The University Diaries : My First Full Week

Dear Diary,

It's Friday and I've survived my first full week of lectures, by the skin of my teeth. The level of stress and exhaustion I feel is beyond anything I could have ever anticipated. The same could be said of the terrifying problems I've had with my student loans. Most definitely, that has been the final straw this week.

Monday's are my longest day. I guess that's both a blessing and a curse. I don't have to be in lectures until 11am so that's a huge plus point. It all starts with Molecular Biology, followed by Human Physiology and then a 2 hour break before Cognition in Clinical Contexts. Pretty varied!

I have also come to realise that 90% of the material in these modules I have already covered, been tested on and passed with the OU. It's quite reassuring, especially when I am able to write notes on whatever my memory happens to spit out at that particular moment. I've retained a lot more than I realised. But one could argue that studying for 12+ hours a day for weeks on end would do that.

I'm finding lecture theaters such bizarre places to be. They're so vast - much like the campus - and it's very scary walking into them. Attendance usually tops 250/300 at the moment. Holy crap.

During a catch-up with my occupational therapist she said she just couldn't picture me being in a room with that many people when a matter of months ago at the hospital being with 10 was a real test of my tolerance.

I still stay near the doors. So In the 'Chichester' building I am nearer the front row so I can be one of the first out and escape the crush, or in the posh 'Jubilee' I am at the very back row as we come in from a level up - if that makes any sense!?

I'm making friends and it's really weird! After so long of not really having friends I've got to really wing it when it comes to talking and following conversations and all that other normal stuff. I think that's the hardest part of university so far to be honest. The talking! It's very tiring. Well, that and all the walking and getting lost. Hopefully next week I won't be making the same mistakes over and over again. Some buildings are just really hard to find!

By Thursday I was at breaking point. Being over-tired always makes things worse but when you add pain and money issues into the mix, it's not great. There has been a huge drama with my student loan - and now Halifax - and I just can't cope anymore. There have been lots of tears.

The Student Loan Company were supposed to pay me last Thursday but failed to as Sussex didn't tell them I was there. Ok. Honest mistake and an easy fix.When my money failed to appear a second time I felt like the world was going to end. To cut a long story short, my account was checked for fraud and subsequently cleared and money was once again sent out. Hopefully I will see it Monday or Tuesday. If not, I'm fucked.

I have been so exhausted that I'm making ridiculously stupid mistakes, like forgetting to pay my Halifax credit card. I genuinely forgot, but the penalty was bone crushing. It's not 0% anymore. From one honest mistake. There is £2500 on that card and the rate is 21%. If I can't plead with them into showing me mercy I really don't know what I'll do. I'm absolutely terrified.

I'm so drained in every single way that I'm already failing to meet minor deadlines. This is where CFS is definitely making itself known again. I just can't do anything anymore. Reading journal articles is just above and beyond what my brain can do now. I missed my 9am Friday lecture because I simply couldn't move without wanting to cry or puke.

This month has been absolutely insane. It's a miracle I'm coping as well as I am. The urges to use alcohol or drugs are very much present but for now, at least, I'm still 15(?) months sober. If it gets much worse I will ask my new doctor if I can go back on acamprosate - that's the drug that is meant to help ease cravings for alcohol.

I guess that's about all I can say for now... Hopefully now I have a set schedule I will be a much better blogger and back on Twitter talking to you all! It's been a very lonely month.


  1. You HAVE to be proud of yourself Sami - you have done brilliantly this week hun. It sounds like the week from hell financially, but hearing you talk about your degree course your language changes (in a good way). You sound so positive about the course materials and the fact you are enjoying it.

    Hope you get the finances sorted out hun and I know I don't always comment, but I have really been enjoying your blogging about Uni - if you have time I would really enjoy reading all about it.

    I am kind of bedridden with my epilepsy and broken back and would give anything do to an OU course as time is something I have more than enough of, so I shall enjoy Uni vicariously through you if that is OK!

    Fi xoxox

    1. Awwww thank you so much, Fi! Of course you can live the uni life through me! :) It's pretty exhausting though I do have to warn you :P Hope this week has been better for you? Lots of love xx

  2. Wow, it sounds like you have done an amazing job Sami, I'm really proud of you. Just keep your chin up and keep going, you can do this. I'm always on Twitter, or a text away if you need to chat to anyone, don't be lonely we are all here for you :)


    1. You're making me blush! ;) I don't think I have your number? Can you DM it to me? The lonely thing wasn't me shutting myself away, it's just uni-bed-uni-bed at the moment. I need a chocolate or caffeine sponsor! Haha! Would love to meet up for a coffee some time soon! xx

  3. it sounds like you've had an exciting and stressful week! I hope next week is more settled for you. Best of luck with everything, sounds like you are doing amazingly! :D


    1. Thank you darling!! :) It's not really changed this week but I'm very thankful to be at such a special university! :) xx

  4. I hope the SLC sorts its shit out soon, they really can be awful. You are doing so fantastically coping with everything and I'm so lad you're enjoying uni. Yay for making friends, I hope it's all upwards from here

    1. They are absolutely useless. I'm going to file a complaint. It's just beyond disgusting what they're doing to so many students. Having friends is so bizarre! I hope your PhD is going ok so far? We had PhD students in our lab yesterday helping us out which was really cool - made me think of you! xx


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