Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Currently I'm... #1: First Year, Semester 1 First Term

Current plan: Write one of these each term for the duration of university.

Listening to...
It sounds ridiculous, but the Made in Manchester playlist on Spotify has been played in the late hours of the evenings on loop since moving to university, especially in late October and throughout November, when the homesickness really started hitting me the hardest. It's weirdly comforting to hear the music of the place you call home, all in one playlist. Outside of this, I've continued listening to Alohomora! the MuggleNet Harry Potter re-read podcast as I walk between lectures and on train journeys, and for studying in the library, when not loving listening to the sounds of crackling, folding pages, I tend to turn to classical playlists to concentrate on my work. My personal favourite is Ludovico Einaudi's albums, but basically any classical playlist does the job.

Admittedly, the adjustment to my degree has hit me like a train. Since starting university, I haven't read anything that hasn't been part of a reading list, and whilst I love my degree, I really miss the freedom to read for pleasure as well as for academia. So far my dominant module has been Children's Fiction, but I've been attempting to get some non-degree reading done, such as recently starting The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien, and I am to, hopefully over Christmas, read A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers, the sequel to one of my favourite books, The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet.

Not anywhere near as much as I used to, but the old favourites still manage to sneak in here and there. I'm a lot busier than I was prior to university, and tend to avoid becoming the "Netflix in bed all day kind" of student, In spite of this, however, the late hours of the night are filled with rewatches of Gilmore Girls, my favourie TV show. I tend to watch whichever season is closest to my own personal life, and find solace in Rory's own chaos rather than my own, so as it currently stands I'm rewatching season four, when Rory starts at Yale University, on repeat. Beyond Gilmore Girls, my other Netflix favourites have been rewatching The Crown ahead of series two, and Medici: Masters of Florence. My amount of news consumption has dipped dramatically since starting university, as I live in this weird bubble where unless you actively search for news, you can go a week without hearing about anything in the outside world. I'm lucky enough to have a TV licence, and so watch BBC news constantly, if I'm not using the Guardian app. And finally, I have, at long last, watched Star Wars. Whilst the person I was watching it with and I talked through the majority of it and I generally don't entirely know what the hell went on, they're pretty bloody cool, and I'm glad to finally say I've seen the films.

As it currently stands, I'm taking a sort of unconventional route at university. Since October, I've chosen to come home every weekend, back to Manchester, which has been really rewarding in the long-run: I get a break from university life and the flat in student accommodation, and I get time to clear my head and refocus ahead of the following week. My life is divided into weeks being for university, university people, and friends I've made there, and my weekends are for family and for friends from home. Regardless of whatever other people do, I'm enjoying my system: I like not feeling trapped in one spot, and am so thankful that I chose a university that is relatively near home, even if in Wales, and I have the freedom to come home if and when I need/want to. As well, frankly, as an insomniac, though I don't get a lot of it, I don't think I've ever enjoyed sleep as much as I do now when I'm constantly exhausted. Sleep is a gift from the gods.

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