Thursday, October 15, 2015

University life

I'm really settling into the rhythm of studying at a university. Things are good! The workload at the moment feels pretty manageable, too. I know I'll have more courses next period, but I do not mind that at all. 

I was afraid I wasn't going to handle this whole "studying on your own"-thing well, because I've always had trouble concentrating when it comes to homework. It's really something I've never been good at. You might say, well, then I'm in the wrong place. Studying at a university takes concentration and above all dedication. But no. It's been just fine. Studying here feels more like my various projects than homework. I've never had any trouble concentrating while drawing, blogging, or playing the Uke, even though these activities fall into the same repetitive sedentary category.

Naturally, concentrating is easy because these are activities I'm interested in. Quite similarly, programming for example isn't so bad, I don't get very distracted. I also know that it's an important skill for an engineer to have. 

Maths here feels dauntingly difficult, in part because I haven't had the slightest bit to do with it for the past year working and conscripted. In part, also, because I realize I've come to a place where everyone is as good, or better, at it than me. Simply feeling intelligent has always been a strong motivator for me, and still is. That pride has definitely taken a hit here at Aalto. But the fact is, you don't get better if you don't challenge yourself. No pain no gain, or whatever.

The situation will even itself out. I've always believed there is a firm baseline for our feelings on the individual level, and the situation I'm in at any time is a temporary swing in the sine-curve of my confidence. I've met people who I legitimately believe will never be happy, whatever happens. I've also met people who seemingly can't be broken. Only something drastic or extreme could change that baseline, and every setback or boost is simply a fluctuation. A mood. It's like the weather. It can vary from one extreme to another, but the climate stays the same.

If you feel struck by this, like you've always been somewhat of a downer, don't let this put you down. There's strong evidence in the case of climate change. 

One thing sure hasn't changed. I still doodle incessantly in my schoolwork. I do all of my coursework on the Surface, and I decided to grab some of those quirky figures off my OneNote pages. My note-taking software doesn't offer too many tools for even the casual artist, but the challenge is naught but refreshing. It also forces you to use no colours, or really strong ones. It makes for interesting drawings!

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