As January comes to end…Oh my, oh my, am I grateful for the people I am blessed to do life with. No matter how your month has been, don’t let a dull, stressful January influence the rest of the year! Here’s what’s happened this month in the life of Kulayrosas…
7 DAYS IN FRANCE
If you didn’t already know, I headed to Bordeaux to spend a week back in the place that truly feels like home. While there, I saw as many friends as I could, began making plans to move back there when I graduate from Lancaster University in July, and even climbed the Dune du Pilat sans escaliers*. I drank endless amounts of cofee, ate Opera patisserie every day for breakfast, and just made the most out of every moment I had there. I met with the girls, my second family, and even my former students from last year as an assistant in Libourne.
In a nutshell: it was one jam-packed week full of love, joy and good spirit. It was so much more than just that going-back-home feeling. It was magical, and a week I will never forget, nor take for granted.
I am so blessed to feel so at home in two countries.
LAURA IN LANCASTER
Sipping on an oat-milk cappuccino in Lancaster’s recently opened vegan café and bar, The Herbarium, I discussed my dissertation project with my friend. It’s surprising how speaking with others, particularly those dear to you, inspires you and impacts your thoughts. If I hadn’t have been with her, I’d have been scribbling things down in a notebook.
Laura is the most incredible friend, I don’t think I know of anyone so kind right down to the bone. I couldn’t be more grateful for having made friends with her, and if you’re reading, I MISS YOU ALREADY.
TERM TWO OF FINAL YEAR
I mean, ew. It’s already Week 4 of second term, that’s Week 14 of the uni-year as a whole, and I’m getting a lil’ on edge. I say a little. I’m in the library in a full-blown stage of anxiety writing this, trying to take a break from the million-and-one things I have to catch up on. Sorry mum, I may have to lapse and splash out on a Costa hot chocolate.
This term has had it in for everyone so far, and I hate (with a passion) what it is doing to my closest friends. We are all in zombie-state. I have been prescribed medication to help me sleep ‘better’ and glasses all in one week, as preventative methods to ease my so-called ‘severe tension headaches’ and frankly, cba.
While it hasn’t been plain sailing, at least my dissertation is coming together. And, at least I am enjoying it! More than enjoying it, if I’m honest. France X Algeria X Architecture X Culture. Right up my street. And you will of course, be hearing more about it!
HOMEMADE CHINESE FOOD
I’m not one to turn down a culinary experience, let alone a cultural one. Alice’s coursemates and former presentation group, all Chinese girls, invited her round to theirs, cooking her authentic Chinese food to say thank you for all her hard work and immense contribution to the presentation. They said bring friends, so that’s where I came in!
Meeting the girls was so lovely, and I felt so welcome. It was a couple of hours of sharing our travels across Europe with one another, tucking into breaded mushrooms and broccoli, and getting sticky fingers from sweet BBQ ribs (incredible).
Samantha even gifted us both with a felt Chinese lantern decoration, and since Chinese New Year is now upon us, what a lovely keepsake and momento that I will cherish forever. It also looks great in my room, which is taking on a very ethnically-diverse look.
LANCASTER’S FIRST SNOWFALL OF 2019
Yes, we all ran to the front door like children to watch the big leafy snowflakes fall. What a heart-warming moment, and who better than my beautiful flatmates and friends to share it with. Since that first snowfall, the temperature has dropped massively, and we have been spending any a night huddled in the lounge under blankets watching endless Netflix series (Ru Paul’s Drag race,, holla at me) until it’s time to admit defeat and return to our -10 degrees bedrooms and sleep.
Pictured are Ebba and Alice, I’m hiding somewhere in the dark abyss (of snow) in my dressing gown, letting the snowflakes land in my hair…extra, as always. Zoe is hiding behind the camera, and we have to thank her for altering the house in the most adorable (and petrifying) way…screaming it down…that it was SNOWING! Josh is probably somewhere eating pizza.
TIP OF THE MONTH: JOURNAL IT OUT
Writing things out in a journal is a great way to keep track of your feelings, but even if you prefer not to re-read your thoughts, it can ease you and bring calm. I would suggest not spending too long doing this every day, or else you may get too deep into your feelings and miss out on things or not get all your university work done, but set out even ten minutes in the morning to write out how you feel. Often, people do gratitude journals, writing about what they’re thankful for and this is one example of how to write things out in a positive manner, rather then getting muddled up in deep words and thoughts.
ALL IN ALL
This January has been really special so far, with new friends and gorgeous moments of laughter. I am so glad I took up new opportunities this year because they have opened doors, and widened my circle of friends. Back in first year, I only felt like I had one true friend at university! And now, I have so many I can count on.
This January, I urge you to not let the blues get you down. Keep yourself in tip-top form health-wise, and try to love yourself constantly. Do things to make yourself happy, and cut out toxic things and people who may be bringing you down, mentally and emotionally.