Ultimately, what it comes down to is learning what makes you happy...

Hey lovelies! My name is Em and by the time that you are reading this, I would have finished my three years at uni – it’s crazy how much time flies! As a whole, university has been the best experience of my life. It was an opportunity for me to live independently, meet new people and study towards a career that I have always been passionate about.

Not only am I leaving university with the best friends a girl could ever ask for; the boyfriend that I only dreamed of having; and memories to last a life time, but I am also leaving with a far greater understanding of who I am. But that hasn’t come easily.

After spending two months abroad for Camp America over summer, I could not wait to get back to uni and move back in with my besties! Little did I know how much they would become my saviours throughout the struggles of third year.

A few weeks in and the reality of being in my final year really began to sink in. The prospect of starting a dissertation was overwhelming, though it proved to be manageable with the right support. Trust me, you will be amazed at who comes to your rescue in times of need – in the acknowledgements section of my diss it was impossible to express my gratitude in only 100 words!

As the weeks went by, I was having down days more frequently than I used to, and I was stressed beyond belief. Looking back on it, spending every waking minute in the library wasn’t healthy. Sometimes, when you are so wrapped up in something, it is hard to see the flip side of a situation, particularly in the fear of failure. One piece of advice that I can give right now is to listen to those closest to you! All too often, they will know you better than you know yourself.

Gradually, I took their advice and spent a few less hours each week in the library, decreasing the pressure that I didn’t even realise I was putting on myself. Pro-actively, I spent more time doing the things that I knew would make me happy. One activity that I really began to enjoy again was cooking. A self-confessed foodie kinda gal, I would love waking up early and going to the uni’s fruit and veg market. There’s something about being up and ahead of the world that makes me feel so refreshed – try it. An early morning walk, or if you’re more of an evening person, try a walk at sunset.

Ultimately, what it comes down to is learning what makes you happy. I have now turned my passion for food into an Instagram account (@letsget.em) that brings me so much joy in being able to help spread positivity. My DMs are ALWAYS open if you want a girly chat, need some advice, or just want to say hi!

If you are ever struggling, take a deep breath and tell yourself that everything is going to be okay! Emotions are temporary, so this feeling WILL pass. For me, I find that the outdoors brings me so much calm. It is only recently that I have really come to appreciate the beauty of nature, whether that be taking a scenic route on my runs, or enjoying my morning coffee surrounded by bird song. Speaking of birds, this metaphor has stuck with me throughout my third year and I thought you might like to hear it too: Friends are like penguins. As we all move in and out of our times of need, we each take it in turn to be at the centre of the penguin huddle. Sometimes all we need is a little hug and reassurance. The kindest thing that you can do to yourself is speak about how you are feeling, you are not alone.

Remember, it is okay not to be okay.

All the love in the world, Em xxx

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