The early stages were plagued by apprehension and anxiety. Serenaded by heart palpitations and a skin rash my body responded to high levels of cortisol and adrenaline pumping through my veins. I was overwhelmed by the ‘not knowing’ and confronted directly with my desire and need to work it all out I ponder the expectations placed on me by tutors in order to orientate myself to these expectations and meet them.
I wonder how robust my ego is: my ability to sit with my experiences and to learn about myself in the midst of strong emotional and physical reactions. I struggle and as it is I can just about navigate my way through the tidal waves of learning and hold my course while trusting that by taking responsibility for my own learning at some point all the new experiences will come together. I can hold the faith because I have some prior knowledge and experience of myself feeling as I do right now. At 19 years old, a year and a bit into studying social anthropology I was so overwhelmed and exposed by intense learning and new experiences that I had to leave and take a year out to recoup. And, before returning I had to pursuade tutors that I was sane enough to be let back in!