Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sleep walking


We have all had those moments in our life when we feel tired. Its normal right?! An all nighter out with friends, studying for that exam, the shift at work that never seems to be coming to an end...

I thought I knew tired pretty well. When I was working as a nurse, it was pretty much normal just to feel tired all the time. The dreaded late early shift when you walked out of the hospital at 10pm, only to be back there at 7am the next morning, or the string of night duties where you constantly felt like you were in a haze of jet-lag. I never really thought twice about it, it was just part of the job. I even remember one time feeling so tired I started walking to work with my eyes closed only to have a colleague see me, beep his horn and make me get into his car to drive me the further 600m up the road.

Still feeling confident about your trusted health professionals?!

Somehow, it didn't seem to really affect me at work. I would get there, have my morning bucket cup of coffee and feel completely fine. I knew my job so well, I didn't have to think about it and I could just get on with it and do it. Working an 8 or even an 18hr day was completely possible. Yes, there were times when we all felt exhausted, but it was just part of the job and we would all survive.

Since returning to Paris and commencing life as a student, I have been reintroduced to a whole new level of tired.

I felt cocky coming in to this course because of my past work experience and my memories of when I was doing my undergrad. I worked 2 jobs whilst at uni and doing placements for nursing, never spent much time studying and always left everything to the last minute. It was stressful, but it seemed to work better that way. Any assignment done last minute, would inevitably end up being my best grade and anything I did before it was due was never as good. So I got into the habit of doing everything the day before/morning of, as it seemed I needed the pressure in order to produce my best work. I guess that is why I ended up working as a cardiac/critical care nurse!

However coming back to Paris and doing my masters has been a whole new experience.

We are at school 9-5 Monday to Friday, and every week we are introduced to a new subject. We are given assignments where we have to work with others in our class, so we inevitably have to stay late into the evenings or meet on the weekends. I had no doubt that doing a Masters was not going to be easy, but I had no idea it was going to consume my life! I love what we are learning and where this is going to lead me but my poor brain is struggling to keep up and I.. WE are all exhausted.

I feel like my head is full of cotton wool and end up having to read things 3 times just in order for them to stick. I thought that I was going to be able to study like I did in my undergrad, but I was wrong.

Very wrong!

We have all been pushed to our limits and many of us at some stage or another have buckled under the pressure.

I now have so much respect for all those people that take time off study and go back as I believe it is one of the hardest things you can do. I remember in my undergrad how hard the 'mature age students' (essentially anyone who hadn't gone straight from school to uni and had taken a few years off in-between) used to study. I was such a little punk back then when I think about it now. It must have been so frustrating to have 20yr old me tell them I whipped my assignment together in a morning and still got a High Distinction, whereas they had been slaving over it for days in order to get a credit.

I think this is the universe gently introducing me to karma!

So here I am, completely exhausted and pushing myself to work harder. I actually study when I get home from school and it is safe to say if I am not at school, studying or eating?! I am sleeping. I have embraced the Nana nap and will have one any time I have the chance, which lately have included places such as the metro and shower.

I have 2 major exams this week, so will be continuing to shut myself off from the rest of the world in order just to pass, but I know.... HOPE it will be worth it!

Must.... push..... through.....!!!

Have you ever done a Masters degree?! Was it this intense?! I'd love to hear about your experiences between reading and napping!


  1. Good luck! It's hard but at the same time it's great having the time to dedicate to studying, I miss it sometimes.

    While I was finishing my first Masters I was also working 20 hours a week. My routine was getting up about 10 am to go to work from 12 to 4, an hour's drive back home for a nap, wake up to have dinner around 7 pm and then about 9 pm I'd drive about 45 minutes into uni and stay there until 2 or 3 am then back home to sleep... Not the world's healthiest routine, but it worked for me at the time! And then I was actually working full-time while finishing my second Masters, I can't really remember how I got that done, but I wasn't quite as dedicated a student the second time around anyway!

    1. WOW!! You did it twice?!! I am SUPER impressed!! Yes, the student life, has its perks, but my poor brain is struggling to keep up!! That schedule sounds insane!! The things we do hey?!! haha. Well you can be my inspiration!! :)