Well, what can I say? It’s been a hectic year to say the least.
365 days ago, I was hoping to study Music at Newcastle University. I was halfway through year 13, doing Music, Media Studies, English Language, and retakes in the first two (year 12 didn’t go so well, whoops). I was bogged down in learning the two years of English in one year, thinking that I’d get a C at very best.
And, now, I’m doing Journalism at Sunderland University, gaining BBC at a level (magically, one of the B’s was English).
365 days ago, I was three-quarters into my time at the Bishop’s Stortford High School, and now… I’ve just finished my first term at Sunderland University. I do admit, I miss TBSHS so much, all the great friends I made there. I recently got to see them all again at Award’s Evening, and that was so emotional, but everyone has moved on with their lives and I’m proud of them for it.
A great day I’ll always remember from this year was Charities Day. This is in honour of two students who used to attend our sixth form but sadly passed away.
Each year, the boys in sixth form dress up as fairies, and the girls dress up as people from the army. It’s such a fun day, everyone gets involved and stuck in. It’s so surprising how much people enjoy this day, you wouldn’t think that over 100 boys would happily get dressed up in pink, but everyone loves it. I really enjoyed seeing all the great outfits people came up with.
One of my biggest aims this year was to improve musically, be it in technique but also in my confidence. At the beginning of the year, I refused to perform for anyone, I even got nervous in front of my teachers sometimes. But, with the support of my boyfriend, I managed to play small solos at the final assembly, and even sit down behind a public piano in Brno in July, and in Norwich in December.
I’ve always struggled with confidence, especially in front of big crowds. Whether this be performing music, or even answering questions in class. But in 2017, I worked on this ridiculously hard. I’ve still got a long way to go before I can confidently stand up infront of people, maybe 2018 is my year.
As this was the year I left school, we had our prom at the end of June. It was such an amazing evening, everyone looked so beautiful and dressed up. It was such an emotional evening, and little did I know, it would be the last time I would see one of my favourite people, Adam, for half a year. Although the after-prom was a messy evening, the whole event was one of my favourite nights to date.
I loved seeing all my friends in formal wear, whilst still drunk dancing to our favourite throwback tunes. This is an evening I wish I could redo time and time again.
Over the summer, I did a small amount of travelling, going to Czech Republic, Amsterdam, Paris and Cornwall. I planned to go inter-railing but that didn’t pan out, but what I did do was absolutely amazing. I loved seeing all of the new cities and interesting cultures, landmarks and people. We went to the Czech Republic with two of our friends, and stayed in a smaller city called Brno, where beer was cheaper than water. It saved us so much money but was still beautiful. Both Amsterdam and Paris was just myself and my boyfriend, allowing us to spend all day exploring. We stayed in Amsterdam for three nights, and we managed to walk a staggering 50 miles. I’d say that’s on massive achievement. I took Oli to Paris for his 18th birthday, and I’m so glad I did. It may have been expensive but it was beautiful and really romantic.
Everywhere we visited was 100% worth it, no matter how expensive it was (I’m looking at you Paris). My one top tip is, if you’re going to visit Paris, bring lots and lots of spending money, because food is expensive. Our dinner was a whopping £100, and I’ve never been so shell-shocked over a bill before in my lifetime. But, I’ve made some memories that will last forever.
Also in the summer, I went to my first ever festival. Myself, Oli, Sara and Jack headed down to Newquay, Cornwall for Boardmasters. It was a very long train journey,but it paid off.
Amazingly, it was £144 for the five days, which is ridiculously cheap, plus the festival was based right by a beach so it was like a festival and holiday mixed into one. The week was so much fun, the music was right up my street, considering the headline act was Jamiroquai.
We ate more chips than you could imagine, and danced more than my legs could cope. The company made it the experience it was, both Jack and Sara were so happy all of the time, and it just made the week so unforgettable. Festivals are actually such a good time, but I don’t think I’ll be able to afford any next year on a student budget.
September brought on university. I didn’t want to leave my friends back at home, it felt like I was stopping the best chapter of my life. But, university brought on a whole new exciting chapter, filled with Journalism, new friends and partying. I’m not the biggest fan of the ideology that university=drinking, so that wasn’t my experience, but I still had a great time.
Whilst I was at uni, I turned 19. It was very weird being in a new place, without family and Stortford friends, but my uni friends sure made up for it. We went out for a celebratory Spoons, which was definitely needed, where we all laughed and enjoyed each other’s company. Unfortunately, I had to go to a lecture on my birthday, but it ended up being only 40 minutes long, so I can’t really complain.
On my birthday I did get to see my Dad, we went out for a really nice pizza, but man I felt full. Going from the usual one meal a day (I love student finance) to having two proper filling meals was something I couldn’t prepare my stomach for, but a great way to begin my last year of being a teenager.
In the middle of December, I came back home. I couldn’t have been more excited to see the ‘Let’s Shout At Adam’ group or the girls again. We all met up at Award’s Evening on the 18th December, which is an evening hosted by the school. We enjoyed wine and nibbles, whilst catching up and receiving our A-level certificates.
You’d be how surprised how exciting it was to see my friends again, even though we’d only been separated for three months (apart from Adam of course). But hopefully 2018 will be filled with many more memories with them.
Since coming home I’ve realised how much I appreciate the friends I’ve had all my life, spending time with my boyfriend and old school friends has been so much fun. It will be so weird to leave them again in January.
Of course, Christmas happened. I enjoyed getting festive, dressing up nicely and eating nice food. We carried on our tradition of getting up early, unwrapping our “Santa sacks”, before getting ready and unwrapping the tress presents. I got the most weird and wonderful gifts, ranging from a dog calendar, to a hat with a built-in light, to a new pair of Vans to Hamilton tickets (even though we bought these in January this year). But it was a very successful day, and if I’m honest, I’ve always preferred getting the presents, rather than receiving them. It’s just so much fun walking round, or shopping online, in search for those perfect presents.
On the 28th December, Rachel and I finally got to see Hamilton. We bought our tickets 12 months ago, and it seemed like we waited a lifetime for this day. It was highly anticipated but it was worth the wait. The show was everything we expected and more, and I’m so glad we saw it. Rachel was very emotional, as you could imagine, but I guess you would be if you’d waited over a year to see a show.
All in all, 2017 was an amazing year for me. I met some great people and made memories which will stay with me for my whole life.
There’s nothing stopping 2018 being twice as good, so here’s to that and to all the things coming next year!