Hello internet world!
I've been having hella migraines recently. Actually I've been having them for the past five years (i.e. the entirety of college/uni). But I've gone to the doctor today, so we're getting somewhere! Always look for those little victories.
In last week's post, I mentioned the fact that I left graduate school, and so I will touch on that a bit now. It's hard to talk about, but necessary in mental health recovery. Hopefully I can help some of you out as well by speaking out.
I had a really terrible experience with grad school (used loosely here to describe from the time I left home in July through to the time I left school and came back home to Kentucky in December). If you don't know me, I was attending graduate school for Fine Arts, in Ceramics specifically.
It was truly awful for a huge number of reasons. This in itself is awful to me personally, because I really do not like confrontation, I don't like feeling out of whack, and I do not like complication. I hate it, really. The simpler, the better for me. I especially do not like having to explain myself, but all of these things are inevitable facts of life. I dealt with all of these scenarios during my time in graduate school, and at some of them I failed, some of them I did fairly enough. At the time, I could care less as to what some of the faculty or students thought of me, because they really knew zero things about me or what hell I was going through. They thought of me as this weak, unlikeable person, which I may have surely felt like at the time, but in retrospect, I was most certainly not. These people had no idea that I was never, ever like this before in my entire life, that this was not an upgrade of Sarah. I had regressed to Sarah -2.0. But, as it was, I believe (as most of us do) that I handled the situation(s) in front of me as best I could.
However, I do not believe that the faculty and many students at my grad school handled my situation very well. And for a lot of them, I can look back and understand. I made a couple friends there. They are truly wonderful, intelligent, save-the-world types of people and I wish them the very best. And, I can forgive some of the others' for how they treated me. But on the whole, many people there were way too into their university bubbles to ever pop out and realize how much pain someone could be in (not just me!). That maybe, just maybe, my personal situation was completely unexpected, and a result of years of pain, all brought to an acute, high pitched steam from the kettle. Life was telling me, "Hey, you're ready to boil!"
And boil I did.
Beginning with my Nannie's (my grandmother's) passing last July, just one week before I packed up everything I owned and moved 12 hours away from home, alone, to a damp, dark, gross apartment...everything in my life has been flipped, turned around, and dangled upside down, for months. Everything is different. Everything has hurt just a little bit more, sometimes, a lot more. It was my first true instance of grief in my life. And this is just one of the many, many terrible things that occurred during my time at grad school. Some of the things that happened were extremely personal, and some were simply the product of being in graduate school. Which is hard. "Duh!" I can hear you all say. "It's supposed to be hard." Yes, it is. And yes, it was. But...are we not fostering mental health disasters? I understand challenging students and scholars through their intellect, but with art...it's just different. It's personal, and subjecting students to grueling hours of work in (let's be honest) less than hygienic and unhealthy work environments is not conducive to creative thinking, learning, and teaching. There are much better ways to challenge students that doesn't degrade them and induce mental health diseases.
And while we're on this topic, let's get one thing straight: I chose to leave graduate school. I was having A, B, C, D, E, F, G...problems that contributed to this choice. Yes, absolutely. But ultimately, this environment, while it may have worked 100 years ago, is no place to foster the creative minds of today. Again, I'm only speaking to my experience, and to my program at this institution. But I am allowed an opinion on the matter, and this is it.
On a happier note, it feels so good to say this aloud: I chose to leave. And: I don't know what is next. I love making YouTube videos. I always have (secretly, hehe, and maybe just maybe, one day you will see my old ones :) But for now, you are very welcome to watch my new channel. I absolutely love making music. Again, I always have, but not so secretly! I was originally going to go to uni for music, but decided on graphic design as a better career route, ending up in the fine arts areas. And while I surely do not regret any of my time at undergrad, my heart still lies with music, and videos, and a different strain of creative thinking.
As it is, I'm thinking it's time to get back to songwriting. Thanks for taking the time to read this little blog of mine. Let me know what you've been thinking about recently in the comments!