Stress, SOAS & Soy Coffee   


So I haven’t even made it a month in to uni and I’m already back home, in search of a chicken curry.

This feels like all 4 years of my BA combined. I’ve never done so much work while still feeling like I haven’t done enough. I’ve never had to read, analyse, critique, and question texts before. When I read a book, it’s because I’m learning something new. I take it for what it is. I believe every word. But during the past 3 weeks, I’ve realised that isn’t the best way to truly learn. Now, I’m reading with an open mind, looking beyond the black & white, looking out for the other side of the story, and filling the gaps.

My weekend consists of reading in preparation for Monday. Monday = lecture and staying in uni until I’ve read the reading list for Tuesday, and so forth. I get to uni at 11 and I don’t leave until 9pm and this is the easiest it’ll be! My Dad still calls me at 6pm asking why I’m not home.

It’s nice working at SOAS, sipping on a soy coffee (it’s weird but I’m embracing it!). The vibe is so chilled in SU w/ Chance the Rapper or French rap for background music, while I try to read a 45-page book chapter.

I’ve noticed that I’ve reduced myself to just reading/working and I know that’s my priority but I also need time to enjoy this year. I’m in London! I’ve got to find a happy medium – studying enough to understand seminars while giving myself time to go out and socialise.

If I’m not at uni because I’m reading, it’s because I’m attending a seminar or a guest lecture. I’ve been to a few interesting talks already including: Palestinians in Syria: Nakba Memories of Shattered Communities, What Happened to the “Arab Spring”?

Next week I’m attending a conference – Media in Muslim Contexts: Inventing and Reinventing Identities – which I’m really excited about. There’s so many events in London that I’ve had to limit myself but LSE, Kings and SOAS offer endless Middle East related talks. It makes a change from Coventry.

That reminds me that Cov graduation is round the corner! I haven’t had time to think about the logistics because I’ve been busy since August. But it’s in just over a month – I need to order my gown, photographs, buy an outfit and shoes, book train tickets, organise who’s coming from my family (nearly everyone’s got a day off work) and find time to get my nails done. I can’t think about graduation until I’ve completed a couple assignments, get through reading week and submit my essays for term one.

But I’m excited. It took a lot to get a First and I can’t wait to graduate with my closest friends. I’ll save the emotional reflection for next month.

One month down, 11 more to go!


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