Another Term Done (Sort Of)

Another Term Done (Sort Of)

Cambridge terms are intense, overwhelming, and exhausting… but at least they’re short. Lectures finished for the term on Wednesday, and I’m heading home in a week’s time. Okay, so I have three supervisions still to get through (and work to do for two of them), and I’m helping with interviews next week, so it’s not like I’ve got nothing to do, but things are slightly more chilled out now.

This won’t be a long post because my wrist problems have seriously flared up in the last couple of days and I can’t be bothered to dictate it, but I’ve been thinking a bit about this term compared to my first term last year. It’s definitely been different, but there have also been similarities.

This year got off to a better start: I didn’t have to deal with settling in to a new town, adjusting to university life, or making new friends. As a result, the first half of term went pretty well. I was even ahead with my work some of the time.

I took a lot of artsy photos for Instagram. too.
I took a lot of artsy photos for Instagram. too.

I didn’t cry as much as last year, but I did sleep more. I slept a LOT. I had a nasty bout of homesickness in the middle of term; Mother Person came to visit me, which helped, but it was still a bit rough.

I was eating gluten-free, which meant I had to pay a lot more for food, and spend more time cooking. Thankfully, my accommodation this year has an oven, so I was able to branch out a bit from pasta and rice. This was a bit of a drag, though, as it meant I couldn’t just eat toast when I was in a rush.

"When will my Tesco delivery return from war?"
“When will my Tesco delivery return from war?”

I wasn’t taking Old Norse, so there was a lot less translation to do — and for a while, I was actually on top of Old Irish translation. That all went downhill halfway through the term, but y’know, I was doing okay for a while there.

I changed my hair colour twice — from blue to purple and then from purple to green.

12189129_10207109283723433_6913833735839298618_nI got Freshers Flu. Then I got everything flu. The second half of term consisted more of bed than lectures.

IMG_20151107_151057My mental health took kind of a nose-dive off a cliff, so exactly a year after going on meds for the first time, I was discussing changing them with my doctor. Yay…

I auditioned for the ballet show and got a role! Last year I was a ‘Merry Maid’ in Coppelia; this year I’m to be one of Tybalt’s henchmen in Romeo & Juliet (understudying Tybalt, as I understand it).

My wisdom teeth started coming through, with all the pain and frustration that entails. I’ve got three of them in various stages of appearance at the moment, and I suddenly understand why babies cry so much while teething.

I just about got through NaNoWriMo, but I’d have to say that I’ve written much less this term than I did this time last year, probably because I’ve had more other stuff to write, and because my wrists have been problematic.

I was irreverent about my essays. (I wrote a truly excellent review of Lancelot.)

Yvain and GAYWAIN.
Yvain and GAYWAIN.

I also turned my essays into memes. Because reasons.

georgraphyI watched a fair amount of Netflix: I rewatched all of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, worked through Jessica Jones in just over 24 hours, am two seasons into Gossip Girl after less than a fortnight, watched a handful of episodes of Merlin when I was meant to be writing an essay on Chretien de Troyes (since it was technically relevant) and rewatched some of Dance Academy. I also kept relatively up-to-date with Doctor Who (I think it’s been a good series this time, any thoughts?).

I got obsessed with yet another musical about American history. Last year it was Newsies. This year it’s Hamilton. It’s ridiculously catchy.

I bought more books than I should have done given the amount of shelf space I have at home (none).

IMG_20151013_122006I questioned my life choices. My decision to come to Cambridge, my decision to do ASNaC, my reasons for staying up until 4am watching Gossip Girl

I was part of the ASNaC 2015 Yule Play! Last year, I filmed it, but I wasn’t actually part of it. This year, though, I took part in a few of the sketches. When it’s up on YouTube, I’ll send you a link.

Talking of YouTube, I got off to a good start with this year’s Insider Cam series, but it fizzled out partway through term, as is to be expected when the workload really sets in. Still, I answered a fair number of questions on Tumblr about Cambridge, Newnham, and the like.

Because I am a mature and sensible person who is utterly qualified to give advice.
Because I am a mature and sensible person who is utterly qualified to give advice.

It’s been a mixed term, as they all are. There’ve been moments where things have been going well and I’ve thought, “Yes, I can do this, I can be happy here.” There have also been moments when things haven’t been going quite so well, and I’ve wondered whether I really made the best choice for me in coming here. I don’t have answers to these questions.

Now as the term draws to a close I’m exhausted and ready to go home, though I know that my long essay and my dissertation first draft await me there. Last night, I fell asleep fully clothed at 10pm, and slept through the night until nearly 9:30am. It wasn’t what I’d planned, but it was probably good for me. (Though now that it’s nearly lunchtime, I should probably change out of yesterday’s clothes.)

Oops, I said this wasn’t going to be a long post. Somehow it was anyway. I’ll leave my reflections here, and if anyone wants to tell me about their term or whatever, feel free to do so in the comments!

5 thoughts on “Another Term Done (Sort Of)

  1. Feeling less than spiffing isn’t… well, spiffing. No idea whether there’s anything it you want talk through, but if you want to chat/offload/whatever, do feel free to drop me a message

    1. Thanks. I think once I’ve had time to recover physically and emotionally I’ll feel a lot better — my health is always terrible at this time of year. Mum thinks it might be some kind of SAD, because it’s been happening for a while now, not just since I went to uni (so probably isn’t related to the structure of Cambridge terms). It starts in November and reaches a peak from about the 12th to the 25th, but starts to improve a bit after that. I don’t know why.

  2. You’re a goddamn champion for keeping up with this year, you really are. And any time you feel sad, imagine me dancing on your shoulder in a poorly co-ordinated but very authentically enthusiastic sort of way. Your very own personal You Can Do It! gremlin.

    Also, gimme dat YouTube link. I feel like I can use some ASNaC goodness as buildup to my “Heroic Poetry in the Age of Beowulf” module next term…

  3. You mentioned that you may have SAD – I was officially diagnosed with it this year – (bit late but hay ho) and my GP recommended the
    ‘SAD Lamp’. I don’t know whether it is a placebo or it actually works but I have been feeling far more content (not happy) than I usually feel during the winter months. I got the ‘Lumie Zest Combination SAD and Wake Up to Daylight Light’ from John Lewis – it’s pricey but my mental health has definitely improved. Have a lovely Christmas xxx

    1. Thanks for that info — I’ll bear it in mind. Certainly I don’t like how dark my room is and I’m sure that can’t be helping, even if it isn’t the cause of all my problems.

What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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