Saturday, 2 January 2016

New Year's Resolutions

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“For last year's words belong to last year's language 
And next year's words await another voice.”
- T. S. Eliot 

I sit here, on day two of 2016, and the first thing I think is: "It can't be as bad as 2015". For me, 2015 was a rollercoaster ride: starting off just fine, fairly unexciting, but stable - but then it, and I, dropped, fast, and lower than I thought I ever could...before gradually pulling myself back up, finishing pretty tired, but pretty happy. My memories of 2015 are riddled with thoughts of university stress; electric shocks and fingers with no feeling; anxiety; and a yearning for cheese and chocolate. It's easy to forget, in amongst all these dilemmas, all the good things that happened and all the people who have carried me into 2016. So when I contemplate my resolutions for this year, I'm going to try and think of last year as a learning curve: a year in which I learnt a lot, about life, about other people and about myself, and one which has made me ambitious to make 2016 infinitely better. 

Resolution one: Graduate
You know those forms you have to fill out, where it asks for your year of graduation, and you put 2016? THAT'S THIS YEAR. I've found university a bit of a struggle, to say the least, and I am excited and relieved that it's going to be over in 6 months. After 15 years of school and 3 years of university, I am done with academia for now. I can't wait to get out of the routine of reading journals, writing essays and stressing about exams. I can't wait to do something different for a bit. 

Resolution two: Run. Until March. And if I still hate it, find another form of exercise to do. 
I am not an athlete by any stretch of the imagination, but I wish I was. This year I am going to take up running, and stick at it to try and get past the "I hate running because I'm rubbish at it" and make it to something less soul-destroying and more enjoyable. If, after a good few months of trying, if I still hate running, I'm going to take up something else to keep me from getting Type 2 Diabetes, like cycling. 

Resolution three: Ballet
I miss ballet, so I'm going to do it again. Weekly. Starting 11th January. If resolution one does not go to plan, at least I'll be on the right track to becoming a ballerina...

Resolution four: Travel
2016 marks the beginning of GAP YEAR OF DREAMS. I'm going to speak French, travel outside of Europe, do things that make me scared, and also things that make me excited, happy and so very worldly. I want to meet new people, unlike people I've met before, and go to new places, and do things I've never done before. I want to see elephants, go diving, go on a roadtrip, and eat a corn dog. 

Resolution five: Read more books
I have £65 worth of Amazon vouchers, a Kindle, a 3 hour round trip commute to uni and many 99p book offers. I have no excuse not to read. Reading for pleasure is one thing I've found really hard to do whilst at uni, so I'm keen to get back on it. The books I am desperate to read this year are: Toni Morrison's God Help the Child, Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee and Margaret Atwood's The Heart Goes Last. 

Resolution six: Get less stressed
I am queen of stress. I worry a lot about a lot of things, an issue which has really successfully manifested itself in 2015. This year I will try to worry less and stress less. I will do the amount of work that I feel I want to do, and I can do, and I will make time to do the other things I want to do. I will do my best without destroying myself in the process. 

Resolution seven: Cook more
My mum bought me a dairy-free cookbook for Christmas, and I want to make pretty much everything in it. I love cooking, and I find it a really satisfying and relaxing thing to do - so I want to make sure I make time to do more of it. I want to try new recipes, and experiment with new foods. 2016 is the year I become a culinary goddess, watch out. 

Resolution eight: Blog
I started my blog way back in 2013, but I never really got into it. This year has been the first year I've properly committed to writing regularly, which I've loved and found really rewarding. I love having this platform to share, and discuss, and rant - this year I've had an amazing response from people reading and relating to it, and for using it as a medium to publicise problems and instigate change. I've also started writing for the TES Student Blog, which is a really awesome opportunity - and I can't wait to become more involved with that. 

Resolution nine: Make a vague plan for becoming a grown-up
I'm currently unsure as to what this involves. I hope I'll work it out along the way. 

Resolution ten: Eat more lasagne
I love lasagne and I literally never eat it. I want that to change. 

So there it is: that's 2016 sorted in 10 resolutions. 
Wish me luck. 

Happy New Year!

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