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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Bog roll

Yes be prepared to get through tonnes of it with your flat mates. 

 

Caption in the F3 chat: “I bringeth bog roll”. #F3banter

 
We’ve probably used half the Amazon rainforests’ worth of it in the last 12 weeks. It’s not helped by the fact that we hold so many parties in our flat – this means more people drinking, and then needing the toilet. It’s inevitable.

But hey buying more of it is a way of blessing people I guess! 

It’s almost the end of the week now, which means I’m almost home. The flash mob is tomorrow and I’m gonna go and rehearse with my b-girl Linh at 4 hopefully. So tired – but it was worth making it to my 8:30am lecture today – only two of us (me and Emily, plus Katherine, our teacher) have been to every single 8:30 this term! Record! 

I’m looking forward to the break (let’s pretend for a second I don’t have exams and there will be no revision – humour me!). 

But first things first…. I need to get my Spanish comprehension in ASAP! 

News

Hey all – nope I haven’t dropped off the face of the planet!

I’ve been working and competing and break dancing my socks off and I’m about ready to go home, although I know that this means revision will begin. So more work basically!

I didn’t win at my gymnastics competition – I did really well considering it was my first comp but I was against a load of other girls who’d clearly done gymnastics before but had a break and were entered at a level lower than their true ability. But oh well the journey there and back was hilarious – Jamie, another gymnast from the uni, pinched my Russian course book and tried to test me on everything, except he had no idea what I was even saying and if I was even right or not! Our coach just laughed at us the whole way 🙂 Jamie won in his division and brought home a medal.

  

To watch some clips of his routine go here: https://youtu.be/Y-_vR2H2DJE

The flash mob rehearsals are well under way – we have one every evening this week until the actual day, and even then we have one beforehand. It’s going to be so cool. I just wish I could find time to practice a bit more on my own!

The Spanish department sprung an assessment on us today which is due in on Friday so I am trying to work on that along with a formative I somehow missed for my Russian course… so, busy, basically. And I’m so tired – it has to be the end of term pack-it-in syndrome everyone gets!

Still, I’m powering it through on sweet potatoes, mung beans and tonnes of bananas and water!

Oh, and homemade raspberry icecream…. heehee 🙂 [Try out the recipe, it’s sooo good 🙂  ].

My flat is feeling appropriately Christmassy, hosting a flat Christmas meal (Although I had to bow out of this one due to communication errors and having promised a step up movie marathon with the other b-girls from break dance). This time I got to be in the photo though.

  

I’ve been reading a really interesting book called the Starch Solution which has really opened my eyes re nutrition and the way everything works. It’s a good read, and I really recommend it. It’s amazing how little effort is required to have good health, and how much the food industries deceive us about what’s ‘healthy’. This topic is close to my heart and I really believe that what you eat can have a massive effect on not just you but the world too. I don’t want to get into this too much now – It’s late at my end and I’m about to head to bed (as usual when writing these posts!) but I think we should all consider this sort of thing as its a new science being explored more and more today.

Anyway… I’m trying to gather my thoughts about what to take home over the holidays. Ha! I’m actually having a ‘holiday’ by going home. I haven’t had a holiday since the summer of 2014… I worked all the way through my 2015 summer.

First shift at the Ram Bar tomorrow… wish me luck! (and a good night’s sleep! I reckon most of this tiredness comes from the low impact cardio of walking up hills all day to get to lectures!!)

I’m going home this weekend 🙂

Ups and Downs 

 

Voila! Shoulder freeze 😉

My crew is planning a flash mob next Friday in the forum which will be ACE 🙂 I haven’t been for the last few weeks due to stress and not feeling very well, so there’s going to be a little session today so I can learn the routine before we do it next week.

*Good news!* I got a job at the Ram Bar in the Forum, and have handed my notice in at the Magdalen Chapter Hotel. I’m feeling a lot less stressed now, even though I have to work 2 more shifts this weekend. At least I have Saturday off to go to Aldi though.

I had a bit of a mare trying to locate my birth certificate which my mum had sent me for the coffee #1 interview to prove I’m myself… and after turning my room upside down and talking to my mum on the phone about sending the other (and more expensive one) by next week, I found it, pinned to my massive notice board, in the envelope mum had sent it in. Thank goodness!!!

I’m slowly breaking myself back into running. It’s quite casual – ok, VERY casual! I go for a run one week, then don’t for another three…. Ok, so I have gone once a week two weeks in a row now (counting last night!!) I ran to Aldi and back – the only long route I know. But I did it in a loop so it wouldn’t be the same way on the way back. All in all it was 5.03 miles/8.09km (according to mapmyrun – great site), and I ran it in ~48 minutes, which is pretty good considering I’ve had such a long break over the summer.

So that was awesome 🙂 I didn’t realize Josh and Ellen (flatmates) were going on a run and left just before them so we didn’t meet even though we went in the same direction (but I ran further!).

I’ve been having some really interesting conversations about Christianity with my flat mates recently as well so I’m praying for them a lot 🙂 I guess Jesus must be using me after all!

So excited right now about my new job, Christmas (it’s almost here!) and looking forward to going home soon for a break before exams!

Oh, and for a fun read, check out this article – its all about my accommodation 🙂 It’s funny because I’ve been here and most of it is true 🙂

http://thetab.com/uk/exeter/2015/11/26/old-lafrowda-is-a-loveable-shithole-28896?utm_source=local&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=pages

Enjoy!