Apologies for the absence; life as a second-year university student has been quite chaotic to say the least. With assignments, dance and revision fixed in my agenda, it’s been almost impossible to sit down and write.
Today, I anxiously decided to take a break from my studies to focus solely on self care. An act I have been shamefully neglecting recently and I began feeling extremely run down. Listening carefully to my Teachers’ advice and applying it to myself has worked wonders and will only benefit me as I continue to work hard in the upcoming days, weeks and months to obtain my degree.
Disclaimer: Self care is more than applying a face mask or painting your nails. It’s taking the time to engage with something that makes your soul happy and that makes you feel relaxed. Taking time out from the stress of the world around you.
My second university year has been an emotional rollercoaster, to say the least. I often disregard my issues and my feelings in a bid to make myself, and those around me, feel better (which is something I am working on…) I’ve attended counselling sessions and have had countless meetings with my tutors who give me the kindness and understanding I forget to give to myself, constantly reminding me of how well I’m doing academically which always brightens my mood.
Admittedly, I have faced an anguish of tough days with regards to my mental health and well-being. Battling Anorexia whilst maintaining a good student persona is tricky. But still, every day I am trying. Times I felt I couldn’t go on, but nonetheless, persisted, and have pushed myself to reach out during my darkest days. Times I’ve cried over food, resisted self harm urges or over the concept of sitting in a practical session due to high intensities of anxiety or worrying over the torment issued by my own mind.
Still, I am approaching the Christmas break and the end of my first semester. I’ve made it. It’s fair to say I have met some major challenges along the way, whilst learning more about myself as an individual.
I’ve challenged myself in a collection of ways, stepping outside of my comfort zone and finding the confidence to speak to new people. Going against my anxiety attempting to convince me that “I can’t” with my greatly needed “can do” attitude.
Strength, determination and persistence.
My tutors often remind me of the way I treat animals, upon reflection, I must treat myself in the same way. With compassion. Learning to no longer deprive myself of the things I need, in the same way I would for my animal friends.
And I am extremely privileged to have my supportive network of friends, family members and tutors who support me, whilst furnishing me with love, understanding and the best advice, always.
I partook in my first winter dance show, an honour to dance with such incredible people and to show off our hard-work and commitment during the past couple of months.
Joining Jazz has issued me with abundance’s of happiness and a newly found confidence since joining in September. Winning Dancer of the Semester and feeling incredibly blessed to be part of a club where I feel so at home, a place I can be myself and still be so accepted.
Whilst continuing with Contemporary. The first club I joined in University, again, standing as a place where I feel extremely comfortable and joyous as I make new friends and learn new skills.
I always leave dance feeling refreshed (even after Izzy’s warm up!) and as though my problems have faded away. It seriously does work wonders for my mental health.
I’ve found it hard to maintain a balance between different aspects of my life, becoming agitated if I haven’t managed to complete something, or missing sleep to fulfil the demands of my, never absent, thoughts. Becoming guilt ridden over prioritising things other than work, assignments or revision. And part of my life as a student is coming to the realisation that finding a balance is the way to be productive, not sticking my head in text books 24/7 or exercising to the point of exhaustion.
Each day, Uni continues to provide me with lessons unlisted within my degree specification. Lessons of hope, gratitude, forgiveness and acceptance. And although times have been dark, there has also been lots of light and lots of smiles.
As I approach the end of my first semester, I remain optimistic that the remaining weeks will be wonderful, whilst looking forward to the upcoming semester, new modules and new life lessons made!