how to lose a personality

‘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.

This weekend in Milan before Christmas was somewhat the epiphany that I needed

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

6 Comments

  1. Dalal Tahira 20th January 2020 at 9:15 pm

    Honestly well done on making such a big and scary decision, it takes a lot to decide to bring so much change in your life and do what’s best for yourself- even though others might not get it at first! Enjoy learning Spanish (lo vas a amar, te lo juro) and the rest of the 9-month-gap yah, it already sounds like its going well and lots of fun opportunities around you. Looking forward to hearing more about how the year progresses and seeing more blog posts! xx

    Dalal
    dalaltahira.com

    Reply
  2. Lottie 20th January 2020 at 10:40 pm

    Big well done on making such a big decision and for putting yourself first. Just from reading this, I know that whatever happens over the next year will be great and will bring you something wonderful, especially seen as it sounds now like you have the motivation and inspiration to want it. Can’t wait to read more from you and seeing what life’s got in store for you! x

    Reply
  3. Amanda 20th January 2020 at 11:32 pm

    Well done for making a decision that is so right for you!! I had a very similar experience during my first term at uni and was very very close to dropping out, so I definitely know how it feels to not feel like yourself when everyone else seems to be having the time of their lives!! I stayed mainly because I knew if I left I’d never go back to uni, much less the uk, and although I’m glad I stayed now a very big part of me wishes I’d done a gap year and had more time to explore what I actually want to do with my life!

    So I’m slightly envious that you’ve made the brave decision but also hope these next nine months are everything you wish them to be. Good luck and I can’t wait to read about it on here xx

    Reply
  4. lexie 23rd January 2020 at 10:11 am

    It’s such a hard decision to make, but sometimes you have to go with your gut and not question the what ifs? It’s all experience and it all helps! I’m looking forward to following what you get up to in the next few months! I missed your frequent blog posting the last month or so. Hope all goes well! xox
    http://www.lexiealexandra.com

    Reply
  5. Ella Jones 31st January 2020 at 9:05 am

    I’m glad you are doing well now!! University is intense, socially and mentally and intellectually (x3 combo). It’s good you recognised you weren’t enjoying it though, made yourself aware of your emotions 🙂 The next few months sound exciting for you! Deffo look after yourself and have a refresh !

    Reply
  6. Libby-Jade Harris 9th February 2020 at 9:05 pm

    Well done bro! My friend had a difficult time deciding whether to drop out last year, but I think it’s more often than not for the best. Uni can be so demanding, I don’t think I would have been able to go straight from A-levels. I love the line ‘But the conditional is self-explanatory in the sense it is based on conditions’ – beautifully written post Eleanor and I’m sure the next few months are going to be wonderful and eye opening. best of luck for everything you embark on!!
    constantlylibby.blogspot.co.uk x

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