Continuity

Continuity

After a long and arduous journey, I finally arrived back in Norwich. As the car entered the city, I looked lazily over to the left side of the road to notice city sign that read ‘Norwich, a fine city’. How true that is. I have been living in and out of Norwich since I came to the University of East Anglia in the autumn of 2015. I have loved the majority. Like any journey, it has come with its difficulties but I really wouldn’t trade any of them in.

So, it’s the new year and I’m back in Norwich. Initially, I came up with a list of everything I’m going to do an accomplish this year: study more, go out more, write more and so on. These seem feasible because essentially all I want to do is more but I find that because of who I am, I will waver from this path of betterment. I’m not saying I’m a lazy person, I do a lot, but it really feels like everything I do I don’t really move forward or progress. It was Jim Rohn who stated that “discipline is the bridge between goals and achievements”; I wholeheartedly agree with this. However, I recognise in myself that I am not a very disciplined person. I start a project and a lot of the time, I won’t finish it.

Therefore, this year, instead of making resolutions, I will be making recognition’s. I will recognise my pitfalls. I think it will be through this that I can resolve things within myself e.g. to run more. Through my recognition’s, I hope to grow as an individual, as well as a member of our society.

I really needed to write this down so I could be held accountable for what I want my 2017 to be, do I want change or continuity? I can only know the answer to that if I do as Rohn suggests and be more disciplined. Great.

A Summer’s Tale

A Summer’s Tale

I have two things to discuss today. One: yes. Yes I am aware that the title is basically a rip off of Shakespeare’s play ‘A Winter’s Tale’ and unfortunately this piece will not exit in pursuit of any four-legged creature. Two, I am going to talk about my summer so far.

When I was younger, summer could not come quick enough. The spring breeze floated away as I would gingerly stare out of my classroom window, wishing for summer. Of course sunshine hardly came as I do not live in a Disney film, but in the not so sunny Suffolk in England. However, as a child as soon as the blossoms were ripe and the sun’s rays would dance across the classroom table’s, for me, summer was here. Engrossed in my own love for summer, I would spend the month of August running around in the untamed grass of the park near my house with my neighbours, and friends. Retrospectively, I can see that these were probably the best days of my life. Unburdened with stress and overdue coursework, my summers as a child were pretty special.

Now, my summer as an adult has been pretty interesting. I went to Rome which was fantastic. The Pantheon and Trevi Fountain were two personal favourites, as well as the vibrant nights out. You would walk from the Colosseum to a Roman forum in no time as you concentrated on the entertainers scattered across the boardwalk. I also went to Normandy with my family where I was able to step back through time to feel the pain and anguish felt by those fighting for our freedom on D-Day at Omaha and Sword Beach.

I completed the eighth story in the Harry Potter series. I thought it was wonderful; full of intrigue and emotion. It was a truly masterful ending to the Harry Potter Wizarding world as we know it. I also started a new book called Dissolution by C.J. Sansom. This is a murder-mystery based in 1537, just after King Henry VIII named himself Supreme Head of the Church in England, thus renouncing the Pope’s right over religion. So far it is fantastic, however I am only three chapters in so who knows. I have set up some volunteering work for myself in Norwich and become the co-founder of a brand new exciting website based on satire. As well as that, I found out my results from my university (UEA) which I was really pleased with.

My summer so far has been blissful. It has been full of fun, love, happiness and serenity. This is not to say, however, that it hasn’t been peppered with pain and heartache, but such is life. What we have to recognise is that however good things seem to be, bad things are just around the corner because our lives are chaotic and random. But let that not be a negative message because through chaos, the most wonderful and unexpected things tend to happen. You may fall in love, make a new friend, get a job or become a nomadic traveller. The point is that life is a wave, sometimes you are at the crest or in the trough and you can’t change that, just accept it and let life go on. However bad things are, goodness will come because life is random and run by chance. This is what my summer’s tale has been about. It has been random; awful and amazing.

Don’t let 2016 be a bad summer for you, try to reconnect to your childhood to find the bliss you once had. We don’t have much control over our lives really, but if you do this as I have tried to do then you can control your own special moment, afternoon, day, week or month.

 

My Impossible List

For those who read my most recent post, you will remember that I wrote down a list of all the things I wanted to complete or improve upon this summer. A friend of mine then posted a blog post about this concept, ‘The Impossible List’. At first sight, this just looks like a really long bucket list, but in actual fact it is so much more than that. See, it’s called the Impossible list for a reason. The point is that you keep on adding to it or changing it as the years go by. Because of this, you will never actually complete this list, there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But what you find during is far more advantageous because you find you are capable of so much more than you think. Already, I have crossed some things off my life and I will change them soon.

This is only going to be short as the purpose of this is to use this platform to share my list. Just remember, this took me around an hour to create, but I will get this time back ten-fold in appreciation  for having these guideline to my life.

