Perception Without Perspective

Oct 10, 2012 by

One of my classmates recently shared this video. A sensation vaguely guilt-like arose in me as I watched the video. My classmate would know what I mean when I say this. Early on during orientation week, we found ourselves sitting next to each other on one of the countless bus rides that we took from event to event to event, and we quickly found common ground when he said, “Science is my work”;
we are both scientist-artists (science modifying our fundamentally shared artistic natures). He is a photographer, and I am a writer. 
A Litte Bent Over, And Not Happy About It – Lockport, Manitoba, Canada
All things considered, what I am doing right now is not what I want to be doing. The endless hours of lectures and the constant feeling of being bent over during this unpleasant month of midterms is leaving me feeling uninspired, slightly miserable, somewhat stupid and very much lacking in perspective. This is not what I will be doing for the rest of my life, and being stuck in the middle of these exams, it’s easy to lose sight of what I am going to be doing, and why I am doing any of this at all. All I know is that this is a means to an end.
I don’t like admitting that.
I like to think I live in the moment and that I make the most out of every situation. And while little glimmers of perspective appear on my horizon (connecting with a new friend on a deeper level, sharing homemade soup, having productive study sessions with friends, goofing off in lab, cold mornings at the farmers’ market), right now I am really questioning why I am here.  
I have been told by numerous upper year students that first year optometry is a lot like another year of undergrad and that there isn’t really a lot of eye related stuff. This would explain my growing sense of apathy. Day in and day out I’m facing challenges that I just don’t seem to face with the right amount of preparedness. Part of this is because there is a learning curve simply for being in this program. Part of it is the professors’ fault for poorly directing our studying. Part of it is my fault for not finding the material interesting. And today, on the one exam I might have done well on, I poorly managed my time and didn’t even finish. I was left guessing on far too many questions for my liking.
When I am not succeeding somewhere, I can’t help but wonder if I am really meant to be there.
Then I remember that I only need a 60% to pass. I remember that all my classmates are going through this with me (albeit perhaps a bit more gracefully than I am at the moment). I remember that these exams that are leaving me feeling like shit are not what determine my self worth. I remember that I am not stupid, but in fact a creative person in a largely uncreative field, at least for now. I have challenged myself beyond measure, and just for that I should be proud of myself. 
In the end, I know I will get where I want to. I will have the control over my life like I want, and I will be doing the work that I want. In the end, I probably won’t even remember feeling like this. In the end, I will just have a butt load of new friends, a whole bunch of wicked skills for helping people see, and I will be traveling the world helping people and speaking lots and lots of Spanish. 
For now, I have to remember that there is perspective, even if it is hard to perceive. 

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5 Comments

  1. How do you find time to blog with that crazy schedule of yours! Good for you!! Hopefully school will pick up and become a bit more interesting…i’ve been there and when you aren’t interested the hours barely crawl by!

    • Actually… blogging helps to keep me sane… it’s my creative outlet during the busy school months.
      Thank you for your kind, understanding comment!

  2. Hang on in there, it’s all part of the journey. I wouldn’t be where I am now, writing about travel, conservation and life in Uganda without moments like yours.
    Soon it will all be a distant memory. In the meantime, keep blogging – it’s certainly helped me remain sane when I’ve found life challenging 🙂

  3. Aww, it will get better! Exams/midterms sucks though but keep pushing 🙂

    Just take breaks when you feel frustrated.

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  1. Reflecting On A Few Things: Optometry School Is Like... - Colleen Brynn Travels - […] don’t write this to complain or speak negatively of the program or my chosen field. While I was struggling…

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