I’m not actually sure where to start with this post – it feels like it’s been a really long year and yet I don’t actually remember much of it.
Starting academically, it’s been a lot tougher – I found the first year really manageable considering my workload and other activities, but it’s been incredibly difficult to keep up that same pace this year.
My depression has also been back in spurts this year, which hasn’t been nice. I can’t control the timing of my episodes and had been fairly episode-free during the first year, so I didn’t predict being completely sad, unfocused and unmotivated in the few weeks running up to my (one!!) course-related exam in January. That exam was worth half a module, and I’m very lucky that my coursework in the other half made up the difference meaning I will not have to retake it. My summer is kind of packed as it is without revising for it.
It’s conflicting because I really do want to be pushing myself over the course of my time at university and definitely managed that to a good extent last year but my limits have changed as well so I can’t push myself as much without burning out. I went to all the society gatherings I could manage last year but towards the end, I barely went. I went to almost every lecture last year, and struggled with that this year. I had two part-time jobs last year on top of it all, and had to quit one of them a few months into second year.
I tried to fit in the gym as well this year and that helped in some ways but also made the tiredness worse.
The other main part of my year was searching for a placement for third year. That part actually turned out okay. By February-ish, I had a summer placement as a research assistant lined up which I have actually started as of typing, and I had also been accepted to study at Korea University in Seoul! I had been worrying about finding work-related experience whilst wanting to visit one of my dream locations, so this arrangement was perfect. I do worry that I’m not doing enough to catch up to others and improve my future prospects – I think the opportunity to do a placement is invaluable and I can’t imagine deciding not to it! That said, it’s also fine if it’s not for everyone.
The process of applying to study abroad is really long, though, which I didn’t expect. Lots of things need to be organised and done in advance and without appropriate notice, the whole thing can threaten to fall through. It’s been a little stressful waiting for other things I can’t control but, hopefully, I can sort out the last of what needs to be done – I also haven’t been able to spare time to learn Korean which I clearly need to do soon.
The last main thing that I think I want to address is friends, because I did mention being worried about it during my first year. I’m glad to say I’ve found a crew of friends I adore over the last two years, and I love them lots. We even all sat down to watch Nintendo’s E3 announcements live together, which was so much fun. I think for me, having shared interests isn’t essential for friendship, but it really helps in my case just because a lot of my own interests are kind of specific.
Finally, this year’s designated summer hobby is streaming games! I felt that it would be a good way to connect with my friends and siblings whilst I am in Seoul, the only main issue being the time difference. If the blog seems dead or sporadic, that might be why.
You might know that when I started this blog, I didn’t have many people I could talk to, so I talked to myself using this blog, which hasn’t taken off much and I always forget to promote. I’m still very proud of this blog and it’s the first thing I will point out when it comes to my content creation. I wanted to branch out, but videos seemed like a pretty far leap, and deciding to stream was a natural decision.
At the moment, you can catch me a few nights a week (usually 8pm-11pm GMT) on Twitch. This will definitely change once I move to Seoul though!
Anyway, I’ll leave it here. I’m going to try and schedule some posts this summer, but I can’t promise anything as I’m busy with placement, part-time work and preparing for next year!
Until next time,