- For the first half of the year, I completed my A-levels and ended the major era of my life that was compulsory schooling. I slaved over my design and technology coursework to design and make my own maple and black american walnut music stand. As well as the usual musical endeavors - Tchaikosky's Nutcracker with CYO at the Royal Academy of Music, playing in a show orchestra for Les Mis and a 1960s/70s themed concert with school - I also went about setting up my own physics society at school. I managed to invite an awesome plasma physicist to our school to talk about the Northern Lights. Working at the music center for Saturday morning music was also such a rewarding first job.
- Once exams were over I had the best summer holiday ever. Full stop. Being able to chill with my old friends at prom, our beautiful cottage house at Naylands and Brighton was such a great time. At Naylands I cut off 22 inches of hair to donate to the Little Princess Trust. I then began my international travels with an Overseas Chinese summer camp in China which proved to to be such a memorable experience, making so many meaningful friendships from all over the world. The astonishing landscape of Hunan and Guangxi were truly breathtaking. Afterwards I continued travelling with an inter-planing trip around Europe with stops at Amsterdam, Berlin and Stockholm - my first solo travels. Other fun things I did over this awesome vacation was seeing Alt-J live and getting a signed copy of "The Mathematical Secrets of the Simpsons". I went on a Skills Development course at RAE which really inspired me to begin the best person possible. At this point I was the happiest I had been for a long time, not only because I had found out that I had made it into my dream university, but because I felt like I was truly starting to understand myself
- The rest of my year has been crazy, insane and intense. These adjectives don't begin to describe the rollercoaster that was my first term as a fresher at university. I say rollercoaster as with every moment of elation and joy, there were just as many times where I found it to be the most challenging chapter of life yet. Freshers at Oxford surpassed every expectation I had (9am start to Matriculash?!) and whether it was a crew date, wine or cheese evening or cocktails with the college family, the social aspect of Oxford was top notch. In terms of extra-curriculars, I really went crazy with trying out absolutely everything I could. I kept up with my music, taking part with Chapel Choir, forming our own college quartet and playing ukulele at the Harry Potter society's Yule Ball(!). I tried my hand at ball-room dancing, rowing, yoga, zumba, college netball and also attended talks with the energy society, OxFEST and media society. One of my main hobbies have been cheerleading. Yes, cheerleading - probably the last thing I anticipated myself participating in. Despite starting with limited flexibility and no experience gymnastics or dance, it has proven to been one of the most enjoyable and rewarding things I did all term. When I was not busy doing all these many activities, I managed to squeeze in sometime actually study my subject. I got the first "not satisfactory" of my life and fell asleep in a tutorial due to extreme sleep deprivation in week 8. Apart from that, I think I managed to survive my first term!
- Other notable things that happened in the second half of the year was that I was shortlisted for a Women in Science and Engineering award and was invited to a very swanky black tie awards evening with Princess Anne. Another black tie event I attended was the ABACUS boat party on the Thames which was great fun. After term had ended, I stayed an extra week and a half in college to help with interviews which was a very enjoyable experience as I managed to explore the beautiful city of Oxford with a stupid amount of work to do. Being part of the my friend's own orchestra for Tchaikovsky's violin concerto is also something I will never forget!
So that's a very long list of all the notable things that happened over this year. Probably the biggest changes in my life this year though have been beginning my journey towards a plant-based diet and actually regularly exercising for the first time in my life. This time last year I would've never guessed that I would be a fully fledged vegetarian who voluntarily goes for runs and enjoys it!
Thinking of what to set as my 2015 New Years resolutions has been very challenging. This year I have accomplished many long-term goals that I have set in my childhood such as getting into university, travelling abroad solo and getting into exercise. However, after my term at university had finished, I felt somewhat empty as I didn't feel as satisfied as I anticipated. I realised that it was the journey towards accomplishing these goals which was really rewarding, not the actual end prize. For someone who enjoys meticulously planning personal development the fact that I didn't know what to resolve for this year was very disconcerting for me. Sometimes you just need to step back and look at the greater picture, recollect your thoughts and consider what truly makes you happy. After doing so, here are my new year's resolutions
Health and Fitness goals:
1. Be able to do both left and right leg front splits.
My flexibility has actually increased significantly since starting cheer - previously I couldn't even touch my toes! I am about 1 inch away from right leg front splits and 3 inches away from left leg front splits. I would like to be able to do the right leg split within 1 month and left leg split within 3!
2. Make time again for running.
I have very little free time for running whilst at university, but I would like to make it part of my routine again as I find it highly rewarding and therapeutic. I would like to go to for a jog at least once a week since I am already doing cheer 3 times a week.
3. Lose the weight I gained over my 1st term at university.
This is the heaviest I have ever been in my life and I would like to lose this excess fat - no more midnight kebabs for me!
Academic and Career goals:
1. Do well in pre-lims
2. Get an internship/work experience over summer
1. Find my own personal style
Ever since starting uni, I feel like I have lost all sense of creativity in terms of my physical appearance. Considering how much I used to love fashion and style (I even had a blog on it!), I really want to start dressing slightly more edger again
I think that's it! I'll keep you updated on how everything goes!