Hello, hi. Welcome back guys.
Welcome to May, the pre-summer warm up.
The weather in London currently isn’t matching up to that title. It’s giving dreary, autumnal vibes meaning we’ve clearly offended somebody. I would like to apologise for anything we’ve done to deserve this September like weather. Irrespective of all this, the month of May is always a weird one (deepest apologies May babies). For years, my brain has been wired in such a way that the month of May now means exam season. When I think May, my brain responds with chaos. Deadlines, cramming, overnighters and of course – stress. That was peak exam culture and truly representative of what May feels like to me.
(In usual fashion, I’m sending love to those of you doing any of the above.)
This is the first time in a while that I haven’t had to worry about what May brings. It’s the first time in a while that I haven’t had to run myself mad all in the name of performing well in my exams. In times like this, I realise how much of my life was dedicated to education.
How much of my life revolved around being a student.
Stepping out of the student box last year was scary yet liberating. With its constant bad vibes yet predetermined route, education was all that I was comfortable in. I didn’t know anything else so that was a worry but I expected the rest of my life to finally begin.
Now, through no longer having the usual responsibilities of May, I noticed something very odd about myself – I still feel nauseous.
While my brain has caught up to the fact that I’m no longer a student, my body is completely unaware. It reminds me of people that wake up in a panic thinking they’re late for an exam when they graduated three years ago. That’s how much of a toll being a student for so long does to you and I’m ready for that conversation – she said after completing her Masters and considering going back for more. However, I won’t dispute the fact that being in that environment isn’t the best for ones sanity. The pressure to get good grades, meet deadlines and still somehow juggle life made university a hard time for a whole lot of people, yet some of us go back? We have to unpack.
It seems to me that my being and personality trait was tied to being a student. I seem to only know myself in an educational setting where you perform, achieve and proceed to the next stage. Life outside of that isn’t so reliable. Life outside of education doesn’t follow the structured stages of education, instead the laws are different. The work world, responsibilities and life in general – is just different. Being a student doesn’t prepare you for that, you just have to figure it out. It is through “figuring it out” that you begin to realise how that lengthy period of being in education created some damage.
From being used to performing well to now feeling nauseous in May – the way that studying for a long period has shaped you is one you notice as time passes. I can’t seem to forget the memories of May and the various stories I have of the overnighters and the overwhelming need to succeed. That being said, a large portion of my university stories come from these times. That one time my friend and I stayed up until 4am doing our lab reports or that time when a whole bunch of us gathered in the common room the day before an exam and burst into tears – one by one. I laugh now at these moments and it’s even better that I’m now pass those stages that seemed to stretch for eons.
Moments that you couldn’t even imagine looking back on are now those exact things – moments you can look back on. In summary, the season is never permanent. However, when you’re in the sticks of that season? When that season is really doing you? That’s the ghetto. I don’t think anyone forgets the person they are during exam season, or forgets what’s it’s like to be a student – and that in itself highlights how important those years of study are in a person.
I’m not sure when I’ll stop feeling sick in May. It’s a work in progress, but ultimately I loved and still love learning. Academia itself though? That was a journey.
See y’all in the next one.
with all my love,