It’s Alright

April 17, 2009

This entry is for anyone that feels like their head is going to explode when there is something uncomfortable coming up ahead of them. Whether or not you are going into a job interview and feel really nervous about it, or are preparing for a mind-taxing exam, or are getting caught up in not knowing what lies ahead of you in the future, there can be this common, uncomfortable feeling.

Yesterday I had a conversation with someone very significant to me. He has been very stressed out recently over his senior BA film project, where he has to make a short film. He is working in conjunction with 10 other people, and feels as if he is doing all of the work for them (as well as his own work, as a director). He told me last night that he was at the point of mental exhaustion and was about to have a nervous breakdown.

I told him that feeling anxious about something like this (getting the butterflies) is normal, but being on the verge of a breakdown is a problem. I tried my very best, before any other words could come out of his mouth, to make him feel better.

For one, he is definitely not alone. A lot of people who are about to graduate have to do a final project that demands meticulous effort. For example, biology majors need to come up with an original research project, do the research, and then present their findings in front of many faculty members and students. When I was going through this process, at times I felt like things were going to collapse. But I got through it, and in retrospect, I wish I didn’t stress out about it as much.

Another is that he could be perceiving the situation as something worse than what it really is. He thinks that the whole film will be a disaster and he will fail the course. Knowing who he is and what he is capable of, I know that he won’t fail and although the film may not be up to his caliber, it definitely won’t be as bad as he interprets it to be. He studies film night and day. He knows this film inside out.

Also, he shouldn’t freak out about it now because when it is all over, he will feel such a sense of accomplishment for the work that he has done, even if it doesn’t turn out to be perfect in his eyes. The anticipation may be painful now, but the pride for his algorithm will last forever.

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