After reading a close friend’s blog, I felt a sudden bout of inspiration. As someone who will find any excuse under the sun to furiously procrastinate and put off anything that will cause even a remote amount of stress, this is incredibly rare. Therefore, I have decided to attempt to compile my thoughts into a sort of mishmash of paragraphs, in the hopes that someone might find it entertaining – or, better yet, helpful.
Right now it’s 11:30pm. Currently I’m on break from university, sat at my desk at home, surrounded by four dark purple walls (a colour that angsty, fifteen-year-old me thought would be adequately representative of my rapidly evolving personality. She was wrong.) It’s very quiet. This is also something I rarely experience, because at the moment I live in uni halls. Usually at this time one is able to hear the slamming of doors, faint thuds of footsteps, laughter and sometimes even drunken bellowing, if it’s Wind Street Wednesday. Or Skint Monday. Or Sin-Savers. Or Tooters. Actually, pretty much every day. Oh, and if you’re my flatmate, you’d probably hear a ball being kicked at full-pelt against your door. Thanks for that by the way, boys. Always my favourite part of the evening.
Anyway, I’m probably getting off track. Yes, I’m a student – even worse, a ‘fresher’. As my first year at university draws to a close, I am getting the chance to reflect on everything about my life that’s changed. Because, truly, a lot has. Back before Summer 2016, I was riddled with social anxiety. It got so bad I couldn’t even send a text without having to wait 3-5 business days to actually decide if it was appropriate. I couldn’t make phone calls – even ridiculously trivial ones like phoning a pub to see what time they served food ’til. I’d feel uncomfortable asking friends to spend time with me because I didn’t want to seem “needy”. I grew bitter when people wouldn’t message me first and would subsequently push people away. I constantly felt like I wasn’t wanted, and my self confidence was at an all time low.
Things like phone calls and ordering food in restaurants admittedly do still freak me out, but the major difference is that I can do them. Sure, it takes me a while to pluck up the courage, but eventually I do, and that counts. I have to remind myself that it counts, and that I have made so much progress in these 9-ish months. I’ve been to job interviews; I’ve driven from my house in Berkshire, to my flat in Swansea, all by myself; I’ve ordered taxis, I’ve gone to clubs, I’ve felt secure in a room full of people I don’t know. I’ve made so many friends and I’ve felt comfortable being introduced to new people. Sometimes – and this one is a doozy – I even tell people when I want to hang out with them. It is honestly remarkable how much university has changed me. I suppose, when you’re thrown into such an unfamiliar situation, the best you can do is just get on with it.
It takes so much strength to put your anxieties to one side and reassure yourself that your worst fears might not come true, but honestly once you manage it, it is so satisfying. Like almost everyone, I have bad days, and I have days where getting out of bed feels akin to climbing Mount Everest, but it’s important to acknowledge that I have really good days, too. And more often than not, they are good.
Thanks for reading, pal. :^)