Do you ever get the feeling that the rest of the world is fast-forwarding around you, and yet you’re standing still? This is something that has recently been unsettling me, and I think it started when I began university. Don’t get me wrong, going to uni’s the best thing I’ve ever done: I’ve made loads of new friends, become fiercely independent (although I do still bring my washing home for my mum), and have just generally embarked on an adventure which has changed the course of my life. However, after the first semester was over and I actually had to knuckle down and face my exams, I couldn’t stop thinking ‘what am I actually doing with myself?’. This question has been troubling me since around january time, and is obviously one that I’m keen to sort out.
I think the problem with going to university is that you suddenly become ‘a little fish in a big pond’. I remember my dad talking to me about this when I made the primary-secondary school transition, and it was even nerve-wracking then. The difference is, with primary school I moved from a small school of about 300 pupils, to secondary with around 2000… Whereas in september I moved from quiet little Garforth Academy to a university with over 36,000 students! The fact that you’re walking around practically faceless amongst a sea of older people (even though I went to university a year later than most people, I still feel like a baby fresher!) is so daunting! For example, at home I’d been part of the same youth theatre for over a decade, the same jazz band for five years and the same singing group for almost all of my secondary school life. At my old youth theatre, I’d begun at the young age of 7 and worked my way up to more important roles as I grew older- making some of my dearest and lifelong friends along the way. In comparison, the new University theatre group I had joined felt odd to me: I was eager to make new friends, but something inside me just couldn’t click with others properly- I was beginning to feel less like myself, and more like a shrinking violet stranger. I thankfully made a few lovely friends, but I’ve currently stopped attending the group; and although I plan to restart in the new academic year, this feeling of ‘losing myself’ can’t seem to be shaken off.
Singing is something that is incredibly important to me: I’ve always had the ability to do it, and no amount of throat injury or illness could put me off doing the thing I loved. Recently, however, I’ve found that my singing mainly stays within the four walls of my bathroom; and although my friends do love my shower singing, I can’t help feeling that I’m wasting a talent that I’ve never felt conscious to hide before. Things should hopefully get better soon: I’m singing in a few gigs with some friends over the next month or so, which should hopefully put me at ease and maybe build up my confidence again; and in september I am determined to rejoin the groups I have stopped going to at university. My problem is that I’m afraid to fail- but how can you succeed if you don’t even try?
I’ll keep you posted!
Thanks for reading,