Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Dear 2015

This is the time of year where we reflect; end a chapter; turn a page. Normally we speak of our year with clichés, and I'm not going to lie... so will I. I speak for a year full of finding who I used to be, for year of friendship, and a year for a LOT of hard work. Yes, there were quite a few tears in the past year also, but we wouldn't enjoy the good parts of our life without sorrowful parts.
I sense that 2015 isn't going to be an easy year to reflect upon. It felt like everyday was a sprint; so much happened, yet it only feels like yesterday that the clock struck 00:00 on 1st January 2015, yet it's been a whole year and a bit since then. A lot of learning happened in 2015, and I sat back a bit, but I am not regretful, I am not ashamed, because I grew to become much more of the person I wanted to be in 2015.


I started off the year the same way in which I have started this year. Revising to mock exams, shopping, and generally recovering for Christmas. I didn't set any New Year Resolutions for this year, and I didn't mind. Sometimes, it's okay to say that you feel quite happy with the way in which you live your day to day life. My diet was good, I drank plenty of water and I had a good skincare routine.
I did something quite big in January however, I applied to be one the school's head students. The application process was grueling, and I spent many hours deciding whether what I had written on my letter of application was enough. Before this I didn't feel like I had anything to be proud of myself for, yes my grades were okay, but they weren't any better then average. Reflecting on what I had already achieved in my life made me realise that I might not achieve straight As, but that didn't matter. We had group interviews, which I made a right fool of myself in, probably because I'm a bit clumsy at the best of times, but that's me, and some how, people find that endearing. I also told the best joke, so maybe I am funny? We then had an interview with the head teacher... it was one of the scariest things I had to do, but it actually went much better then I ever thought it would. Anyway, they must have liked me because I did get the role as head student, and I've had the best year with the rest of the team... it makes me kind of sad that our year as head students is coming to an end, but I have become great friends with people because of it, learnt how to speak in a proper manner to adults, and do proper public speaking. 


This was a really fun month. It started off with me spending the day in Milton Keynes on a trade fair for my Young Enterprise's final product. We didn't achieve much on this day, but all of the same it was a good day, and I learnt a lot from it.
I also spent the day at Centreparcs with my family, auntie, uncle and cousins. We had such a lovely day cycling around the forest, getting all too competitive playing Table Tennis ("around the world" gets a little intense in my family) and stuffing our faces with huge stacks of pancakes! We then spent an excited few hours in the swimming pool... you never getting too old for water flumes. Followed by a lovely evening enjoying a meal together. Seeing my cousins is always a happy time for me, we all get on so well, and we always leave each other having pulled muscles in our faces and stomachs cramping from all of the laughter and smiles.


I made a decision in March which has changed not only the past year, but I believe will have changed the rest of my life. I decided that I would actually apply for University, and stay there. This was a big decision for me, as for many years I have been pretty adamant I did not want to go. Obviously, I didn't really realise at the time of making this decision it would have such a significant impact on my year, but I'm glad that I did. 
I also spent some great evenings with my friends. First of all we had our schools Easter Social, our school events are never a let down, and I had a fun few hours boogieing with some of my closest friends. And then my 4th year of playing senior hockey came to an end... which meant my hockey teams end of season do. This was a great evening, which again meant enduring in quite a bit of dancing, and food. My hockey team also won Ladies Team of the Year and it felt so good to be awarded this as we all really gelled as a team in 2015.


April was another busy month. It started off with me doing my practice Silver Duke of Edinburgh expedition, it was great to get to know some new people, but it was also one of the most challenging weekends in my life. Having to put up with broken equipment, getting drenched to the bones and being hungry can be very tough when you don't know the people that you are with all that way. I knew I had to be the strong one, as I had done many expeditions before. But carrying a almost 2 tents on my own at some parts was more then I could physically handle, and ended up injuring my knee quite badly and putting me out of hockey for a little while. Luckily it was during off-season but I couldn't take part in summer events and my fitness dropped to a new low, and it was very hard for me to handle, also considering I was walking like a pirate with a peg leg for quite a while.
Even though I spent much of April pretending not to be in pain, and walking very, very slowly it was still a good month, and I don't want to dwell too much on the negatives (but lets be real... we all have them.). I went on my annual bowling and shopping trip with my friends, as well as spending a lovely evening with my closest friends celebrating one of their birthdays.


