every freaking semester

You would think that after doing this whole school thing for as long as I have I would learn to figure it out, but it would seem that every semester goes pretty much the same way. I start off at the beginning feeling pretty good, I feel confident that I can handle my workload, and that I’m going to do well and get good grades. However, about midway through the semester things start to pile up. Somewhere in that time something stressful seems to happen in my life, be it work related, school related or related to my personal life, somewhere the stress begins. Then everything starts to fall apart. I get behind, I get stressed, and life gets generally pretty miserable.

Then, somewhere I kick into high gear. I focus and decide which grades are worth salvaging, and which I can afford to divert attention from, and I manage to salvage it somehow and end up with decent, not great, grades. This vicious cycle seems to repeat every semester without fail, and it worries me.

Probably the biggest reason that this is a concern is that it implies inevitability. Have I just become stuck in a cycle that I can’t break?

I personally don’t believe in inevitability. Some time ago I was a psychology major. Yes, I know that sounds ridiculous, considering where I’m at now (a cs major, wanting to go into a career in game production), but I was. For me one of the biggest reasons I quit the major was because I couldn’t swallow the idea of Behaviorism, the idea that we, as humans, are nothing more than our genetics and our conditioning. I don’t believe that. There is something more to our beings that allows us to rise above our circumstances, that allows us to be more than just finite state machines, transitioning from state to state governed by a set of defined rules.

This is why this cycle of mine is so concerning, how I seem stuck in a cycle that I can’t break. I’m searching desperately for a way out, and every semester I tell myself “This semester will be different, this time I’ll get it right.” Each semester that promise seems more and more hollow.

I apologize for a pointless rant, but I needed to vent for a moment.