Monday, 31 August 2020

I'm Going Back To University, Virtually And Here's Why


Dress - Cotton Collection, similar here

Let's be real, 2020 has not been the year. And I'm still feeling heavy after we lost another King this weekend; Wakanda Forever. 

Pretty much everyone in the world is telling 2020 to, for lack of a better PG rated expression, f*** right off. And I couldn't agree more to be completely honest. I'm usually one person who never wants a year to end because I like what that time teaches me and also, I don't want time to run ahead of me. But this particular year can go fly a kite. 

It's natural at time like this when everything feels as uncertain as it is that you get down and you start to question what you're doing with yourself. Trust me, I was at that point quite early into lockdown. I work as a freelancer and it was so much harder to get work. I work on my blog, which I know doesn't get as much traction as others and I was trying and failing to find the right inspiration. I was wracking my brain trying to figure out, "okay, what next? What do I do with my time? How do I not make this year useless?"

These thoughts definitely did take up a lot of my time because I hated sitting around pretty much doing nothing productive. So I decided that even though COVID has put a lot on hold, there might be a few things I can take back into my own control, just in an alternative way. 

So I made the decision, a late one might I add, during the Summer to actually start my Master's Degree in September like I had originally planned to, the only difference is, I'll be doing it virtually. 

Yes, may the powers of the Internet be thanked at this point in time because if we were living in a world where we didn't have access to it or technology, we'd all be going a little bit loopier. 

I'm so excited to be returning to my alma mater back home in the UK in just a matter of weeks through the comfort of my home in the tropics. My course will be 100% conducted online for the first term, so I have no worries about actually attending classes and even if they do reopen later on down the line, there's no obligation to attend as everything will still be run online. Win-win I say. 

Obviously you may read this and think, "yeah but don't you want to actually be at uni for the experience?" It's something I definitely had to weigh up in my mind because of course that's a big part of taking a course. But what was more important to me was finally actually taking the leap into my MA as opposed to not. I realised I had an opportunity to study regardless of this global pandemic and I thought, why waste any more time? 

If there's anything I've learnt during this time of reflection is that time is fleeting and this year really has been a shit show. I didn't want to feel like that anymore and I know that there's a lot of people that feel the same. So I made a concrete decision that would give the rest of this year more structure and purpose because I didn't want it to be spent doing nothing. 

I know that's easier said than done; people have lost their jobs, can't go back to school and will have to miss out on experiences, opportunities or plans that you had for this year may be put on hold and it's not easy. Mentally this has been a hard time for us all and the reason why I wanted to write this post is to give advice where I can, to the best of my ability.

Things may not be in your control right now, you may be broken or disheartened at this uncertain time - that is okay. It is okay to not be okay. It's okay to not have it figured out because at this point, it's hard to. You need to prioritise your mental health first before you make plans for the future. So take the time to do the little things that make you happy again. It's a little bit harder when there's restrictions like lockdowns or social distancing, which will understandably build the frustration, but if you can safely see the people you love, try to do so. If you can take those leaps into what you had planned for this year, do it even if you have to rearrange the way you do it. It's important you take the steps to make yourself feel like you again. Find something to look forward to. 

I'm not saying you have to go out on the job hunt or go back to school or become an overnight millionaire - no. I'm saying do what you can in your capacity. It doesn't have to be monumental, it shouldn't be for someone else, it has to be for you and make you happy. It can be the littlest things. 

I can say that going for brunch with a friend the other day after the longest time made me so insanely happy. One thing I did two days ago and I still feel the good from it.

I finally read "Normal People" by Sally Rooney the other day and completely fell in love with it, proceeded to watch the series, fell even more in love and that just gave me an overwhelming good feeling. 

These little things can really lift your mood, I can't stress this more. Ever since I got my acceptance into university for my Master's, I have been absolutely buzzing and that has kept me positive in moments where I feel down. So if there's something in your world that can make you feel that way, if you have something you can look forward to, then make sure to keep that close to the forefront of your mind. And remind yourself that this life isn't always going to be this way. It might seem like it for now and for the near future, but know that you can adapt and make the changes you need to feel a bit better. 

So be a little selfish, find the things that make your heart soar and do them. This year doesn't have to be completely crap. 

Sending you lots of love and hoping you're staying safe,

Emily xx

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