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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BU chapter.

TW: This article contains references to anxiety and mental health.

The final draft of my thesis is due in less than two months. The countless hours of writing (and trying to write), the Romeo and Juliet adaptations I’ve paused and rewound to catch each little detail, the hundreds of pages of research and notes, the Post-Its on everything I own, the four pencil cases, each one filled with its own supplies, the sleepless nights, and the unending stress will all amount to 50 pages of my original work. This little contribution to the field of Shakespeare studies, printed within a couple of minutes in Mugar Library and (somehow) defended by me shortly after, will be the culmination of my English studies at BU. I care deeply about what I’m doing. So why can’t I get anything done?

Last semester was a special kind of pressure. Including my thesis (an Independent Study), I was in three English classes at once, so I was in a constant cycle of reading and writing. I had a paper due each week for my thesis, while my other two English classes involved work like weekly response papers, discussion posts, projects, presentations, intensive reading, and especially long essays. I fit in shifts at work and rehearsals for my acting class wherever I could while pulling more all-nighters than ever to get everything done. For months, I barely left my room when I was home. Aside from my singing rehearsals on Thursday nights, I didn’t see my friends.

The fall was sort of terrible. (I wrote about it in-depth here). Though I definitely would not want to repeat last semester, the fact that I stuck through all its challenges allowed me to complete my Hub and degree requirements, leaving me with only four more credits before I could graduate. There is no feeling like seeing the vast Degree Advice Report checklist on the Student Link finally collapse into a green checkmark and a couple of blue squiggly lines. 

With that accomplished, I ultimately decided on Part-Time status for my final semester. I may have lost out on the free student FitRec membership, but who am I to pretend that I was going to go to the gym in the first place? In addition to more time to write and go to work, I needed to save money and was excited to give myself a break for once. Though the second section of my Independent Study could cover my final four credits, I would have been totally alone the entire semester, so I chose to take the next level of acting class in addition to my individual work. I still managed to hit the dream schedule: one class a day, Tuesdays and Thursdays only. There’s no way I could mess this up, right?

Wrong. Where I could have had free time, I’ve been taking on full 8-9 hour workdays as many times a week as I can. I get put places at work sometimes where it should be totally possible to get school stuff done, but every little sound or movement distracts me. When I’m not working, most of my nights are free, but I still sit down every day to write, and nothing comes out. I’m having an intense case of writer’s block at the exact wrong time.

What I want those who ask me why I can’t just sit down and work to know is that I’m seriously trying my best. I don’t know why my mind won’t allow me to write. Fear of failure is certainly a part of it, as is my proclivity for procrastination followed by a final burst of energetic writing that has categorized most of my school career. Unfortunately, despite wanting to pace things out, my problematic essay-writing tactics have not once failed me when it gets down to the wire. 

I know that leaving such large amounts of work for the last minute is not going to go particularly well for me, and I deeply want to work slowly and steadily until everything is just right. Each time I try to sift through everything I wrote last semester, though, I’m overwhelmed by the sheer amount of it. Knowing I have to both expand and consolidate makes my mind freeze up and go back to that dreaded mantra of my subconscious: “It needs to get done, so it’s going to get done”— and that’s when I decide it’s high time for another episode of Silicon Valley

Apparently, I’m only capable of working when the pressure is on, which leaves me with my first section of 20 pages to be finished and, preferably, polished within the next two days. My anxiety is through the roof, and this time, in particular, it is tremendously more paralyzing than motivating.

I feel like I’m already done with school, and I wish that I could get myself out of that headspace. Part of me is relaxed about meeting my deadlines, while the majority of me can’t relax knowing that chill part of me is at the wheel as I attempt to make myself more productive. My worst schoolwork tendencies, the ones I have always struggled with, are out in full force and multiplied by 100.  

If this is what “senioritis” is, I need to find a cure.  

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Angelina is a senior at BU, studying English in the College of Arts and Sciences, with a focus on Shakespeare. She is from Somerville, MA. In addition to writing for HCBU, Angelina is the Director of BU On Broadway Off Broadway and has been involved with theater through BU Shakespeare Society, Wandering Minds, and Stage Troupe. Outside of school, she enjoys dancing, music, baking, and movie marathons. Her pop culture heart lives in the 1980's.