Life

Two Months.

So. I have officially been home in Brisbane for two months. And. Um. I need to get my ass in gear.

Emotionally, I am so proud of what I’ve done in the last two months. I’ve been on autopilot a little the last couple weeks because I’ve had a lot on with uni and work but this morning when I realised the date I took a moment to reflect on how I’ve been feeling and I’m happy to say: I’m fucking great.

What’s not so great is my failure to reach (or even attempt) my physical goals. Diet wise I feel like I’m doing okay… ish. Since moving home I’ve gone back to a vegetarian diet after my brief affair with poultry and I’m feeling a lot better for it. I’ve also stopped eating eggs and am mostly dairy-free (although those leftover Easter eggs are giving me grief). I’m not really trying to go completely vegan but I want to strive for a predominantly plant-based diet in my everyday life. I’ve also been trying to limit gluten from my diet because coeliac disease is in my family and I’ve been googling symptoms (problematic, I know) and I’m trying to avoid going to the doctor. I was tracking my macros and counting calories on myfitnesspal but my phone broke and I’ve gone analogue (pre-smartphone) until my new phone comes in the mail, which to be honest I feel a little better about. I’ve been trying to eat intuitively and just include as much variety into my meals as possible, which works like, probably 80% of the time.

My physical activity is where things are lacking. I’ve been wanting to join a gym for, well, the entire two months I’ve been here but I still haven’t been paid by work and I can’t bring myself to commit funds I don’t really have. I’ve done the odd workout at home and I’ve been hiking a little bit here and there but nothing near the vigorous regime I want to work my way up to. I’ve been watching possible a little too many fitness youtubers lately and I just feel like I need to pick myself up.

Even though it’s almost four in the afternoon and I couldn’t really think of anything worse than putting on makeup, I’m going to get ready and go to my local gym and at least enquire about pricing and check out the equipment so I can justify the two hours I’ve just spent online window shopping athleisure that I feel too fat to wear right now. I’m really going to try to update this blog later this week with a little diet/exercise update – really more for my own benefit rather than anyone reading it, to ensure I’m staying true to what I’ve been saying I’ll do.

 

Life

Relaunch.

Starting this blog was my main goal at the beginning of this year; I wanted to review makeup products and share recipes and travel diaries and everything that was important to me. BUT – I’ve been avoiding writing for about six weeks now and it’s mostly because I’ve been battling with whether or not to write about a certain significant event that’s found me in a whole different state (literally and mentally).

Just over six weeks ago my boyfriend and I broke up. Without going too much into it, it was what most would consider a ‘good’ breakup, meaning there was no big fight or major disaster or screaming and we agreed that (eventually) we would try to be friends. But he was my first love and I was naïve and young and I genuinely thought I’d found the person I would spend the rest of my life with, combined with the complication that we were living together and yadda yadda (you’ve probably heard this all before). The breakup was sudden and surprising and shocking and devastating and it changed everything I had planned for my future. I ended up moving interstate to be with my family and I had to leave my job and transfer uni and say goodbye to some really amazing people and pretty much just start fresh. I’ve spent the last month and a half on a constant cycle of missing my ex, finding my feet and then crashing back into the inevitable self-pity and loathing that follows a breakup (even a ‘good’ one).

Today, whilst taking a very long shower and thinking all of the things (anyone else? Just me? Okay) it finally occurred to me that it’s not up to my ex to break this cycle – I can’t wait for him to give me closure or permission to move on with my life. I am on my own journey now, completely independent of him, and I need to take ownership and responsibility of that and appreciate it for all of the opportunities and freedom that it has ahead of me.

Anyway, that was my roundabout way of explaining why I’ve been so slack and where my head is at. I know that it’s “only a breakup” and everyone goes through it at some point –but it really just threw me and honestly I don’t feel like the same person I was two months ago. My whole life is different and I’m starting to think that this blog is going to need to change direction if there’s any hope that I will maintain it beyond this point.

Right now I am focussing on my health, both physical and mental. For the last three years I have put all of my energy toward loving someone else and I have really neglected to take care of myself. So I’m really working on my diet and exercise regime, building up the friendships that I have neglected over the last couple years and exploring all of the interests I set aside because they were ‘mine’ and not ‘ours.’

So as of now this blog is going to be some weird hybrid between lifestyle blog and online journal – which I realise may not be particularly interesting for most to read but:

  • Best case scenario: at least one other person going through something similar reads this and it helps them through a tough time, OR
  • Worst case scenario: no one reads it and it purely functions to keep me accountable and honest as I try to work through this apparent quarter-life crisis

Either way, I’m ready to do the thing and living the life and yeah.

