I haven’t responded to a Daily Prompt for ages. Ages and ages. Today I stumbled across it when I came here to write a post. It fitted my thoughts and feelings perfectly. It summarised what I wanted to write, so I am using the Daily Prompt today. It means I have to think a little less, and that will help.

I am revising for exams at the moment. One of my units is, essentially, about the brain. That of course means studying mood disorders: depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, the list goes on.

I find the brain so engaging and interesting and mind blowingly cool (excuse the unintentional pun). But that doesn’t make some of the topics any easier, when I have to revise them over and over again. Studying the brain makes me revisit memories, scars, I guess that you could say. It makes me remember things that I try my hardest not to think about. It pulls at my heart and pushes me over, and it breaks me. I’m trying not to let it break me. This is science, and it doesn’t have to involve looking back at the things that hurt me, but it does. I just can’t help it.

Leavers dinner, afternoon’s in coffee shops, summer drives, tears, late nights, fear, worry, love, pain, friendship.

It hurts. I’m trying not to cry. I have to take an exam on this. I have another three weeks of revision to get through before that exam. But memories are impairing my revision, and I need someone so badly to come and hold me and tell me that I don’t need to worry about the past. I want to be safe, and I want everyone else to be safe. But nobody is ever really safe. Everyone is haunted by their past, scars never go away, mental illness doesn’t go away, and it makes me fear for so many people in my life.



Yet again, that time of year has come around where we sit and wait anxiously for numbers on a piece of paper (or email, as the case is now). Today, at my university at least, was January exam results day.

My January exams were I mess. I was a mess. I didn’t know what happened, but I didn’t feel like I possibly could have worked hard enough, and time and time again I felt like I wanted to give up, and that it didn’t matter any more. Despite that, though, I wasn’t stressed. I didn’t have panic attacks, I slept at night, and I ate good food. It was a surreal experience for me, because that’s just not how I’ve ever taken exams. I’ve just never been chilled out about it. It was bizarre, so bizarre that I am struggling to explain.

My first exam went fantastically. I went into that exam feeling extremely prepared. I was very happy, and I came out feeling confident. That was new, too. No stress, at all.

The second was great, too. Not quite the same confidence, but still good.

The third, I was angry and frustrated about afterwards. I felt medioka before, but I didn’t think I’d have gotten a good grade. I didn’t think it would be good enough for me to stay on my course, anyway.

My last exam was a mess. I struggled to work for it, I struggled to remember the content, the exam was horrific, nobody seemed to have any similar answers, and I guessed 80% of the answers. After that exam, I cried when I got home.

I cried again a few weeks later, on a night out in a toilet with my best friend, drunk. I’d forgotten about that, it was otherwise an amazing but really very hazy evening.

I’ve had the odd thought since then, but I’ve tried to block the thought of exams out of my mind. I really and truly have tried to ignore it, and I’ve done very very well at distracting myself. I knew, especially after that last exam, that results day would ruin me. I would come crashing down, and burn, and all my hard work would be wasted, and I would feel like a failure.

This morning, I had a panic attack. This afternoon, while sat in a room with my two closest course friends, they pressured me to read the email that I had sworn that I would only read on my own.

That first exam, I got 78%. The second, 64%, the third 60%, and most shockingly of all, the fourth I got 49%. I passed them all. I averaged out at a very high 2:1, and I was absolutely over the moon. Of course, everyone wants a first, but when you are convinced you’ve failed and are about to be kicked off your degree (and I have had an extremely realistic mindset recently and know for sure that’s not just general worry and exaggeration), nobody is complaining about a 2:1. I can stay on my course, and go on placement, providing I keep it up this semester. I did really well, I shocked myself, and I was so so very happy.

My dad was perhaps not so enthusiastic. I played it down and laughed it off at the time, but later, when I was at home in the silence of my own room, I cried. I cried not only because he was less enthusiastic about my 2:1, but also because I was so shocked at myself. I did so amazingly better than I expected, and he wasn’t very enthusiastic. I’ve always relied on my parents to be enthusiastic about my grades and education, even when they couldn’t be about my other achievements. Now though, I’m not getting the 100% very best grades. University is a lot harder than A Levels, and my family don’t seem to get that. It’s heartbreaking, because everyone wants those closest to them to be proud of you.

