For Something To End.. Something Else Must Begin


So my second year of university is actually over. One more year left of university and then I will be pushed into the ‘big wide world.’ The thought doesn’t scare me as much as it used too. I think I am ready. Ready to follow my dreams and I look forward to what the future holds for me. This academic year has been both challenging and life changing. I have lost friends, I have gained friends. I have made the right decisions and I have made the wrong ones. I found a strength in me this year that I didn’t know I had. I guess your attitude on life changes as you get older.

I have learnt so much this academic year about me as a person and me as a writer. I think in the first year of university I was still a newbie, everything was fresh and new like a blank piece of paper. I threw myself in the deep end, I came from a performance background straight into the writers world and I even though I knew it was what I wanted, it was still a scary concept at the time. This year however, I feel at home. There might be flaws when it comes to the Creative Writing degree but we all feel like one big family.  We all have the same dream. We all have the passion to write. We want our words to be heard. We want someone to read something we have written and be inspired, just like the authors that we admire inspired us. I have finally found my voice, I’m still not sure what I will be writing in the future but I now feel confident enough to pursue it.

As for the personal aspect of my life this academic year, I have dealt with some difficult situations but life is a fight and you just have to keep going. Life is too short for sadness and life is too short to feel that you are not good enough. Now that one stress in my life is over for the next five months another one begins. One word. Family. I guess it doesn’t matter how old you are, you still hope for your parents to stay together. But that isn’t real life. Not everyone can carry on when unhappiness clouds every part of their mind. Not everyone can stay in the same monotonous routine day in and day out.

Sometimes you have to deal with a little heartbreak in life and even though it’s a painful time watching my parents separate, I know that things will be okay. They have to be. I know that things are never going to be the same, I know that life is going to be awkward for a little while. But all I can do is offer my support and my love to them. My mother believes that because me and my older sister are all grown up and living our own lives that it doesn’t effect us, but it does. I find it hard to deal with because my family is breaking in half and there is nothing I can do about it. All I can do is sit back and watch, watch my father’s heart wither to nothing, watch my mother make a fool of herself and watch as my young siblings confuse a new room and a new house with a new adventure. It breaks my heart that I have no power, no strength to change the events that are taking place.

On a positive note, I finally have the freedom to do what I wish. No university assignments tying me down I can finally relax. I also have a meeting with an editor of female first magazine this week about a possible intern-ship this summer. Even though the troubles in my family are still present in my mind I have to think about myself. I have to think about my life and my path. I can’t spend my time worrying about other people. This is a lesson that I have learnt recently, with the help of my boyfriend and his mum I have realised that sometimes I care a little bit to much other people and I lose focus on myself. I am far from selfish but sometimes you have to have selfish moments. I need to think about my future, my relationship and my goals.

There is one good thing about this summer. I can write, get a head-start on my novel for my dissertation. I can read – finally! I have a bookshelf full of unread books and I have just bought four more – oops! I think I have an addiction. I can finally read all of the books that I have had to push aside. I can go to the gym, I can go shopping. I can go swimming. Do what I wish. This sounds rather exciting but after a month or so I will get bored. So that’s why I am grateful for the opportunity to work at a magazine and gain some experience. I have been thinking about it a lot recently and I would quite like to work for a magazine when I graduate.

Of course I will have to start at the bottom and make my way up the ladder but that’s the best way to get a good career. And that’s what I want. A career. I want to have my loving boyfriend by my side, every step of the way. I have amazing friends. I have my health. I am very lucky. I need to focus on the good things in my life and be grateful for them because somewhere out there is a person hoping to have what I have.

A chapter of my life may be over but I have a new one to begin. I’m going to take the next five months to relax. Enjoy life. See my friends. Spend time with my loved ones. Before the manic third year of university starts. I had my fair share of stress this year with my university work and a lot of people told me to just chill. I’m a workaholic, a hard worker and I always want to achieve better grades.

Being a perfectionist isn’t always a good flaw to have but it’s part of who I am. At least now that it’s officially my summer I can take their words and turn them into reality. I can chill, I can do what I want to do. I’m going to enjoy this time because hopefully when I finish my third year I will be going straight into graduate employment. My second year of university may be over but for something to end, something else must begin. And that something else is five months of freedom.

Written by Emma-Jane Barlow

 Emma-Jane Barlow is a 30 year-old author, poet, writer and autism advocate from the UK. She has been writing poetry since the age of seven and finds comfort in writing about her life experiences. She has two published books and is currently working on a third.

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