the album I never thought I’d be writing a blog post about

I’ve had a few ideas for blog posts tumbling around in my head lately, and although this wasn’t the first one I came up with – that was some top tips for doing the IB, but given my current stress level it may be best to leave that until after my exams – this album has been on repeat in my head for the last few days and is a completely unexpected new favourite of mine. Partly unexpected because its very, very rare for me to listen to a full album (even more so for me to like everything on it) and partly because…well, it’s Harry Styles, of One Direction fame. I never loved One Direction – though equally I didn’t understand the depths with which some people hated them – and didn’t pay much attention to any of their debut stuff when it first came up. A couple of their solo singles made it onto my Spotify playlists, but I made no effort to go and listen to full albums or anything.

This began to change the other week, when I rewatched Dunkirk with some friends and remembered Harry Styles’ existence. In true procrastinating student fashion I then ended up watching his Carpool Karaoke with James Corden, which is pretty great (highlights include their rendition of Hey Ya! and recreation of Titanic). After watching that I ended up listening to all of his album and, completely unexpectedly, I loved it. It’s been in my head so much the last few days that I figured I’d write a blog post about it, breaking it down into each track and my thoughts, in the hope it’ll finally get it out of my head…

Meet Me in the Hallway

This is quite a chilled, laidback start to the album and wasn’t a track I particularly paid attention to start with but, though it’s not one of my favourites, has grown on me a lot. It’s easy to listen to and relaxing and I love the chorus – I think it does a really good job of livening the track up a bit without losing the dreamy feeling of the rest of it. It also opens up the album immediately showing that this is not going to be a One Direction clone, which is nice.

Sign of the Times

This song is probably what actually stopped me from bothering to look into his music before because I was profoundly unbothered by it when it first came out as his debut single. It was OK, a bit different from One Direction but nothing drastic. Listening to it now I definitely like it more than I did then but it’s probably one of my least favourites on the album. The dramatic strings from 1:33 onwards get a shoutout though, and I discovered that it is actually him being suspended from a helicopter in the music video, not a stunt double, which is pretty incredible.

Carolina

Carolina’s the third track on the album and from its opening notes its showing a different side to ‘solo Harry’ – a bit funkier, a bit livelier, a bit less restrained. The opening riff’s the kinda thing you can’t listen to without letting your head bop along (bop is a fantastic verb and this song is very deserving of its use) and as the layers start to build it just gets funkier (I especially love the little ‘oh yeah’s). The vocals start off pretty laidback but quickly ramp up at the chorus, giving it more of a rock-y vibe than the first few tracks. Then the brilliant ‘la la las’ start up, giving the song a really fun vibe – Harry said in an interview that this was the last song written for the album and gave it a kinda missing piece of fun, which is definitely how it feels. The layers keep building up and, in my entirely objective opinion, the song just gets better and better – it definitely cheers me up in the middle of revision, anyway! Also, love the guitar on this.

Two Ghosts

If you’ve heard of this song, you likely know it as ‘the one about Taylor Swift’. This is another one I really like, and I can personally really relate to the lyrics. Musically, the little guitar riff throughout is beautiful, and the return to the more laidback vibe provides a really nice contrast to Carolina. I’d definitely say it’s more pop-y, more along the lines of some of One Direction’s stuff, but that’s absolutely not a bad thing.

Sweet Creature

Sweet Creature‘s another more chilled one, but a little more folk-y? (I’m not very good at identifying musical genres so feel free to tell me there is absolutely nothing folk-like about it at all haha) It’s similar-ish to Two Ghosts and just a really nice, laidback song for a Sunday evening, and I especially like all the backing vocal bits around 2:30.

Only Angel

So the opening to this track is pretty misleading about the overall vibe of it, as it quickly changes into being much more rock-like. This is one that kinda escaped my notice at first, but now I absolutely love it – it’s great for yelling along to in the kitchen while baking cookies (absolutely not that I was doing that ten minutes ago…). It’s veryyyy different to One Direction and more along the lines of Carolina, once again with great backing vocals and clapping bits, and the little instrumental bit around 3:15 is one of my favourite things in the world right now.

