Sunday, April 12, 2009

Back to Reality

So it has been a while...sorry to the one person who follows my blog.

I've been quite successful it seems at getting my life back under control. Fellowship aps are completed. I've almost conquered that mountain of homework. And, soon enough, I will relinquish my University staff position. Life could not get any sweeter.

I will write soon, but for now, that's all for which I have time :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Complimentary Remarks

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment."
~Jim Rohn

Wow! In the past few days, I went from stressing about internships (which I still haven't heard back from, by the way), to realizing the accomplishments achieved by many sleepless nights this semester. I'm still having a hard time believing it!

Apprehension plagued my morning. I didn't accomplish much over spring break, leaving myself far behind on honors work, reading, and generic papers. I was a bit overwhelmed. Augmenting my apprehension was my nervousness about the paper I was about to receive back in my first class. I was up until 4:00am writing it and still had no idea what the reading was about when I handed it in (or so I thought).

My heart was palpitating as the professor handed back the assignment, especially when he placed mine face down on the table. Preparing for the worst, I turned the paper over to reveal a 98, with the words 'great essay' written amongst the comments within the text. I was astounded. When I reread it, it was better than I had remembered. Maybe I was being to hard on myself when I handed it in. Either way, I was extremely pleased.

Then to increase my happiness, another professor had some insightful (and very complimentary) insight on my senior thesis. I think I may have found a thesis adviser and the beginnings of a topic.

I'm so thrilled! Not to mention, my nerves were completely eased. I actually got 8 hours last night :)

Until next time, Sweet Dreams!

--The Sleep Deprived Student

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Internship Nightmare

Just when you think you're settled--you've reached the approval of your University's career advising center with the stellar internship with seemingly limitless extensions--the economy goes sour.

Last spring, I happened across my dream internship--politics, advocacy, and writing all in one. It seemed too good to be true, that was, until they extended me. Flattered and thrilled, it didn't take me long to accept the extension. Sure, things were a bit different in the Fall Semester. After all, my summer had been focused on the election. Now, it was focused on the long-term goals of the organization for which I worked. I loved it just the same and dreaded my December termination.

Soon enough, though, my perfect birthday present presented itself. Two days, before by birthday, I was extended yet again through the Spring semester. Life was good.

Now, there are no more paid internship positions of which to speak. Although, I plan on continuing to volunteer for the organization, I find myself in a hopeless job search in hopes of some sort of summer income. Unfortunately for me, it isn't looking so good.

I could return to my retail job. There's nothing wrong with it. I'm lucky, too, because a lot of people will be unable to encounter that type of position. Still, with my impending graduation, I'm concerned that lacking more internship experience will detract from my workplace marketability. And, with organizations like the Wall Street Journal suggesting that college grads seek internships, I'm concerned that even unpaid internships may be lacking.

I've applied to several organizations in the past few weeks, only to receive the generic "we've-received-your-resume" response. That doesn't instill much hope in me, as of course, it doesn't mean that anyone will ever see it. I'll keep you updated, but until I get a concrete response on anything, I am in summer job limbo. Bring on the nights of worry-induced insomnia.

Until next time, Sweet Dreams.

--The Sleep Deprived Student

Friday, March 13, 2009

17 hours of sleep in 5 days

Spring break is finally here. It couldn't have come sooner...

You see, there's one thing I've learned being an RA. I've learned that Spring Break is designed to keep residents from beating the others to death with an over-sized biology textbook--something that came uncomfortably close to happening approximately seven to eight times last week.

The near-fatal conversation of midterms, sickness, unpredictable weather, and spending too much time together causes residents (...and yes, even RA's--we're not as perfect as we're expected to be) to endure a rapid regression of their interpersonal communication skills. In a matter of hours, the most mature, soft-spoken college junior can return to the interpersonal skills of a teenager with an over abundance of testosterone.

For me, this is the hardest time of year. In my sleep-deprived state, I find it extremely hard to drum up the empathy necessary to appropriately mediate the conflicts. I find myself locked in an internal debate about which was stupider--signing up for this or allowing the person in front of me to whine for half-an-hour. It's about that time, I cut them off and give them my advice causing them to become enraged, question my competency, and slam my door as they exit.

It is a thankless job. Inevitably, the residents see the correctness of my view point and act on my advice. Despite their concession, they never verbalize an apology to me and choose to act as though the conversation never happened.

I shutter to think what would happen to my sanity without spring break. I'm looking forward to escaping to my alternate life--one of a professional atmosphere where I can separate my personal life from work, where crying girls won't be pounding on my door at 2am, wear I can escape the obnoxious nature of drunken frat guys, and where I can actually get more than four hours of sleep a night.

Spring break, I salute you.

Until next times, Sweet Dreams.

--The Sleep-Deprived Student

Thursday, February 12, 2009

4 am and I meet far too often - I think it is time to end the relationship

I have never turned to sleep aides to help me sleep. Still, I find myself having trouble going to sleep at regular hours when I'm not swamped with work. I used to think it was just me and the other 6 hallmates still in the lounge at 3am who had a problem, but after reading this article from, I'm starting to see the trend.

