I will be moving down to Bournemouth to start my PhD in two days. I should be packing right now, but every time I pick up my suitcase to start, I just can’t get going. The task of packing is making this all very real, in both good and bad ways.
For me, moving to start my PhD means moving away from my partner and our little tortoise, Toby. So my relationship will be long-distance for at least three years; a thought that is making my packing-procrastination much worse. Toby is a lovely little spark of energy (it is not at all true that tortoises are slow!) and I worry he’ll forget me when I’m gone for months at a time.
There’s also the task of making friends all over again. I have moved to new cities/ towns several times in the past few years; and each move seems harder than the last. Obviously this is something that all fresher’s will be going through too. To anyone just about to start univeristy, I know that you do eventually make friends, as I’ve done it as an undergraduate and a Master’s student. But I’m still hella nervous about it! (‘Hella’ is a cute word I picked up in Wales and I love it.)
So, what do I do? Well, I’ve mulled it over and decided that I should definitely get cracking on the packing, as I’d rather be nervous with clothes on, than naked and humiliated on campus as I didn’t pack anything. As for the rest? My partner and I are committed to making our relationship work despite the distance and I know he supports me. And I’ll make friends because I know that all my fellow PhD students will turn up on Monday feeling just as anxious as I am.
So, I’m going to go get that suitcase.