HOPE YOU’VE ALL ENJOYED A PEACEFUL AND CALM FIRST MONTH OF 2017 (hope being the key word here .. what is HAPPENING in the world?! *hides deep rooted concern by speaking in memes and eating bread*).
The past month has been odd to say the least. There’s the real world (we won’t talk about that), then there’s the safe&happy Lancaster uni bubble, and then there’s a new level of fantasy world that I didn’t even know existed. A WHOLE month in the bubble with no lectures because of a study project. (shoutout to Lucy for being the best SSM partner going.) This means that for 4 weeks I have felt like some kind of retiree – my daily routine being somewhat non-existent; rising at 11.30 am, having lunch for breakfast in my dressing gown and effectively starting my day properly at 2pm. (un)Fortunately, this little world of mine is coming to an abrupt end tomorrow. (rip)
As I’ve mentioned before on here, I work as part of the bank staff at a children’s hospice and I’ve been able to get a few shifts this week, which are an actual little God send because they could not have come at an emotionally or financially better time.
Today was my first proper shift back since I started uni and it was such a big wake up call. It not only made me feel like a fool for even thinking about complaining about lectures, but it also reminded me of who I was before uni, which although I feel that I haven’t changed too drastically, to say that I haven’t stuggled with identity would be a huge lie.
Things like calling uni ‘home’ to my family (ways to trigger your family 101) and calling real home ‘home home’, to having a completely different routine at whichever one I’m at – being a university student is literally like leading a double life, whether you want to or not. Are you an independent adult owning and ruling your life, or are you still the child who needs to phone home for help on how to work the oven (guilttty) ? It’s all not easy when you’re trying to do a degree that demands all of your brain and will power. I still have to do a double take when my identifier is ‘the med student’. Meeting friends of friends with ‘hey this is Katie’ and the response being ‘oh are you the med student??’ – it literally makes my mind go blank for a second because I’m like oh wait.Really? yes. yes I am. How. What . Who what what what where?
To spend my time today as the person I used to be pre-uni was almost surreal. Like the past 5 months hadn’t even happened. When you’re in the bubble it’s difficult to acknowledge anything other than what’s happening at that very moment and I think it’s all too easy to become very insular – despite being surrounded by 1000s of equally skint/stressed/lost souls. This said, today also opened my eyes to how short a time I’ve actually been at uni and how quickly scarily strong bonds can be made – learning to live with other people who aren’t your family is a skill and journey that is far too often dismissed as something easy. The reward of complete strangers becoming an unstoppable unit is somewhat worth it though.
Above all, today I spent time with children who were born in pain and that’s all they’ve ever known. I spent time with a family whilst they watched a light of their life deteriorate before their eyes. Whenever I say I’m a med student or I work at a children’s hospice I’m always greeted with sounds and looks of awe. Being looked upon and viewed in this way is something that I know is a part of the career I have chosen- but it’s never something that I’ve aspired to have or ever wanted, and still feel slightly uncomfortable with. I’m not the brave one for working where I worked today, or for following the medical career – it’s a priviledge. Some say it’s because it reminds them of how precious life is. But for me it’s a priviledge to be reminded how precious the potential of life is, and I hope that the rest of my uni days resonate with that lesson. (this said .. please don’t judge me if u see me in sugar .. the potential for a good night out shouldn’t be wasted either xo) So thanks for reading and as cheese as this is .. don’t waste that potential to be happy.