I sent a link of a Halloween event happening at one of the night clubs to my housemates. That was in June, and I was excited to move in with them to go out boozing it up for the Halloween themed nights in the city. October did not turn out how I expected, and the links of events I sent around seem laughable now. Frustrated does not feel like a strong enough word for how it felt to get a notification off Facebook with the word ‘cancelled’ plastered across it. I know in the grand scheme of things, nights out and socials are not the most important thing in the world right now. That’s what any non-university student would say. But paying all this money is not just about the education. It’s the people you meet and the new friends you make. Being a second-year student makes me empathise with any first year, and I hope they kick up a storm about how they’ve have been treated this year.
I realised that I missed going out so much because of the lack of validation that I didn’t get from myself, and that shocked me. I would get dressed up to make boys heads turn, as well as use it as a way to convince myself that I was pretty. Being able to have the time to grow my brain instead of shrinking it with trivial time wasters at the bar has made me realise how much I like my own company. First year was about getting with as many guys as I could to make myself feel attractive, but not having that attention fulfilled has forced me to do it on my own, and damn, it is refreshing.
Even though I feel I have become more in touch with my mind, it doesn’t stop the way I feel about my education. Being in a classroom environment means you get to ask other students questions to make sure you’re on the right track. When you’re on your own, you can spend hours, even days going down the wrong path wasting your time. That’s what happened to me. I read the assignment brief and made notes upon notes, but not being around other students on the same course meant I was lost in all the terminology. I got a marginal fail in this year’s first essay. I don’t feel bad for myself, but I do feel disappointed in the fact that I was too proud to reach out for help, and that I thought I could do it on my own. Nobody is an island, and I needed to get myself some oars! You shouldn’t feel guilty for taking up a lecturer’s time to get some help. It is quite literally their job to assist you in your studies. It’s not like college where you felt like a burden when asking for help. You are a paying student and deserve that assistance.
I hit my lowest point in lockdown when that mark came through, and here’s why. I submitted my paper when I was positive with Covid-19. I was already in pain due to another medical issue at the time. I hadn’t seen any family members for nearly 6 months, and I couldn’t go and seek comfort from my housemates as I wasn’t allowed near them. I lost 8lb, then gained it all and more from being bed bound. My skin broke out in spots everywhere from lack of sunlight. This is not a pity party, but for another student to find comfort in knowing they are not alone in these feelings. I think Christmas is what everyone needs, but it’s a milestone to pass before we carry on the journey. Covid will not be left in 2020, and it is something as a world, nation and as individuals that we need to accept. Students can learn from this year how strong as a unit we are and how young people are more resilient than the previous generation give us credit for. The only snowflakes I’ll be seeing this year is when it snows.
By Jody Cook
Image Credit: Pixabay