January. The month that seems to last a year, despite being the one to introduce us to a new year in the first place. The irony.
January was a mixed lot. The year ahead looked at once both hopeful and daunting. The weeks preceding only proved it would, indeed, be both. So in every way possible, this month has dragged, a sentiment it seems the majority of the world agrees on. But oh, so much has happened.
I began the year off in Edinburgh. Had I told myself that sentence would come out of my mouth
(…fingers? I’m typing?) this time last year, I’d have laughed. Impossible. I don’t have the confidence to travel alone. Who do I think I am? And yet, I did. Sucks to be you, past Ashleigh. Proved you wrong there. And so I found myself in Edinburgh for 5 days over the new year, visiting my best friend and relishing in every moment I had. Everything was incredible – the festive cheer, the sightseeing, the simple everyday moments with the friend I rarely get to see, the landscapes, even the mundane sort.
And what’s more, the travelling doesn’t end here. Li’l old me, who has barely travelled outside her city in her (almost) 20 years of existence, finally seems to be on the move. Still close to home, January saw me booking a day trip to York in the hope that I will actually do some of the sightseeing activities this time, instead of wandering aimlessly around and getting caught in the shambles for longer than necessary. What’s more, I’m hoping a trip to the Bronte Parsonage in Haworth may happen this year (possibly in February!), AND…a family holiday to Bulgaria has been booked! It will be my first time abroad, and honestly doesn’t even feel like it’s happening right now, but nevertheless I know it’ll be a good time. How I’ll cope with the warmth, I don’t know.
On the more mundane side of things, January brought the second semester of university. A semester which, honestly, is highly daunting to me. Everything is theory based. Everything. Gone are the days of simply reading books and discussing the themes in the content and whatnot. Oh no no. Now we’re just bombarded with literary theories we have to learn and apply to the books we read. And when that’s across four different modules, and the set reading is suddenly a lot more densely written, it’s…a lot to take in. But so far, I’m surviving. I can say that much at least.
Then there’s the readying-for-next-year situation that seems to have suddenly arisen, in the form of choosing our elective modules for the second year of uni. Though I don’t know much about anything yet, right now it’s looking likely that one of my elective modules will be a work based situation, where instead of studying in class, I’ll be sent out on placement for a company and volunteer there on some sort of project. Honestly, I don’t really like the sound of this – I do just genuinely love studying in a classroom/lecture theatre environment and…well, the thought of doing otherwise is putting me on edge slightly. However – and I could be wrong here, but – there may be placements in publishing. And with my absolute need to work in publishing in the future, it seems ridiculous to turn away from anything that might get me that step closer. Again, I could be entirely wrong about this since we’ve not actually had much information on the placements, but still. It’s a possibility I can’t ignore.
Admittedly, I’m struggling a bit more with uni this semester. Not for the work itself – though that will always be a factor – but instead in the more social aspect. Without going into it too much (because this post will already be long enough), my brain can’t seem to get past the fact that I’m just a bit of a drifter at uni. While everyone seems to have formed proper friendship groups and do things outside of uni, I kind of just vaguely know people enough to chat to sometimes and then go home. And I’ve tried – am still trying – so so hard to be more social, but I almost feel like it’s too late now. So that’s where the rockiness of January kept hitting. I’m managing though – and I do have a really good friend at uni who I’m forever thankful for finding. So we’ll get there in the end, wherever that may be.
As for my general home life – which is to say, other things bookish – you may have seen that I was shortlisted for the UKYABA’s under the Best Content and Design category!! The winner’s have already been confirmed but won’t be announced until the event in April (which I unfortunately can’t attend, because London and uni), but I’m so excited to see the winners on the night! So many wonderful bloggers made the shortlist, and it’s such an honour to have made it up there beside them with this li’l blog of mine. Without pouring my heart out too much, since I did that already in the original post, thank you once again for supporting everything I do. I can’t even express how much it means to me ❤
So – hopeful and daunting, as mentioned before – January proved to be all over the place. My days are once again consumed by university, but the beginning of this year decided to throw some highly unexpected positives into the mix too in the form of blogger/booktuber love and travel, so honestly it all seems kind of unreal. Where February will take us…well, we’ll see.
*My book wrap up will be going up on my channel Friday at 3pm if you’re interested! Also, let me know if you like hearing about my uni experience/uni updates – I’m aware the majority of this post rambles on about it for way too long!