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  • Jem Venn

So long second year!

And so summer begins!

Falmouth always seems to know just when to bring us gorgeous weather and today is no exception! The sun is gently beaming in through the windows of my favorite coffee shop and I can't think of a better moment to celebrate having finally handed in all my work for assessment.

In two weeks time I'll be setting up my exhibition with my favorite work of the year and then that's it!


This year has certainly been rocky but through trails of the year I believe I have become a more confident and resilient person. I want to put to rest any illusions those of you who don't know me may have that I'm a mellow art student residing by the coast of Cornwall and living out my days on the beach with a beer and some handpan music playing because that is far from reality. This year has at times been lonely as well as scary and plain draining.


I never imagined university would be like this, and I don't mean the workload. This academic year especially has been the hardest ordeal I've endured. The pressure to have this ideal lifestyle and a blossoming community of friends was and unexpected hurdle. First year seemed almost effortless, I made friends and settled into a sweet little group of people I thought would always be there, like you would. But people change, situations change, as a person you will grow rapidly and unexpectedly and within months you can outgrow a group or they can outgrow you. All I can say to that is to take heed from the mellow waves of the coast and just roll with it all, You'll find your place!


It's soon coming up to the year anniversary of my biggest fall.

There were situations I had entered into with friends that put so much emotional strain and pressure on my body that my kidneys flat out failed one night. I couldn't believe that stress could take such a dangerous toll on your body but as I found out rather abruptly, it can!

I wish that I hadn't worried so much and I truly wish that when I was faced with dark situations, I had been able to take a step back and allow professionals to work in my place. I don't particularly want to go into details of what happened but when I see someone in trouble I loose my sense of self and will charge forward to help in any way possible despite not actually being a mentally strong person myself.

PTSD wasn't fun the first time, It was worse the second and that's how my body began to shut down. Despite this gloomy exterior however, It sent me forwards a person more in charge of her life. I suppose the reason that I'm writing this is in the slight hope that someone may recognize similar patterns in their life and be able to make a change before they end up where I did.


On a brighter note, Having been through all of this meant that I was more able to look at my life and my doings objectively. Seeing that I didn't need to sit at home all day worrying but instead could go to the doctors and the university for help. Also seeing that the three years of university are just that, three years of my life that are primarily for growing my practice and learning how to be a more successful illustrator. I promise you that once you begin to look at your universe from the back seat, everything seems less daunting and easier to cope with.


Now I sit here, still in the coffee shop and a pot of nettle tea on it's way, I know that the world is just a little easier to cope with. As mentioned, this year has been hard but with a little mindfulness and an ability to know when to step back and let trails run their course things will get easier.


Jem V




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Illustrations and intellectual property copyright of Jem Venn.