Wednesday 24 January 2018

The University Blues

Rosie shares her experience of the January blues, getting ready to leave university and how far she has come. 
- Rosie Steele

The January blues. The anticipation of the future blues. The is this worth it blues. The workload blues. The needing to look after yourself blues.  The University Blues. 

I am struggling. I tend to struggle during January, I suppose there really is a reason they are called the January blues. Mainly I am struggling with the pressure I put on myself to do-it-all and be-it-all. If you look up ‘perfectionist’ in the Oxford English Dictionary you’d probably find a picture of me on the top-floor of the library surrounded by textbooks and an over-priced peppermint tea.

Graduation is fast approaching, the unknown, the big bad world and needing to prove my worth to survive. I’m struggling with this thought. I want to cherish my last few months of university, not be plagued by anxiety on what’s going to happen when I leave. I want to create happy memories to remember.

I wrote this time last year how I received a grade I was not happy with.

Dear Reader, it’s happened again. 

This one is even lower, and it is third year so I sat in my universities social space and cried, and cried, and cried. I was sad, disappointed, angry, ashamed even, in myself, in my abilities. Thoughts began to spiral of ruining my degree and my future dreams of a Masters’ degree.

This time last year though I did not have a best friend coming up behind me and just hugging me. She did not need to tell me it was okay because she understood I needed a few hours to just be sad. She did tell me it was okay though, because it is. In the bigger picture of happiness, it is okay because I have a friendship I cherish now. When I wrote this time last year I did not have a friend to hug me.

Every day I am grateful for her, for them. When I graduate I will stand with them and regardless of the classification and remember the fun we’ve had over this last year. I’ll stand and remember the positive change across university in terms of mental health campaigning. I’ll remember the trip to Copenhagen and laughing until the early hours. I’ll remember the nights out I felt invincible and the pure happiness during my student group socials. If I could bottle how I feel after each meeting and sell it, I’d make a mint.

The good doesn’t make the bad disappear or cure my mental health but it does make the university blues bearable.

Then I spoke to my mum who told me that particular assignment didn’t play to your strengths, that’s okay though, what you’re good at, you’re good at.

Let that be a lesson to us all, we can’t do it all but we can take pride in what we are good at.

I’m good at surviving university in six months I’ll walk across a stage in the knowledge that some days I was so blue I didn’t think I could carry on but always did.

 I’m going to take pride in that.

I'm Rosie and I'm in my third year of a media, culture and communication degree in Liverpool. I suffer from anxiety, and separation anxiety which has made university a tough time, leading me to find Student Minds. I am now a Campaigner and Fundraising Champion which allows me to share my mental health story whilst raising money for something I am so passionate about helping to bring awareness to.

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