Well, what a funny few weeks since my last post. Had my ups and downs (mostly downs :[) and been given some tough choices to make. Accordingly, I’ve been given some good, bad and some blunt advice. Some helpful and some less so. However, no matter how much advice people give me, I know that it has to be my decision and my decision alone. I can take into account the advice and suggestions my friends and family have given me, but I have to put myself first for once. I have to just look at my options and make a choice.
The thing is that my depression is severely affecting my studies. So much so that my course tutor brought me into her office last week and said that she wanted me to consider intercalation. Seriously consider it. I was knocked for six – I didn’t think that it was *that* bad. But taking a step back and looking, I realize that yes, it is that bad. My degree is being seriously affected by my lack of attendance, my poor concentration and my very low mood and anxiety.
So…Intercalation. It feels weird to be considering doing my first year yet again, since this is already my second first year. My first concern was financial, but calling the student loan place settled this – they offer extra financing for a Compelling Personal Reason. So whereas in the long run it will still be very expensive, I could feasibly do it without worrying.
My second concern was ‘oh fuckfuckfuckshitbollocksfuckshit’ or something to that effect. This is a massive thing to consider. If I were to intercalate, I’d miss out on graduating with Lois and Hannah, I’d have to find somewhere to live, some way to support myself, some way to survive until I were to get my loan and grant back again. I might have to go home. I might starve. I might freak out and go crazy. Who knows.
A lot of people would suggest just going home and concentrating on getting better. This however isn’t really an option. I’d go stir-crazy for a start. I know I like World of Warcraft but I don’t want to spend a year playing it. I’d feel the need to contribute something to the household income – times are very tough at home and I don’t know if they could afford to feed another mouth. I’d loose a lot of independence, too. And my bedroom at home is tiny and I don’t even have a desk. So very awkward and I would get very frustrated. I’ve had an offer from my Grandmother that her house is available for me to live in with her. This would drive me mental, totally and utterly crazy. I can handle a few hours with Jackie, but living there would just make me go mad. She is big into the whole ’emotional blackmail’ thing and I’d be constantly being pestered to do stuff for her and with her, like going to town and stuff that I don’t want to do! I know that sounds like whining there but seriously – if any of you have ever experienced this kind of thing in relative before then you’ll know what I mean.
It’s weird – if I were to intercalate, it means that I’d have started a year before Simon and Dan and Lois and Hannah and all the other current first years that I know, but would graduate the year after them (except for Dan, that silly physics student). Regardless of that though, it does seem like the best idea. Erfelaswen and I sat down on Sunday afternoon and laid down all my options and all the things that were connected to them and it really seems that whether I was to intercalate or not I’d need some way of supporting myself over the summer.And I need some time to sit back and recover.
Recover is a word I never thought I’d associate with a mental illness, especially not with regards to myself. I still find it very difficult to see it from a medical perspective – I am ill and I need to get better. It’s not just something that’s making me weak and that I need to ‘work through’. If I had broken my leg then no-one would expect me to run a marathon, so why should I expect myself to do unreasonable things for someone with a severe case of depression? Things like getting a first are currently out of my grasp and I need to accept that. I’m feeling ok this morning, though these words that I’m typing are filling me with some kind of dread.
It’s an odd feeling, almost as though I am coming to a decision as I type, that prehaps intercalation mightn’t be such a bad idea at all. Certainly in all the bits of paper I’ve got floating around on which I, and other helpful people, have compiled lists and wrote down thoughts and ideas and suggestions and options and a myriad of other things, intercalation is the most thought out. This could, of course, be down to the fact that it’s the option that requires the most thought – far more than just staying in university or going home.
The big choice now really is whether to apply for Jan – Jan or Jan – Oct intercalation. Getting to redo Michaelmas term would be useful – I did pretty poorly in it this year. However it would be expensive in the long run – paying back the same term three times in total. University fees are a lot, but not something to think about right now really. They count in the future. Going back in Michaelmas term also gives me less time off to recover. But it would allow me to begin the new year with a lot of other new people – this is a good thing, as I might be able to start up some friendships with them, as I did with Lois and Hannah, by virtue of Lois having purple hair.
There were other things I was going to write about but I seem to have run out of steam here so I shall bid you all adieu for now.