The year ahead of me is kind of a scary one. It's my last year of university; the year when I truly need to do my best, and the year I really need to consider my plans for post-university. There will be unique opportunities in the next 12 months and a scope for improvement and readiness that may not be accessible later on., so I've really got to make the most of the following year.

The big one: ditch anxiety.
I have suffered from anxiety and self esteem issues for as long as I can remember. I have become clammy and shaky, unable to speak, and have cried uncontrollably at times because I've had to do certain things of be in certain in environments. I have been in situations where I'm so scared of doing something slightly wrong that I cannot stop panicking. Over about the last 5 years I have become so much less anxious. My confidence and willingness to step out of my comfort zone and try my best is at an all time high, and I know I can get better still. 

The single biggest anxiety trigger I struggle with now is jobs. Even thinking about writing a cover letter or reworking my CV I can find it hard not to get overwhelmed. I'm not sure what exactly it is - perhaps the contradictory dos and don'ts, perhaps the feeling that I am being judged - but things surrounding finding or doing a job have always been my most severe anxiety trigger, and I need to face it and fight it.

Practise, redraft, and tailor CVs and cover letters.
These documents are daunting, and I struggle to be confident that I can do them right, but I know I'm good at writing. Above all other academic skills, I have always been complimented on my writing. If I make a concerted effort to write and rewrite a bunch of CV skill paragraphs and cover letters, reassuring myself along the way and reminding myself that I am learning and don't need to be perfect, then I'm bound to be more comfortable with them. If I make them familiar then they will not be able to overwhelm me.

Get a Christmas temp job.
In the same vein as the previous goal, the more practise I get of the application process and of working, the more confident and comfortable I will feel in similar situations. I will find workplaces which I can express genuine enthusiasm for in writing, and I will apply for jobs with them, and if I don't secure a job I will still consider my application efforts a success on their own.

Keep up a consistent level of research and artwork production for uni.
I have sometimes struggled to keep up my motivation and focus for uni stuff over the past 2 years, but my third and final year needs to be the best effort possible, as it's this year that counts towards my grade. I am already closing in on the first draft of my major critical project (a 6000 word essay) almost two months before term starts, and I've used my blog to keep to a routine of frequently making and evaluating art. I've also set clear goals for research (1 gallery visit a week, approx. 1 artist/influence write up a day). I am confident that I have improved my working methods, but I need to make sure I don't get complacent and start to lapse with my workload. This is a long term goal, but I need to remember that consistent daily actions will see it through.

Publish a blog post every day.
I was surprised at how easy it was to transition from 3 scheduled posts each week to 1 post almost every single day, but it was a very natural, comfortable transition. It works precisely because I have those 3 days a week that I don't have to think up posts for. On those days I publish something from a long-running series (Monday - Scanner Adventures, Tuesday - Fitting Room Focus, Wednesday - Diary) which is easy to write up and gives me a nice rest so I can work in a super relaxed fashion. This goal is another "maintain current pace" goal which I just need to keep a handle on.

Weekly vlogs.
I did daily vlogs for just over a week and they were really fun, but a bit tiring to make every day, especially if you're not doing anything particularly interesting, so I really want to try out a weekly vlog which would be full of interesting bits and pieces from across several days. I think these would be really fun things to look back on later in life.

Work on a long form writing project.
After posting Mashed Berry, my NaNo novel from last year, and reading through some of it again, I was struck by how much I liked a lot of the dreamy passages I'd written in earnest. I really want to do a 50,000+ word project again, but this time with a more relaxed time frame and a focus on producing something of quality, rather than on meeting the daily word count at all costs. Mashed Berry taught me a lot about the process of writing, and a follow up project would allow me to more properly explore the creation of a more genuine and heartfelt world. This will have to be a background focus to the other goals on this list, but hopefully I can pay semi-frequent attention to it. I do find that having a selection of different writing options keeps me motivated, so maybe when other work is tiring me out I could turn to this for fun.

Wish me luck!

1 comment:

  1. I love the ditch anxiety one, because that is something that I definitely have to work on as well!!

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