Life

4 Tips to Survive This Semester

This time next week summer will have officially ended and another university semester commenced here in Australia. As we studious types pack away our swimsuits and dust off our book bags, the impending study load can often send us spiralling into a pit of anxiety and dread.

I like to think that in my fifth and final year of study I have finally mastered the art that is surviving semester without a mental breakdown. Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way – hopefully they work for you too.

  1. A good timetable = a good semester

Your timetable will define your life over the next four(ish) months. My first semester timetable was traumatic – I had classes over four days with five hour gaps and classrooms all over campus (#firstworldproblems). But seriously, I lived about two hours from campus and had 8am starts and 6pm finishes and I really struggled to maintain my part-time job at the time due to the ridiculous amount of time I was spending on the train going to and from class.

Most universities have tools that you can use to optimise your timetable based on minimal days spent on campus and/or break times between classes. I usually choose my subjects based on the best timetable I can achieve because I prefer to minimise my time on campus over enjoying what I study in my time spent there. Just kidding. Sort of.

  1. What are your priorities?

In an ideal world a full-time student would be able to live off the satisfaction of a high distinction instead of food, but for most of us, it just isn’t realistic to achieve straight A’s and also pay our rent on time. A crucial part of succeeding at uni is learning how to balance your studies with your other commitments and sometimes it just isn’t possible to do everything 100%.

Depending on your situation, decide what in your life you cannot live without (i.e. food, water, a speedy wifi connection) and prioritise your time around this. If you need to work full-time to support yourself then decide just how demanding a job you can handle and how many subjects you can manage at the same time.

I realise that many people will argue with this advice but a professor of mine once told me that those who excel at uni and those who just pass receive the same piece of paper at the end of their degree. Remember that not all university subjects are created equal and some are far more demanding than others. I often make a decision early on in semester as to which subjects I need to spend more time studying for in order to finish the year with both a passing grade and my sanity (more on this below).

On the same note – don’t take on too much if you can avoid it. Uni hasn’t even officially started yet and I’ve already been too busy to write more than one entry for this blog a week.

  1. Have a game plan

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not the most organised or dedicated student. That being said, every semester without fail I make a specific effort to plan my assignments to make sure I don’t let my habit of procrastinating get the better of me.

At the beginning of every semester I always comb through my course profiles and work out which assignments are due when, their weight on my grade and just how much effort is involved to pass. I visualise this information in either a table or on a calendar and keep it in my living room where I will see it every day. I can then plan which assignments I will start when without melting into an anxious pool of stress as four essays are suddenly due within a day of each other (true story). I’ve found that doing this helps me to plan my social and work life around the busy periods of semester and ensures I’m not blindsided by any impending due dates.

I find that this is super important as I am a serial procrastinator (my apartment is never cleaner than when I have an assignment due). HOWEVER, since doing this I have yet to submit an assignment late or (better yet) fail a course.

  1. Make a friend

Australian university is nothing like you see in American movies. It’s just not. I’ve spoken to so many other students about this and we’ve all come to the same conclusion: being a university student in the digital age is an isolating experience. Yet, most of us are feeling the same way and it’s not impossible to find likeminded people – provided you look in the right places – and it may just save you from the crushing burden that is tertiary study.

If you’ve found your major/specialty, spot familiar faces and make yourself known to them. It’s likely that you’ll share a few classes over the next few years and a friendly face may be the only thing keeping you coming to class as your degree progresses. You’re more likely to have common interests with each other and it’s always handy to have a friend in the same course in case you miss a class or need to borrow notes.

Make an effort in your group assignments. Personally, I would rather take a long bath in a swarm of angry bees than do a group assignment. But, I am yet to find a lecturer willing to give me course credit for doing so. Group assignments are great in the sense that for the first time since school you’re actively being forced to associate with your peers. Some of them may be horrible, but others may actually be potential friends that you’ll be grateful to have made when it comes to future courses.

Join the society/club for your chosen field. Membership is usually only a few dollars and it’s a gateway to social events and other opportunities you may miss out on otherwise. To be honest, I’ve really only passively taken my own advice with this one. I tend to join these things without really participating actively in the society, but I feel better at least knowing that there’s an event coming up on the odd chance I feel like going. (Note to self: follow own advice.)