Sparks and Showers

A lot of necessary work was completed this week. At the same time, two long awaited results finally arrived.

A gruelling ten day shift met its end, ten days in which from the moment I woke up to the point where my eyes ached with fatigue, I had to ensure my resources for Term 1 were adequate for when the time to revise eventually comes. It wasn’t fun, but it was necessary, and the benefits right now, although minimal, are already evident. With Term 2 already underway, resources, namely flashcards, are also in the process of being made. This time it is a job which will spread across the whole term, and be far less of an intense task, especially when the next batch of assignments arrive.

Speaking of assignments, Term 1 was finally put to bed this week with results of my two essays in economics and Japanese culture being returned after quite the anxious wait. Up until now, it had been hard to gauge whether the first term was really subject to the levels of under-achievement I felt summarised my efforts.

It had similarities with waiting for exam results, as my mind found itself juggling vast quantities of numbers, trying to order their probability over which would most realistically be my real grade.

I hadn’t a clue what to expect.

The six weeks of economics I had prior to writing the essay felt unsurprisingly inadequate for writing a full paper on a recently covered topic. However to my genuine surprise, and immense jubilation, I discovered on Tuesday night that it had been graded as a First with 75%.

I was stunned.

Shouting in my room as I galloped up and down possessed by delirium. I immediately had to go and make a cup of tea. It was then I looked out of the large kitchen window, situated right on the corner of the tower block, and grinned at the bustling London night. I may have been standing from the ground floor, but at that very moment I felt on top of the world.

It was a huge step in a battle with work where I didn’t know if I was winning or losing. It was the spark that ignited the fire.

All I needed was one piece of proof that I could hit the very top, and now I want to hit those levels every single time. I want to achieve the absolute best. This really was all I needed, and from that point onwards, and after quite a fair bit of refreshing the webpage to check the grade was genuine, I was ready to take this academic year truly by the scruff of the neck. I went onto finish my Term 1 revision material and began to knuckle down on Term 2 work. I know now that if I work hard enough, the goals I set are reachable.

But that was just a 10% essay, in a one unit course. Out of the whole year, it’s a mere 2.5%. I am not saying it is too small to make a difference, but rather upon finding out the grade of my Japanese culture assignment, I realise I have to work much harder if I’m going to reach these heights in every area. I need to work much more harder if I’m going to average a good grade across every assignment.

I found out my Japanese culture grade in the break of an economics lecture this morning. And to be honest, it crushed me. 65%, making it a 2:1 piece of work. The feedback I received was actually fantastic, and a fair amount of gratitude is in order to the course convener for the constructive criticism. It was difficult to stomach though, reading comments which I know I should have been able to address. It wasn’t enough to get a First, and that was evident. It was a naive piece of work. An assignment I can do much better on. Taking his comments on board, I really do want the next piece of work to quickly roll around so that I can make amends. I know I am capable of more and I am not happy sitting on a 2:1 grade if I know a First is achievable.

The news of this result brought a shower which sent a huge cloud of steam over this afternoon. I was burnt out and flustered. But the fire is still there. The result from my first assignment sparked a fire which will push me all the way through to exams. I know I can do it, I just need to keep working hard, and having been made all the wiser through the setback of my second assignment, there is a chance I could go even further next time.

I have noticed in past years, there has to be one bitter setback which revs you into wanting your goals more. This setback I have received has done me one key favour: I now want to work hard for the top grades. And I will work hard for the top grades.

More changes are thus needed for next week. I’m going to run further, eat better, grow stronger, and work smarter.

I know how to play the game now.

 

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