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Capturing Culture: Happy New Year! Time to reflect

It’s that time of year again. The Christmas season ended not too long ago, people are struggling with (if not having already given up) their New Year’s resolutions and we’re mostly just wondering what this New Year will bring. To me at least it’s a period of anticipation, a kind of in between stage that breeds reflection whilst slowly building up to what will be the next big thing that happens to us. Maybe it’s the fact I’m an old third year, halfway to graduating and saying goodbye to this place that’s been a second home for the last few years, that has me all contemplative. In some way we’re all starting fresh with this New Year so feelings of speculation and uncertainty are typical. But it’s also important to look back, to consider who it is you’ve become and the lessons you’ve learned over the previous years. I can tell you for certain I am definitely not the person I was on my first day here. So with all that being said, here are some things I’ve learned this past year that you can either relate to or maybe even learn something from.

Be kind to yourself. It’s easy to look back on past experiences, past versions of yourself, and criticise. To tear apart every mistake: a comment that came across just straight up rude, a missed deadline or your best friend’s birthday that you completely forgot about. This year you’ll vow to be a perfect version of yourself. No mistakes becomes your mantra when really that’s just unrealistic. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but the human experience is intrinsic to making them. If we didn’t make mistakes how would we distinguish the good from the bad? How would we learn anything at all? Don’t forget to be easy on yourself, you’re allowed to mess up every now and then. Maybe imperfect perfection is the closest we’re going to get.

Take the time to invest in your friendships. I’ve definitely been guilty of this, assuming that a friend knows you care simply because you say it. But actions speak louder than words.  You can exclaim it all you want but when was the last time you hung out with that friend who lives on the other side of London? Take a trip, go and see them. Better yet we live in the age of social media, a Skype call is literally a click away. We need to show people that we actually care and not just assume that they already know. A little really does go a long way.

Get up and make it happen. So you have a goal you want to achieve this year. Maybe for a long time you’ve wanted to start writing, maybe you want to take up a sport or learn to cook. It’s never going to happen if you don’t do it. Honestly, what’s stopping you? You might be worried that you’ll fail or you’ll be disappointed, but those are things you’ll never experience, never know, if you don’t just take a leap of faith. The first act towards making that thing happen can be the most intimidating. Don’t restrict yourself because of apprehension.

Those are my little bits of knowledge, things I’ve learnt over the years that you can bring into the new one. Happy reflecting!

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