Diagnosed With A Chronic Disease at 19: My Initial Thoughts

Life isn't a race and your pace, whatever that is, as long as it works for you, is the perfect pace. 📷 @littlearthlings

So yeah… this is, perhaps, the biggest plot twist of my life thus far.

I never expected it. I mean, you can’t really expect to be diagnosed with a chronic illness, but this really did come out of nowhere.

And to be honest with you, It’s very daunting. Everything has happened so fast and it hasn’t really kicked in that this will be my life from this moment forward.

So… what’s the diagnosis?

Continue reading Diagnosed With A Chronic Disease at 19: My Initial Thoughts

Busy Is Not A Badge of Honour

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Credit: @jennakutcher via Pinterest

I’m stuck.

You see, I’ve grown up to be the kind of person who grabs every opportunity that’s physically possible. I do pride myself on it, but it is also my biggest setback.

I want to do great things. My passions fuel me, but not as much as my fear of failure does. I’m petrified of never living up to my full potential and want to make every advancement available to me.

I’m a very busy person. And if you were to tell me that, I’d probably shrug it off and say

“It’s better that way”

(which isn’t a lie, in a sense)

Keeping busy does help maintain my mental health (but probably not in the healthiest way possible). I get panic attacks and depressive episodes that can last for weeks on end if I don’t keep myself completely distracted. I’ve been to hell and back with my mental health and nothing seems to keep me stable (most of the time) like keeping busy does. I’m walking proof that mental health sufferers aren’t bound by stereotypes such as being trapped in bed or not being able to do everyday tasks (however those days do come around too).

I’ve noticed that when I go out for coffee or a general catch up with a friend I haven’t seen in a while, one of the first things they’ll say is, “you seem so busy!” and “that’s so good!”.

But sometimes busy isn’t good.

In fact, it’s not good at all.

I think I’ve hit busy breaking point.

I can’t sleep at night because I’m wide awake thinking of the next thing I have to do. My days off work aren’t days off; they’re filled with me running errands or taking part in internships or volunteer work to try and learn more. I feel lazy if all I do is sit at home at my desk and edit photos for my photo/vid business. WORK makes me feel LAZY. And this epiphany didn’t hit me until my PT let me off doing one last cardio rep because she could tell I was drained. I wasn’t slacking on the machines or complaining, I was just noticeably drained. I had no idea that people could tell.

I do do a lot when you think about it. To break it down…

– I’m a full-time uni student

⁃ I work a part-time job

⁃ I run and work for my own business

⁃ I’m a weekly radio announcer

⁃ I take part in an internship related to career prospects I adore

⁃ I suffer from a chronic autoimmune disease which requires weekly checkups

⁃ I am diagnosed with clinical mental illnesses

⁃ I have a social life with beautiful friends

⁃ I have an amazing boyfriend who I hang out with when I can

⁃ I see a PT twice a week and exercise whenever I can in between

⁃ I write for my own blog

I’m not looking for pity here. I mean, if pity can even be shared over a situation like this. I just feel like I’m in some weird purgatory of life where I can’t find any proper relief from working.

I’m not quite sure what it feels like to relax anymore. It doesn’t feel right when I try. There’s always something ticking over in my mind that I have to do or work on.

I remember thinking that “uni holidays are going to be awesome because I can finally chill out and work on my own personal projects at my own pace”. It’s been two months so far and none of the sort has happened, or looks like it will for a while.

I love everything I do. I mean, if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be doing it. Simple. But I feel like I’m not in a place to slow down either. I’m scared of how hard I’m going to hit rock bottom if this continues for any longer. There’s a difference between laughing it off and calling it a grind and having your life dictated by too many activities and responsibility.

I’m so stuck. My fears and passions speak louder than my physical and mental health and I’m absolutely exhausted. I’m a type of exhausted that sleep can’t really fix.

I don’t know what I need, but I know that I need something.

How To Survive Your First Year of University

 

Don’t ask me how I accidentally ordered a burrito in the middle of a lecture… and yes, I left the lecture to eat the burrito. Welcome to uni life. 

 

High-school leavers… you’re on that break between finishing the biggest education chapter of your life so far, to start a new daunting and scary one that may or may not determine your future. Or perhaps you’ve had a few years away from the books and you’re wondering what to expect from the whole university experience?

Regardless of what walk of life you’re coming from, I remember wishing that a “First Years Guide to University” existed before I decided to take the plunge… so I decided to make one myself!

I’ve tried to cater for different people by asking friends from different universities to take part and write about their own personal experiences. Whether you’re studying for the first time in a long time or just want to know what to expect, this guide is for you!