Kiwi

This is one of my absolute favourite songs at the moment, and it’s the most non-One-Direction like one on the album – Harry said himself that it started out as a joke but ended up as one of his favourite songs, which kinda explains the lyrics a bit! Similarly to Only Angel it’s great for just yelling along to (very handy stress reliever for a currently very stressed student with exams in three days) and has kinda become my personal hype song? I don’t know how either, but I’m not disappointed. For the optimum first listening experience, I recommend playing it as loud as you can. Side note – I really love the bridge.

Ever Since New York

I wouldn’t say this is one of the stand-out memorable tracks on the album, but its got a lot of good stuff going on (even if the very opening does remind me of the music they use at the start of lots of programmes about schools on TV – just me?!) It’s apparently thought to be about his stepdad’s cancer diagnosis which adds a whole different level of poignancy to the lyrics – my favourite is probably ‘There’s no water in this swimming pool’ (I always love a good water metaphor). It’s obviously quite a sad song, but in a way that feels chilled out rather than full-on make-you-cry, which is nice.

Woman

Woman perks the album up a bit again, going back to the heavier sound of Only Angel and Kiwi, but a bit more chilled out. It starts with a nice bit of piano and guitar, soon followed by some duck-style sound effects (don’t sound as bad as you think they would). Yeah, not sure what else to say except I like it…

From The Dining Table

First things first – I LOVE the opening guitar motif. I know I’ve said that about basically every track on the album but its all true, okay?!? This is definitely one of my favourites, and like Two Ghosts, I can really relate to the theme of the song. This is definitely not one to cheer you up, but its the kinda song that makes me really think and gets me in the feels, as the ~youth~ say. I also love the change in melody around ‘maybe one day you’ll call me and tell me that you’re sorry too’ – there’s just something about it that I really love, as well as the poignancy with ‘but you, you never do’. I just think the whole song does a really good job of capturing heartbreak without trivialising it or being clichéd.

A Few Final Notes (Musical Pun Absolutely Intended, sorrynotsorry)

I feel like you can split this album fairly easily into ‘chilled out, a bit sad’ and ‘jump around and sing along’, though somehow it still manages to feel pretty cohesive. I just really like it to be honest, hence the fact its got a whole blog post to itself, especially as I never thought I’d be such a Harry Styles fan. I’m also impressed by how true to thestudio versions all his live versions sound – I never realised he could actually sing so well. I also now firmly believe pretty much everything he sings ends up golden – see his cover of Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain, Rihanna’s Wild Thoughts (which I don’t even like the original of) and One Direction’s Stockholm Syndrome for proof…

What are your thoughts on Harry Styles’ solo music?

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Catching Up: A Brief History of My Past 2 Years

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high five to anyone who saw that title and thought of Bill Bryson’s ‘A Brief History of Everything’ by the way, that’s what I was going for

So you may or may not have noticed but my blogging’s been pretty sporadic for the past two years. I left school and went to college to do the International Baccalaureate (hereafter to be referred to as IB, aka a very stressful experience that is ‘a fancy euphemism for hell’ according to the highly reliable Urban Dictionary). Just for a little more, absolutely not dramatized, context:

The small cult-like group of students who are involved in the International Baccalaureate program. Laugh at the bags under their eyes and insane amount of homework now, but your sorry ass will be working for one of these guys in the near future. The near future for an IB kid is not so near, though. Having several hours worth of homework doesn’t exactly make the time fly. Because of this, they have extensive knowledge about useless topics, for example :Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is the fear of long words. 

– Urban Dictionary

I highly recommend you look up the rest of the Urban Dictionary entries for IB if you want a better idea of what it is, it’s scarily accurate

So yeah, been pretty busy lately and my writing and this blog just kinda fell by the wayside. Eventually it felt like too long to just pick it up again and I didn’t really know what to say, but now I’m giving it another go (so apologies in advance for any incoherent rambles while I get my blogging head back!).

