Reality Check.

August 26, 2015

Do you ever experience of the concept of talking about something for so long, that when the time finally arrives you have a minor freak out because it never felt real before? That’s what has just happened to me. And I don’t like it.

The past couple of weeks have been the start of a transitioning period for me. I finished working full-time, and I’ve been fortunate enough to take on a part-time job at the same company. I’ve also officially enrolled in college and received my timetable for my classes. I don’t start my classes for another week or so, but Monday’s enrolment left me feeling rather uneasy about what the future holds. Since I finished work before flying down to London for Summer in the City, it’s felt more like a well-deserved holiday as opposed to a new beginning; I had an absolute ball at SitC, I celebrated my birthday and I saw my favourite band in concert. Now that I’ve enrolled, my actions (and the resulting consequences) are seeming more real with each day that goes by; and although I know that I’ve made the right decision, the nerves are starting to kick in.

The financial aspect of my choice to return to studying hit me quite hard when I received my new contract. Even though I had worked out how much money I would be earning (and therefore how much I would need to cut back on my spending!) it was still a tough pill to swallow seeing the figure written down! Without going into too much detail, I’m now working 2 days as opposed to 5 days, which equates to a 60% reduction in pay. Quite a drop, especially when I’m accustomed to full-time wages! And even though I know my limits in terms of money, and I know that I’ll be able to survive without any difficulty, I also know that I consider shopping an enjoyable pastime! I’m hoping that I’ll be able to afford some of my favourite luxuries, even if I’ll have to sacrifice some other things… But I definitely won’t be giving up my MAC foundation. I’m also considering flying out to Orlando in April for Playlist, and there’s an ATL UK tour in February – both go against everything I’ve just said, but I’m hoping if I can save enough, I’ll be able to do both.

The concept of being a mature student is also playing on my mind. I don’t really see myself as a mature student (partially because of my young taste in music and hobbies, partially because I look about 15) but I can’t help feeling that some people judge me differently once they realise I’m older than them. The average age of my college class will be approximately 18 years old – what if I don’t make any friends? What if people look at me and think “oh, that’s the mature student”? I know when I went to uni, the mature students all sat together in the front row of the lecture halls like little teachers’ pets. Is that what people are going to think about me? Don’t get me wrong, the mature students on my uni course were in their thirties or forties, but I can’t help comparing myself to them. Age is something that I overthink frequently; I almost see my age as a flaw. If anyone wants to hear my thoughts on the subject, I made a video about it which you can check out HERE.

The above point is majorly magnified in my head. I have so many friends that are younger than me. In fact, most of my friends are younger than me. Some are considerably younger than me. And when I’m with them, age isn’t an issue at all. I think I’m just freaking out because I’m completely out of my comfort zone. Unfortunately, my comfort zone is being tested in other ways at the same time. Some of you may know that I like to be in control; I’m not necessarily a control freak (although I know several people who would debate that point) but I like to be as informed about things as I possibly can be. I like to know what I’m doing, when and where I’m doing it, the duration, how I should be doing it, and most importantly to me, WHY I’m doing it. I feel like I can’t understand something, or make a decision based on something, if any of those fields have not been completed in my head to a reasonable standard. This is possibly why I like to do things myself; I like to understand every aspect of a task. But, I hadn’t quite realised how important all of this was to me until I attended my enrolment. I missed my original enrolment date because I was attending Summer in the City (a Media student missing college enrolment because of a YouTube gathering, how apt) so I attended a catch-up enrolment a week later. One of my friends attended their enrolment at the same college and came out all clued up on how things would run. Unfortunately my experience wasn’t quite as informative; there were so many people there for so many different courses that it became understandably difficult to co-ordinate. The process was really quick, but I came out feeling somewhat terrified of what I’m letting myself in for. I left with my timetable, but I have no idea what I’m actually going to be doing in each class. That must sound incredibly pedantic, but for example, I have a Film Theory class. What the hell does that involve? I have a picture in my head of 12 year old Evy having to write an essay on E.T. for English class and the teacher (the same teacher who helped my fail my Higher English exam 4 years later, by the way) going on and on about how the director used red, white and blue lighting to represent the USA throughout the film. Like, maybe he thought red could be used to represent danger, and the white/blue to suggest that the aliens weren’t dangerous? But no, USA! Did you ask the bloody director himself?

Sorry, that English class still fills me up with rage every time I think about it. But the point still stands. I have no idea what I’m walking into. Other than that I’ll be walking into room number whatever on a Tuesday morning or whatever. And that completely terrifies me. I’m excited for Radio Production class, like really excited for that. And I don’t study Video Production until later in the year (although I’d like to think I’ll have a headstart on that one!) but I feel like I need to stop panicking and just chill out. I don’t start class until 8th September, everything I need is already bought or in the post, my class hours and work hours have all been sorted out now that I have my timetable. Why am I still so worked up about it all?  If I didn’t know better, I’d say I was getting cold feet. In fact no, I think I am getting cold feet. Kind of like how some people act before their wedding; the commitment is looming and reality is sinking in, the time to run is shrinking by the second. Maybe impatience is getting the better of me too. I’ve been waiting for this for 6 months now, everything is in place and now I just want to get started. I want to learn and work my ass off for this qualification. I get really frustrated when I’m stuck and can’t do anything (I’m really not sounding like a good person in this blog post, am I? Time to start buying the cats.)

It would be so easy to change my mind and run. Well maybe not, since my replacement started work a couple of weeks ago and my tuition fees are all sorted. But I could go find a job doing what I was doing before and just coast along; I could do that so easily. But I know that I wouldn’t be happy or satisfied. That’s another fantastic trait of mine; I always want more. Typical bloody perfectionist. I’m always working to reach that next step, whether that be a promotion, a qualification, the next level of a game (the amount of time I’ve spent on Candy Crush recently would shock some people). But that’s just me. I know that once I get started, I’ll put everything I have into my coursework and my YouTube channel and this blog and any work experience I can get and my actual job. it’s only for a year, possibly 2 years if I do well. Until then, I’ll be living in the cave that is my bedroom. No nights out, no fancy trips or holidays. Unless it involves All Time Low, Playlist Live or SitC 2016 – those are exceptional circumstances (plus I can use the ‘it’s for educational purposes’ card on the last two, right?)

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