Course Hangover

Often when I enjoy a good book at the end I am left with a book-hangover. I am left feeling satisfied at how incredible it was, and yet sad that it is over. The book-hangover can leave one feeling a sense of loss and uncertainty on how to continue. Often sitting for a moment with the book closed in hand and just starring -at nothing.

Today, I am suffering from a course-hangover. The challenge for this course was not in finding motivation to work on it, but in finding the willpower to pace myself. The joy at handing in assignments was followed with the knowledge that I was one step closer to being done. Except that, instead of that being a great feeling, it was a sense of impending loss. I have had courses leave me feeling sad that they were over, that I would not be able to experience them again, but I was always happier than I was sad. This course, while I am proud of myself in its completion, I do not want it to be over yet. Pushing the send button for this last assignment was harder than any other, not because I questioned my work, but because I knew in pressing that button I would be sealing up that course. I am thrilled to get feedback, but heartbroken that it will be the last time. This is a course that has proved to me that this is what I need to pursue. Not because of any marks I received, but because of the joy I felt when working on it. Because every time I worked on it the hours would slip by unnoticed. I would try to take a break by my mind would be constantly working on it. When my mind grew weary and forced me to take a break I was left with a feeling of tired-satisfaction instead of just plain tired.

What course could I possibly be talking about? English 482: Advanced Fiction. For me it was a moment of clarity and purpose that made the course. The resources and feedback that allowed me to grow. It was the breadth of creative writing courses that sealed the deal for me to attend Athabasca University. And here I have found incredible tutors who have worked with me in such a way that I have seen my writing grow in ways I never expected. The methods of these courses have varied but the personal tutor contact has been the most rewarding.

When I started this journey I never expected to experience a course like this. I expected to take creative writing courses, but each and everyone of them has exceeded my expectations. Perhaps I am so sad to see this go because it is my final creative writing course to my degree. I felt similar to see English 387: Speculative Fiction end, but it felt more like closing a book in the middle of a series, knowing there was more to come in the next novel.

I think it is an incredible thing to experience a course-hangover. It reminds me that I am onto something good. That I have found something special. Just like a book-hangover emphasizes the completion of something amazing. There will always be another book, another chapter, and more book-hangovers to come. But sometimes, you just have to rejoice in the one you are feeling.

Deanna Roney is an AU student who loves adventure in life and literature

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