The past few months have felt a little strange. Things have felt super rushed but at the same time really slow. My exams fall after Christmas and last for a two week period. Then it’s straight into new modules. So there’s not much breathing room between exams and modules. I honestly feel I haven’t had time to reflect and process things. This post is literally just going to be a sort of honest personal reflection on my uni life.
I only have two modules this year because I’m in my final year. I’m only two weeks in and really enjoying them. Then I have my dissertation which I’m finding a lot more challenging. It’s a 6000-word research report (I know shorter than the average dissertation), but my dyslexia just makes it hard for me. I also really don’t enjoy writing in the scientific style that’s needed for a research report but I’m managing reasonably okay and overall things are good.
However, there’s a part of me that knows I haven’t been looking after myself. I’m slipping into unhelpful habits. I go through my familiar cycle of procrastination…
Feel anxious about uni work; get sad about it; binge-watch Netflix to avoid my problems; feel super guilty and hate myself for being like this.
Topped off with the familiar cycle of fatigue:
Have a long day; feel exhausted; binge-watch Netflix; feel guilty for avoiding my uni work.
2019 was meant to be a fresh start of better self-care, fitness and productivity and it just hasn’t happened.
Where to go from here?
I have to start by being more gentle with myself. Uni isn’t easy and it’s exhausting living with a chronic illness while balancing studying and my social life. I can’t suddenly lose the fatigue. I can’t change overnight to be a person who wakes up with full energy. My chronic illness is so unpredictable that it’s hard for me to have a strict schedule and detailed goals (plus they’ve never worked well for me).
However, just becoming more aware of my avoidance tendencies is a good start. It allows me to look at how I might make some positive changes. My main focus is breaking my procrastination and fatigue cycles that make my mood so low.
Breaking the Cycle
Reduce the guilt, I’m choosing to really accept and forgive myself. For example, if I’ve just spent an evening binge-watching Netflix, there’s no point in feeling guilty and criticising myself. I can’t get that time back, so I have to accept it and forgive myself.
The guilt is the feeling that keeps me binge-watching, procrastinating and avoiding. I just have to take things step by step. Try to do a little bit more work each day. I’ve never missed an assignment deadline in the past 2 years of university or even needed an extension. I’ve done really well and I have worked hard. This is just the last little bit to go and I just need to make the most of it.
Thank you for reading and I hope you are well. I wrote this post mainly as something I can read back on and remind myself of. I hope this post might have reminded you to be more gentle with yourself life isn’t always smooth; keep going and keep growing.