But maybe, just maybe, it doesn’t matter so much. It hasn’t affected me as much as it would in the past. I didn’t worry about texting them, because I think (although I am a little afraid to admit it), I am proud of myself. I am proud of how far I’ve come emotionally with coping with stress, and I am proud that my work has paid off, even though I thought it hadn’t. I’d set realistic goals, and to think you haven’t achieved them is gross, but I did, and I am so very happy with that.

I guess I’m learning, at last, that paper and grades don’t define me as a whole. I want to work harder next semester to get a first. I want even more time working and to do that. But I want to do it for me, not for anyone else. My best friend has spent over five years teaching me to be proud of myself, telling me that she believes in me, and having confidence in me.

Maybe I’m finally learning. Maybe it’s time to take the self-confidence I’ve never had. It’s not easy, and I’m not there yet, but this is a massive step. She’s proud of me, and in terms of emotion and coping, I’m absolutely in shock.

I’ll go to bed tonight feeling a little confused, I will admit. I am upset that I haven’t pleased my parents, but I’m extremely happy with how I’m changing emotionally, and my results on paper. I’m glad I have friends around me to laugh and have lunch with after our results, and I’m glad that my best friend is always here for me. I can’t wait to see her again. Tonight, I really miss her. She’s done a lot more for me than she’s ever going to realise, and I just wish she was here so I could give her a hug, tell her thank you, and have a minor cry so that I can work out what the hell I’m really feeling.

Right now, I’m crying and hurting, but with a smile on my face. I don’t know if this is really me, or if I’m hiding behind a happiness mask. I’ve genuinely no idea, and it’s terrifying but liberating all at the same time. It’s new. I didn’t stress. I got 68%. It’s results day.

I think it’s okay to be a little confused today.

Rock Bottom

I’ve hit rock bottom. It’s strange, and it’s scary, and it’s a place that I’ve not been for months and months. I don’t like it, I don’t like it one bit.

I’ve been confident and happy since I came back to university. I’ve tried and I’ve worked and started every day with a positive attitude, and it has gone superbly. I cannot believe the change within myself, and I love being so happy and carefree. It’s been beautiful.

Last week, I started exams. Exams have always been a rocky subject for me. They’ve always been the thing that has ground me down and broken me into tiny pieces, crushed me so that I am no longer able to think straight, reason straight, or even eat straight. Balls of stress build in my stomach and take over me, and every second of every day is ten times harder when fighting back tears and forcing myself to eat when I feel the constant queasy sensation of nerves for weeks and weeks upon end. Spending time with other people is simply not an option, and I find myself slipping into a dark abyss, screaming and struggling for someone to rescue me.

But not this time. I’ve done very well so far. The positivity has reigned, and I’ve made it through with hunger pangs, heathly snacks, regular meals, lots of sleep, evenings with my flat mates and revision. I took my first two exams, the second of which I was extremely confident for. I’ve never gone into an exam feeling confident, or gone into an exam with no nerves at all. I was surprised, so surprised. I was struggling with tiredness before I got there, but I was confident and a day in bed didn’t seem to matter, like it would have ripped me into guilt before. It was weird.

The exam didn’t go so well, and I left in tears, my confidence crushed. That was Thursday, and I’ve still got the hardest two exams ahead of me. I feel defeated, and I’m not sure what to do. I’ve tried to carry on, but eating is getting harder, and whilst I enjoy time with my flat mates, the pit of nervous guilt I feel later has been haunting me. I’m not sleeping well, at all, and slowly but surely the familiar ache of the exam season has returned.

This evening, I hit rock bottom. I feel like I’ve fallen to the bottom of the pit. I can’t see a way out, and I know that if I took the two exams I have this week right now, I’d fail them. That’s not just the pessimist in me, that’s the whole and honest truth. And I’m terrified, because academically, I’ve never failed. My academics have been something I’ve been able to rely on, results, whilst terrifying, a strange familiarity in my often crazy life.

Now, I’m not so sure, and for the last few hours at least, I’ve not been coping. I’m not sure how to change that, and I know I won’t wake up tomorrow being the confident one again. The pit is back, the fear is back, the guilt is back, and I have no motivation. I can’t make myself work, because it’s then that I remind myself of just how little I know. I’m very very afraid, and I wish there was someone who could help me.

