Friday Special: My Lifestyle Has Changed
Welcome to another Friday Special, where I discuss my personal growth and university journey. In this blog, I’m going to discuss my lifestyle, which has definitely changed since coming back for my PhD. It’s May, so I think it’s fair to say that I’ve had time to adjust, and I’m still really enjoying my course and my website content. It’s time to look at what’s changed and why.
First off, I’ve definitely given up the night-club obsession that I had in undergrad, and I’ve decided that I’m over it. Not to sound boring, but saving money for Dan and I’s new place has become much more important than dumping money on a night out that I can’t even remember. I much prefer going out for drinks or simply having a glass of wine (or two) at home every now and then. Maybe I’m just getting old, but hangovers make me feel dire, and I’m not bouncing back like I used to.
Over the lockdowns we had, I barely drank any alcohol, and since then I’ve never gone back to consuming it the way I did previously. I never had a “problem”, but I’ve definitely become more aware of the effects of drinking heavily, and I’m just not that bothered about it. I don’t think I’ll ever go completely sober, but limiting my intake makes me enjoy it a lot more, and appreciate the times where I do venture to the club.
I’ve definitely become more organised since starting my PhD, and I think that’s been driven by a lurking fear of failure, a bit of imposter syndrome and good work ethic. I try to make sure that I have positive motivations for working hard, as being pushed forwards by fear or anxiety is a vicious circle that’s difficult to get out of. I’ve always been a planner, but now I can forecast what my week will look like and carefully structure my days without feeling crazy for doing so. It takes all the stress of getting things organised out on my life, and I’ve found that I’m sleeping better and being more productive too.
Taking on more paid work has always been in the cards, but I’ve found it difficult to juggle several part-time jobs and full-time study over the past couple of years. Working online has revolutionised my work life, as it’s much easier to fit in Teams calls, online platforms and writing opportunities around my study, as I don’t have to physically keep moving around. I do miss my ambassador work to a certain extent, as I liked giving campus tours and working with school-children. However, I now lecture to children as part of outreach programmes, helping to organise the events rather than just turning up and working at them. I’ve really enjoyed the extra responsibility, and also not having to travel so much for work. As well as the recruitment work I do I’m also a graduate teaching assistant, and I’m super excited to teach solo very soon.
Dan and I have certainly got closer since I’ve been back at university, and I’m really glad we did that year of long-distance. We’re moving in together in the summer, and that’s become one of my priorities to focus on. Although we still live separately, I feel like we are more of a couple, and that’s brought me a lot of comfort. I do miss my friends from undergrad, but I’m so glad that we’ve been able to meet much more frequently than we did during Covid.
From someone who once bought a lot of clothes and ate a lot of junk, I have been trying to cut back for my bank account’s sake, and also the planet’s. I bulk-cook regularly, and I’ve cut down on what clothes I buy. The essentials I purchase are of a decent quality, and I’m careful to look after my clothes to make sure that they have a long life with me. I’ve been going into more charity shops and I’m wasting virtually no food nowadays. Making everything last longer and go further has also eased some stress in my life and going out to eat or ordering a takeaway is now one of my favourite activities, without the guilt.
I’m hoping this summer that I’ll get to spend a bit of time travelling, as that has been something I’ve really missed during the pandemic. I’ve been lucky to go out to Gibraltar a few times to see family, but it’s been almost three years since I’ve been anywhere else outside of the UK. As the pandemic moves on, I really want to make the most of my twenties and make memories with friends and family, so hopefully I’ll be able to take some time out to enjoy a bit of the world in the next few months.
Overall, I’ve been conserving time, money, and energy, which I don’t think is a bad thing at all. I did worry at first that I was becoming a bit boring, but I’ve since realised that I don’t particularly care what other people think as long as I’m happy. Writing blog content has also been a source of joy, and definitely takes my mind off some of the more stressful parts of my life. All in all, I think I’ve become a better version of myself, and that’s all I can ask.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you can join me for another Friday Special very soon. I’m still in the process of deciding what’s happening with my blog content this summer, as I’d really like to take a break (or at least a reduction) in what I’m posting, just so I can get out and enjoy myself.