What else has happened in the last two years?

Aside from college and everything new and exciting associated with that, I’ve…

  • Gone to Seville, Spain
  • Visited New York
  • Played at the Montreux Jazz Festival for the second time
  • Played at the Vienne Jazz Festival (France) for the first time
  • Left the jazz orchestra I played at those festivals with
  • Lost contact with a number of friends
  • Made a load of new friends
  • Been in a nearly two-year relationship
  • Come out of the end of that relationship trying to fill my time (any idea why I’ve restarted blogging yet?!)
  • Experience two lots of heavy snow in the south of England, in March
  • Booked a holiday to Seville for the end of my exams (yay!)
  • Slowly begun my transition to a creative, arty type who wears lots of floaty clothes and tassel earrings
  • Probably done a lot more things that I now can’t remember

So yeah, been pretty busy! I’m not really sure what way I’m going to revive this blog, but I’m hoping to kinda stick with my old mix of music and books and films and general life stuff, as well as maybe a bit of stuff about the IB/coping with college in general?

We shall see! What’s everyone else been up to in the last two years (oops…)

A Poetic Moodboard For The Non-Poet

I have a newfound interest in poetry. I’m studying the Chilean Pablo Neruda for college (the anthology we’re doing, 20 Love Poems and a Song of Despair, claims to be ‘one of the most celebrated and admired books of erotic poetry published in the last 100 years’, so it’s a little awkward) and for once I’m actually finding the poetry interesting. Some of the GCSE stuff was okay but I mostly only liked the simplistic stuff and Neruda’s isn’t the most abstract, but still is interesting to read and think about. I’m also studying one of his 100 Love Sonnets for coursework (I Do Not Love You Except That I Love You, in case you were interested) and I’ve honestly surprised myself with how much I’m almost enjoying (gasp!) studying it. When I was researching what to do for my coursework I also read a little bit of Maya Angelou, which I like, and yeah, I’m not talking earth-shatteringly profound or intellectual but I guess I’m starting to see the appeal of poetry, just a little bit.

So, seeing as Pinterest has been Pinterest and made a whole load of super pretty pictures to go with quotes and excerpts from poems, I thought I’d put a few of my favourites on here, mainly just so I don’t lose them…

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This is actually available as an Etsy print and it’s my birthday soon soooo…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A little depressing but I like it (source)

 

 

Have you got a favourite quote or piece of poetry?

 

 

Catching Up

So, I just checked, and I haven’t posted on here since January, and sooo much has happened since then that I thought I’d try and catch you all up in a quick post. At the end of January I went to New York for six days which was a mega tick off the bucket list (though, spoiler alert, it’s actually really like London and although I loved it it wasn’t the life-changing experience I expected). At the end of March I then went to Spain on a college trip for a week which was possibly one of the best trips I’ve been on, and then I went to Brighton with my family for the Easter weekend. College has been getting more and more intense, with the launch of our Extended Essays (4000 word uni-dissertation-style essays, eek) and impending mocks, whoop. On a more cheerful note, I’ve finally started regular trumpet lessons again, my birthday is in almost exactly a month and there’s another bank holiday next Monday!

I’ve also finally got a little bit back into reading…I finished Perfume by Patrick Suskind which I’m studying in college as part of my World Lit, as well as binge-reading Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami which 10/10 would recommend, it was SO GOOD. Unusually for me I’ve also been doing some non-fiction reading for my aforementioned EE, which was Patrick Kingsley’s The New Odyssey, which is basically an overview of the European refugee crisis but super interesting because it includes interviews and follows specific refugees so yeah, that was good. Netflix has also become a major part of my life – lately I’ve watched the Hitchcock films Vertigo and Rear Window because I’m seriously intellectual (or had to watch them for film studies, you choose), started Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Girlboss, House of Cards and Designated Survivor. I feel a Netflix recommendations post coming on…

That’s about it, really. After being away from the blogosphere for so long I’m hoping to start being a little bit more active and posting a bit more but we’ll see what happens! What did I miss while I was away?