In May I again enjoyed a bit of time with my friends. It was also a very stressful and busy beginning to the month as I had a Young Enterprise competition where lots of reports had to be written and a pitch for our product had to be rehearsed, ready for the county finals. We didn't win overall at this competition, but even so it was a great evening, and we also won Best Presentation and received a fancy looking trophy for our achievement. I was so proud of everybody, especially considering public speaking was something not many of the people in the company wanted to do.
A lot of revision was also entailed in May 2015 as well as me AS Level exams, it was a tough month, which also meant a time appropriate to treat myself. For this reason, with the ladies of the family on my mum's side we decided to indulge in a day with chocolate at ChoccyWoccyDooDah's secret room in London. It was soooo lovely, but I wasn't really hungry enough to enjoy much chocolate. 
I also started physio for my knee, which made a whole lot of difference for me and quickly saw me getting back into hockey. As well as finding the time to celebrate my blogs 2nd birthday.


Before heading back to school to start studying for my A2 levels I spent some time relaxing with my own company. Spending time outside and baking, both things that I know I need to make more time for in 2016. This was a particularly quiet month for me, as it really only included winding down from exams and getting my head into A2s and controlled assessements.
I also completed my real DofE expedition (which my knee was fixed for) and it was such a great weekend, and very hilarious. We were definitely in better spirits on this weekend.


July was a little more busier. Before school was out for the summer I volunteered in a local vineyard for the day. It was a weird day in terms of weather. To start with it was a sunny, hot day and then, within minutes it was torrential rain... it was still a really fun day with my friends though, and it certainly felt good to do something in the community.
I then did my annual Gilwell 24 challenge, which involved 24 hours of running around, playing games and partying. It's such an exhausting weekend, but it was worth every minute of being awake, and I hope I am around again this year to go one last time. 
On the last day of school I enjoyed a huge picnic with my friends, and we consumed A LOT of food, it's funny how little things like picnics can become a little tradition. 
Oh! And another HUUUUUGEEE thing! I PASSED MY DRIVING TEST! I passed first time as well, so it was a very good and happy month for me.


In August I enjoyed my summer with my friends, we had sleepovers, beach trips and just fun in each others company. It seemed to rain quite a lot throughout August, but on the sunny days we certainly made the most of it. 
We spent days going on walks, enjoying the outdoors, it's funny that when you step back you can discover a whole new  beauty just outside your doorstep. I guess another thing I want to achieve in 2016 is to spend more time outside, enjoying natural beauty... I also really want to go strawberry picking this year, but maybe that's for another post?
I also went to a large hockey event in London, in which I bought my Dad tickets for to go and see England Ladies play in, which they later went on to win. It was such a lovely warm day, and the atmosphere was incredible... I'm still debating splurging on tickets for this years hockey event?


In September before heading back to school my family and I headed to Staffordshire. The long weekend began with my family heading to Alton Towers. We had a lovely time there, but seeing as I had been there many times before, and it was very quiet considering the unfortunate events that had occurred there earlier on in the year, the waterpark was the most fun... mostly because we hadn't experienced it before. We also had a really fun game of crazy golf there. We then stayed in a small log cabin for a few nights, where we had a few trips out... this also entailed in me drinking the voted "Best Hot Chocolate in the UK", it definitely lived up to my expectations.
In this month my fifth season of hockey also began, which I was very excited for, but knew I needed to train hard for considering I hadn't done much exercise after injuring my knee. I also had a little boogie around my friend Heather's for her 18th birthday.


This month I went to see James Bay at Cambridge Corn Exchange. I was so excited, but also a little apprehensive considering I hadn't been to a concert in a long time. It was literally the best night of my life, and FREAKING ED SHEERAN WAS THERE! I was standing at the barrier and I practically couldn't touched him. My legs literally went to jelly, I have never had that feeling in my life, and I am so glad I stuck at my guns and went.


This was a bit more of a quiet month in terms of life. I went to see my friend I hadn't seen in a while to celebrate her birthday... "Hi Charlie!" and I gave blood... which by the way, you should all do if you can because it is soooo flipping rewarding, and really isn't as horrible and as scary as it seems when you first walk in. 


The month I became an adult... partied hard and celebrated Christmas. It was a really jam packed month, full of work, revision, parties and festivities. I had some amazing moments with my friends, and will never forget how special everyone made me feel. I went ice-skating with a great bunch of people, and the best 18th party. As well as spending a lovely Christmas with family, and New Year with friends. 

I would like to thank everyone that was involved in my 2015; true, it did have it's peaks and troughs, ups and downs, but I wouldn't change it for the world. I learnt a lot about myself in 2015, and I am ready for a bigger and better year this years.
Goodbye 2015.
Hello 2016,