The Year Spirals Out Of Control (PT. 2)

Week 1: Monday 9th May - Sunday 15th May


Monday, 9th May, 2022:

At the time, I thought that this would be my final week - or at most, I'd leave on Tuesday the following week (17th May - as I initially believed that my final assignment was due on Monday 23rd May).


My final assignment was actually due on the 16th May and I was looking at the date that the assignment appeared online for (not sure how it works)



Tuesday, 10th May:

As things were going reasonably well (at the time), I contacted the person organising my work experience to tell him that I was ready to start on the 11th May - turns out, life was about to get real sticky and I was in for one hell of a ride - work placement being one of the trickiest bits.


This has been my first work experience/work placement since COVID hit (third in total)


Work Experience/Work Placement History (For Education)

2016

My first work-experience was at the now-defunct "McLaren GT" headquarters (turning road-cars into racing cars and maintaining racing cars)


From memory, this was back in 2016, when I was 15 (Year 11) - and did a whole host of varied and interesting activities, which I wrapped up in a blog on an old website of mine:

https://robintruswell4.wixsite.com/mysite/single-post/2016/06/17/work-experience-170616


Whilst I was only 15, I enjoyed coming in, seeing the same faces and being active - even if it was sorting measuring shims.


2018

During College, I'd have my second week of work experience at Bishops Fiat. Bishops was a car dealership selling Fiats, Abarths, Jeeps and Alfas (ironically next door to the KIA Dealership) - and just like McLaren GT, every day the person leading my work-experience would set me on a handful of tasks - each unique and different from the last.


2022 2022 has come along (with a virus of course) and smaller businesses/companies have either gone bust or had to make serious sacrifices.


As I was/am doing a media course, my lecturer has asked me to find work experience/placement in a media company/the media "circle" (aka: going out to your dad's carpentry business would not count) - this also restricted me slightly - as I couldn't ask McLaren GT (since they went bust/moved) and I couldn't ask Bishops Fiat - neither media related, nor convenient.


It was eventually agreed that I'd work for Motorsport News - a motorsport Newspaper that had been WFH (Working From Home) since the government had instructed it in 2020

After meeting someone from Motorsport News at the race of remembrance on the occasions I went, dad helped me get in contact, and from there I organised dates for work experience.


I'll admit, it hasn't been all "smooth sailing", but I've got until September to have my 15 days and produce 5 pieces for work experience, so once things have calmed down slightly, I'll certainly get back in touch - I've just been really struggling (mentally) since the end of the term - and since then I have completely shut down and just accepted the hits as they whack me in the face, everything since becoming very foggy/hazy

It's...I guess my coping mechanism - when my dad was diagnosed with an illness, I just shut down, shut myself in my room and didn't face or talk about what I was going through.


People already have enough shit (excuse my French) to deal with in their lives, I don't want them to worry about me - And I'm really bad talking about my problems, hence why I've been blogging for a good two years - because I don't have to talk, typing is just so much easier and I feel its easier to express in words (with no time limit or having to explain anything multiple times) - anyway, a tangent.


Wednesday, 11th May, 2022


During the 11th, (and during our meeting) we discussed the 15-Day placement and what it would entail - On the very first day, he gave me 5 possible different articles - and admittedly, I got a bit overwhelmed.


The University outlined two things they wanted from the Work Placement - 5 Pieces of (original) work

- 1 Day going out in the work-place


BTCC (British Touring Car Championship) conveniently was at Brands Hatch that weekend (during work placement) and I showed interest in attending/interest in the BTCC.


Initially, the plan was for me to either go on Saturday or Sunday (or both! - no.) and shadow someone who works for Motorsport News around for the day whilst also getting information/quotes from drivers to write up an article...but that didn't exactly go to plan - but we'll get onto that.

---------------------------------------------------------


As Brands Hatch isn't the closest to Wolverhampton, I decided to go down to Surrey/Essex to both see my friends and be closer to Brands Hatch - essentially hitting two birds with one stone.

12th May


Started the day off by driving my car into the garage to get my rare brake pads looked at - I also noted to them that neither the mileage left, nor the fuel indicator were working.


After coming back (in an Uber) they told me that the fuel sender was broken/had downed (instead of floating on the surface of the fuel, indicating how much I had left)


They said it would be incredibly costly to get one (as they had none in stock and had to order one from the Dealer.


They very helpfully recommended I found one online and bought it in for them to fit to the car.


Following this, I'd fill up (quite likely, not knowing how much fuel I had left) and head down to Surrey.


Evie incredibly kindly let me stay overnight from the 12th - 13th May.


13th May - 14th May


After the standard waking up and having breakfast, I'd eventually hit the road and head to Essex for a nice day or two with my friends. After arriving on the 13th May, I'd stay over until the 14th - just hanging out and chilling.


On the evening of the 14th, we attended a legal(ish) car-meet, during this I was in four minds. 1) This is cool, thanks for inviting me out 2) I wanna join/I wish I had a cool car 3) This is definitely not legal.

4) They better bloody not hit me.

Time flies when you are having fun, and unfortunately, I had a little too much fun - 2am (on race-day) slipping by without our notice.