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20 Ways To Be In Charge Of My Own Happiness

One of my goals for 2017 that I’m trying really, really hard to implement and keep on top of is being in charge of my own happiness. (Another one is to make my college notes beautiful and I’m very invested in the success of that goal) It sounds kinda stupid, but I feel like I rely too much on external factors, like whether I have a bad timetable today or if I’ve scheduled a Wetherspoon’s lunch, and other people to make me happy and change my mood. So, inspired by this, I decided to make a list of things that make me happy, as a kinda safety net for when I’m feeling down…

  1. Getting so into a new book you can’t put it down.
  2. Finding new songs on Spotify.
  3. Singing along to songs you know all the words to (at the moment, this is my favourite singalong song).
  4. Knocking off at least 50% of my to-do list.
  5. Fairy lights.
  6. Having a tidy, clean room.
  7. Exchanging stupid Snapchats with my best friends.
  8. Exercise (Zumba!).
  9. A small bucket of tea.
  10. Lotus biscuits (54 for £1 in Poundland 😏😏😏)
  11. Planning all the places I want to visit.
  12. Making plans to see friends.
  13. Online shopping (H&M has been so dangerous for me the last few months).
  14. Food food food – there’s a new Mexican place near college and it’s so good.
  15. Netflix binging a trashy TV series.
  16. Chain-reading my favourite blogs/scrolling through my favourite Instagrams.
  17. Random Buzzfeed articles.
  18. Writing down everything I have to do so I finally feel like I’m on top of things.
  19. A bath, complete with Lush bath bombs (or similar), a book and no phone.
  20. Moving whatever I’m doing to my bed, because that makes it 10000x comfier.

2016 Meets 2017

Quick side note: I’ve not been on here in at least a month and whoa WordPress has changed, I was not ready for this. Are computers catching onto the ‘new year, new me’ thing now too?!

Anyway, I’ve not been on here in ages but I thought I’d drop in and try and write a bit of a 2016 in review thing. I know that globally 2016’s been labelled as one of the worst years in recent history, but it wasn’t so bad for me. I finished GCSEs, went to prom, went to BBC R1 Big Weekend, saw Bastille, Lucky Chops and Kygo live, visited Holland, Cornwall and Scotland and just had a pretty great summer altogether.

In September I left school to go to college instead of staying on for sixth form and it hasn’t been all easy, but I definitely think I made the right choice. I still miss school and all the familiarity that comes with it, but I finally feel like I’m getting to the point where I know who I want to stay in touch with (definitely not some of the people I thought I would), I’m developing a bit of a routine for staying in touch with them (ish) and I’ve got friends at college. And, even though I’m taking IB, I’m still alive so that’s also a plus.

Of course 2016 had its ups and downs – I’m probably guilty of romanticising it, especially as I’ve left school – but I think it was one of the best years I’ve had lately. And hopefully 2017’s going to be even better – I’m going to New York, one of my dream destinations, in less than a month, Seville for a week at the end of March with, among other people, one of my closest friends at college, and then playing at the Vienne and Montreux jazz festivals in the summer. So yeah, 2017 doesn’t look too bad so far!

And just to finish off this post, as I’ve not written anything in sooo long, here’s a few of my favourite songs from 2016…

And if you got this far down, Happy New Year!

I’m Not Really Freaking Out Anymore (+ things are changing round here!)

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A post shared by @ mixolydianmusings on

You might remember that a few weeks ago, when I was just starting college, I wrote a couple of not-too-cheery posts about how I was feeling (original here and update here – short version, I was terrified and missing everybody and questioning my choice slightly). Now, a month on, I’m feeling very different indeed so I thought I’d give you a final little update bit, in case you were vaguely interested or felt like me when you first started college.

