Wednesday, June 01, 2005


The kind that comes with deadlines I handle very well. Whether or not I handle the deadlines themselves well is a completely different question, but the stress they cause - no problem. I remember lots of nights as news editor when midnight had come and gone and the section wasn't looking that great and there was still an article being written, maybe even two, and I was just more hyper, more quick-thinking. Whatever my other faults were, I never melted down, never blew up at someone, was able to work despite the people having fights about five feet away. When it came to class work, papers and stories and stuff, I figured out how long it would take me to do a good enough job, I figured out when the real deadline was, and I did it in that much time. Sometimes I miscalculated and sometimes I came to seriously regret that, but those "sometimes"s represent maybe half a dozen times in all my college career.

But there's another kind (or kinds) of stress, the more nebulous kind where you can't point to a definite do-or-die deadline, where you only have your own standards to measure yourself against ("Don't compare yourself to someone else, compare yourself to yourself," Master Rotta used to say,) the kind that stays in the background. And in the hunt for a job, an apartment and generally a career, it's become apparent over the past couple months that I absolutely suck at handling this kind.

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