Eventually, I did retire to bed - but any plans for an early start the following day were completely shattered.


15th May


Whilst the rest in the house slept, I slipped out and headed to Brands Hatch for my "shadowing day" at Brands Hatch. By the time I got there, racing activity was already underway. I'll admit, the day didn't go as expected but...I guess it is what it is. For the most part of the day, I was walking around the track, taking photos, enjoying myself, before I tried to get into the pit/paddock area but was blocked as apparently they weren't letting media through - or were being very difficult about it - but a representative at Motorsport News helped me in/talked to security.


I was supposed to shadow someone at the track, however they were incredibly busy/pre-occupied with other more important work.


Whilst I came for BTCC, I stayed for the support races - despite the rain - both because I liked the sound, sight and spectacle, and also because not everyone is rich enough to race in the BTCC, and even if only a few stay to watch the support races - I want to be one of those few.



It was not a wasted day, and I did send the pictures I took to the guy at the track - but I would have definitely benefited from watching how one tracks down and interviews a driver.


After the race, I'd get back in my car, desperately search for fuel and then head back to Wolverhampton.



Week 2: Monday 16th May - Sunday 22nd May


Monday (16th May). Dread and regret hung over me like a weighted cloud of stress, depression and anxiety.


Whilst I had applied for extensions, they all landed on the same day - one on the 20th May, two on the 23rd May. It was going to be a shite week.


I know I didn't have the time - but I mentally couldn't function. I wrote Monday off as a mental health day, just trying to get my head around what on earth was going on.


Did a food shop though.



Tuesday (17th May). After Monday, I realised that I couldn't spend my entire summer - on indeed the whole week in my room, sulking - so I got up, heaved myself to the campus and managed to push out the last missing bits of my Multimedia News Production Assignment (a radio bulletin and a TV Bulletin)



Wednesday (18th May) - On the 18th May, I wrote an online piece (for said Multimedia News assignment) - but cannot remember all too much more.


Thursday (19th May) - I returned to campus - I can't remember what for - on this day, I bravely declined a visit to Essex.


One of my last assignments was due the following day (the 20th) - and it was to photograph an event/news in Wolverhampton, regarding a person and to write an article about it (using a DSLR)


Having 24 hours before it was due - I just froze. I couldn't do it. Unless I murdered someone and took a picture, there was no way I was going to orchestrate a news-piece, a well-written article and a lovely photo in that time.


The last days of University are meant to be a joyous time - a time of celebration and congratulation for finishing the year - but as I packed up my belongings, I just felt, guilt, fear, regret - yet another year finished where I failed. I dread to see the scores.


Grades were never a strong point of mine.



Friday 20th May - Another day on campus. Very little happened.


Saturday 21st May


Saturday 21st May kicked off a very busy weekend - on the Isle Of Wight, it was the Isle Of Wight Takeover, a car-meet...literally on my doorstep, on iRacing there was a hosted charity event called the "Wishful 8 Hours Of Spa" and in a certain Kia Venga? I was off to Brands Hatch for the "Inflatable 5K" - a 2.5km course made up of cones and inflatables. I didn't quite know what to expect, but I was excited for it.


Along the way, I got to experience the Woolwich Ferry, a free ferry in London I've never got to experience before.

Quite honestly, other than pushing myself a little too much too early, I could not have asked for a better day - spectacular weather, at Brands Hatch climbing over inflatables - bliss!


After arriving a little late, I sorted out paying for parking and paying for them keeping my bag/belongings.


After waiting for about 15 - 30 minutes, I realised that I was in the queue for later runs, and not for the 1pm (which was my run) - so I eventually said "Hi! I'm late" and they let me go on with no issues.


Admittedly, I thought the entire thing was going to be on the circuit itself and entirely (or almost entirely) made up out of inflatables - but instead it was individual obsticals/sections/pieces - like you find at a fair/show/event followed by a run of a few hundred meters.


After my body dealt with doing exercise (wasn't used to that one!) I said to myself that if I did this every day, I could be so much fitter.

~

How the event worked was that it was a 2.5km (kilometer) lap/circuit with 20 odd obsticals dotted around a field - kids could do a 2.5 lap and be finished, the event was called a 5K, which was two laps, four laps would have been a 10K, and there was a possibility to do 6+ laps, but I believe only athletes actually attempted that (I want to say that at least 90% were families/regular people and not professional athletes) - but honestly, you can never tell by judging by clothing.


It was an absolutely stellar day, and a welcome distraction from my usual depressing life with stresses and assignments and this and that.


After finishing my run and having a sausage and chips (and drink), I shuffled my car to roughly where I had parked it during the BTCC weekend (and where my dad parked when he and I went to the races) and noticed that there was racing activity - unfortunately the gates were closed - but that was very understandable - but had I done the first run of the day, I could have done the 5K and then watched the racing!


On circuit was a variety of club racing series from monopostos, to prototypes, to radicals, to tin-tops to Locusts and Lotus 7's - not a bad day even if I had got in.


That afternoon, I returned to University.


Sunday 22nd May


Sunday wasn't overly bad, it just wasn't as exciting as the previous day. I got a pen though (my previous one massively running out)


This blog is already long enough as it is already, so I'll see you next blog.

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