Just Say No – By @marleygam

Just Say No

Hello friends, it’s week God-knows-what of quarantine school I mean who even knows what day it is anymore. I don’t. That’s a lie, SCA still gives us a lot of structure. This scab is about responsibly departing from all of that. What did Paltrow call it? Conscious uncoupling? For our course, the decision was made to cancel our Easter break and have a break once social distancing regulations have been lifted. For some of us that was a blessing. It compensated for the lack of structure, stability and routine during these uncertain times. For me, it made me sick to my stomach.

SCA is a brilliant opportunity, one I make a point of not taking for granted. HOWEVER, it is draining. It is as much a leech as it is a muse and I need a break from it. I mean this term was destined to be hard anyway. We’d worked on our entries for D&AD solidly for a month. Loads of us had been off with stomach bugs or non-corona illnesses during that time. We had just moved site. Then half way through D&AD we had to shut our studio and transition to online to complete our entries. Some of our students had to fly back home to the countries they were from; there are at least four different time-zones in our school at the moment. That’s without all of the national panic, fear, and anxiety currently occupying our daily lives. You may stop playing your tiny violin, the sob story is over.

But this is the exact problem. I’m a novice to this advertising industry but it seems to be running on a “the show must go on” type principle which, however noble, isn’t always healthy. Actually, I think most industries are. But you have to know when to stop and take a break. I was hoping that the school would give us permission to do that. I was hoping it would stop and take a break and recognise that the words “global pandemic” don’t come around very often in a lifetime. It didn’t, and I was resentful. Why? Because now I had to decide. Was I tired or was I just being lazy? I mean I’m a good way off from rock bottom, still need binoculars to see it. 

Then I thought, it’s Marc’s job to prepare us for the industry. And, however unintentionally, this circumstance has taught me is to define my own boundaries and not wait to be validated for it. I decided to take the Easter break. We’re allowed to take a week off at any point, that’s been made clear. But that guilt and insecurity about it doesn’t go away unless you tell it to. You can’t expect someone else to take care of you. You cannot wait around for some-one to say “that’s okay”. There’s always more you could’ve done but that doesn’t mean you should. Thank you, thank you, until next time.

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