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July 25, 2012 / Zoe

Back to School.

So, a good sign that a blogger has lost their mojo is when it takes them TWO WEEKS to post about life changing news. Big important, what-the-hell-am-I-doing news. Oops.

The news? Well the title says it all, doesn’t it?

I’m going back to University! And my first lecture is NEXT MONDAY!

And my University campus has PEACOCKS!

{Photo by Matt.}

I’m doing a Batchelor of Arts, majoring in English and History. I wanted to major in Gender Studies, but that wasn’t an option at my Uni. I’ll still be doing all the Gender Studies units I can though.

My first Uni experience was 7 years ago. I did what I thought I was supposed to do, I finished year 12, I did pretty well despite never doing homework, I applied to Uni courses in things I was vaguely interested in, moved to the big city, and trudged myself to school every day for 2 years while my interest and motivation slowly washed away.

Needless to say, I didn’t finish that degree. It was in Human movement and Exercise Science. I was pretty interested at first, I’ve always enjoyed learning for the sake of learning, and I did learn an awful lot about the human body! I learned every bony landmark and every muscle and every little bit of cartilage and nerves! Not that I can remember much of it. It didn’t take me long to realise that it wasn’t a field I wanted to work in, and I ran away to Perth, feigning the desire to have a year off from Uni, not wanting to admit that I wanted to drop out. I just never went back.

A year later I was ready to work out what I really wanted to do. I was looking into studying Environmental science at Uni when I found a traineeship at Kings Park for Conservation and Land Management. Perfect! I didn’t think I would be accepted, but I had done a little bit of volunteer work as a teenager, and I’ve always loved being in the bush and around plants.

To my surprise I was accepted. It was awesome. My first day on the job and I was already collecting seeds, and learning all the names of the local native plants. As part of the traineeship I went to TAFE (not sure what the US or CAN or UK equivalent of TAFE is… It’s tertiary education less intense than University.) and earned a Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management. But again, it didn’t last.

After 2 years, with a heavy heart, I had to give up my placement. After a car crashed into our house I became severely agoraphobic. I couldn’t go outside, and I certainly couldn’t work outside. It was a pretty awful time. I did consider going back to those studies, but I decided that I didn’t want to risk a relapse. I still grow plants in my backyard, I still go bushwalking, and I’m going to look into doing some volunteer work in the bushland.

I’ve been out of work/study for 3 years now. I can’t believe it’s been that long, it’s the strangest feeling to just skip over such a length of time in my mind. It’s going to be a HUGE adjustment for me. Being out of the house for lengths of time is super hard for me, but I’m pretty determined to make it work this time. I also have a social anxiety disorder, so talking to other students and doing presentations is also going to be a massive challenge. But I think I can do it.

A big change in my life means a change in my blog life. I’m trying to decide if I want to start a second blog, or move blogs completely. Whatever I decide, I’m going to start talking about my mental health problems more. I might write some stories about my childhood and why I think I have these issues in the first place. I’ll write about gender issues and other heavy topics. I won’t necessarily have a photo in every post. I sometimes feel like I’ve painted myself into a corner on here, a fluffy lovely happy corner, but life isn’t always like that. I want to step all over that paint and start really writing things that mean something to me.

I will still post about crafty things, I have so many little projects I still haven’t shared with you. I will still post about my kittens. I am still available for custom sewing work, and I want to restart my etsy store soon.

Things are a’changing. And it feels good.

xox

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14 Comments

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  1. Jodie / Sep 4 2012 11:41 pm

    Im so proud of you! I know it must be a really hard thing to get out there and do this, you are an inspiration. I know what it’s like to have anxiety/ and other issues, so I can totally relate to alot of things you talked about above. I have social anxiety and panic attacks, mostly one of the reasons I never go out anywhere by myself, I wish I could change it, maybe one day soon…but yeah I wont go into all of that haha, maybe I could email you sometime for a chat 🙂
    But yeah I know what a big deal it is, so I just wanted to say, go you!! and I am proud.

  2. teganelizabeth / Jul 30 2012 9:11 pm

    Wow! This post resonates with me so much! I did an Animal Science and Management degree straight out of highschool because, like you, I thought it was something I should do. And I love animals, and I’m very interested in conservation and environmentalism, but but I can’t help but feel like my path leads somewhere more…creative. So I think I’m going back to Uni next year, to study a Bachelor of Letters.
    This is a great thing you’re doing, I wish you so much luck and success and joy! And your blog can be whatever you want it to be! This is your little piece of the internet, no one else should dictate what you choose to use it for 🙂

    • Zoe / Aug 2 2012 2:49 pm

      Oh good luck with that! I know how you feel, I have such diverse interests, it’s hard to decide which is the ‘right’ path. I hope you’ve found it now. xox

  3. Flamingo Dancer / Jul 28 2012 7:36 pm

    I am so proud of you. I did a Batchelor of Arts, majoring in English, History and Mass Communications and it was the best thing I ever did. My world opened up on so many levels and after another degree or two I am now a teacher librarian and I adore my job. Congratulations and go girl!

    • Zoe / Aug 2 2012 2:48 pm

      Thank you so much! I’m glad to hear you had such a great experience with it, some people seem to think it’s a ‘nothing’ kind of thing to study.

  4. Vixie / Jul 28 2012 12:27 am

    University with peacocks? Very jealous!

    Things might be hard at first, but I know you’ll settle into it – and you’ll be great! You’ve taken a big step in even applying and now you’ve just got to keep going! Can’t wait to hear about all the new awesomeness you’ll be learning about – and good luck for your first day! xxxx

    • Zoe / Aug 2 2012 2:47 pm

      The peacocks are so fabulous! They hang around the arts building, I get a thrill whenever I see them. I’ve nearly finished my first week, I’m finding it very hard, but manageable.

  5. Lauren / Jul 26 2012 10:13 am

    Wow, there is a lot here that is similar to how my life has gone – the leaving school after 2 years, the anxiety issues (I had depression and I have social anxiety right now) and a lot of this is what is on my mind too – can I handle actually being at school?

    Good luck to you and we’re all cheering for you!!

    • Zoe / Aug 2 2012 2:46 pm

      I think you definitely can handle it, I hope I can read about your adventures soon!

  6. thebockster / Jul 26 2012 3:00 am

    All the best to you, Zoe!! I graduated with a Gender Studies degree four (oh my gosh, time flies!) years ago. I’d love to hear more on your studies as you progress!
    I am looking forward to your new focus on your blog- it sounds really interesting. Step all over the paint and make some rad footprints!

    • Zoe / Aug 2 2012 2:46 pm

      Ah I didn’t know you had a degree in gender studies!! Gender studies and baking, could you get any cooler?

      • thebockster / Aug 2 2012 9:16 pm

        Aww thanks!! I like how it sounds too 🙂 Also, peacocks? AMAZING!

  7. MaryAnn / Jul 26 2012 12:55 am

    Congratulations on your new endeavor! I’m sure you can do it; lots of other people have & you’re just as capable as they are. And I heartily agree; write about the happy stuff but write about the real stuff, too. I’ve done some more of that on my blog since my mom’s death & I think those posts have actually resonated the most with those who read. We all have big, beautiful, painful lives & it’s all worth celebrating.

    • Zoe / Aug 2 2012 2:34 pm

      Thank you so much! Writing about the ‘real’ stuff is hard, there’s more room for criticism, and the criticism hurts more! But I know the blogging community is super supportive, so I’m going to try. xx

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