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Ruby Fussell
Barista at Origin Coffee Roasters — London, UK

Sometimes life seems so hectic, and I think that’s a symptom of living in London. I’m a dental student and make coffee to help make ends meet. Having so few days off means sometimes I can get a bit self absorbed and my work-life balance is out the window. 

I’ve been working on trying to reclaim hours for relaxing and clearing my mind.

I’ve been working on trying to reclaim hours for relaxing and clearing my mind. Yoga has been a useful tool for this. It’s a good feeling to wake up early on a weekend when everyone else is hungover and go do something positive for yourself. I normally find it difficult to meditate, but when I'm flowing through different positions all the thoughts in my head are silenced for a while. 

I have always enjoyed working with my hands, whether that’s making coffee or trying to be more creative. I really enjoy making things. Dentistry can be creative, but there’s also an element of problem solving to it. Every person who walks through the door has a different life, wants and desires — and their expectations might be completely different than your ‘professional opinion’. It’s about giving people options, explaining choices and helping making people make informed decisions for their own care. 

In the past I’ve gone through stages where I’ve gone out partying too much and my work has suffered as a result.

I think I have an addictive personality. In the past I’ve gone through stages where I’ve gone out partying too much and my work has suffered as a result. I am trying to recognize if I’m being excessive in anything I do now. That can be from spending money, drinking or watching too much tv, and dismantling it before it becomes an issue. Dentistry is a difficult 5 year course, so requires lots of motivation and I’ve realized this is incompatible with a crazy party lifestyle. 

I’m originally from Cornwall, a five hour train from London. I love living in London, and for ages I didn’t really feel homesick. More recently though I’ve been thinking about my family and the people I love increasingly more. I’m trying to navigate living a busy life and also trying to be there for the people that mean the most. Also on a sunny day, I really miss being able to jump into the sea. Queuing for the packed London Fields Lido doesn’t really have the same effect.

I’m trying to navigate living a busy life and also trying to be there for the people that mean the most.

I’m now moving into the final year of my degree, and at some point will have to think about stopping my barista work so I can help transition from being a student into working for the National Health Service. Working in coffee for so long gave me a head start when I started seeing patients, and I felt comfortable dealing with people from the start. I won’t ever stop trying to search out cafes to visit on the weekend, and a key part of my morning ritual is making myself filtered coffee. I will miss the first espresso I make for myself when opening the shop, before all the customers arrive. It is a special moment.