I came back to Cambridge on Saturday and promptly realised I’d forgotten several things I’d definitely meant to bring, including my current knitting project. I mean, I can’t really afford to take the time and hand strength to knit this week when I have a coursework deadline on Friday that is killing me, but even so, it’s a little annoying not to have it.
Other things I left behind: my calendar, my Celtic knotwork colouring book (again on the hand strength thing, but it’s relaxing), a couple of books I wanted to read, the pint of milk we’d planned to bring so we could have tea while unpacking, and the birthday presents my parents were going to send with me in case they don’t end up coming on the day. Oh well. I seem to have quite a lot of stuff even without those things…
Weirdly, despite my deadline being ominously close now, I feel less stressed now that I’m back in Cambridge than I did at home. I think it’s partly that I know I’ve achieved one of the things that needed doing (moving back all my stuff and myself), so I don’t have that looming ominously on the horizon. I also no longer have my parents asking me how much work I’ve got done, which makes me feel way less unproductive and is therefore quite calming.
And so far, in the two days I’ve had, I think I’ve managed to strike a good balance of productivity and socialising. A couple of my friends came to see me yesterday, and I also hung out with people to watch the final episode of Sherlock, after which I stuck around to chat for about an hour.
Oh, yeah, Sherlock. I’ve thought about writing a blog post on my feelings about this series, which I would describe as mixed, but I wasn’t sure whether anybody would be interested in that, and/or whether I should wait a while to avoid spoiling those who haven’t seen it yet. I used to talk about fandom stuff and TV shows more often, and it tended to be quite popular — my Vikings-related blog post is my most popular post these days and has had three comments since yesterday, even though I wrote it a fair while ago now. But I’ve drifted away from doing so because I found the world of online fandom to be quite scary and sometimes toxic, and I was a bit afraid to share my opinions. Also, I’m nearly always behind with TV shows, which means by the time I have thoughts on them they’re usually not topical.
So, if anyone has any feelings on that (either yes please write about Sherlock I want to know what you think or literally nobody cares about Sherlock and/or your opinion), please let me know in the comments.
Anyway, I digress. I was talking about having come back to Cambridge, and how I’m getting on. So, I socialised a fair bit yesterday, which included finding myself in a room of five people and between us there were only three names, including two Miriams. Having two Miriams in one room is not something that happens very often to me — while it may be mundane for those with more popular names, like Emma or something, I always find myself fighting the urge to vanquish the other Miriam so that I can be the alpha. It can be very distressing.
Today was a bit more chilled out — I did a fair bit of dissertation-related work in the afternoon before heading out to a (quite relaxed and reassuring) meeting about it at 5pm, then hung out with one of my friends in college for a while. I need to do more work this evening, this time for my French coursework because that’s considerably more urgent than the dissertation, but I thought I’d give some updates and let people know how things are going first.
I also think I’ve caught more Pokemon in the last two days than I did in the entire holiday, because seriously, Pokemon Go is about a thousand times more fun in Cambridge than in my hometown, aka Pidgey Central. I know a lot of people have stopped playing Pokemon Go by now, but not everyone — the gyms in Cambridge are still changing hands fairly frequently. I haven’t really felt up to doing any ballet for ages, and my current neck problems make cycling impossible, so I really need to get some exercise and this seems to be the best way of doing it, even if it’s a bit less fun in winter when my hands end up numb from holding my phone.
I’ve already written two articles for student papers — one for Varsity and one for The Cambridge Student, which I’ll try and link here if possible when they’re published. I’m hoping to do more of the student journalism this term, because it’s a way I can engage with university life and opportunities without having to use a lot of energy the way most societies require me to, so would make me feel more a part of the whole uni thing without being exhausting.
Less good things: I’ve discovered that my room at uni is even darker than I remembered — once the daylight goes, even with a lamp it feels difficult to read, and I definitely need to get about a thousand more sets of fairy lights to fix that. I had a reaction to the dust that moving back in must have kicked up, which left my eye swollen enough to make it look like the allergy and my cold had teamed up to punch me in the face. (Picture on Twitter.)
I also realised that all my socialising, work, and general other distractions meant I missed the deadline for a poetry competition I was considering entering, despite having left the tab open on my computer, which is why I definitely shouldn’t leave competitions to the deadline. These things happen. (Incidentally, my poetry’s still on offer, if you’re interested in buying it at bargain prices.)
Oh, and then there’s Nellie. She’s been very sweet and affectionate for the most part and seems to have forgiven me for leaving her for five weeks, but she did wake me up at 6am on Sunday morning meowing to be let in (probably because it was tipping it down with rain), at which point she refused to be dried and jumped repeatedly on my bed with her muddy paws even though she knows full well she’s not allowed on the bed…
… but on the whole, things have gone pretty well so far. Though I’m sure there are important emails I’ve forgotten to reply to and that once the real horror of my coursework deadline hits me, I will not be feeling quite so relaxed.
(That said, I had some major moments of stress/frustration this evening trying to find a useable edition of the texts I need for French, because it looks like I’ll have to become a member of the MML library to be able to access them, which I’ve managed without doing so far. So that’s what I’ll be doing tomorrow morning.)
I’m hoping that these positive vibes will last beyond the first two days of term, and that I’ll be able to have a better Lent Term than Michaelmas (don’t even ask me what the deal is with Cambridge term names) — and also that it’ll be better than last Lent Term, which I didn’t even finish, because I ended up leaving uni at the end of February. Those haven’t exactly set a very high standard to beat, so hopefully I can manage it.
My first step is to try and have slightly more normal sleep patterns, though, so I’m going to do an hour or so more of work and then head for bed. So far the earliest I’ve managed is 2am, but I’m hoping I can beat that.
If you’ve recently returned to uni/college, how are you settling in? And does anyone have any tips for me to help me through this term?