I’ve realised that I’m very alone. In my waves of confidence, I’ve forgotten how to speak out to those who mean the most to me. I need to talk to my best friend, and I thought I had tried but I’m not sure that I have. Maybe I wasn’t clear enough, maybe she too was fooled by my recent waves of confidence and thinks this is just a wobble. Maybe she’s just busy.

I don’t know. I don’t know how to feel about this. Life isn’t as easy when your confidence is gone, and I don’t like being rock bottom.

Five days and two exams to go.

Help me, I’m terrified.

The World Is Busy

I’m hot and it’s dark. It’s getting late and I need to sleep. But I’m stressed and I’m struggling. I need a friend, but there’s nobody there. I’ve been forgotten and it’s breaking my heart.

I’ve not had a panic attack for months. I cannot remember the last time I cried myself to sleep. I’ve been coping amazingly.

But tonight, I’m not. I tried to reach out, for someone to talk to. I realised that I have nobody. It’s gotten me into a mess. Today has been tricky. I’m stressed and unmotivated, and this evening I’m disappointed in myself. I need a friend. I need someone to be here for me, to care about me, someone to be positive for me, to tell me that it’ll all be okay. I need someone to believe in me. Because today, I cannot believe in myself. For me, that’s something that I haven’t asked for for a while. I need someone to love me. But there’s nobody there.

It’s strange how there’s people there to answer the messages they want to, or to be free when they need to, but not to be there when you’re screaming their name. There’s not many people I trust in this world. I don’t have many friends. Tonight, I need ones that I have. But I can’t find them, I can’t find any of them. I can’t find her.

I don’t want to cry myself to sleep tonight. But I can’t stop myself, because I need to talk. I have things I need to say. I need to let go. It won’t take long, it’s not serious. It’s silly, it’s exams. It’s ten minutes.

People can’t find ten minutes. The world is busy and the pace is fast. For me, time is slow. I need someone to talk to. But I’m alone. So the tears will fall, but I must sleep.

I hope tomorrow will be better. I hope that friendship and love can be found. It’s ten minutes. It’s a few simple words. It’s a text message.

But the world is busy.

Good Luck

Luck. It’s a funny thing, isn’t it? Personally, I’m not really convinced that it’s a thing at all. Of course, there are times when something that seemed very unlikely happens, but I prefer to call it chance. Luck somehow implies that you had an onus on it, and that there was something about you that made it happen. There wasn’t. We all know that, it was pure coincidence.

I guess it’s even more bizarre then that we wish each other luck, as though it is a thing that a person can possess. You can’t get lucky in an exam, you either know the content or you don’t. There’s no luck about it, so surely wishing each other luck is silly?

Today, I was stressing. I looked in the mirror and whispered ‘You’re going to be fine, I promise’. I burst into tears. You see, those are the words that my best friend used to say to me before an exam. She’s not going to be here to do that tomorrow when I take my first university exam of first year summer, and I won’t be there to smile and whisper back ‘thanks, you too’. You see, while I may have only said those words in the mirror today, they were always said after the words ‘good luck’ when we were at school. They meant a lot to me, and they gave me one last chance to smile before I walked into the exam hall and desperately tried to get hold of my breathing.

Now, I’ve just told you that I don’t believe in luck as a concept, so why would those words mean so much? To me, they’re not that. They’re not ‘luck’ and they’re never going to be some special power that makes the exam go perfectly. But they’re still something, and they’re still words that rattle my heart a little and make a difference to me. To me, ‘good luck’ means ‘I’m here with you. You’ll be okay, even if the exam doesn’t go okay, it’s not the end of the world and I’ll be your friend no matter what.’ When said by my best friend, ‘good luck’ means ‘I’m your friend and I love you.’ Most of all, those words mean ‘I believe in you, even if you don’t believe in yourself’. Belief is something that I’ve always struggled with, and the problems of stress have always haunted me, but just for a second, she could make the pain and worry go away with those simple words. ‘Good luck, you’ll be fine. I promise.’ – they echo in my head, they’ll echo in my head tomorrow, but it’s not right when she’s not here to say them.

Sure, other people might say them. I hate it when my parents say them. That makes me panic. That means ‘you’d better do well or we’ll be disappointed’ and it doesn’t feel loving in the slightest so I get nervous. When other people wish me luck, people who care about me for me, not my grades, it makes my heart flip. It makes me feel a little safer. It’s strange, it’s probably not normal, but it helps. Anything that helps me through exams is important.

