As if moving away from home and adjusting to university life was not hard enough, a new ordeal pops up between the months of December to February of your first year; the search for your accommodation for next year. Without any exaggeration on by behalf, completely true, cross my heart I am not lying when I am saying this: Student House Hunting has been one of the most stressful and traumatising experiences I have ever been through, and sadly it stills agonises me even in my second year, so much so that it has been the major trigger of my many nervous breakdowns and depression in my first year.
You are somehow miraculously expected that within the first semester of absolute daze and confusion, you’d be able to find not only friends, but friends that you trust enough to room with.
Coming to university was one of the most eye-opening and difficult experiences I have ever had. Forget high-school angst, university is on a whole different league.
Adjusting to this new setting really takes a lot out of you. With the support system that you conveniently had back home, now gone, being a university newcomer sort of feels a lot like your first day in primary school: lost, confused, you don’t know anyone, and you end up crying and wanting your mum. Heck, I’m in the middle of my second-year now and I am still trying to adjust.
Frankly though, everything could have been different and better if only I had received an honest advice when I asked people about uni-life. My only source of advice was some burned out cousins during family gatherings and dinners. They gave such vague and dismissive responses, it felt a lot like I was talking to one of those psychic mediums.
“Eh, yea, it’s okay, just try to balance your studies and social life.” Okay great, how do I do that? “Eh, it depends on your course, see and act accordingly.” Ehm, okay, how about my dorm-mates? “Eh, it depends. It’s different for everyone.” What about friends? “Eh you know, it depends. Just get yourself out there, they’ll come to you.”
So here I am, like a good (insomniac) Samaritan to give some brutally honest advice about university that I wish I was given. (Sidenote: It’s 5am, writing this on an old lagging tablet -I get to write a whole sentence before the letters start appearing on the screen-, you understand how randomly important I feel that this is for uni-students)
“Natasha, you are six, little girls don’t cross their legs!”
“Don’t cross your legs at the table!”
“Don’t cross your legs when men are talking to you!”
“We are in church! Stop crossing your legs!”
“How dare you sit with your legs crossed in my class!”
“Natasha, you are twenty now, grown women don’t cross their legs!”
I hate that phrase. I hate it all the way to my core. I’ve been hearing that demand ever since I can remember and at nearly half of the times I sat down to a family table – the other half I was able to conceal it properly and not get caught.
In my university’s newspaper, the Badger, on its issue published on October 12th, 2015, I read a Comment Piece by Benjamin Barnett titled ‘Is depression made worse by our society?’. This post is a critique on that piece.
The article piece raised some very important points about depression and suicide on this day and age. The statistics on depression and suicide are a growing concern, seeing how the situation only seems to get worse. A lot is done to raise awareness and to provide support but I do feel that the community can often be misguided on what’s causing this plague of depression amongst the younger population. Socio-political ideologies creep in this topic which in turn do nothing but alienate and misdirect the whole discussion forum.
Mr Barnett’s piece identifies 3 reasons as leading causes for depression and suicide:
1. Modern-day consumerism
3. Societal suppression of creativity, individuality and liberty
Maybe it’s time for Mr Barnett to close his copy of Fight Club for a second.
I had a completely different idea for a blog-name when I was typing down the blog address that I’d like to have. Apopsis (viewpoint) and Gnomi (opinion) were all taken. As well as THE and MY conjunctions. And so I was left to find a word that could start-up with blogging-journey of mine. I knew I wanted it to be Greek, with Ancient Greek origin, and in a way a word personal to me – a word describing my character or my view on life.
Αυθάδεια, pronounced as af-tha-di-a (:/af-θa-δia/), can be roughly translated as insolence. Insolence: rude and disrespectful behaviour, courtesy to Oxford Dictionaries. But this word in Greek means simply so much more. Yes, authadeia is a noun mainly used to describing the action of acting and/or speaking with no respect but its synonyms also include the Greek equivalent words of ‘provocative’, ‘cynic’, ‘audacity’ and some of the suggested English translations for authadeia include ‘boldness’, ‘sass’ and even ‘freshness’ and ‘liberty’. However, looking back at the origins of the word, from Ancient Greek, it is actually a compound word between αυτός (:/af-tos/, oneself) and ήδομαι (:/i-δo-me/, pleasuring), combined together to create ‘pleasuring oneself’ and ‘doing what pleases you’.
In an online Greek Lexicon, I found the word being exemplified with the following phrase, ‘Don’t be insolent towards those older/senior/bigger than you!’. Out of all the example phrases that could be used, this specific one, this very common and realistic yet oppressive one was used instead.
I’ve been called insolent throughout my life, mainly from people older/senior/bigger than me when I confronted them and their presumed authority gained based only on their superficial qualities of age and ‘family status’. When they had run out of arguments they just sprayed the word ‘insolence’ and ‘insolent young girl’ as to diminish my stance and points.
I chose to take that word, turn it around and make it my own.