Nostalgic (AKA Emily vs the Mental Breakdown™)

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And so it begins. We all brace ourselves with coffee so strong it will probably cause brain damage and enough coloured pens to recreate a Monet painting, and collectively descend into revision hell. I’ll be honest, I have not descended quite as deeply as I should have at this point, but such is the consequence of being a chronic procrastinator.But even when you procrastinate, the stress and panic of preparing for exams, no matter what age you are, can be overwhelming at times.

I’ve always found that around this time of year, and around any difficult or stressful time, I find myself becoming increasingly nostalgic.

Nostalgia can be an awful thing. I have certainly found that dwelling in my past, and most likely remembering it to be much more golden than it actually was, creates an almost heart-breaking sense of discontent with my present. The future itself becomes insignificant, and living day to day feels pointless, as no matter how hard you work you can never get those effervescent days back. This form of nostalgia is in many ways toxic, eating away at your sense of purpose and self-esteem. And typically it perpetuates itself, as you become more discontent with your present you rely more on happy memories of your past, and so become more dis-engaged with what is happening right now. It’s a noxious circle of self-destruction.

Now I know that the dictionary defines nostalgia as ‘a sentimental longing or wistful affection for a period in the past’, but I believe that it is far more complex concept than that. Nostalgia, for me at least, is a form of escapism. And escapism doesn’t necessarily need to perpetuate the negativity that motivates your need for escape. We should try to be ‘nostalgic’ for our future, rather than for our past. I find it easiest to do this on my bus journeys, listening to music and looking above the towns to the hills in the distance. The stress of work becomes less of a dead weight when you remind yourself that is there is something beyond it. And no mater what it’s going to be, it’s certainly going to be different, which should be exciting! The past can never provide that kind of potential.

Good luck to everyone studying at the moment, I hope you maintain your sanity, whatever way you choose to do that! And never forget that there are hills on the horizon.

See you soon,

Emily

xxx

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