I’m not a superhuman

I just feel like saying it now publicly. There’s something that has been bothering me for quite a while. Currently I’m stressed and tired and really on the edge of completely burning out, but I keep going, because I don’t really feel like I have other options.

Tomorrow starts this year’s edition of Global Game Jam, which I’m organizing again. So there’s that. We’ve been talking about it for months, doing small preparations and such, but still there’s a lot of those last minute things to figure out and just get done. This year we also signed up to have a program on the GGJ radio, because it would be fun to do something more and it’s good to try to promote myself that way as well. We still have to plan and record the show, within the next 24-30 hours.

Then there’s Wozzop, the school magazine that I took on at the beginning of the year as an editor. I got 2 editors to help out, and when things got too hectic for me in December I asked them to handle it without me, and they did, which was great. But it was still just letting go of a very small part of my responsibilities. Now I’m back to working on it, and currently I have to handle editing the upcoming issue as well as organizing Global Game Jam. This is not optimal, but, well, I signed up for that, right? I guess I can do it…?

This year I also took on a role of a vice president of the school union, because my friend who was the president last year did such a great job that I wanted to make sure this year everything will be handled correctly. It does not really feel now like I have to do all that much, but all the communications, and just trying to remember about everything, and consider everything really weights down on me a lot. I knew it won’t be easy, and it’s not, I’m still trying to figure out how to handle things and people correctly.

Last year I started going to the gym pretty regularly, and I loved it, I had a great routine, and I followed it. I had energy and somewhat structured days. But that was the first thing I had to let go among all the other responsibilities. And that was the most important thing to me actually, because it made me feel so much better overall. But since my bike got broken in the end of November I don’t really have time to spend 30-60 hour on getting to the gym on foot to make it for my favorite classes. And I don’t even have time to get my bike fixed, because that takes another 30-40 min to go to a repair shop and pay some ridiculous price for a fairly simple job. Oh, have I mentioned that as I student I don’t have any income and I’m just sucking all the money from my family and can’t really do anything about it, because school and everything takes 100% of my time?

Really, without a bike I just feel so impaired, I can’t get anywhere, getting to school takes me 30 min instead of 10, that’s 1 hour instead of 20 min each day, same with groceries, days when I decide I can find time for the gym. But most of all, I just feel I have so many thing to do, I don’t have time for anything and I don’t know what to start with. I would so prefer to get a new bike rather than waste I have no idea how much time on fixing the old one… But I can’t do that obviously.

And then, last, there’s school. Yes, something that’s supposed to be my main focus, but somehow it never can be because of other things that take my time, attention, and arguably – which I believe give me more experience, energy and I enjoy them enjoy so much more. Everyone is working so hard, and I feel left behind. I need to divide my attention among all the other things, and all I feel instead of being somewhat appreciated for all I do is just the pressure of what I don’t do. Of course the easy solution would be – let go of the things that take your attention, and focus on school, but I really can’t just focus on one thing. I thrive in situations when I can switch between my options, except in this case expectations are too high.

All in all, I think I’m doing pretty well, surviving it all by now, but just week by week everything gets more difficult. Sometime I get a boost of energy from something and that keeps me going for a couple of days. I’m really on the edge of burning out, and I don’t want that. I don’t know how to handle it. Too much expectations, too little appreciations, frustrations piling left and right, and I feel I should be able to handle all that, but I can’t. Wait, that’s another expectation, right? Sometimes I do feel like a superhuman managing it all, but I’m not superhuman, and I can’t control everything, and I feel like soon I won’t be able to control anything.

There, honest story of an probably-ambitious UID student, who loves UID and being at UID, but not really being a student… Why do I always have to go the opposite way from everyone else?

I just needed to get it out, sorry if it’s too boring and personal.

IDI is really intensive

IDI – Industrial Design Intensive – is the course I study right now. And indeed it’s pretty intensive. So far we turned in 2 projects and deadline for the third is on Tuesday.

For the first project we had barely 3 days (in total 2 weeks from start to the end, but without supervision). For the second project we had 1.5 weeks. The second project was the sketching practice where we had to design and sketch a hairdryer in 3 perspectives. Current project concerns designing a handheld blender, and we have 3 weeks for this one.

All projects so far are extremely short,and there’s barely enough time to complete them. Most people stay after classes a couple of hours to continue working. And many complain there isn’t enough time, and that we can’t get quality results in the given time. While I agree with that, I don’t think it’s that bad.

During the first two project I was working on finishing my thesis, so I had to manage time to finish all of them on time. Sacrificing quite a lot of project time for the sake of the thesis. In the end my end result wasn’t standing out looking terrible amongst others.

Because I always work “last moment”, I believe I learned to efficiently cut corners, and achieve an acceptable result in a short period of time. Also, I am aware of what our requirements are and how much I actually need to do. In general, I don’t have a problem with time, but certainly it’s hectic.

Right now I have to do several sketches, a final foam model, re-draw storyboard on a tablet, and prepare presentation material before Monday evening. I assume I’ll spend the entire weekend at school. It’s quite a lot of work, but it’s not unmanageable.

