If that title didn’t immediately put Bon Jovi into your head, shame on you…(Moving swiftly on!) Chances are that next time I write for this blog I’ll be officially on my birthday and Christmas countdown, back up North in my home town. So I wanted to reflect back on my time in third year so far, since my time on campus, as part of my final semester one, is almost over.
I suppose the most pressing thing I have to say is that I was not aware just how difficult final year was going to be. I’m not going to say second year was a walk in the park, but third year has been such a step up; more work to do and tighter deadlines. The pressure for me comes from knowing that how I do this year will truly be the making of my degree (my first year marks do not go towards my final mark, second year is forty percent, and third year is sixty percent of my grade). Suffice to say, when I used to look at third years around campus when I was years below I used to wonder why they looked so serious; I know why now!
I’m unfortunately usually very critical of myself, so if anything this semester has taught me that I need to take things a little easier here and there. It doesn’t always happen but currently one day a week I do no work whatsoever, and often avoid other chores or going to the gym, as I want to be as relaxed as possible and recharge. Having said that, I can’t deny that I’m entirely burnt out right now…I think this next week is going to be a slow one.
I’ve also really learnt the importance of socializing more often; I was by no means a hermit in previous years but with more contact hours at university I was able to easily see people more often. Now, even if it’s just a Starbucks or a few hours of studying together in the library I try and squeeze in a few social events; a change of scene really does my mental health the world of good.
Speaking of which, the semester was the first time in years I’ve not been taking medication to assist my mental health. It’s certainly been a tough journey, and anyone that tells you that withdrawal is not a thing is definitely lying, but, things are really looking up, and now living without side effects I can really see a future for myself being, as much as possible, medication free! However, I equally don’t mind telling people if I’m struggling, a lot of tears have been cried this semester, and I should imagine, with my dissertation in full swing, next semester won’t be much different, but I’m prepared for that and do know that things will work out just fine.
My final thing I want to surmise is that this semester has really shown me just how resilient I can be, and ultimately I feel stronger for it. All the blood, sweat and tears have been worth it, and it feels utterly amazing to be close to the drive home for Christmas. Thanks you so much to all my friends, family, lecturers and especially my personal tutor for coming with me this semester; not entirely sure I would have made it without you…
I guess all I need to do now is find time for that Christmas shopping, eek!
Take Care Everyone, I’ll Speak to You All Soon!