A Fresher’s Love Letter to 2018

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The earth has revolved around the sun in a full circle yet again, and as always, the season of resolution and fresh starts is upon us. Take a shot every time you hear the words ‘new year, new me’ and the beginning of 2019 is almost guaranteed to be a good one. However, in this frenzy of looking forward and carving out new personalities and fantasies for ourselves, one often forgets to look back on the year they’ve had. Whether you find yourself feeling nostalgic or celebrating in good riddance, any year is a year of growth, change and rich experience. For me, 2018 was incredibly eventful; it was a year of struggle, triumph, celebration and adjustment.

For me, 2018 was incredibly eventful; it was a year of struggle, triumph, celebration and adjustment.

2018 was a year of emotional endings and fresh beginnings; if you’re a fresher, you may be able to relate. The first year of university has been described and depicted as many things, but nothing seems enough to prepare you for the emotional rollercoaster that it really is; in fact, I found it to be quite the contrary. The idealised picture of the first few weeks of university being a transformative experience can act as a discouraging force; daunting expectations that you have to fulfil. Whether you are an individual who tends to seamlessly adapt to new circumstances, university life poses unprecedented challenges even in the most mundane things (I haven’t met a student so far who’s been able to master the art of effectively stocking up a fridge). Balancing the intimidation of the mundane with the struggles of massive change is an inevitable difficulty, and ultimately, that is what made 2018 such a paradoxical year for me.

Balancing the intimidation of the mundane with the struggles of massive change is an inevitable difficulty, and ultimately, that is what made 2018 such a paradoxical year for me.

It’s funny how a set number of days with an equal number of hours and seconds can seem of different lengths to different people. While in some ways, 2018 passed in the blink of an eye, in other ways it seemed like three years in one. Similarly, while retrospectively it seems full of people and change, it was also a year of acclimatising to the sameness of self. This is probably why the glamorised notion of university is so illusory; at the end of the day you are the same person and all that had truly changed is the external.

While retrospectively it seems full of people and change, it was also a year of acclimatising to the sameness of self.

The complex dichotomy of the internal and external is what defined 2018 for me, and what I hope resonates in the onset of a new year. Amidst all the resolution-making and metamorphic intentions, I hope people realise that the possibility a year can hold cannot be defined, especially not in its beginning. So when you break that new year’s resolution (unless you’ve already done so), remember that the year to come is going to teach you so much more and give you many more opportunities for change. The adventures that 2018 took me on were enthralling and I look forward to having similar ones in 2019; adventures I cannot pre-empt, and experiences I cannot imagine. So while I bid 2018 farewell with mixed emotions, it leaves an imprint on me that makes 2019 seem all the more exciting.

Remember that the year to come is going to teach you so much more and give you many more opportunities for change

Photograph by Michael Villavicencio via Creative Commons and Flickr

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