Finishing my first week of classes…yes really!

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As of 11am I had finished my first week of classes for this year. I know, crazy right? Being a humanities student is about doing a lot of independent research so while I’m only in class 6 hours a week I’m definitely going to need to use the rest of the week to get my research done and try and get some new ideas together, but this suits me just fine. I get to read and create ideas and if I’m having a low I can just work at whatever time suits me best, if I have a rough night I can sleep later and work into the evening or vice versa. I feel like I’m going to get a lot more done this year when I can set my own times and agenda.

I am really pleased with the way my classes went this week, it’s a lot more interesting and I feel like we’re at a stage where our opinions can really be valued. I’ve worked hard to get to the stage that I’m at with my course and I finally feel like I can let out my excitement and not look like the biggest geek ever because, with dissertation especially, other people are also enthusiastic about their projects.

This is the start of, hopefully, a long road of independent research, there are even less classes when you take part in a Masters degree and then PhD classes are usually research based rather than taught. It’s a big thing to undertake but right now it’s one of the only things on my mind. Of course I’d love to be a musician and tour the world but equally I know that might not happen because a big part of it is being in the right place at the right time.

I’ll admit that I am a little nervous about having lows, partly because for 4 days of the week there is nothing to force me to go outside, but partly because I’ve lost my ways of exercising. It is hard having mental health issues and studying sometimes, you can feel really isolated, especially around deadlines as well as extra pressures but I’m hoping that not being in class all the time means I can just sit and focus as well as trying to meet up with friends from other courses/play shows/ write/draw if I am getting a little too stressed.

All in all I’m pretty pleased with how this week has gone, I have a tonne of reading to do in the next few days but I can’t wait to go back to class on Monday morning!

Time to start my Dissertation!

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The moment has finally arrived, I’m starting my dissertation and like the true geek I am I couldn’t be more excited! A lot of people are interested but confused about why I’m going to look at Sylvia Plath and why I like reading her work so much. Sylvia’s work is not sunshine and flowers, yes it is dark but there is also such a poignant beauty to it.

Now I’m not one of those people who thinks that we should glamourise Sylvia and her struggles with mental health, it’s not something she romanticises. I think it’s one of the reasons that I fell in love with her novel The Bell Jar I could understand how the character of Esther felt, how by extension Sylvia felt (the novel is heavily autobiographical) because it is incredibly honest and truthful. If you didn’t know, unfortunately Sylvia took her life at the age of 30.

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I think there’s just a lot I can relate to in Plath’s writing, like the quote above. There’s a lot of confusion in her work and just trying to work out who you are and how you fit in the world. Which leads me on to what I’m going to be studying (assuming it gets approved). I want to look at female identity in the works of Sylvia Plath, specifically the role of the ‘traditional’ female. I just feel like when I’m reading her work there’s this huge anxiety with who she should be and how she should act as a woman and it’s something I relate to, so that’s what I’m going to write 10,000 words on. Simple, right?

I’m really excited to get started, research and kind of start what might be a career for me, the start of my academic life. Yes, I sound like a total nerd. Of course I am really nervous too, it’s big piece of writing and there’s a lot of independence to get used to but it’s going to be great sharing this journey with you!

Fresher’s week 2015

After last weeks celebrations for birthday week, I am surprised I’m still awake after my second week of activities and shenanigans. This week was Fresher week and although I haven’t been out pounding the dance floor I have been pretty busy and, well, I definitely feel like a first year. I spent my first Freshers week being incredibly awkward and nervous and I spent a lot of time in my room, my second Freshers week I went out with my friends, signed up for societies and partied…for my third, I was actually having to be a responsible person.

I spent Monday in physio and working, Tuesday practicing with the boys and taking the Amp for emergency repair (not an ideal situation), Wednesday working with the newbies and taking them to enrollment, Thursday at Freshers fair and then straight to a show at the Fighting Cocks (quite possibly the best crowd I’ve ever played to, shouting, dancing, clapping and an encore!) and back to the fair again on Friday where we got over 100 sign ups for the Horse Riding Society! Get in!

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I’d be lying if I said that everything was completely easy this week. I’ve struggled a lot with both my spine and my anxiety. I’ve got a love hate relationship with Freshers, I love that it’s the beginning of the year and I’m excited to get stuck in, but at the same time I get so anxious with so many people around and everything going on all at once. I’ve met other people like that too, which makes me feel a little better. I’m also freaking out a little out third year, all the work I have to do, the thought of applying for my MA and funding and not knowing what’s going to happen once I graduate. It was also more than a little bittersweet not having Eleanor, Maisha and Alissa around this year to hang out with too.

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Overall, it’s been a good week, definitely challenging but I’m pleased with what I’ve achieved. Am I ready to go back? Yes. I can’t wait to get back into lectures and have something to get stuck into again. I know this years going to be a bit hard because of my spine and I’ll have to miss out on some things that I wanted to do, but maybe I’ll get to do something I hadn’t planned on. I have some great things this year, I love my job, I love my friends, my bands FINALLY getting somewhere, I have two lovely little hammies and the best guy around at my side. I think this year’s going to be a pretty good one.

Did I look that young? I must really be a third year

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On the left is a picture of me just before I started my first year, my hair was short and I was both excited and terrified. On the right is a picture I took this morning while I was waiting to collect first years to take to enrolment, I’ll admit my hair has a little more frizz now than that carefully straightened bob from first year rather than being thrown up in a bun in the morning. Now, from the minute I got on the bus this morning I’ve been able to spot Freshers, is it because I feel crazy old? No it’s more because I remember being them.

I see them all wondering around trying not to look lost, carrying pieces of crumpled paper with their timetables on and being very well dressed. I think we all started like that, nervous, excited and a little confused at times but I couldn’t help thinking did I look that young when I started? Looking back at some pictures and reminiscing I know that I did and it still feels strange knowing that now I’m in my final year of my undergraduate degree, that I’ll graduate next year *gulp*.

I think the main difference is that I’m not that girl that burst into tears at least 3 times in the first week because she was so overwhelmed. I read the first year of blogs I wrote as a student and as well as being pleased my writing has improved, I don’t regret the struggles I had. I mean, yes I kind of wish I could go back and tell her to take a deep breath because she’s going to love it and this time it really will be the best time, but who wouldn’t? It’s no secret that I don’t want to leave, I want to make a life for myself in academics if I can’t go touring the world in one way or another.

So maybe I’m classed as old to the newbies but you know what I’ve been having the best time of my life and if anyone is reading this and they’ve just started university then hold on, you’re in for a fantastic ride.