University

Second year – Growing, learning and finding acceptance

I’ve done it.

This morning I sat my final Exam (Conservation Practice) meaning that I’ve successfully completed my second university year, and what an incredible year it’s been!

I believe that whilst first year was both an enjoyment and a success, my admiration for university life has increased significantly this year as I’ve become more confident as both an individual and an Animal Behaviourist as I’ve been able to expand on my current knowledge of given subject areas, whilst developing new interests, meeting new people and overcoming many, many difficult hurdles. I’ve also learned more about myself as a person, my abilities to overcome my struggles and to pull myself back up after falling.

This academic year became the year I began changing my style, for the better. I’ve never been a typical jeans and branded trainers kind of girl. I became renowned for my snazzy space buns and vibrant rainbow cardigan. Amongst bundles of glitter! Subconsciously, a new and personalised fashion sense signified a new beginning and a brighter outlook on life. I’ve enjoyed being quirky and finding the confidence to wear things that make me smile.

I’m flourishing and I’m growing. I’m on a journey of self discovery and I’m now more motivated than ever to tackle my Anorexia to venture on a journey towards health and happiness. I plan to spend the summer making memories, volunteering and working on and prioritising my physical and mental health and well-being, ready to start third year energised and motivated.

The year began rocky, I became victim to my mind and evolving thoughts of self destruction and relied heavily on harmful coping mechanisms. My first week back consisted of appointments in the councillors office, not your typical Freshers week, and routine appointments with my psychiatric nurse. Thankfully, I managed to remain grounded and focused with the help of my incredible, supportive friends and tutors, as we sailed through the year together and made lots of unforgettable memories along the way.

Second year became the year I found a new passion for the style of Dance, Jazz. I began the year encouraged to try a new class within BU (Bangor University) Dance, and it became a place I felt comfortable straight away, as I grew in confidence and used the class to release the energy I had collected throughout the week. This also enabled me to make new friends, an area which has always proven to be a struggle for me, but I soon began feeling accepted with the people I gladly met along the way.

I also experienced the wonderful and unforgettable opportunity of venturing to Florida for the completion of my field course module. Again, spending time with the most considerate, kind and joyous people whilst making new memories and experiencing new things. I once struggled to leave my bedroom, I exceeded my own expectations and stepped out of my comfort zone massively by flying over 4,000 miles away from home. I now aim to plan future adventures both abroad and within The UK because I want to live, I want to learn and I’m motivated to find happiness.

Second year issued me with valuable life lessons. It helped me to understand that asking for help is okay and that is doesn’t signify failure. I’ve learned that simply being myself is enough, and I’m focusing more on exceeding my own goals and aspirations as opposed to being the missing jigsaw piece in society. I value acceptance from others, but it’s time I begin prioritising acceptance within myself, for myself.

To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.

I’ve spent lots of valuable time with my friends, who I love wholeheartedly. I simply wouldn’t wish to succeed through university without the incredible people I’ve met. Very recently, we visited Foel Farm, I felt incredibly happy and care free, motivated to carry on fighting and to fight even harder to allow me to fully embrace more indelible moments.

I even had my first ice lolly in 6 whole years! I felt super comfortable with my friends and the time felt right. They tucked into ice creams and I opted for a fruit pastel lolly as we were simultaneously driven around on a quad bike tour. I have a vast collection of fear foods to challenge, rules to tackle and rituals to overcome, but I believe in myself and I know each small step I take takes me closer to better things.

Second year has concluded. I’m thankful for the knowledge I’ve gained and for the inspiration I’ve received from my wonderful Lecturers as they’ve taught me valuable life lessons and assisted the expansion of my knowledge. They’ve issued me with hope when all seemed dark and during the times I woefully began losing faith in myself. I truly am blessed to be a student here at Bangor University.

And it’s now time for Summer, where I aim to delve into many adventures whilst focusing on my recovery, health and happiness!

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