A girl with too many thoughts...

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Becoming a Press Ambassador for Student Minds!

So something very exciting is happening this weekend: I am going to be attending Story Sessions as part of my Press Ambassador training for Student Minds. There will be a group of us coming together from universities all around the country, in order to learn how we can share our mental health story in a sensitive and helpful way. It will be such a great opportunity to encourage conversations around student mental health, something I am particularly passionate about (you know, being a student with mental health difficulties 'n all).

Of course, I'm feeling a mixture of emotions about it...

Nervous. I can find social situations especially challenging at times, and so the idea of spending a day with a group of new people and talking about something extremely personal to me makes me ever so slightly apprehensive. More than anything, I just want to make a good impression. I put myself under a lot of pressure to present the best version of me and appear as though I have my life 'together'. What's important though is that I'm just myself and I can only do that if I relax and worry less about what people think of me (easier said than done!).

I've never done anything like this before and the unknown obviously brings with it a sense of fear and uncertainty (something I don't deal all that well with). It's the sort of opportunity I definitely would have shied away from in the past, but I now appreciate just how rewarding pushing myself out of my comfort zone can be and so I wasn't going to turn it down! Fear is a powerful force, but it doesn't always have to be a negative one. Sometimes, it can be the very thing that drives us to our greatest achievements.

And then there are of course all of the other little worries I have. Eating in front of people - something I detest doing. At one point I even refused to eat in front of my group of friends at sixth form, and so would go through the school day eating nothing in order to avoid it. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to overcome this at Story Sessions, but I'm sure I'll find a way. Then there's the 'what ifs'. What if I embarrass myself? What if I panic and have to leave the room? What if I do that thing I do where I get really socially anxious and start going all red and sweaty? What if, what if, WHAT IF?!

Excited. When I started my blog, I felt quite isolated. Everybody around me was enjoying being a teenager. They were confident, clever and talented. I was none of those things (or so I thought). And so, I started a blog in the hopes of connecting with people. Attending Story Sessions means I get to meet like-minded people in real life, who have been through similar experiences to me. I'll discover things about their own mental health story, and hopefully be able to relate to a lot of what they've been through.

So there we have it. This weekend is going to be a challenge for me but an exciting one, and one I am determined to face head on. I'm planning on writing a blog post about how I found the day, so look out for that over the next week!

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