Through My Eyes

blog, blogs, Drama, help, helpful, justgeorgej, Student, Students, Theatre, uni, University

Hello Readers,

I am really trying to get back into the routine of blogging to a schedule so that you, my readers, have some consistency as to when my content is actually posted. I’m failing, aren’t I? I really am going to try harder! It’s just getting into the swing of things and deciding what to write. To be honest, not knowing what to write has always been the downful of all my blogs throughout the years. The only reason this one lasted up for so long is because I could write about student things… and even though I am still a student, I do not want to start repeating myself multiple times. I’m still sort of doing that, but oh well! Let’s crack on with today’s article, shall we? ‘Through My Eyes’ is, yeah you guessed it, a article post about anxiety. WOW! Exciting, am I right? … I’ll just start.

Just for a moment, I would like you to imagine a couple of things;

Imagine that you are drunk. In whatever way ‘drunk’ means to you. Imagine that. That point where you cannot concentrate on one singular point. Where everything feels like it has a ‘buzz’ or ‘vibration‘ to it. Where everything is spinning. The room, the people, everything, your head cannot be still for a single second.

Imagine this now… imagine that you are not drunk and the room isn’t spinning, HOWEVER, you cannot concentrate on a singular point still. You feel distant still, but not drunk. Everything still feels like it has a buzz. You are ‘in the room’ physically, but mentally, you are trying to claw out of there for no reason whatsoever.

Now, these are just my feeble attempts at trying to get you to imagine what it is like when an anxiety attack kicks in or when you relapse.

It is feeling drunk but being completely sober.

Let me take you on a journey, as best as I possibly can. I am metaphorically going to ‘put you in my shoes’ for a moment. In this scenario, I am going to (to the best of my ability) try and allow you to see through my eyes what its like when anxiety strikes.


Ready? … Good, because I am not.

TRIGGER WARNING

It is a completely normal day. You do not have anything on. It’s a chill day. A Sunday perhaps. Your week hasn’t been to bad either, which is good. You haven’t had any stress that you couldn’t handle. Good. You haven’t got a particularly stressful week coming up either, again, good. At this moment and time, you are completely ‘chill’. Well, as chill as you can be. You are sitting in the living room with your feet up watching the TV or talking with friends and family. You are comfortable around these people. You are comfortable. You feel like you belong, you do not feel out of place or at ‘risk’. You are fine. You are good.

But then… (dramatic music)

As you are sitting there, your heart suddenly thumps your chest. Almost like it’s jumped a beat. It catches you off guard. Okay? Right, no big deal. Then it does it again, and again, again. You are starting to notice it. You can’t help but notice it. You are trying to keep eye contact with the person you are talking to but you cannot ignore what is going on underneath your own skin, so, though your eyes are maintaing contact, you are MILES away. You can feel a cold sweat coming on. You can feel a tremble in your fingers as you hold your coffee cup. You are trying to ignore it. You can see it out of the corner of your eyes. It lasts a moment or two but to you it feels like a life time. Right, it’s over? Okay. Back to reality. You are trying to calm down from what just happened. You wipe your brow and regrip your coffee cup.

But then… (more dramatic music)

You feel a pinch in your chest. It hurts. It’s painful. This is the end you tell yourself. This is the moment I die. I’m having a heart attack. My hearts out of sync. It’s skipping beats. There’s not enough oxygen or blood, there must be a blockage, whatever it is, it’s the end. I am about to embarrass myself (oh yes, I said embarrass) in front of my friends and family by dying via a heart attack. Right here on the living room floor. All of this is happening under the surface but you are maintaining your cool so nobody knows anything is wrong apart from those who truly know you and know the signs. Your eyes are glazed. The cold sweats are back, except you aren’t cold, you are burning up. You’re on fire. The shakes are back. Oh no, I can’t breath. You have a shortness of breath. You are trying to catch a breath that you feel is always out of reach. At this point your body is having a full blown breakdown. You are both freaking out and accepting it at the same time. Guess what? This conversation is still going on. You are still trying to play it cool, apart from the fact some idiot in your head has hit the ‘flight or fight’ button in your head a million times for no reason and you have no idea why. There is NOTHING to be anxious about. Well, guess what? Try telling yourself that! To be honest, it’s either throw your cup of tea up in the air as a distraction and run out of the room and curl up in your duvet away from everyone where you feel ‘comfortable’ (even though you were before) or if you believe the ‘fight response’ punch your dear friend in the face because you know, your body must have dedicated they were about to do something without you realising it first. Ridiculous, right? WRONG. These are the ‘rational’ explanations we try and tell ourselves to understand what is happening because honestly, under the ‘calm’ exterior we are doing this…

WHAT THE FUCK?! WHY?! WHAT?! WHAT’S HAPPENED?! WHO DIED?! WHAT?!

Do you know what it’s like? It’s like when you startle a sleeping dog and they are all of the sudden awake and alert and ready to go (even though they have NO idea what is going on).

Right, where were we? Oh, yeah! So, the ‘fight and flight’ response button in your head has obviously broken and you are sitting there shaking like a drug addict that hasn’t had their fix, coffee cup shaking and everything. Again, you are STILL trying to maintain this conversation because you know if you do not, you could REALLY upset the person you are talking to and if you did that they may get angry and then they will never talk to you again and then once that happens the friendship group falls apart and its all because of you, you, you ruined everything. Why would you do that? (Notice how that rambled on, it’s like that in our heads at a MILLION miles per hour). This is what the part I asked you to imagine earlier comes into play.

