"I would now love nothing more than to stay entirely in my comfort zone"
The coronavirus crisis robbed Sussex student Jenny Bathurst of the chance to sit A levels.
But she ended up with three As and is now going to study journalism at the University of Brighton (Eastbourne campus). In fact, she heads off today! We have asked Jenny to share her thoughts on the difficult times we are living through... Here is her latest contribution.
On the day that this article is published, I will most likely be a bit stressed.
Who knows, perhaps the day will arrive, and I will feel calm and organised and ready for whatever the day throws at me, but right now my brain feels like mush.
As I have mentioned in my column many times I am going to be leaving on Saturday 26th September to begin a journalism degree at the University of Brighton, and whereas a few months ago I was itching for a change of scenery I would now love nothing more than to stay entirely in my comfort zone and remain at home for the foreseeable. The inevitable fears have finally crept in and an experience that I know I will (hopefully!) love after a period of time currently seems incredibly daunting.
If I was to type out every uncertainty I am experiencing then I would still be sat here on Saturday evening, and I am yet to cram every bag and box in the boot of our car.
I am aware that this all sounds incredibly pessimistic, and of course there are aspects that I cannot wait to get stuck into. I look forward to the opportunity to meet my flatmates and fellow students on my course, as well as fill my new room with my belongings, creating a cosy space. Exploring the town and the beaches surrounding the university is something that I am yet to do in detail also, however this will of course depend on the restrictions that may potentially be put in place.
This large new step in my life was never going to be the easiest thing I have ever done, and I am entirely aware that the complete uncertainty is the primary cause of my fears. As a young Christian I choose not to drink in excess or conform to a lot of norms that are stereotypical of those my age, which lends itself to its own worries about not fitting in or socialising enough. These are not things that I wish I could do but can’t, it simply evokes the question of how this will impact on the ability to relate to other young adults.
My faith is what grounds me as a human being and will also certainly act as a comfort not just over the next three years but for the entirety of my life. I would love to fast forward a month or so, to skip over the testing nature of the ‘beginning’ and place myself in an environment I am more comfortable in, but I know that this attitude misses the point of this experience completely. How am I supposed to grow as an individual and endure future challenges if I avoid any that come my way presently? This doesn’t necessarily dispel much of my incessant overthinking, but if completing this degree is for my future, then I have to adopt the same way of thinking for the remainder of my time at university.