Out of the Embers

If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere


 

uni

“Well, well” I say so certain of myself I might as well be the queen Angelina Jolie in Maleficent. This year has basically picked up a whopping big sea-bass and slapped me right across the chops, quite frankly I’ve had difficulty catching my breath in the past couple of months. As an excitable 18 year old in England, you set your hopes and dreams as far as the horizon stretches, usually aiming to pass through university in order to make the road a little smoother along the way. What we forget in our dream state is that the inevitability of 3rd year lingers a mere two years away and is frankly enough to make you reconsider and look into the potential of hiding in a corner for the rest of the foreseeable future.

There is something wonderfully exciting about third year but also something horrifically daunting about every step you take towards the end. In fact, I’m pretty sure the general consensus of this year is to do what you please and in being given that freedom I’ve chosen to self combust on several occasions.  Truthfully, I’ve spent the last 17 years of my education groaning on that not a single teacher, tutor or tattle on-er-er? has allowed the students to take freedom in learning about what actually interests them, now they have, I don’t feel interested anymore. Is this the burden of education putting its dulling weight on everything that once excited me…or is it just me?

I’ve had my dealings with stress for a long time now so I think I have a good plan of how to battle through my anxiety with facing the end but this time it feels different. While still feeling somewhat in control I have this great baring on my back that keeps telling me it’s spiralling way beyond my grip. And it has made me very unwell.

We all set out with a good plan of action in mind and mine was to hopefully stay sane by the help of this blog, my one tool to remind myself I’m not completely screwed and that I can make sense of the hurricane that is my life. It’s been nearly 3 months since I’ve sat with my laptop and admitted to myself that I DO in fact have time to write. And my word, it helps. But that’s my release, this whole blog is my release – well that and breaking my bank account on lush products.

So I don’t know it all, in fact I have no idea but I know right now that an inconceivable amount of people, be they young or old, are stuck in the turmoil of the third and final year in education. Some days you’re going to wake up early and have the most productive day of your life, some days you’ll wake up a little sad about the looming end, some days you won’t even get out of bed. And all of it is okay and unbelievably, though you feel like you’re getting nowhere and you’re mountain of work seems to have tripled Everest in size, you are actually doing alright.

What’s important is that you realise just a few things:

1. This is the final stretch, that means it will be over soon but also that it will be over soon. It’s a positive and a negative but it’s okay.

2. That university all in all, was a good decision. You made it this far and we always knew the end would be the hardest part, don’t let it ruin the experience now.

3. Still make time to see friends, to play video games, to watch 9 hours of Netflix and just relax. Do not feel guilty or trap yourself away from having a good time.

4. University, college, education – at this point – is way more important than the job you have. (I’m going to do a whole separate post on this at some point) It may give you money but if it destroys your soul in the meantime and your boss is giving you nothing but grief you walk away and live like a pauper. It’s acceptable when you’re a student.

5. The most difficult, don’t hate your work or it will hate you. You came to university because believe it or not at one point you actually liked the subject you chose, so don’t run away from it now. Appreciate it. Be interested in projects because heaven forbid in ten years time you’re doing something completely different and you’ll spend all day longing to be back in class where it was easier and at least a bit interesting. Hopefully it will never be like that and you’ll excel in your core subject but shit happens.

I’m not quite sure how I’ll cope, I’m directing a full production, writing an entire thesis, coordinating a final year project and starting creative writing, along with a portfolio of evidence for every step I take around uni. Thinking about it I want to ram my head several times into the oven so I’ve just stopped. I’ve written out a list and decided I will handle every situation as it comes at me. And in 6 months time I’ll know what it was all about, I’ll put on my cap and gown and hopefully be very proud of this journey. I don’t know, if I’ve managed to make it this far, I’m pretty sure I can make it anywhere.

If you are having any trouble with your university life or maybe just a big task you’ve set yourself, what are your coping techniques?

Has it changed you in anyway or thrown you off track a little?

Either way it’s almost Christmas!

uni 2

Demi Nicole 

x x x

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Big First Steps

Funniest_Memes_which-animal-has-inspired-your-success_1890 (1)

Here I come third year…


 

Oh wow! I have had the most hectic and tremendous week and I must apologise for my lack of presence here recently. This first week of third year has been rather overwhelming to say the least.

So I told you about the big scary “sort out what you want to do with the rest of your life” talk with uni right? Well I came up with a few ideas, mainly I want to do an extremely prestigious directing course in Bristol that begins in the spring of 2016 and if not that, if I manage to pull off a First class degree with Huddersfield I will gain a scholarship for a masters researching whatever I please. That’s a stepping stone to the future I think I can manage at the moment and I’m quite proud of finding these little courses almost from nowhere. I now have an abundance of prospectus guides and more idea of what to do next than I did this time last week…so I feel productive. Well, they were productive if I’m good enough to achieve either of them.

My start to the first week back began with a strenuous and muscle murdering 3 hour practical session of physical theatre for our full cast production of Cinderella. Which, on Tuesday morning, left me in a ball on my bedroom floor, crying in excruciating pain. Maybe I need to get a little fitter if I’m going to survive this year! Then after that, I had the pleasure of a quick change act in a tiny toilet cubicle in order to get ready for my shift at work that began 10 minutes later. Sweaty and dishevelled, I dashed to my job to do a 6 hour shift then ran back to uni to pitch my Final Year Project.

