#PlayVirtual;LiveReal | Five Years On

I guess this is as good a place as any to begin. When something tragic happens; isn’t it interesting to see how people become reduced to headlines or summary sentences in order to explain what happened? Or labels are assigned, and they stick. In the case of Breck – it’ll take time to dig beneath the surface of what happened to find the real person – the friend, student, and gamer.

This is one such description, found on The Breck Foundation’s website.

“Breck Bednar was a 14 year old boy, from Caterham, Surrey, who loved technology and online gaming. He was groomed via the internet and murdered on February 17th 2014 by someone he met online.”

Sink or Swim

Not only have we found ourselves in the second month of the year, but I’ve just finished Week One of Semester Two – that’s right – university is officially back in action.

Before starting university in September, I’d somewhat prepared myself for a few difficult weeks. I knew I was going into something completely new; stepping out of my comfort zones in all walks of life – and had done my best to prepare for it… It was hard – and I’m glad that in many ways, I never have to go through that again to the same extent.

But, maybe I lulled myself into a false sense of security. I spent my Christmas holidays looking forward to coming back; full of expectation of what Semester Two could bring…but maybe forgetting to acknowledge quite how hard it would be.

FOMO: On Missing Out

Today’s thoughts come from a place I never really thought I’d be in – on talking about FOMO. Now, before you think “Hannah, what on earth is ‘FOMO’ and what planet have you walked into at university?” – please bear with me; I’ll explain.

What even is ‘FOMO’?
For those who don’t know, ‘FOMO’ is, according to the Urban Dictionary (trust me, hard to find a reliable source): “a state of mental or emotional strain caused by the fear of missing out.”

In other words, it’s an acronym for ‘Fear of Missing Out’ – just people use it as a normal word. If you think back to the time of ‘YOLO’, which has now died down in its use (thank goodness for that!) – it’s a bit similar to that.

FOMO is something that often strikes in social settings; the need to be a part of something, or so often linked with peer pressure.

2019: A Year for Change

Another year?

Another chance to set new goals and aspirations for the next chunk of time ahead of us?

New Year, New You?

I don’t know when it became normal to start setting goals, targets, resolutions (whatever you want to call them) in January, but part of me likes it, and part of me doesn’t. As someone who struggles with perfectionism, setting goals I know I may not keep felt as if I was setting myself up for failure. That said; I’ve come to realise that there’s more to life than a checklist, or finding my self-worth in ticked boxes or letters on a piece of paper – and so when it comes down to it, goals can be a really good way of re-focusing.

Expectations of Christmas

What immediately springs to mind when you hear the word “Christmas”?

I would imagine that the answers I’d get to this (if I were to conduct a survey) would vary, but I’d also imagine that many of them would fall within the same category. I’d expect answers to include ‘presents’, ‘music’, ‘food’, ‘drink’, ‘Santa’, ‘Jesus’ birth’ (I’d hope that would crop up), and probably also ‘family’. Many of these things are synonymous to a modern day Christmas; a time of indulgence, giving and receiving (coupled with over-spending), and a general sense of frivolity.

Yet; I get the sense that for many people, the answers that I’ve given just now don’t quite cover it all.

2018: A Year of Firsts

I’m not going to spend the time going over each and every one of my goals – but I’ve found it fascinating looking back at what I wanted to get out of this year. Have you written down goals – and I say goals rather than resolutions; because more often than not resolutions never make it to the end of January – goals that you can then reflect on come the end of the year?

I know goals or new habits don’t need a new year to be formed – but there’s something quite nice about having a year as a round period of time! But before I move onto what 2019 may have in store; and what I want to achieve or just set in place, I want to look back a little at this year.

At the End of Semester One

I’m staggered with the reality that I’ve finished my first semester of university, marking halfway through my first year. The last fourteen weeks, or 102 days, have been an intense journey, a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences – and it wouldn’t be right to just settle into ‘home life’ without taking time to reflect on everything that has changed.

The last time I sat down and properly did that, I’d just about reached the end of my first month at university. In many ways, that feels like a very long time ago. But at the same time, I feel as if I’ve blinked, and the time has flown by.

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