Here is the Link to my list, enjoy:

https://www.evernote.com/shard/s564/nl/143517648/8a06afa5-834a-4b4f-abc9-c2d67d79ca60?title=My%20Impossible%20List

A Summer of Opportunity

A Summer of Opportunity

In light of my recent exams finishing, I have found that I now have an unprecedented amount of free time. To revision mode me, this was the dream. Now, like most summers I am posed with two options: to do, or not to do. What I mean by this is I could spend the whole of my summer completing small tasks, doing small productive things which would potentially culminate in a “successfully” spent summer holidays. However, personally, this is not a great use of time. Yes it is true that anyone can spend the time they have however they want. But to me, an unprecedented amount of time calls on an unprecedented array of opportunities. I want to spend this summer completely different to any one of them before and I have one solution: YOLO.

Okay, please do not stop reading, I mean I want to stop writing at the thought of using the abbreviation YOLO as the crux to this piece, but hear me out. From how I have been raised, I have accepted that we only live once. So, for this summer (as I can afford the time) I will be adopting a new mentality. This is not to say I am not usually aware of my very own mortality, but in the least creepy and sadistic way possible, it will be at the forefront of my mind almost all the time. I want this summer to be one of opportunities and a way I’m going to assess this will be by making blog posts more regularly so I can keep you updated. As well as providing you with some pretty SICK content (lol), it will be a way of assuring that I complete this summer the way I want to.

New opportunities and experiences I want to try out:

  1. Learn how to cook (yes, university is not an avenue for this)
  2. Read 5 new books, that do not include fantasy.
  3. Run
  4. Become vegan (DO NOT RED ALERT THIS)
  5. Understand another cultures history (Have that one in the bag with trips to Italy, and France)
  6. Try different types of alcohol
  7. Finish short story
  8. Write on blog more
  9. Sing more

All of these new things will hopefully allow me to say at the end of this summer that I have been productive as well as active. This is a tailored list for my needs and wants, but I strongly urge you to write your self a list like this at the beginning of your summer, if you have one. Even if you do not have a summer holiday, then maybe instead of making this a ‘Summer of Opportunity’, make this a ‘Year of Opportunity’. Allow this mentality to trickle into your everyday life because trust me, you will feel better for it. And if not, there is always a great new series on Netflix instead.

 

Exam time

Exam time

It’s that time again where the pen meets the blank paper. Where the fingers press the keys. This is a definitive moment in any students life, as exams are just around the corner. Whether you are cramming the last chapter of your 800 page book, or you are sifting through revision cards acquired months in advance. It does not matter how much preparation you have done prior to the exam, one factor remains a constant; nervousness.

To be nervous is perfectly natural, if not admired. As well as it showing that you have an actual emotional attachment, it shows that you are not some thoughtless and mindless drone, churned out of the education system; you have original thought. Original thought is a blessing. It is a symbol of Whig progression and an example of our own intelligence. Many would argue that this is not true. Scholars have recently suggested that every though that modern man makes has already been made before, ergo original thought is null and void. From this springs the argument that the education system is not actually doing its job. This is where protests meets sectaries.

I would only agree with this to an extent, but the fact that we are no longer original is so far off the truth. I can drone on about how we are all individuals, how examinations do not cater to our individual needs but that would be a waste of space (and time).  Instead I will leave you with two thoughts.

One, the fact that we are individuals is great. Yes, you may suck at exams or coursework but do not hate yourself for this. If we were all the same, imagine how grey and dull the world would be. We are the individual strands that make up this rich tapestry called Earth. So don’t kick yourself the day before the exam because you have suddenly taken on a very nihilist approach to life. Think that you may not be that person who can write solidly for an hour, and that’s okay. You are the person that may become that diving instructor that lives in the Bahamas when the person that could write the exam is in a Office in Hull.

Secondly, this is not to say that those who ace the exam or who are confident about it should feel bad. Do not think that you are not individual. We are all required to make up humanity.

So, if you have an exam, I hope you can find solace in the fact that these exams may determine the next summer, or the next year of your life. But take pride in the fact that you are an individual. You will make mistakes. You will have achievements.

First and foremost, you will survive.

 

 

A change of direction

A change of direction

For those who come into the new year like a screaming new born baby, hands waving in the air, your lungs being used to  full capacity, I hear you. I am you. My New Years Eve was very eventful, and when it came down to the inevitable New Years Kiss, I was not left disappointed.

However, waking up on the first of January, I had a realisation. Yes, I know this sounds super cliché but this only happened because of where I was. My friend Isaac, hosted the party alongside his step brother. It took place in the most gorgeous house. This house was touched up with frost and overlooked lush green fields. This was my view the bedroom where I was sleeping. Being born bred in Suffolk, these kind of views are not uncommon, however, the meaning behind these views were largely significant to me. What I mean by this is that I came to cherish these views. Not because I was having an epiphany and I now need to find who I really am. Not at all. What occurred was something quite different and something that will/ is affecting many of us today.

