Last weekend, I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time with one of my dearest friends. It was the first time since receiving my results that I was able to enjoy whatever I had left of summer. Despite this, I was fighting a battle inside my head, with contradicting thoughts about who I want to be and who I should be, or things I want to do, or even just the people around me. Of course, during my stay, I talked to him about these concerns. His answer, thought it may be simple in words, was something I really needed to hear; something that made me realise I need to change how I see the world around me in order to grow and to become someone I’m proud of being.
With this conversation in my head, I was able to let go of my worries for the rest of my stay. I was able to relish in the small moments, I found myself not feeling frustrated at the little things like I usually would. For the first time in a long time, I felt as if I was radiating happiness and was enjoying life. It made me realise that this was the person I wanted to be on a day to day basis. And in a way, I have been.
Since returning to Southampton, I’ve realised what the biggest destructive force on my mind is right now and removed myself from it every day. I sought out other people’s company, and actually found myself not worrying about anything. As a side effect, I’m reluctant to return to the place which holds this destructive force but without completely cleaning up the situation, I will never be able to. I can’t keep running away from it forever, just because I feel guilty or don’t have it in me. I need to take this step in order to move forward as the person I want to be, and to do the best that I can in my future endeavours.
I realised this during my resit exams. I scored in the first class grade bracket in both my resit exams. This showed that I actually had the potential to do this in the initial exam in May. But I didn’t. Why? Because I was so caught up with a relationship that had been anything but for over half a year, struggling with trust between friends and feeling the weight of problems with my family.
I realised I put myself down a lot, which has a knock-on effect in everything I do. Especially when it comes to my wit and intelligence. My mother has always told me that I am a bright person; I am smarter than I believe I am, but in a different way to other people. I think I took advantage of this situation in school. Getting good grades was an easy job for me, and nearly always on the teachers’ good sides. But upon coming to university and realising I wasn’t happy with my degree, I think I let myself go a little. Or maybe a lot. I blamed the work, the subjects of study. ‘I just don’t get it! It makes no sense to me, and I can’t do it,’ I used to say. But I think the truth was that I wasn’t giving it my all, because I had convinced myself that I wouldn’t be able to do it before I had even given it 100%. I don’t think I ever gave 100% in any of the exams I sat since starting university, aside from the recently completed resits. But I know now that I can do it, it just takes a little bit of a push, no matter how much I dislike it. And that is my goal for the year. To do what I should have done during every year of study: stay on top of deadlines, actually do the right amount of hours of work outside contact hours, attend all my lectures, and, most importantly, not be afraid to ask questions or for help, or to try something new.
It’s the start of a new academic year, my final academic year, and I want to be a changed person.