Graduate in love with writing
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Going to university is a massive step. Some people look forward to it for years. Some people dread it. Some people are unsure whether they want to go right up until the last minute. However you feel about going to university, it’s a big life change. There is even more uncertainty around university this year with the pandemic changing how universities will run and the government managing to mess up A-Level grades when the world was already messed up. I have just graduated into a rapidly shrinking job market so don’t worry I’m suffering too. Let’s get into five things I wish I knew before going to university.
As I’ve spoken more openly about my feminist beliefs not everyone has been fully supportive. Many people have and thank you for that. Some people are confused and some people are put off. Feminism is still controversial today. It seems like some people just want me to be a ‘normal’ writer. I can focus on social change, sure, but feminism is a bit much. It excludes men, apparently. Well this is my message to men.
I first experienced mental health issues when I was a teenager. It's hard to tell exactly when it started because it gradually happened. It wasn't an overnight change. But I think teens have dark and destructive thoughts much earlier than their parents like to think. I first harmed myself at 13 and I felt in the moment that it had been a long time coming.
Let's get real about anxiety disorders... The mental health disorder anxiety is much more complex than the stereotypes portray. That’s the case for most mental illnesses. Having an anxiety disorder doesn’t mean you are just a worrier or are oversensitive. An anxiety disorder often manifests itself in physical ways, not just thoughts. Although the thoughts can be horrible and intrusive.
Due to the increased attention on the Black Lives Matter Movements after the outcry at the murder of George Floyd, white people have been pushed to question their treatment of black people. I am one of them. Many white people have had a positive response. They understand their privilege – that white people will not suffer because of their race as black people are targeted due to the colour of their skin. Many white people have joined in solidarity with black people on marches, signing campaigns and using their platform to speak out against racism.
In the UK we have once again been let down by our politicians. Politicians are in a position of power. They have the power to make changes in society. Somehow many don't seem to understand what changes need to be made.
Learning I opened my history textbook and saw a divided past. I saw death by colour. I saw privilege by whiteness. Not just in individuals, not just in communities but in institutions. In the holders of the power to decide what is right and what is wrong – who is right and who is wrong. In the implementers of safety and punishers of violation. In the law makers and law takers. Justice was not colour-blind. She was ruling in full colour. I wrote essays on the emancipation. I wrote essays on desegregation. I wrote essays on the success of the freedom fighters, the moves of presidents and school children. I wrote essays on what had been and I closed my textbook. I closed the pages of history and looked out the window to the streets. The history book was not closed afterall.
Milo rubbed his eyes desperately, as if trying to erase the vision. Nightmares seem harrowingly authentic when they are based on your own reality. Momma said that he had witnessed what no human should witness, certainly not an innocent boy, and that’s why his mind plagued him so morbidly. His short breaths became deeper and a familiar comforting sound dismissed the echo of screaming. As if attentive to Milo’s distress, the swallow was singing a soothing tune from his usual resting tree, drawing Milo to the window.