Global warming.

I know, I know this sounds rather ludicrous considering what I’ve been talking about but listen. The  views were beautiful and glistening, but how long can we expect to have them for. Right now, hundred of reports of flooding are drowning news stations in England, as well as spontaneous wildfires igniting in dry wood forests in Australia. The weather is effecting everything and everyone. What really strikes me is how people can still profess that Global Warming ‘isn’t a thing’ and that ‘it doesn’t exist’. These kind of deluded conclusions are still springing up in all corners of the world, and especially in the more developed world. This is heartbreaking because for some reason, our mentality is; if it’s doesn’t affect us directly, it isn’t our problem. You can see this across the board in regards to policy. For example, one of the more controversial policies set up by UKIP was to decrease financial aid from £10 million to £2 million a year WORLDWIDE. Of course, this has nothing to do with global warming but what it illustrates is that Britain especially, has a no-can-do attitude towards things that we have in the past engaged with but will no longer help on an extensive level.

The world hasn’t been all bad. There was the Kyoto Protocol in the 90’s and last year, 2015, Paris held a summit that expressed many of the major powers of the world, including Britain, would substantially help decrease the effects of global warming. But what the Kyoto protocol shows is that in the face of the media, Britain is all willing to help out, but behind number 10 Downing Street, the issue is really left behind closed doors.

This is an issue that really matters and one that we should be taking incredibly seriously. It may not be effecting us ridiculously at the moment, however in a couple of decades, who know, we may never see a white Christmas again.

Please take an active approach to reducing your carbon footprint. Turn lights out within you leave the room, turn off plug sockets, install double glazing, use solar panels, take showers instead of baths and let the water run for a maximum of 5 minutes. These things individually are small and rather insignificant changes to your daily life, but collectively WILL have a large impact on the environment we live in. If we all make a change, change will occur. It’s that simple.

A quirky passion

A quirky passion

It takes a lot of guts to go off to university, knowing basically no one and reinvent yourself. Seriously. Entering this huge institution where you will be spending the next three years of your life. The first six weeks of this are pivotal; hence why I joined Ultimate Frisbee.

Obviously.

Of course, you must be thinking that I’m a weird pothead that doesn’t care about anything than getting “baked” and throwing a Frisbee around like a dog. But this is so far from the case. I’m a history student that just happened to not want to join the mainstream sports teams like Tennis or Netball. I’m so glad I went with my gut. My old friend from back home, Nathan, is the President of this sports club and on the sports open day he twisted my arm and made me come to one training session. I was dreading it. It came to 8pm on the following Sunday evening and I was seriously debating backing out as, yes, I judged it. I thought it weird and quite frankly pointless at first glance. Oh how wrong I was. Even though I was pretty terrible, and yes, couldn’t master a skill that many 6 year old children can do, I was hooked. It felt like surreal that I was playing a sport that I didn’t even know existed two weeks prior.

The object of the game is to pass the Frisbee up and down the pitch in order for your team to catch the disc in the end zone. You either start as the offensive team or defensive, depending on whether or not you start with the disc. But what kind you are, offence or defence, changes many times during one point (indication) as you will inevitably be “D’d” or drop it. Or if you’re like me, throw it straight off the pitch. This unfortunately is not a rare occurrence.

But what I love most about this sport is the kind of people it attracts. These people are a special breed of human; the beautiful kind. They like “popular” sports, but understand that Frisbee offers so much more. If you want to think of clique formations in America, they would be the mismatch bunch from several different tables being drawn together by the love of this peculiar game.

What they have helped me understand is to not care what people think of me. At school I was captain/ vice captain of teams, I participated in the school plays, “bitched” along with the “cool” group. I wasn’t the real me. But since coming along to UEA, what the Frisbee’s (Aye-Aye) have helped me understand is that you don’t have to please others in order to please yourself.

Ultimate is a wonderful sport full of even more wondrous people. Recently, I went on a Freshers tournament in Loughborough. As the games are self-reffed, it meant that the atmosphere is amazing. Even if you lose (which we did….. on our first game), you still make amazing friends. I remember meeting this one guy, I still do not know his name,  and for the whole weekend we just threw the disc and when it came to us being rivals we would always mark each other and have such a laugh. You can be serious when you want to be, but most of the time not.

What I often forget is that I’ve only playing it for about a month, so when I make a mistake, I get really angry with myself. But they are so forgiving, and when the session is done, we usually head down to the pub for a few snakebites. Even these little things are so precious to me. Don’t even get me started on big Wednesdays!

Aye-Aye have made me feel at home and I cannot wait to spend the next three years forming friendships that will last for life.