Amongst the chaos, I’ve managed to squeeze a much-needed week off. Life has been a rush for as long as I can remember, so it has felt a little strange applying the breaks, but it has been refreshing to just walk, eat, drink and gather my thoughts.
After a wearing start to second semester I managed a teeny-tiny chance to rest in April, but since then it’s been a long sprint to the end of my second year at the University of Surrey. It’s been exhilarating, studying Digital Media was always going to be, no matter how much I love to hate it. I’ve taken my first dip into game design, mocked Amazon in my my first (very awkward) attempt at cartoon comedy, furthered my understanding of Interaction Design & Digital Aesthetics and held my last event as Vice President of TEDxSurreyUniversity before handing over to a wonderful new committee.
Then, with barely a chance to sit down, I jumped straight into a year-long placement at Starling Bank – primarily focusing on marketing. So, far it’s a been full on, sink-or-swim experience. Which has been tough but is certainly the best way to learn – I am loving it.
Within my first three weeks, I’ve already taken on management of the Starling Community, our weekly blog series “The Side Hustle”, much of our partnership with the awesome folks over at The Startup Van as well as planning for the social media channels too. It’s something new everyday, but I’m certainly not making the teas and coffees.
"How's your placement year at @StarlingBank going so far?"
— James Pratters 🏳️🌈 (@JamesPratters) June 30, 2017
It’s very rewarding to be doing something I love, and earning money for it, but this, plus the 6AMs and ~80 minute door-to-door commute each way from Surrey has been taxing.
I’ve been burning both ends, as I’ve also been moving out of my gross student house in Guildford, temporarily moving in with family and also searching for somewhere to live in London. The latter of which, I’ve luckily managed to sort for the short-term. As of Sunday, I’ll be a lodger in a couple’s family home in Clapham. It’s a temporary fix until I find something long term (and by long term I mean about 9 months).
Fair to say, I’ve completely shattered myself.
Amid all of the assignments, exams and new beginnings – I’ve finally found a week to rest and reflect on everything that’s been going on. This is in no better place than the beautiful, newly-crowned UNESCO World Heritage Site of The Lake District.
I can’t help but think the pace of all this is a little crazy. I’ve clearly become attached to the lifestyle though, as it almost felt a little uncomfortable leaving the city on Friday and driving up to Cumbria on Saturday morning.
Writing on here has made me realise that I have a lot to say. I’ll return to this point very soon, with a more general approach, but for now, I’m heading back to the South. 🚗