Thursday, 24 May 2012

Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Good Bye...

So, this is it. My fond farewell. (I'm sure I'm not the first to have referenced The Sound of Music, but hey, I never promised to be original). I'm afraid I stopped writing my blog several months ago for a few reasons. I was certain I had told the Blog Controller, but alas there was some miscommunication and now I've had a bit of a telling off for being ridiculously tardy... Whoops, my bad - I guess I should have followed up on that. No references for me... Anyway, let me explain my absence...

Firstly, I was ridiculously depressed. I'd had a none-too-pleasant year up to the point where I stopped writing. My university work was going ok, (apart from some apprehension about my project and some dreaded group work, hey-ho) but my life outside study was throwing things at me that my mind couldn't cope with. I could see that my - at the time - “complete despair” was going to start seeping even deeper into my already fairly bleak entries and whilst every student blog is about our own experiences, I didn't want my potential breakdown to happen in front of a bunch of people I didn't know (every blogger hopes they have at least one stalwart reader that they don't actually know directly) & to have it forever be immortalised in text. Somewhere out there will be an archive of this blog, long in the future, when I've moved on to pastures new. So yeah, no thanks.

Secondly, I did "break". Some people don't know it, or if they do, quite how bad it really got or they simply don't care (I don’t know which). I won't go into details here, like I said, I don't want to drag you all down with me & I'm not that much of a “sharer”.

Thirdly, my depression, my workload and my general desire to hide under my duvet (even during happier days) had me staying indoors an awful lot and at a complete and utter loss for anything interesting to say. Would you really want to come on here, every two weeks or so and read a paragraph or two about the number of words I managed to write towards my project? Although thinking back, I could have told you all about my really interesting research into new/transitioning students, but I think it might have only interested me... If the response of my peers & proofreaders is anything to go by! It also doesn't help when your flatmate (as wonderful as they are) abruptly stops you, 30 seconds in to you waxing lyrical about the various issues affecting new students (because you have finally ventured out of your room), to tell you about the puppies they saw on their way home. Maybe it's just the way I tell them?

I do have a couple of other reasons, but they are for me and me alone.

So, all my work is done - written, re-read and a final draft handed in. I have been lucky not to have any exams. Woot!

I shall be sad to leave. I will miss my friends, as I know I won't see them as much as I do now. I will miss my flatmate - no more Starbucks by the Thames after class for us (this is how we originally bonded). I will miss my colleagues in the Enquiry Unit. It took me a while to open up, but in the end, despite giving away more of myself than I would usually dare, it was worth it.

For a while, during my darkest moments, I thought I might give in, give up and go into the dark, but I'm glad I stuck it out. I have finally overcome my past failure and I am happier than I have ever been (honestly!). Getting a degree isn't easy. It isn't. But it's worth the hard work - the blood (figurative - unless you count copious paper cuts), the sweat (running to get that physical hand-in sorted before the school office closes) and the tears (mostly of joy that you met the deadline), make it worthwhile - you get out of your degree what you put in. If you make no effort, never find the library and don't do the research, you only have yourself to blame. I think the same can be said for anything - you get out of life what you put in - you are responsible for your own life - if you muck up your 'A' levels, can you really blame anyone else? If you forget to respond to your UCAS offers by the deadline, is that the fault of UCAS? The university that made you the offer? NO! If you want it enough, you will make the effort to get it. I spent several years expecting things to be handed to me. I did. A very lovely, but very truthful, recruitment agent reminded me that no one is going to do that for me. I was going to have to contribute. I've been working on that. Sometimes I do backslide (we all do... It's our nature), but I've been striving to stay ahead, be proactive when things matter (and learning to recognise what doesn’t matter to me and not beating myself up about not chasing those things) and it does makes difference. It really does. I've worked damn hard for three years to get a first. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll get what I want. They (my lecturers) say it’s possible, so who knows. Well, I guess I will when the results get published in July (6 more weeks.... *sigh*) but you get my point, right?

Anyway, off my soapbox about the lethargy, antipathy and lack of responsibility some applicants seem to have towards their university applications and life in general. It's not me that's going to regret screwing it up because I didn't try harder, is it?

Good bye and good luck dear readers x