Term 1 Year 2 – God and other things :)

Life has got crazy pretty quickly down here in Exe.

This year, sadly, I haven’t joined any clubs. Not break dance, not gymnastics, no orchestras. I have my reasons… primarily, the cost. Gymnastics is £90 for the year, which, long term, works out pretty cheap, but as an upfront cost at the start of term, when you haven’t really had a good solid summer job to earn tonnes of money, is pretty steep. Likewise with the orchestras… the price is huge up front – but also, my course is pretty full on this year. I mean, it was full on last year, but this year its 13 lectures/classes and they are adding TWO MORE for Russian. Which is great – but not great at the same time because it means two more hours that I have to get to everyday. Plus my timetable is so spread out it’s unreal. I might have one lecture in the morning, then two hours, then another one, then one or even three hours, then another one. There isn’t enough space in the library and around campus all the time for students to study so I tend to go home. By bike its quick and not so bad – but Exeter is hilly. Really, really hilly. So some days I’m cycling to campus 3 times. I’m hungry all the time… and, like last year, I have a small budget for food. Add to that the fact that I’m now a Deliveroo rider (on my bike) and basically I am hungry ALL THE TIME.

So yeah I have a second job – casually mentioned that^ – but this means time for me is scarce. I’m still trying to go to CU every once in a while but it’s not likely to be regular. I’m prioritising church and going to my community group every week and church on Sunday… but apart from that I have to spend all my time doing my work and reading before my next module lecture. Such is life in your second year. I was comparing hours/work with a friend of mine doing medicine the other day and we have the same amount of hours and work each week. I’m effectively doing the equivalent of a medicine degree but in languages. This is when learning Russian really bites you in the bum. Like, why Russian???

It means that I might find it harder to meet up with friends and things around all of my various commitments. Oh and I’ve signed up to do peer mentoring and I’m helping a friend with a Spanish module she’s taking on the side of her degree….. The list goes on!!

Basically, it’s so good that I’ve got God with me. Because if I didn’t have God on my side, I think I would be having multiple melt downs right now.

I’m learning not to worry. I’m learning that sometimes you have to say no. Even though people always want a piece of me and are inviting me to socials and training etc. I have to accept the fact that my degree and my sanity need to come first. I mean it’s flattering that people want me around, but this IS what I’m here for after all. (And why I’m so in debt!) It was interesting because I found an article (it’s on my wall on Facebook) about why uni at the moment is one of the most unhealthy places to get your degree – so many people are suffering from mental illnesses and have this warped mentality that uni is meant to be the best years of your life and if you aren’t enjoying it an  going out to all of these events etc. then you aren’t doing it right. It’s not true. Honestly.

Last year I was definitely a victim to this mentality surrounding uni and the moving away from all that is familiar thing. I thought I would be fine and that uni would be the best 4 years of my life. Then, slowly I realised that some of my flatmates were really difficult people to live with and be around, and actually that I was spreading myself too thin and this was stressing me out making my IBS flare up – so I was getting ill. I’m so glad that I’ve come out on the other side stronger for it and ready to tackle the year ahead with a smile on my face. I feel so free now that my eating disorder is gone and I’ve stopped believing a whole load of lies about myself that I’d been carrying for years. It’s amazing what happens when you start seeing things positively and speak blessings over yourself and not curses. All the rubbish falls away and you’re just left with happiness… sometimes I think I’m so happy now that people around me can’t handle it. Wow.

You will definitely grow at uni – There’s  no other option. Either you grow and make it through, or you don’t and you drop out. Probably because you weren’t ready to change. You have to be ready to adapt to this lifestyle. Some people are lucky and they pick a course which has 4 lectures a week but most people either don’t do enough work or kill themselves going after that 1st (as in the grade). You have to find balance. It’s this word which floats around and no one really knows what it means or how to get there – but that’s because it takes practice And practice is a day-by-day thing. A teacher of mine always used to say that practice makes progress, not perfect. I believe her. I will never be perfect. But I’m definitely further along in my progress towards a good k-life balance than I was before because of all of this time management I’ve had to do to keep organised and on top of things. Actually, I prefer the phrase keeping afloat. Sometimes it feels like you’re swimming in deadlines and work and only just keeping above water enough to breathe.

This is where God comes in – I try and have a little bit of quiet time to read my Word For You Today (UCB) and a bit of the Bible or listen to a good podcast (I have some Bethel ones) and this really helps ground me. A lot of people on social media are talking about meditation and its benefits for grounding you and helping you live stress free. So I guess this is my ‘meditation’, if you will. Talking to my best friend and looking at life from His perspective and trying to be more like Him. Trying to show love and kindness. Trying to be available for people even when you have so little time and it feels like too much.

It’s all good.

