Saturday, 4 January 2014

2013: My Year

Happy New Year everyone! Who can believe that 2014 has come around so quickly - it seems only moments ago we were welcoming in 2013 and sharing hopes and dreams for the oncoming year.

I've been avidly reading the annual summaries of my fellow bloggers whilst I waited to have enough time to write my own, and I was particularly struck with the musings of one of my favourite bloggers, Rosie 'The Londoner' - she described summarising the year on her blog as wrapping her memories up with a bow. It's not about showing off, about being overly candid - it's about writing your experiences down for yourself so that they don't get lost amidst the confusion and chaos of every day life. Sooner or later 2013 will become a foggy memory which will only be considered for occasional party anecdotes or funny stories after one too many ciders.

I, for one, don't want to see that happen to my year, and so here is a summary of 2013. It's a tad long, but I hope you enjoy having a nosey into my little life!

It was an incredible albeit long year for me. Most of it was spent in libraries, cluttered student rooms and lecture theatres as I studied for my Masters Degree. It was a long, hard slog; I spent every month poring over books, researching theories and tearing my hair out. It was full of sleepless nights, tearful phone-calls and many, many cups of tea. But there were also some fantastic new experiences mixed in - it wasn't all bad - and looking back I can't help but feel a fondness for the year that marked my final step in the student world. 

January saw me writing 16,000 words, surrounded by Christmas chocolate, old tea cups and my trusty hot water bottle, keeping me cosy in my awful student flat. The snow fell, and I gazed on from the confines of my computer. Finally, the deadlines were over, and I was able to enjoy freedom again for a moment, traveling to the New Forest, Chichester, Portsmouth...before making one of the best decisions I could ever have made.

February was equally as bleak. I spent Valentines Day having dinner with my girlfriends, making pancakes and fresh yoghurt for my boyfriend, and throwing myself back into my studies and student journalism after a brief interlude. Typically grey and fairly nondescript.

March was met with an eagerly-awaited trip home to see family, and stunning sunshine. Dinner dates and lazy days ensued, before my first ever trip to Cambridge in the rain. Again, my studies prevailed, interjected with a brief trip home for Easter.

April saw a trip to Bristol and sightseeing at Cheddar Gorge; followed by weeks of student journalism, career considerations, essay research and more. Again, the month was lost beneath piles of paper and academic annotations.

May was an incredibly busy month: it started with a very sunny week, a trip to the beach and a farewell to my time as a student journalist. What followed was mayhem; a further 11,000 words of essays, a vital presentation for my dissertation, and my last ever seminar. The end was a quick break in the sunshine before a work-filled summer. Sadly, my cat also passed away this month at the tender age of three, and I've missed him ever since.

June was hot, and presented me with a couple of weeks off before studies began again. My first ever visit to Reading to visit my best friend was met with sunshine, and  I moved out of one student house and into another, followed by a quick week at home.

July was the beginning of one summer of hell. I knuckled down, began my 20,000 word dissertation, and proceeded to throw myself into research. Hot summer days were spent stuck to my laptop, skin covered in a film of sweat. However, one really wonderful week in London (for research purposes... obviously. And a trip to Kew Gardens, the Cutty Sark and more) was enough to keep me going. What a glorious summer - such a shame to spend it inside.

August began with another trip to Bristol and a night at the fabulous Balloon Fiesta. Then, with a month until my deadline, I committed myself completely, with the occasional dinner with friends and family visit to keep me sane. Again, pretty studies-focused.

September was a very big month for me; I finished my 20,000 words, submitted it, and left student life forever, moving home. It was the end of an era and a very long hard summer, and I couldn't be more relieved. The sense of  completion was astounding and I felt very exhausted.

October was a whirlwind; I moved home, underwent a rollercoaster of emotions, applied for jobs, visited London, received my dissertation mark, got my first interview and three hours later was offered my first job, which I accepted. This meant finding a home and moving away exactly a month after moving back home. It was a risk and a lot to take in, but I fell on my feet and couldn't feel luckier.  I also started this blog, and haven't looked back!

November involved a multitude of train journeys; traveling back home for my 23rd birthday with my twin sister, family and boyfriend; a trip to Denmark with two of my best friends, and a night out in London with some old University friends.  I also found out my final degree result. It was an exciting sociable introduction into the working world. But it was not without its anxiety.

December came and I couldn't believe how much I'd been able to fit into one year. I graduated from my Masters with a mark I could be very proud of, and  I celebrated Christmas with my nearest and dearest and welcomed 2014 in Cambridge with my boyfriend. A great end to a frantic year.

So there you have it - a summary of what I got up to. Yes, a little long and convoluted, but a great snapshot into my life for all of you - and also fabulous for me to look back on in the future.

This year I managed to visit several new places, overcome many anxious moments, get back on my feet emotionally and achieve my postgraduate degree, land my first job AND move away (again!). 2014 will bring its own challenges but 2013 has left me certain that I can overcome these too, with a bit of gusto! What a year - thank you, 2013! Maybe it's not such a lucky number after all!

What did you get up to in 2013? Let me know in the comments! Happy New Year!



  1. I hope I don't sound like a stalker here, but I enjoy reading this personal post (and definitely wouldn't mind reading posts like this in the future). Congrats for your achievements in 2013! I'm planning to post about mine as well, but it has to wait until all the exams and deadlines are over. Hope it won't be too late by then.

    1. Thank you! That's not stalker-ish at all, it's really lovely to hear. I'm building up the courage to divulge a little more or my life it's good to know you'd like to read more. It's never too late to post about your year, I'd love to read it when you get round to it! Good luck with exams :) xxx

  2. Great post, sounds like you've had a busy year! All the best for 2014

    1. Thanks Amy, and to you too :) And thank you for leaving your link! Love your blog xx