The other night, I unfortunately didn't complete my comm paper until approximately 4am. It probably wasn't my best work. It definitely wasn't my best work, but I accepted the fact that a 4am revision workshop wouldn't be much help in my sleep deprived state. I hit the hay, got 31/2 hours of sleep, and booked to my class at 8:45am where I struggled to stay awake. Like my the quality of paper, my performance in class left much to be desired.

One thing this article mentions is that once the schedule of college students normalizes, they are likely to have trouble adjusting to normal sleep patterns. This concerns me because, although I do procrastinate occasionally, I'm pretty dedicated to getting my work done. Unfortunately, my workload doesn't allow me to have a normal sleep schedule. Being an RA usually disrupts my sleep patterns too. Conduct incidents and rounds don't really allow for sleep.

I wouldn't turn to prescription sleep aides to solve my problems because I don't think that's the solution, but I do wish there was someway to explain to my professors that 120 pages of reading and an essay in one night could be considered student abuse.

...I hope to write more later, but I'm in need of a pretty solid nap.

Until next time, Sweet Dreams.

--The Sleep Deprived Student

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


"There is no pillow so soft as a clear conscious."
~French Proverb

I am exhausted. I am stressed. The combination to the two equates to the fact that I am cranky. Very cranky. Not to mention, the four hours of reading in front of me certainly isn't the mood enhancer I'm looking for. Now that you've read my disclaimer, please move to the next paragraph.

I'm finding so many disappointments in my university community. Maybe it is the early onset of Senioritis. Hopefully not, because no medication could possibly cure that (and even if it could, health insurance certainly wouldn't cover it.) Still, my sense of disenchantment and lack of motivation is astonishing to me because I have never faced it before.

This was brought about through my entry into the honors program of my university. I've been assigned mountains of extra work for three words on my diploma - three words that after I enter the workforce, no one but my first employer and myself will remotely care about. And, somehow, graduating Suma Cumlate sounds cool anyway, even without graduating through the honors program. Why do I need the extra three word addition to validate myself.

The truth is, I don't. I know it will only matter for a bit, and will become insignificant when I enter my first job. The truth is, I need it to prove myself - to prove that I'm more intelligent than your average student. I'm doing it for a shallow reason. For that, I am embarrased.

Still, when I think about the reasons, I'm sure very few people do it for self-betterment. Focusing on the course work alone would provide that. So is it really that bad?

Short entry today, I know. I'll be back with a vengence when the homework and two jobs ease up a bit.

Until next time, sweet dreams.

--The Sleep Deprived Student

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Stress Induced Insomnia

"Let's mock the midnight bell!"
William Shakespeare

Truth be told, I really have no worthy reason of being awake as the 28th becomes the 29th. With no class tomorrow and no intent of doing anything productive, I could have seen the back of my lids around ten. Maybe I'm so in the habit of seeing the new day come to be, my body is rejecting the notion of sleep's importance. I'm more inclined to think, though, I am evading sleep to escape the inevitable - that the silence of my quiet room will bring reflections of a week I'd much rather forget.

At best, I'm being melodramatic. I know better than to reject memories indiscriminately, for the week was filled with moments both good and bad. I guess I'm just temporarily inclined towards pessimism. Still, I can't imagine that with the stress of some of the goings-on, others could focus on the good and ignore the bad in its entirety.

Aside from the confidential staff issues that I'm assuming would be prohibited to publish, I'm internalizing the signals I'm receiving that everyone's commitments are more important that mine. You see, every few weekends, I have to fulfill a commitment of my job. This was not my weekend; however, recent events have caused the staff to readjust. I tried to be flexible, although it doesn't come quite so naturally to my very type-a personality. As usual, I allowed myself to be taken advantage of while trying to be flexible. It may be almost February, but I think I need to add "learning to say no" to my resolutions list. It's too late now though. I've been committed. At least they say they will make it up to me.

I'm not quite sure what is required of me in this situation, but it isn't helping my stress level, especially considering the mental effort expenditures my future is requiring me to take. Currently, I hold two jobs. In May, I will leave both of them leaving me jobless in a struggling economy. I'm sure having no dispensable income won't be this college insomniac. Today, I revamped my resume, looked at the advising center's job board, and signed up for a practice interview with one of the University's five partner employers. I don't feel I need help practicing my interviewing skills, but I do hope that my resume will be so enticing that they will decide to hire me on the spot. Overly outlandish, but a girl can dream, right?

Until next time, Sweet Dreams.

--The Sleep Deprived Student

Drowning in Sleep Debt

"I love sleep. My life has a tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?" ~ Ernest Hemingway

The dark circles under my eyes are evidence of a burnout waiting to happen. They represent the late night calls to the police, the midnight laughing with friends, the tear stained pillow cases I've had to wash, and the early morning "I love you's" expressed after a date that lasted into the next day. Above all, they proclaim that I am a college student who spends her life hunched over a desk into the wee hours of the morning surrounded by her countless books, trying to finish her countless tasks.

Although I find solace in the few hours of sleep I encounter, I know you, as my reader, will find solace in the daily dark comedy that is my life. Maybe you'll even think about me as you drift off to sleep, picturing me rack up the sleep debt.

Only another 12 or 13 hours left in my day--better get to work if I want to get any sleep tonight at all.

Until next time, sweet dreams.

--The Sleep Deprived Student