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Sunny Side Up!

This week saw me, along with all the other hordes of students in second year, cross the halfway mark of my degree. Maybe it’s the fifth-week blues talking, but passing this seemingly ceremonial, and therefore somewhat inconsequential, boundary had me feeling rather existential. 

What better way to ponder on your existence and life purpose than with eggs? It felt only appropriate to reward myself for making it to the second act of my degree with a Shakshuka. Full of bold, herbaceous and fruity flavours, the beauty of this Turkish dish convinced me to exist with my own thoughts during breakfast, rather than watching a slew of ‘silly’ instagram reels. 

As I pierced the peppered white of a poached egg with a slice of toast, I watched my reflection dance in the sheen of the viscous yolk. Was I happy, relieved, or sad to have made it halfway? To be candid, probably a mix of all three. 

The emotional growth I have experienced in just eighteen short months honestly, at times, feels like I’ve gone through three episodes of puberty all at once. Such rapid rates of maturing are not really helped by the sheer density and breadth of learning which all undergrads are tasked with. Often, daily life makes it difficult to be able to see the woods through the trees. Progress can feel slow when time passes so fast. Everything, from relationships to friendships, often feel like supercharged emotional time bombs. 

How do we process such a windstorm of feelings at the interval? Obviously, processing will differ from second year to second year. Nonetheless, the feeling that everything, yet simultaneously nothing has happened in the first act of the degree is a sentiment felt by many across the university. My suggestion is to cast your mind back to your matriculation, and think about how much growth that naive young person has achieved, how much their tastes have changed. If so much can develop in under two years – think about how much more growth can happen in the next two!

Getting to a big milestone, particularly when associated with ageing and growing up, can be a little unnerving to say the least. Coupled with the fact that Hilary can be a particularly dreary time, especially with the dingy skies of February casting a shadow on what fun can be had in such few hours of daylight. Whilst much easier said than done, it is worth maintaining optimism.

Briefly consulting the bigger picture before returning to the ‘mundane’ everyday can be incredibly refreshing and empowering. Although keeping a smile on one’s face can be exhausting, especially when the eighth stupidly long reading list has hit the inbox, our lives are so much better enriched by looking for the light in our lives. Keep those eggs sunny side up! 

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