Me and Joe (friend, uni partner, ex work buddy) pitched our ideas and it seemed to go down well, apart from the fact it was apparent we lost the commitment of people who had previously shown interest. No bad blood though. We did however gain two of my housemates as possible cast candidates and that’s left us pretty raring to go. However I’m still stuck with the idea of doing a two person piece so we can really focus down on our own areas of interest but working with more people brings more concepts and creativity and it’s almost always a positive way to work.

On the Tuesday I enjoyed a proper day off, I even ordered my monthly food shop (that’s as best as you can hope for as a student) online and just lazed about in bed for the day. It was glorious. And on Wednesday morning it felt like Christmas as the magical man from Tesco delivered me an abundance of yummy goodness. It really is the small things sometimes.

More practical sessions happened, lectures reminded me that losing the will to live was the easiest of games to lose and I worked a whole ton more. But good things really do come to those who wait. I’m directing Cinderella and with that I get to write the whole concept for our performance, I get to be a visual eye for the entirety of the piece and this excites me beyond anything. I get to shape a brilliant work of creativity and get to see it unfold before my eyes and it truly is a thrilling experience.

It makes me feel quite sad because when I think about it, this will be the last time I get to work with some people I’ve spent a whole 3 years with and with every end of each comes the melancholy feelings. But we still have now and we have the opportunity to go out with a bang!

Also I got a pay rise, started a writing class, saw the unveiling and reading of a beautiful poem that is painted on the university and I am pretty settled in a lot of my choices. After a summer of torment and horrendous attitudes, I am happy to have found calm for the first time in forever.

I can only hope these good vibes continue somewhat, at least to get me through the Christmas period. I mean I’m sat writing this in the freezing cold that is England in October, waiting to get a train I should have caught an hour and a half ago…and I’m still happy.

This is a change.

Demi Nicole

X x x

P.s In regards to the daily prompt, I don’t prepare, I just go with it and see what happens.

347 days to go

365 Days To Go

MONSTERS UNIVERSITYDealing with my lack of productivity…


 

A tale as old as time, I want to do so much but can’t find the motivation to do any of it. What a dilemma!

Okay! Today it hit me that in a years time I will not be a university student, I won’t be in education and overall, in my mind, I won’t have a purpose. Insert existential crisis right about here. Now, I see people cry out that the end of a significant era can cause panic, uncertainty and a complete lack of stability in every day life and I have always found myself commenting to fellow classmates “what next? What are we supposed to do after this?”. It was a panic that was brushed off with the easy “we will think about that when we get there” and the royal “we” kind of left me comforted that I won’t be alone in the terrifying journey of professional adulthood.

All in all, I’m not alone, around 2 million people graduate every year and some how figure out how to jump the broken bridge of life from education to well…whatever comes after. This should be comforting, it should make me think “if all those people manage it, then I’ll manage too and I’ll get by just fine”. But it seems all of those other students know where they want to go next, like they were handed some magical next step map to Mordor or some scholarship to Hogwarts and everything from that point is just dandy. And I guess I slept in the day all the secret answers and cheat codes were finally unveiled.

Now of course, I’m kidding myself. No matter how much I romanticise it, there is no hidden level where you 1up so much in life you will no longer need to worry but I think that was my way of avoiding the 21 year question: So, what do you want to be when you get older?

I just figured, I’ll think about that when I get older, I don’t need to worry now. Well guess what? I AM OLDER. I AM THERE. And am I prepared? Am I hickory. I’m the one sat here on a Friday evening watching Nintendo conferences and eating bacon rather than actually reading the Great Wall of China long list of reading I need to do.  I see people that are just so productive with their time it’s unreal, they create and design and take a million selfies a day, (even that seems more productive than my current state) everyone seems to have it figured out. Don’t get me wrong, I work, I clean, I cook etc but I have a creative mind that seems to have been trapped in a forgotten dungeon for the past 4 months and I can’t remember what I did with the key.

The end of 2nd year went out on such a high, I achieved an astoundingly amazing grade for my directed adaptation of “Lovesong” by Abi Morgan and Frantic Assembly and I felt incredibly positive about what I could personally achieve. Then summer happened. I guess summer has been the complete polar opposite of what summer should be and to some degree it has destroyed me to within an inch of my own sanity. There are a lot of nasty people I am pretty much rid of though for it and I have met some friends I know I’ll have for a long time.

But I need to figure it out and WO-MAN up. I want to get fit, I want to be creative and do something worth doing. I have a driving test in a month, I have new places of work to prove my abilities and I have a degree to finish – which ultimately is my most important priority. So yeah, 365 days. I wonder if on the 12th September 2015 I’ll feel like I’ve done everything I can to kickstart my life.  Maybe I’ll figure out how to stop panicking and start acting on my goals. It’s easy right?

There must be a way to focus thy mind, a way to be not so distracted by kitty cats and endless episodes of The Office US on Netflix.

Let me know if you struggled with the “after uni blues” or a difficult transition in life? What helps you motivate yourself? Is procrastination an epidemic?

See you tomorrow

Demi Nicole

x x x