University, Random Thoughts & A New Decade!

16 December 2019


It's been a minute.

I'm aware of how many times I comment on the speed at which the year has passed me by, but I feel it's appropriate to mention right now: How are we midway through December? It occurred to me that the last time I posted was at the end of summer, which really is an ode to how much I've found myself having to do in the latter end of this year.

The first thing I wanted to talk about: University. After many years of flipping between career and degree choices, I settled on applying to study Law at university; this is the degree I felt best reflected my interests. So, I decided to apply for early entry (specifically, for Oxford). I was, unfortunately, declined, but I always feel that, as cliché as it may sound, everything does happen for a reason. For me, this was down to not wanting to be asking myself, What if? several years down the line. Nevertheless, I've also received a couple of offers and could not be happier with the other choices I've made.

On another note, I wanted to reflect on the year itself. I'm still trying to get my head around the fact that we're entering a new decade in just a few weeks' time, which I'm sure you can agree with. The year, at first glance, felt fairly uneventful compared to the year before - it almost felt like a 'calm before the storm' year. Yet, when I think about it, I shouldn't define the success of the year by the number of 'events', when I really should be considering whether I'm finishing the year in a different place to where I was at the beginning. And yes, in many aspects, I am. The most significant change, for me, is leaving the year feeling satisfied with the level of physical exertion I put myself through. As I have mentioned on numerous occasions, DofE, on first glance, was definitely not up my street. In all honesty, I didn't put in much practise beforehand, simply because I had underestimated just how difficult it would be.

The more I consider it, at the end of previous years, whenever I've concluded that I've "pushed myself out of my comfort zone" etc...I had no idea. Seriously. I didn't comprehend what 'leaving my comfort zone' actually entailed. I realise that, I based that conclusion on more obscure things such as fashion choice, or getting a new job; things that seemed major at the time as I'd never done them before. But what I did this year...well, it was on a whole other level. This tested me like nothing else before it. Admittedly, I'm not an outdoorsy person; I don't revel in outdoor activities, I don't really enjoy heights, and I'm not a massive camper. And I'd told myself for ages that Gold DofE was not even on table. Heck, I wasn't even going to do it when it was first advertised at my college. But here we are. Did I imagine, at the beginning of the year, that I'd have jumped off cliff edges into the sea by the end of it?

One change I've noticed about my own character is that I'm less afraid to voice my opinion. Of course, I'm not suggesting I've suddenly become a whole new person, but...I've stopped second-guessing myself so much. I feel like this is reflected in the topics I write about; my blog has gradually become more focused on my opinions on current events and less about what I wore last week, per se. It also shows in the way I approach new circumstances. In the past, if I've found myself in an unfamiliar situation, the most natural thing to do would have been to ask someone for their advice. Now, I've taken the approach of 'act on your first instinct and imagine there was nobody around to ask' (with some things, mind you, not everything - sometimes I have no idea!). I think this concept stems from the idea that the longer you remain in a comfort zone, the harder it is to leave it when you're forced to. I realise that this is sounding slightly philosophical - not what I intended - but I feel this is the best way I can convey what I mean.

Ultimately, when I look back on the past few months, I realise how different my situation is from the beginning of 2019. I don't want to set new resolutions for the coming year; to be honest, if I really want to change something, change starts right now, not at 12am on the 1st of January. In the past, I'd always felt somewhat obliged to think up resolutions, just because it's a 'thing' to do. I'd set myself unrealistic goals and hope they'd be achieved. Unfortunately, life gets in the way sometimes, and I realise I shouldn't beat myself up for not achieving these things all the time.

I think I'm going to leave this post here, for fear of becoming too deep! In a nutshell: this year has been significant, for various reasons. Although not marked by any significant events, this year has taught me that I'm much more capable and resilient than I give myself credit for; I've learnt to use my voice more, and I'm less fearful of what I perceive as 'failure' than I was.

Thank you for making 2019 incredible year - bring on the new 20s!

Lots of love,

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