2016: A Recap and Resolutions

Wow. It’s been a long, eventful, strange, great year – and I can’t believe it’s almost over. I hope you all had a really good Christmas – or if you don’t celebrate, I hope you had a good 25th December regardless! I’ll admit, world events haven’t been too great this year (understatement) but for me personally, it’s been a good one. I thought I’d make a little recap post – and a small announcement from me at the end…

Early this year seems almost too long ago to remember somehow, but looking back at my first post of 2016, my resolutions were basically to exercise more, cook more, and to work hard. Happily, I think I can say I achieved all three! I worked hard to get into uni, and I’ve been working hard since I got there – I’ve been really pleased to find out that nothing I’ve submitted so far has got below a 2:1, and I’ve had two Firsts already. Also since September, I’ve been trying (and mostly succeeding) to go to the gym three times a week. What a difference that’s made – my skin, my posture, my mood… I hadn’t realised how much my posture improved until my parents came up to visit after about a month and a half and suddenly I was taller than my mum, rather than the same height!

As far as cooking more goes? I think just the fact I’m in self-catered accommodation is all the answer to that anyone could need. And I’m proud to say that most evenings I do actually cook proper meals, and the amount of times I’ve had spaghetti on toast or pasta and cheese probably amounts to about six meals. I haven’t quite tried out that many new recipes, but I manage to change it up enough.

Moving onto travel, this year I’ve been to Cornwall with my parents, Swanage on a field tripColchester with some family, spent a day in the Peak District with a friend… I loved Lanzarote when I went for a week all the way back in June. As my goodbye to secondary school, my first parent/supervisor-free holiday, and a celebration of summer all in one, I had the best time. It was beautiful and so nice and warm, and to this day I still have no clue what the name of my hotel was. I didn’t even know it while I was there, to be perfectly honest. But the views were so worth it, even though I had to miss my first opportunity to vote at an actual ballot station (it was over Brexit so I did a postal vote). It’s definitely an experience I won’t forget in a hurry.

After that, there was Kew Gardens. Is there a place more beautiful? I’m sure there’s probably plenty of places that could compete, but this was such a great day back in September. I went with my mum for a mother-daughter day before university, and we took so many photos between us. My favourite part was probably the tree-top walk, or the greenhouse. Growing up where I have, it’s a very green, tree-filled place, which was one of the things I actually do like about it, and Kew Gardens was a great place to go if you’re a tree-hugger like me.

On a different and related note, I’ve said before that saying goodbye to secondary school was something that had been a long time coming and felt like one of the best things in the world when it finally happened. The better feeling was waking up on my first morning at university, realising that I’d finally made it. Buying posters and tacking them to my wall, checking my uni timetable, meeting dozens upon dozens of new people and exploring a new city… It felt amazing. I can’t believe how quick the first semester has gone.

In terms of this blog, I’ve kept up my two-blog-posts-per-week schedule for pretty much the whole year, having only missed a few uploads, which makes me pretty happy. I’ve not made as much progress on my book as I’d like, considering it’s now been two years since I got the idea, but I’m actually pretty close to the end of the first draft. It’s been intermittent, but I still feel like recently I’ve made good progress. The end is in sight!

Also in the artsy aspect of the year, I’ve seen two West End plays this year – Beautiful and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I’ve seen Finding Dory and Fantastic Beasts at the cinema, which is impressive for me as I don’t often make it to a cinema more than once a year. I have absolutely no idea how many books I’ve read, but it’s definitely a fair amount more than the roughly eleven I’ve had to read for one of my English modules this first semester. I’ve written a couple of pieces for the university online newspaper, and been to a literary festival for the first time.

There have also been some other interesting experiences this year. I worked on a production line and on telephones (albeit very briefly) in summer, something I couldn’t have predicted. Safe to say neither of those will be my dream job, but everything’s a story, right? I’ve sat through a lecture from Mary Robinson, previous President of Ireland, on climate change. I’ve been to a ‘Get In with the BBC’ event back in October. Had my first experiences with nightclubs (also not my scene, it turns out). Pulled an all-nighter over the US election. Bought way too many hot chocolates from Starbucks. Got an infected elbow from two swollen bug bites. Made new friends.

It seems kind of insane how much has happened this year when I put it all down like that. But as we’re now at the end, I thought it would only be right to look to 2017. Although, I have to admit, it still doesn’t feel like 2017 is real yet.

Either way, with three days to go, my 2017 resolutions are these:

  • Get abs! …or something close. This is something I’ve wanted for a while, but I’m gonna be determined to tone up properly from now on.
  • Finish my book – first draft minimum.
  • See if I can post three times a week on my blog.
  • Be better at eyeshadow, and basically makeup in general.
  • Stay on top of my deadlines.
  • Take up all interesting opportunities that come my way (like normal).
  • Do something good over summer, whether it be an internship, work, travel, whatever – anything to keep me from staying at home.

And that’s about it. I don’t like setting too many resolutions, but I do like goals, and I feel like these are good ones.

In terms of trying to post three times a week on here, I think I’m going to take January away from blogging. That sounds like a contradiction, but this is in order to focus on not only the revision I have to do for my exams, but also to regroup and plan where I want to take my blog in 2017. It’ll give me some time to consider scheduling, ideas, possibly design… basically everything. Getting ideas has been a bit slow off the bat lately and I only want to post things I’m happy with, which I’m sure is understandable enough. If you feel like keeping up with me during January, I’d love it if you’d follow me on Twitter – my handle is @thekatybennett.

So with that, I think I’ll end this post – but please let me know what your resolutions are in the comments! Happy New Year to all, and I’ll be back by February!

Katy x

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