By Ben Waters
Bricking it about Brixton:
Shit, I thought to myself, as my thumb lowered itself onto the ‘end call’ button of my phone.
I’d just been offered a place at the SCA and it seemed to come out of nowhere. I’d applied extraordinarily late; a month ago I had no idea what I wanted to even do with myself for a living and, until that phone call, I was lazily spending my summer navel-gazing and watching Peep Show reruns.
Things had been comfortable, peaceful but ultimately incredibly boring. The change in pace and energy that the SCA had kickstarted in me was pretty drastic.
My chest caved in a little, a sharp pang of nervous energy shot down my body. The whole thing arrived as quickly and sharply as a glass of cold water to the face.
I then reviewed exactly what I had to do to prepare: blog posts, a tonne of reading, a video about myself. Everything about the school felt so radically different to what I was used to, especially when I’ve just spent the past three years hunching over dusty books in a library.
However, as I’ve got older, I’ve realised that being anxious and giving several large, solidly formed shits about whatever’s on the horizon is often a great litmus test for enthusiasm. For me, fear has always revolved around the things that I genuinely care about, the work that will be really fulfilling in the long-term.
My parents have always told me to go with my gut and, given how much acid reflux I got after that conversation with Marc, I knew that the SCA was the place for me. The experience gave stomach-churning a new meaning.
In short, all of the sensations I felt in that moment confirmed not only my fear but also my excitement. Hopefully I can bottle all that nervousness and use it to propel me onwards against the countless projects which will be thrown at me over the next year. After all, I’ve got to do something with all this energy.
I think that fear shouldn’t be resisted but reshaped. It should expressed, not repressed. For me, pushing it away can cause it to lash back at you like an elastic band that’s been held taut for too long, often with pretty bad consequences.
Ultimately, it’s there for a reason and can often be used to help you. There will be a lot of challenges that will scare me over the next year but, hopefully, all the adrenaline I’m feeling will keep me powering through.
I’m absolutely bricking myself. But it’s good to give a shit – if I didn’t, what would be the point of applying in the first place?