Journal 002: The Interim

As of this week I have completed my undergraduate degree in English Literature, submitted my dissertation, and said goodbye to this chapter of my life forever. It’s an anticlimactic end to say the least, although I imagine that I’ll be back to bid goodbye to the city of Brighton properly.

Up until February of this year, I held out hope that I’d be doing the Criticism and Culture MPhil at Cambridge as my research proposal had been approved in early autumn. I was inevitably rejected, and in light of the current climate, I now consider that a blessing. As I am self-funding, I’d anticipated returning to work in May, and as that’s fallen through being able to afford tuition and living in Cambridge would have been near impossible.

In late April, I was offered an unconditional place on the English Literary Studies MA at Durham University. As it has historically been ranked as the best university in the country for my subject, I had assumed that I wouldn’t be offered a space. But a few days before my 22nd, I was offered a place which I happily accepted.

Notably, I’ve never ventured further north in England than Wolverhampton. Preemptively accepting a place at a university nearly 350 miles away is somewhat terrifying, but I’m hoping that it will come with a sense of adventure and excitement that I’ve been sorely lacking recently. Only an hour and a half from Edinburgh by train, I hope that I get a chance to travel to places that I’ve sorely neglected in my 22 years of being a southerner.

With my degree finished and a very uncertain three month summer stretch ahead of me before I move, I’m trying to make use of this time without putting too much pressure on myself to be the perfect model of productivity. I’ve found the best approach is generally to take a day at a time and to be kind with myself. Although I’m currently working as a freelance copywriter and content creator, work itself is inconsistent and I have a large amount of chasing up I have to do for payment. It’s certainly given me a new perspective on freelance and content creation industries as a whole.

For now, my days mostly consist of trying to implement small habits. Waking early(ish), making sure to go for at least one run or walk, yoga, keeping my spaces clean, and reading lots have been crucial in helping me stay sane. Even in a period where the world seems to have slowed down considerably, I can’t help noticing how quickly the days are going. As I have lots to look forward to in the near future (hopefully a summer in Brighton, moving to Durham), I’m just trying to be thankful for these gentle, easy days whilst I can.

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