A blog about travel, books and navigating your twenties in one piece

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Let's Catch Up // My 2017 So Far & A Life Update

So, as promised, today I'm going to finally write up what life's been like for me the past few months. I know that content-wise this little space of mine has been pretty boring over the past few months - all I've managed to post are 52 List blogs (which I really hope you're enjoying!) as well as a travel diary in early January because of how much uni work I've had this term. And I'm so sorry for that. I know it's probably annoyed me more than anyone else but I'm really hoping to post a much bigger variety of posts over the next few months so thank you for bearing with me!

I can't believe I'm writing this, but on Friday I had my last lecture of my second year of university. I still have exams in May but, apart from that, my second year of university education is over. That is beyond crazy to me and I honestly couldn't tell you where these past three months have gone. What I can tell you is that this term has been the best period of uni for me so far and, although it's been really tough at times, I've absolutely loved it.

For the first time since I came to Exeter, this semester I feel as though I experienced uni as I always imagined it would be. Firstly, my modules have been great. I took two philosophy modules, both of which I found incredibly interesting, if not very challenging, and one history module. The history one was essentially a mini-dissertation - 7,000 words on a source-based project of entirely my own choice. I wrote mine on the role of African-American women in the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. It's safe to say that it was hugely daunting but also so interesting and I actually felt like a mini historian which was pretty rewarding (although I haven't got my mark back yet so I'd better not get ahead of myself in raving about this piece of work!).

Friendship-wise I've never been happier. As I've written about before, I love my housemates and feel so lucky that we all get on so well - they're always there for me to make me laugh or let me moan at them about deadlines, being stressed or just over the fact that I'm hungry (because I'm the hangriest person I know) so they're just great. But this term I've become really close with a few other people and it's been so nice to get to know new people as much as I love the ones I already had in my life. Sarah, who I met in a history seminar last term, is just the loveliest person and becoming close friends with her has been such a highlight of the year for me. We've spent this term having a ridiculous amount of chai lattes, uni work dates where we spend the whole day working/crying about our degrees, and talks about anything and everything, and if those three things aren't the foundation of a wonderful friendship then I'll be damned!

I even dated a tiny bit this term. It feels odd to write that down because it happened so recently and it's been such a long time since I've written about anything resembling my love life on here but it was a big deal for me so I wanted to mention it. I only had two dates with a guy and it's safe to say it didn't come to an end quite as I'd have hoped but it was such an empowering experience and gave me the confidence boost I think I've needed for a while. Having been single for nearly two years it was really nice to be reminded of that side to me - the girl who knows who she is and what she wants even if she still has a lot to figure out, who's playful and funny in a way that's reserved for boys who she's interested in. It had been a long time since that side of me had come out and I think it was really good for me to see it. People are inherently messy and so, correspondingly, is dating, I've found, but I think that it's terribly exciting too and so this was definitely a stand-out point of the last term for me.

I came home on Saturday in a bit of a strange headspace. I think that all the uni work as well as everything else had started to take a toll on me and I was (and still am) so in need of a break from it. When things feel a bit too much I always just want to crawl into my own bed and have my Mum around to help me feel better and I really needed that the last couple of weeks when things weren't going as I'd hoped. But it's amazing how much taking a break from somewhere makes a difference. I adore Exeter but too much time in any place is a lot to take in and uni is such an intense experience as much as I've been loving it lately.

So the end of this semester definitely came at the right time and it's so lovely to be sitting at home, in London, spending some time reflecting on it. It was the busiest and craziest one so far but also the one that I loved the most. I tried new things, made a number of mistakes and did it all alongside the very best people I know. And while that probably sounds like I'm romanticising it, looking back on it, that's what this term was like for me. And, as the wonderful Laura Jane Williams wrote on Twitter last week (side note: god she's great and inspires me day in, day out without fail), "I cannot recommend it enough. Taking the time to congratulate yourself. To make note of the 'successes' like loving well and trying new stuff. That's basically what I did this month: try stuff. Some worked, some didn't, but when looked at objectively was ALL ~noteworthy~".

And I don't think it's possible to put it better than that.

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