Hello again. I’m sorry it’s been a while! The exam period was just exhausting, and… exhausting! I honestly haven’t been this tired in a long time – and I’m writing this a month after I finished my final exams. I feel mentally drained, and between finishing my first year at university and moving out of halls the day after my final exam I’ve had zero energy and motivation for anything.
So starting with the exams; I think it went well. My first set of exams I had prepared well for, and I feel that those exams will return good results. My final exam I feel differently about, in part because it was the day before I had to move out and so I had that on my mind, but also because there seemed to be a huge amount to revise for compared to the previous two exams. It was almost an impossible task. I shouldn’t really worry too much about the results as they say that results in the first year don’t matter, however, I discovered that my bursaries are contingent on my averaging a minimum mark of 60% across all the modules. I’m optimistic that I can average that mark, but the final exam worries me as the grading itself is unpredictable, especially considering I know the lecturer will be marking the papers herself, and she is an unpredictable individual.
Anyway, the results should be in by 13th July (which at the time of writing is this coming Monday) and really I shouldn’t be worrying too much, but with monetary bursaries on the line I am certainly anxious.
Speaking of anxiety, the stress of moving, again, was fun to go through. It wasn’t actually all that traumatic, to be completely honest. I decided I was going to go back home to Coventry for a week before returning to Canterbury to move into my new student house, with my mother offering to drive down and help with the move once again. The last minute packing the night before wasn’t exactly ideal thanks to the exams, but it did help to ease the stress the following day and we had the car loaded up relatively quickly. The real nightmare was the traffic on the way back home, which turned a 3-hour journey into nearly 5 hours. I also decided that I would drive the first part of the way, so unfortunately I bore the brunt of the congestion, crawling and sitting in traffic for 3-hours. Once we got outside of London and the roads opened up we managed to pull into a service station for a break. I was literally beginning to fall asleep behind the wheel and couldn’t drive anymore. Exam fatigue had definitely set in. We got back to Coventry fine from there, and the next week I mostly slept. In my waking hours I spent time with my family and my kid brother, and also managed to catch up with a few friends, but mostly I just wanted to recuperate.
Moving into the new house was actually entirely easy. We left Coventry quite early, and had my stuff in the house and unpacked by the early afternoon. Some of my housemates had also moved in, but most of them will be splitting their time between the house and home for various reasons, mostly because of family functions and work opportunities at home. This in essence is going to leave me as the sole person living here full-time. This was my choice, I didn’t want to move home for the summer and live with my family again full-time after having gained my independence. I also feel that there are better work opportunities here than back home. That feeling so far isn’t proving fruitful as the list of job rejections continue to increase.
I’ve also applied for and was confirmed for Disabled Students Allowance. After the problems back at the tail end of March I sought out some assistance from student services at the university. Both they and the counsellor I saw recommended that I apply, as I was more than likely eligible. I never honestly considered having anxiety and depression as a disability, and no one ever said having it was a disability, I guess I always saw it as being an obstacle and not a limitation. However, it was explained to me on simplistic terms: if something affects your ability to function on a regular basis, be it physical or mental, then it is a disability and you are entitled to support as defined by that. So you learn something everyday. I don’t know if this would translate into the real world, and I’m not sure if I’d feel comfortable being labelled as such. My intention here is not to slight the disabled at all. I just kinda feel like there is such a negative connotation with the word ‘disabled’ as much, if not more so, as the word ‘depression’. I guess I’ve spent a lot of time hiding my depression publicly and not divulging it in job interviews and the like because I fear that people will look at me differently, or treat me differently – for better or worse. But perhaps that is what those with visible disabilities go through everyday, who don’t have the luxury of being able to hide.
This is probably a discussion for another time, so I’ll try to limit any further ramblings on this, but this is essentially comparable to the X-Men (yup, I’m going there). Some mutants have visible mutations, others can still blend in with humans, but they are still as different as the visibly “homo-superior”. The mutants who can hide in plain sight tend to have an easier life, but the question always remains for them, “why should we hide who we really are?” Perhaps that should be the question raised with mental health. Obviously, the X-Men comparison is slightly subjective, and for the most part people with disabilities aren’t persecuted by governments of the world and hunted down by giant sentinels, but I think maybe there is something there about struggling for recognition to be treated as an equal in society.
Much love ❤
UPDATE: After completing this entry, and on the verge of submitting, I learned that my grades had been uploaded on to the university website, and I’m proud to announce that for my first year at university I was awarded a distinction, A.K.A a FIRST. This is the highest grade I could accomplish. I’m completely over the moon, ecstatic, relieved, and downright thrilled. I really thought my grades were going to suffer, but seeing that I not only persevered through those troubling times, but actually excelled despite all those issues has been an incredible boost to my self-esteem and only makes me even more determined to succeed. And a big thank you to all the well-wishers who have sent messages over the past few months for your support during this, your encouragement has meant an incredible amount to me.