I like to consider myself a rocky road aficionado. There is a beautiful alchemy in mixing the various standard ingredients with a few wild cards to create the perfect essay fuel.
My particular rocky road riffs off of lolly cake, an Australasian staple of my upbringing with a similar marshmallowy texture. In fact, my tradition of making rocky road at the beginning of each term here derives from summers spent making and sharing the sweet treat with my family in New Zealand. It only felt appropriate to share such an experience with my friends, and it’s now become a frequent highlight of our dining experiences on the edge of OX4 (yeah Hildas!).
The cultural significance of the rocky road was immediately understood by one of my friends, who, shockingly, is also Australasian (with an equally thick Aussie accent to match!). I have vivid memories from first year of my rocky road acting as his soapbox to discuss his magnum opus, his hypothetical ‘Ted Talk’: The importance of good comms. Now, aside from thinking of my family when chomping into a block of chocolatey goodness, the rocky road acts as a reminder of good comms.
To summarise my friend’s Keynote: Ensuring your communication of emotions with any, and all relationships, whether romantic, platonic, or familial, is always the best policy. To wear one’s heart on one’s sleeve is not only a sign of emotional maturity, but it’s also courageous and admirable.
So, as I gingerly ate my final rocky road at dinner this week, I was once again reminded of my friend’s little passion project. I reflected on my own comms as of late – a practice which I really urge everyone to do. Checking you are actually communicating appropriately with your partner, friends, family, and anyone who you deem worthy of being communicated to. Not only does it improve your relationships, but it also makes you more comfortable in your own ‘emotional skin’.
For me, monitoring my comms is a tactic to regulate my overthinking. If something is irking you, it is probably, at least in my experience, best thrown out into the open. Of course, there are caveats and specific instances where comms may turn into oversharing. But, it may be worth regulating your comms by checking in with both yourself and your friends daily. How are you feeling? Are you tired? Is anything annoying you at present? What is one thing you enjoyed today?
Life is really too short. And our time at Oxford is even shorter. As hard as it may seem, don’t bottle up your feelings – we were made to express ourselves. Even if our expressions aren’t wholly perfect, I can guarantee your friends will appreciate you being honest. Go – tell your friends you love them, politely tell your flatmate to not play music so loud at night, apply for that dream internship you think you won’t get, confess your love to your library crush. As the famous saying goes, you’ll never know if you don’t try.