So, first things first – I mentioned I was thinking about it in my update post but I’ve now swapped from Environmental Systems & Societies to Biology (at standard level). I’m enjoying it so far – this sounds kinda twisted but I’ve always struggled a bit with biology, especially during GCSE and I kinda like having the familiarity of that challenge?? I don’t really understand myself but I’m finding it OK so yeah, that’s the main thing. Other than that, I’ve kept my subjects the same and am enjoying almost all of them – we all have a bit of an issue with our maths studies teacher but other than that it’s all good, especially Spanish and Film Studies! (I’m actually actively looking forward tomorrow because I only have two lessons – we’re writing and filming telenovelas in Spanish and then learning how to use the cameras and shooting our film noir we’ve been working on for the past few lessons in Film Studies so that should be fun.) I’ve got the beginnings of a group of friends within IB and a group in the extracurricular academic academy thing I do so that’s good, and the Co-op bags of 5 cookies for £1 are getting very popular.

The missing friends and school, which was a big issue for me to start with has really settled down. I keep in contact with my old friends to varying degrees and have been in to see them at school a couple of times, and I’ve actually found there are some “friends” I don’t miss at all now I’m not forced to see them. It probably also helps a lot of my close friends were from out of school anyway. I do occasionally get pangs of, weirdly, missing GCSEs – I think because the work was easier and there was familiarity and people you’ve known since forever? Idk, it’s weird. College and IB was definitely the right choice for me and obviously I still struggle occasionally but what I’m trying to say is it gets so much easier. Everyone says it and you never believe it but in the last week or so I’ve started feeling so much happier coming home from college and it’s great. I’ve also started trumpet lessons, choir and a thing called Jazz Project at college so I’m just getting to know so many people! So yeah, overall yay 🙂

Now onto the ‘things changing’ bit…I’m going to start being more organised. Or try to at least. So I’m going to try and post regularly on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, with a bonus ‘music of the month’ post at the end of the month. I don’t know if I’ll set a schedule of what I’m going to post, but I’ll see what evolves over the next few weeks and let you know!

Thanks for reading this mega rambley vaguely pointless post…

-AOT

PS this is my favourite song atm so you should definitely listen to it…

Summer In Songs

As some of you might already know, and might’ve guessed due to the lack of posts over the summer, I had a veryyy busy few months. It was one of the best summers ever, and as much as I want to (and may still) do a mega write up with tons of photos etc, I feel like as a lot of my memories from the summer are associated with music, it made sense and seemed more interesting to make a playlist of all the songs I have distinct memories of, and explain the stories behind a few. I’m still hoping to do a mega playlist post of all my favourite songs from the summer, but these have all been chosen with a specific even in mind…


All The Right Moves – One Republic

Raging – Kygo feat. Kodaline

Viva La Vida – Coldplay

This, as well as the previous two, were all chosen from the Radio 1 Big Weekend back in May. One Republic, Kygo and Coldplay were all amazing, and that weekend was just a real highlight of my whole year – Thursday was my birthday, Friday I had a birthday meal out with friends, Saturday I did a charity 5K with a friend and then on Sunday I went to Big Weekend with so many friends, which was amazing.

Talk Dirty – Jason Derulo

Anaconda – Nicki Minaj

This and Talk Dirty date back to prom specifically, but really encompass my last three years at school…Talk Dirty has a very specific memory from our Year 9 battlefields trip that involves some ~interesting~ dancing, and Anaconda has music GCSE memories and a lot more attached.

Lovely – twenty one pilots

Bonkers – Dizzee Rascal

I think this has been played at every party I went to this summer, and every time it was amazing. Such a classic.

Mr Brightside – The Killers

I remember everyone wanting to hear this at the end of one party, but not being able to find it, then it ended up making me cry at the last party of the summer because a) it always makes me emotional and b) ALL THE FEELS about leaving school and my friends and it all just kinda hit then.

Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen 

Same as Bonkers. And everybody always knows the words so it just turns into singalong squad goals.

