Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!

When you’re on an academic calendar it can be hard to see a new year as a fresh start. You’ve already had the start of a new year in September, and January is more about passing exams and fighting the cold weather than hitting the gym or eating more healthily. And in all honesty, I think most people have given up on the idea of ‘new years resolutions’ because let’s face it- you still bite your fingernails don’t you.

This past year more than ever before, I have been aware that the only thing constant is change. It might be pretty cliché and you’ve probably heard tonnes (metric tonnes that is, as we are still in Europe as I write) of people say it before, but that’s probably because it is true.

A lot of things changed for me in 2016 on a personal level. To name a few; I finished my first year at University, moved flats, learned to row, climbed the Dom Tower (twice!), visited 6 different countries, got a part-time job, and all with some great people alongside me (or behind me in the case of the rowing). Not everyday was the best day ever, but most of them were pretty good.

Finishing 2016 with an Oarsome row on Damflask Reservoir. Don’t be fooled by the sun, it was 2 degrees

A lot of things changed in the world beyond my own narrow horizon too: I think most of us noticed that the UK voted to leave the EU, Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, and a spookily large number of celebrities died.

At University so many things change. Aside from where you actually live, I think friendships are one of the biggest and most important things; there are the old friends that you see much less than you used to, and the new friends you meet for the first time and get to know and love. Even the course modules and the content of what you study is constantly changing.

Not all change is bad. In fact most of it is usually pretty good, and not everything has to change all at once. In amongst all the change I am finding that your mindset is the most important thing. Sometimes things come easily and you can take it all in your stride, but sometimes you have to think positively and be purposefully thankful in order not to let the change overwhelm you. There is no doubt that life at Uni is great. OK, so you have to study but hopefully it’s something you enjoy learning about at least some of the time. You also have a lot of freedom, if not plenty of spare time then more time than you’ll have for the rest of your adult life pre-retirement, an abundance of opportunities, the aforementioned wonderful friends and all without the full responsibilities of adult life.

It’s too easy to get grumpy with life and only see the things that wear you down, but if we take 2017 as a year to be thankful, to focus on the positives and rejoice in the victories no matter how small, then it could be a pretty great year. Oops, did that sound too much like a resolution…?

Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! Happy New Year.

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