Now, at this moment, you are ‘numb’. You are aware of everything that is happening to your body but, you are ‘ignoring it’. In other words, you are numb to it. You are just letting it happen because you know its all you can do. So, again, physically you are still in this living room where you feel perfectly comfortable having a conversation with a close friend but in your head, well, mentally you are GONE. You are far gone. Your mental state has ran out of the living room, straight upstairs, closed the door and hid under the duvet. Following this, the adrenaline that has been released due to your surivival mode kicking in is coursing through your body and making your heart beat fast, your breathing shallow and your head spin like you are the drunkest you’ve ever been. Now you are struggling to concentrate. You are trying to focus on one spot – their eyes, their lips – but as you do, you keep drifting and you cannot control it.

How does this end? Well, you either excuse yourself from the room and go deal with this alone; allow itself to ride out and feel crap and exhausted afterwards; or actually voice how you’re feeling and get help. (The latter is rarely the option chosen).

So, the problem with the previous is that you often come off as rude; distant; vacant; quiet and well, the list goes on. You fall under an umbrella of terms that you do not belong in. That ‘persona’ is a direct cause and effect of ANXIETY. Or, more specifically, an anxiety attack.


To be honest, I’m intrigued at myself for being able to put that into words. It may not be 100% accurate and to be honest, for each and every sufferer, it is different. This is my personal account of how it feels, some what. Sure, it’s a little comedic but if you cannot make fun of it, it is winning and it should never win. I know it is easy to say that and I can hold my hands up and say that 50% of the time, it does have a hold on me and effects me greatly but the other 50% of the time, I have a hold on it.

One thing you should know, if you do not suffer this particular mental illness, it is exhausting. I am in no way implying other mental illnesses are not exhausting, I am just allowing you to know that it is exhausting. It drains you mentally and physically. When adrenaline ‘fuels’ your body like that, you have a come down afterwards and it is not in the slightest pleasant.

Therefore, if you are reading this because you have anxiety and want to know how another person suffers, keep going, you are strong and you can overcome this. If you are reading this because you want to understand somebody with anxiety, this is one person laying themselves bear because hey, it’s good to talk about it. It is difficult, it is EXHAUSTING and soul destroying. We just want you to know something…

We are NOT rude. We are NOT ignoring you. We are NOT doing this conciously.

We ARE fighting battles that you cannot see. We ARE trying our hardest each and every day. We thank you for sticking by us and trying as hard as you are.

Good fighting good people and my lovely readers!

Until next time,

JustGeorgeJ

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Anxiety and It’s Disabling Capabilities

University

Hello Readers,

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post now and I have been juggling university work, job searching and life in general. To be honest, in the past couple of weeks, this anxiety that I suffer from has attempted to rear it’s ugly head back into my life and in the past couple of days, it succeeded. Therefore you can call this moment I’m experiencing, the “relapse”. From the title you can gather I will be talking about anxiety (as usual), but this time (and in more detail) exploring its disabling capabilities.

Whether I’ve explained this before, I cannot remember, but since anxiety has settled itself like a unwelcome visitor in my life, it has continually found ways of rubbing me up the wrong way. Or in other words, found ways to make me pay attention to it.

If that doesn’t make sense, let me go back and explain. Anxiety has a way of affecting you both physically and mentally – as many of us suffers (and non suffers) will understand. The physical affects can range from person to person depending on who you are and the level of which you suffer, e.g. rapid or irregular heartbeat, hyperventilating or shortness of breath, shaking and twitching, light headedness or dizziness and so on and so fourth. The mental affects are racing thoughts, constant feelings of dread, overthinking, negative thoughts etc. Whatever way anxiety decides to manifest within you, it isn’t a pleasant feeling with most suffers saying that when they have an attack, it feels as though they are dying. Which is something I feel all too well.

A lot of these symptoms that are listed above (as long as those that haven’t) are also known as “triggers“. Normally meaning that any of these symptoms can occur and then “trigger” the rest of the anxiety (or panic) attack. Of course, whether you know it or not, anxiety and panic attacks are a cause of the “flight or fight response” in the body. The way I like to think of it, simply, is as a mis-wiring within the body. The “fight or flight response” within the human body is all about basic survival. However, anxiety suffers, our flight or fight fires 100x more than it needs to and within the release of chemicals (such as adrenaline) it triggers the symptoms above. This makes us feel like we are on “vibrate” and as though we need to be running or doing something when all we are doing is sitting in bed and everything is fine. A major problem with suffering from this mental health issue is that it causes us confusion. Humans naturally suffer from a base form of anxiety, e.g. being nervous and unfortunately, we no longer are granted the basic anxiety which helps us. Instead, we are running on overdrive 24/7 for no reason, dealing with irrational and silly thoughts and although we know there is no need to feel this way, it’s difficult to talk yourself out of it, although, not impossible.

