Stale Content Alert!
This post was written a long time ago, and my views have almost certainly evolved since then. Please keep that in mind while reading, commenting, or sharing.
I’m going to sleep tonight feeling as crappy as can be.
I have incredibly severe doubts about myself right now. I’m doubting my own capabilities, my supposed talents, and really anything that I once thought made me special. (Yes, it’s true, this is that kind of blog post.)
For weeks now, I’ve been struggling with a single essay. For my Problems in Philosophy class, I had to compose an essay based on the text we read, which was about truth. This essay was due last Friday; due to extenuating circumstances, my professor kindly gave me an indefinite extension. The possible approaches to the essay were broad. The only two guidelines were:
- The paper had to engage a significant claim or idea from the book; and
- The paper had to explain and support a single thesis.
I didn’t expect it to be a terribly difficult assignment. I thought I understood the material fairly well, and expected it to be easy to develop an exciting and defensible thesis.
Of course, it wasn’t easy at all, which is why now, weeks later, I’m still incredibly stuck and doubting myself.
For some reason, I’ve been having immense difficulty forming original thoughts. A week ago, I thought I had a decent direction to take my paper; however, when I tried today to sit down and explore it, I drew a terrible, awful blank. I stared at my paper for at least two and a half hours, jotting down maybe a half-dozen notes throughout the course of that time. I can’t seem to form any sort of argument, nor do I even know what I want to say. Apparently, really really wanting to form a thesis isn’t enough.
I’m crushed, honestly. I feel like the dumbest person in the world. Honestly, I just stared at my paper, unable to get any ideas to flow. The same thing happened later tonight with a paragraph for my Core class– I looked at my starting points, and just could not find a single valid-seeming point to make. What I did write felt meaningless. Even the Core essay I composed over the weekend seemed similarly troublesome; it took five to six hours to write a four-page paper, and I hardly considered it good writing or good thinking.
What’s going on with me? What’s wrong? At one point, people called me “smart.” They said I was “talented.” Now, in a place where it matters far, far more than in the trivial halls of high school, I feel like neither.
Right now, I’m braindead, and not only does it make me feel like the stupidest person on campus, but it actually makes me question, in a way that I hate, whether I actually belong here. If I can’t get my head in the game when it needs to be, if I can’t argue or write or think originally, what am I doing here?
What happened to me?