Post secondary and Pavlov’s dog

dog-memeFor the most part, I try to not be a worrier. Yes, I have my moments of stress, but somewhere down the road, I have learned to relax and go with the flow.. until university.

Post secondary is like the experiment with Pavlov’s dog. If you are unfamiliar with this concept, Ivan Pavlov was a Russian psychologist who used classical conditioning to train his dog to salivate at the sound of a bell by feeding it food whenever the bell rang.

Now I am not saying that students are dogs per se, but we have definitely been conditioned without realizing it. We are at the end of the semester and instead of excitement, do you know what I’m feeling? Anxiety. Whenever my friends would say they were nervous about finishing another semester, I never understood why until now. It’s time to call up Pavlov; I’ve been classically conditioned.

It seems quite ridiculous to be freaked out about having summer vacation. So why the heck are we stressed? Well, through the exams, papers and assignments, we have unknowingly been trained to fear deadlines.

Course lectures; the necessary evil, often become our safe-haven, because although we have to sit through an hour’s worth or more of new information that’s being shoved in our faces, it’s our time to strategically plan out everything that needs to happen within the next 72 hours, while still being responsible by attending class. … For the educators reading this, what I actually meant was, we’re listening intently and are holding onto every word you say. 😉

We get freaked out at being “done” school for any period of time because we are so used to attending our lectures or labs, and doing our homework or studying. Procrastination has always been such a close friend throughout the school season that when summer comes, we feel despondent and in a bit of shock. It ends, and we are left thinking “Well.. Now what?”.. We have 3-4 months of a guilt-free zone whilst enjoying non-academic activities. By the time we fully relax and thoroughly enjoy our time off, the whole cycle begins once again as we apply for loans and choose classes.

The dynamic of post secondary; it’s a dog’s life.

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