Au Revoir, 2012...

Goodbye 2012, hello 2013. A new year, a new page in life, a new step towards a better future (remember, I'm ambitious!). And another year calls for another bunch of promises that I am determined to keep unbroken, goals that I will aim to meet for the rest of my life - I am 18, it is about time that I start thinking about doing these things properly, to better myself and reach my highest potential in life.


Although I didn't really do the whole New Year's Resolution thing last year (personally I consider New Year's Day to be a bit like a wedding - a day where people make promises they can't keep), 2012 was still a year of challenges This time last year I was dreading the inevitable few days of panicked revision before my A2 January exams. My self esteem had hit rock bottom; I felt terribly stupid and incompetent, so much so that I rejected all my university offers so I wouldn't have to go through the blow of being rejected by them in August (yup, I wasn't exactly in a happy place). My results that March only further confirmed I'd done the right thing.


The thing that really bugged me was the fact that I actually worked hard at Sixth Form. I understood the stuff in class, I turned up to all the revision sessions after school...I worked hard! And I seemed to be getting nowhere because I have an anxiety disorder. I stress too much, especially during an exam. Y'know the Fight-Or-Flight response? Animals react to threats with a general discharge of the sympathetic nervous system, priming the animal for fighting or fleeing. Exams were my threat.


My counsellor during all of this was obviously not helping me much at all. I didn't feel able to open up to her. She was patronizing - too much "Aww, poor Claire". In April I was appointed a different counsellor, Neil, and I will forever be grateful to that man. I remember my first appointment with him: the first thing I said to him was, "Can I ask something of you? Please don't patronize me. I don't need someone to sympathise with me, I need someone to help me. Ignore my tears - I'll only feel even more of an idiot than I already do. Just help me." And he did. I'm not saying he cured me - is it even possible to be cured of anxiety? - but he helped me figure out how to get passed my anxiety. I am also very grateful to my friends and mother for making sure I took my antidepressants and just making sure I knew they were there for me. And I'm grateful to my maths teachers for putting up with me every day for an hour before school started and an extra four hours after school. They didn't get extra pay for those extra hours, yet they still did everything they could for me during them.


I wasn't even going to bother going to results day - there was no point - but my tutor called and was insisting that I go in. I went in when I was sure that everyone else would've gone home. I still hadn't done amazing, but I'd done a lot better than I thought...good enough, in fact, to get into university. I applied through Clearing, and now I've just finished my first semester at university studying Aerospace Engineering.


Of course, I also have a lot to be happy about this past year. I was able to afford a plane ticket to visit my family in South Africa for the first time in fifteen years...even turned 18 over there. I petted cheetahs, white and yellow lions and white tigers, and actually got the chance to bond with my Auntie Monica, which means a heck of a lot to me. Meanwhile in England, I've been given the chance to intern in India for two months in the summer, writing articles for a magazine.


I guess I'm basically trying to say, never give up. Keep on fighting and somehow you will get to where you want to be.


Now 2012, I didn't really do the whole New Year's Resolution thing, but since we're turning another page I think I'm going to try and keep to some...goals, as opposed to resolutions:


1. Treat my body better. Now I'm not a slut, so if it was something inappropriate that first came into your mind, think again. I want to treat it better in the sense of healthy eating, exercising more. That kind of rubbish that sucks balls (thanks, now you've made me inappropriate!). Only I'm not going for the whole "I'm gonna eat at least five portions of fruit or veg a day" because I know I won't. Instead, I'm going to try cutting down to two choccies/treats a week and exercise for at least an hour at least twice a week. Every two months I'm able to do that properly, I'll treat myself to two boxes of brownies, because then I've got a reason to stick to it.

2. Gain some experience. I want to be an engineer, yet if you mentioned horsepower, mid-engines or transmissions to me, my face would be blank. 2013, I'm going to start asking garages nearby if I can learn from them and work for them for free. I'll also start reading more motor vehicle magazines so I don't seem like a total dingbat when I ask around.

3. Organise my ass. What with my degree, my job, LUTheatre, streetdance, LUSH radio, writing, and my hopes to help out in a garage, I'm really gonna need to draw up a schedule to follow so that I don't let myself down, or anyone else. So yeah, hopefully by being more organised I'll find more time to write stories for you guys.


What are others' resolutions/goals this year? Let me know in the comments section. I hope you all had a great New Year's Day, and that 2013 brings everyone hopes and dreams for the future, as well as love, good health and happiness.


I say, BRING ON 2013!

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