Hello, it’s me again, I know so soon.
This is just a quick little post about some thoughts and experiences I have had recently and I would like to know how you feel or if you have felt similar? I want to talk about friendships!
I will never ever declare I am some kind of mental health expert. I can only ever go on my own experiences and try to relate to those of others, but I do know it is so incredibly important to talk about it. Having good friends around you, physically or digitally can make one hell of a difference in times of need. Sometimes you just need to vent or rant to get it out of your head or maybe you just need someone to back up your thought processes. I feel like I am someone people could talk to about absolutely anything and I would listen without judgement. I take things told in confidence to the grave. Despite my outward appearances I am actually really nice. I just struggle when the world becomes too peopley or if I am tired, hungry or mildly inconvenienced.
I have been following a blogger called Liv Purvis (What Olivia Did) on Instagram for some time. Some of you may remember I attended a Blogger’s Market last April, she was one of the bloggers behind that event. Anyways, recently she started a podcast with one of her friends, Charlotte Jacklin called The Fringe of It. There are 4 episodes at the moment, on iTunes and the like. Please give them a listen! There is also a Facebook group, which I am a member of, for like minded individuals.
They cover things from friendships as adults, success and confidence. All of which resonated with me. I know I live a peculiar existence at uni especially at my age. I’d like to add I am not the only one, nor am I the oldest, but I am forever feeling like I have a temporary existence everywhere. I am incredibly lucky to have met people at vet school that I hope will be life long friends. I am also lucky to have wonderful friends at home. Life at home obviously goes on without you and inevitably you miss events and landmarks in peoples lives, even with the best intentions you can’t be in two places at once. Friends are buying houses, getting promoted or having babies and I’m still living the student life. Uni friends disperse over summer and you spend 4 months apart with clashing commitments, placements and free time plans getting in the way of meeting up.
Maintaining good friendships is incredibly hard, even more so when your life isn’t following a conventional path. One amazing positive of this is I feel like my friendship group is so broad in age ranges and life experiences, something you can sometimes miss out on if you only socialise with people at the same life stage as you. I am very grateful to vet school for this, I have close friends from all walks of life and from all locations that I would have never had the chance to meet otherwise.
I do feel that currently there is a trend to have a girl gang or support group, I would struggle to fill our cottage living room with people I feel are truly close friends. I have long been of the mind set of quality over quantity, unlike my wardrobe which is quantity and quality. And frequently have culls of people I feel are either unhealthy or don’t bring anything to the friendship table. But that does leave you in times where you are going it alone or at least it really feels like it.
When you start uni you’re given loads of different advice on all aspects of your experience but I don’t think anyone ever mentions or prepares you for how lonely you can feel. Or what to do if you do feel like that. Who can you talk to? I think this is difficult what ever age bracket you fall into. Regardless of how long you’re here for, that feeling never truly goes away because there are always life aspects missing. Obviously everyone has different experiences at university, it’s hard to be mentally healthy especially at vet school. All forms of life are stressful, but the veterinary profession has one of the highest suicide rates of any job role and that goes for students as well as graduates. I could go on here about the abuse you sometimes get or how many people believe vets are only in it for the money, where in reality if you cut out the chunk the vet gets from your overall bill you’d save approximately 10-15%. But that is a topic that could fill a whole post alone.
Anyway before I get off topic! If you hadn’t gathered from my other ramblings, I suffer with anxiety, sometimes to extremes. I often feel as though I don’t have many friends I can trust and I spend a great deal of time worrying that I have upset people or they don’t like me. This generally only applies to people I know and like. If someone insulted me in the street I’d make them feel 1cm tall. It’s when I am invested into to friendships I struggle. Sometimes I think it’s just easier to be a cat lady and have done with it.
I better stop, so much for a short post! I want to know how you feel? Do you feel it’s easier or harder to make friends as an adult (I use that term on myself loosely)? Do you maintain friendships well and feel supported? Have you had to terminate unhealthy friendships? Do you have a girl gang?! Or am I completely alone in this?!