Singing goodbye to butterflies in the shower

Caught myself singing in the shower, wondered ’round with a towel turban on my head, left my stuff all over the sofa while I went out last night, sung opera in my bedroom, let my iTunes music shuffle freely without cringing when The Circle of Life started playing: One week here and it feels like home already.

As a fresher, I’d sit and read my book on my bed in my room, or perhaps on one of the hard chairs around the communal table in our kitchen. And don’t get me wrong, I loved our kitchen for all the amazing moments we shared and memories we created there. Right now though, I’m sat on an actual sofa, curled up among the cushions reading my book with a cuppa tea and loving life.

As soon as I wake up in the morning I come downstairs in my pyjamas. My bedroom door here is almost always open and so are everyone else’s. Heading out in the evenings is easy now we know where to head and on which nights. I can cook without embarrassing myself by asking silly questions, dropping things or burning myself. I know the quickest route into town and into University and back, and I didn’t have to try three different routes to find the best. This year I’m applying for jobs and even now I’m paying bills student budgeting doesn’t seem like such a scary concept.

Life as a second year student so far has been so incredibly different to life as a fresher. I feel so much more comfortable living with my friends, in a beautiful city that I now know and love.

We may still be lacking internet and our washing machine may be broken, but the butterflies that lived in my stomach permanently last year seem to have temporarily fallen asleep this year already. Who would have thought it!? Now to conquer the world.

Thank goodness for dongles, wellies and hairdryers

Sat on the sofa jumping every time I catch a glimpse of a van as it turns down our street in the hope it’s either the delivery man with our TV or the man from virgin here to set up our WiFi. So far every van has turned in the opposite direction. Luckily, I’ve discovered the dongle: A magical device that connects your laptop to the internet through the mobile network.

Moving day was a success. We may have left two hours later than we’d expected to, but I managed to gobble up a burger king on the way here despite the nerves and I remembered everything besides extension leads and screw drivers. I took my time settling into my room, and may have hit my head on the slanted ceiling several times while doing so, but now I’m settled I’m really happy with it. The atmosphere in the flat when I arrived was amazing, everyone was ridiculously excited and the boys were already discussing ordering pizzas, buying drinks and heading out that evening. As weird as it felt to be back in Cardiff and to be going to Cardiff pubs and bars, we had an awesome night. Starfishing in my double bed at half one in the morning, in my new room, having just been out with my new flatmates, I was a happy Bronwen.

Since then I’ve been to visit some of my other friends, who despite my fears haven’t forgotten who I am over the summer, been to a pub quiz that was no match for the one I go to every Sunday in Chelmsford (which made my heart ache just a little), bought hoodies to replace the ones I lost over the summer, handed out job applications and CVs and lost horrendously at chess. Today we braved the rain and gales we woke up to, grabbed wellies and umbrellas and headed out to complain at the letting agency about the broken washing machine and windows. The rest of our time has been spent playing card games and attacking the freezer, which frosted over during the summer, with a hair dryer in the hope of being able to buy frozen food soon.

As is to be expected I miss home, but I am settling in here AND having a great time and with little time to stop and think I’m yet to consider jumping on a bus and heading home.

It’s my turn to cook tonight, so I’m about to head to Tesco. Breaking all of the rules and heading to Tesco with my tummy rumbling, but hoping I’ll still be able to resist buying the whole shop.

Time to step in at the deep end

The car is all packed up and it is time to go. First year I jumped in at the deep end (heading all the way to Cardiff to study before I even felt ready) and then spent the year doggy paddling and treading water. This year I’m going to step in to the deep end, keep my head above the water and swim. That’s if I don’t sissy out and use the steps like I did so many times on our family holiday this year… In my defense the water felt freezing after an hour or so spent reading in the sunshine and jumping in was quite a shock to the system.

Packing was an even bigger hassle than the first time ’round. If it’s possible, I think I’m even more unorganised now than I was this time last year. Most things are chucked in the car individually and if not they are in random boxes: There really is no method to the madness.

I’m so excited I can’t stay sitting down for longer than two seconds and I haven’t stopped smiling all morning and yet so scared that the butterflies in my stomach won’t rest either. I’m putting the fact I don’t feel like eating down to the amazing night I had last night, for an amazing friend’s 20th birthday. Despite the fact going out the night before heading back to University may not have been the best idea I’ve ever had, last night was the perfect way to say goodbye to Chelmsford and to all of my friends until Christmas. Anyway, sleep in the car should get rid of the bags under my eyes and lack of appetite shouldn’t be a problem for long: I have never successfully resisted purchasing food or coffee at a motorway services before now so I am sure by the time we stop for lunch I’ll be happy to eat as much as is Bronwenly possible.

