Wednesday, 14 June 2017

A Tabula Rasa

3 weeks ago, I finished my International Baccalaureate exams. 14 exams in two weeks, the culmination of two years of constant academia, is a period now behind me. And that feels really quite odd. I have suddenly deviated from an intense, constant workload with 14 hour library days, to quite simply, nothingness.

Thus, I am highly ambivalent about this title. Currently, my life does very much embody a blank slate. A state of emptiness; one of freedom. Yet, I remain governed by my own ideas and goals, perhaps more so than ever.

I know that 'freedom' is what I have been working towards. A period of calm and quietness is what I need, in fact. But I am having trouble adjusting to this fissure in purpose. I am in limbo.

There's 3 weeks until results day. As I wrote before my GCSE results back in 2015, "I'm a victim of archaic academic success, and as much as I despise to admit that fact, I need the reassurance of ink on paper." 2 years later, and my mindset has altered little. I know that this attitude propels me forward and motivates me to stick to the books when life is calling. However, solely defining myself through academia has meant that I've shed many other qualities which should define me - hobbies; life experiences; relationships. 

The next four months sprawl out before me; in theory, yes, a tabula rasa. Ready to be imprinted with the memories of hazy summer days, hard-hitting literature, windswept beach trips, stupid 18 year-old recklessness and wonderful, wonderful friends. Alas, the very fact that these days seem so endless terrifies me. I have had a set purpose for the past few years: work hard; ace your exams; get into uni. I've been in control, academically, at least. Now that the unchangeable looms with results day, I can only wait. My mind is, quite frankly, in a state of suspension.

Thus, this is my challenge to myself: to discard the academic trademark (or at least attempt to forget its looming presence for the next three weeks) and throw myself into doing unplanned, goalless, spur of the moment things. Academia will always be an integral part of who I am, but I have plenty of time to embrace it at uni in October. This is a summer not so much about re-creation, but development.

Nothingness is bewildering. It's surprisingly exhausting to have broken out of what seemed to be an endless routine, and to have to think spontaneously. Likewise, it feels bizarre to write again; simply thinking about where my mind is currently at is very peculiar.

Yet, as ever, I enjoy a challenge. Writing back on here seems like a good place to start, I suppose, if anywhere.

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