it doesn’t work like that, right?

so i had a final paper due today. well, yesterday if i’m being technical about it. that’s the thing though… i wasn’t very technical. let me explain:

the paper was supposed to be 8-10 pages, double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, and filled with research that backs the literary argument. i’ve never written a paper like this before and i didn’t know how exactly to maneuver writing it. and i’m the type of person who doesn’t want to do something until i know what i’m doing and that i’m doing it the right way. it’s like i’m afraid of being wrong.

so it was 11:30pm last night and i still had 2 body paragraphs to write, meaning i was still 2 pages short. just keep typing. just keep going. you can do this. 11:45pm rolls around. shit, i don’t have my works cited done and matched up with my sources. fill that in. 11:53pm. okay okay submit. shit i hope it’s long enough. change the spacing to 2.0 and load turnitin.com. 11:58pm. wow cutting it close! okay… open file>select>submit> ERROR:enter submission title(ughhh!!)>title submission>final(what else would i title this??)>submit. done! phew!

oh.

“Submitted at 12:00 A.M.”

officially late. fuck.

not only did i not submit my paper on time, i didn’t make the page count by 2 pages and didn’t put the hanging indent on my works cited page because google docs is limited. all in all, i’m expecting to get a C on this paper that’s worth 30% of my grade. i’ve never received a C on a paper. why do you think i’m an English major??

yeah, i’m really upset. idk if it’s the 20oz Vietnamese coffee my roommate gave me at 9pm or the heavy, sticky feeling of failure in my gut, but i can’t sleep. i’m so disappointed in myself. this could have all been avoided but it wasn’t because i got into my own head. i have no one to blame but myself. part of me hopes my TA will fail my paper; i feel like i deserve it. i failed to produce a decent paper that met the criteria. simple as that.

or is it? it can’t be that simple, right? just because i messed up on a big paper doesn’t mean i’ll get a low grade in my class and that it’s gonna stay on my transcript forever. i got in my own way. isn’t that enough of a punishment in itself? i feel like a failure. it bothers me so much hat i could’ve worked on this paper more the past couple days. i could’ve and didn’t because i thought i had more than i did. i overestimated and avoided. i hate that i messed this up when it could’ve been so simple. i hate that i’m like this. wanting to be right and great at school and not wanting to be wrong. because i want to prove to myself that i’m better. that i can do it.

i put so much pressure on myself. that wouldn’t be so bad if i could validate myself for it just as much. but i don’t.

it’s now 6:30am and i’ve left my dorm and sleeping roommates to sit alone on a roof nearby. i wanted to see the sunrise. call me cliche, but sunrises always give me hope. i haven’t seen the sunrise since i pulled an all-nighter with my (now ex-)best friends when i was like 13. we stayed awake by watching music videos on youtube, laughing at each other’s embarrassing stories, and eating canned soup or hot cheetos when we started to doze off. such good memories with sunrises, because sunrises can never be bad, right? that’s when lead characters in horror movies know they’re out of danger and won’t die because they made it to see the sun rise again. sunrises means the earth keeps rotating, moving on as it has for the thousands of years before my assignment extravaganza and as it will for the next hundred years (or less. who knows with global warming). just because of one bad paper, it doesn’t mean the sun won’t rise or that my academic career is ruined. right?

i’m not really sure just how bad this paper will turn out, but it’s not the end of the world. since it was submitted one minute late, it’ll probably be docked a third of a grade (there’s the UC system for ya), anywhere between a third to a full grade deduction for being 2 pages short, and a few more points off just for my unrevised writing haha i’m sorry to my TA who has to trek through that sorry beast.

on the bright side, in little patches, the sky is that purple-y orange color that i love. it’s pretty cloudy out because it’s supposed to rain today, but there are still bits of yellow light ripping through. there’s a light breeze keeping the air chilly and refreshing me. i still feel like i failed that paper and could really use a good cry and an even better hug, but hey, it’s all a learning experience, right?

welcome to college.

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