Wednesday, 25 July 2012

New Year's Resolutions.

These aren't your traditional New Year's Resolutions drunkenly listed on the night of December 31st as the clock begins to strike twelve; these are my resolutions for my second year at university.
Ironically, I made this list while I was totally sober, yet when I fulfil several of these items I expect I will be disgracefully drunk.

1. Join a sports team. 

Part of my valiant effort to get fit and lose weight, and because I actually genuinely miss PE lessons and after-school sports (despite the fact that I used to sneak out of my lessons and hide in the changing rooms when I was at school). I also miss the feeling of being part of a team. I need to get outside and run around more. I might be the only person who isn't joining a team solely for the social aspect; I love the thought of going to BOP on a Wednesday with a set fancy dress theme and taking part in stupid drinking games and dares, even initiations sound fun, but I wouldn't do it just for that. My housemate and I want to join a team together, and while I'm flirting with the idea of Dodgeball, Rounders or Ultimate, she'd rather do dance... We'll see how that goes. 

2. Be in more Student Scene videos.

The Student Scene are a group of absolutely lovely and fun-loving lads who take photos at the regular SU parties and arrange their own as well. Last year they put on the most legendary nights: two Frat Parties, Foam Party, UV Paint Rave, Creepy Carnival Halloween Ball, Snow Party, Jelly Pit Party... There are probably more I've forgotten, and there are many more yet to come. Sadly their summer camp hit a snag and they're having to cancel it; I was going to use it as my birthday party this year, I had that much confidence in how awesome it would be... Oh well. At every event they organize, they make a video consisting of embarrassing drunk interviews (as in, the student interviewees and the interviewer are all drunk), ridiculous dancing and the DJs mucking about. I've been in just two of their videos, and I intend to be in more this year. 

See me make my drunken cameo 4 minutes in...

3. Do my housework and take care of my bedroom.

I'm moving into a new house this year, with three friends (one girl, two guys). We're just starting to talk about "the practical stuff", i.e. paying for a TV licence, sorting out who's bringing what, which kitchen equipment the two vegetarians (both of us girls) can and can't share, what's the best way to move in... My main concern is my bedroom. I have the small room, and I've come to terms with it after a lot of crying, and I intend to make it beautiful and somehow give it a spacious feel. I don't want to spend all of my time next year in the living room doing work or watching TV, because if I do what's the point paying rent for my room? I really really want the kind of room I can do anything in (interpret that as you will).

Get over the hills.

The city of Winchester is built on hills. Outrageously steep, unforgiving and unrelenting hills. On days when I'd wander into town to do my grocery shopping I'd always get the bus back to halls, which is fair enough if you're weighed down with Sainsbury's bags, but if you're bag-less and have enough energy, you really should walk - to get exercise and to save yourself £1.25. Next year should be easier, since I'm not living in the student village at the top of the hill any more; instead I'm on the housing estate just around the corner from the main campus which means I'll be walking on almost level ground to and from lectures. This makes me happy. The walk into town will still be hilly, but compared to last year it's really nothing. I hope when I'm walking the slightly uphill path to the train station, I'll remember how much worse it used to be.
5. Stay out of my overdraft.

This was my resolution for the second semester; it lasted maybe four weeks. I mostly blame nights out for my dire bank situation - due to my constant fear of being left out, I attended every night out that was offered to me and subsequently frittered away all my money until I was into minus figures. I relied on my parents to fund my train tickets home, I avoided checking my balance at the ATM, and for the whole of December I lived of toast and crackers because I'd spent all my money on Christmas presents. Also next year, money becomes more of a necessity as I'm paying rent monthly out of my account instead of using my whole student loan to pay for accommodation as I did this year. This shit just got serious, folks. If I ever tweet about spending money I don't have, or if you catch me uttering the word "overdraft", please sit me down, slap me hard across the face, and force me to re-read this. 

6. Surprise people.

Last year I surprised friends and family by travelling home on weekends without telling them, or visiting them at their various different universities after saying I couldn't make it. I also sent letters and presents to people I loved most. Every single surprise went off without a hitch, and surprising people became my new favourite thing. However, this year I want to surprise people in a different way too - by being kind and considerate, working hard, and proving their negative preconceptions about me wrong.
A few months ago, I got talking to a girl I knew of but had never actually met. We realised we had a lot in common and had fun chatting. I knew she'd been fed nasty lies about me from certain people, and I was determined to show her how wrong they were. The next day, she popped up on Facebook saying "I'm so sorry I judged you before I met you. You seem really nice!" This made me indescribably happy, and I want to have this happen more. I want to surprise my family (and pretty much everyone else, actually) by getting a good grade, too.

