Falling back and saying no. It’s okay.

Studying at Imperial; one of the best universities in the world, is certainly not easy. It can get tough sometimes. Catching up with lectures and tutorial sheets, meeting report deadlines, rushing projects, all the while trying to maintain a decent social life and sleep. Sounds impossible doesn’t it? It doesn’t help that I’m the kind that cannot stay still and do one thing at a time!

“You’ll only focus on studying and not join anything else this term!” It’s been 3 terms and it certainly hasn’t worked out AHAHAHAH. I TRIED but at Imperial, there are just so many exciting things to do! From all the clubs and societies to join, and the fact that we’re in London, opportunities are endless. I’m currently part of a student organisation focussing on entrepreneurship and I’m working at a startup! It’s exciting for sure, but it hasn’t been easy.

I’m not saying this to brag but I just want everyone to know that it’s okay to say no. It’s important to acknowledge that we can’t do everything and that’s okay. Everyone who knows me knew how much I was struggling half way through the last autumn term. I was at least 3 sheets behind every single subject, multiple lectures to catch up (I had food poisoning and was down for a whole week), multiple meetings in a week (for the student organisation) and multiple projects to handle (student organisation and startup). Halfway through I really felt like drowning. If one more speck of dust landed on top of my head, I’d drown.

At some point, I genuinely knew I had to say no to some things and focus what’s ahead of me. My mental health was not in a good place but through it all, I’m blessed enough to have colleagues and teammates who were understanding. I also had an amazing support system with friends checking-in on me every now and then, and forcing me out to take breaks with them. These little things helped a lot and eventually I could set my mind in a better place.

What I want to say here is, it’s okay to fall back. It’s okay to say no when everything spirals out of our own control. Everyone seems to be doing well but the matter of fact is that everyone is struggling in their own way, fighting their own battles. There certainly are some who are doing really well, that’s for sure but there’s no shame in asking for help and support, no matter how simple it is. Imperial has a robust support system so if you’re in any position to need help, please reach out!

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