I’m not about to pretend we’re entering 2021 in the best of circumstances. On the day of writing this post it is Boxing Day, which happens to be the day Hampshire goes from Tier 2 to Tier 4, suggesting that we aren’t quite nearing the light at the end of the tunnel of the pandemic just yet. So far I’ve spent the day eating Christmas leftovers, watching football and having a Harry Potter marathon – oh and of course having a look at through the online Boxing Day sales. Regardless of the circumstances, I thought I would reminisce about things I achieved in 2020, as. well as put together a few realistic goals for 2021.
2020 was a lot when I look back, it started with poor mental health, led to a six month lockdown with my best friend in the middle of my final year and coincided with my lecturers striking. It also saw my Masters get pushed back to January 2021, which meant I needed a summer job at a time when everyone was either furloughed or being made redundant – not exactly ideal.
Somehow, I made it through an academic year of hell, graduating with a First in English Language and Linguistics, and a 78 in my dissertation. I don’t miss the house or room that I completed all semester two’s work in, however, I’m not going to miss the opportunity to say how good it felt to come out of this year with a first class degree. I said when I went to uni that if I were to graduate with a first I would treat myself to something nice, originally that was going to be a designer pair of shoes, but as the years went on I decided instead I wanted to go somewhere to celebrate. Obviously, considering the circumstances that has been put on hold, however, when it is finally safe to travel again I will be booking an all inclusive week away somewhere sunny, might even make it longer considering I missed celebrating my 21st as well! I’m not sure if I’ll get an in person graduation anytime soon but a holiday is much needed.
I moved home in June after my housing contract was up and that gave me a month to recover from the stress of academia and to find a job. By some miracle I found myself a job within my university with a full time contract that lasted for 3 months and that solved my income issues for a while. Once my contract was up I headed home again to see my family, just before we went into another lockdown. I was expecting to spend another month inside, but luckily I was asked back to work part time which probably saved my mental health from taking a nosedive. I can’t say the time I wasn’t at work was too productive, it’s hard to motivate yourself when you can’t reward yourself by going places, even if just to a coffee shop! I think the little victories of 2020 are really important to remember after the year we’ve had and those were mine.
My goals for 2021 are definitely more on the realistic side this year. No big ‘get fit’ goal, no strict sustained vegetarian diet attempt, no spending ban (let’s be fair retail therapy is necessary at the moment), just simple, attainable goals:
Eat Less Takeaways – Now there’s nothing wrong with the occasional takeaway, at home we always had them as a treat or after a long week, and in my three years at uni that’s exactly what they were. During the lockdowns however, they’ve become more frequent, living in a student house of 5 there’s always someone willing to split the cost of delivery with you. Also, as organised sport returning seems to be quite far off, I’d like to try and eat a little healthier if possible.
Sustain my Current Fitness – As mentioned above, hockey is unlikely to return considering Hampshire’s Tier 4 status, but I would still like to keep up my current fitness. I’m by no means planning to run marathons, but I am running 3x a week for the first time ever. I also have the luxury of space at home to workout, an exercise bike and yoga mat, which will help my goal and hopefully ease the toll lockdown has taken on my mental health. I don’t need to be looking like a Victoria’s Secret model, but I quite like how my body is at the moment, and doing the NHS Couch to 5k programme is giving me something to work towards.
Complete University Work Effectively – I will have a post up about how I intend to go about my MA work soon, however here’s a condensed version. If final year taught me anything, it’s how demotivating working day in day out in the same room is, and also that sometimes doing nothing will help you do something another day. As long as restrictions allow, I want to rotate working from the library/university buildings, from my kitchen table and eventually from a coffee shop. While I found working in my room viable in first and second year, having an office was invaluable in third year as I could separate work and rest. I also learned that sitting at a desk accomplishing nothing is pointless and when I’m having one of those days I will let myself do something I want to – positive procrastination.
Minimise Fast Fashion Consumption – I really wish I could always invest in my wardrobe, but it’s not always possible. Somehow staying indoors most of 2020 saw me look to fast fashion when I have enough clothes, so now I’m going to try my hardest to buy so second hand. I even had a clear out before I moved home for Christmas, and I’ve rediscovered clothes I’d forgotten about – shopping your stash works people, with beauty and fashion!
Post Whatever I Want – Look back three years and my IG barely featured my face and was only followed by other bloggers and my very close friends. Recently, I’ve been more open, posting more of my life and allowing people I know in real life to follow me. When these people began following me I felt I had to restrict what I posted in case they judged me for it. But you know what, in 2021 who cares. Who
fucking cares? It’s my account and I’m going to post whatever the hell I want. If people don’t like it, they can unfollow. I miss making little videos, stop motions etc, so I’ve decided not to care what other people think about it and I already feel better for it.
My five goals for 2021 aren’t exactly revolutionary on the surface, but arguably will help me in the long run in university and life. I’m hoping my contract will be extended at work also, which leaves me not having to worry about finances too much and a gives me a reason to get out of the house. I hope you had a good Christmas and New Year, even if they were slightly strange compared to usual. Let me know any of your achievements from 2020 and any goals you’ve set yourself in 2021.