** Be prepared for some mega word vomit n poor poor grammar – I am not expecting most people to read this but this is basically for me to document for myself **
I know that this blog was meant to be something of consistency – to document my second year progress, show some tips on ‘wellness’ and how to ‘organise’ and get ‘good grades’ and ‘feel ur best at uni!’ . However, I can’t lie and say it was all lollipops and rainbows because sadly this year was anything but those things. I don’t like to admit it but in the beginning of second year, I bit off far more than I could chew. On top of being on quite an intense course, maintaining my mental health/CFS, I had a horse at Uni, I was applying to placements, I was social sec of a sports society, I was keeping up with the gym/trying to maintain a healthy relationship with food /trying to suss my stomach health out and trying to maintain somewhat of a social life. It was at the end of November that I realised I may have made some big errors in my own judgement here. It really all just got too much to handle. I’m always one to keep myself busy, because it greatly distracts me from my anxiety, seemingly giving me a sense of ‘accomplishment’, but I just went too far this time. There was no sense of balance. Gradually, I decided maybe a placement wasn’t for me as I couldn’t find anything that truly interested me – I was constantly stressing about what if I didn’t like it? What if I got a placement that I was unsure about and 6 months down the line I didn’t want to continue with it anymore? Would I let others down, specifically my parents? Did I maybe want to go on a year abroad? There was an intense period of overwhelming worry and ultimately, I decided that just because most may do a placement or a year abroad and yeah it may make them look super-duper professional and qualified, not everyone has to do it to get a job in their area of profession. I will do a masters down the line, however for now I would love to finish my course, go travelling for a year and come back to it to start a career in what I love doing! So that was one thing that partly took the weight off my shoulders.
Sadly it was around November/December that my sleep started to dwindle down to a very poor level. My poor housemates called me the ‘dragon in the cave’ (love u guys sorry for being a biatch). Tip of the day if you suffer from anxiety-related symptoms and CFS, DO NOT BE STUPID AND GRAB THE ROOM ON THE GROUND FLOOR RIGHT NEXT TO THE FRONT DOOR JUST BECAUSE ITS MASSIVE and u think it will be fun because there is so much space for activity. You. will. not sleep. ever. Regardless if you’re housemates are quiet or loud. For me, less sleep means less going to Uni and more anxiety-related/CFS symptoms = more days in bed, less riding = less health all round. = Arianna is a lousy moody miserable housemate. It all became a huge cycle and I would get so angry at my housemates when they were coming in from a night out enjoying themselves because I wasn’t sleeping. But it was all on me because I shouldn’t have taken the room knowing about my health etc. Pooooor choices.
Lack of sleep + more anxiety led to something that really affects me, and that is my stomach. It’s been nearly 6 years now that I’ve been dealing with really aggressive symptoms and we still can’t work out what’s wrong with me. More tests are being done later this summer. All I know is I feel sick quite a lot lol and can’t eat a whole host of things. Side note – Italy this week was fun when you shouldn’t eat gluten, lactose or drink wine. Yolo I ate it all anyway (do not recommend). But getting onto my stomach issues are a bit more private to me and I’m sure you don’t want to hear about them anyway.
The main issue was that anytime I would go out and drink, I would be so so ill the next day, even ill for 2-3 days after. This was a huge problem in me being social sec (which I eventually had to back down from) because I just wouldn’t go into Uni the rest of the week. Didn’t matter what I would drink, I would be violently ill. Cue me finding out I’m intolerant to wine :):):):) I really really struggled this year socialising because of this, finding myself dropping out of nights out with all of my friends and alienating myself away from the group. It completely took out all the fun from going out because I knew the next day would be written off whilst everyone is getting on with their day. I started to feel really awkward in every social situation, felt really withdrawn and quiet. It was like I had taken a huge step back, lost all my confidence and took a massive 180 from the bubbly and outgoing girl in first year. I basically just tried to avoid it at all costs. It’s meant to be fun and games but it just wasn’t fun anymore being sick all the time. The majority of this year consisted of a lot of time in bed sleeping and feeling not so great, a lot less time riding and lot less time going to Uni. Uni has been amazing about my circumstances and I am fortunate to have such supportive staff in my parent school with everything that has happened this year. Additionally, my friends are amazing and have been soooo understanding and lovely about it all, accepting why I’ve not come out as much as I obviously would have liked to.
Come January time I had a huge wobble and questioned whether Uni was really what I needed at the moment (I was just being silly cos yes it really is). The people I spoke to were v supportive and understanding and helped me see the bright side to it all. However unsurprisingly, exams came and went and I didn’t get the beeeeessst of grades.
Now second semester has gone by in a flash and it went a lot better than the first. I had more time on my hands as sadly, Spenny had an eye condition which meant I couldn’t ride for 3 months. For most people, you know how much riding helps in calming me down, but in some ways this was a blessing in disguise as it allowed me to spend more time with my friends, more time for revising for my final exams and more time on me. It seems hard work does pay off as I can safely now say I’ve ended on a high 2.1 for this year! Managed to totally turn it around somehow (how, I do not know) and I hope to continue this groove into next year.
If there’s anything I can say, I want next year to be as balanced as possible. Though I have my dissertation to write and well it’s the dreaded third year, I have way more free time on my hands to ride and socialise with my lovely sexy friends again. I don’t want to be stressing all the time about what I’ve got to do next and worry about what else I need to ‘fit in’ during my day – just want next year to be as relaxed and free flowin as possible. I feel super proud of the way that I have turned things around and I hope that next year will start on the high that I have ended on.