January Blog – Tessa Tang

Digital Ambassador Tessa Tang chronicles life as an RNCM student in a series of monthly blog posts.

Two weeks of Christmas break flew by for me. I felt like while I managed to find some time away from practice and work, looming College deadlines somehow lurked constantly at the back of my mind. I found stressful thoughts resurfacing almost every few hours in a day (internally screaming!) and I knew I had to do something else to mentally reassure myself. So I wrote everything I had to do down on paper and ordered them according to priority, and then left it aside for a few days (which helped a little).

I had loads of video calls to home during the festive season, distanced walks along the canals, tried catching glimpses of sunlight while it was out. I figured getting myself outside would help me feel something different after three months of rockiness and uncertainty.

And into 2021 we go! How bizarre. Although the start of this year didn’t really have a ‘new year new me’ energy, I (probably like everyone else) am trying to stay afloat – adjusting to the blurred work/life boundary between the four walls, trying to stay safe and sane. I can go on with an extensive list of things about how frustrating this all is – but with 5pm sunsets, that’s probably the last thing we need! Hopefully this is the last of it and we can somewhat see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Honesty Hour: I find it difficult to get up some mornings and I get so unmotivated on some days although I am aware that there’s plenty to do. But after talking to friends, there is some sort of comfort in knowing that I’m not the only one feeling this way – so if you feel this way too, that’s okay. The past two weeks in this lockdown feels longer with every day that passes and I think it’s normal to feel mentally and emotionally drained.

So I got in touch with Jane Gray ([email protected] , Assistant Head of Registry supporting the wellbeing of the student body) on how validating ourselves might help us feel better before we start the day. It feels awkward and weird when I do it because I’m not usually one for quotes/statements as such. I admit that while I don’t say these in the mirror every day, on days that I do (with a little boogie in the morning), I feel a little better than the previous day #ABoogieADayTakesTheSpookyAway. Like anything unfamiliar and outside our comfort zones, time will only help us adjust when we change up the routine in lockdown! Who knows, something positive might generate within and it’ll click one day.

  1. I take one day at a time.
  2. I let go of what I can’t change and do my best with what I can.
  3. I don’t compare myself to others.
  4. I accept DONE is better than perfect.
  5. I control my thoughts; they do not control me.

And what have I been up to in January? We had our academic elective essay/presentation due on 7 January. Classical singers had a recording due on 14 January, as part of the virtual life we’ve all had to adjust to for quite some time now. And mainly everything else on Zoom: performance classes, language coachings, principal study lessons, the second (and absolute final one in the whole of my Undergraduate degree!) academic elective of the term, final year Creative Project and practice. Time doesn’t stop and life pushes us to move along with it. Of course balancing that with Netflix and my procrastination-but-also-change-of-scenery walks!

Sometimes I’m in disbelief that this is how my final year will be. But other times, I just have the fire to want to face it head on and push through to the end. It’s quite erratic but at least I know that the only way is up when I’m feeling down.

Thanks for reading till here! I hope it helps you feel a little better that you’re not alone in this and that the affirming statements could help in one way or another. I thought I’d share this nice shot of a double rainbow from back home that my Mum sent me on Christmas Day!

Stay safe and chill vibes,

Tessa x

19 January 2021