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A letter from October 5th, 2019

Dear FutureMe,

last year i received a letter..from me! it was probably the most endearing thing to read a year ahead, so im taking the time out to do something like this again.

so future me..i hope you're well. this time next year ill be starting my third and FINAL year at uni. cant imagine how daunting it must feel, right? i remember reading the letter i sent to myself last year, where i only just started and it was so crazy how much things have changed since the first year. its only been a year, but the past few months for me were one full of big, big changes, and no doubt third year will be too (as well as this one!)

i feel like theres a lot to write about, but im struggling to get the words out. ive recently started daily journalling, both in my diary and also my instagram - where i post daily updates to do with uni and studying, in a desperate attempt to prevent myself from dissociating like last year. so far they've helped me keep track of my thought process and stress levels, since im getting it all out rather than holding it in and letting my thoughts pile up. this could quite possibly change in the future too but i am enjoying this year a lot more than i did first year. the 7 modules + online ones + practicals and labs and career work. its a LOT. currently, im 8 lectures behind, but im not even as stressed as i would be last year? its a matter of me understanding that this year, no matter how productive i am, i will always be behind on work, because theres just TOO much content. all i can do now is pray that i find a steady balance in working through everything i have to do and not fall too behind. i think i pretty much get the gist of things that are happening in each lecture, apart from ocular health which i havent gone through at all (i admit im pretty stressed about this module because its so content heavy and i cant get myself to start making my notes!)

i cant believe im already in my second year at one of the most prestigious universities in england. whats more is that i cant believe that ill be applying for pre reg positions in a few weeks! i feel like its still too early on for me to know where i wanna take this degree, but its happening, and its happening FAST. in the upcoming weeks, ill have to send my CV and apply for jobs and take lots of interviews, all whilst balancing the ridiculous workload. when things get too heavy, i do try and remind myself that im not alone? its one thing i struggled with last year, the idea that im struggling alone, in the dark. but thats not the case at all. im slowly coming to realise that almost 100 other people in my course are facing the same thing. we're all struggling to balance going to lectures and practicals and making notes and taking stupid online quizzes and applying for jobs and a million other things. for some reason, knowing others are going through the same thing is kinda comforting?

i feel like im being too negative so im going to backtrack a little. compared to last year, im enjoying this degree a lot more than i ever thought i would. first year was a whim, a time where all i did was complain about my modules and my degree, but this year? im slowly falling in love with it, and that makes me SO happy. from dropping my med application to applying to optometry as a whim, even when others around me berated my decision, to NOW, loving learning so much about the eye and the brain and the clinical side of things. and yes, im still complaining (i dont think ill ever stop) but its nice to actually want to pay attention in class, and do the work at home. things in degree are starting to piece together, and i like how it all fits. still surprised that ill be a primary eye care practitioner in the future, it just doesnt seem like a me job?

i hope im still as passionate about this degree a year ahead. i know the stress of it all can make me fall out of love with it, and im sure there are going to be times this year where i absolutely despise this. but this is what i chose, so ill carry myself forward with it, knowing ive come too far to give up.

hmmm, lots of uni talk but i havent tackled other issues ive faced/im facing yet, so lets talk about that. future me, i hope you're better at self love than right now. its still a daily struggle, but i have to say, im so proud of how far ive come since last year. last year was a reckless mess, and my lack of self worth and anxiety cost me the first class that i was trying to achieve in my exams. also summer too..i struggled so much with my acne and my hair loss and body dysmorphia. but i have come so far from the person i was a few months ago. i feel a lot more comfortable going out now, even though i hate wearing makeup 5 times a week, if it makes me feel pretty then why the hell should i not? also feeling super confident about my new wardrobe and styles. things are looking up with my body dysmorphia and im so glad they are. i really hope i continue to feel confident everyday throughout second year, and not let my perception of how i look interfere with my studies like last year. like mum says, you're going to school to learn, not show face.

not sure theres anything else id like to update on if im honest,. i should really get going with this ocular health lecture, so hopefully this weekend is as productive as i want it to be. i know its going to be hard this year, but i want to aim for the highest grade possible. i want to make up for how shitty i felt and how poorly i did last year (although a very high 2:1 isnt poorly, i know i could well have gotten a strong first). nervous for everything happening this year, god im nervous. but like i said, i chose this, there are 100 people fighting the same battle as me, i have my supportive uni friends by my side and im a lot more mentally stable than i was last year so hopefully i can do it.

i mean, by the time you read this, i would have already done it!! so i hope i did a good job.

i hope the sun is shining brighter a year ahead. i hope you're happier, more confident, more intellectual. free. yes, thats the word. i hope youre free of the stress of the world, and of society and of family issues and insecurities and everything that once tied you down. i hope you've become closer to the optoms in your year and found a family in new friends. heres to third year.

Sent 1 year to the future from October 5th, 2019 to October 5th, 2020

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