This brings me to my journey. Throughout my journey, I have battled throughout a lot of my triggers. It originally started with a rapid heartbeat, that would set me off. Then once I overcame that, it was having a shortness of breath. Defeating that led me to twitching and shaking, I suffered from this a lot. This goes on and on, you get the idea. I am at a point now where I have fought with my anxiety a lot and overcame A LOT. Usually, I relapse badly at least once a month, if not a little longer. This is one of those times. The most recent of these triggers is that of being light headed and feeling nauseated. Badly. Normally, it’s not too bad and it passes easily, however, this time it has decided not to grant me the simple pleasure of having to endure it for a short while. In the past couple of days, it’s completely disabled me in day-to-day life and social situations. I hate it. Ever since early yesterday, it has felt as though the room was spinning. It has felt like, well simply, it has felt like I have vertigo. It seems as though I am unstable and it makes me feel sick to my stomach. Although, it is purely a product of this dreaded anxiety. If I shake my head widely, it does not make me feel sick or dizzy, but, if I sit normally or live my day-to-day life then BOOM! I feel as though I’m about to pass out. Excuse my language but it is completely shit. This has led to me having to miss my girlfriends grandmothers birthday and be in bed for most of the day which makes me feel absolutely horrible. It makes me feel disrespectful, rude and idiotic. It is completely disabling in every way. It is a battle every second. Why do I tell you this? Well, maybe to help me vent or maybe to help you understand that if you are reading this and you suffer as well, you aren’t alone or to let those know that don’t suffer, it is not a choice we make. Our brains are working overtime and the questions never stop; what if I’m out and I faint? what if nobody believes me and they think I am being silly? what if I embarrass myself? And so on. It completely disables you from being able to be a normal human and we want nothing more than for it to stop. We do not choose this.

But hey, all in all, this may just be the next battle I am going to have to face. Just the next step in this journey of an anxious life. It’s shitty but it’s a part of me. However, it will not control me for long. I will overcome this soon.

What Anxiety Actually Is – Reflection

blog, blogs, Drama, help, helpful, justgeorgej, Student, Students, Theatre, uni, University

Hello Readers,

As I previously mentioned JustGeorgeJ is going to begin to focus on Mental Health. Specifically, anxiety. Due to the reason, this is a mental health issue I have dealt with since the end of my Second Year, as previously discussed. Also, I am keeping my promise of having a writing schedule and here I am, Friday’s post! If you missed yesterdays post over on The MA Life, please find it here.

Today’s article is a reflection on a post from ‘Thought Catalogue‘ which I retweeted over on Twitter the other day. The article in question is titled ‘What Anxiety Actually Is, Because It’s More Than ‘Just Worrying’‘. After reading through it, I related to the post and thought I would reflect upon specific areas of the article and share with you as a way of kicking off this new ‘season’ of articles.


What Anxiety Actually Is, Because It’s More Than ‘Just Worrying’ – Reflection

The article kicks off with the following quotation;

“Anxiety is the restless nights of sleep, as you toss and turn. It’s your brain never being able to shut off. It’s the thoughts you over-think before bedtime and all of your worst fears become reality in dreams and nightmares.”

I use this quotation to open the article due to the fact it reminds me of the first night anxiety reared it’s ugly head into my life and then relates to every single night of my life since. The first night it happened, I was laying in the dark in bed when all of the sudden, it felt like someone had flipped my heart into overdrive. Fast forward past the trip to A&E and it was my first truly restless night, I do not believe I really slept that night. I would truly have the tagline of anxiety as “It’s your brain never being able to shut off” if it was my choice. It is like your brain is hooked on adrenaline and it never stops craving it. It is double guessing every decision you have ever made and will ever make. It is overthinking every single word that comes out of your mouth. It is overanalysing everything situation that you face and being able to read another human’s body language in a super detailed way. It is a constant daily struggle.

“Anxiety is that critical voice that says ‘maybe they’re deliberately ignoring you.’ It’s believing every negative scenario you can come up with.”

Personally, I believe, anxiety is like adopting an alternate version of you. This version of you is that critical voice. It is a physical embodiment of every negative part of you from the darkest recesses of your mind and body and if is there to ensure you question EVERYTHING you do in life. It convinces you of the worst and ensures you never forget it. It is the niggle in the back of your head that will ALWAYS drag you back down, even when you think you’ve overcome it.

“Anxiety is apologising for things that don’t even require the words, ‘I’m sorry’.

These are the words that will leave your mouth the most. “I’m sorry.” You’ll often say these words before you have even done anything wrong. You will use them when there is no call for these words to be used. They will be second nature to you. Your number one most used phrase. You’ll let it slip through your slips at the end of every sentence. At the end of every situation. At the end of every bad day, you go through. It will be apologising on before of your anxiety, which by extension, you believe to be you.

“Anxiety is self-doubt and a lack of confidence both in you, yourself and those around you.”

This one is self-explanatory. It is thinking the lowest you could ever think of yourself in every possible situation. It is breaking bonds with people before they even begin because you cannot trust people and ruining the ones that already exist with people. It is consistently thinking you are not good enough.

“Anxiety is ruining relationships before they even begin. It tells you, ‘you’re wrong, they don’t like you, they’re going to leave‘. Then you jump to conclusions and ruin it.

