I won’t lie, there have been a few hiccups in the road since moving to London. Some have been small, like forgetting how to turn on the touchpad stove in my apartment. Others have been a bit bigger, like dealing with the stress of submitting my first master’s assignment.
I knew that it was going to be a matter of time before I had a meltdown. This past week I was a hot mess. I had a breakdown and a big one at that. Tensions had been rising for the past couple of weeks due to the enormity of work I had ahead of me. The current module I am undertaking in broadcast, while rewarding, is extremely demanding. There is no such thing as tomorrow. Everything needs to be filmed, edited and produced by yesterday. It can be exciting when working on a deadline – IF you have a story idea, interviews and footage ready to go.
However, this had been the week of rejection. For every great story idea you may have, there are not many people who are willing to help. No one really wants to be interviewed by a student. I have found that you can send a hundred media requests out and be lucky to get a “sorry, no thanks” email back from one. It’s really frustrating because there is no excuse when you go to class on Tuesday with a poorly put together package.
This, unfortunately, was my reality the past two weeks. While I have a notebook spilling with future article and package ideas none seemed relevant enough for my news class. Additionally, these ideas would not be possible to turn into a TV package.
I kept all my overwhelming thoughts hidden. I didn’t want to look stressed when no one in my class seemed to be. So, with university weighing me down I would go home only to feel weighed down by personal matters.
Wanting to go into the media industry I have put a lot of pressure on myself and worry that I may not be up to the standard expected for someone who is on TV. Like a lot of girls, I really struggle with accepting and loving my appearance. It’s just not something I am able to do. This means that when I come home and I’m looking exhausted with bags under my eyes, I’m not forgiving in how much I judge my appearance. Especially then having to listen to my voice or edit footage of myself from earlier on in the day.
I think like most people, when you are having a rough day or week you take it out on the person you talk to the most. Unfortunately for me, that was a really great guy I had been speaking to constantly for the past three weeks. Inevitably it ended, there is only so much bickering before someone snaps and can’t be bothered to argue anymore.
While I spent so long crying and obsessing over ways I could have handled these past two weeks differently, it finally hit me. It was a really upsetting realisation as well. I had spent most of the week dwelling on the negatives rather than celebrating the positives.
In actual fact, it had been an incredible week. I received feedback on my two assessment results and they were great marks. I managed to grow enough confidence to stand in front of a green screen and not panic about how I looked or sounded on a live broadcast. I was also given tickets to a musical by a very generous and kind friend. The most important realisation though was learning how incredible my network of friends really is.
I decided instead of being alone and upset I would reach out and ask for a distraction. Diana, who is going through her own personal battles spent most of the night talking to me about anything and everything. Michelle called on face time making me laugh about her (very honest) thoughts on the boy, Alabama Tom sat and listened to me sob, and Nikki as usual made me smile with her hilarious motivational videos.
Then of course as it was reaching morning in Australia, there was the special people at home. This included Brendan who called me instantly (even though he hates calling people at the best of times.) My best friend and sister Emme who sent me photos of herself to make me laugh, and a quick chat with mum. Mums always know how to save the day.
Instead of going to sleep with the weight on my shoulders. For the first time in over a week, I went to sleep that night so full of love and happiness. I felt understood and cared for. I am so fortunate that in my life I have two families. My beautiful Australian family (including friends) and my London family who have rapidly become my everything.
Now a few days later. I have celebrated Thanksgiving with my London family. I have secured a few potential interviews and I have a busy week ahead of me. As for the guy, I’m upset but I’ll get over it. (Eventually!)
So, for anyone who has just moved out and overseas. It’s okay to feel a little bit lonely. Don’t wallow and put on a brave face. It’s only natural to be upset when things don’t seem to be going right! Remember, your friends are your best allies and your family is there for you no matter how far away they feel.
I would also like to bring to the attention of anyone who does not feel comfortable talking to their friends or family. The University of Westminster’s counselling service will be running sessions next week on managing stress and mindfulness before exams. Have a look at: www.westminster.ac.uk/pass