The End of an Era

As much as I hate this rather cliché turn of phrase, it does perfectly epitomise how I feel right now. I can’t believe how quickly the past 12 months have flown by. I also can’t believe that I am 2/3 of the way through uni (whaaaaaaaat?!). It has been a year of ups and downs, but it has also been one of the best yet.

I can sit here and tell you that second year is a lot of work and quite a big jump from first year, but it’s one of those things you won’t fully appreciate until you experience it yourself. It’s not so much a jump in terms of the level of difficulty, but more so in the quantity of work and the amount of detail you are expected to know and understand.  It’s a lot.

I’ve gone from writing essays about the word ‘jam’, to being told by another lecturer to be more ‘adventurous’ with our essay styles (I haven’t learnt how to write academically for the past 10 years to now be told to purposefully miss letters out of words in an attempt to be different and interesting). These last set of exams killed me off. It’s all fun and games until your housemates finish their exams a week before you- though, I did pre-warn them to not take any resentment towards them personally. But all in all, I’m happy. I think it’s worth pushing yourself that little bit extra and doing the best you can, rather than getting to the end of the year and having major regrets over a lack of effort. And yes, I am still counting my 69.7% average as a first because rounding is something I firmly believe in. I dread to think of the stresses that will inevitably overwhelm me in third year, but for now, I’m pleased with where I’m at.

Talking about the end of an era, the emotion was real saying goodbye to my housemates. I have lived with Jess and Lizzie since we started uni, and Claudia for the past year. Jess, my dinner buddy. The thought of not being able to walk into the room next door and lie on your bed and tell you all of my life problems devastates me. I am so incredibly proud of how much you have grown over these past two years, and I know you are going to go on and do amazing things on your placement. Claudia, my little bouncing ball of constant energy and enthusiasm who eats way more food than should be humanly possible. You have brought so much light and laughter into our household and, just like Jess, you are going to kill it on placement. Lizzie, I don’t give you enough credit for how much you have achieved on a personal level since we first met. Yes, you do still sometimes irrationally overthink things. But you have grown in confidence and spirit and I couldn’t be prouder. These girls have helped me get through so much this year and I honestly don’t think I could have done it without them. Thank you for being my home away from home and my everyday cheerleaders. I really do love you all. I am incredibly lucky to be living with an equally as amazing group of people next year, who I can’t wait to introduce to my dinner time ‘songs of the 90’s’ playlist and blow away with my jacket potato cooking skills.

On a personal level, I’m pretty low-key proud of my progress over the past 12 months. It’s nearly a year to the day that I started my weight loss ‘journey’ and I have lost just over 5 stone. A year ago, I never thought that this was something I could achieve, but I am so happy that I have. It’s also been just over 2 months since I had my surgery. I felt like this controlled my life from January onwards. Whether it was toing and froing from Cardiff to Swindon for hospital appointments, waiting for a pre op date or waiting for a surgery date… it was pretty difficult trying to stay on top of this and my uni work. But I eventually had the surgery, and essentially had to jump straight back into revision mode for the following 7 weeks. I think that this is all finally catching up with me now, but I’m glad this is now a chapter of my life that I can close. In terms of sorting my life out/ figuring out what I want to do etc., this is still a work in progress. But I now have a blogging internship that I start work on soon, where I will be writing posts about wellbeing, mental health and uni life. These are all topics really close to my heart, and I am so excited to have been given the opportunity to voice my opinions and offer advice on another platform. I will, of course, still be continuing my work on this blog. Life has got a bit in the way over the past few months, but I can’t wait to spend more time both on this blog and writing for ProtectED.

This is undoubtedly the end of an era. But I can’t wait to see what the future holds for third year and for my 20’s (again, whaaaaat?!).

Good luck to those of you still doing exams. Work hard, but don’t let the stresses get to you too much. Your mental health is way more important than any grade.

Ellie x

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