Thursday 10 October 2019

Me at 20

Today, I turn 20. Well that’s weird. No longer a teenager huh. When you’re younger ‘your twenties’ seems so far off, so alien. In your head you have an imaginary version of yourself, all hypothetical and adult – they have their shit together, they look and well, are, cool. And their feet reach the end of the bed. 

None of that happened. Now, 20-year-old me is real and still not very adult, and my feet still don’t reach the end of the bed.

I am now in my second year of uni. I won’t lie, it’s odd not being the newbies anymore. People ask me directions or questions about the uni projects I’m involved in and I know the answers. I love being back in Newcastle. And it’s great to be in a new house, out of first year halls and with new opportunities to explore new areas of the city more easily. I am feeling overwhelmed being back, even though it’s only been about three weeks (even if it’s only about 2 actually in uni doing stuff). It’s a very different overwhelmed than last year, though. Now, the place and most of the people are familiar to me, I just seem to have way more on my plate in terms of both academics as well as in other areas of my life.

My room is beginning to take shape. I’ve still got some prints to put up on my walls, but that’s the only thing that’s really left to do. They’re from some of my favourite films (as well as one of our Lady Goddess and Saviour Ruth Bader Ginsburg) so hopefully it’ll look really cool when I’m done. I’ve got books piled on every surface possible, my yoga mat permanently on the floor (and it’s not always covered with shoes and bits of paper!), and a plant pot waiting for an inhabitant (I accidentally killed its last one last year, so it’s now time for me to find Enid 2.0). 

I am still vegan, and can’t believe that it’s been nearly a year and a half. Obviously there have been hiccups along the way – none intentional, I might add – but every mistake is a learning curve and helps me improve next time I go somewhere. Let’s just say I now bring snacks everywhere and know to say ‘No cheese!’ when buying anything in Disneyland.  

In my birthday post last year, I mentioned that I was really focusing on trying to change my shopping habits to include less plastic and less fast fashion. And to be fair, I feel like I’ve been relatively successful in that. I will forever be a work in progress in this respect, as sometimes these things are unavoidable. I mean plastic is literally everywhere! I rarely buy clothes anymore, and when I do, most of the time they’ll be second hand or from more ethical high street stores (M&S you are my trouser fave), and very occasionally from smaller independent companies, although that’s very rare due to their prices (very rare as in not happened yet but it’s the goal). I’m currently saving up to buy a cool pair of ethically made trousers from one such company and I’m looking forward to trying it! With every item I now own, I try my best to wear over and over again. It’s definitely made me more creative and bold with my fashion choices. 

My hair is much longer than it was. Last year, it was still pretty short after the major chop I had done at the end of college. Since then I’ve only trimmed it every now and again, so that it now goes down to just below my shoulders. I love having it this length, it means that I can experiment with my hair - and by that I mean I am able to do Leia buns again!

This year, I am definitely more involved in uni outside of my studies. Last May I was elected Social Media Secretary for the Feminist Society – something that combines my two loves: feminism, and oversharing onlinesharing information about the issues I care about online. One of the first things I did with FemSoc was to start up a monthly Feminist Book Club. We held our first book club event two evenings ago, focused around Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I Am No Longer Talking to White People About Race. It went so well and has made me even more excited about the future of this book club and future FemSoc events coming up this year!

I’m also much more involved in a uni volunteer organisation called N.E.S.T. this year. NEST is a project which aims to empower refugees and asylum seekers in the North East through further education in the English language. I went along to lots of NEST sessions last year, but this year my friend and I are the kids’ leads. It’s become such a big part of my life now and I love it so much – I just can’t wait to get back into the swing of things!

In the past year, I’ve really had to figure out how to look after myself mental health-wise. I won’t go into detail but let’s just say it’s been a learning curve I’m still definitely learning from. Now I’m warier of watching my limits, keeping busy but not so much that I burn out, as well as watching any other factors which may have a significant effect in whatever way.

At this moment in my life I feel like I’m more certain of some things and less certain of others. With an emphasis on the latter. I feel like things are getting a tad more serious now, and that’s kinda scary. But hey, I guess I’ll just keep reading interesting books and getting excited about new vegan food and see how we go.

This is me, at 20. 

If you liked this post you might like: Me at 19

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