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

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Let's Catch Up // My Blogging Break, Rebrand & Plans Now I've Graduated

Yes we did decide to try and recreate Friends before our graduation ball - best idea we ever had

I can't believe it, but it's been nine months since I last wrote something here. I think that's the longest break I've ever taken since I started blogging and, to be honest, I wasn't sure for a long time that I'd come back to it. Life has felt *so* busy. My degree and enjoying every last minute of uni really took over for me and I didn't feel the urge or feel like I had the time to write about it. But over the past few weeks I've felt that niggle again to come back to writing and so here I am. And not only am I back but I've also got a brand new blog design which I hope you love as much as I do! Shoutout to the guys at Pipdig for being so amazing and sorting it out for me.

I've done the classic blogging thing of changing my blog name to my name rather than something that doesn't really feel like me anymore. And this way I figured my blog's content can be whatever I want it to be depending on what feels relevant in my life because the blog is an extension of me - it always has been really. Anyway I hope that you like it and if you've committed to reading this I would strongly suggest you get yourself a cup of tea or coffee and settle in because I'm about to try and summarise the last nine months in one blog post.

My third and final year of my undergraduate degree flew by (just as everyone said it would) and it was definitely my best year of uni but also an incredibly tough one with painful times, a friendship lost and the huge pressure to pull all of my work off. I'm going to go into it more another day but just know that I had the best time overall and I can't wait to do a proper write-up of my thoughts on finishing it!

So, with that done I am officially a graduate and for the first time since I was four years old I'm not entering formal education this September. It's a very odd feeling to say the least but it's not quite as horrible as I feared. In fact, I had feared it being so awful that in April I signed up to do another year at Exeter studying for an MA in International Relations. I had got to the Easter holidays and the thought of uni ending put the fear of God in me. I loved living with my best friends so much, I loved the lifestyle and education was all that I knew. So the prospect of another year of structure to figure everything out really appealed to me and led to me applying for the MA. But over the last month or so I've realised that the MA isn't right for me at this moment in time and that my heart isn't fully in it. Being out of education isn't quite as scary as I thought (although as I said it is definitely still weird and I plan to write about how much of an adjustment it is) and I now have plans to instead finally do something that I've wanted to do for as long as I can remember: travel.

One of my sisters moved to New Zealand in 2010 and I've wanted to visit her ever since. I was planning on doing a gap year between school and uni so that I could travel there but my Mum was completely opposed to me doing that then and on that occasion I decided not to put up a fight and to do what she wanted me to. So throughout uni I had in the back of my mind that when I graduated I would finally go on that trip. But, come April, I didn't feel as ready as I thought I'd be by that point to travel and I just wanted to prolong the best three years of my life for as long as I could. It's funny how sometimes you have to make the wrong decision to realise what the right one is. But making that choice has shown me that right now travelling is what I really want to do. And, while it felt like the scariest thing ever going back on the decision to do a masters, I know that it was the right decision for me. (Again, I'm going to dedicate a proper post to this but I just wanted to give a whistle stop tour today of the key things that have happened in my life over the past few months.)

Now that brings me to one of the most exciting parts of this year for me. There's someone who I've left out of this narrative who has completely knocked me for six. In my last month of uni I was introduced to a boy. He was a friend of a friend and somehow throughout our three years in Exeter we'd never crossed paths (absolutely typical of my life), but I pretty much instantly knew that there was something special about him. He's quickly become one of the best people I know and I've had the best summer spending time with him. His name is Liam and since being with him I've become the happiest I've been in the longest time. In hindsight I'm really glad that I was single during uni because I had the best time (for the majority of it) and I wouldn't have grown as much (huge cliche I know) as I did had I not been. But, being single for three years, I think I'd almost forgotten how amazing it is to be in a relationship with a really great person. And he is a really great person and I feel incredibly lucky.

I would guess that right about now you're thinking that this Liam guy sounds fab but also wondering where he fits into my plans to travel. Well, before we'd met Liam had planned to go to New Zealand this year to work and travel. In fact, he flies there on Tuesday. And I'm so glad that New Zealand is the country he'd chosen to go to given that it's been at the top of my list for so long. So, we don't know exactly how it's going to work yet, but I'm in London working and saving money until December when I'm going to fly out to New Zealand and hopefully see Liam sometime after that. It's a bit daunting being so early into a relationship and having to do long distance but (call me crazy) I really think that we can make it work and I can't wait to see him on the other side of the world.

So, that's Liam, my graduation and my plans for the next few months. I'm going to stop waffling on before this becomes as long as my dissertation but if you're interested in travel content and brutal honesty about how terrifying it is finishing uni and being thrust into the world (even to do something really exciting) then this is the place to be, I can tell you that! I hope you all have wonderful weekends and I promise that I'll be back soon with proper updates into everything, travel plans and new 'Recently I'm Reading' posts.
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