Good morning guys! It’s finally the day. I am heading home for Christmas after completely my first term of my final year as a University student. A lot has happened this term. I’m now a qualified personal trainer, I have chosen my dissertation topic, I have met loads of new people and I have bagged myself work experience in my ideal place! I’ve not exactly spoken highly of University on my blog in the past and so I thought it was only right to dedicate some time this Blogmas to reflecting on my Winter Term.
After last year I had kind of given up hope that I was going to enjoy my time at University and so I started this year pretty pessimistically. It’s just a means to an end, I remember telling myself as I moved into my little room on campus (not exactly how I imagined to be starting my final year). My mental health was still pretty bad and, to be completely honest, I was dreading it. I’m happy to say that this term has proved me wrong.
I’ve worked really bloody hard on myself and I can finally say that I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of my struggle with anxiety. I’ve continued to get help and really make the most of it, learning as much about myself and how to take care of me as possible. This has helped me loads. Don’t get me wrong, not everyday is sunshines and rainbows, some days can be pretty crappy but when I compare myself now to the person I was this time last year I am hardly recognisable. That makes me really proud. This has been helped along by some lovely new friends. A big fear of mine was that I was coming back to University to be lonely but I really haven’t. I’ve made so many new friends, which I really didn’t expect in my final year, and I feel comfortable being myself around them. I’ve finally sussed the dreaded work-life balance and I can proudly say that this term I have managed to achieve my academic and fitness goals whilst still having a social life that works for me and what I enjoy and feel comfortable doing. I haven’t been out clubbing but I have been out for drinks and meals and more coffees than I care to admit (I’ve gone from a none coffee drinker to an at least one coffee a day sort of gal, as long as it has a syrup in it of course). It’s really nice to know that if I feel lonely friends are just a phone call away. I’m still with Conor and so we spend a lot of time together, which is really lovely and makes even my bad days bearable, and my positive mood has definitely made me a far better friend and girlfriend (if I do say so myself…)
I’m on the radio again, something I thought I was going to have to leave back in second year and I’m loving it! I’m going to the gym 5 times a week with my new gym buddies and I have finally worked out how to fit in self care with going to all my lectures and seminars (I’ve become a proper teachers pet and I’m not even sorry about it). It’s perhaps the lectures and seminars that have shocked me the most – I’m actually loving my course! Not every single reading, let’s not get carried away with ourselves now, some of them are bloody painful but it’s a hell of a lot better! For the first time in my 3 years here, I am loving my degree and my passion for history has come back, which is a really nice feeling as I kind of felt like I had had it sucked out of me. It’s also been a term where new passions have been realised and I have been thinking about my future and my priorities once I leave University. What once terrified me is now a really exciting prospect. I don’t have an exact plan but with my Personal Trainer qualification, a history degree and a plan to get further qualifications in physical and mental health, I’m really optimistic. I’m so excited to go back home today and spend time with my family (and adorable puppies, of course) but I’m also not dreading the thought of coming back. I can’t really pin point where the change has come from or when it happened but my reflections on this term are the most positive they have been since I first started. I’m really grateful to everyone that has made this term my best one yet. I’ve learnt a hell of a lot over the past year and I’ve realised how determined I am, not to be rich or famous or bloody Prime Minister, as was once my goal, but to be happy.
I’m still on my journey but I really hope that, if you have followed my journey at University so far and resonated with it at all, that this gives you a little bit of hope. I’m doing good. The best I have in years. So all I can say is keep going. Fall down seven times, stand up eight. You’ve got this.