Saturday, December 26, 2020

December Uni Chat & Life Update

Hello my loves, today's post is largely going to be a bit of a ramble and updating you on what's been going on in my life since September, during my first semester of uni, spoiler alert: it's a lot.

Firstly, I thought I'd quickly mention that these "life updates" are going to be replacing my "dear diary" tag, I just think it sounds nicer and is a better fit.

Moving out of halls into a new flat

The biggest thing to happen this semester was leaving halls! I was very excited about moving into halls this year, and had no plans to leave as early as I did, which was after about a month and a half of living there. However, as with many things this year, Covid-19 reared it's head and started causing trouble.

My economic situation as a student is reasonably stable, and I am very grateful that my parents can somewhat support me, however we knew from the start I'd need a job to help finance my studies and living away from home, so much so that I had applied for a job by February and secured one by April.

The issue with living in halls, and having a large number of flatmates, was that it was a hot-bed of Covid-19 cases. All it took was one flatmate meeting someone from another flat, and that person meeting someone else in halls and so on, before flats were falling into self-isolation like dominoes. I had to delay my start to work by weeks, and with other halls at my university threatening complete lockdown/isolation, my family and I decided it would be better to move out, as we just couldn't justify the cost of living in halls in those circumstances.

So I moved out! We found a much cheaper flat in a far better location - and it has a balcony! I moved in with a friend in a similar situation. Trying to secure the deposit and a months rent upfront all while paying off my outstanding halls fees (thankfully only a months rent, not the whole year!) blew a massive hole in my student loan, not including all the new bills I had to pay such as wifi and electricity. My parents are still supporting me financially, and have sacrificed a lot financially for me this year, which I am so grateful for. I hope as my working hours increase, I can ease the financial burden on them a lot more and become a lot more independent. 

Finding a new flatmate 

Just as I thought I was going to have a stable two months leading to Christmas, my flatmate moved out! Sadly they decided the degree they were studying wasn't for them and were going to drop out of uni and go back home. This was totally the right decision for them, and they are now preparing to apply for an art degree they hopefully love! And though I had to make a mad scramble to find a new flatmate to move in, all worked out and a lovely masters student from America is hopefully moving in January. 

My first semester at university

Though a challenge at certain points, I've really enjoyed my first semester of study at uni. I'm very fortunate as a language student, as we get to have our speaking tutorials in person on campus. Though only one hour a week, I loved getting to actually leave my flat to go to campus. Apart from that, the rest of my learning took place either at home or in the library, which thankfully remained open.

Academically speaking, my feelings are mixed. Some modules I found very easy, and scored very highly in, others were a lot more challenging. As former teachers pet and often over-achiever, this semester was certainly about gaining a lot of academic maturity and managing my expectations. My first 2:2 was a major blow to my confidence, and I'm not ashamed to say I cried about it lol, but on the same day as receiving my first 2:2, I also received my first 1st, which was great! I'm learning to manage my expectations and accept that some things I will majorly fuck up, and other things I will majorly succeed in - and that both are okay! 

My other biggest achievement in semester 1 was getting the green light for my society! Though I know managing it is going to be a big challenge, and that it might not work out, I'm really proud of myself for being able to get the resources and support necessary to start one within my first semester of university. I have my fingers crossed for success in the new year!

Friendship and loneliness

Covid made socialising at uni really difficult, with freshers being basically non-existent, and no opportunities to meet new people at lectures, tutorials, societies etc I was really worried I'd be spending this year all on my own. Thankfully, I was able to meet a few people before more restrictions were imposed, and have made some lovely friends. Though my mental health (which I will mention next) leaves me feeling chronically lonely most of the time, I'm really glad I have people I can call my friends at uni, and hopefully I will meet even more people as restrictions ease.

Blue hair

Impulsively dyed my hair blue. Nuff said.

Mental health

Okay so here's the big one, around October I was officially diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. This didn't really come as a shock, as I was actually pointed in the right direction earlier in the year by an ex-friend, who I am thankful for, for helping me realise what it was that I was feeling/experiencing. I'm going to write a bit more about this in a separate post I think, but the gist is I've started new medication alongside my anti-depressants and therapy, and they are really helping balance things out emotionally for me.

Something that came a bit more of a shock was a discussion with my psychiatrist around eating disorders. I knew-ish that my relationship with food wasn't exactly healthy and certainly wasn't good during the first lockdown, but equally I wasn't expecting that bombshell of scary-sounding-words dropped on me. As it stands, I am currently exploring things with my psychiatrist and therapist with no official diagnosis thankfully. Because my eating habits/relationship with food fluctuates massively, it may be more related to my bpd, instead of a standard (regular? not sure the correct word) type of eating disorder. Either way, it has been a pretty uncomfortable experience, but I'm feeling pretty optimistic about how I'm dealing with it and if I can quickly move on from it!

That's all I can really think of saying right now, but I'll definitely come back to some of the things mentioned in separate posts and give them a bit more detail.

Hope you enjoyed reading this lil' life update.

Take care and stay safe x

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