On my return to university

I’m officially back in the buzzing metropolis that is Edinburgh, and while I still have some reservations and worries about how I’ll cope this semester, on the whole, it feels good to be back. I’ve had a really nice evening so far, catching up and playing cards with my flatmates. It’s just a shame tomorrow marks the start of having to be up at 8:30am. Thank goodness for Wednesdays – my day off. It’s always nice to get a mid-week break!

This semester I’ll be doing almost completely different courses from the last: I no longer study Music Analysis, Inventing or Acoustics (apart from for one week in the middle of the semester, to prepare us for our exam in May), and instead, I’m doing Style Studies, Set Works and Listening and Musicianship. I’m really looking forward to Set Works in particular, as we’re studying some fantastic pieces of music – from ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ to ‘The Rite of Spring’, with ventures into the likes of Beethoven and Haydn along the way. Three times per semester we have “project weeks”, where we dedicate 10-1 every day (besides Wednesday) to a particular area of study and go to no other lectures or tutorials. This week is our Style Studies project week. I have no idea what it will involve, but Style Studies, in the most general terms, is a composition module where we learn to compose in various styles in a historically accurate way, including string quartets in the style of Haydn and fugues. My best guess is that this week will involve some group work, with each group researching and composing in a different style. I really don’t know though, so tomorrow will be an interesting surprise.

On the health front, I honestly have no idea where I could end up this semester. I’m coping well with the citalopram, but I still have to go for regular reviews with my doctor, just so she can check up on me and prescribe me more. I’ve also got my second counselling appointment on Friday. Last time felt a bit awkward, and there were lots of silences, but I feel this time I’ll have a lot to talk about, what with my disastrous Christmas and such like. Hopefully, in time, I’ll become so familiar with my counsellor that the silences will no longer feel awkward and she’ll be more like a friend who is there for me is I have any problems. I’ve had a few breakdowns recently (including one only a few nights ago) so at this point in time, I can’t definitely say, “I’m getting better” or “I’m just as bad as ever”. This semester I’m going to try to find the courage to come out to more people about my depression, because I think that would help them understand why sometimes I don’t feel up to socialising and it would also be good to be more open about my feelings. I’ve often held back before because I hate the idea that I’m burdening others with my own issues, and I always feel horrendously guilty afterwards. I’ve also decided that this semester I’m going to try to get out more. Even if it’s just going for a jog, or going to the pub with friends from choir after rehearsals, or going to hear poetry readings. Every little helps, right?

Sorry this has been a bit lengthy – I suppose it makes up for the fact that I will no doubt lapse in my blogging frequency when coursework starts piling up!



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