Week 6 update: first time at a pub, stressful things and exciting math

The last two weeks have been some of the most stress filled weeks I’ve had in a while (I’ll talk about some of the things), but this week was also the first time I ever went to a pub so I thought people might want to hear about that first.

Wednesday the mountaineering society had their AGM (annual general meeting) where we elected the committee for the upcoming year. It was awfully long (a whole two hours) since there were a lot of positions and speeches and questions (some where good questions, others were people being terrible and asking “if you were a biscuit which one would you be?” and similar things) and after that was done I tagged along to the pub for the first time ever. I’ve struggled with the social side of university because aside from the fact that I have autism and social anxiety I don’t drink and I’m scared of drunk people and being around alcohol in general just makes me really nervous. Every day after climbing people go to the pub and that’s where the socialising happens, most other societies I’ve been to are similar. We went to “spoons” which apparently is short for wetherspoons which apparently is a famous chain and they’re basically everywhere. The one in guildford is like 2 min away from the station at most so we walked together from campus (it was about 15 min). Once we got there we moved some tables around to fit everyone, it was pretty much like any other restaurant at night (like not fancy restaurant, but also not a fast food chain kinda restaurant) except they also had a bar and there was more drinking going on than at restaurants. The food looked super nice, I think that is probably the only thing that might tempt me to go back, but it was very loud (for me anyways) and people got drunk really quickly so I left. I’m glad I did go but it’s definitely not for me, though unlike when I’ve gone out in Guatemala no one made any comments about my not drinking or offered me or pressured me into it so it was a pretty non-drinker friendly environment by comparison.

Now stressful things! I had my last therapy session on the NHS on Monday because my therapist is going on maternity leave. I’m not sure if I mentioned it before or not but there’s a lot going on in terms of me being able to access long term therapy – they say I’m not allowed to get it through the normal pathway because I have an autism diagnosis and I’m not allowed to go through the autism pathway because my current psychiatrist is saying I don’t have autism. Therapy being cancelled is stressful because I still need it and there’s a lot I need to work through, and the last few sessions have brought up so many things that I’m really struggling with.

I’ve also had my psychiatrist appointments cancelled a lot so I haven’t had any monitoring of my meds for a bit over 4 months and I feel like I really need it. I also applied to take the GRE on April 6 with testing accommodations but my application was denied because the letters I was given from mental health services don’t cover any of the requirements and all the psychological testing I had before falls outside the time window they require and they won’t do any testing on me or write anything else so I guess I am going to somehow have to take it without accommodations and hope for the best, though I don’t think I can manage that.

Related to the whole exam stress situation – I had to apply for extenuating circumstances for 3 of my class tests because I’m having surgery on Monday and I’ll only be between 4 days to a bit over a week post surgery at the time of the exams and I was told by the surgeon that I will need at least 6-8 weeks off from university but my application was denied because there wasn’t enough evidence from the surgeon that I was going to need time off after surgery and it wasn’t written in the proper format and the surgeon’s office and my GP refused to write one, the former saying he will only give it to me when I get discharged and the latter saying he will only write it after receiving one from the surgeon.

And then related to the whole surgery stress – I’ve been told my surgery may be cancelled with short notice, even on the day, so I’ve been stressing about whether or not I’ll actually have surgery. I also didn’t know until a couple of days ago whether or not my mother would be coming because my grandma had to have heart surgery last minute (she’s due to have it today, she was meant to have it monday, it’s another one of the stressful things) and I still don’t know if we’re staying in brighton or here and I’m also not going to be able to sleep on my bed for at least 3-6 weeks because it’s a bunk bed and the surgeon said I might rip the incisions open if I try to get on it. Plus I really really really really really really want to run for academic secretary for the math society but I likely won’t get to since I’ll be just a week-ish post op.

I got a new computer from the US since it was a lot cheaper than getting it here ($600 vs £2,000) and I had a friend ship it over and it’s been held in customs for a whole week and I have no idea how to get it and I also will have no way of doing my matlab coursework and other things because I’m currently relying on the university computers and I won’t be able to come to the university.

That’s most of the stressful things going on, plus also being a carer is a pain sometimes and now is one of those times, it’s putting a lot of strain on me timewise and emotionally.

Now on to some good things! I made a new friend so my friend count in the UK has gone from 0 to 2 in the last 6 months or so. We haven’t really met in person (we have seen each other a few times but we didn’t talk) but we started talking online and I’ve been talking to them every day for almost 2 weeks. It’s nice having someone that I feel understands me more than basically everyone I’ve met in the UK but I’m a bit stressed about how it’ll be like when we see each other in person, which might be tomorrow.

I also found two really cool research papers about classifying groups with a specific number of cyclic subgroups, the second one used a programming language called GAP so after coming up with a few questions and playing around with it on paper for a bit I decided I’ll try to learn how to use GAP and then write some code to try to see if anything interesting comes out of the questions I came up with. It’s slightly bad because I haven’t wanted to do anything other than think about the paper ever since I found it a few days ago but I haven’t felt this good and excited about math since I left Berkeley. I’m hoping maybe I can work on it during the summer and then in an ideal world I’d like to see if I can get someone to co-supervise a master’s thesis on a related topic since I’ve been told repetitively that no one at the university can supervise projects in any of my areas of interest. Oh and of course it was pi day yesterday, I’m still surprised no one here even acknowledges it but I ate some cherry pie for dinner regardless, I’m not going to let the UK being lame ruin my traditions :p