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Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Meet Mr. Awful

There are some moments (or in my case, years) of life that you'd rather forget. My biggest regret in life was the degree I received my bachelors in. My whole body cringes when I think about it, and as soon as a thought or memory related to it enters my head, I force myself to think of something else.

One of those gigantic mistakes I don't want to face up to. Not just because the degree was worthless and a waste of all of my HECS money (ohhhh, the HECS money).

But because I hadn't really become 'me' yet when I did that degree. I was miles away from the woman I am today when I did that degree. I hadn't learnt to stick up for myself yet. I hadn't found my passions in life yet. I was just this in this awkward 'post-teen' phase where you don't really know how to be a person and you're kind of testing out what things are like in the adult world. You don't realise that you have the ability to fully control your own future. I would take my emo teen years a million times over reliving that stage of my life. Actually I really liked my emo teen years. MCR and The Used for life. 

Not being me presented a problem. These days I would call myself an over-opinionated, strong willed (yet caring), childish and yet mature woman. Before diabetes and during my degree I was weak. I didn't stand up for myself.

So I cringe when I think of my degree because I inevitably remember all those moments when I should have been stronger. When I think of some of the lecturers and tutors who took their own bitter feelings about an industry that doesn't really exist in Australia out on students. When I got the most awful email I have ever recieved in my life from a lecturer and was told by the administration staff to apologise to that lecturer when I raised it. And I did. Because by that stage I was so close to then end, that I didn't want to jeopardise the freedom from that awful degree that I could almost grasp. Then I found out later that he had acted the same way towards other students and I felt ashamed that I didn't stop it earlier.

I cringe when I think of the lecturer who acted almost openly hostile. It was unfortunate that he was basically the principle lecturer. Someone who offered help and advice only if you pandered to him. And if you didn't pander, made it obvious that he didn't have the time of day for you.

He used to live down the road from me when I was in my final year of university. I ran into him once when I was collecting a parcel from the post office. It was my last semester at uni and I had definitely realised by then how much I hated my degree. He said 'Hello' in an uninterested manner. I replied with "this is awkward" and walked out as quickly as I could. The next time my lease was up for renewal I moved out of that suburb.

I saw him again when I was shopping the other day. He didn't see me. I didn't know if I wanted him to notice me or not. Inevitably, when you see someone after a while, they ask what you're doing. I don't think he would like my answer, but I really want to tell it to him.

I'm doing nothing with my degree. As best as I can pinpoint, I blame my degree for my Type 1 Diabetes. The degree caused me such severe stress that I was regularly passing out from the sheer pressure of completing it. For the last year of my degree I was visiting the PA Hospital for CBT to help with my anxiety. Funnily enough, I never needed to again after I left uni. And Funnily enough, I was diagnosed with diabetes less than 3 months after leaving uni. When I had pressure put on me again to go back and help further with sending out our final grad project to film festivals across the world.

I wanted to tell him that he was part of the reason why I will spend my entire life fighting to keep my blood glucose under control. That if I lose a leg, or go blind, he played a part in that.

At the same time, I didn't want to say that to him. Because I don't hate my life with diabetes. I've accepted that it is part of my life, for all my life. And telling him what an awful person he was isn't going to change anything. It would just dredge up horrible memories of diagnosis, which I am past.

I made the best choice, and I walked away quickly, before he could see me. And really, he's probably been so rude to so many other students since, that he wouldn't have remembered who I was.

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