HATe

There are feelings that we hide inside and they keep building up. And when they do, they can either be tamed and transformed into something worthy or they can come out in the worst possible way.

In this post I would like to examine ‘hate’. It has been around for quite some time now but these days I feel like it’s growing stronger. During the past week one of my former teachers got accused of spreading religious ideas during his physics lessons. A long article on the happenings was published in an online magazine. The thing is, none of these accusations were true. People who know that man are aware of that. But the people who hide behind n/a in the name section, the ones wearing the cap of invisibility without grace started to offend him in so many ways in the comment section. The more they kept writing the more it was becoming obvious that they are not aiming at him. They were aiming at themselves, the pandemic, all their own faults, the people who were mean to them, the government. And it’s obvious that these reasons behind being angry apply to us all. It is all about what you do with that frustration.  Observing this situation from the perspective of an outsider made me more aware of what is really going on when someone hates “you”. Especially online.

 “Run” 2021

I brought this subject forward because from my perspective; as an artists, as one of the people who create something to be publicly viewed, we have to learn to defeat this hate and find the way to let it go. I had a chance to conduct a few art-in-public actions. They were published by the local online magazine in my city. Unfortunately, readers had completely different vision of aesthetics than I had, to say the least. I’m not talking about constructive criticism here. It was a big-time hate session. From offending me personally, through suggesting I should pay a fine for damaging the common wealth (although my actions lasted only 24 hours and were completely harmless to the surroundings) to claiming that all artists should quit taking drugs because we lost our minds. And I’m not writing it all here to pity myself or to show how wrong these people who wrote it were.

I’m coming forward with this concept because maybe lately you have heard something hurtful, maybe someone made you question what you do, whether it’s art, writing, dancing or something completely different. But could you easily put a face and a name to that hurtful comment? Did they really say it based on some relevant reasons? Or maybe, just maybe they’re the negative observers and you’re actually the one living your life and trying? Think about that.

Confidence comes with time and experience. I’m still learning that as a young artist and also simply as a person. If we want to do something great, and we want to achieve our goals we need to be prepared for the so-called ‘hate’ be it online or in real life. When we reach the point when it all stays outside and we gain the strength within what we’re doing- this will be the turning point. I really believe that.

Stay healthy,

Stay cool,

Maria

From School to University – The changes and differences to be aware of.

In my lead up to leaving my secondary school (which also acted as my college) to University, I found the transition difficult, particularly in the differences in structure. I know that for many young people, whether going to university or not, it’s a hard experience to go into the unknown. As a person with some experience now, I hope to put your mind at ease, even if not completely, but just a little, during this transition, particularly in this time where nothing really feels right

The Workload can vary 

For people coming out of A-levels, it was a time of having an extreme revision of a lot of content for exams. This may be something you never want to do again because of this. University is similar but not the stereotype of being A levels on high energy. Instead, most of your First-year work will be things you may have covered already and then build-up to the new elements. Lectures are similar to classes with the typical PowerPoint and taking notes, however, there are also seminars later on that are much more suited for you, instead of waiting behind to ask your teacher a question about your work after class. Instead, you have an hour with other people in your course to, not only ask questions but also get other perspectives that may change your mind. In many courses, you don’t have to go in every day, similar to college, but this time is not just to do homework but also do research on your own. In my opinion, University is a perfect space for people who don’t mind doing some extra work. As you work through your modules, it may appear that because you study one thing (or two if doing a joint degree) that you do less, but like college, you will have more substantial work instead to build your understanding. 

  • Teaching

In my experience, self-study was always the main focus at University. The majority of my teachers are good at what they do because they don’t need to specify that they are knowledgable. You already know that they are (partially because half of the books you will read are written by them) but also because they trust you enough that you can answer your own questions and solve your own problems instead of relying on the teacher. This can be one of the hardest things to adjust to, but the way to get over this is through doing your own research. If you simply rely on what your lecturer tells you throughout your degree, you will not get the full experience. Instead, you should gain more experiences. A good way to do this is not just to talk to your lecturers but perhaps reach out to other lecturers in different modules too to gain their view in order to eventually come to your own.

For this reason, most of the best teachers in my university experience acted more like hype-men and give advice rather than lead us to conclusions for the entire time. This transition is hard to get around but it is important for students when going into careers. Just make sure you still ask as many questions as possible.

  • Freedom and looking after yourself

For many people, going to University means freedom you don’t experience being surrounded by your family. It’s almost like a temptation once you get there, your focus is on making friends, making memories and going clubbing because now you can. However, these wants also distract you from the more negative elements of becoming an adult which you may not need to think of in school. One of the examples may be feeding yourself and being away from home. For some, this isn’t a problem but being in a new atmosphere and environment distracts from learning. In college, there is an intensity which people again want to avoid and University, for the most part, can do that, however, this will only happen if you plan. It is important to find in your first year, while things are little more relaxed, a balance between work and social life, such as doing 4 hours of revision a day on the lead up to exams or going out at least for 2 hours a day to see a friend. The main thing is to build a plan that can be challenging at times but also allows there to be some pacing. 

Once you have that, the university may become easier and less pressing on you and your mental health, which is the most important thing to look after.

Uni is a strange experience, to say the least between the so-called real world and childhood but this makes it the time in which you can start to figure out who you are, what you want and start to build it. In this time, it may be hard to know that but uni will continue differently through zoom and if they can continue so can you.

Em x

Em’s tip- It’s okay not to understand who you are as an artist, explore and try new things and don’t feel you need to stick to one thing to be popular, versatility is a good trait to have and being able to adapt is even better.

Also, take your vitamins.