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Finding Black Joy and Connecting with my Jamaican Culture in Falmouth

Growing up I always pictured my older self living in the fast-paced hustle and bustle of a city. I  was born in London, raised just outside of Oxford, with the majority of my family living in other major cities. The lifestyle was my norm. But when I was 16, what I thought was normal teenage mood swings began to intensify. I would switch between a deep depression, unable to get out of bed to being uncomfortably restless, hyper and reckless. I soon learnt this was all a part of my new diagnosis, bipolar affective disorder. I spent the next couple of years coming to terms with my illness, in and out of psychiatric units and intensive therapy, I became desperate for an escape. The idea of living somewhere far away and unknown with an alternative way of life grew more appealing. I may not have completed my degree, but my decision to study at Falmouth university was one of the best decisions I ever made. Not only did I handle everything I'd been through with my mental illness and general challenges I faced that come with moving, but I also managed to carve out my own joy in unexpected spaces.