‘How’s Bristol?’’Great, I love it!!! Such a different world to back home.’
‘How’s Bristol going?’ ‘I’m not enjoying it to be honest.’
‘How’s uni?’ ‘I’m dropping out.’
A series of conversations that have happened over the past three months and have led to this pleasant train journey back to Bristol to pack up and move out. I title this blog post ‘how to lose a personality’ because I feel that is what the past three months have entailed.
Relying on other people’s life experiences is not enough to substantiate one’s personality. But, in a desperate attempt to look somewhat interesting without mentioning a) my blog or b) experience’s I’ve had with said friends, the foundations of conversation crashed back down into small talk. So, I would pick up my phone and not let go, it was my safety blanket that did not provide either warmth or comfort. It was just there for absences. Where I used to read before bed I would instead scroll through my phone, looking at other people enjoying university whilst I wondered, questioned, scrutinised what I was doing wrong. To my uni friends, they would’ve seen a different person to who I actually am which is just quite a bizarre thought.
Then I moved accommodation and it was better but the damage had already been done. Being catered then meant I didn’t have to obsess over meal plans or what to buy to eat or properly sustaining myself in a mental blockage. Yet the absence of time spent cooking was left to do something meaningful which became meaningless activities of sitting on my bed and watching Netflix. In turn, I fell out of love with the course I was doing. Parlez-vous français? Non, even though I do a degree that is half French. I was doing assignments whilst on a treadmill of survival and I was far from thriving, even if on first glance it appeared differently.
I could be making a huge mistake. I could’ve ended up having the best four years of my life. But the conditional is self-explanatory in the sense it is based on conditions. I put my all into the last few weeks of term in the hope that it would make me fall in love with a university that I put in a subsidiary position to the city. I think when I realised my main reason for staying in Bristol was the city I knew that I couldn’t stay there anymore if my mental health suffered as a result. I had lost my personality plain and simple.
When people say they dropped out of uni, there was always a tinge of judgement alongside it. But nope, once you’ve gone through that decision yourself there is no judgement whatsoever. University is this weird bubble where every experience can be so different to someone elses and you cannot simply compare. I would not, and I never want to be the person that I was in Bristol again.
Of course I’m going to visit Bristol again, I think it’s a thriving city, my best friend is there and I’ve met some amazing people over the past term that I would love to see again. I just know I wouldn’t want to go back to studying there and feeling the way I did last term again.
So… wrote all this a few weeks ago, when emotions where high on dropping out and leaving one life behind and starting another. I think I thought that my world would come crashing down when I left but it didn’t, I’ve hardly had time to stop and think about everything which is equally joyous and daunting for the moment things may come to a head.
What are my plans for the next year I hear you ask? Plans are to work, I’ve already started working at the most gorgeous independent café in town (did not expect to get a job so quickly) but I have just been offered a temporary admin job in a law firm which would mean I have weekends to visit unis and make the right decision this time around with where I go. Possibly travel a bit (depending on funds/time/parental approval), yo aprendo español (?!), start being more creative again (YES YES AND YES). I’ve just started my own lil’ business/hobby on the side called Felt Fancy, making handmade felt jewellery so please support it if you can (@feltfancy on Instagram). Write blog posts again because I forgot how cathartic just writing is, even if it is sometimes just writing into a void. Read some French. Read full stop. Complete the TEFL course that I started, maybe even work at a summer camp in Europe over summer? When I wrote down the pros of taking a gap nine months, I realised that perhaps I needed one to start with. So… this unexpected semi gap year is going to be what I make of it, it doesn’t have to be a horrific time before summer and September roll around. What this gap year has already taught me is that you can make your own opportunities if you put your mind to it. I’m going to have life experiences and all.
Am I going to university again? Bien sur. University was never off the cards for me when I was contemplating dropping out, Bristol was just out of the equation. After much deliberation at the start of December I decided that I should reapply, just in case I did decide to actually drop out. I would give myself a mental deadline of the end of term, perhaps spend Christmas making the final decision but after that I wasn’t sure I’d meet the 15th January deadline if I reapplied in haste after Christmas. In between uni work that I was still adamant on doing despite flailing motivation, I tweaked my personal statement from last year and my UCAS application was sent off on the 18th December köpa generisk cialis i sverige. I’ve applied to Exeter, Edinburgh, Durham, Manchester and St. Andrews for History and French (although depending on where I choose I may try and switch to French and beginner’s Spanish). Currently (20th Jan) I have offers from Exeter, Manchester and Edinburgh. I’m not entirely sure where I’ll go just yet but it is a perfect excuse to visit friends at university and get a proper feel of what the university is like beyond open days.
So here is to a new year, a new decade. Full of change, decisions, not knowing and embracing not knowing. This year isn’t going to be easy but who said good things came easily? This time last year I was entering the throes of A Levels that ensued till June and yet 2019 was, despite its challenges, was categorically the best year of my life. 2020 brings more hope, with the knowledge that everything is temporary to an extent. And here’s to the return of eleanorclaudie.com with a little more gusto than before.
Lots of love, Eleanor xx