New Year, Same Me (Again)

Processed with VSCO with a5 presetA female Doctor, a crazed President, pregnant Kardashians, engaged royals and a partridge in a pear tree- 2017 has been, I’m pleased to say, absolutely mad. 9 Greys Anatomy episodes, 5 solo One Direction albums, and one trip to a pig farm later I am pretty content with how this year has rounded off. This year I finished my first year of Uni, moved into a house with my best friends, performed in some of the shows I am most proud of, and had plenty of time to party. 2017 might have been a bit of a dodgy year for mankind in general, but on a personal level (back at it again with some classic millennial narcissism) it’s been pretty brilliant.

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Moving into a new house hasn’t been without it’s quarrels.  I’ve learnt more about football than I ever wanted to (ask me what the offside rule is, we’ll have a chat), I’ve cleaned up more beard trimmings than would be ideal and oh. my. goodness. you would not believe the amount of wee that ends up on the floor. Mostly though, living off campus has been a dream. The 6:3 boy to girl ratio is sometimes a struggle (note the aforementioned wee on the floor), but I still cried at Christmas dinner when I tried to say how much I loved them all. 36 Second Av- you’ve absolutely made 2017 for me. My resolution house-wise is to nag less about the washing up (although I’m hoping my housemates might resolve to actually do their washing up) and to spend as much time as is humanly possible, as much time as they’ll let me, with the boys before we make the split into gals and guys houses next year.

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It’s also been another year of complete and utter airheadedness from me, and while I continue to endeavour to change, I think it’s a part of me that I’m just going to have to accept. 2017 might have begun with a shiny iPhone 7, but it wasn’t long (the first night out of Spring Term- pitiful, I know) before that ended up face down in the James College loos- not even 3 days in rice could bring salvation. iPhone #2 almost met it’s peril during a trip to the good old West Country, where it was stolen from a train station and allegedly sold for 100 quid over a pint before being reluctantly returned by a family (honestly, the whole family) of travellers. It was a pretty wild ride, as you can imagine. A final feat of idiocy came when I left my purse in the back of an Uber, complete with 200 pounds in cash, my debit card and all forms of ID to my name. True to form, an existential crisis ensued as I cancelled my card and reported it to the police. In an utterly miraculous turn of events, a girl visiting family in York got in contact with me on Facebook (the 102nd Megan Williams she’d contacted, or something) and returned the purse just as I left it- people have a funny way of surprising you in the most amazing ways!

IMG_3735.JPG2018 started last night on a beautiful white yacht (could I *be* any more of an expat brat), with some of my best IMG_3733friends. We watched fireworks through the rain, started the year with McNuggets and fell asleep watching New Years Eve. I hope the year that follows is exactly like that- a little bit of extra and a lot of comfort. I will not be giving up avocado’s to save for a house and I probably won’t manage to cut out Coke (a-Cola, thank you), but I do want to keep up the positive vibes, keep loving myself and my friends and GET. STUFF. DONE. When I check back next New Year, it’ll ideally be after a snazzy summer internship (pray for me), a suitable Second Year grade and loads more fun with my beautiful friends and beautiful family. IMG_3732I’m grateful for where I am and excited about where I’m going. Happy New Year everyone!

 

Finding a ‘thing’ at University

At university, most people you meet will have a ‘thing’- from juggling to hockey to rowing to Quidditch, everyone is doing something, and for good reasons.

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CHMS Committee at the UoY Freshers Fair

After spending most of first term back pedalling out of auditions and reinvesting in my netball career (unsuccessfully), I finally found a place in Central Hall Musical Society when I was cast in their Spring Show after my audition in December. Objectively, CHMS is probably the best society in York,  but that aside, finding a ‘thing’ that I loved outside of my course completely transformed my life at Uni.

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The CHMS Committee!

Getting involved in things outside of your degree is absolutely integral to a fulfilling (and fun) university experience. For one thing, I would go absolutely bonkers if all I had to do outside of my contact hours was dive in and out of medieval literature and historical court dissents. Going out is obviously a big part of the culture at Uni, but I don’t think that it’s really enough to constitute  a ‘thing’. If your only extra-curricular activity is strawpedo-ing VK’s you probably aren’t getting everything you can out of being at university.

IMG_4936 Being in shows with CHMS has, I believe, massively reduced the potential for bad days. If I’m even feeling the whisper of a bad day, a 5 hour rehearsal immediately sets me straight. You’d be surprised how cathartic belting out soprano harmonies that aren’t quite comfortably in your range can be. Singing the feel-good, soul filled soundtrack of Sister Act, our upcoming production, at 9 o’clock on a Saturday morning might be some people’s idea of a worst nightmare, but I honestly couldn’t think of anything better. There are very few things in this world that can get me out of bed before 11, and Alan Menken’s score is definitely one of them! Aside from the music itself, being surrounded by people who you love, and who love the same things as you, can lift even the moodiest of moods.

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On another level, finding a ‘thing’ means that, by default, you widen your friendship circle. I was lucky enough to find some of my best friends in my halls, but I know plenty of people who weren’t as fortunate. Your halls are a complete lottery- you don’t get to pick who you live with and if you do have anything in common it’s a nice surprise. The fact that I can’t participate in a conversation with my housemates about football transfers or pipe up about Wenger doesn’t make me love them any less- they can’t offer any input either when I want to chat about the amount of times Andrew Rannells licks his lips in his Tony performance of “I Believe”. The things we care about are just different. For me, joining CHMS meant that I was suddenly spending time with people who had similar interests- who understood when I wanted to talk about Cynthia Erivo for half an hour and who might not know the offside rule either. I’ve met some of my absolute favourite people at Uni through CHMS, and the level of talent I get to be around means that I’m constantly inspired and pushing myself to be better.

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Singin’ In The Rain

At the end of the day, I love my course and I do want the best academic result I can possibly get. Right now, I’m confident in my ability to balance the two, but I know (rightly or wrongly) that if it came down to it I would sacrifice the top grades for a chance to be on the stage any day. Finding a ‘thing’ that you care about and that makes your life at Uni more than just a combination of the library and jagerbombs is as rewarding as it can be exhausting, and something that everyone starting University should endeavor to do. CHMS has been one of my favourite things to be a part of in my LIFE (I know, slow down) and I can’t imagine my experience at Uni without it, or the people I have met through it.

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The cast of Sister Act at our launch party