So far it seems to have been how much can you cram into a month and a half? The answer: more than you could imagine! Since my last post I have written coursework, celebrated my 21st birthday, organised society competitions, done so much sports training, completed the first phase of Team GB Olympic Development trials, started house hunting (again…), started looking at careers, pushing the society forward, and occasionally sitting down!
This first half of term has been difficult after a friend’s bereavement. I could say everything’s fine and uni didn’t suffer but I would be lying. I really wanted to shut down but I was so busy that I just couldn’t. But, I am not the first to experience such things during their degree and I won’t be the last. Reaching out to talk to my personal tutor let me get everything off my chest and I felt I could breathe again. She was there with her door open (metaphorically and physically), a cup of tea and the most supportive words. Never underestimate how wonderful your personal tutor is!
Reading week came at a perfect time. I was able to have a change of scenery, come to terms with everything that was going on, breathe and read in front of our open fire (because how perfectly autumnal does that sound). I came back refreshed, relaxed and ready to go. Diving back into Medieval and Middle English Literature might not seem like everyone’s cup of tea but trust me it is surprising more enjoyable than you would think! We began by studying the contextual history of the period, and if like me, you were torn whether or not to do English or History at uni you would find it so interesting. Seminars are of course engaging, however, when we have to read Old English aloud it does turn into – who’s got the better medieval accent!
My optional unit, Science and Literature, looks at the relationship between these two seeming polar areas of study. This is the unit I was really excited about and I am now looking at scientific cases very differently and know 10 times more about Sir Isaac Newton! It was a difficult start at the beginning and I did have a few moments in the first few seminars where I thought my brain was going to explode but I went to my seminar tutor in her office hours and she sat me down and worked through bits and pieces with me – Phew! (I’m even considering something similar for a dissertation topic).
Outside of studying, as you can probably guess, I’m dedicating my time to training. Early mornings, late evenings (watching the sunrise walking down St Michael’s Hill is 100% getting up for – even if it does mean you have 2 hours of anaerobic training to do once you reach the bottom…) However, I’m doing lots of things with the pole society too. We are currently right in the middle of auditions for next year’s competitions. This means I have been liaising with other universities about travel, money and entrants. Everyone’s having such a good time and we have already had more auditionees than ever before! I am also auditioning (don’t worry, I’m not judging myself) in the Advanced category, which seems crazy as I’ve only been doing pole for 10 months! I’m looking forward to seeing other peoples and also seeing people’s confidence build as they express their individuality and love of the sport!