And so it’s that time of the year again – the Mayans were wrong, we’ve been given another chance to do it all over again. It’s one of those typical lazy Sundays where I should be doing uni work, but instead I’ve told myself I’m too tired and I’m sitting here considering my outfit options for tomorrow’s festivities; typical.
But I want to take this chance to quickly think about what I’ve learned and experienced from 2012 and how I can prepare for a dubious 2013 (after all 13 never has particularly great connotations – the last 13 we had we were in the middle of a war… just saying). So particularly great experiences I’ve had and what I would give as advice:
1. Take a gap year – ignore the university pressure and the stigma attached to it (see the youtube hit ‘gap yah‘ if you’re not sure what I’m on about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKFjWR7X5dU). I was so depressed when I realised I was going to have to take a gap year – I felt ready for university, it seemed like all my friends were leaving, I was going to have to go through the whole stressful application process again, oh and I now had to pay £9000 a year. BUT – in hindsight it did me a world of good. You’ve been at school for seven years straight, its like jumping from one moving treadmill to another, sometimes you need to turn it off – think about the right speed and incline. My only regret is that I didn’t have time to plan it – you can travel and see the world, you can work – not only experience working life (working full time in retail actually provided me with a whole new source of motivation to do well at university) but also to save some money for travelling and university – I had £1000 extra saved for university before I got there and it’s meant I haven’t had to scrape by too much this term. You can also boost your CV – lots of people take it as a chance to get an internship or good work experience; even if you’re only doing something like blogging or photography – every little helps.
2. Branch Out – A lot of my friends went to university last year and it felt so easy just to shut myself away and to wait for their return. I’m glad I didn’t. Whether you take a gap year or go to university – do something outside of your comfort zone. I’m not saying skydive out of a plane (although that would be very brave!) just little things – talk to other people you wouldn’t normally talk to and make the effort in areas where it would be easy not to. One of my best friends I’ve made at university this year I met in a lunch queue – I took the plunge to start chatting and opened up to talk properly about myself and my experience from the last year and turned out she had a similar story; we chatted for ages and now she’s one of my best friends. Same with my year off; I was working around other people my age, many who had worked there since the story had opened the year before and were really close, so it took a lot of courage to try and introduce myself and socialise with them but now I go out with them on a regular basis and I genuinely feel like I get on with them better than my old school friends.
3. Stay grounded – Okay I feel massively cheesy saying that, but I couldn’t think of a better term! This applies to anyone and everyone. Looking back I’ve definitely made a lot of mistakes this year – you neglect people you’re close to because you don’t think you have time or you get too caught up in your life so you forget about them. For me this applied to family and friends from my school and it is hard, especially when you’re starting out at uni, but that doesn’t make it an excuse. I’ve wanted to try blogging for so long and kept putting it off because I felt I had more important things to do – but all it takes is a tiny bit of time out of your day.
And now – what can I do for 2013? Well I won’t make this as philosophical or deep! I think I’ll stick to a loose list of resolutions and then maybe I’ll do a review at the end of every 3 months to see how I’m doing?
1. Exercise at least twice a week – hourly long gym sessions.
2. Be healthier – less red bulls, desserts and chocolate and more vitamins, 5 a day and
3. Save money – weekly finance check ups to monitor my spending and less wasting money on nights out (aim to put aside £5 a week into savings)
4. Be more organised – use my diary and calendar to plan my week and to fit in my uni work around socialising.
5. Plan ahead – for summer: work experience, holidays, big trips abroad, volunteering, festivals (this includes planning finances for these plans!)
6. Stay on top of uni work – do it as soon as its been set. 9-5 library days!
7. Stop biting nails.
8. Blog at least once a week.
9. Join one new club/society at uni.
10. Relax more!!!