The Start Of A New Chapter In My Life

I should’ve really posted this yesterday but I was unbelievably tired and needed time to relax (basically just catching up on sleep). I remember around this time, 3 years ago (2013), I was studying for 10 hours straight every single day. I would forget to eat and unwillingly developed an eating disorder. My phone was mostly on silent and locked up in a drawer just so I could focus. I worked my butt off to get into the university I wanted even though, deep down, I knew university wasn’t for me.

Nevertheless, I got into my first choice, Westminster university, even though I lied to the head of Journalism (Jim) in the interview. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, I applied to study journalism because I watched Ugly Betty and thought “that’s the lifestyle for me”. (Please don’t be as stupid as me by making life decisions based on TV shows. I’m still guilty of doing this.) Anyway, Jim didn’t know about the lie until recently when I was telling the story to a friend and another lecturer, Patrick. I decided to come clean with Jim, thinking that he already knew I lied but surprisingly he didn’t. I don’t recommend lying but I was put on the spot and didn’t realise what was coming out of my mouth. Technically, it wasn’t a lie. It was more of a ‘misunderstanding’… Yeah, let’s just say that.

First year of BA journalism at uni was quite fun. I enjoyed it. I learnt a lot and my grades were pretty good. Second year was horrendous. I went through a really bad phase where I began to hate uni and just stopped going. I was drugged up on antidepressants which had a weird effect on me. I felt numb towards everything and couldn’t process any thoughts. It started impacting my work as I lacked creativity and motivation. It was a really tough point in my life but instead of deciding to drop out (which I was really keen on), I pushed myself to finish my degree. This year was the final push and it took a lot of sleepless nights, mood swings, tears and anxiety for me to get by, but I did it.

I started writing my dissertation in February so that I wouldn’t be panicking in April. My insomnia became worse. My body and brain would be tired but I would lie awake every night till 6am, overthinking my life. I had to ask a stranger in Costa to help me work out the mathematical side to analysing my data. I constantly messaged the founder of Tinder on every social networking site possible just so he could provide me the most up to date statistics. I considered sending him nudes just to get his attention. He never replied in the end but I still wrote my 12,000 words and submitted it in.

I took my mum to uni with me yesterday to hand in my dissertation. When I was applying for uni, no one was there for me. No one came to the open days with me. My parents and I weren’t brought up here so they had no idea how the education system in the UK worked. I did it all on my own. So I wanted to show her what my uni looked like since she didn’t get a chance to continue her education. I was stressed out the whole day so I didn’t get to absorb as much of uni as I wanted. Stupidly I only took a picture in the auditorium and not one in the news rooms we had spent the majority of our time in. I forgot to take a picture with my favourite lecturers. I forgot everything. I just wanted to hand in my dissertation and close this chapter of my life.

Everyone took the standard ‘handing in dissertation’ picture. My mum however, accidentally took 6 videos of me posing for what I thought, would be pictures. So the picture below looks pretty sh*t as I had to take screenshots from a video. I was pissed off at the time but now I’m just happy that she was there with me.

I still have two more assignments left to submit so it hasn’t really kicked in that university is over. I think it will only kick in on graduation day but thank you to all my friends and family who stuck by me these past 3 years. You all put up with my anxiety attacks, my mood swings, my tears and my anger. I thought I would find my friends for life at uni (that’s what they all said would happen) but I just ended up meeting some great people on the way. Some who I’m glad I met, others I’m hoping to actually stay in touch with. Oh, I also want to thank my dissertation tutor Sara Marino and the head of journalism Jim McClellan for all their quick email responses, help and support. I need to also thank Petsa Kaffens for all our lovely conversations in her office and for all the inspiration she has taught me through her electric style and her achievements in life. I will forever adore Petsa.

Overall, I am just so proud of myself. This is the first time in my life that I’ve finished something I voluntarily decided to do. Those who know me, know that I don’t even finish my drinks, let alone push myself through uni. I can’t wait to see what the new chapter in my life has in store for me but I’m ready for all the new challenges on the way. I’m going to continue to make myself proud and I hope you all learn to make decisions and succeed in life, for you. Make yourself proud.

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Lola x

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