I’m currently sat on a train, travelling North. It’s the first time I’ve been to the ‘North’ (anywhere above Milton Keynes, in my opinion), since I was 16. But a group of us are travelling to nearish-but-not-quite Manchester, to see in the New Year amongst the Northern Folk, including one of my housemates, and to do all things Northern. I even created a small Northern bucket list earlier in my journey, including things such as ‘have chips and gravy’, ‘visit Greggs’ and ‘say hello to a stranger’.
I know this is being read in the future, so I hope you all welcomed 2017 in with a full heart and an even fuller glass. And now it’s January. Potentially the most lifeless month of the year, when people attempt to have their Christmas sins forgiven by going ‘dry’ (the only dry effecting me will be a dry gin) and when the gym is suddenly the newest place to see all of your friends, family and everyone in between.
Yet despite it all, I love the New Year. I love the idea of a fresh start, a ‘do-over’. There’s something wonderful about the start of January, because there are 12 big, full months ahead of you to turn into your own. You might have quit the job you hated, or fallen in love. You may go travelling, win the lottery or work your way to a Kim K bum. But the person you are, and the experiences you have between 11:59pm on New Years Day 2016, and 11:59pm on New Years Day 2017, are going to shape you in some way. Be it big, or be it small, there are lessons to be learnt. And that to me, as a fresh faced woman in her twenties, is bloody exciting.
Which is why, as with every year, I want to share with you my own resolutions for the year ahead.
Graduate with a 2:1
2017 is the year I officially leave the track paved for me since I started Nursery aged 4. I will (hopefully!) be graduating with a degree in Politics and International Relations, and from July of this year, the real world will begin. The real world is going to consist of a new job in a new place, making new friends and experiencing adult life in its purest form. It’s a terrifying thought, but something I’m definitely excited for.
As a student, it’s really hard to pick up a book when you spend half of your life reading academic journals and articles. I’m currently researching for my Dissertation, which requires a lot of reading, and half of it is bloody boring. But the truth is, I love reading, and if I find a book I love enough, I know I’d happily sit for hours, undisturbed. This Christmas, I received ‘Great Small Things’ by Jodi Picoult, and with two hours ahead of me on this train, I’m going to settle down and read as soon as I’ve finished writing this blog post.
Go Somewhere New
This doesn’t need to be as exotic as the Bahamas, but I really want to visit a new country this year. Despite sounding like I’ll be jetting off to Bali, one of the places I’m desperate to go is Scotland, which may or may not have a little something to do with being utterly obsessed with Outlander. I just want to visit somewhere I’ve never been and do some hardcore exploring, both the traditional touristy bits, and off the beaten track.
Don’t be Afraid to Say No
I am fully aware I put a lot of pressure on myself. Taking on responsibilities at University, daily vlogging, maintaining Alice’s Antics. I do a lot of things which are completely isolated from my current core life goal of graduating from University. This year, I want to learn how to prioritise and when say no to things. Managing my life more effectively will hopefully mean I won’t need to say no to too much, but sometimes there really aren’t enough hours in the day and your mental health is far more important than a side project you’ll forget about in a months time.
Love Alice’s Antics
This might sound like a bit of a weird one, but it’s also important to me. I wasn’t actually going to put it on here, but over Christmas I saw a lot of friends and family who were so complimentary of my writing, it really hit home. Alice’s Antics isn’t a giant blog, and it was never intended to be. In 2013/2014, I was lucky enough to be recognised by some ‘big’ bloggers and brands and it was wonderful, but it meant earlier this month, when reflecting on my blogging year, I felt disappointed by Alice’s Antics. I haven’t particularly grown my audience, and I’ve only worked with a couple of PR Companies. But over Christmas, when everyone was saying how much they enjoy my blog and my 26 year old male friend was drunkenly confessing how he’s an avid reader of every post, it made my heart full. Alice’s Antics is here because I love writing. I love writing a blog, I love writing short stories and chapters of novels which are yet to be finished- 2017 marks 10 entire years of writing a diary. Because I love writing. And that is why Alice’s Antics exists. So my final 2017 Resolution, is to love Alice’s Antics because it is an online diary of some of my greatest work, not because of how many views it gets.
Those are just five of my more realistic resolutions for the New Year, I thought I’d spice it up and not include the world ‘gym’ in any form. After a bit of a touch-and-go 2016, I’m feeling really positive about 2017 and am so ready for a fresh start! But for now, I’m going to get on with resolution Number 2 and wrap my scarf tighter, as the train heads on, towards the cold, dark North.
Happy New Year!