As my second year on my university course finally nears a close, I look back and realise that I've learnt more about my own mental health than I have in the subject I'm actually doing a degree in. Not exactly what I'm paying over nine grand a year for...
I'm tired, my sleeping pattern has been turned upside down and the sense of dread looms as it finally hits me: this year counts. This isn't first year anymore, and there's no second try at this year, Student Finance will only support you for one more year. If you fail this: you're doomed.
The fear of getting anything lower than a 2:1 consumes me. It seems to be embedded in every student's mind that if you don't get a 2:1 or a First, then you've failed. Now, this fear has taken up any enjoyment I was having from this course. I'm no longer writing because I enjoy it, I'm just writing to get a grade.
But how can you enjoy something when your brain wants to die? How can you even be good at something when your brain is too occupied with more important things? You can't. There's no way to put all of your energy into something: you haven't even got much energy to begin with. And all of that is being sucked away by my depression and eating disorder.
So, as university continues to steal my money and sanity, I tap away at the keyboard on something I don't even care about anymore. The only reason I stumble on is because I fear not getting the job I want, and the fact that I'm already in so much debt.
However, recently I became aware of something: do I actually care if I get a 2:2 in some modules? Or even overall? Is this really someone I've become? Someone who obsesses over their grades as if it's life or death? I surely hope not because, as I said before, I have far more important things to worry about.
Some of us are just struggling to even stay alive, and we've all been through a lot worse than getting a "low" grade. I for one am about ready to hand in what I have and call it quits.
If you get a 2:2 or a Third then you should be proud of that. You're still here and you're still doing the work even though life is literally painful. You should be proud of the fact that you're not giving up because you're stronger than you think. Hell, I'm going to take my own advice. I'm stronger than I think.