A new term’s here, and third year has well and truly begun. It’s a total cliche to go on about how fast the last two years have gone, but then there’s a reason for that; they really did fly, even though I wasn’t always having the best time. Quite a lot has changed for my final year: although we’re staying in the same lovely house we lived in last year, we’ve welcomed three new housemates, so it’s been fun getting to know each other and so far we’ve all gelled really well. I’ve also decided to leave my beloved student newspaper after two years of hard work and endless laughter, in order to focus all of my attention on this degree thing I’m meant to be doing, so the structure of my time at university is a little different to what I’m used to.

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I wrote this post in a lovely bakeshop in York on the last day of my second year of university. Afterwards, I wandered my city with my camera for a few hours, trying to find the words to express my gratitude and thinking about the beauty of the everyday. The following does neither justice, but I’m pressing publish all the same.

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Well, January was a bit of an odd one, wasn’t it? It’s hard to comprehend how much the world has changed since the beginning of this year, and it feels strange to try and situate my own personal day-to-day experiences within this new political framework. But this year I’ve decided that I want to take some time at the beginning of each new month reflecting on the one previous and setting a focus for the days ahead, so here goes.

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I can draw a thick black line down the almost-centre of twenty-sixteen. On one side of the line is a blurred and shadowy smudge of stress and sadness, and on the other a crisp flurry of memories all bright and gleaming like champagne under Christmas lights. I can pinpoint the exact moment everything started to get better. There’s something quite miraculous about the fact that I can look back now and think,¬†that was a great year for me, because the first half was the complete opposite¬†– but in truth it has been a year of transformation and uphill climb towards something which I’ve always hoped for. And now for the very first time, on the last day of this particularly remarkable year which, for better or for worse, most of us will never forget, I feel like the summit might finally be within reach. But that’s all to come, and it starts tomorrow. For now, here’s my illustrated look back on the past twelve months.

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