Saturday, 31 December 2016

2016 Recap

Hi everyone! 

As it's New Year's Eve, and I have no plans except for sit in front of the TV until midnight before going to sleep. 2016 seems to be going round the internet as being the worst year ever, and while some parts were pretty bad - *cough* Brexit - it was definitely not all bad. 

2016 started with me gearing up for my three month trip to Zimbabwe on the ICS programme. I had travelled before, even travelled alone before, but never for that long. And as 2015 had been the worst year of my life so far, I was ready for some adventure. And it delivered. My time in Zimbabwe was tough, my anxiety was pretty bad the whole time I was there, but I'm so glad I went. I learnt so much about tolerance, flexibility, resilience and adapting to different situations. I came back feeling like I could do anything.

Also, Zimbabwe could be beautiful!

Before I left for Zimbabwe, I submitted two applications for masters degrees in English Literature. I had decided I was going back into academia. While in Zimbabwe, I heard back - I didn't get into Oxford, but only a week after that I found out I got in to St Andrews! Yes, the famous St Andrews that William and Kate went to, which anyone who actually goes there is pretty tired of hearing about. 

But before starting my masters and moving to Scotland, and after I recovered from the reverse culture shock of returning from Zimbabwe, I had the best summer ever. I worked for NCS, was in charge of a group of ten crazy but lovely teenagers, and managed to get concussion while falling/jumping off a cliff. And then with our wages, some of the people I worked with and I had a lovely holiday in Madrid. 

Here I am, in my academic gown. No, this isn't the gown we wear when we graduate - this one is a traditional one that is for events, or just daily wear. Yes, I feel like I study at Hogwarts. 

Then, St Andrews happened! I could write a whole new post on my life as a masters student. It's hectic, but I love it. Scotland is lovely, the town is lovely, I've now taken up Archery as a sport and I actually don't suck too much, I even compete occasionally, which I love. I am portraying this in a very positive light, considering I've spent the last week in a perpetual state of meltdown because I'm working on a tough essay, while waiting for the feedback for another tough essay, while worrying about my PhD applications. Because yes, I've decided that I'm going to apply for a PhD, starting in 2017! 

Another aspect of 2016 I thought I'd briefly mention is romance. I spent the end of 2015 recovering from an emotionally abusive relationship, which screwed me up pretty bad. I saw a therapist weekly to address my issues with relationships, which helped immensely, and in 2016 I was able to picture myself with other people. Now, I've actually started a new relationship, with someone who seems like a genuinely good person, and it's been going well so far! 

So there we have it. 2016. Like most years in my young adult life, a very eventful year. While some very bad things did happen, the ones that affected me most were Brexit and the bombings in Brussels, the city I grew up in. But so many good things happened in 2016 as well, and tonight, as we bring in 2017, I'd like to focus on those. 

Lots of love,


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