I got in // Poetry

‘I got in’

‘Can you believe it’

I’ve just checked my UCAS page

It’s 8 am, a Thursday

I’m in my pyjamas

My two parents are sat opposite me

My mum’s doing that annoying thing she does when she gets stressed

Her fingers are in her mouth and she’s chewing them to bits

I feel numb and empty inside

I’m happy

I think I am happy

I didn’t sleep last night worrying about this

I now get to enjoy my car journey to school to pick up the envelope

On the way, I tell Dad to pull over as I throw up on the side of the road

All standard stuff for me of course

My body’s natural reaction to stress has always been to vomit

At school and there’s so much noise

I am beaming

I haven’t seen any of these people for 2 months

I take the corridor in my stride

It’s a catwalk for the academics I think

All the conversation’s I have, are done with a smile on my face

‘This is it’ I think

‘Well done mate’ I say to my friend

Targets were set and achieved

So much work, so much putting your life on hold

Now this the moment

University

A path not taken by anyone in the family

I’m getting out

This is the place where you become what you’ve always wanted

The place where that bloke’s grandson discovered a love for film photography

On top of his math’s degree

And that’s now his job

The place where that guy met his wife Sarah

They decided to retire in the university town where they met

York I think, Isn’t that great?

Or the place where your Aunt met her best friends

You remember Emma, don’t you?

I could go on university challenge now, I think

Wouldn’t that make your grandmother proud

The 10th of July two years later

Second year exam results are out

I’ve got an email from the bioscience department

‘You have not progressed into 3rd year’

‘A resit exam has been granted’

But

I don’t understand

I revised, didn’t I?

I sat the exam

I put in the work and now I’m supposed to reap the success

Isn’t that how it works?

Isn’t that how it works?

My chest has closed

I was sat on the sofa next to my mum and dad

Popped back home for a few days

We are watching a film

It’s Billy Elliot

It’s just got to the bit where he’s running down the street dancing

I love this film

But my phone is in my hand

The email is there

What do I do

This can’t be real

I’m doing it, the university thing

I’ve moved out

I’m going to clubs

I’ve got some friends

But, yet I feel like this isn’t right

It’s less of a personal development and more of an assault course

Each hurdle a little higher

Each mud patch a little thicker

‘You need to pull yourself together’  


Hebe is a third year Nutrition student at King’s College London. 

Hebe.

Hello, I’m Hebe, a student and Social Secretary of ThinkMental. Like many people, mental health is something I never thought would affect me until it did. Since then I’ve been determined to spread awareness and understanding of mental health issues. Honesty about the way we feel in the form of conversation, poetry or art is something which I feel is paramount to reducing stigma and letting people know they are not on their own.

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