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General Purpose University Advice

General Purpose University Advice

This week was A-Level results week for students in England and Wales — the time when students find out whether they got into their first choice university. I remember it being hellishly nerve-wracking (I barely slept at all the night before my results), but even once it was over, the anxiety is only just beginning. Because preparing for university can be stressful. In the lead up to university, I read everything I could find. I read student newspapers. I researched…

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Graduation Day Reflections

Graduation Day Reflections

Today is my graduation. In 2016, I took time out of Cambridge, because I wasn’t coping. Getting diagnosed with coeliac disease in 2015 was a lot to cope with on top of my other health problems; completely rethinking my diet while trying to keep up with the intensity of a Cambridge workload was a struggle. The medication I was on for my anxiety made me sleep up to fourteen hours a day, and I spent the few hours I was…

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Unproductive and Unprepared

Unproductive and Unprepared

My plan for the first couple of weeks of the holiday wasn’t complicated. I’d work on my dissertation, and hopefully get a good chunk of it written. I’d go to enough dance classes to learn all my steps (well, everything except hornpipe; that would be too much to ask). I’d read for fun and catch up on a few shows I’ve been neglecting and get out my harp for the first time in far too many months. But it turns…

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Honesty And Anxiety

Honesty And Anxiety

Lately, my anxiety has been… bad. I thought I was doing better, that I was learning to manage it and cope and get through. During the summer, I had some seriously anxious periods, including while travelling, but they were generally triggered by specific events or environments, so they seemed more logical than some of my other anxiety. And, while they weren’t fun, I mostly got through them without too much difficulty. So I thought I was in a good position…

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Academic New Year

Academic New Year

Raise your hand if you feel personally victimised by the passing of time and are in denial that it’s September already. SERIOUSLY, HOW DID THIS HAPPEN. The last time I looked, I was just beginning to settle into summer. Then it rained for a month and now, somehow, mysteriously, it’s the start of the academic year and the shops are full of back-to-school stationery and I’m being forced to exercise a lot of self-control not to buy an infinite number…

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Exam Results and Irish Dance

Exam Results and Irish Dance

Me: “My exams are over now so I’ll actually do some blogging!” Also me: doesn’t even plug computer in for a week Well. I didn’t mean to leave it more than two weeks before following up on my last post, but sadly the post-exam period brought with it a nasty migraine that meant I couldn’t face looking at screens, and even though that’s mostly gone now, I’ve still been completely unmotivated. On the plus side, I’ve read quite a few…

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Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

I hear the refrain healthy body, healthy mind quite a lot. (Well, I read it quite a lot. Usually on people’s blogs as they try and inspire other masochists to get up at 6am and go for a run. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TO YOURSELF?) Mostly, it annoys me, because as someone who is chronically and mentally ill, both a healthy body and a healthy mind seem out of my reach. However, I’m trying to work on the basis…

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Shooting for Success

Shooting for Success

On Tuesday, I went to archery for the first time in four years. For about a year, in 2012-13, I used to shoot weekly with an after-school archery club. It was run by a guy called Peter who’d been doing it since the 90s for 20p a session (though it went up to 30p while I was there; that’s inflation for you), and for quite a bit of the time I was there, I was the only member who wasn’t…

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You Can’t Edit A Blank Page

You Can’t Edit A Blank Page

One of the lies I was told about Cambridge before I started was that although the terms were extremely intense, they were short, and therefore I would have plenty of time to recover in the holidays before I had to do it all again. It’s true that the terms aren’t long, compared to many universities and definitely compared to school. We have eight weeks of teaching at a time, and then substantial breaks. But there is no time to recover,…

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The Student Experience (Doesn’t Involve Much Work)

The Student Experience (Doesn’t Involve Much Work)

I wouldn’t exactly say I’m coping with deadlines and balancing my life and so on at the moment. After Monday’s protest, I found myself on Tuesday morning writing a 2,000-word essay in the course of an hour, handing it in, and then going back to bed for a while so that I could have more energy to work on my dissertation before the deadline on Wednesday, when I needed to hand in a full first draft. What I handed in…

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