This year has been the most diverse of my life so far. I’ve been a student, traveller, intern, employee, Londoner, Sheffielder and a lot more inbetween. It’s been another great one, so I’m going to share some of the best bits with you.
I write this on the sofa in the living room of my family home. My adorable westie, Poppy, is trying to lick my fingers as I type. In that sense, little has changed since this time last year. During Christmas 2014 I was at home thinking about starting my final semester of my journalism degree at the University of Sheffield. It felt like there was a huge wall between June when all the deadlines would be over, and the adult world that lay beyond. I tried to think about ‘life after uni’ as little as possible.
That second half of third year was one of the busiest times in my life. Between making a group magazine, creating video reports on wedding planners and Disney’s Frozen, and juggling another group project, I barely had time to celebrate the last of my student days. When I added in working three jobs at once, including freelancing at BBC Radio Sheffield, a medical PR company, and hosting children’s parties, I barely had time to breathe. My housemates wouldn’t see me for days on end, and they were equally stressed with their own busy lives.
It was tough, but I was in familiar surroundings in a house I loved, surrounded by the best friends I’ve ever had, so it wasn’t nearly as tough as it could have been. But then, miraculously, the deadlines had all been met. I was still working full time, but there were many drunken celebratory nights out.
Then it was summer, which held one of my favourite parts of the year; interrailing with my uni housemates. We toured Berlin, Prague, Krakow and Budapest. Having ever been to any of the countries they are in, let alone the cities themselves, it was a big adventure for me. It was also the first time I’d been travelling with a backpack, and it was invaluable for getting on and off trains across the continent.
The second half of 2015 couldn’t be more different than the beginning. I got a job in the big smoke and moved down to London in August with no friends immediately around me. The first few weeks were a blur of learning and a little loneliness, but I’ve fully found my feet now. Lots of my best friends have since moved down to live and work in London, so my schedule is back to being packed with work and friends.
I adore living in London. Despite the overcrowding, noise and pollution, I love the vibrance, diversity, and range of interesting things to do. Quite honestly, I can’t image living anywhere else at this stage in my life.
Looking ahead to 2016
The coming year is going to be another exciting one as I branch out into discovering different parts of my new city. I want to meet new people and do new things. I think it’s going to be the year of the weekend city break, as I want to go to so many places but don’t have a great deal of holiday time to use, since I’ve already booked two weeks to go to Disney World in October (which I’m already incredibly excited about).
So, here are my 2016 resolutions:
- Run a 10k. A proper timed event, too. When I set myself a goal like this it always makes me a lot more determined to actually follow it through. Last year I planned to run 5k, and whilst I can run that distance I never actually entered a race.
- Cook more homemade food. I always struggle to find the motivation to cook when I get home from work and I want to get a bit more creative with my meals. While they might not involve hours or prep, I’m hoping to cut down on the amount of food that goes straight from the freezer into the oven.
- Be nicer. I’ve realised that I’ve got caught up in the London vibe and I now give people death glares if they bump into me and wouldn’t dream of talking during the morning commute. I need to get back to being my usual happy self!
- Keep posting twice a week here. I’ve loved starting Faraway Lisa Mae in 2015, and I want to make sure I keep up my regular posting on everything from fun places I’ve been to in London to my international getaways.
Thanks for reading my blog in 2015, and I hope you have a great new year.