The soft golden light and the meadows of wild darts of colour and the sandstone that blends into the hues of the spring evening sky. Canals and rivers, and walks doused in the thick smell of warmth, and laughter and panes of rectangular sunset reflected on the walls. Old libraries flexing in the light, cloudy mornings of promise.
Oxford, in spring, is idyllic.

Its a monday night, the first of term. I am very tired, and quite overwhelmed, but also happy. I've had a magical weekend of pubs and pimms and singing and running and friends and warmth and reading, much needed after the brutal shock of 6 hours of exams.
But perhaps that explains the cold drag of today.
My brain is so tired I can't think of words. I've spent an obscenity of today reading and thinking and writing and, frankly, it has been too much.
But I also played football in the sun, and called my mum to rant about the laughable workload I have, which pains/stresses/scares/annoys me so much I've bored myself with thinking about it.
My friends cooked me tea, and went to Tesco for me and I practiced self-care by not cramming in any more.
Fun things are coming, and summer's on its way, even if I am yet to solidify plans. But that's okay. My existential angst has been quiet these past few days, for which I am grateful for, and attempting to maintain.

And some things I've loved, or am loving.
Jane the Virgin, because its just ridiculous, but what I need.
Samuel Barber: An American Romantic (I'm not even gonna apologise for liking choral music. I've been mocked enough. But u know, this is really actually v good and I like it for working)
Sally Rooney Conversations with Friends, became almost painfully mental, I felt inside her torment, but so skilful and heartbreaking and easy to read
Dolly Alderton Everything I know about love, because its quick and its abrasive but wise and funny and very fuckin' apt and true and ridiculous
Jodi Picoult A Spark of Light because it made me think about abortion and women's rights and how ironic pro-life arguments can be but also so skilful in presenting unbiased, uninfluenced ideas, she's really good at this kind of book
Coconut yoghurt
Cream jeans
Evening walks

Stay sane peeps. We've got this (even when they throw 12 essays at u in 6 weeks then exams lol!)

What a liberation to realise that the 'voice in my head' is not who I am. 
'Who am I, then?'
The one who sees that. 

exam care

Checking in! Because who knows the next time I will!
My days are just disappearing and I don't know where they're going, I sit down to read, procrastinate and eat and then suddenly is 7pm and I've achieved zilch. 
I have done some fun things tho.
Caught up with my friends over spilled vodka lime sodas, a week in the place of my childhood dreams, joined a running club and ran a lot, anxious trains but a day of drinking and laughing with friends, and seeing Dalal and Libby.Also consumed some gud things (will expand) and made some sick cakes (will also expand).

Exam season is coming up, which I am a bit scared about but also not really thinking about. I feel remarkably chilled about work atm, which is in itself slightly stress-inducing. I have a fuck tonne to do but am of the mentality that doing it isn't going to reduce the amount I have.
Strange logic.
I've taken today off from workin', mostly because I'm nursing a bad hangover, traipsed to the foodbank to volunteer at 9am (without my car sad timez) and have really just had a fuckin' good day and don't want to spoil it!
I also know I will be back on the diligence tomorrow, because my brain just can't help itself.
This exam season is gonna b different. I'm a mess in exam/revision times lmao, in the 6 months up to A-levels I just cried as a coping mechanism and didn't really exist.
But you already know that.
This one is different for several reasons. 1) I'm away from home (which does induce some anxiety as my mum is my rock (in case u couldn't tell)), 2) I've got 6 double-essay weeks preceding exams, 3) they don't count, but sorta do, 4) I don't care that much, but sorta do (a lot), 5) I have to wear a twatty outfit (see here) and a specific flower lmao.
Anyway. You all seem to be working hard, I am too, and before the bliss of summer (see last post), we have to beat these exams.
SO. Here's how we're gonna get through.

1) Snacks (but with some health substance bcuz I'm gonna be sedentary nd need my brain to work) recommended: dried mango, dark chocolate, these cacao golden berries (but only when my mum posts them to be because ££££), choco leibniz, a lot of squash
2) coffee (black, with soya milk, with hot chocolate mixed in, anything)
3) sleep
4) trash reads (Harry Potter is gr8 for this)
5) fun things (I'm factoring in pubs, clubs, events, talks, netball)–I've got so many good things next term that exams physically can't consume
6) exercise (yes mum! We know!), walk around the block, or do some yoga–especially exercise in the morning to set up well for revision!
7) rant to other people, but avoid them when they make u stressed
8) take time off (my tutor drilled this into me when I turned up to a solo tutorial with a sub-standard essay and a very apologetic speech that I had "burned out" and spent "the past 3 days crying because I'm so tired" (the latter was implicit))–I'm gonna go home, go to my grandparents, take at least one evening off and stay in
9) surround urself with other people–it's great having people who are going through it, but its also great escaping it and living a normal life
10) cafes and cake
11) a nice working space
12) remember a life outside, do other things, don't let it become ur world (because when it disappears its very fucking difficult, see blogposts circa june 2017 for evidence)
13) do nice things for friends
14) timetable, for marginal stress reduction
15) pics of summer and sun
16) avoiding burn out, because we want to peak 9th week not 5th week
17) parks, for revision, for picnics, for headspace
18) letting some things go (for me its gonna be negative food thoughts, becuz they're just a hindrance)
19) treats–I'm thinking tulips, coconut yogurt, berries, new pants, a yoga class, a Frankie magazine–u know!
20) things to look forward to–the first thing I do when I get back to ox is book a fuckin holiday and that will be my drive !
21) drinking wine

So bitches, hopefully we will avoid burnout and achieve enough. Because being enough is enough. And exams aren't a measure of anything really, and education is only one aspect of life, and its just a step onto the next bit.
And let's hold each other accountable. Make sure we are surviving.
Peace!! and take tonight off!!