Tonight I will text my best friend just before I sleep and wish her luck for her exam in the morning, even though she’s five hundred miles away. I’ll tell her that I love her. Tomorrow, I’ll text my final year friend and wish her the same. In the morning, I’ll put on my swallow necklace and subconsciously touch my ‘believe’ friendship bracelet. I’ll do my deep breathing and in the afternoon, I’ll take my exam, too. Perhaps someone will wish me luck; they probably won’t. Perhaps somebody out there will think to text me, or call me, to make sure that I’m okay. Perhaps somebody will remind me to breathe and tell me to take my time. They probably won’t. I don’t have my favourite teachers anymore. Maybe my best friend will be thinking about me tomorrow, just like I’ll be thinking about her. She probably won’t, she’ll probably be way too stressed.

But I just hope that it’s okay. I hope that someone out there believes in me, because as I climbed into bed tonight, the tears started to fall. I’m absolutely terrified, and I wish someone could be standing by my side, ideally physically, but on compromise, virtually will do. Just a few sentences, a few seconds, a text message changes everything.

Good luck. Two little words that completely change my outlook and therefore the outcome of an exam.

I hope someone out there believes in me, and I promise to use every last part of me to try and believe in myself.

When I Grow Up

The last few days have been a struggle. The reality of exams has kicked in and it’s hit me, like I thought it would. This year has been a little different to the last few though. I’ve lived a life of lies, pretending that I’m okay, trying to be positive. I’ve done well. Most of the time, I’ve even convinced myself that I’m okay. Clearly though, I’m not, and the tears shed in the last few days demonstrate that pretty well.

This morning, I made a decision. Ironically, that decision had me listening to Matilda again, specifically ‘When I Grow Up’. Because I’ve decided that when I grow up, I won’t be like my parents are. A friend told me this morning that the world is bigger than university and exams so it doesn’t matter if you fail.

But it matters. Of course it matters, for so many reasons. I can’t fail. It’s difficult to put into words why, and why exams have always called me so much stress. I’ve never understood why I need to work so hard and achieve so highly. I’ve never been able to voice it, or explain to it to concerned teachers.

But in reality, I’ve always understood, haven’t I? Of course I have.

But when I grow up, I won’t be like my parents. When I grow up, I won’t put pressure on my children. Of course I’ll encourage them to try, to work, to put in effort, but I won’t ever allow myself to make my children feel how my parents have made me feel. I don’t want them to feel that I am putting pressure on them. When I grow up, I want my children to know that I’ll be proud of them for trying their best, regardless of if their best is an A or an E, a grade eight music exam or scoring a goal at football, giving a speech or saying their promise as a Rainbow, going to university or working in a local shop, inventing something that changes the world or overcoming a fear. I will be proud of them no matter what, as long as they try their best. It doesn’t need to be academic, it doesn’t need to help their university application, and it doesn’t need to earn them money. Because my children won’t just be a letter or a number or a percentage. My children will be people. Just like I am.

To my parents, I may not be a person. I may be a grade, or an expectation, but I’m learning that I’m so much more than that. I am a Rainbow leader, I am a volunteer for a children’s summer camp charity, I am someone who loves to draw, I am someone who cried with happiness after getting a merit in a flute exam, I am someone who would stay up all night if my best friend needed me to, I am someone who wants to cure cancer, I am someone who wants to watch the sunrise, I am someone who wants to run a half marathon, I am someone who wants to overcome my fears, I am someone who is excited to go to turkey next year with her best friend, I am someone who wants to learn basic piano and publish a children’s book.

Yes, I want a 1st or a 2:1 in my degree. But I must not let that define me. Because I am so much more than that. I am someone who tries their best, I am someone who cares for others, I am someone who has hopes and dreams, memories and photographs. I am someone who smiles and cries, just like everyone else.

I am someone that actually felt the need to add to her bucket list ‘take an exam without stressing’. I’m not sure if I will ever be able to. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to escape the expectations that my parents have set and the pressure that they have applied. But I’m going to try. I always try my best, and this won’t be any different.

Because when I grow up, I want my children to feel valued for who they are, and how can I teach them to do that if I don’t value myself?

