What 2019 Taught Me: Saying Yes

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Like every fresher, my first term at university was a blur of new faces, nights out, and an endless list of things to remember. The first term was like a trial, an excuse to experiment, try new things and step outside my comfort zone. But this didn’t really happen – I found myself stuck in a routine of nights out, last-minute tutorial work, and microwave meals. This wasn’t exactly how I imagined myself taking advantage of the endless opportunities Durham has to offer, which led to my 2019 resolution, at the start of my second term at Durham, to say yes to new opportunities more. I didn’t have a specific resolution, and wasn’t really one to believe in resolutions themselves anyway – part of me thought it was pointless, and rather than make it an ‘official’ new year’s resolution, all I’d really given myself was a new term resolution.

I found myself stuck in a routine of nights out, last-minute tutorial work, and microwave meals

Needless to say, second term didn’t really change, and although I loved my first year at Durham and it really lived up to all the expectations I had for it, it wasn’t until this new academic year that I eventually fulfilled my resolution. In fact, second year is when I felt like I had really settled in, finally got into some sort of routine that actually involved working, and had even stepped into the Billy B more than a handful of times. Maybe in first year I was just too overwhelmed with the variety of choice to try new things, and in fact, everything seemed quite new anyway. This year, I’ve been defining new things not as something I’ve never done before, but something entirely different to anything else I’d tried or wanted to try. I don’t regret not fulfilling my resolutions during the latter part of my first year, especially considering exam season was a whole new game I wasn’t quite used to, and I didn’t really give myself time to try anything new. But this didn’t mean that I would let myself go into second year with quite the same attitude.

You could say that by now I’ve ticked the resolution off entirely – this term I’ve volunteered regularly, joined the Paint and Sip society, and gone to Instep Dance classes. I’ve even had a go at Zumba and have written for various publications. I’ve said yes to more things than I thought I ever would, and this is exactly what has reshaped my idea of setting myself the resolution in the first place. If I hadn’t ignored my resolution for the first half of this year then I wouldn’t have signed up to so many more things this year.

this term I’ve volunteered regularly, joined a Paint and Sip society, and gone to Instep classes

Going into 2020 I think I’ll set myself a much smaller goal (although if experience is anything to go by, it’s definitely trickier) of just keeping my cactus alive.

 

Image: Aktim via Pixabay

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