7. Keep my friends.

It sounds silly, and I'm probably going to give a terrible impression by writing this, but last year I lost a few of my dearest friends. Some of them simply dropped off and didn't bother maintaining the friendship after they moved on to either uni or work, and that was sad enough, but two of my closest friends in particular really upset me when they just decided between them that I wasn't worth their time any more. However I'm sure I wasn't totally blameless in it all so I've promised myself to keep all my friends close - even if it's hard and it hurts having them so far away, or if it just seems like too much effort to walk uphill to their house for predrinks (this ties in nicely with Resolution #4). I need to remember just how empty my life would be without the people I love most, and make every effort to make sure I never have to live that way.

Red Indian night was the best night.

8. Remember why I'm here.

Whenever I talk to someone about my life at uni, I always seem to mention my course last, or they have to prompt me on it. It makes no sense, because I love my course. I feel like I've found what I'm meant to do, and I love living and working in an environment with like-minded people who are fun and inspiring. Pretty much everyone on my course has a blog and/or a Tumblr page, plus a Twitter account; my kinda people. Also, the course is fascinating. I'll admit Drama has been pretty tame this year, but having chosen my modules next for Year Two I know it will be so much better. Creative Writing has been perfect, and I actually can't wait to learn more and write more.

9. Write more.

Just generally write more. Carry around a notebook, which is totally cliche but has to be done, write down every idea that pops into my head and see if I can expand on them later. Practice automatic writing and writing in character, which can be extremely useful for both sides of my course. Try to write a certain number of blog posts a week, maybe even on certain days just for consistency, rather than continuing my erratic pattern of several in one day and then none for a week.

10. Don't get homesick.

I ruined most of my first semester last year by getting worked up and miserable about being away from home. I missed my family, my friends, my home comforts and my lovely small town. Because I was so focused on being homesick, I missed out on all the initial joys and freedom of being away from home. I know I wasn't the only one who struggled, but looking back I can see how pointless it was and how I alienated myself from the wonderful people whom I am going to be spending three years with just to wallow in pointless useless sadness.

Take more photos.

I am a photo fiend. I take millions of photos with my hench DSLR on a night out, at a party or on a sunny day, then rush home to edit them and upload them all within a couple of hours. Friends of mine have logged onto Facey B at 9am to find photos of the night before already uploaded (probably around 4-5am). I still think I could take more, though. I may even make a few videos of special occasions or just normal days; just to have things to look back on when I'm old, wrinkly and bitter.

12. Hang out.

Last year I spent most of my time around other people's halls and houses rather than my own. It wasn't until the end of the second term and the four assessment weeks that I began to appreciate my flatmates properly, and spend more time in my own home. This year will be radically different, of course - we're all in houses, and some of my friends will be living a good walk away (uphill). My house is in the perfect location, so I'm hoping plenty of people will come and see me for a change, but I'll understand if they don't want to. I need the exercise walking provides anyway. Luckily I have a best friend living two doors down, so whether he likes it or not, I'll be hanging out there quite a bit.

13. Make more effort.

Work harder, play harder, etc. I want to push myself, because this year my grade actually counts towards my degree, and I want my 2:1 (I would say a First, but I know that'll be almost impossible). I also need to make more effort when it comes to parties and nights out; I need to work harder on my costumes for BOP and Flirt nights, I need to stop ducking out and getting a taxi home from town at midnight, and I need to start getting excited about going out on the town rather than just being in it for the predrinks.

Take more risks.

The biggest risks I took last year were: singing on karaoke night, telling a guy I liked him, wearing expensive Topshop denim shorts to a foam party, running away to London for a night, having a Chinese takeaway with people I barely knew, sleeping with one of my best friends, spending all my money, getting three new piercings, coming home with a nose ring instead of a stud, shouting back at a bully, letting a friend dye my hair and vandalizing some flats in the other student village. I reckon I can do better.

West Downs forever!

The plan is to write a blog post at the end of my second year saying whether or not, or to what extent, I met these resolutions. Then of course, the Third Year Resolutions need to be made...

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