2016 was a year of letting go, enjoying things in the moment, putting myself first and stopping to watch things unfold. I’ve had some really low lows and really high highs. Over the year I’ve had some epiphanies that I’ve been able to apply to my most recent stressful period but I’m hoping others will be able to relate.
It’s reading week which means that I only have 5 weeks of lectures to go! I’ve mentioned it before, but I had a hard time adjusting to the workload but I can finally say I’m enjoying it now, it wasn’t as bad as I first thought. From September to December, I honestly felt like I was wrapped up in an inconsistent cycle of productivity. Let me explain: week one, I’m prepared, I understand the topics, I manage to get extra work done but the following week, I’m overloaded with things to do, I can’t focus and I start feeling a decline in momentum.
I honestly believe that if you can envision the result of all your hard work and you have the right company (positive vibes kind of thing), it should push you in the right direction. Even as I type this, it feels like I’m reducing it all down to a simple state of mind but it’s a lot more complexed. I’ve always achieved great results from focusing, working, getting on with it. But it’s been incredibly draining trying to follow that same routine this year round. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not on some downer as I share my thoughts on this, I just feel despite your path – whether it be studying, working, or even the gap in between – we all have these thoughts. I assumed it was just me, but the more I’ve shared how I feel, the more I’ve had others share the exact same feeling towards working on their goals.
You’re not the only one feeling how you’re feeling. We hit brick walls. It’s not always a good idea to switch on autopilot mode – not for me anyway. You can blame lack of motivation, poor state of mind, the environment around you… but this was meant to happen. It’s part of the process. You wouldn’t learn to adapt if everything went smoothly.
When I think of how I managed to keep it together, I realised for me, it comes down to finding a good routine. It’s actually ‘not that deep’. Work hard. Take breaks – reenergise and give yourself those silent moments where you just sit in bed, with no background noise.
I’m currently typing this in Munich. I’m here to see one my best friends it’s just so refreshing to be able to travel somewhere new and take a few days away from everything. I needed to surround myself with good energy.
Before third year, the library honestly made me feel slightly ill. I felt so much pressure in the air to sit and work. I would have 5/6 tabs open, all of them social media. I would barely read a page but my friends worked better in the library. I hated it so much, I felt distracted by the weirdly quiet environment. But now, I like silence. I need it to focus. I like being on a solo one, finding my space and just getting my readings done at my own pace. Set yourself achievable targets – not work work work till Friday and take the weekend off to abandon all responsibilities.
So the point I’ve been slowly trying to get to is: no one will fully understand your workload to be able to advise you. Everyone has different schedules, a different way of working, family responsibilities, more free time, so the best thing to do to avoid wasting valuable time is to settle into a good routine. Motivate yourself. Bring positive vibes to yourself. Encourage yourself. Set small goals – achieve them – great stuff. No one can control your situation but yourself, remind yourself why you’re even doing this. Either you want to be here or you don’t.
Last year, I worked hard and finishing filming my documentary. I wanted to include Syrian refugees in my documentary but I was told that as a student journalist, it would be near enough impossible, yet I managed to film three Syrian refugees living in the UK. I also graduated from university, I travelled, I moved to London and started my Masters. This time next year, I hope I will have travelled more, finished my Masters, and InshaAllah I will be working as a professional journalist.
In the next few weeks, I have about 25 journals to read, a couple presentations, an assignment to finish over the break, and I need to hand in my dissertation proposal. It feels like I only submitted my last dissertation a few months ago! I also picked up Modern Standard Arabic as an extra module so I need to practice (don’t know how I’ll learn a language in between this but habibti, watch me).
إصلاح الموجود خير من انتظار المفقود
“It’s better to fix what you have than wait to get what you don’t have.”