So yes, perhaps I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself. But I’ve always been desperate to please my parents, and this is the only way I’ve been able to. When I grow up, I want to value myself for who I am. I want people to be proud of me for who I am, and not what is written on a piece of paper. It’s going ot take work, but I hope there’s people out there who care enough to help me.

When I grow up, I will be smart enough to answer all the questions that you need to know the answers to before you’re grown up. When I grow up, I will eat sweets everyday on the way to work and I will go to bed late every night. And I will wake up when the sun comes up and I’ll watch cartoons until my eyes go square and I won’t care because I’ll be all grown up.

Because even if you’re little you can do a lot. You mustn’t let a little thing like little stop you. And my kids won’t. Because they will be people. They won’t be grades. When they grow up, they’ll be exactly who they want to be and who they can be. Their best will always be enough for me, and nothing you can say will change that.

Will I ever be ready?

I’m sorry that I’ve let you down, and I’m sorry that I wasn’t good enough. I just couldn’t do it. I promise I tried, but to tell someone that stress and exams are tricky for me and I get super worked up and stressed is just too much.

I didn’t want to let you down again. You said that I never listen, and I wanted to prove to you that I do listen and that you don’t need to be mad. But I didn’t. I couldn’t. I failed again. Soon, you’ll probably be angry again.

I’m not ready to talk, it’s awkward and horrible and I don’t really know why. But the thought of filling in that form terrifies me, and while I know that I should do it for me, and I want to do it to make you happy, my heart just won’t let me. I’m not ready.

And the scary thing is that I’m not sure if I’ll ever be ready.

I hope so, because exams when all you can do is cry every day are grim. Panic attacks are demoralising, and trying to concentrate when you’re in freeze mode is impossible.

But I’ll get there. We’ll get there. I’m here for you just as you are for me. We’ll drag each other up the mountain, step by step, day by day. When we get to the top, we’ll enjoy the view together. It may take us the rest of our lives, but one day, I hope that we can both be truly happy.

You’re awesome, and I really wish that I will be ready in the future. For you… And for me, if I’m completely honest.

But I hope that you’ll be ready, too. I hope that one day, you’ll be ready to talk, because although you hide it well, I know that your black shadow is a lot bigger than mine is.


Have you ever felt that it’s a relief to cry? To be able to let go, and to be who you really are, and feel what you really feel?

I never think I have. And then I cry, and I know what it feels like. And it’s sort of tears of joy and sadness mixing together, because you’re not quite sure if you’re happy that you don’t need to internalise anymore, or if you’re sad because you’ve done something impossible, you’re still fighting something deadly, or you simply don’t know how to cope anymore. It’s a funny place to be.

Because I’ve been afraid to blog. That’s why you’ve not heard from me in so long. I wanted to be perfect, I wanted to socialise, to work properly, to sleep and eat properly, to have more fun and do more work. So, I just haven’t sat down to blog. And I haven’t thought about what I’ve really been feeling. But the last few days I’ve had the odd stall which I’ve had to fix. It’s been fine, and the facade has stayed up, but now, I’ve decided I have to let go. I’m locked away in my dark bedroom, just me and my iPad, and several hours if I need it. I’ve been in a reflective mood all day, I nearly made myself cry in a lecture earlier.

I can’t put my finger on any one thing that’s making me feel uneasy, because I genuinely thought I was happy. I kind of feel like I tricked myself though, because to be alone and to really feel right now has made me remember that I’m not okay, and I don’t have to be okay. Yes, I can pretend to be okay in order to fix social situations, but I don’t have to be okay 24/7. I’m allowed to think, to feel, and to cry. Most of all, I NEED to talk and to write. So tonight, I’m forcing myself to do those things, and I’m forcing myself to blog.

Why? Because there’s a lot of things that I struggle with. Social situations, rational worry, irrational worry, stress, and probably a million other things, too. Whilst I like to think I’m quite capable of just dealing with them, there’s times when I’m not. And if I don’t write or talk, I’m at risk of going back to the place that I used to be. When you internalise, it’s too easy to feel alone, and I don’t want to go back to the habits that I’ve spent years breaking. It’s a lonely place, and I’m enjoying the friends and socialisation that I currently have. Not only that though, it’s fun to share some happy relief with the world, too. I love in a house with very pushy parents, and they’re not always as happy for me when I achieve something as I may hope for them to be. Blogging allows me to be me, and be as happy as I want to be. I got three firsts in my semester one modules. I’m over the moon, and I want to share those times, too!

