Exactly this time last year I had been dropped off by my parents in university halls and, as I was the first person to arrive in my flat, I decided to bake cakes for when other housemates arrived and also managed to scare and scar a ‘Welcome Weeker’ when he walked into my kitchen (because apparently they have keys to all the flats, who knew?) to find me singing songs from Legally Blonde loudly into a wooden-spoon-turned-microphone and wearing rather skimpy pyjamas because I was under the impression I was going to spend that evening alone.

After he’d slowly backed out of the door and fled my flat I carried on just as before, wondering just what the hell my first year at university was going to be like. I had no idea what to expect, I just knew I was off to a tremendous start.

At the beginning of summer I pledged to myself four things I was determined to do; blog, theatre, job, writing…

BLOG: I do feel this blog is now of more use to me. I don’t use it as a pedestal to vent my Holmsian and feminist frustrations. I plan what I want to say and I try to make it personal to me so other people can take it or leave it as they choose without it being shoved down their throat. This is a space for reflection and discussion and, even though I’m generally my only reader, it helps and it feels worthwhile and that’s what I wanted.

THEATRE: A play is happening! (Hopefully!) My father has written a play called Daniel’s Demons which is a story of a boy and his father and Graham and Trevor, their two demons. I am planning to put it on this year as a charity production for ‘Mind’. I have a lot already set up for it, just finding a venue and techie and a cast still on my to do list…yikes. Anyway, this both needs and deserves its own space so more on that another time. There is a play, it will be happening, and for now that is enough.

JOB: I am looking for a job now that I’m back in Exeter to start my second year, but I worked for the Olympics a bit over summer doing stewarding and security work which involved getting on a coach at 2am to start work on the streets of London at 4am to finish work at 8pm and get back on the coach. Tiring. But well paid and I got to be around for the Olympics so, actually, as shitty summer jobs go, it was pretty awesome.

WRITING: Although the little set of stories I’ve been working on is nowhere near finished, it now seems to have a beginning, an ending and some middling parts taking shape. Still a long way to go but I’m happy to have achieved this. 

Overall, this summer has been successful if not exactly fun. I’ve enjoyed being home because I’ve missed Amy and I’ve missed my parents and I’ve missed their well-stocked fridge, but I was very ready to come back and crack-on with even more this year.

This year will be more stressful because everything suddenly counts towards your degree; that piece of paper they will hand me after three years that tells the rest of the world I didn’t fail miserably at life is incredibly important to me, but it is not the be-all and end-all of what I want from university. I would rather come out with a 2:1 having been involved with loads of really great quality theatre than get a first but have no experience, no connections and nothing to be proud of other than the fact I got a first.

I want to do so much with my time here. I have pages full of lists of things I want to do and things I should already have done. Last year I turned up and walked into this place blind, and I did alright for myself. Now I supposedly know what I’m doing and I’d like to have another really great year. A lot has changed in twelve months. Not all of it nice changes but all of it for the better at least. So, with my plans for theatre-world domination, a new house full of people I really care about and who care about me and a lot on my plate I know I am the sort of person who could easily be overwhelmed by all of this, but I also know that this is the right time to keep pushing forward because I only have two years left at this university and I have a hell of a lot yet to prove I can do.