Currently, I am sitting in my bed writing this on my laptop, I am the Primary Duty RA so I am holding the phone for when someone locks themselves out during that 3am bathroom trip. All the health experts would probably tell you what I am doing right now is wrong as I am teaching my brain to associate my sleeping space with work but I just couldn’t pass the opportunity to write what was on my mind at this moment in time.

I have to say that all up I am loving life. I have three very different jobs, all which teach me new things, skills, ways of seeing life, etc. All of this is great, but, it can be exhausting. One thing that keeps playing on my mind is what am I going to be doing after this year? What am I going to do when I finish study next year? Where will I live? What job will I have?.. It’s all playing over in my mind. Unfortunately, in all my capacities, I struggle to allow time for myself and my thoughts because all my jobs require a lot of mental focus.

My most obvious of these being RA (Resident Advisor). One thing that I am really big on is practicing what you preach, and as an RA, I feel like I’m preaching a lot. Like a LOT. Am I putting a lot of it into practice, definitely trying, but even I am imperfect and struggle with this. Yes, I stay up late the night before something is due desperately trying to finish it and sometimes I miss a meal at the hall and end up spending money I don’t need to on takeout. It happens. The thing I have probably struggled with most is finding something that I can do that gets me away from the hall and uni. I have my moments every now and then but I’m still stuck with this one.

When you’re flatting in the suburbs like I was last year, it’s so easy. If you want to get away from uni, you go home. I would head to Countdown Metro, grab some groceries I needed (or didn’t), get on my 18 Bus out to Waterview. 20 – 30 mins of music or podcasts would be all it took to get me to my little sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle, I was free. I think I enjoyed the distance most for the walks I could do. I would quite often walk from my flat into uni, sounds far away but with the well developed cycleways that lead out from the city it makes for a fairly direct route even when walking.

Do I regret living in the halls? Most definitely NOT. Distance is nice when it was a novelty. A novelty it was maybe 15% of the time. The number of times I mentally battled the commute was impressive. I was fine once I got on the bus but, the effort to get out of bed. Shower. Change. Grab my bag and run out the house. Without fail almost ALWAYS left my AT Hop Card on the kitchen bench from the day before, forgetting to put it back in my wallet, running back past my neighbour whose exercycle faced towards our shared drive, my head slumped in embarrassment. The memory of it makes me laugh now with the hardest part of my current commute to uni consists of a small hill that we speak of like it’s Everest.

So why am I sharing all of this? In all honesty because this blog is an example of one of the things I have been trying to preach so hard to my residents, taking a break, reflecting and finding a means of expressing your emotions. Right now I am feeling tired and tense. That’s ok, I’m allowed to have these feelings. What do I need? A break, maybe in the form of a walk? A small vacation? I went for my first run in goodness knows how long the other day, I can say that I forgot the satisfaction of getting to the point of breathlessness, that was a moment where I did something for myself other than wallow in my own self pity of feeling stuck in these four walls.

Regardless of where you are in life, your degree you can still struggle. It’s not a first year exclusive thing, and it doesn’t always get easier, but you definitely develop an arsenal of strategies to manage as you grow older. Would love to hear how other people best clear their heads in times of tension or stress.

Until next time, hakuna matata.