Now, to stop using my blog as an excuse, shut the laptop, get in the car and choose the best song to start the journey with (something I love and my dad can grin and bear). In roughly four hours time I should be collecting my keys from the letting agency and heading into my new flat. Here goes.

Two days till Take Two

Just two more days left in Chelmsford and I am the weirdest mix of scared and excited.

Part of me wants to ring Cardiff University and tell them I won’t be studying there this year after all because I’m sissying out and I’d like to stay home. I want to cry every time I consider saying another temporary goodbye to my friends and family. I feel like I’m sixteen again and all I should be doing is spending time with friends at the park, going to Smirnoff Ice house parties and worrying about GCSE results . When I imagine waking up in my new room in Cardiff Sunday morning I want to run up to bed, hide under the duvet and never come out. I can hope that the next two days go slowly, but I doubt I’ll have much luck: The next two days I am so busy seeing friends, shopping and packing that I might as well be going to Cardiff in an hour or so.

The other part of me keeps telling everyone who asks just how much I am looking forward to going back to Cardiff and how I cannot wait for the fresh start. This part isn’t lying either, there is a part of me (quite a big part of me) that is exploding with enthusiasm. I cannot wait to unpack and decorate my new room, to go out in Cardiff with friends I haven’t seen in ages, to experience my first university house parties, to get a job, even to sit surrounded by books in the library studying a brand new and hopefully interesting topic. I may be sad summer is over, but I was admittedly a little excited when I had to pull a jumper out of my wardrobe to wear yesterday and even when I left the house with an umbrella.

How one Bronwen can feel so scared and so excited all at one time baffles me.

A step towards London, a step in the right direction

My Auntie celebrated her birthday in style this weekend. She stayed at a Hilton hotel near Tower Bridge. She spent three days and two nights drinking, eating, seeing family and sightseeing (stopping in her tracks to take photos as only a true tourist does) and ended it all laughing hysterically at the comedians performing in The Comedy Store.

I jumped on the train to join her yesterday. I’d never stayed in a London hotel or been to a comedy store so I was a little excited. However, I was also feeling nervous about leaving home and going to University and if I’m honest, all I really wanted to do was start getting organised then curl up in pyjamas and watch a feel good movie.

I’m glad I got on that train though. I’ve come back from London feeling like I could conquer the world if I wanted to. Some people would say that when you’re among the commuters of the rush hour the atmosphere in London is hostile and unkind, but when ever I’ve been to London I’ve found that to be a part of the hustle and bustle of such an incredible city is exhilarating.

The hotel was incredible. The sky lounge sold expensive drinks, but had the most amazing view, a view that was even more amazing at night. The comedians we saw at The Comedy Store were, as my ticket told me they would be, ‘The Best in Stand-Up’. Okay, perhaps not… I mean, I am not saying that they were better than Michael McIntyre, who in my opinion is the most hilarious man on Earth, but they were very almost as good as him. They may not be famous just yet, but it wouldn’t surprise me if some time soon they appeared on my television screen.

We woke up for breakfast today and I helped myself to a bowl of fruit, granola and yoghurt as well as serving up a proper full English. It all just looked so good! We walked across the Tower Bridge walk way this morning and then headed to a pub for drinks before heading home.

Not only has this weekend left me feeling like I could go back to University today (if it weren’t for the four hour journey and the ridiculous amount of packing still to be done), but while standing on Tower Bridge looking out on the river I couldn’t help imagining myself at music college there in two or three years time.

For now at least, I’m heading in the right direction: I’m feeling positive and loving my mum for having just made an amazing roast dinner. Here’s hoping my Auntie enjoyed her weekend as much as I did.

One step forward, one step back

I went and bought a beautiful new mirror for my university room today. I also bought a new organiser and a new duvet cover and I managed to stay nothing other than excited. I took another look at the enrolement email I received to see which dates I need to be at which schools and I pencilled the dates into the new organiser ready. I booked a hairdressers appointment for just before I head back and I even worked out exactly how much money I’m going to have to spend each month. I also started googling retail careers, hoping to find someone in Cardiff who wants to hire a Bronwen for the year, but doesn’t mind letting her go home for Christmas and Easter.

Then another email arrived confirming my enrolement and I started reading about auditions for operas and choirs and it all just became too real and way too scary. Just like that I felt like my fresher self was back to haunt me and I wanted to hide from the world. Facing my anxiety wasn’t something I wanted to do anymore. The idea of finding myself, conquering life, living independently and having the freedom to do whatever I wanted suddenly wasn’t as appealing as a positive Bronwen would have told you it was.

Going back for my second year in two weeks is terrifying. Nothing scares me more, except perhaps the thought of auditioning for operas when I get there. Or the spider that my dad just had to come into my bedroom and save me from.

So I’m not a spider fighter just yet, but I can conquer university by myself, right? There is a braver Bronwen in here somewhere.