Well, what can I say – this week’s been crazy. I’m finally starting real work on my dissertation (gulp) and I’ve been trying my best to make sure St Andrews Green Film Festival runs smoothly and enjoyably. I’ve also been smacked with a cold which includes the highly inconvenient symptom of a general lack of hearing, so that’s been fun considering this may be one of the most sociable weeks of my life.
I feel like this week – and the next couple of months – will be a massive learning period for me. I’ve never organised an event this large or written an academic piece of work (hell, any piece of work) this long. The things I enjoy in life generally occur in short bursts. I’ll read a magazine but often don’t have time for a book. I’ll leave uni work until the last possible second and pull a triumphant (read: soul-destroying) all-nighter full of creativity (read: panic). I’ll pick up a new hobby and do it once, like that scarf I’ve knitted about a third of or the made-from-scratch website that’s sitting half-finished in my laptop.
I love the beginning of tasks, but the middle often bores me and so I rarely see the end of something that takes more than a few hours of motivation to complete. That’s what’s different about this week: I’m seeing a large event that I’ve been helping to plan for something like 9 months come to fruition at the same time as trying to push into a gigantic piece of long-term writing.
To be honest, I thought I’d be exhausted. And I am (the cold isn’t helping). But I’m also thrilled. Seeing something that can’t just be thrown together play out over the course of a few hours is eye-opening. Seeing people enjoy it is the real thrill though. I’ve found myself beaming when a film or a speaker gets a giggle from the audience, and shaking my head bashfully when people have thanked me for all the work.
I think what I’ve really learned is the kindness of people. There are so many keen people in the world, and I’ve found that out first of all from working with a large and wonderful group of friends, peers and strangers to make the green film festival so much more than it ever could have been without the amount of teamwork that’s gone into it. I think this was the first time I’ve really had to ask for help and rely on others, and that was massive for me. I’m so grateful for the kindness that people can show, even to someone they don’t know well.
I’ve also learned that it’s totally worth it to keep on working at something, because the end result is directly proportional to the amount of time and effort you put into it you care about it. I’m passionate about films and sustainable development, and I’m also passionate about academia. I’m finding that I’m excited to get stuck into my dissertation and really work through the hard parts, because I now finally know how rewarding sticking to something can be.
I’ve got a notebook with a cover that sums it up best: “Be the kind of person you want to meet.”
So yeah, do that. And be patient. It’s so worthwhile.