With the end of one year and the arrival of a new one, usually comes a time of reflection. Looking back at 2017, I feel like it has just passed me by. I originally wanted to write a 17 highlights of 2017 post, but before I knew it, 2018 had arrived already and it just felt a bit silly to look back when I could just look forward instead. Even though some really amazing things happened to me last year and a lot changed as well, so here’s to just a teeny tiny bit of reflecting. 

One of the biggest things to happen to me in 2017 would definitely be graduating from university. After three years of studying for exams, working on Tabula Rasa, having hallway dinners, revising essays, watching Netflix in bed, learning to live on my own, and doing research I got my Bachelor of Arts diploma and I think it truly felt like one of the biggest accomplishments of my life so far. When I graduated from high school I thought it was pretty cool and I was mostly just really really excited to start the next chapter of my life at university, but when I graduated from there only three years later, I felt mostly proud of myself and how much I had learned and grown as a person, and very sad that my time at UCR and in Middelburg was over. 

So almost immediately after my graduation, another one of the biggest things to happen to me actually happened: I moved out my beloved student dorm room and away from the place that I had lived my entire life. I packed up all of my stuff, said goodbye and moved to the big city of Rotterdam, where Boyfriend and I moved in together in a cute little house with a baby blue couch and stained glass windows and doors. I started my master’s in journalism at the Erasmus University and started writing for 3VOOR12 Rotterdam. And then, now almost two months ago…

… we adopted our kitten! Ziggy has grown a lot since then (although he’s still quite smoll and very cute) and we have grown very fond of him. Sometimes he annoys the hell out of us (he has a knack for scratching our wallpaper and creating a very exorcist-like artwork on the walls), but at other times he melts out hearts when he comes to cuddle on the couch or when he purrs in his sleep. Even though we jokingly threaten him with bringing him back to the shelter when he scratches the wall paper one more time, we are both so happy we adopted lil’ Ziggy and that he sits next to us on the couch while watching the new season of Black Mirror (he loves it). 

And then came the most recent highlight of 2017, which was our family trip to Edinburgh, Scotland. After four years we returned to our favorite holiday cottages in the Pentland Hills and this time we returned with the seven of us, instead of just my parents, my sister, our dog and me, because both of our boyfriends could come along for the ride (they’re probably still recovering as we speak…). We had such a lovely and unforgettable time in the snow, surrounded by sheep and relaxedly in front of the fire. New Year’s Eve we spent in Edinburgh, celebrating Hogmanay while listening to The Human League perform and watching the beautiful firework display from the city’s castle. 

But now we’re back and it’s time to look ahead towards 2018. Previous years I always made a new year’s resolutions list with all of the goals I would set for myself, but the more I’ve been thinking about it, the more I realized how torn I feel about making resolutions or setting goals for myself. One the hand I really love to set goals, because I feel motivated to achieve them and I feel like I have something to look forward to over the course of a year. But on the other hand, I feel like a lot of people, myself 100% included, set these unachievable and unrealistic goals for themselves at the beginning of a new year, and then reflect back and realize they didn’t make achieve their goals. I always set the goals, but I can’t remember a time where I actually achieved them and gained some sense of pride or fulfillment from them, so I decided that this year I’m not really setting any hard-set resolutions for myself. Instead, just have three things that I want to try out this year and (*fingers crossed*) at the end of 2018, I’ll be able to look back at another great year. 

Start my internship

The first really REALLY REALLY exciting things to happen to me in 2018 is actually going to happen in just a couple of hours, which is the start of my internship at Cineville! I’m both nauseatingly nervous and freakishly excited about this internship, which is a six-month social media and marketing internship. For the first half of 2018 I’m going to intern at Cineville, which is Dutch company that offers a monthly unlimited cinema subscription allowing you to go watch films whenever you like wherever you like. When I moved to Rotterdam over the summer I got myself a Cineville subscription and it has honestly been great to be able to watch so much more movies then usual, and now I’m going to intern there. So it’s going to be super busy to combine both my fulltime master’s and my internship, but I think in the end it’s going to completely worth it and I’ll keep you posted. 

Read more

One of the things I really do want to change in 2018 is my reading habits. When I was younger, I used to read all day every day and I absolutely loved it. Then the last few years I didn’t read that much at all and when we were staying in Scotland I’ve realized I really missed it. When we were on holiday I would curl up with a book every day, sometimes for hours at a time. It had honestly been years since that happened and it just felt so natural and relaxing to me to curl up with a book and read. So I stocked up on loads of books in Edinburgh (because they are just so much more affordable in the UK), dragged them all back with me and now I can just dive into every one of these stories and really free up some time to just sit down, eat some chocolate, and enjoy a good book. 

Document my life more

Looking back on 2017, I found it very hard to remember things that have happened, especially the smaller but nonetheless important events or milestones. I’ve realized that I really like to be able to look back at pictures and bring back those memories, immerse myself back to that time for just a little while. In 2017 I hardly took any real photos and I didn’t keep any kind of journal except for my Instagram page and, of course, Almost Famous Writer. But by the end of 2018, I really want to be able to go through my stack of pictures and flick through my journal to be able to read the story of that year. 

So that was my share of reflecting on 2017 and looking forward to 2018, and I’m very excited to start my internship, play many more boardgames, cuddle many more times with lil’ Ziggy and write a lot on Almost Famous Writer. Happy 2018!