Coffee in my stomach, a good night’s sleep to give my brain a supportive pat on the back and a bag that I’d preemptively packed the night before to save any early morning panicking – this gal was ready to tackle her first day back at uni on Tuesday head on. Now as I’m sure you can imagine by that fact that this blog post is even being written, this was not the case.
Cut to me having a minor breakdown whilst my new lecturer – who by the way was wearing a fabulous outfit – was talking about aesthetics and taste when I was hit with an overwhelming feeling of fear and panic.
You see my relationship with education has been a rocky one. From a young age I’ve always been known as ‘the nerdy one’ – a moniker I wholeheartedly embraced as a child – and it was something that I prided myself on in my early years. Despite being in practically every after-school sports club under-the-sun, it was always “you’d always find Rebecca with her head in a book” or “she’d often be sat surrounded by a table of books whilst her friends played” that would make it onto my primary school reports.
In the first few years of secondary school, much stayed the same. Decent grades, a promising future; everything seemed to be working out for me. I dreamt of going to Oxford and studying Astrophysics (oh how the tables have turned) and I was ready to start living my best life surrounded by knowledge and academia.
Much like a number of other aspects of daily life, things change. Astrophysics became Textiles/Fashion Journalism (I’ll keep my love for the moon alive with my feet placed firmly on the ground ta very much), dreams of good grades became being put on report by my teachers and to put it bluntly, I became a mess. My motivation? Gone. My desire to learn and do well? Bye bye. My mental health? You get where this is going. Something switched inside of me and I became a shadow of my former sports-loving-japan-reading freckly faced self. More than just on an academic level, I lost myself as a person too; friendships came under fire, relationships, well let’s not go there, and I look back at photos of myself and I don’t recognise the girls that’s staring back at me.
And I’m worried that the same thing might be happening now.
For some reason, one that I still can’t figure out as I’m writing this, I was taken back to my days in Textiles during that lecture, a time when the thought of going to uni was nothing more than an a pipe dream. I wish that I was over-exaggerating but my hands were trembling, I couldn’t focus on what she was saying and the ‘new year new me’ 21 year old that I’d told myself I’d be this year was replaced with a shy and quivering 17 year old, a girl whose brain noped the hell on outta there.
That was it, my brain was gone.
What followed was a week of self-doubt, countless questions regarding my ability to complete my degree and completely shutting off to the idea of creating a film for my FMP (sorry Gino). There are a couple of other things that have happened that I’ll talk about in an upcoming blog post but I’ve suddenly become so self aware of the fact that this is happening. The thing that I worked my butt off to get into is almost over, heck I even have my graduation date (let’s not get into that though because !!!!! ) and it’s only now, as I start my last term that my brain has decided to go ‘oh hi have you ever thought about the fact this might just be one big joke and you’re actually not good enough to be here‘ (yeah nice one brain thanks for that).
Now I should state for my parents’ sake that I love what I’m studying. Yes the work load is mental and the thought of entering the big bad world after graduating is terrifying, but after 2 years of hell and high water, I’m finally studying something that I a) love and b) am not too shabby at.
Uni was going to be my escape, my big ol’ hit of the reset button on the days of A-Level textiles, and that is in part, what has happened. As I mentioned, it’s allowed me to pursue something I love, discover a whole new passion for photography and filming and it’s allowed me to start a journey of discovery within myself – something that I so desperately yearned for and needed as a teenager. I’ve managed to change and grow so much as a human over the past 2 and a bit years and to actually be able to notice and appreciate that difference? It’s both strange and incredible.
But whilst I’ve challenged and pushed myself on a mental and physical level in order to become the best version of myself that I can be, I’ve been so distracted with my new “wow !! look at this gal go !! imma just carrying on hopping 2 steps forward in the right direction yes puhlease !!” mentality that I’ve let parts of myself slip behind and get stuck on a conveyor belt going god knows where in the wrong direction.
And that’s where I’ve been for the past couple of days, stuck with my brain in the middle of who the heck knows. Since getting my graduation date and flinging myself back into the swing of assessments, the thoughts of doubt and fear have been creeping their way in. The most annoying thing of it all is that for the whole of last term and for a good part of the end of second year, I believed in myself.
When starting uni I’d completely brushed off the idea of getting a first but now? Or at least then? Girl I was ready to get that first. But now? I’ve shut off from both myself and any desire to try and change things; I’ve shut myself off from people around me and friends and despite being aware that what I’m feeling is silly (and that I’m very much feeling it at all), my brain refuses to do anything about it. It’s back in the mentality that I had during my A-Levels, my brain does nothing but niggle with thought of “well if you don’t believe in yourself then how the hell are you going to convince others you can too, give up, it’s what you’ve always done”.
But in the words of my K-Pop angels, BTS, not today.
I’m annoyed at myself for feeling this way. Not only am I letting my brain do the one thing that I know will switch me off from anything, but I’m doing it even though I know how bloody naff the outcome is.
This post was not only a ‘hi I’m okay, I’m back don’t you worry your lil selves‘ but also a ‘hi Becca’s brain? this is your conscience speaking, pull yourself together woman and stop being a tit’.
So that’s what I’m going to do.