 

My Top 5 Tips and Advice

 

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Julia Langton (That’s me!)

Bachelor of Public Relations and Communication (Journalism)

Griffith University, Gold Coast

Click HERE for my Instagram

1) Try and go to all of your lectures

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Sooner or later, it seems that everyone gets into that bad habit of, “I’ll just watch it online, I can’t be bothered going”. Even though it’s rather hypocritical of me, one of my biggest pieces of advice would be to attend as many lectures as physically possible. Watching a lecture online is nowhere near as engaging as actually sitting in and listening, and sometimes the lecture capture doesn’t work properly. No matter how lazy you’re feeling, just remind yourself that you may as well not waste a minimum of $6k a trimester in uni fees by just going.

2) Figure out how you learn best!

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I’ve had a lot of soon-to-be uni student friends ask me the age-old question… “Laptop or book?”. My answer is… why not both? Figuring out how you best learn and absorb information is the key to your best academic performance. I personally learn better by physically writing things down and revising my own notes in a book. Sometimes I find it’s hard to keep up with the lecturer and lecture slides, so I bring my laptop and download the lecture slides so I can jot anything down that I’ve missed. Learning your own learning habits will be a bit of trial and error in the first few weeks, but all worthwhile in the end!

 

3) Take advantage of the university student discounts!

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One of the many perks of being a uni student is all of the discounts you’re entitled to! It’s definitely worth signing up with Unidays to get some very handy discounts on big brands. Make sure to keep your student ID handy to grab discounts on things like movie tickets and other leisurely activities too.

In terms of public transport, I highly recommend calling Translink to update your go card. Once you’re in uni, you must carry an adult go card… but you are entitled to cheaper fares since you are a student**. Call Translink and provide them with your uni and go card information to be granted the new priced fares.

**ALWAYS carry your student ID whilst on public transport. Ticket checkers will scan your go card and ask to see your student ID to confirm your right to these fares.

4) Uni Etiquette vs. High School Etiquette

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High School and University are, naturally, two different ball games. Those coming from High School may especially struggle with this at first because I certainly did.

 

“You don’t need to ask permission to go to the bathroom or to leave the room”

If you want to leave your lecture or tutorial early, you can literally just pack up your stuff and go. I know, it’s wild.

 

“You can call your lecturers and tutors by their first name”

I was pretty cheeky in High School and already called most of my teachers by their first name, so this wasn’t particularly a big thing for me, but I can imagine that it would be strange for others.

 

 “If you’re having an off day, you are not obliged to go to university”

This is arguably my favourite part of going to uni. Some days I struggle heavily with mental health issues and cannot physically get myself out of bed, no matter how badly I want to go to class. The leeway and support that uni offers students definitely tops high school in my books.

 

 

5) Bring your own lunch/snacks to Uni

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I found myself falling into a deep hole of “I’ll just buy food at uni” or “I feel like a coffee/tea” during my first year of uni. So much money was wasted on not meal planning ahead of time and that’s something I really regret. I highly suggest making your own meals at home, perhaps on a Sunday night, and meal prepping for your week (this includes snacks and drinks too!). I don’t care what your mind is telling you, the chances are that you don’t really need that third coffee from your favourite cafe on campus. Make your own coffee in the morning and bring it in a thermos cup to save a bit of extra cash. $3.50 each day really does add up at the end of the week! Everything in moderation.

Continue reading How To Survive Your First Year of University

100+ Coffees: #4

Jamie

“Love yourself (and your boobies and your hair)”

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Empowerment, Body Positivity and Manipulating Society’s Standards 

 

“I’ve never ever ever, in my whole life, felt pressured to abide by society’s expectations”

 

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Jamie has forever been, hands down, one of the most inspiring people in my life to date. She has always remained vocal on her thoughts of empowerment, body positivity and the havoc of society; and hasn’t let anyone else’s opinion stand in the way of staying true to herself. When I first started the 100+ Coffees saga, I just knew that I had to take her out to help preach these contagious beliefs of love and positivity.

As unaccustomed to society, Jamie doesn’t feel the need to rid herself of any bodily hair. From her armpits to her legs, it is her natural body hair and God-given physique that makes her feel the most empowered. As far as body image goes, she is a firm believer in loving the skin you’re in; no matter what size you are. The sensation of baring all and becoming almost (or completely) nude makes her feel at the utmost form of femininity.

Jamie rebels against the oppressive manoeuvres of femininity in society and confidently continues to change the perspectives of all by inspiring and encouraging others to not let the wrath civilisation confine us or define us. So THIS, my friends, is why I simply can’t cherish her enough!

Continue reading 100+ Coffees: #4