“You’re too soft”

I was just thinking about a sticky situation right now with my housemates and our new landlord. We all have the same fundamental issue with him and we’ve been writing emails together to uh, make it clear to him (great way to bond with flat mates, 10/10 recommend) On the one hand there’s me wanting to take a diplomatic approach and cut out the threatening tone and some of the word choices that they’re punching into the keyboard (“hey, save the over analysis for the poems you do in English lit”) and the other three wanting to go in there (and duly doing so) with pitchforks and fire (law students… 🙄).

I was thinking about how much I hate confrontation and how according to common belief that’s supposed to be a major insecurity but then I thought… is it though?

[A] I can see how in some ways it can be unhealthy. Like if you’re terrified of confrontation (and I must own to getting a lot of adrenaline and a heart rate which I could almost hear echoing back while simply reading our landlord’s most recent reply.)

[B]But on the other hand, is it necessarily a weakness to value trying to get along/ take a peaceful approach to tricky situations?

Also isn’t keeping the rapport as strong as possible in all parties’ best interests?

I think in my personal case, both A and B are in play here. But thinking in non-personal, general terms, how about the idea that people are too quick to assume that disliking confrontations is weakness?

I hope that doesn’t sound ranty. I should have probably left the writing of this post until I was a bit more detached from the event that inspired it. But oh wells 🐸

Advertisements

Being Put on the Spot in Class

In what’s-your-favourite-poem class (conventionally known as English Literature):

Seminar tutor asks if we’ve all picked lines of Wordworth’s The Prelude which we liked to talk about in class, as requested in an email nobody remembers from before the Christmas holidays. Up until this point I’ve been thinking I’m fairly well prepared. But no, I haven’t picked lines, poem too long to relocate the bits that stood out to me now. Try anyway. Flick rapidly through the pages of this poem as quietly as possible. Everyone else sits in silence also hoping they won’t get picked to talk about something. Creeping gut feeling she’s about to pick me.

“Did you pick anything Charlotte?” Gut feeling confirmed.

Me: “I remember seeing lines that I liked…” flick even more desperately through The Prelude, hating the uncomfortable class silence, ‘I’ll find something…’

Keep scanning pages for something, why do none of the bits I annoted earlier on the bus seem verbalisable to me? Dilemma what to pick. Th Continue reading “Being Put on the Spot in Class”

End of first year, CBT… General Positivity (really scraping the barrel for a title here, can you tell?)

So it feels like ages since I last posted. In a nutshell what has happened since then is I finished CBT for social anxiety, I had end of year exams which stressed me out a lot considering they don’t even count towards my degree, my internship got postponed until next summer, I finished first year (and sort of fell for someone in the last few weeks, round of applause for me…) and I came home for the summer.

In a nutshell. But you know I never just write “In a Nutshell”!

On the SA front: I finished CBT after 10 sessions, and it seems to me like I can barely remember the stuff I learnt but somehow anxiety improved a lot anyway. I’ve practically written a book from the notebook/diary thingy I had to keep documenting all the situations that happened which caused me anxiety. The psychologist guy read it every week, and towards the end he said there was a Continue reading “End of first year, CBT… General Positivity (really scraping the barrel for a title here, can you tell?)”

On To Term Two!

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 feedba Continue reading “On To Term Two!”

Little Awkward Moment

It was a quiet Saturday morning and I hear one of my flatmates and lots of unfamiliar voices in the hall. A minute after they go out I emerge from my room to go to a society. When I open the door of the block to go outside I see my flatmate with grandparents, parents and a couple of other relatives dawdling about. So all of them except my flatmate initially turn around and just stare at me suspiciously for some reason I can’t comprehend. I smile awkwardly back and no one says anything and then my flatmate looks around and waves, saying “Hey” uncertainly. I smile properly, wave and say “hiya” back but it’s weird. Then I walk in the opposite direction to prove to said gawping relatives that I’m not a stalker or undercover criminal.

What even was that?

I have also made several new discoveries today.

1. Sitting on the desk is way more comfortable than sitting at the desk.

2. There are 2 spiders living in my window (on the outdoors side), not just 1 as I originally thought.

3. And I totally started writing a new story that I got inspiration for yesterday and I wrote tonnes and tonnes of ideas for it in bullet points. I don’t usually write dystopian stuff but this idea has a sprinkling of that element to it. It’s in the future and people live underwater because earth got too dangerous/overpopulated, but then this one girl reads a book and finds out there is in fact a world above water which people originally came from. So she’s all like “I’m going to find it” etc etc. I promise it’s more exciting than it sounds.

Finding Routine and Settling in

If Fresher’s week went slowly, my second week at university has flown by. Nothing much happened this week, except for settling into the new routine. I don’t have any morning lectures or seminars, which means I now get the dream life of lie-ins all week long. This may change when I start to get coursework and essays however.

Things took a dive on Wednesday when everything seemed to go wrong; for one thing I took some clothes down to the launderette and accidentally put the washer on without any detergent in. That was a waste of money. I also managed to fail at online shopping one day so the next day traipsed into town on the bus and back to go to the supermarket, carrying 5 heavy bags all the way back to the bus in torrential rain.

All in all, however, things were good. I can’t say I’ve made any friends on my degree courses yet, but then I don’t have that many lectures and seminars to go to a week. A couple of the girls in my flat who have much fuller timetables were inviting new friends back to the flat or going to their friends’ flats and I was baffled by how anyone can reach that stage of friendship so fast.

I feel very much at home with my flatmates though and that gives me a huge sense of contentment. I had a conversation with one of Continue reading “Finding Routine and Settling in”

Part-Way Through Fresher’s Week

I moved to university last Saturday dreading Fresher’s Week; Now it is Tuesday and I couldn’t be happier with the way things are going!

I don’t know where my social anxiety has disappeared to! I know it will probably be back soon but right now in the most socially demanding week of the university year I feel just fine.

I love my flatmates– there are 7 of us and we get along really well. 3 of us are planning to get the bus into town and go shopping next week. Lancaster is a beautiful city, although I haven’t explored it much yet. It’s only small, town-size really. It has a castle and all the buildings look quaint and old. I’m really into History as well so living in a historical city like this is a bonus for me.

On the first day our Fresher’s Reps got us all together in the kitchen to play ice-breaking games, the first event I was dreading. Incredibly, I didn’t get shy and awkward and say lame things like I usually do. We went to the college bar Continue reading “Part-Way Through Fresher’s Week”