• Katie Heyes

My July Journey: Day 2 - Projects for this Summer

Updated: Jul 6, 2019

If there’s anything this past month has told me is that I do tend to be very hard on myself and critical about myself. This is the main reason why a lot of my projects never come into full fruition because I start to think oh no-one’s going to like this, this is stupid that kind of thing. However, I think by powering on despite all my insecurities will hopefully help me not only to deal with my anxiety and depression but also help improve my general work ethic. Trust me next year I’m going to need it!

So one sunny morning, I complied together a list of several tasks that I wanted to set out to do this summer and thought I’d share some of them all with you today.

- Complete the Russian Duolingo course– As aforementioned in previous posts I study French and Spanish for my degree; two languages that I’ve been properly learning for almost 8 years now. Whilst I chose them because I’d like to use them for a job in the future, you could argue that I’m just going the easy route and just sticking to what I know rather than picking up a new language from scratch which is what most students opt for. And whilst overall I am really enjoying the reading and the history in my culture modules, learning things like grammar rules and vocabulary aren’t as much of a challenge for me anymore. Don’t get me wrong, you always discover new words as you go along but I feel like at this point, I’ve pretty much exhausted all the vocab book and grammar sheets in the history of existence. So why not try something different for a change? I’ve reallly missed the initial stages of learning a language; getting all the vocab lists, learning tense endings, adjective agreements all the nitty gritty stuff like that. But also I’ve missed just how exciting and fascinating it is to really immerse yourself not just in linguistic differences but also in an entirely different culture. I absolutely loved it and it’s a passion I really wanted to rediscover. It was a tossup between Russian or Dutch but I ended up deciding on Russian mainly because I see it as more ambitious for myself. I’ll go into this more in a later post but this language poses all these new challenges such as – learning a new alphabet and the introduction of cases and the neuter gender. So I think overall it’s going to require a lot more work and a lot more time is going to have to go into it but at the same time it’s engaging and I’m really excited to get started…let’s see how long that lasts.

- Read 10 Books – With the mound of summative assessments, essay planning and revision becoming higher and higher over the course of this year, reading for pleasure became another lost passion of mine. Every so often I get flashbacks to little 16-year-old me who couldn’t wait to start a new book, getting to work on her latest review on Goodreads as soon as I finished the last page. Whilst it was something a lot of people made fun of me for and yeah maybe I was a bit too obsessed in retrospect, I have so much more admiration for that now. So what if it was a bit quirky; so much time, energy and devotion went into those book reviews because I honestly loved reading and analysis. Getting to delve into the reasons why I felt a narrative did or did not work was so exciting for me, easily becoming one of my favourite hobbies. Okay that description made me sound like a bit of a nerd but still I always think when you find something you’re that passionate about, you’ll go far no matter what. That’s something I really want to get back. With Uni reading lists being so extensive, pretty much all the free time you do have is spent on secondary reading. So I eventually got to the stage of not wanting to do it at all as analysing a written medium quickly became something I’d associate with academics alone. But this summer I want to get back into reading more regularly spending at least an hour a day with a goal of finishing 10 books, hopefully I can see if I can bring my Goodreads account back that I’ve been letting gather dust as well. Fingers Crossed!

- Start my Uni Scrapbook– One of my main downfalls is that I concentrate too much on the negatives. Over the course of this year I’ve started to become a glass half empty kind of girl. Instead of thinking of happy occurrences in my life to get past a low point (seems like a simple enough thing to do doesn’t it?) instead I get myself stuck in a very pessimistic mind-set. One upsetting memory can trigger all these other bad memories and before you know it, the dam breaks and I end up feeling emotionally overwhelmed. Uni can be quite an isolating experience and the times I found the hardest would always be when I’m alone in my room at night with all these desolate thoughts piling up by the second. It eventually gets to the point where you struggle to find something to be happy about. So why not have something to change that for next year? But I feel like having something in front of you as a visual reminder of all the good times you do have and the fact that in actuality I’m not alone having so many lovely people by my side is going to benefit me during those low points. As well it’s a chance for me to explore my creative side. Though giving the fact that my mum picked up a painting I did in year 8 and thought it was something I did in Nursery, well, we’ll just have to see how this goes.

So yeah, that’s quite a verbose way of laying out my three main goals for now and will keep you updated on my progress. It may be a case of one being more successful that the other, especially from what my friend tells me about Russian and how much high regard my mum has for my artistic skills, but nonetheless I’m going to give it a go. That’s all that matters! Will see you in my next post!

- Katie x

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