Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

When to Stop

Amie Grosshans

I had a very busy weekend.  I finished most of my digital libraries project and I am very happy with it.  The only thing I haven’t done is write up my annotated bibliography, but that shouldn’t take too long.  I also spent a lot of time on an assignment for my programming course, which I was not expecting.  We have a lab and an assignment each week, and they both take time, but nothing like this.  I simply could not get my code to work.  I spent more than two hours just on the first question.  I tried over and over to make it work.  I changed my names, variables, punctuation, formulae, and it still didn’t work the way it was supposed to.  It was almost there, but not quite, which was even more frustrating.  I decided to take a break and try next question, but I could not get that to work all the way, either.  So I put the assignment away for the day.  When I picked it up the next day, I still had no luck.  At that point, I decided to simply turn in what I had and not waste any more time on it. 

Normally I like to have everything fully completed before submitting an assignment.  But what I’ve learned in the past two semesters is that sometimes there is nothing more you can do.  And that’s ok.  It was clear that I was NOT going to get the assignment correct, and I was only driving myself crazy overthinking and getting worked up about not being able to find a solution.  I had spent hours on this assignment, which, in the grand scheme of things, would only be worth a teeny tiny part of my overall grade for the semester.  It didn’t make sense for me to spend any more time on it, especially when I had another, more important project to complete. 

If this had happened when I was in college the first time around, I would have seen it as a failure.  Now, I see it as part of the learning process.  Sometimes you understand concepts the first time, and sometimes you don’t.  But there’s a difference between giving up and realizing that you are simply not understanding the concept at the moment.  It’s ok to be wrong, as long as you take the time to find out how to do things correctly later on.  I never thought I would be looking forward to finding out the answers to an assignment, but I am.  I need to know what I was doing wrong!  I’m also curious to see if anyone else in class had trouble with this assignment, too.  I’ll find out soon, and until then, I’m not going to waste any more time stressing over it.