The 2016 summaries have been popping up on various blogs over the past fortnight or so, but I didn’t want to sum up the year before it actually finished. As Polish people say, Don’t praise the day before sunset. This means I’m a bit late to the New Year party. Who cares.
2016 was a truly crappy year for the world. I think we all know everything bad that could have happened, did happen. UK people voted for Brexit (which touches me personally, as I explained here), Trump won the presidency (though, apparently, financial markets are having a little fiesta over it), terrorism was ripe and particularly dreadful, this was topped up with all the celebrity deaths, from David Bowie to Alan Rickman (which hit me particularly hard). In Poland, the current government was also going haywire, and I’m not sure I’m that big of a fan of Theresa May, either. 2016 is a year that we will all try to forget.
But to me, personally, 2016 was a great year. Of course, there were better days, and worse days, ups and downs, but overall, it’s a year to look back on with a smile. It’s a year when I started, maybe not reinventing, but creating myself into someone I want to be. Shaping my life instead of letting it pass me by.
So, here we go, let’s sum up 2016.
I got the best job ever
Without expecting it, without applying, without asking for it. I was given an amazing opportunity, and I truly appreciate it. When I went to earn a few pounds as a user tester, I never expected to come back and join the team. At the time, I was a waitress who wasn’t getting any shifts in the post-Christmas lull, halfway through my first year of uni. But my boss saw something in me, and believed in me enough to give me a chance. I have been with the company for almost a year now, and the amount I have learnt is amazing. Working with some truly great people is more than I ever expected to happen in a part time job. Not to mention that I’m doing things I genuinely enjoy.
I finished first year with better results than I expected
When I first went to university, I was doing alright, but I was hardly amazing. When I joined Cass Business School in September 2015 I was full of optimism and expectations, but I was absolutely dreading a maths module. I have never been amazing at maths. Quite the contrary, maths was my lowest grade in high school finals. Then, somehow, the best grades I got were in numerical modules. Who would have thought? I also, somehow, managed to finish the year in the top 10% of my year group. Honestly, couldn’t be more proud of myself.
I travelled a bit
I have always enjoyed travelling, and although I have hardly gone across the world this year, the bit of travelling I did was great. First, Mr Arguably Honest and I visited Brighton (I have written about it here), then my dream of visiting Barcelona came true (I would totally move there, if I didn’t hate heat and wasn’t dreadful at learning Spanish). When Mr Arguably Honest visited Poland, we took a trip to Warsaw, Nałęczów and Kazimierz Dolny, all of which I have visited before, but it’s always more fun to sightsee with someone you love.
I learnt to value quality over quantity
When I first moved to the UK, I have literally attacked Primark. I think everyone does. Right now, I tend to avoid it, as the quality of their clothes is hardly decent. You really get what you pay for. This year, I have started buying fewer clothes, but good quality ones, made of (mostly) natural fabrics. But I didn’t just apply it to clothes. I’ve been making an effort to buy better quality food, and utilising my time well. During May exams, I was leaving the library at 5pm, instead of staying for as long as possible and pretending to study. As a result, I had evening with Bones and resting, instead of Red Bull and textbooks, and my results were better than expected.
I rediscovered my passion for writing
This is the most important thing that happened this year. As a teenager, I used to write a lot, but then school work took priority, and I put writing on hold. After starting this blog in May, I spent a better part of the summer writing for it, and in October, I have started working on a longer project (I’ll talk more about it when the time comes). On top of that, I have written at work. All this made me realise that although I still have very little idea about what exactly I want to do after I graduate, one thing I do know is that I want it to involve writing. Because nothing else brings me this amount of joy, nothing else allows me to forget about the world. And although the amount of typing I do means I can’t do my nails with any normal varnish, I am ready to put up with this slight inconvenience ;).
While we’re on the topic of writing, I thought it’d be a good idea to share some blog statistics with you.
Since May, there have been 3,233 visits on the blog, resulting in 5,968 views of pages and posts. The most popular post has been read 1,158 times which, I have to admit, exceeded every expectation I ever had. You guys are amazing! It’s been a pleasure writing for you.
Top 3 posts of 2016 were:
1. My little Oxford confession – Why I left University of Oxford after 2 months and never looked back
2. My tips for more efficient working – How I ended up in top 10% of my year without studying in the evenings
3. Episode 1 of my mini-series on what various tv shows have taught me – What 11 seasons of Bones have taught me
And, in case you simply missed them, the 3 least read posts of 2016:
- Money Monster – review
- My view on why children should be allowed a peaceful childhood – Let the kids be kids
- A little celebration of positivity – Don’t be ashamed to show you’re happy!
I am entering 2017 with high hopes and optimism. I am not big on New Year resolutions, but after all, why not? 2016 was a good year, and I simply want to carry on with the routes I’m already on, rather than try to overturn my life completely, change everything and create some sort of ‘new me’.
In 2017, I want to…
…carry on writing, and hopefully write even more. Especially for the blog.
…carry on celebrating little moments. I know it sounds unbelievably cliched, but life is not made up from grand situations and life changing moments. It’s made up of everyday situations.
…take advantage of opportunities. This year I got a great job, and gained a professional mentor through a university scheme. In 2017, I want to carry on taking advantage of opportunities I’m given.
…start saving up for travels. I really love travelling and I would like to see more of the world.
…lose weight. I know. Couldn’t be more cliche if I tried.
Happy New Year, dear readers. Thank you for being here with me.
Cover photo by Alvaro Serrano