If you were to survey everybody to suffer from anxiety or any mental health disorder, they will all agree on this one. We know we are not easy people to love and we know we are frustrating. We understand that the things we think and do are not normal, that they are silly and trust us, we are not consciously doing them. They automatically programme themselves into us and though we fight, it takes every part of us to be able to change even one thing and then even then, that can leave us exhausted. Therefore, we tell ourselves that our partners can do better and that they should do better and this leads to self-destructive tendencies. Even if we do love the person.

“It’s sweaty palms and a racing heart. But on the outside, no one can see it. You appear calm and at ease and smiling but underneath is anything but that.”

Anxiety is a CONSTANT war ground going on just beneath our skin 24/7. The only thing that changes is how much that war rages on any one given day. Anxiety has a lot of mental symptoms but also a terrifying amount of physical ones. Beating heart. Sweating. Twitches. Racing thoughts. Shaking. Dizziness. Sickness. Weakness. The list goes on. These are always going on (the majority of the time). No one can see it because these symptoms can often be so small to anyone from the outside but on the inside, it feels like our world is collapsing in on itself. We may look ‘okay’ and ‘fine’, but it does not mean that we are. You never know what’s going on, even in these moments.

“It’s friends listening to these conclusions you’ve drawn and not really understanding how you got there. But they’re there trying to support you, as things go from bad to worse in your mind.”

Again, we know that you do not understand how we go there or why we got there in specific situations and conclusions. Trust me, we do not know how either. With our minds racing, we desperately convince ourselves of whatever we have to in order to calm ourselves down, even if it isn’t a rational explanation or conclusion. We appreciate that you are trying, please, bare with us, so are we.

“Anxiety is that voice inside your head that’s saying ‘you’ll fail’.

“Anxiety is procrastination because you’re paralyzed with fear of failing so you hold it off.”

Anxiety is giving up on your passions because you’re convinced you aren’t good enough. It’s not even attempting to give things ago because you know you won’t be good at them. It’s trying but never feeling like you have done good enough. It is studying at university and procrastinating because you don’t want to fail, so, if you don’t do it, you don’t fail. It’s a vicious circle we struggle to get out of and one that we are always fighting whether it be at school, university and work and more.

“Anxiety is the want and the need to control things because it feels like this thing in your life is outside of your control and you have to learn to live with it.”

Anxiety is constantly battling to have a control over everything in your life, in every situation because, at the same time, you feel like you have no control. You feel like everything, even the things that directly affect you, are far out of your hands and there is nothing you can do about them. You want to ALWAYS know what is happening when it is happening, where it is happening and who is going to be there. And plans changing at the last minute, in less you’ve made the decision, is a big no-no.


All in all, this is a brief reflection on the article over on Thought Catalogue and if you haven’t read it, I would strongly suggest you going to read it whether you suffer from anxiety and even if you do not. If you have it, you’ll understand that you are not alone in what you are feeling and if you do not, it’ll help you to understand a little more of how people who suffer from it, work.

Obviously, throughout this reflection, it is my personal views and opinions and what I have taken from suffering from anxiety. I understand that everybody that suffers from anxiety handles things differently and struggle in different ways. But remember, you are not alone.

Thank you for reading, next Friday’s article will explore different ways I personally deal with the anxiety that I suffer and I will also provide other methods that people use.

Until next time,

JustGeorgeJ

New Design, New Content, New JustGeorgeJ

blog, blogs, Drama, help, helpful, justgeorgej, Student, Students, Theatre, uni, University

Hello Readers,

As you have probably guessed, I have not written an entry for this blog in quite some time and as usual, I say “it’s been a while since I last wrote”, however this time, I just say, “hello!”. I have a lot to share with you in this entry, so, let us get to it!


First things first;

  1. JustGeorgeJ (The Future of)

Now some of you reading this will have been readers of my blog since it first started back in 2014 and since then, it has been a journey in itself! JustGeorgeJ, as many of you know, started off as a simple platform that allowed me to document my journey through university as I studied my undergraduate degree however it quickly became a platform that allowed me to share my own personal hints; tips; advice; and more to all the students out there (and prospective students) with an aim to provide them with a comfortable place to read about university from a students perspective. Over the past three/four years, this really took off. JustGeorgeJ is featured on several websites and even won a spot in the “Top 33 Students Blogs of 2016” which was fantastic! (Let’s pray it happens again!). Various people have contributed articles and content and there has been a lot of support regarding this student-aimed blog. NONETHElESS, nothing lasts forever and obviously, I can not be a student forever, therefore, change is needed. As much as I would love to continue creating content for students, I can no longer do so in the capacity I was doing so. All the ‘original’ content I created in my First Year has been revisited twice over and a handful of new original content has been created in the latter two years, therefore, going back to old content is no longer an option.

What does that mean for JustGeorgeJ? Well! Whether you know this or not, I am currently running a separate blog entitled ‘The MA Life‘. This blog is similar to JustGeorgeJ in the way it shares my journey through my Postgraduate degree, however, it does not exactly provide advice and helpful content. (This is also due to the fact I have had a significant break from that blog as well). Therefore, that kind of content will continue over on that site. I was then left with a dilemma. Do I leave JustGeorgeJ to fend for itself and create a whole new blog and just leave this as a testament to my time at university? No! Of course not. Several months ago I attempted to begin writing new content in the forms of these two articles: One / Two. This was the first attempt in which I tried to divert away from my usual content and begin to form something new, but then I took a very, very (very, very, very) long break. BUT I have returned and this is the game plan. ‘JustGeorgeJ’, the site which hosts this blog entry, will be used as my ‘main blog’. All the university content is now neatly filed away in another area of the website which you can find in the menu at the top under ‘University Journey’ and everything from my past three/four years of blogging regarding university is there! From now on, all NEW content will be posted under the selection in the menu entitled ‘Content’. The content from now will be regarding living with anxiety (both whilst attending and not attending university). This is something I have touched upon before and written about but from now on, it will be a solid platform for outreach to people (both students and not) suffering from this Mental Illness. It will both be a personal journey and a collective journey. It will provide personal tips, stories and situations regarding dealing and living with university whilst at the same time, aiming to help those who may not exactly understand anxiety and what it is like to live with it, understand it. Therefore, there is a lot of aims!

2. The Redesign 

It is no mystery to any of my readers that the ‘style’ and ‘design’ of JustGeorgeJ changes frequently due to the fact I enjoy messing around with different software I discover and then I create something and suddenly it is the new ‘style’ for my blogging sideline. However, I understand if I want to build a real audience base, I have to keep continuity running throughout my design, style, posting schedule, content and more. Therefore, the ‘redesign’ that you have witnessed beginning to creep up is the ‘style’ that is here for the foreseeable future. I do intend to begin work on creating something more personal and cemented that will last the years to come but for now, this is what I am sticking with. Plain, simple and to the point. If you have not seen the latest graphics, you can see them here;

3. What Should You Expect to See & When

As mentioned above, I intend to keep a certain amount of continuity running throughout this new ‘season’ of blogging. Something I have often attempted in the past and was doing fairly well, until my break. Therefore, it is time to start a new. You will find the following content on the following days;

  • JustGeorgeJ – The Ramblings of a Twenty-Something Graduate

EVERY Friday between LUNCH-TIME and EVENING

Every Friday you will come across a new original article that documents part of my journey in living with anxiety, tips and tricks to deal with anxiety, suggestions on books and activities, inspirational stories, real-life personal situations and more.

  • The MA Life – The Life of a MA Student

EVERY Thursday between LUNCH-TIME and EVENING

Every Thursday you will come across a new original article that details a part of my course that I am currently studying, the struggles I am facing, tips and tricks for dealing with stress and more in order to help potential MA students and existing MA students.

4. Why a Blog on Anxiety?

Well, why not? Anxiety is something that I live with every single day of my life. Sometimes I am good for an extended period of time, sometimes I relapse but no matter what it is always there. Despite the fact it has been a short amount of time in which I have actually been diagnosed with it, it is something that I have always dealt with in a variety of healthy and unhealthy ways. Mental Health and the stigma against it is finally be fought and the raised awareness of it is increasing each and every day, however, it is surprising the number of people that are still suffering alone and in silence. The number of people that do not believe it exists or at the same time is scared to help a loved one with it because they do not understand it is still extremely high. Although there are professional articles, books, journals, workshops and more, some people cannot attend these or afford them or feel comfortable using them. Therefore, it is a good practice that the people that do suffer from a Mental Health issue learn that they can talk about it and it is okay. The more that the individuals talk about, the more the collective will not feel isolated and alone. It only takes a little to help a lot and with me, I have no problem with writing about the anxiety I face every day and trust me, before you say anything, half the stuff you read sounds absolutely ridiculous and I know that but it is how my brain works and people need to understand that. Anxiety is different for everybody but, just getting my experiences out there, even if it helps one person, hopefully, it will let someone know that they are not alone or it may even help somebody understand somebody they love. Whatever it is, it will be talked about.

5. Will We Still Articles that Help Students?

As I briefly touched on above, the bulk of this new content will be based on dealing with anxiety whilst studying at university as it is relevant and present in my life at this very moment. Therefore, these entries will aim to help students and you never know, the odd article might pop up to provide advice and help to students. We will just have to see what the year of 2018 will bring our way!

6. Finally!

Since I started blogging, I have attempted to be active on as many platforms as possible, however, this will no longer be the case. Unfortunately, I am not as ‘blogging famous’ as I would like to be and therefore, at this moment and time, I do not need a million and one platforms to try and keep up with. Therefore, you will see me more active in the following:

Facebook | Twitter | WordPress | Campus |Bloglovin’ 


And there we go! That is everything you can expect from the new and improved 2018 JustGeorgeJ. If you have any questions regarding the content or what is to come, I have available to reach at Facebook, Twitter or by commenting below and as always at the following email address: justgeorgej@outlook.com

To end this entry but also begin the ‘new’ content rolling, I will leave you with this tweet that has been circling Twitter recently;

“Mental health awareness at university is crucial. There’s this assumption that university will be the best years of your life but for some people that’s just not true. And that’s okay. Uni is not worth your happiness and it’s okay to struggle, just please do not be afraid to seek help.” (@alicetaylorxox)

 

JUSTGEORGEJ B.A.

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Greetings Readers!

After a little break, I am back and I am now a graduate! Yes, I have officially graduated from Bishop Grosseteste University with an Upper Second Class Degree in Drama in the Community. This chapter of my life is over! Let’s have a catch-up!