But of course, everyone has different goals, and some people will put in more work and work with different methods. I like to be realistic about time limits though – I know that within given time my result can only reach certain quality with my skills, or that certain quality will be enough. Some people like to stretch and do great looking renders, but I’m lazy, and I know the course’s focus is on the process rather than on the result. I still put a great deal of time into projects. But also so far, we’ve only done product design projects, and it’s not my thing. I’m so much more interested in the cool things a product can do rather than defining how exactly it will look like. I can’t wait for the interaction projects :D

Lots of work

For the past few weeks, or actually month – since the beginning of the new years, I’m much more busy than I expected. Right after coming back here from Christmas at home I had to focus on writing essays, then I had the quick “emergency” application for the next year education. Then I had one week break. Then I started 2 weeks of intensive machinima workshop where I learned some animation and was staying at university to crazy hours working on the project. Now I’m in 2 courses in which projects take a lot of time.

In he Cognitive Design course we have re-done our concept nearly from the scratch today during lunch. Half of the ideas that we were “forced” to work on last week got scrapped. Now we’re starting again, and for real. As a result, I was working until 5 PM on visualizing our ideas, at least one idea.

It’s only really small part of the concept, and there’s much more time to be invested. In the ideal case all of us would have (at least) my knowledge/skills/experience so that we could work simultaneously producing similar quality of images. In reality, it feels like it’s only two of us (out of 4 people group) working seriously on making it happen… Unfortunately, as usual.

Then there’s another project. That I’ve spent quite a lot of time on, however not recently. We had a peer review session for our reports yesterday and we received mostly positive feedback about our solution. That motivated me to continue with the original plan of making an interactive mock-up, which I wanted to abandon due to time problems. But I guess that now I’m going to work 9-16 on the first project and after that on another. Basically leaving very little time for myself. (I haven’t played any video game for at least a week…)

That above needs to eventually get coded in HTML. Why do I get the feeling I’m constantly doing websites and design stuff that I already know and don’t learn anything new? Gonna start working on it today in fact. Part of me wants to do it, but another part is not so eager, because eventually, it’s always boring work. Well, let’s see what I can do.

Hectic Time Began

I’ve always known that leaving things for the last moment is not a good thing, never was and never will be. And yet I always end up doing that. From the moment my studies at Umeå University started I’ve been pretty much chilling out and not doing much. I’ve talked to other students in my program and they were commenting that there’s much to do, while I was sitting at home most of the time, playing video games. I was doing as much as was required for the classes obviously, but left the non-deadline stuff for later. Later is now…

Three weeks ago I was so busy with assignments at that time that it felt like I was living at the university, coming at 10 AM and leaving at 11 PM sometimes. But that was also a result of the failed teamwork, when I ended up shouldering almost entire group assignment alone. I waited for my group to take an action, but they haven’t. As a result I ended up working alone to make up for the lost time. There was also the movie festival going on at that time, so I was constantly busy, being either at the university or at Folkets Hus. (During that week we also didn’t have any electricity in the apartment, haha, but I was mostly away so I didn’t care much.)

Then the next week was a bit more free, and then again next assignment and deadlines began. So basically ever since October began I feel like I’m constantly busy. I even put off gaming for a longer while! I went into this “productive” mood, until I had enough time to relax. Which is since last Thursday – when we had our final project presentation from one of (the two) courses. And since Friday was my birthday I decided to take it easy and rest. Now I have problems to get myself back into working. I ended up stressing about the time a lot. There’s only 1.5 weeks left and SO MUCH to do, so much previously neglected work to do. But the stress doesn’t help. I have 6 more reports to writ and one bigger essay for which I need to do some research, all that within those 1.5 weeks. Oh, and also an exam from another course. I think this time I might not end up making it in time with satisfactory quality… It’s too much.

Empty Mac lab in the evening. Looks exactly like on the promotional video, I love it!

Studia w Polsce

Nie wierz ślepo w studia

Pisałem dużo o studiach, napiszę tutaj krótko bo to temat na oddzielną notkę – polskie studia sa do dupy. Wiem, że teraz uraziłem wiele osób, ale niestety takie mam zdanie. Oczywiście to spora generalizacja, jest ileś świetnych kierunków, sa takie zawody gdzie studia trzeba skończyć, jest ileś dobrych uczelni. Ale generalnie studia to żadna gwarancja sukcesu. To w większości albo państwowe kuźnie teorii (w której wykładowcy stracili kontakt z rzeczywistością i żyją w świecie nauki), albo prywatne fabryki do zarabiania kasy, które przepuszczają wszystkich aby tylko zgarniać czesne. Srsly, skoro dziś MBA można robić w jakims Zapizdówku Dolnym, w uczelni przypominającej barak, to ja nie mam pytań.

MOŻNA ze studiów wyciągnąć sporo wiedzy, ale trzeba się bardzo mocno do tego przyłożyć. Przejście przez studia na luzie nie da nic oprócz papieru zwanego Możesz Gówno Robić. Brutalne , ale prawdziwe. Niestety aby przejsć przez większość uczelni będziesz musiał nauczyć się żyć w systemie feudalnym (dziekanatokracja), ja niestety nie dałem rady i się poddałem.

Nie wierz w nie ślepo, bo w iluś branżach (jak choćby praca w reklamie, czy fotografia) uczelnia wyższa wcale nie jest konieczna.

Reblog z Co chcesz robić w życiuMichał Górecki

Tak bardzo zgadzam sie z ta opinią i to dokładnie to, czego ja sama doświadczyłam i na co nie tylko ja się skarżę.

Naprawdę bardzo się cieszę z to, że zostalam przyjęta do Umeå University i mam nadzieję, że jednak tam się czegoś bardziej przydatnego nauczę.