at a competitive university. But in the end, what did I come out of my first year with? A few friends (nobody who I could trust my life with, or anything) and a couple of letters on a transcript. How was that something I could be proud of?

So after summer arrived, I sought out something more substantial. I started working on programming side projects, this website included. Here was something that I could show ! I quickly grew addicted to the project life. It was like the dark side ‘consume me’ it certainly did. All I could think about were my projects, and what I was going to do next, and what I could do next. I neglected CS 70 so hard over the summer; for the first time since high school, I put my education second. My mind was always on something else.

And so I received my first B+. I didn’t even feel bad about it; in my mind it was much more important that I was living a full, happy life. I mean, I was. I was cooking, playing Ultimate, and seeing my friends a lot more. And to top if off, my projects were like constant excitement. They were more exciting than combinatorial proofs, at least.

Even so, I was planning to put it all on the backburner when term started. Then would be the time to switch back into A+ mode, just like my first semester here. Needless to say, that didn’t happen. I found myself unable to just leave it all behind. I’d like to say that I tried to strike a balance between work (as a 61A staff member), school, and side projects... but to be honest I barely even made an effort. My life ended up being, like, 45% work, 45% projects, and 10% school. Score one for balance.

But even past my academic deterioration, everything’s been taking a turn for the worse. Nowadays, I basically have OCD about my projects’ most minute details. I can’t sleep if my website’s positioning isn’t pixel-perfect, or my grammar isn’t quintuple-checked, or I have a big idea that I just haven’t implemented. That’s why I go to bed so late now. It has nothing to do with homework.

And I’m exhausted. Constantly. This stuff is all I can think about, and that’s definitely not healthy. So after a lot of thought, I’ve decided that I need to take a break.

It’s time to get myself off of this drug. I don’t care if my formatting isn’t perfect. I don’t care if I have seven ‘unfinished’ GitHub repositories. I want to focus on other things. I want to start exercising again, and succeeding in my classes, and actually having energy during the day. I want to be free from perfectionism for a while. Yeah, of course I’ll come back eventually. But first I’ll need to go on a short(?) hiatus. For the sake of my health, that is. And my sanity.

I’m pretty sure that nobody is reading these posts, but on the off chance that I’m wrong, well... don’t wait up. I won’t be publishing anything on here for a while. Instead, I’ll be watching lecture webcasts from September and actually getting rest for once. Imagine that!

Anyway, thanks for listening to my somewhat self-indulgent story and hey, I challenge you to get just as much sleep as I do over the next few weeks. Personally, I’m aiming for seven and a half hours a night. Man, will that be amazing.

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