So there’s one day left of 2017 and to me it feels like a chapter of my life is definitely closing with the change into 2018.
I started my year off in Edinburgh, ringing in the year at the annual Hogmanay which was definitely a good, memorable night but maybe symbolic for my whole year- it didn’t go quite how I thought it would.
Early on in the year I was sure I’d know how my year would shape out. I was living in the Netherlands, and I knew I was going to come home, I’d do certain things over summer and then university would go a certain way. But obviously things change. Perhaps this is the same every year- but for me it’s more noticeable this year because I was pretty concrete in my thinking of how it would be. Maybe I was naive, or maybe I’m just extra retrospective right now.
I visited Stockholm, Timisoara, Palma, Rome and Lisbon this year, which are definitely some of my highlights. Stockholm was definitely my favourite city of the lot; Lisbon was super super fun and Rome was the most impressive.
I can’t talk highlights without lowlights though, and this is a weird one really, because there was a week or so whilst living in the Netherlands where I just wasn’t enjoying myself. I spent about a week solid not leaving my bedroom or really talking to anyone and on the occasions I had to pop to the shop I hated it and I’d feel myself getting breathless and anxious. I think really I was homesick, but I got over it and now I wish I was back in Holland rather than suffering at university here.
University here is another one which hasn’t been particularly fun. Because of my year abroad most people from my year graduated and so on my course I’ve got few friends, though I’ve worked on this since and do actually chat to quite a lot of people now (moaning for the sake of moaning.) Also I live with people who have been challenging at times, and I’ll be interested to see if this time next year we still talk! But at the same time, I’ve maintained friendships with people from my year abroad (albeit over Facebook ~out of necessity rather than not wanting to see them in real life~). I visited two home friends I’ve known for agesSsSs at their unis over summer and had two really great nights out, so university is a temporary issue in the grand scheme of things!
What I want to emphasise is it’s not all doom and gloom and it’s definitely easier to talk about the bad than the good for whatever reason. My experience in the Netherlands was great, I had a great week where my friend Dan visited, a great weekend where my parents came, and in general I just really miss cycling into town for a cup of coffee or a beer at the river. Also, all my trips around Europe were part of my Erasmus experience, so really what’s one shit week in the scheme of a great year! There’s an alumni reunion in May next year my friends are potentially planning on attending so Nijmegen I may be coming for you soon!
Over summer I had some great nights out in Brighton and Lincoln, I saw Boy Better Know and Drake at the o2 arena, Alt J in a tiny club and of course visited NOS Alive festival in Lisbon! I’ve seen Paramore, Glass Animals, Gabrielle Aplin and probably many more gigs this year that I can’t think of right now.
There’s loads more I’m sure, and I had a great night out for my 22nd birthday two days ago, plus new years is coming up where I’ll be in Cardiff. All in all, I’m not sad to say goodbye to 2017, though I’m sad to say goodbye to Nijmegen, which really has been my year. 2018 is going to be a scary year with graduating and everything else it may involve, but I’ve no idea what those things are, and so there’s no expectations which may be let down. Who knows?!
Anyway, Happy New Year! Thanks for reading and see you again in 2018!