2016: My Year In Review

My first blog post of 2017! I hope everyone had a great Christmas and that you're now enjoying a good start to the new year. As I said in my post about my 2016 blog achievements, last year was a 'wonky' year. There was Brexit, Trump, and we lost a disastrous number of famous greats as well as innocents facing war and strife in their home nations. 

However, rather than reviewing the whole world's 2016, I thought I'd just review my own. There's been a lot of reflective posts surfacing recently, but that's no bad thing. I've kept mine mainly positive, as I want this to set the tone for my 2017. Things definitely went wrong too but it's important to count your blessings and let the sun shine through the clouds, right?

One of the highlights of my year by far is not so much an event but these three people. The last six months of our uni course were testing to say the least but we supported each other, laughed til we cried, danced, and celebrated in style, watching excessive episodes of RuPaul's Drag Race in the process. I still call Laura, Lauren and Joe my 'housemates' even though we moved out in August!
In May I reached the last milestone you actually want to celebrate - 21! Here, I'm surrounded by my gorgeous friends, and I also had a huge family party too. May is a very busy birthday month with my friends, so celebrating some of those at uni and at home made this month one of the best!

For six weeks in June and July, I had the pleasure of being one of Bournemouth University's undergraduate research assistants. Mine was as a digital outreach assistant for a project called Digital Families, which was encouraging families to use digital media in ways they may never have had the opportunity to do before. The role involved a lot of graphic design, blogging and social media work as well as being involved with workshops such as augmented reality, stop motion animation and 3D model design on the Isle of Portland (see above), at a local tutoring place, and at the uni's Festival of Learning.

This year gave me the chance to explore many places around the UK. I haven't actually been abroad for years, mainly due to work commitments and uni, so maybe that'll happen in 2017, but our little isles aren't half bad for finding some beautiful landscapes and architecture. Trips to Brownsea Island and Cambridge were certainly two of my favourites.

For many, December is the best month of the year, while for others, it's the hardest. For me, it's a bit of both. I think there's a lot of pressure to be 'happy' at Christmas when that's not always so easy, and it can make me way too reflective about how the year has gone. However, I absolutely loved spending so much time with friends from home, catching up with uni/college friends who don't live so close and seeing some of my big old family that I definitely don't see often enough.

Some other things I enjoyed in 2016:
Graduating (the event itself was stressful but I didn't do three years work for nothing!)
Securing a full-time graduate job
Celebrating anything with a party
Beach BBQs
Owning a DSLR and getting more into photography + trying out Youtube for my blog
Long walks... anywhere
Not having any exams
Realising some people aren't worth my time
Eating Wok2Go (it's in Bournemouth, try it)
Eating other food/drink with special people
Continuing to open up about mental health because it's nothing to be ashamed of

Things that went less well:
Getting food poisoning after my housemate's 21st during deadline season
Our student house
Our student house's wall falling down and next door's dog escaping temporarily
The letting agents being very, very slow to do anything
Being groped by a stranger who then asked me how my day was going
And worst of all, losing my dear, dear godfather

2016 was a huge challenge in parts but it certainly had a lot of ups which outweigh the downs. How was your 2016? Let me know in the comments below!


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