The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Talking About Talking: A late-night conversation with my deep academic anxiety


“Every single night’s a fight with my brain.”- Fiona Apple

10 p.m. on a Monday night. I am in my Younker single, staring down my laptop.

My deep academic anxiety: OK baby, it’s time to shine!! You gotta finish that C.S. assignment due at midnight!

Me: But I’m exhausted!

MDAA: You absolute fool, if you don’t turn in this assignment on time you’re gonna fail it, which will lead to failing this class. Not only will it make you not perfect, something we talk about a lot, you will never go to grad school or get a job if you don’t get a good grade in this one specific computer science class.

Me: I’m so tired though! I spent all day in class and now I’m supposed to drink coffee and truck away at this assignment even though I can’t think straight?

MDAA: What are you talking about? This is what we’ve always done!

Me: I literally haven’t had a day off since school started. Look around us. My room is in shambles because I haven’t had time to clean it. I worked so many hours this weekend that my body was sore today. I need to rest.

MDAA: But when you constantly push yourself to the brink of exhaustion in the name of success everyone’s so proud of you! You can accomplish so much! If you never sleep!

Me: I’m tired of constantly wanting to sleep. I just want to do it. I need to start feeling like a person again. I want to watch TV shows again. I want to hang out with my friends without you telling me to be working instead. I want to live!

MDAA: No! What will you tell the people in your CS class tomorrow? How will you explain to your professor why you failed?

Me: I don’t have to explain myself. I wanna go to sleep. (Closes my computer and reaches for my melatonin chewable gummies)

MDAA: But what about your future?

Me: (chewing on some sweet, sweet melatonin) This one specific assignment literally will not impact my future at all. Plus, I’m tired of only thinking about the future. I need to think about whether I’m happy on a day-to-day basis, now. Remember when we were at my internship this summer? How nice it was to work from nine to five then come home and actually have free time? It’s harder to defend my free time while I’m at Grinnell because there are so many things I could be doing that feel really valuable, but nothing can ever be more important than preserving my own well-being.

MDAA: This is so uncharacteristic of you.

Me: (turning on my white noise bedtime app) I think you should take some time off. Go to the park. Maybe get into meditation.

MDAA: What?!?!

Me: (moving deeper into slumber) Good night.

MDAA: Ok, but we’re gonna talk tomorrow before your seminar!

My imposter syndrome: Hehehehehe.

Kelly is asleep.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *