‘The Caucus race provides a thinly veiled critique of the absurdity of English politics at the turn of the century while making a larger comment about the general meaninglessness of life.’ (Chapter 3: Alice in Wonderland according to http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/alice/section3.rhtml)
So, its summer. And I feel that my whole purpose in life seems strange. I won’t lie I was stressed for my exams, let’s just say sh*t hit the fan, and now I’m a bit stuck. What now? I mean I’m going away to Amsterdam with my friend, she’s Dutch, and I’m not a hermit with a Vitamin D deficiency anymore, I actually get to have fun.
However, I’m still terrified. Despite uni being finished, there are many things looming which I need to sort out: getting work experience or internships, saving enough money with my part time job for next year, saving for the holiday, sorting my house for second year and writing this column. And despite this last week I’ve managed to apply and at least start arranging work experience (and write a blog – just name dropping that), do a fair few hours at work (only started last week though), book my holiday and somehow manage to sort my house out.
I still f*cked up. Its Friday night, its 9:15, and I’ve just been messaged by my editors about my article. I felt like Theresa May when the election results came through. I’d been so stressed this week about sorting my list out; as I knew if I didn’t then I’d be completely screwed, that I’d forgotten something.
Weirdly, the third chapter of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ (if you hadn’t noticed every article runs through the book) seemed a good title, plus a nice summary from SparkNotes always help – saved me in my A Levels.
I think the problem is during the term you are so stressed about exams, managing a job or volunteering (if you do them), coursework, money and general life that when it all stops you seem confused. You have four months of summer and you feel like you can’t waste it; you want to go to festivals, holidays, see friends and just relax. At the same time, there is pressure, a bit like you’re the mouse in the picture. The owl is you having to continue your job, or get another if you leave London, so you can afford the fancy food in Lidl. The eagle is that part of you that also might want to get some work experience, another thing to go on the CV and maybe work out what you want to do with your life.
No wonder you can slip up, but no point getting down or worried about it. Despite messing up I’m working as fast, and as best, so I don’t let the editors down, as I can. I’ve still got loads done, so what I have to play catch up? Don’t spend the summer putting tonnes of pressure on yourself to achieve everything.
Work out what you can manage and try and stay on top of it, have a balance. And although it’s not the same stress you get during exams, coursework and uni, it’s still a b*tch.
During the year there are workshops, talks and advice sessions from Queen Mary you can access to help with both these kinds of stress.
Yes, there will be nights you’re having a meltdown, because you haven’t managed to get the work experience, (rejection is rubbish but it happens) or your shifts are killing you or you still don’t have enough money – it’s okay, everyone has these moments. Just take a minute, or if it’s late just stop and start again in the morning. Get back on track and even if it happens again, if you keep working at it, you’ll have a great summer.