It's become a bit of a trend to open these blogs with a "hello, I'm not dead nor fallen off the face of the Earth." And you'd be right for thinking this. However, as I mention it often enough, I am extraordinarily busy. I'm curranty putting the finishing touches to my dissertation so I thought I would take a break from stressing out over referencing books to come talk and share what the hell has happened over the last few months.
The title of this blog is a lyric from a new Frank Turner song called The Lioness, it's so empowering and motivational, have a listen to it here!
First things first, doing a Masters degree is hard!!
There is a certain level of expectation that you don't get told at open days. You don't get told about the millions of deadlines and massive word counts and the sheer amount of work you have to do outside the lecture just to scrape a pass at Masters level. They ought to put it in massive letters in a prospectus informing interested students just how difficult it is.
And do you want to know the irony of all this?
I want to do a PhD!
I have absolutely loved my time at Nottingham Trent. I'm so much happier there than I ever was at Derby uni. There were good times during my undergrad, but by the end of the course, I wanted to drop out. At Trent, there have been some hiccups, a number of panic attacks have occurred. But I have made life long friends who are supportive and there when I need them most.
I've realised my love for crime fiction and incorporating my visual impairment into my creative work. I was always scared of doing this at Derby, I'm still not sure why. Judgement or embarrassment I think had a lot to do with it. But I have been given complete creative development with my assessments at Trent, it's allowed me to experiment in a safe and nurturing environment with new people who share the same thoughts and feelings.
I've side tracked. The PhD. I have been working on it for the past academic year. I won't say too much about it as I'm still waiting to hear back from a couple of universities. But I'm excited about it. It will be a chance to really try writing something experimental. Fingers crossed I get accepted, there's another three plus years of my life spent in education.
It's weird to look back. I was a "school avoider" for the better part of primary and secondary school. This was a combination of genuine illness (I was a very sickly child) and dealing with my eyesight. I can remember when I really started to struggle with mental health issues: GCSE. This is also the time I got my shit together and worked really hard, bit of a juxtaposition really. I'm terrible at exams but good at coursework. Maybe that's why I've gone into writing, there is no right answer.
I have always said I want to do things before I lose my eyesight altogether. I'm determined to get my Masters degree and if all works out, I'll be on my way towards studying for a doctorate. How amazing with that be?
In all honesty, I don't think I would have survived these last few months without my university friends. They've kept me going, kept me sane enough to get back on my feet. I'm back in therapy, counselling this time as I didn't get on with CBT. And I'm on a new medication to help me sleep, I do feel more rested as a result. One day at a time, that's what I have to keep telling myself. But I know they won't let me fall, I'd do the same for them if they needed help and support. I don't thank them enough and there are too many people to mention. If I have told you to read this, there is a reason. Thank you for basically saving my life. I'm trying to get better, but I know you have got my back throughout it all if I fall down and struggle to live. I'll get there one day, I honestly don't know what I would do without you, your support, your love and your unbreaking friendship.
Anyway, I'd better get back to dissertation writing. I will be back, don't you worry. In the meanwhile, drop me a line if there's anything you'd like me to talk about; mental health, university life, coping with a disability or creative writing. Look forward to it.
I'll leave you with these quotes,
Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today – Will Rogers.
People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do – Rob Siltanen.
Reading is to the mind, as exercise is to the body – Brian Tracy
For every reason it’s not possible, there are hundreds of people who have faced the same circumstances and succeeded – Jack Canfield
Until the next time.