So, the past week has been fairly crazy, to say the least. It has been a rollercoaster of emotions; little sleep; alcohol; illness; memories and so much more. I have pretty much been busy from Wednesday through till Friday.

On Wednesday, I was in town getting a few extra bits for graduation and going to get my haircut at a Barber’s in town – which was exciting as I have never been to one before. I had my hair, eyebrows, and beard styled and cut. The guy who did it did an amazing job and I could not thank him enough, he made me look extremely smart for my graduation!

Wednesday was also the day that allowed me to see my friends graduate and have other friends come down to see me graduate. We ended up just chilling, listening to music and preparing for Thursday. It was a nerve-racking, yet, lovely day.

Anyway, then it was Thursday. Graduation day!

IMG_2054

So, the picture above is me walking out of Lincoln Cathedral after graduation! Yeah, that’s right. I graduated. With an Upper Second Class honours to say the least.

Thursday was a stressful day and there was an AWFUL lot of build up to it… as you will know from the previous posts that have been added to this site. Anyway, all of that built up till this day. I think the most spectacular part of this day is the fact I got to graduate in Lincoln Cathedral. Like, that’s amazing. One of the most historic places in Lincoln and I received my degree from within that building. Other universities graduate in auditoriums or theatres or lecture halls or places like that but this is how my university does it and it was simply incredible! INCREDIBLE.

As you can see from the pictures, myself and another of my fellow students were the first ones to walk out of the Cathedral following the graduation ceremony. It was crazy! Suddenly we were at the front and everyone was applauding us and that was it… BGU was over and we had graduated. It was a surreal feeling, to say the least.

Anyway, from here, the day carried on and it was full of celebrations and Prosecco and pictures and food and dancing and yeah, it was genuinely one of the best days of my entire life – however, I am extremely sad that it has come to an end and I’ve sort of fell into a rut now the entire thing is over. I’m fairly lost and I do not know how to feel about it.

Also, you may be questioned where ‘illness’ comes into the list at the beginning. Well, my anxiety, mixed with a general cold and more (e.g. alcohol and late nights) meant that throughout this last week and my graduation, I felt like absolute crap physically! However, I got through it and generally was EXTREMELY happy and ignored how crap I felt!

So, all in all, that is my graduation. There is probably an awful lot I could say, however, I am still in a bit of shell shock and I do not really know what more to say at this moment, I’m sure it’ll come up in later posts that’ll follow this one, so, for now, we can just celebrate in the fact I have graduated!

When The Going Get’s Tough…

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Good Evening Readers,

A massive thank you for all the support I had yesterday with the previous article, if you have not already read it, you can find it here. Tonight, it is going to get a little personal and extremely truthful in regards to university. Buckle up Freshers (or students), truth bomb coming at you!

The title of this article as you will have already read is ‘When The Going Gets Tough…’, now, many of you will already know the end to that saying, but for now, we shall save it. What do I mean by this?

Simply, university is going to get tough. Whether at the beginning, in the middle or at the end. University will be tough for you. You are going to experience that time that 99.9% of students go through. The stress, the tears, the defeat, the hopelessness, the pure exhaustion of doing what you are doing. It is going to hit you. Guess what? That’s okay. It is natural.

Now, throughout my time of writing my student blog I have often touched upon the idea that the media portrays student life and university life as a complete facade to what it actually is. It is either at two ends of the spectrum – glorifying student life as they study towards their achievements or the other end of the spectrum, e.g. drugs and the scandal around them and student drinking. However, there is no in between, the truth is not presented. That being that student life is bloody hard. It is hurdles and challenges and sometimes, not succeeding in jumping or facing them. It’s being completely exhausted and having breakdowns over deadlines and word counts. It’s having to work basically full-time and balance studying just so you can eat. It’s stressing you out that much that you actually make yourself ill. It’s having late nights and early mornings equalling in very little sleep just to catch up on work and make it to lectures. It’s having breakdowns to your lecturers about life because you are just struggling to juggle it all. It is constantly worrying about money and how you are going to afford rent. It is facing high school drama that should have ended by now but never did. It’s having to attempt to remain in a social circle and keep your friends and even dipping your toe in the relationship pool and doing all of this whilst trying not to fall apart because you desperately want that degree. It is the physical embodiment of ‘the good, the bad and the ugly.’

I do not make it sound glamorous or welcoming at all, do I? Okay, let me rectify that with the point of this article.

Despite all of this, it is these times where the memories are created and when you realise what university is all about. Yes, at the end of the day, university is always going to be about your degree, but, it’s about how you experience this degree. During all those moments that I mentioned above, that is when you come together as students. Those late nights in the library where you are having a breakdown are the moments your friends bring you a McDonalds, those times when you can’t afford food, those are the moments when friends lend you money or cook for you. When you are ill, your friends nurse you. When you’re having a breakdown, your friends give you a break. When you feel like you’re drifting when your friends, they pull you back in. Being students is a unity. As cliche as that sounds. You stick together.

Because you know when the going gets tough…

The tough get going.