 

Anyways, that’s update for those interested 🙂

Red flowers Mum got me for my new room ❤

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Beginning of the year

Something I’m learning is you literally cannot judge people – you don’t know what battle they are in right now – they are just too scared or afraid to show/tell you about it, or they don’t feel like they can reach out to those around them to keep them afloat. I know, a bit of a sober start to my first post of the year, but I’m telling you that judging people is so worthless… People surprise me all the time.

Freshers week is the perfect week to meet new people, so maybe that is what has inspired my mood.

I’ve had two flatmates pull out of living with me in this flat this year, for various reasons of their own, and I have already got freshers flu – sore throat, ear aches, headache…. But I’m still going. I’ve literally been working in the Ram kitchen every day since Sunday so I’m taking advantage of today, my first whole day to myself, to chill out and write this post! I also have an “interview” with a company called Deliveroo tomorrow – they deliver food from top restaurant chains by bike. Hopefully I’ll shake my cold and be a bit more alive by tomorrow! My friend and flatmate Mia has had her hands full all week rehearsing for the Breakdance show off thing tomorrow so she’s exhausted too.

I finally slept well last night – first time in ages and I think it’s a testament to how much I’ve worn myself out in just 3 days of non stop work and moving around!!

I moved into my new room/flat on Saturday with the help of my mum, who I miss a lot already… 

It’s a lot bigger than last year, with loads of storage space and an amazing en suite bathroom – to me this is like a luxury as last year (if you guys have been following you’ll remember) that I was in a flat with 11 other people and we had to share toilets and showers and it was minging. So this year we have amazing en suites in every room and a lovely kitchen area etc and it’s just so much better like this. I forgot to bring so many things… Plates being one of them!


I think it just shows how far I’ve come. The fact I do forget things, the fact that I can laugh at myself now – before I would not have been able to do that.

Also…. my new bike has proven to be amazing already – I have panniers and a rack attached so I can even out my food load when I go to Aldi or just to town etc. so I won’t be risking my back breaking this year 🙂 Yes I’m still going to be doing my crazy trips to Aldi even though the trip will be like 10 minutes longer – better NOT forget my purse this time (this happened twice last year, but fortunately Lafrowda was close enough for a quick trip home).

Cello playing is tricky as although my flat mates love it there are also the ones that live above and below me to consider, which limits the times I can play in as not everyone wakes up at 6:30am like I do! However I’m playing at a wedding this Saturday so practice is crucial! 

Tonight I’ll be going back to my community group and getting stuck in again… just going to do my best to find balance this year. Last year things got hard when I was trying to balance work and social life… but also in the flat things were really strained – I won’t go into too much detail but two of my flatmates were not the easiest to live with and this made it hard for the rest of us as it made for a bad atmosphere, which is not what you need when it’s your home and all of your work/making new friends/adulting for the first time is stressful enough.

So yeah I have high hopes for this year and I guess this is just a introduction to my year kind of post. I’m not actually sure if I’m going to keep up this blog – let me know if you actually enjoy my posts and want me to keep going because I’m not really sure what I’m doing this for anymore – I kind of set it up last year for any students wondering about their first year at uni and what it would be like, and also to share some recipes etc. but now I’m a second year it’s different. I know what I’m doing now and I’ve got a years experience under my belt. So please let me know!

Back to relaxing for now…..

 

Summer’s over :(

Hello again!

I’m back 🙂

Summer is the best time for a break and relax before going back to work hard and get a degree again! I have to admit I’m actually looking forward to it now… after a while I miss the routine… just me? haha 😉

A pic of the view from my hosts’ garden in Platja D’Aro (Catalunya) – I au paired for their 12y/o twins for August.

Holding a Sea Urchin!

The neighbours’. casual pet peacock.


Ok so I’ve had a pretty interesting summer in many ways – I’ve learned a about myself and about others – God never stops teaching me things and they are always wonderful 🙂

I’m actually on a bit of a downer at the moment because I had the BEST birthday in years a couple of days ago (on the 3rd September) and my best friends came to be with me on my birthday and my whole family was there (literally all of them)… and I had some amazing presents too which I know isn’t everything but it was all so amazing… and now it’s over and I want to go back and relive that day again!!

Me and my “twin” Ellie – we’ve known each other for 20 years!!!!

My birthday cake – everyone loved it 🙂


So this year is going to be a bit different I think. This might sound strange but I named my year – as in, this is what I can expect to happen this year in my journey with God and stuff… and this year is my year of ‘discovery’. Don’t know what that means yet exactly, but the year before was my year of ‘freedom’ and I am now truly free from my eating disorder and other things that have been holding me back from my full potential for nearly 12 years of my life…. a long time right?

Everything – from being at uni to reaching 20 years of age – is a miracle to me.

So yeah, I’m ready to go ahead and learn more and more and keep growing into the person I was always meant to become. Because through the pain comes something even better – and who knows? Maybe I can help someone else someday with my experiences. I certainly hope so.

Here’s to round #2 – let’s see what God has in store for me this year.