hey, it's frances.

Excuse the ramblings...

Saturday, 28 December 2013

2013: Round-up

Well it looks like we've come to the end of the year! For me personally, 2013 has been incredible. First of all it's the first year I've actually met my new year's resolution, which this year was to step outside of my comfort zone. This year I've met so many incredible people from simply forcing myself to apply for things (even if I'm being chosen for 150 spots out of 1200+ people!). But also not forgetting the people I already knew - my family and friends. This year I've gotten to see my beautiful niece (see Instagram) grow up into a bumbling/tumbling toddler, which has been great to say the least.

The Sutton Trust US Programme; The Ghana Link, Young Enterprise; The Student Association, my job, The National Youth Budget, and simply being part of a sixth-form of 3700 students! Here's a few highlights of my year:

Created with flickr slideshow.

By putting myself out there I've made amazing friends and life-long memories, to the point that if I had to choose one as my favorite, I don't think I could! I've seen huge changes in my personality this year (in a good way); I'm way more confident than I used to be, and my motto is literally YOLO (couldn't resist.)
OK, alongside work, schoolwork, UK & US applications and possibly even having some sort of free time (rare),  it's been stressful, and sometimes I simply don't have enough time to do things, but it's been worth it! I'm currently on the final stretch with my applications and it feels great! With so much to do, I definitely have begun to appreciate people a lot more. On the weekends I work in a 28 lane bowling alley as a Party Host; not only do I have to deal with parties, I have to deal with waitressing in the cafe, lane faults, and angry customers all at the same time. From being on the 'other side of the counter' I'm now a lot more empathetic to employees anywhere I go. Coffee took ten minutes? That's OK. There might have been a machine fault, or frankly something more important than my coffee that the employee had to deal with. Also, there is only so fast someone can go. The number of times I've had angry customers shout at me in a heaving queue saying that they've 'pre-booked',and therefore shouldn't have to queue, is astounding. I've then had to explain to them that unfortunately all of the other people in the queue have pre-booked also, and that we're doing the best we can to alleviate the situation. Now when people say 'sorry for the wait', I know they mean it. What's more, I realise that a slightly flustered cash attendant who is dealing with  the massive queue, might also have a lot on their plate at the minute (like studying for a million admissions tests), and the last thing they want to be doing is working with people yelling at them. I now take pride in showing gratitude whenever I can, even if it's just cleaning up after myself. We don't know the story of the people we come across, and just a simple act of kindness might help to make their day that little bit better. This year I've done so many things that I guess 'last year's me' would never have done, and it just makes me think how easy it would have been to have a substandard year if I didn't make the extra effort to put myself out there.I guess the only challenge for me next year is to make it exponentially better than this year - challenge accepted - watch this space!
~ Frances

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