You can start over as many times as you like…

by Sanelisiwe Fourteen

magine moving from having an income back to having to depend on an allowance. Moving back into a school residence after living on your own. I won’t even go into not being allowed any visitors. After the pandemic and lockdown was announced a few weeks before my undergraduate graduation, I decided to that I’d take a gap year. A GAP YEAR. One (1) …

One became 2, I was comfortable. Although finding a job amidst COVID-19 without any experience was a reach, I managed to move around from job to job. Starting off as an English teacher to being an Intern Scientist. It felt greaaaat. I wasn’t dependent on anyone. I was my own boss. But it’s that one job that pushed me into wanting more and furthering my studies. I tried out the whole studying and working co-currently; sounded doable, but 12 hours of work and 8 hours of school was madness. Physically I’d be in class but I was definitely asleep most times, lol. So, I resigned. I beat myself up about it all the time. “I should’ve just stayed” “Is it really worth it?”

The shift was difficult. Having to go back into study mode. I had forgotten how to study. I mean, I knew I had applied for school but mentally I wasn’t ready. Here’s the thing, growth is uncomfortable but it’s also rewarding. In as much as I mostly was going through the motions this year, the end goal has always been clear. It always is, it’s the getting there that’s the problem. You don’t always have to be on top of things. Not all days are the same and not everything goes as planned and it is okay. I’ve never been one to struggle with mental health, but this year?

More people need to be open about how physically exhausting anxiety can be, your brain closes off, you become tired all the time, even your stomach doesn’t cooperate, heart races constantly and that comes with everything in between. Some days you’re productive; other days, you just don’t have it in you. You need to remind yourself of why you started and be proud of all the progress that no one notices, progress within yourself and with school. Sometimes trying your best is simply making it out of bed.

You are not running out of time, you are not too old and it’s not too late. If you constantly waiting for “the right time” you will wait forever, allow yourself to start. Not necessarily with school, but with everything. Can you believe how quickly the year ends? We’re here now.  Short term discomfort results in long term peace.

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