2013.

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So 2013 was an interesting year. The world said hello to Prince George and farewell to Nelson Mandela and Margaret Thatcher as well as non political figures such as Paul Walker.

In my personal life I said farewell to my Grandad who sadly passed away in February after being ill for some time, and sadly had added pressure of other family members having health issues. As my second year of university drew to a close I also said farewell to some uni friends; many have chosen to go on placement so it’ll have been the final year we’d both been at the same university studying together. However, I have been fortunate enough to say hello to some new people and make new friends in third year so it really is a case of every cloud.

2013 was a year for me where a lot of worst case scenarios happened. I think I knew it was going to be a difficult year when I was struck down by noro virus at the beginning and spent the first few days of 2013 thinking I was going to die. It may sound like I’m being melodramatic but even my Mum was getting worried because I’m rarely ill!

However, one thing I learnt this year was that even when the worst case scenario happens, the end of the world doesn’t and you’ll soon discover that the only way is up. 2013 wasn’t an easy year but as I sit here in December I realised I’ve become a much calmer, positive and more forgiving, and even confident person which makes everything worth it!

Another thing I have learnt is the importance of self worth and that true self worth cannot be found in aesthetics alone, it’s actually found by putting yourself out there by doing something you love. For me that one thing has been writing, and even though many people will disagree with things I write whether it’s simply a differing opinions or just disliking my humour, I’ve gained a lot of confidence through writing.

It’s interesting because towards the end of this year I really started doubting myself as a writer, and wondered whether I should stop but I spent one evening looking back on a load of things I’ve written and seeing how I’ve gone from writing about drunken nights out to rape and rape culture is so weird, but in a good way because it shows I’ve become confident enough to tackle sensitive issues and not just write about tequila shots.

Of course, despite some of the lows and identity crises, 2013 hasn’t been all bad! I was fortunate enough to join The Guardian for two weeks work experience in September, I’ve made new friends and strengthened existing friendships, I took a cheeky trip to Amsterdam, passed my second year at university, written more articles than I care to count, and have laughed a lot despite there being some tough times.

Despite everything I’m even grateful for the year I’ve had because I’m no longer scared to take a risk, and this is something I’ll plan on doing a lot of in 2014 (watch this space) If the risks pay off then great! If they don’t then at least I tried. There’s nothing worse than looking back and wondering “What if”. So I’ve promised myself to not let any opportunity pass me by if I think it’ll make me happy no matter how scary or difficult it may be; I hope everyone else will do the same. “2013” has always sounded like a difficult year, one where people have to confront some tough issues, but hopefully this means people have become more fearless and will continue to be fearless in 2014.

I’m bringing 2014 in in Sheffield where I’ll finally be seeing Disclosure live. Wherever you are I hope you have an amazing New Year and I hope 2014 brings you everything you wish for and more. 2014 sounds like a much more positive and kinder year than 2013 so let’s keep our fingers crossed!

I’ll finish this by thanking all my friends and family for loving and supporting me, even when I’m not the easiest person to love. And thank you to everyone who reads this blog or my articles on The Epinal or whatever website I write for. Writing has been the one thing that has kept me sane this year!

Happy New Year! See you on the other side!

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