Remember this Freshers, when you down in the dumps and feel like you want to drop out, stick at it. These are where the memories of university are made. You are being tested, keep pushing.

student worries: independence

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Good Afternoon Prospective Students (and students),

Whilst struggling to conceive an idea of what I could write about today, I did something I do rarely. This was going back and looking at my old work. Therefore, I dived into the pages of my blog and went back to the ‘beginning’ and remembered I was very passionate about doing a collection of articles called ‘student worries’ and therefore, I thought I’d do one that I’d never done before! Therefore, I welcome you to ‘student worries: independence’!

Through my time on ‘The Student Roon’ in the early part of 2016 and previous and then my time on Campus since the beginning of this year… and my entire three years at university, independence is something that is two-fold. 45% of students are dying for it, 45% are terrified of it and 10% are both. It is fair to say that when we are starting university, putting the studying aspect aside for a moment, it is all about independence.

Personally, I believe you have more independence when moving out of home and actually living in halls/student housing. Purely because, I feel, if you stay at home – you are stuck between two worlds. A world of routine you have always known and then a world of study and socialism that you have never experienced before and I believe to truly immerse yourself in the independence of being a student, you have to move on. This is not to say that students living at home are not independent because they can be, but, I just believe there is a huge amount of growth to be said for moving out of your family home, paying your own way and supporting yourself. Each to their own though.

Anyway, independence! The idea of being independent as a student is accumulated with several reasons. It is the idea, as said above, that you are paying your own way and supporting yourself. You have taken the step of moving away from home and doing your own cooking; cleaning; shopping and more. Also, learning to be alone away from your family and friends that you have grown up with and loved. Now, to some people, it does not affect them and they are just ready to move out and begin living ‘their’ life, but for some people, it is quite heavy and there is nothing wrong with this.

Independence; The Scary Side

Let us, for a moment, focus on being scared of having independence.

From what I have experienced in my three years, being scared of having independence is again, two-fold. So, firstly, you can be scared of independence because you have led an extremely sheltered existence and never really learned to ‘stand on your own two feet’ metaphorically speaking. This means that you have led a very ‘laid back’ lifestyle whilst living at home and had a lot done for you, or, purely decided not to actively learn the skills you need to survive in life. This means, you have very limited knowledge of cooking, cleaning is commonly known as ‘hide all the junk under the bed’ and shopping is something only your parents do. If you are one of those people, going to university and living in halls is going to be a shock. Like jumping in an ice-cold river.

My advice for you people. Despite the fact this sounds like a harsh dig at you, it is not. It is trying to get you to open your eyes early so you do not have a meltdown when you first get to university. My advice is this; take control of your life and learn the skills you need to learn. There a student cookbooks out there that guide you through even the most complex of recipes and they are very easy to follow. Take pride in cleaning your space – it is really rewarding knowing that you have cleaned up! And finally, GO SHOPPING. Even if it is just joining your parents, go out shopping. Understand how much you are going to be spending on a certain time period, learn how to bargain and where to shop. It is not as easy as you think. Just, PREPARE. As they say, fail to prepare, prepare to fail and that applies to every aspect of university.

Secondly, you are scared of independence purely because it is a massive change. These are the people that are perfectly competent in looking after themselves and being able to cook, clean and shop – however – they are about to break out of a routine they have known for a long time and submerge into a way of living that they have never really experienced before. ‘Flying the nest’ is actually a lot more stressful than it looks. You are looking forward to being away from family and friends and being able to ‘do you’ when you want, but, you do not really know how you are going to deal with it or how you are going to adapt, but again, is perfectly fine.

My advice for you people. As bad as it sounds, you just have to take the plunge and get there. There is no real ‘trial run’ you can do before you go to prepare yourself. You can get everything prepared and know the skills, but to truly know how you’ll fair once you are there, you just have to take the plunge and do it. I will not lie to you, it is not for everyone. Some people cannot handle it and end up moving back up and commuting and again, that is okay. Some people just are not ready for that. However, the majority pick it up straight away or as we students like to call it, you learn how to ‘scrape on by’.

Independence; Being Ready For It

Now, this is the one I relate to the most and purely because it was me when I started university.

These people are the ones that are just ready and again, arguably, they are two-fold. With the amount of ‘two-folds’ that go into independence, it’s got to be like 16 folds by now! Anywho, these people are two-fold. Like previous; they are either unprepared and ready for whatever comes their way with an ‘I’ll learn as I go along’ attitude or they are like the latter ones where they have all the skills they need and are ready to face whatever comes their way. Equally, both fine. However, going in with this attitude can be slightly dangerous. You may be thinking, ‘why is it dangerous?’, well, if you go in with this attitude (and there is nothing wrong with confidence) you can be a bit oblivious to the things you may not be prepared for and at the end of the day, it is always better to be prepared, as they say ‘expect the unexpected’… however, if you expect the unexpected, does that not make the unexpected, expected? Wow, trippy.

ANYDOODLE, MY ADVICE FOR YOU PEOPLE IS… do you, just be prepared a little. Be confident, as confident as you want too because I was. I was ready to move out, I had lived out my time at home, I had the skills and I was ready to move onto the next chapter of my life and when I got there, there were a few hiccups at the beginning but, it is a learning curve – as it is for everyone. Enjoy it!

And for now, that is student worries: independence!

I hope you were able to take even a small something away from this post!

