November Reflections – Where Have I Been?! What’s Next?

Yep, it’s a generic ‘I’m sorry I took a break from blogging’ post. Well, it should be at least. I haven’t written any content for over a month, and that’s too long for my liking. I feel like I owe everyone an explanation; this is the part of the post where I apologise profusely for my sudden hiatus, offer up a bunch of excuses and attempt to justify myself. But I’m sure you’ve all read plenty of those before, so instead this is just going to be a short and casual reflections post – like the ones I write every month.

What’s held me back from creating content over November then? The simple explanation is, of course, ‘university’. So let’s start with a rundown of how that’s all going…

University is a huge mix of chaotic activity and equally chaotic emotions. Last month, I had four essay deadlines on the same day, so that is a big part of why blogging fell way off the priorities list. I managed to get them all written though; I don’t have to think about that again until the beginning of January. I enjoy a lot of my course content which is a huge relief, as I always had this concern in the back of my head that I would pick the wrong course. So far, though, sociology seems to be treating me well.

autumn leaves in sunlight

People say you discover things about yourself at university, and in the two and a half months I’ve been here I’ve certainly learnt a lot about myself. I can get through a jar of tahini at an alarming rate. I find it hard to remain an early bird when I’m surrounded by late-rising students. In the context of my seminars (aka hour-long sessions within which people painfully avoid eye contact and are super absorbed in anything but the discussion at hand), I am considered one of the most confident and talkative of the bunch – ironic, knowing my history of social anxiety. No matter how busy my schedule is, I always find time for creating bullet journal spreads. Oh, and apparently my love for garlic bread knows no bounds.

Apart from all this self-discovery, I’ve also found several wonderful friendships at uni. We’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time trekking to and from the supermarket (yeah, the closest one to uni is a good mile away), and had spontaneous One Direction singalongs whilst baking vegan cookies. We’ve taken many selfies, explored the city centre, dressed up to go to the Winter Ball, and even attempted zumba together. Perhaps most importantly though, we’ve shared biscuits, tears and tissues to get each other through hard times. There’s nothing like a bit of snot to bond people.

crane trees and lake in autumn

When I’m not studying or socialising, I’ve been acclimatising to my new admin job at the university. It’s a convenient 1-minute walk from my flat and involves several responsibilties I’ve never experienced before. This has kept me interested – particularly the creative side of the job (designing newsletters and simple graphics). I’ve found this kind of work to be a nice break in routine from the mental expenditure of studying, and I like how I get to give back a little to the uni community I’m a part of.

The focus on academics, being social and paid work has left me little time and energy for other things (evident in the lack of posts recently). I haven’t been writing for myself in any form (blogging, journaling, poetry) and I’m starting to miss that a lot. The only place I’ve managed to stay creative is my bullet journal weekly spreads. I’m happy I can at least express myself a little through this, but I know I need to find a better balance for these sorts of things in the future.

mandala doodles bullet journal spread

I don’t want to promise to myself that I’ll definitely make these changes, or to anyone reading this that I’ll be back to posting regularly on here. I will have some time over December to get into all of these things again but pressurising myself with unrealistic goals is not going to help. In terms of blogging, I actually feel a little out of touch with the whole community. I’m not really sure how to reconnect in a way that feels meaningful; I’ve lost a bit of confidence in sharing my thoughts online. Will I get that back? I guess we will all have to stay tuned to see. Until then though, I will keep relaxing with my newfound Netflix love, Gilmore Girls.

I hope you all had a wonderful November ❤

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11 thoughts on “November Reflections – Where Have I Been?! What’s Next?

  1. soyvirgo says:

    I can understand why tons of bloggers need a break since most are in uni! or working.
    Well I hope you can find time to balance doing everything u need to do and want to!
    Also, what do you use tahini for? I’ve only cooked with it to make stir fry but that’s about it lol
    – Kiki

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Johnzelle says:

    You’re still part of the community, Alys! So glad that Uni is treating you well. Imagine a giant smile as I read that you’re a talkative person in class and have made great friends! Those were worries prior to going and you’re crushing it! Also, Gilmore Girls is a great binge show. All the feels. Best of luck as you finish out the semester!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Liz says:

    I’m sure if you are like me, that it won’t feel like you have been away a month. I am finding the days going really quick and I can’t believe we are in December.
    Glad to hear Uni is going well and everything else sounds brilliant too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lavanya says:

    Just got finished with my semester exams. Girl, I totally know what you’re talking. Most days when I had time, I was often so exhausted that all I wanted to do was lie down and listen to music. So, it’s completely fine if you don’t post. I mean I don’t do it regularly too, so I can’t judge others.

    Also, blogging shouldn’t ever become a burden for anyone. And not taking break when needed will turn it into one. So, it’s actually wiser to not to that and take a break.


  5. Leigh-Ann says:

    As a University student I can understand and relate to so many of the things you mentioned. I’m in my final year before graduation and I’ve grown so much since the start and it’s definitely a little overwhelming. I love your content and I’m wishing you the best for 2019. I’m always happy to read honest content like this and I think you’re readers will understand your need to prioritise your studies and mental health 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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