Step Into The Light – Teminite feat. Jonah Hitchens

One Dance/Hasta el Amanecer – Alex Aiono

This and Step Into The Light remind me of a couple of days with two of my best friends between my trips to Holland and Scotland, when we went swimming at a local lido and absolutely froze and then had the best evening attempting hair chalking and just having a laugh. It’s hard to do it justice in words but it was just so, so fun.

Over and Done With – The Proclaimers

This is the product of a trip to Scotland and finally watching Sunshine On Leith…

XO – Eden Project

Middle – DJ Snake feat. Bipolar Sunshine

Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

This is for one of my best friends and her amazing talent that we discovered at a party – she can rap the entire thing, even under the influence of alcohol, word for word. It’s pretty impressive, ngl.

Dance Wiv Me – Dizzee Rascal & Calvin Harris

Same as above, except it was just aforementioned best friend and my boyfriend singing and we were all stood there like ‘how do you know these words’. Fun times.

Wonderwall – Oasis

Same party, but at this point we were all sat round the fire with a guitar singing a bit of Oasis, as you do.

Millionaire – Cash Cash & Digital Farm Animals feat. Nelly

Good Grief – Bastille

Nobody To Love – Sigma

For some reason I can remember that this was on the radio when we were coming back from a beach trip, and yeah, it just reminds me of that trip.

Forest – twenty one pilots

Bouncy Ball (from High School Musical) – Bad Lip Reading

I know this isn’t technically a song, but it was such a big part of my summer I couldn’t resist…the specific memories involve me, two friends and my boyfriend, blowing up balloons, my friend and I walking back from Waitrose to discover the other two bathing their feet in our (admittedly amazing) bath  and then attempting basketball and smashing a light in the process. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination…

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Take On Me – a-Ha (Kygo remix)

That moment my friend and I discovered someone else who liked Kygo at my party and just added half his album to the Spotify queue. Whoops…

This Girl – Kungs vs. Cookin’ On 3 Burners

Hair – Little Mix feat. Sean Paul

This reminds me of driving back when my sister picked me up from work on a really sunny day and we got McDonalds and this song was on the radio or we were talking about it or something and for once we weren’t really arguing.

If You Got The Money – Jamie T

How Would You Like It – Lauren Aquilina

I had to include this because a) Lauren’s debut album finally came out this summer and omg it was amazing and b) I had the best time reviewing it with Eve.

Manhattan Skyline – David Shire

The most recent addition, I played this in jazz band yesterday. It’s 70s disco from Saturday Night Fever and the strings are just amazing and it’s just amazing.

Are there any particular songs you associate with your summer? Which of these songs is your favourite?

I’m Freaking Out: An Update

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After all the many seriously lovely comments on one of my recent posts about my college-joining nerves, I thought I owed you all an update, now that I’ve done my two days of induction and two days of lessons too.

Looking on the bright side to start with, overall college is great. So far I’m enjoying the courses I’ve started already (except Environmental Systems & Societies…the teacher isn’t great and I’m thinking about swapping to Biology), the work generally seems doable, I’m *beginning* to make friends and get to know people (the IB cohort is only 50 people so you get to recognise people pretty quickly, even in a multi-building college of 4000 people) and my tutor’s really nice. Plus, where else can you get 80p tea and £1 sausage rolls? (probably quite a lot of places, shhh.)  Altogether I don’t think I regret my decision to go to college, which is always a good start!

But…probably naturally, it’s all slightly terrifying and I miss all my friends and my old school so, so much. I miss knowing everyone’s names and knowing the teachers and the teachers knowing me and knowing how stuff works and where to go and everything like that. I just miss the familiarity, the routineness and even the people who I was never really friends with but who were just part of the scenery until suddenly, in the space of a day, they’re not.

