Down time, Student Life

My Mini-Escape to LBU (Life Before University)

I am writing this post from bed.

Five days ago, I found myself in the emergency room of a hospital with a rather bad kidney infection. After I was released from the hospital, my boyfriend insisted I take some time to recuperate, called my mother to come fetch me and that’s how I ended up here writing my weekly blog post from the comfort of my childhood bed.  

October had been a stressful month; debatably the most stressful month I’ve had in a long time and though the kidney infection has been a bummer, I am thankful to have the mental rest that has come with the physical rest my body needs.

For the first time since Christmas of last year, I have been given the blessing of mum-made dinners from scratch, a ride in the car if I need anything (none of those TTC struggles) and some quality time with my family. If I’m being honest, I can admit that it’s been really nice to have a little taste of what my life was like pre-university.

It’s funny how quickly you are thrust into the adult world when you leave home for school; I thought I had a strong handle of my adult world life the impressive school (#UofTperks), an apartment, a boyfriend, a yoga studio membership, a decent following/follower Instagram ratio and good jobs to keep money rolling in. I believed that I was doing well, but when October hit me hard, I had this nagging thought of: “You have to keep doing well, you’re an adult Madeline pull it together,” which stopped me from reaching out to family and friends to say, “I need help” when I really needed it.

An illustration of my problems, some of which include: getting groceries, paying rent, TTC commute, getting good grades, getting to the gym, applying for scholarships, work and so on.

I got 99 problems and they look much more cute illustrated.

I think there is this idea that the first year of university is really, really hard and once you get through first year that the rest of university is going to be a breeze in comparison. From my experience of second year, that isn’t necessarily true. My kidney infection, if I ignore the pain and copious amounts of cranberry juice associated with it, may have been a blessing in disguise. It provided me with a reason to ask for help, to go home and have a break from my adult life and the stress that comes with it.

The transition from Life Before University or LBU as it will be known henceforth to adult world can feel pretty abrupt and leave you feeling like you aren’t equipped deal with the hand of cards life throws at you. So, with the fall break coming up this weekend, I encourage you to skip the kidney infection and just allow yourself a weekend, a day or even an hour to de-stress from your adult life. Indulge in something you enjoyed in high school, an activity that your university life doesn’t allow time for or something that may not be productive but just makes you feel good. Delete your social media apps from your phone for a day, make 3 batches of brownies and eat them all with friends, jump on a trampoline or have a Harry Potter movie marathon (costumes included). I think you’d be surprised at how good it feels to take a nostalgic trip back to LBU every once in awhile.

An illustration of me thinking of things to do on a break from stress: go on a swim, explore, turn off social media, skype an old friend, play an instrument!

WARNING: indulging in a break from stress may result in large, cartoon-like smiles and overwhelming feelings of happiness.

Happy early Reading Week(end) UofT! Make time for some you-time amongst all those forgotten readings and exam preparations. <3