So tonight, I’m going to take the leap that I’ve been trying to take for a week. I will force myself to blog, because once I’ve written one or two, it’ll be easy to incorporate it more regularly into my life. I need to remember why I blog. Yes, to an extent, I blog for you, but mostly, I blog for me. Blogging allows me to rationalise and organise my thoughts, to understand myself and the situations around me, and to cope with what’s going on by making a little space in my head.

So, I know I said this before, but this time, I really mean it. Here goes nothing, and lets get back to blogging!

Exam Panic

I’ve been awake since 5.45am, and I can’t get back to sleep because although it’s silent, I’m still rather livid with my best friends mum. You see, my best friend is coming today, and she was supposed to stay for three nights. Then her mum took a night of that away. I hardly ever get to see this friend, she’s eighteen, and all I asked for was for three days that were planned two months in advance. I can’t stand it. She does this every single time we plan anything, weather is be not allowing her to give blood before uni, and in that denying me my last goodbye, or cutting our coffee down to half an hour at Christmas. And I can’t sleep because although I’m over it and have accepted it, it’s meant that I’ve had to buy a new train ticket, and that’s not fair. And that ticket has cost twice what I originally thought, and so that is money I won’t get back from my parents. Which means now, I’m in debt. That’s not fair, at all.

But either way, it doesn’t matter. What matters is she is coming, but what really matters, is that first, I have an exam to take. And it’s six am. And I can’t sleep. And I’m going out tonight. And I can’t afford to not sleep. Because my exam isn’t until one. And the longer I’m awake, the more time I have to work myself into a state of panic. I think I’m going to have to get up soon, because lying in the dark isn’t healthy for me. Everything in my head just spins.

I can’t take this exam. I’m not mentally prepared, I haven’t revised enough, and I’m not happy. I’m too jumpy, and I need it to be over. I don’t have words, it’s too early. But it needs to go away, because I can’t go on.

It’s one more thing on top of a high and wobbly stack. Sometime, it’s going to fall, and that’s going to be a very very scary day.

Happiness High

I’m on a complete, utter, and wholeheartedly uncontrollable happiness high. And I love it.

I know, it’s crazy, isn’t it? It’s exam week, for goodness sake! How on earth can I be happy, buzzing, or excited!? Because despite the stressful revision and panic attack-inducing exams, I’ve taken time to have fun, too. Oh, and there’s been some absolutely FANTASTIC surprises along the way!

So, I take you back to Tuesday. For the first time in nine days, I left campus to go for pizza with some course friends.

Thursday, after my exam, my best friend skyped me. She was pretty cryptic for the whole two hours, checking flights and not really saying much. While I wanted to chat and chat, and was a little disgruntled, I had my suspicions as to what she might be doing, and so I didn’t moan too much. I was right. Just after she left, she sent me an email with her flight details. We’re spending a night in London for my birthday, as a surprise. I’m so excited! I slept the best I have in weeks, and I was still buzzing the next morning, bouncing around my room like a bunny.

Yesterday, I got a parcel. Weird, because I knew I hadn’t ordered anything. It was my best friend again, this time, she sent me 300g of milka. Beautiful. She’s really fabulous, that girl. Honestly. Out of nowhere, my mum offered to pay for Les Mis tickets, so we’re going to see that in London. I booked them at 11.30pm. I’m beyond excited, and another absolutely AMAZING SURPRISE!

I also sat for two hours with my floor mates and had tea and hot chocolate and a catch up, which was beautiful again. Good chance to break free of these same four walls for once!

I found out today that my home bedroom has been decorated, and I can’t wait to see it!

Now it’s Saturday, my last exam finishes on Tuesday, and that same best friend is then coming to stay with me at uni for FOUR DAYS. Yes, I’m excited. I’m very very very very VERY EXCITED! And she’s going to get a massive hug, because she’s made my mood go from all time panic and disgusting low and sadness, to on too of the world and crying with happiness. For that, I’m very very grateful.

I’m still having blips and turns, I still slip and slide, but I’m trying to be positive. I’m exhausted, but if in the next few days I can get my head down, work hard, not send too many texts and don’t allow myself to be distracted, at 2pm on Tuesday it will all be over, and fingers crossed I’ll be laughing in my best friend’s arms, not crying.