Exam Stress and Christmas Cheer

It’s official – I have absolutely no motivation to study at all.

Whilst a part of my brain may indeed be interested in the phosphorylation of tyrosines and G-protein coupled receptors, I just CAN’T seem to swallow the information. I have an exam in two days – and then two more in the following week – and I’ve written a pathetic four pages of notes. Hopefully I’ll be able to call upon my trusty adrenaline-fuelled-cramming skills to swallow 90 mostly-unattended lectures worth of the Dynamic Cell (i.e. hell), Physiology and Evolution in Action.

Blogging is perhaps a more productive form of procrastination than watching hours of Come Dine With Me on 4oD, sleeping, or indeed giving myself a shoulder massage with a vibrator (as you do). Trust me, that last one works wonders 😉

So as I’m sitting with a pile of lecture hand outs and a waiting for my diet lemonade to defrost (I accidentally froze it by putting it in the freezer to chill and then forgetting about it – whoops) I thought I’d just give an update on the last few weeks, and it must be said – in a much better mood than I’m normally in when I write posts. After three months in Edinburgh to recover from the summer of doom, my head is finally starting to get towards a better place.

Where to start? Perhaps by telling you about a small breakthrough I had the other day. I was walking up Nicholson Street in the freezing cold, wearing a beige double-breasted coat, leggings and my black furry boots. I normally avoid looking in shop windows because I hate what I see. Usually there is a fat, frumpy, badly dressed girl reflected in the glass. However, walking to Tesco on this icy December morning, I stole a glance at myself in the window of Starbucks. And for the first time in years, I saw a human being, not a whale. I thought to myself: if that reflection didn’t belong to me, I’d be jealous of those legs. They are not thin, but nor are they fat. They are shapely and voluptuous.

It was an incredibly strange sensation, like seeing myself from both someone else’s point of view and my own critical perspective at the same time. My eating habits are still all over the place, but I’m trying not to let my relationship with food affect my mood and personality as much. I am still me, I am still able to enjoy myself and be attractive. One day I will be thin again, but there is no hurry. I can take my time and I don’t have to starve myself into misery to achieve it.

Here’s a photo from around two years ago. It was taken in Nice, France the summer before I came to university, when myself and a group of friends decided to go inter-railing around Europe. I weighed about eight stone (three stones less than I do now) and I actually thought I was huge at the time. Looking back, this is the kind of body I’d envy someone rotten if, say, I saw them working out in the gym, or slut dropping in a club. I had it, and I didn’t even realise. One day….


Moving on from this minor triumph, I have to admit that I am very apprehensive about returning home for Christmas. I’ve missed Newcastle, my family, and most of all: my wonderful friends, yet there are so many issues I’ve left uncovered back under those seven majestic bridges standing over the Tyne. That is metaphorically speaking of course – I promise you I haven’t went on a killing spree and thrown the bodies into the river. In all seriousness though, I am dreading living with my parents for three weeks again. I am dreading my father’s secretive drinking – him passing out comatose on the sofa by 4p.m on Christmas day, his anger when we interfere with his precious alcohol supply and his pig-like drunken snoring.

I am dreading the overwhelming bulimic thoughts which take over my brain by way of habit (and perhaps the negative atmosphere) as soon as I enter my parents’ house. I wish I could afford to rent a flat for a month.

And most of all, I am dreading seeing my ex-boyfriend, who unintentionally made my summer hell and who I have no choice but to spend a lot of time with, as we have the same close friends. I don’t want to hurt him and I don’t want him to hurt me, and we seem to either sleep together or destroy one another if we’re together for long enough.

Most of my closest friendships are up here in Scotland, and I will miss them all even for such a short amount of time. My three gorgeous flat mates (all of who I owe thanks for agreeing to live with the messy, lazy, idiotic mess that I am!), my best friends on my course (especially the blonde one and the tall one she lives with :P)  and the fabulously funny band lot. Oh, I’ve got no reason to be sad when you lovely people are around.

It’s getting towards the end of another year; Christmas lights are lining the icy streets and a festive cheer is blowing through the city on the breath of the cold winter breeze. Corny it may sound, but this is my favourite time of year. I think I am starting to realise, at the age of nineteen, that life is too short for worrying! Instead of wallowing in unhappiness over the way you look, the way you think others perceive you or perhaps relationships which have failed in the past and are still haunting you, I say force a smile, put on a winter hat and go for a walk in the cold. Call into Starbucks, pick up a latte and one of those peach and raspberry muffin things, go buy yourself a new book, a new pair of jeans… Whatever. Go on, live a little. I dare you.

Better get back to the folding of extracellular proteins now. Wish me luck.

Kat  x


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