I’m in bed. The mattress presses semi-rigidly against my back. Perfectly warmed wrapped around me. Only my head pokes out. I don’t dare to open my eyes.
The sun rises early in England. Since I was there from March to June, I learned exactly how the sky slowly brightens at 5am, and just how sensitive to that sunlight I really am.
I roll over on my right side to face the wall. It doesn’t protect me much from the light. Despite all want in my body for sleep to swallow me back up, thoughts slowly moisten my mind.
Coriolanus and milk and blood. Same thing.
Two days left. At least five papers.
Greeks and Romans in Shakespeare’s time.
Draft and revise.
Images of the Keble library appear. The tall ceiling towers above, and I sit at a table peninsula surrounded by books. My laptop sits in front of me. Typing my paper, listening to piano music. I glance at my watch. Time never moves. I made a bad habit of checking my word count even when I didn’t write anything. I sip my cold black tea.
Now I’m bed, after finishing up the essay around midnight and taking a bus back to my program’s house. This had become a weekly routine at Oxford. The throngs of late night reading and writing swallowed me whole for eight weeks. With it came feelings of my insurmountable stupidity, worsening procrastination habits, and a stress-induced diet of Digestives around weeks 7 and 8. Me and everyone else were worn pretty thin by the end.
And yet, my time at Oxford was the most enriching experience in my life. I read more, wrote more, and studied more than I ever have. It was painful, yes. It was hard, yes. But like how a bone must be broken to make it straighter again, so did I have to immediately break all my bad habits to grow, to educate myself, and to improve overall.
I could go on forever, but I’ll end on this: I have a new appreciation for the power of knowledge. Smart people are the Atlases of the world. Oxford was like P90X for my brain. IT made my mind infinitely stronger, better thinking, more logical and critical than it had been before. I can’t be more thankful for the renewed outlook on life and my ability to just think better than I have been before.
I plan on making a YouTube series about my time in Oxford. Stay tuned for that.