Written by Agne ☽
I will try very hard not to make this post into something I would put in a diary. The thing is, this is a difficult time period for every student, so rather than annoying my friends who are in the same boat (which I often do, and I am so sorry), I would like to express my thoughts by writing them down here. Asbeerations was created for sharing the daily student-life struggles anyways, so sit back, relax and continue reading if you feel like it’s getting a bit much for you to deal with the mid-term madness. I feel like it will be so much fun reflecting on this time when I will finally have the degree in my hands!
I am a third-year student in the UK, which means that my journey as an undergraduate is coming to an end. These two years went by so fast it’s kind of scary to think about and although I remember having difficult moments throughout my time at Newcastle, what is going on now (literally, what?) is another whole dimension for me.
I really tried to go an extra mile this year and take every opportunity that this university had to offer. I took up two term-time internships alongside my part-time job at a café. I don’t know what exactly was going in my mind when I made this decision (I like to think that if I took it at the time, I knew deep down that I’ll manage) but I definitely know that I am not the only person in the world having a lot going on. I am, however, going an extra mile in terms of my personal limits. I also realise that situation that I am in is totally one of the effects of the ‘go hard or go home’ trend. Constantly pushing yourself to the maximum and the never-ending feeling like you are not doing enough is kind of a phenomenon in itself and deserves a separate post.
Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for these amazing opportunities – they are so valuable and so much fun for me and I will definitely tell you more about them in the future. However, all these new responsibilities and a huge lack of time is becoming overwhelming and makes me feel like complaining all the time. While on the one hand I feel like it is so wrong to do that as there are so many people working so much harder than me or people who do not have the same opportunities, on the other hand, not talking to anyone about it can become really problematic really fast (I guess one helpful solution is writing a blog 🙂).
I have always been the person who remains calm and focused when it gets crazy busy – I have never pulled an all-nighter or cried in the library (hopefully I never will, although there is no shame in that). When I get a bit stressed, I tend to write things down, plan ahead and ALWAYS keep some time to do what I like. That’s what I try to do in the current situation, but I can really say that it’s getting more and more tricky. It’s getting tricky because the things I do carry so much more weight than those in the past – it applies both to the internships and the final year of university. It all comes down to the fact that it’s hard to let things go – it’s getting impossible not to think about what I yet have to finish and the challenges that await. I feel like it might sound stupid for some, but it definitely is a new and big thing to me to overcome, as I have always been able to ignore this feeling and have a quality time off which helped me to cope.
Essentially, it is hard for me to grasp the notion of prioritising and not being able to do my absolute best at every single thing. It feels so wrong to be behind with my studies, but it is also unfair to let people down when it comes to my internships and work. It doesn’t feel right to quit something and see it all as ‘too much’ as it also felt absolutely horrible to feel like doing ‘not enough’. What I am trying to say here is that it’s a difficult period for me as a student and as a young person in general. As much as it is difficult to every other young person out there, nonetheless.
I feel like the only escape from this is to realise that it is the way the real life works and, more importantly, that I will get used to it like I got used to many huge transitions that happened in the past. I don’t like to think about it as something that will pass and that I somehow won’t have to try anymore. I feel like working hard is something that is always needed to live a happy life, and not only when it comes to your professional journey. That is, trying hard will be something that continues, but the fears and struggles that come with these new things will eventually go. It is so important to remember that it’s all something I had an opportunity to choose doing and I am lucky I had this opportunity.
For now, I TRY to be productive and do my best, but also make it an absolute must to carve some time off even though it is hard to distance myself from all that’s going on. I try to enjoy my last year in Newcastle, have fun with my friends and to find interesting aspects in the tasks that are less enjoyable for me. I absolutely love my course as dreadful as these essays may be and try not to let the overwhelming feeling of multitasking undermine the fact how fabulous my internships are.
Make your lists, lose some sleep (sometimes!) over the important stuff, but don’t forget to go and have a Netflix session or nights out once in a while. You are not alone in this and you definitely got this.
That’s some of my thoughts during this mid-term craziness and I can’t wait to look back to this time in the future. As a line from my favourite past-time activity aka ‘The Office’ quotes: “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them” – if my parents are right, I will remember these mad university days for the rest of my life and I’m working to make this memory a good one.