 

GS 2017 – 07/07/2017

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Greetings Readers,

How are we all? I trust we are well! Again, I let my writing slip again in the last week across my blogs and it has purely been down to the fact that I have been so busy! However, all will be explained in this entry!

Here we go! So, recently most of my articles have been about my upcoming graduation. Which is no surprise, it’s a big deal for me! It’s going to be the end of one big chapter of my life and one hell of a celebration!

In regards to my graduation, you’ll know that everything was pretty much in place and ready and waiting to go. Now, all my tickets and everything have arrived which is FANTASTIC and also, finally, I have my graduation suit!

IMG_1862.JPG

It’s this lovely grey suit here! It was even cheaper than I was anitipating and the best part? I actually paid for it myself! That may not sound like a big deal to a lot of you but my parents have always supported me a lot and this time, this was something I purchased myself. After a lot of time working with my parents to earn the money, I did it! I earned enough to afford to buy my suit!

That is the final piece, everything is now ready for graduation! I’ve just got to graduate now! Which is fairly terrifying! And exciting… but, we’ve covered this before.

Anyway, that should hopefully explain why I haven’t posted much in the last week. I have been travelling here, there and everywhere and working a lot in order to save up money and then, any down time that I have had, I’ve just slept as I’ve been so exhausted!

Now I have a lot more free time, apart from my usual job, therefore, I’ll be able to post more over the next coming days and weeks! Watch this space!

 

GS 2017 – 03/07/2017

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Good Evening Readers,

I trust that we are all well? I am currently working until 1 am and whilst doing so, I am watching Indian Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, what a classic film! Anyway, I have some exciting news to share with you all.

So, normally I start these posts with explaining that I am not really doing much with my graduate summer, whilst that is still true in some respects, I now have exciting news. Over the next couple of weeks, I will be publishing a book! A while back I wrote a book and have it ‘published’, by this I mean I had it officially printed, however, it was only one copy of it. I never thought much of it after that, well, I’ve discovered that Amazon allows you to publish and distribute your own personal book, therefore, this is what I will be doing!

I am going to spend the next week or two going over the old PDF of my book and editing it and getting it up to a standard that will be ready for publication, then it will go on Amazon and officially go on sale! Therefore, if anybody would like to read my poetry from the past couple of years, and you’ll be able to have a read of it and see what kind of stuff I write! I’ll keep you all updated on that!

On another note, I have been painting the student house for the past couple of days and now I am home for a week! It’s nice to be back, unlimited food, big TV, comfy bed and my family of course… it’s a lovely life! Also, today, I switched rooms back in my student house today… it took a couple of hours but I am now in the attic rooms and I am very cozy up there… even have my own little office! Therefore, working and what not will be a lot easier as I will not have the distraction of my TV/Xbox.

Well, that is all I have to update you on at the moment, until next time!

GS 2017 – 02/07/2017

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Hello, Users!

I must apologise as in the last week, I have let my schedule slip a tiny bit. I believe I posted one on Monday but neglected the rest of the week unless you are on Campus Society where I posted an exclusive ‘MA Life’ article – it was short and sweet, as I am sure this one will be!

As usual, I do not have anything to update you on… wow, I’m boring at the minute. Anywho! On the ‘exclusive Campus Society’ article, I mentioned how my graduation was fastly coming around, it is THIS month. On the 20th of this month, I will graduate from Bishop Grosseteste University with an Upper Second Class degree in Drama in the Community. I am terrified.

You may be questioning; why are you terrified for your own graduation? To be honest, I suppose there are a few reasons as to why I am terrified.

  1. As I have mentioned repeatedly over the past few weeks, this is three years of my life coming to an end. An entire chapter just ends right here! After three years of studying, making friends and experiences… it’s all drawing to an end. When I started three years, the end of university seemed like a lifetime away and I could only imagine the end of it and everything that came with that… but now, here we are!
  2. As discussed in my previous articles, I suffer from anxiety. This usually means, from past experiences, I do not do well with sitting in large crowds for long periods of time… especially knowing I am having to stand in front of a lot of people. I am a drama student and this is what triggers me… silly, right?
  3. Also… what if I like, trip up on stage or something? Knowing me, that is something that will more than likely happen. I will be walking SO carefully onto that stage, but, I shall keep you updated!

With graduation coming up, I still haven’t bought my suit yet… but I am doing so this week! I first have to go home and work with my parents for a few days to earn a little extra money and then I shall be buying my graduation suit, happy days!

More recently, however, I have been painting my student house! Now, some of you students out there may be thinking, what the hell? Why are you painting your own student house? Is that no the landlord’s job? 1. Because I want too, 2. technically yes. Basically, because I am living in the same house for another year and have already taken great pride in keeping the garden tidy and planting flowers, I wanted to take care of the house. Over the years, there is just general wear and tear of the house, e.g. scuffs on the walls and cracks etc – therefore, I offered my services to the landlord and luckily, he provided me with everything I needed! In turn, I had a very busy day yesterday and manage to get 90% of the house painted, just some more to do tonight.

As I have mentioned previously in other articles, if you are respectful of your student house and your landlord, they will look out for you. It’s surprising how ignorant some students are and how much they do not care about the house in which they live. Oh well! Some people do respect their houses and that’s the important thing! If not, your landlord will just bill you at the end.

As for today, that is all I have to update you on!