How on earth are we halfway through the year already?!
2017 has been a whirlwind of a year so far, with so many life things going on. I thought I’d write a little review of the year so far, with some life updates and some info on some of my 2017 reads throughout!
January brought a rocky start to 2017 for me. I was bogged under with a lot of university madness; exams, coursework, presentations, all of the fun (not fun) stuff. I spent some time with my lovely friends, feeding ducks at Haddo House and visiting the Cat Cafe. I ended the month in Edinburgh with my (then new) boyfriend, Liam. We went to the dungeons, the zoo and to the National Museum of Scotland, which was a great escape from everything. Despite the stress I felt during exam time, I managed to end the semester with 3 A’s and a B. Not bad going!
February was a quiet month for me. Third year continued into second semester, and I enjoyed getting back into my classes. I also enjoyed quality time with friends and my boyfriend; whether whipping up pancakes on pancake day, going for walks on the beach, or catching up over hot chocolate. I made sure to take plenty time for myself, reading books and binging on Netflix. Other than that, there’s not much to report!
March was a pretty happy month! I joined a group of my amazing friends at my university’s applicants day and spent the afternoon dancing to the Cha Cha Slide in front of complete strangers. I celebrated International Women’s Day, caught up with friends, stroked dogs, did some pottery painting, went on my first night out in months (for someone who is slightly terrified of nights out in bars and clubs this was a special night) and ended the month travelling to Durham for the Nightline Association’s national conference. A fairly good month!
April is a contender for the best month of the year so far, and it will be hard to find a month that was as good as it was. I started the month in Durham with some great people. I attended a fancy pants event which was a hop away from Durham Cathedral and had many a drunken laugh with my best friend, Tom. Once home, I headed to Glasgow with Liam for a few days of peace and quiet together. We took a boat trip on Loch Lomond, ate out (a lot), wandered round shops, watched movies and went to the transport museum. It was so nice to get away in the middle of semester and to have some quality time with my boyfriend. Once back in Aberdeen, I went bowling with some colleagues, caught up with old friends, did some reading at the pub, went to the theatre, solved a murder (at a murder mystery party) and went to a ball! I attended the RGU Student Achievement Awards at the end of the month and was incredibly honoured to receive a Half Scarlett award for 450 hours of volunteering in the past year. All in all, April was pretty perfect.
May had so many ups and downs. I started the month with a lot of family stuff going on, which made my impending university deadlines and exams much harder to get through. I was incredibly stressed and felt the lowest I had felt in a long time. I was working in overdrive to try and do well at university despite what was going on, but I had lost all faith in my ability. Once my deadlines were complete, I was able to breathe a bit, and catch up with friends, before celebrating my 21st birthday!
I turned 21 on the 18th of May, and had a truly fantastic birthday. My best friend, Lauren and her beautiful daughter Demi, my boyfriend, Liam, my parents, brother and grandma spent the evening together and I was incredibly lucky to receive not just one…but two very literary birthday cakes! The celebrations continued when a group of my friends and I went bowling and for a meal, and it meant so much having some of my absolute favourite people all together. The birthday celebrations ended with a trip to the theatre to see Wonderland with Lauren, which was a fantastic show, I loved it!
Unfortunately, after the madness of my birthday, my Granda passed away three days later, after a long deterioration. It was an incredibly hard couple of weeks, knowing what was coming and I struggled very hard. The weeks after my birthday blended together somewhat and I needed a lot of support, which I got from some of my favourite people. Particularly; my friends Becca and Eilís rallied to my side. Becca took me to the theatre to see Sister Act, and she, Eilís and I went for a lovely walk along Newburgh beach as a distraction from everything that was going on. I felt very lucky to have my friends and boyfriend around me during May.
June was a bit more gentle to me than May and was jam packed with adventure! While I was still grieving for my loss I had some really fantastic moments which helped me get through. Becca, Eilís and I took a short but sweet trip to Edinburgh, one of my favourite places in Scotland. We went to Camera Obscura, had a spot of lunch and took a trip to the Scottish parliament building, and we managed to fit in some Swedish meatballs at IKEA!
I was home for a few days, which I used to catch up with two of my best friends; Hannah and Lauren, and I did a spot of drawing with my little buddy, Demi.
This was before jetting off on another adventure with Becca and Eilís, this time my boyfriend, Liam also joined us. We went to the Isle of Lewis and spent 5 days exploring the beautiful scenery, walking, climbing up various stone formations, standing on many a cliff edge, playing cards and visiting beaches. We went to one of Scotland’s most beautiful beaches, Luskentyre beach, we went to the Callanish standing stones, and had a Starbucks in a castle! This week did a tremendous amount for my mental health and made me feel myself again. I really couldn’t have asked for a better trip to take my mind off of things.
When I came back I ended up catching a cold, but that didn’t stop me from catching up with my university girls (we haven’t all been together in over a year), celebrating my 6 month anniversary with Liam, and getting some cuddles from some very cute dogs! I also was thrilled to discover that after all of the struggles of May, I managed to get 4 A’S in my second semester of third year, meaning I ended the year with 7 A’s and a B, my best grades yet. Achieving those grades despite the madness and sadness going on in my life at that time meant so much to me, and really made the month.
And now July is upon us, and I am both nervous and excited for the next 6 months of 2017. I will enter my 4th and final year of my undergraduate degree, I will continue to spend time with my amazing friends and boyfriend, I will (hopefully) read more and do more fun things. But mainly I just want to maintain as strong and as positive of a mental state as possible, despite any setbacks that may come my way.
What have been the highlights and lowlights of your year? Do you have any? I’m sorry that this post was extremely self indulgent. But I can’t wait to look back on it in 6 months time and see what my life is like, let’s hope it is as good as I’m aiming for!