Those end of semester thoughts and feelings

It’s almost that time of year (at least for those of us in the southern hemisphere). Cue 80’s power rock song “The Final Countdown” complete with laser light display, disco strobe lights, and rhinestone jacket. With only a couple of weeks left before the end of another semester, the summer holidays are looking closer than ever. Soon there will be twelve weeks of assessment free time to catch up on all those things I have been putting off in lieu of studying. My summer to-do list has been started, and the excitement is building. However, in direct correlation, as my excitement builds, I’m finding that my motivation wanes. Just two assessments left to complete, but with a distinct lack of motivation, it feels as though it will never end. So, how do you manage to stay motivated when you’re almost to the end? This is the question plaguing me at the moment, and it is currently one I don’t have an answer for. At this moment in time my procrastination game is on point, and I am just secretly waiting for my assignments to finish themselves so that I can finally say that that’s it, I’m done for another year. Unfortunately, I have been informed that that is not how things happen and I will have to scrounge up the motivation from somewhere and knuckle down and get these last assignments submitted.

Although I’m excited for some study-free time and the chance to catch up with family and friends, with only 18 months left of my degree, this summer will also be spent finishing outstanding short courses and watching recordings of webinars I registered for during the semester and haven’t had a chance to complete. I’ll also be busy collating all my professional development hours that need to be completed in order to be eligible to graduate (a requirement of Australian LIS degrees). With the end of my degree looming, my thoughts need to begin turning towards my professional placement due to be completed next year and course selection. Consideration needs to be given to such things as: what goals I am hoping to achieve from my placement, which subjects are going to influence the direction I want my career to take, and where do I want to end up – a library, an archive, a gallery, or even a museum? The possibilities almost seem endless.

What is it that I want to be? At the start of my degree, that was an easy question – I want to be a librarian. The proud voice of Evie from ‘The Mummy’ as she proclaimed that she was a librarian echoed in my head. That’s what I wanted, I was sure of it. But then going on a behind the scenes tour of an archive repository made me start to question that belief. Seeing not only books, but the different pieces that make up a collection, the work archivists do to preserve the items, and how they build their collection was brilliant. Subsequently, my thoughts changed. I was no longer going to be a librarian, I was going to become an archivist. Decision made. Fast forward 12 months, and after completing some archive courses, I was coming to the conclusion that becoming an archivist was maybe not quite what I wanted. I began looking more towards collection development, preservation, and surprisingly planning and curating exhibits. But this has opened the huge problem of exactly where I want to pursue this path, as all places within the GLAM sector offer these options in their own unique way, and I find myself back at the beginning of where I want to go.

So, my plan for this summer is to indulge myself in all those things that I have neglected over the last year. I am going to enjoy bottomless brunches with friends, make a dent in my ever-growing to-read list, challenge myself creatively by finishing the painting project I abandoned at the start of the year, and find the time to work on my very overgrown garden. Additionally, I think that I am also going to create a vision board so I know where I’m going and how I’m going to get there. Preparation is the name of the game, and I am going to be prepared for what the next year throws at me. For those south of the equator, what’s on your summer to-do list? And for those who haven’t long finished their summer in the northern hemisphere, what was on your summer to-do list and how successful were you in ticking things off?

But for now, raise your glass and cheers for another year down, the finish line is almost in sight!

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