I am starting to get to know people, but I’m stuck in that awkward limbo where you’re trying to figure out who you’re drifting away from and who you want to stay in touch with, and you can’t call someone you’ve known for max four days a friend just yet. Add to that the stress of finalising my course choices, a residential to London with a bunch of people I’ve met exactly once next week, all the catch up work from that and the impending doom and stress of ‘when will the mountain of work we’re supposed to get hit’, coupled with all the extra elements of IB like CAS (shoutout to my new photography/writing blog for my creative section), nerves over starting college enrichment next week and general September back-to-school blues and you can probably imagine just how cheery I’m feeling at the moment.

I get that all this is normal – I’ve barely been there properly for two days, I can’t exactly expect to be settled in already – but, and I think it’s especially because I wasn’t forced to leave school, most of my friends left and I actually quite liked it, it’s still making me feel pretty shitty at the moment. I can cope OK during the day, but two days in a row now I’ve had mini meltdowns after college (at least I’m getting into a routine – get home, talk about how great day was (and it genuinely normally is), deny anythings wrong, do homework, freak out, bulk eat chocolate or other sugary substance, hide in cushion fort with duvet and blanket). I know it wouldn’t be the same if I was at school because two of my close friends also left, and the thought of doing A-Levels (my school doesn’t offer IB) makes my stomach feel vaguely sick and fluttery and anxious and panicky, but it’s still not easy.

So yeah, there’s a bit of an update. Not the cheeriest, but accurate. And I know things will get easier, probably even by the end of this week, but until then, things are feeling a little bit bleh. But I promise to update you again sometime, hopefully when I’m feeling a little more settled!

– featured image via unsplash

I’m Freaking Out

I’m sorry that this isn’t a very fun or happy post but I’m freaking out and I need to get some stuff straight in my head, and writing feels like the easiest way to do that.

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Maxime Staudenmann / unsplash                                                                                                                   

Today all my friends start sixth form at my old (?!) school, whereas I don’t start college until tomorrow (and then there’s two days of induction before teaching starts next week). And I guess it’s finally hitting me that I’m not with my friends anymore. Almost all of them have gone back to school, ones at a different college which started last Monday and then there’s just three of us waiting to start tomorrow, all doing different subjects and in different tutor groups.

I guess I’m just scared of being replaced, of my friends getting new friends and forgetting about me, which is all kinda expected and natural when moving school but still terrifying. I guess I’m almost a bit jealous of the new people at school, who get to join this friendship group whilst I’m leaving behind seven years of in-jokes and history. Even if you’re not such good friends with someone that you especially want to stay in touch, leaving behind someone you’ve known and who’s been part of your life for seven years is scary and kinda sad.

I know staying on, school would’ve changed – after all, three of my friends also left – and I know I have to at least try college, or I’ll spend the next two years wondering what I missed out on, but I’m nervous about how it’s all going to work, about being slowly separated from all the chat and gossip about school as new, unknown people infiltrate and I slowly become separated. I’m scared that as much as I want to, conflicting schedules or travel complications or just a lack of time and motivation is going to mean I drift apart from all my friends, even the ones I desperately want to stay in touch with. And even though I know I’ll make new friends at college, I can’t just drop my old ones like hot potatoes. Just thinking about all these possibilities is making me so, so tempted just to throw in the towel with college before I’ve even started, and stay on at sixth form. But I’ve said I’m leaving, and I have so many reasons for that, I just have to get through these first few days.

Add all these feelings into nerves about starting college tomorrow and restarting hockey tonight (I feel like I should be more nervous about college but nope, anxiety levels about hockey are way higher) and you can imagine what a bundle of joy I am right now, imagining my friends school routine as I stay at home, thinking about everything I’m missing out on.

I know that within probably a week, everything will feel very different. I’ll probably feel a lot more confident about college and friends and hopefully less jealous and worried about staying in touch, but I guess I’ll find out soon enough. It’s just so scary that the situation I’ve been thinking about (/avoiding thinking about) for the last six months+ is finally here, and about to start for real tomorrow. But today I’m just going to concentrate my nerves on hockey (totally healthy) and try and relax.