2016 In A Nutshell

Has this year even happened? The same thing is said at the end of every year by everyone, “where has the time went?” but this year genuinely feels like a blur, with every month seeming shorter until we’re now on the 30th of December. Every year also has its ups and downs, it wouldn’t be normal if it didn’t, but that’s what makes life life I guess, and it’s how you respond when faced with challenges that really matters. This has been a truly great year, I’ve visited new places, met new people, tried new things, and faced fears along the way, whilst dealing with any hardships that have come my way, all of which are memories I can take into 2017. It wouldn’t be right to not do a post on my year in a nutshell so I’ll highlight some of my most memorable moments over the last 12 months and my hopes for the New Year.

I visited a lot of places, some that I’ve been to before and some that I felt like a complete tourist in having never been before. My love for gigs had me travelling to numerous dates across the UK to see my favourite band The Vamps in London, Glasgow and then Manchester, meeting the band countless times and generally having a great time with people who share the same interest in their music. In July David and I went on our first little road trip together heading to Leicester and then on to Blackpool where we done the likes of the Blackpool Tower, the dungeons and the pleasure beach, and finally finishing off our little trip with a chippy on the stairs by one of the piers – he really knows how to plan a surprise as he planned the full trip without my knowledge. St. Andrews was another spontaneous trip of ours, taking advantage of the once a year sunshine we get here in Scotland and heading straight to one of the most prettiest beaches in the country. It’s nice to go from the busy city to a quiet little town on the east coast of Fife. In August I then headed back to Calas de Mallorca for a week of sunshine with my mum, with this being one of my favourite places to go on holiday. A little resort like this on the edge of the island of Mallorca makes for stunning views and great weather, leaving me feeling totally revitalised for heading back to university a few weeks later. Finally in October for my 21st David and I headed to Paris, another first and again a surprise trip planned by him and my mum, and one I’ll be sure to never forget. I’ve been my fair share of places this year, and I only want that to increase next year as there’s so much I want to see and do in the world. For Christmas I actually received a World Scratch Map, where you scratch off any places on the map you visit, so I want to scratch off more of this in 2017.

In terms of food I feel like this has been the year I’ve started to broaden my “food horizons”, which in some cases people would say I’ve simply tried food that they eat say on a daily basis but I’m really fussy so anything other than pizza and pasta is a start. Thai and Japanese cuisine are my new go to with my new found love for vegetable gyoza and spring rolls, in the new year I’d love to try crab as I’m not a big seafood eater. Steak is something else I’ve tried and came to love this year, however the same can’t be said about salad, but hopefully that’ll come with time, who knows, maybe next year I’ll be a serial salad eater (I doubt it but we can only hope).

In August I completed Go Ape in Aberfoyle, which is an outdoor adventure activity course in some of the highest treetops consisting of zip wires, high rope obstacles, and Tarzan swings. The long drive to Queen Elizabeth Forest Park only heightened my nerves about what was to come, but once I got started the adrenalin started pumping through me and it ended up being one of the most amazing experiences, scary but fun with a whole lot of laughter. It has two of the UK’s longest zip wires and I’ve never seen anything quite like it, flying over rivers and the forest, it truly felt like the world had stopped around me whilst I got to witness the most breathtaking views. There was no better feeling than completing the full course 2 or 3 hours later, tackling the final zip slide and then being handed a little certificate to say you had done it. There are quite a few Go Ape’s in the UK, so I’d love to try out more of them, or even just do more adventurous activities in 2017.

University has been a tough one this year, but a good kind of tough when you know all the hard work continuously pays off. The only word you hear from me these days is “dissertation” and this will likely remain until it’s handed in at the end of March. The last 3 years of university seem like a breeze compared to my final year, it’s been non-stop and even now during the holidays everything that’s to come over the next five months is on my mind. University has helped my self-confidence grow, it’s always so satisfying when you do better than expected in a piece of coursework, or come out of an exam feeling relieved about how it went. Particularly though are the dreaded presentations, these have always been something that I’ve strongly disliked, public speaking makes me incredibly nervous, but I’ve come to learn that nerves can be a good thing. Within my course we’ve had to do group presentations (mostly ungraded), so your solo part would last no more than 2 minutes, but just last month we had to do solo graded presentations as part of our dissertation. This assessment lasted 20 minutes in total, with 15 minutes for the actual presentation and 5 minutes for a question and answer session. The closer it got the more I would think and panic about it, and even on the day I couldn’t eat a thing, constantly feeling like I was going to throw up. I think being last out of everyone and having to watch presentation after presentation didn’t help my nerves either, but hey, I ended up getting an extremely high first, in actual fact it was the highest mark I’ve ever received during my time at university, and not only that the feedback definitely changed my perception on public speaking. The final semester of my university journey starts next month and that will fly in, which is both exciting and pretty scary too, but I can only hope that everything continues to go well for me in 2017 and that I graduate with the best degree I can achieve and find something for myself work wise afterwards.

That was just a few highlights of my year to say the least, I’d be here a while if I was to mention them all. Every single day regardless of what you do, you’re continuously making memories, so try and make them good ones – that’s my aim for next year, to make everyday a good day. I hope everyone had a great year, and I’m wishing you all the best for everything that’s to come in the new year. What’s been your most memorable moments of 2016?

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