So it’s the second week of the second term back at university now (how poetic) and also the start of a new year.
We had a whole month off for Christmas, and in that time I went to Iceland with my best friend and then spent Christmas at home. I had the time of my life in Iceland, especially seeing as it was my first time abroad. Taking off on the plane was really something, and I spent the entire journey there gawping out the window. When my friend suggested bringing earphones for the flight there to watch a film I was like “Are you crazy?” In Iceland, we saw the northern lights, geysers, and lots and lots of snow.
Christmas at home was the usual, quiet Christmas, which we’re okay with. Sometimes I feel a bit wistful about the fact I have a whole tonne of extended family who we’re not well enough aquainted with and/or geographically close enough to to ever see at Christmas. But on the other hand I certainly don’t envy people who have umpteen Christmas dinners and parties to go to every year. Besides, I met up with some friends on New Year’s Eve.
Now that I’m back at university I’m not quite feeling the same heights of confidence that I had in Term 1, but that’s probably something to do with it being cold and dark January. My main freak-out was last Friday, when I had my weekly Creative Writing workshop and a lecture in the same subject afterwards. I guess Friday is usually my panic day for this reason; I’d probably have skipped a few workshops by now if not for the fact they are compulsory.
We submit our bits of writing online on a Monday and then everybody else prints off these pieces and marks them in order to give feedback on the Friday. It’s a really useful system, but it sends my anxiety into overdrive because for one thing I hate that loads of people are reading my work, and what if they don’t like it or judge me for it? (I know I shouldn’t care but I do. That is all.) And then for another thing we all have to spontaneously give the person whose work we are critiquing our opinions– out loud. On a good day I manage to open my mouth and say something three times. Three seems to be the magic number, if it’s not three times I probably didn’t speak at all. No idea. It’s not much compared to other people– we got reports on out progress this week and predictably mine said “Charlotte could be more vocal”. It often takes a good five minutes to build up the willpower to say anything, but I’m proud of it when I do. For me, what I manage is quite a feat, considering that throughout 2 years of sixth form I never once put my hand up in class to give an answer.
Friday just gone our teacher said that next week we are all going to read out a section of our writings that we wrote and submitted over the holidays based on a photograph we were given. I really don’t feel so hot about the two poems I wrote and am dreading next Friday as a result. With a stroke of luck we might run out of time and not be able to hear mine.
On the positive side I finally booked a doctor’s appointment to get an official diagnosis and start tackling social anxiety properly.
I shall leave you with some cheery pictures of Iceland!