Up on Buzzfeed a few days ago was this set of questions to answer before 2016. This is a few days out from being before 2016, but they looked interesting so I figured why not answer them (well, most of them) anyway 😛
What did you do this year that you’re proud of?
I tried new things; editing videos, writing more online, entering the uni bursary competition even though winning was very unlikely,
In little ways, I did new things that I wasn’t 100% comfortable with.
Who did you meet this year that inspired you?
Not really one person in specific, but the uni group in general. Seeing many of the people there already working in sci-comm fields, or holding down full-time jobs and families while doing the course, is impressive. Mostly, I get inspired from being in that group, from being around people who are interested in similar topics and want to work in similar areas.
What did you read that you think bettered you?
I’ve been pretty low on the book count this year, apart from finding some good pop-science books. Ben Goldacre’s Bad Pharma made me think more about patterns and flaws in science and medicine, which was interesting. Cordelia Fine’s A Mind of Its Own got me re-interested in cognitive science, mostly thanks to her writing style.
What are songs that you will always hear and think of this year even when you’re listening on some contraption that hasn’t even been invented yet?
This year in music: getting temporarily obsessed with Bring Me The Horizon; finding more post-rock; rediscovering bands I used to like, and realising I liked a slightly wider range of music than expected.
- Mirrored Theory- We Are Ghosts In This Town. .
- Conditions- Better Life.
- Flyleaf- Set Me On Fire. (It used to be on my car CD when I was driving around at 7am delivering newspapers- now it’s more of a reminder how good it felt to give that up).
- Shinedown- Black Cadillac. Not my favourite song on their new album, but the one I heard first.
- Bonus: Babymetal- Gimme Chocolate!. A slightly odd co-worker told me to listen to this, and while I wouldn’t say I like the music, it’s undeniably memorable.
What were some times that you laughed so hard you could barely breathe?
Most funny moments came from evenings on Xbox Live, either as reactions to something happening or jokes/insults between people in the group; the rest from when we met up each month to record new videos. While I don’t regret these at all, I do wish I’d had more moments like that with a wider group, as there are quite a few people I didn’t see enough of.
What were your favourite movies? Not what was good, not what you had to see because of your friends or the media. What were your favourites?
I think I only saw 1 cinema movie this year- Star Wars Episode VII, which I enjoyed far more than I expected. Aside from that, I’ve mostly watched YouTube shorts. My favourite was “The Fleeting Little Life of Peter Wright”– I wasn’t sure what to expect from a short about suicide, but the way they used comedy to make the drama make sense was memorable.
What are some fears that you had at the beginning of the year that you overcame?
The most consistent fear was about uni- I was scared of getting there and being the youngest and least qualified person by miles, completely out of my depth. Instead, I’m doing ok so far- there are people around my age, and I’ve found areas where I can be useful and have knowledge that others don’t. Most other fears were in reaction to events, such as after the work break-ins, and after realising how much I’d been affected by anxiety because of work and my unhealthy thoughts about it.
What were quotes you loved this year?
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
What are ways that you exercised self-care?
The biggest one was deciding to go back into the mental health system voluntarily. I chose to talk to people and get help in place as a preventative measure, rather than waiting to see what would happen.
I still get a lot of impulses to make the worst choice in any given situation, to take the option that will hurt me or prevent me growing. Self-care was sometimes being able to catch myself about to take that impulse, and convincing myself not to listen to it, but to take the protective option instead. Another was learning to say no to work or obligations, when I knew saying yes would make things worse. This still needs developing, as I still get stuck in anxiety loops about how to react to situations, but I did make some progress.
What are things you want to see more of next year?
In myself? Focus- knowing what I’m doing and why.
In my life in general? Progress- doing things I’m interested in rather than just learning about them.
In people I know? The confidence to try and do what they want to do.
What are five things you did that you never thought you’d actually do?
Start a Master’s course!
Made a video where I talked, and had to hear my own voice.
Wrote something that got published.
Had some kind of clue about what I wanted to do with my life.
What are the most important things you learned this year?
I already started doing a post on this when I read these questions, so my answer is here.
Aside from that, some smaller things I’ve learnt are;
- Almost everyone seems like they have everything together; almost no-one actually does.
- There isn’t one universal scale of “grown-up” to “immature”- people are far too variable for that.
- Trying to do everything at once just means getting so frustrated that I do nothing.
What is your favourite photo from this year?
Of the photos I’ve taken, probably this one- something about the patterns in the rocks was really interesting.
I’ve mostly managed to avoid being in front of cameras this year, so I’ll go with this photo from our day at the BBC radio studio. It was a really fun day, and I didn’t look too awkward in this one!
What are five things you want to say to people you love?
I’m usually not very good at this kind of thing, so these will probably sound awkward, but;
- Thank you for being 100% you- your courage and independence is something I hope I can one day develop.
- I’m really proud of you, and you deserve to have heard that a lot more often.
- I owe you something that can never be repaid- I hope I’ve been able to explain just how much that means.
- There is so much more to you than you think.
- I miss you.
What are some places where you feel true joy in your life?/ Where do you feel most yourself?
I’ve combined these two because they’re usually connected. For both, it’s linked to making things- if I’ve just solved a problem, made something better, or made something useful, that’s where I feel like everything is right.
How did you calm yourself in times of stress?
Usually through trying to distract myself, which worked until that pattern became distraction for the sake of distraction.While I’ve tried mindfulness meditation, but never remember to make it a habit, so usually don’t remember in the moment. I would like to make more peaceful methods such as mindfulness my go-to solution.
What are some compliments that you received that deeply affected you?
“I couldn’t have got this far without your support.”
What items of clothing did you buy that felt the most you?
This one is hard to answer, as what feels “like me” is really variable. Practically, my new jeans because I found a pair of women’s jeans that were really comfortable, which I don’t find often. I want to say my checked shirt, but I’m not really that comfortable wearing it outside of my house for reasons I haven’t worked out yet.
What things have you been putting off doing because you didn’t have time?
Pretty much everything, to be honest; focus is not my strong point.
Mostly, I’ve been putting off all the things I want to learn about outside of uni, as I keep thinking that I should be spending all my time on course-related learning so getting stuck.
What are some things you’d like to focus and work on in the next year?
Keeping going when I’m not motivated to- remembering that the goals are still there even if I don’t feel like they matter.
What are the best parts of you that you feel really showed through this year?
I really like being able to help people out; whether by finding information/resources to help them achieve something, by fixing things that go wrong, or just being a sounding board for ideas. This year, I’ve been able to do that more as I’ve been more open with people and talked to people more.
What are your biggest hopes for 2016?
That I learn from 2015, and improve the good things that started last year.