21, 21, are you having fun?

Having finished the uni semester about two weeks ago, I’m feeling peculiarly relaxed at the present time. Only two jobs and one volunteering position are currently fighting for my time, and to be perfectly honest, it’s a bit of a shock to the system to have nothing pressing to work on while enjoying my days at home.

It’s brought to mind something I’ve been dwelling over with increasing frequency as of late. Who are we when we’re not achieving?

I understand that this may sound petulant and childish to some, but it’s really been bugging me. I’ve been struggling to find that delicate balance between being calm and happy to be alive, and being bored out of my brain. So much of my life is driven by the need to get things done – the next assignment, the next day at work, striving to get good grades, to do the right thing by my boss, to support others, to get enough sleep.

When that’s all taken away, and semester ends, and my grades fleetingly make me happy but are then added to a pile of ‘Past Successes’, with the future the more real and pressing issue, I can’t help but wonder what I’m missing out on by constantly being stuck in tomorrow. I remind myself of the excellent Humans of New York post discussing one’s future self, but think that perhaps my short term self is missing out.

I had a good conversation with my lovely father recently. Amongst pontificating about animal species and interrogating me about my studies, he gave me a piece of very good advice – life is not a race, and being the most stressed out, the hardest worker, or the most overextended, does not mean you’re ‘winning’. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately, and reminding myself regularly – life is not a race.

I’ll leave you with a song that’s captured some of my mood lately, in the form of ‘Happy Healthy Citizen of the Developed World Blues.

Hannah x

And a happy New Year

In honour of 2015, here are some broad and vague goals for the days ahead*.

  1. Organise and prioritise. For better or worse, university is the main game in my life right now. As a 3rd year full time student, I can’t help but feel as though I’ve lost some motivation coming into my 3rd year of tertiary study. This year, I’m planning on buying a whiteboard, refreshing my highlighter and sticky note collections, and jumping back into my dreams of aesthetic, organised and successful study (a dream based largely on the studyspo community). I’m craving the endorphins that only a GPA boost can bring!
  2. Reach out. I habitually think of great/fun/interesting ideas, planning out how to achieve them and then… ignoring them for several months until my excitement has completely fizzled. Last year, I realised quite late how immensely rewarding it can be to explore options and then follow through, and this year I’m going to act on it. Volunteering is my main plan – both at university and in the wider community. Let’s assume I’ve pre-filled my name on any opportunity coming my way. This year, I’m all in.
  3. Read more. As a law student, I have endless assigned reading to do. Page after page, week after week, of statute law, case law, and textbook analysis are overwhelming, and have drastically dampened my previous urge to read for pleasure. I’m aiming to change that this year, and have joined a book club created by a friend as a form of encouragement. The first book we’re tackling is The Spare Room by Helen Garner. I’ve read Garner’s work before and love her Australian and female perspectives, so I’m excited to explore this one.

* DISCLAIMER – these are not so much resolutions as ruminations. They are therefore not legally binding, and if I continue to be lazy, cannot be held against me.

An Introduction

I have a confession to make.

I hate introductions.

Whether it’s shaking someone’s hand and casting around desperately for something, anything, you might have in common, standing up in the first tutorial of a semester and attempting to summarise yourself in a list of three ‘Fun Facts’, or the initial, clumsy steps into a venture that is new, shiny, and terrifying, I’m not a fan. One of my greatest weaknesses is my ability to put off introductions longer than seems humanly possible, all the while convincing myself that this attitude isn’t harmful. When I finally get around to taking those first tremulous steps, I’ll be older, and therefore wiser, and that can only be a good thing, right?!

The jury’s still out on that one, but nevertheless, I’ve finally made my way onto a ‘serious’ blogging platform. As a Media and Communication student, it’s been a long time coming, but I daresay the pragmatic Law student segment of my brain had some issues with the fanciful nature of the whole thing.

I’ve been considering this concept for many months, and was almost spurred into action by a WordPress-based university unit last semester, but the final push has come from far outside myself. In the dying months of 2014 I was lucky enough to participate in the QUT Big Lift Trip. This eight day experience changed my worldview in many ways, but the most essential was a fresh consideration of the power of reflection. By discussing, writing, and articulating my ideas, and engaging with others in the same process, I was challenged to consider what I believe, and more importantly, why I believe it. I found this process so engaging and essential that I am determined to continue it, especially in regard to my own hobbies, interests, and passions.

I know for a fact that the only way to hone one’s voice is to use it, and so here I am, with plans to do just that.

So, yes, I hate introductions. However, I love looking back on them once the friendship has blossomed, the semester has ended, or the venture has taken shape. For now, then:

Hi. I’m Hannah. It’s really nice to meet you.