Looking Back Over The Past Year

Saturday, 11 January 2014

I don't keep a diary as such; just express a few moments of my day over Facebook, twitter, and tumblr. However, I do use the calendar on my computer to its full use, and log every single one of my plans, which gives me an easy way of looking back over 2013.

January -
Nothing of much interest, apart from a few exams here and there, and, sadly, I also attended my Uncle's funeral. I've never really liked January very much; it's definitely the most mundane month of the year.

February - 
February was the month that I decided that I wanted to come to Manchester - I'd been invited to Philosophy Open Days for both Manchester and Sheffield universities, and so I went back and visited them both again. Prior to this, I had my heart set on Sheffield, but my visit to Manchester changed my mind, and I felt a lot more at home here than I'd first thought. 

March -
The Script came to Nottingham in March, and it was such a magical evening spent with good friends. I noted down 'nandos with Lucy' on a particular Friday, so I'm assuming this is the point of the year where Lucy and I started to talk a lot more outside of work. It's a shame really, because she lives in Nottingham when I live in Manchester, and I live in Nottingham when she lives in Oxford… she's such a lovely friend and I only get to see her on the odd occasion now.

April -
April was the beginning of my two-three months of stressful exam prep to achieve the grades I needed to get me into University. I started to get help from my GCSE maths teacher, simply because the teachers at my college didn't cut it, and he was the reason that I left school with a maths GCSE grade A*. Despite cracking down with college work, April was one of my favourite months of the year, because within the space of a week Lyndsey and I saw One Direction perform live twice, and then we also saw McFly. Looking back, 2013 was a great year for music and concerts, and nearly all of them involved Lyndsey!

May -
I was given a random week off work at the beginning of May, and so that was quite helpful to get a lot of revision done and out of the way. May suddenly got serious - it was last officialday at college, and also my first exam of the Summer. Right at the end of May I went to Alton Towers with Charlotte, Sophie, and Liv, which was a lovely break from revision a few days before my hardest exam.

June -
Hands down the worst month of the year, purely because of the exams and the stress and the pressure… by the end of it, I was physically, emotionally, intelligently, every way that I could be, exhausted. What helped was having another two weeks off work, so I didn't have the added pressure of when I was going to fit my revision in - but this made my days full of up to 12 hours of revision, pushing me to breaking point. I somehow managed to go to Alton Towers for the second time in two weeks, for Craig's birthday, which was lovely because it gave me another break before my last exam. My mum and I went to go and see Birdsong at the Theatre in June, as well, and it was such a heartbreaking production. Right at the end of the month, things started to get serious at TheatreTrain, and we travelled to Birmingham for our band call two weeks before the big day!

July -
It finally started to get very warm in England last July, and I spent many days sunbathing in my back garden and in Wollaton park with friends. Definitely an amazing way to cool down (obviously not literally) after some of the toughest weeks of my education. July was also the beginning of a new chapter, as Joe and I started to talk a lot more and spent time together outside of work. July was a sad month, on some levels, as it was the last time I'd participate in TheatreTrain - something that had filled my Saturdays since 2002. It was a perfect send off, though, performing at the O2 for the company's 20th anniversary, and involved a lot of hugs and tears. July was a month full of fun, new adventures, friends, and sun… just the most relaxing month of the year, and the best way to celebrate finishing my A Levels.

August -
August saw Joe and I getting closer and closer, until we eventually decided to try things whilst I was at university. Because I was off to Manchester, I had to leave my job at the Nottingham Fat Face store, which was heartbreaking after such an amazing year working there. August was another month full of friends and fun, and ended with a holiday to Spain with Lyndsey, Henry, and Jake. This expanded into September and was such a nice way to end the Summer and say goodbye to dear friends before we all went our separate ways for the next year. It was honestly just a holiday of sun, swimming, card games, and scrabble. No alcohol, no parties, no clubs… just a peaceful holiday with great friends.

September -
After coming back from Spain, Joe and I tried to make the most of our time together before I headed off to Manchester, and the week in-between me arriving home from Spain and leaving to move to university was a week where we saw each other every day. I made sure to see all of my friends that I wanted to say farewell to, including a night out from work and a lunch with my manager. Then it was off to Manchester! If you know me at all, you know that I'm not one for drinking a lot or going out crazy amounts, and so I was dreading Freshers week quite a lot… it wasn't all that bad though. I went out on the Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, and was only drunk on one of those occasions. It was a nice week to get to know my flatmates, having a few nights in to do that, and a failed trip to the cinema ending in a trip to nandos instead. After Freshers week, university started properly and I certainly preferred the calm routine a lot more than the crazy parties. After 2 weeks in Manchester, I came home for the weekend and spent such a lovely weekend back with my best friends and back with Joe. He then came back with me to Manchester for 2 nights, and we had a lovely time together exploring Manchester together.  

October -
This is where my calendar starts to look bare. Back in Nottingham, I had a job and I had a lot of different friends to make plans with, and so my calendar would be full of things I'd planned in advance. University's not like that… you tend to stay in, watch movies with the people in your flat, plan cinema trips the day of the film, plan to go out on the spur of the moment… a lot of things are spontaneous and so not many things were recorded. The few events that I did jot down though, however, were -  going home for a weekend, which was the first weekend I'd seen my mum and dad since going to university, my 19th birthday, and then coming home for reading week that everybody had off uni. October was the month that Joe and I broke up, as the distance was just too difficult to make a new relationship work. 

November -
November was actually quite a busy month. I was barely at uni at the weekends, as the first three involved the end of reading week, going to Birmingham to see Kodaline which also involved a trip back home, and going to London for the Vans Warped Tour. I appreciated all the hectic-ness of these plans, but it sure made coming back to Manchester and having to stay there for a month without budging harder than it should have been. Lyndsey came to visit me at the end of November, and we spent a lovely weekend watching films, shopping, and going to see The Hunger Games in IMAX. We also got our house sorted for next year, in November, which I had mixed feelings about. The situation was sorted out whilst I was in London, and it left me feeling quite isolated from the group of friends that I had made in Manchester. When I was back from London, all 10 of us went to go and see the house and my lord is it huge… I'm honestly concerned about getting lost in it, it's that big.

December - 
I had a very interesting end to my year, in December. Whilst in Manchester, I was just getting progressively more homesick, so much so that when I went home for Christmas it made me realise that I just wanted to stay there, with friends and family, and not go back. Confessing my feelings to my parents, I thought deeply about what it was that I could do to solve my problems, and my Dad advised me to not revise for my January exams until the beginning of the year, because it wouldn't do me any good with the way that I was already feeling. I had a wonderful Christmas, full of all of my friends that I hadn't seen in a while and a lovely Christmas Day itself with my family. Christmas was full of friends, pantomimes, films, work, and food! It was just the break that I needed. After a lot of thinking, I came to the conclusion that I wasn't really sure what else I wanted to do with my life, and so the best option was to go back to University and try harder this time to be happy there. I've decided to try my hardest to get a job at the Fat Face here in Manchester, I'm going to take up swimming, I'm going to eat more healthy food, and I'm going to go and see someone about the problems I've been having. I just really need to get my head in check.

Without looking at my calendar, I hadn't really thought of 2013 as much of an interesting year, but it turns out that it was actually quite a good year, just with a poor ending. It was a year full of concerts, good friendships, new love interests, new experiences, and a lot of hard work. Hopefully 2014 won't be all that much different, apart from with a slightly happier ending.

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