A White Whine

Something’s wrong with me lately. As you may have read in previous posts, I embarked on a crazy scheme to get into the MBA program at Melbourne Business School and I was SO fired up about it. I was convinced that this was the best idea ever, and that now was the time for me to study again. I had all these romantic notions of burning the midnight oil, slaving over the books, having early morning group work sessions and the post-exam self-congratulatory beers with my fellow classmates (I don’t even drink beer. In fact I hardly drink).

Anyway so fast forward a few weeks and I’ve had a bit of a reality check. Firstly they looked at my application and saw that my work and academic history have been pure social science, so they asked me to sit a maths test to prove I’ll be able to handle the quant aspects of the course. I failed it, so the next step was to enrol in a 4-week online MBA-Maths course which is supposed to give me the excel and basic finance skills I need as the basis for the course.

I’m almost half way through the online modules and quite frankly, it can kiss my arse. It SUCKS. I have not felt this unmotivated or this useless or this much of a loser for YEARS. Yes I’m getting that little thrill when I manage to nut out a difficult problem, or finally ‘get’ how that particular excel formula can be applied but it doesn’t last long and the next night when I get home from a really hard day and sit down in front of the computer to face the demon again I just stare at the screen like I’ve been lobotomised. And what’s really weird, and is causing me to really doubt myself, is the massive tantrums I throw when I can’t quickly grasp a new concept. If I feel like one of the online lectures hasn’t explained something well enough I’m swearing at my laptop like a complete bogan and that is just embarrassing.

So yeah, it feels like crap and now I don’t know what to do. My options are pretty simple – push through and get accepted into the course, and from there the hard work really starts, or – quit. I’m almost delirious with the thought that I could stop this mental torture right now. Just not do it. Email the Business School tomorrow and say thanks but no thanks, I’m just not enjoying this as much as I expected to and it’s clearly not for me. But I also have incredibly high standards for myself, and the thought of quitting and feeling like a failure makes me queasy.

There are other options, obviously, that could follow the quitting. I could look for other courses that I could do – other study that would also be useful and upskilling (is that grammatically correct? no? Am I suddenly shit at English as well? Figures…) but that I might also enjoy. I could enrol in that French course I’ve been thinking about FOREVER, and also go harder at my other current hobby – trying valiantly to get myself a body like one of those Olympic hurdlers (random aside but how freaking hot are they??!?!).

I was talking to my sister the other night about this – she’s of the view that I need to take a good look at why I wanted to do this in the first place. There were a lot of compelling reasons why it seemed like a good idea, and those reasons still apply, but the main thing was that I feel like I’m drifting at the moment. I don’t have a goal and my life lacks purpose. The MBA seemed like it might offer a solution and provide a goal. But at what cost? My sanity? Anything resembling a life?

I’ve just had a quick browse around online at other Management qualifications and they all require a solid foundation in mathematics and statistics. Looks like there’s no getting around it, I might just have to suck it up and develop that solid understanding of maths and stats. But maybe I’ll do it in my own time. I’ll find online programs similar to the one I’m doing now and just solidly plug away at it without the pressure of a looming deadline (I have two weeks left to finish the one I’m doing in order to be considered for the January intake of the MBA).

I guess I could try and spin this to tell myself I am learning a valuable lesson here. The lesson of doing something the long hard way. Yes I’ve done postgrad study already and yes that required years of commitment, but honestly, and I’m going to say something slightly controversial here… that felt easy. It was kind of just… offered to me, and I was already in my comfort zone to a degree so it didn’t feel like I had to twist my brain in as many ways to get through that.

So… no decision’s been made yet. I’m leaning towards throwing in the towel – for now. Or, maybe, I’ll get a second wind tomorrow and somehow find the motivation to finish by the deadline. And if I do pass it, I’m going to buy myself the biggest self-congratulatory beer you’ve ever seen and skull the lot.


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