Finally, the month of results and graduation is among us. The end of an era, the end of a chapter. Going through the motions of something that feels like it’s never ending makes it hard to take a breather and look at the journey. You kinda get all focused on when it will all come to end. However, now is a perfect time to take a look back at this whirlwind of an experience called university.
Before I start, I do want to caveat by saying that not everything about my university experience was gloomy. I’ve had some truly unforgettable times. From first year shenanigans to starting this blog with my boys.
Living in Southfields and HMP Storer with my friends came with a lot of laughs, a lot of parties, a lot of corn…. literally (if you know, you know), and a whole load of dancing and unreleased songs (might have to drop a couple tracks soon, stay tuned). But most importantly of all, I met the most amazing people during my time in Lough, too many to even name, who’s friendships I’ll cherish forever. That’s a part of uni I’ll always be grateful and thankful for.
Now…… to the gloom.
There are a plethora (don’t you just love that word ) of ways in which I can describe my uni experience, but rock bottom literally sums it all up. They often say “once you’ve hit rock bottom the only way is up”. I don’t actually know who I’m referring to as “they” , but whoever you are, stop saying that.
I only joke…It’s definitely a long term “glass half full” phrase that does try to see the positives in a situation but my time in uni sometimes felt more like; “once you’ve hit rock bottom, the only way is…. stuck?!”
For those who have read my previous post “Behind the smoke”, you’ll be familiar with a bit of my uni story. For those who haven’t it went a bit like this:
Pour up, smoke, head shot, smoke
Sit down, smoke, stand up, smoke
Pass out, smoke, wake up, smoke
faded, smoke, faded, smoke….. you get my point. It was rough.
I love my music (as you can probably tell), so whenever I hear things in songs that relate to parts of my life, It cuts deep. Ghetts has a bar that goes like this; “You know what they say about hindsight?, it’s 20/20 when your mind’s right”. Wise words Ghetts – wise words. As I’m reflecting over my uni journey, that lyric sticks in my head. Looking back at situations I can’t help but think “damn I shouldn’t have made that decision”, “I should have maybe said something to someone” or “ did I even try hard enough?” This goes right back to what Ghetts was alluding to. In moments of darkness and pain it’s hard to manoeuvre because your perspective and mental vision is impaired, which in turn leads to wrong moves and sometimes life changing decisions that only perpetuates the cycle of pain. The beauty of hindsight (with a clear and sober mind) is that you are no longer looking at things from the same lenses. It’s bitter sweet however because you can never go back and switch your lenses.
As I look back at my time with these new lenses, I do wish things would have gone a bit differently for the sake of my grades. But I’m truly thankful for everything I’ve learnt through the fire. Lessons I wouldn’t have learned if things went differently. My message is, no matter how bad a situation or journey has gone there’s always a silver lining. I do want to encourage anyone who’s looking back at their university experiences or even any moments of life with regret and disappointment to find that bit of hope to hang onto. Mine is that by Grace of God I survived. Battling with depression had me wanting to drop out plenty of times, and to be really honest there were times I questioned my existence all together. Despite all these battles, I can look back and proudly say God really has pulled me through and I’m still here. This isn’t to say that all the battles are over, there are many days when I’m still feeling at my lowest. However when faced with adversity in the future, I can look back on this experience as a point of reference and as encouragement to keep on pushing.
So please remember you are not defined by your mistakes, you are not defined by your grades. Everyone’s journey is different but everyone can learn from their journeys.
Take these lessons, and apply them to your next chapters and then yhh, that’s when things will start looking up.