2017, you have been good to me. Kind, loving and horrible all at the same time. Let’s take a look back.
January, the month that started it all. I was studying my HNC in Computing and Systems development whilest taking GCSE maths. I had just been elected to be the only Students Union officer. It was a busy month. I visited Canterbury, alot. I was still living back home, depressed of home life but my college life was happy.
I went to Nottingham via St Pancras to see Bethany in this month, and then I went to Liverpool for the first time. The hustle and bustle of city life, it’s what i’ve always wanted and I found it here. Whilest at Liverpool amongst visiting the university I was also working on a website for a hotel Simple designs.
A walk through my little seaside town. In the words of Turner:
Margate has the lovliest skies in the whole of Europe
I went to London in this month. The police dogs are working hard the day after a terrorist attack on London.
There were memorial flowers everywhere to mark the tragic loss of life on this bridge the day before.
Forever looking like Harry Potter
I took my dad to Camden and whilest rushing through the hidden elusive underground markets I quickly snapped this photo, one of my favourites from 2017.
I saw the stranglers live, fantastic performance. One of my dad’s favourite bands too.
From London to University of Glasgow I don’t appear to have any pictures, but there library is 20 stories tall! Typical scottish performance View from the library!
What’s this? London again? Twice in a month? Yes! This time we went on a field trip with my college to EGX rezzed, a gaming convention! Tobacco docks! Eventually we got bored of the convention, so we went for a walk around London… Ashleigh and Bobin looking good It’s funny as we come from a town called Ramsgate Nice view from this park! And I end the month celebrating a friends birthday, back in Planet Thanet!
I start off the month of April by going to Windsor with my friend
Of course I had to take a photo of this!
There’s a stretch of land owned by the Crown Estate called the Long Walk, it’s a really good walk in Windsor and I highly recommend it! The walk is around 3 miles there, and 3 miles back. Good exercise! Once you’re at the finish, you come across this statue! The next sort-of-exciting thing that happened this month is that after work (I worked in a vintage bookshop based in an unused-bank) I went for a walk around Margate After this I went to an exclusive pre-gig for a music festival I’m going to this summer, which I won for tickets! As part of my SU job I had to regularly travel to all colleges / universities in Kent as well as some outside of Kent (Hello, Brighton!) This is a picture I took on the train one day whilest travelling for work. The day after I traveled for work I headed to London for a hackathon. It was the first time I had ever hacked in a church, pretty exciting. Also the Spotify API is pretty gnarly!
As part of my student union’s (SU) job, I traveled to Brighton with Mid kent college and Canterbury College! I would like to personally thank the student union for giving me a generous budget to buy food (which I spent nearly all on alcohol. But something tells me they were expecting that anyway!) and how grateful I am that I get to travel so much over the country for free, all to represent the students back home! After a very hard days work (8 hours in conference!!!) and networking with many of the people who make NUS what it is, as well as meeting the current NUS president I was knackered! But alas, we are in Brighton!! And everyone knows what the students do after conference has finished.. First things first is gambling away all that money that was supposed to be for food… Then exploring the iconic pier A quick milkshake before we head back to conference, because you know, we actually have jobs to do and people depending on us.. And we are ready to go out and… network with lots of free alcohol (10 jaeger bombs for £5?? THANK YOU NUS). I spent this night with Shakira Martin, the NUS president and Mid kent college. I’m not going to post any pictures or videos from that night, I’ll save you the pain of having to watch me belt out wonderwall.
Day 2 of conference!
To give you a sense of what conference is We got some room service delivered food. Also, on a side note, this was a 4-star hotel. It wasn’t some cheap hotel. It was actually amazing,I had never been in luxury like this before. Thank you to NUS for booking the hotels and my SU for a very generous food and drink (alcohol) budget! As mind-numbingly boring conference is with the occasional spurt of fun, this was easily one of my weekdays in a while!
End of day 3
This is the only picture I have between night of day 2 and the start of day 3, sorry!
Time to go home! Here’s Brighton on our way out.
2 days after Brighton I go to camp and hike in a forest in another part of Kent. This was quite an interesting forest as it is a scouts camp ground… After my 3-day hiking expedition I pop down to Southampton for a day. My friends in college are starting to miss me so they’ve sent many pictures to me of our lecturers, which I won’t include here.
This was a really nice building but reading the title on top of the door I’m not so sure anymore…
Finally got the offer I wanted!!
For the past couple of weeks I’ve been building a networked system. Hand-creafting every wire, network switch, programming the computers to connect to the network, setting the security settings of the network and crafting the server for it. Took me a couple of months admist my 3 jobs and gcse maths but I finally did it, so to celebrate me and my friends all went to get ice cream!!
I had actually forgotten to entirely show that the network switch (not seen in video, that’s a different one) can be turned on (it’s a requirement, so weird) so I had to record this video on my 20th birthday!!
I was traveling for work again and took this photo. It was really scary as the train was held up inside a tunnel, I couldn’t get signal and we didn’t move for 10 or 20 minutes. No one was on board either, so I was just alone. Me and the driver. I was so spooked!
I was walking to work and took this photo of Margate sea, I thought it was pretty!
After the brexit vote, Banksy created this mural in Dover. I just HAD to see it in person!!
Not much happened for a while. I was working alot, working on my GCSE maths, my degree, working for money. Boring cycle until.. Me and my friends went on a completely random and spontaenous trip to the opera! Tosca was amazing!!
One of NUS’ main priorities is getting students to vote. So I spent some lunchtimes / breaks in the cafeteria encouraging and signing students up to vote! I recruited Ashleigh into it as well We stole a skeleton and dressed it up too!
Nothing much happened. I had some meetings with the principle of college, more meetings, some staff-student liaison meetings. Went for coffee. On the 17th of May Midkent college held their end-of-year celebrations. I was invited so here’s a picture!
It was a fantastic day all around and I met so many fantastic students!
My maths GCSE was right around the corner, so I didn’t really do much else other than occasional work for the students union. The day was here! I took the exams. More on that later.
June was the month of many celebrations. Starting off with Download 2017
Me, Carrie and some random guy at Download
By far the coolest part about Download other than the bands are the reenactment fights
The day after this fantastic 5-day alcohol-fueled music festival I went to Thorpe Park with my college lot for our final year trip!
The day after Thorpe park I went to see Guns n Roses with Slash, amazing performance!
The day after Guns n Roses I went to Stone Free festival to watch Rainbow among many other bands! I also brought a pair of Snapchat Spectacles here
During a small interval I went outside and got to experience some of the outside art in London
At the end of June, I went to Germany to be with my bestfriend Megan
We went to Stuttgart, a city in Germany to be with Paula (another really good friend)
Me and Megan gave a guest lecture on England, it was pretty fun. We also got completely random and free beauty treatments (thank you shop people)
At the start of July I elected the new SU president. I didn’t really do much at the start. I went to a fireworks show And took this photo
I did this hike a few times
I went to the Ramblin Man Festival and on one of the days I decided to go hiking as there wasn’t any bands I wanted to see. I came across this And I think there’s something oddly poetic about nature claiming back its property.
A look back on 2017 goals
These were my new-years resolutions in December of 2016 for 2017: To read 52 books this year Very close, 44 :) To go for a run at least 200 / 365 days 76 days. College got in the way but I’ve got a trick up my sleeve for this. To earn a distinction in my current course 100% in every assignment :) To get an A in GCSE maths Got a B, was off by 2 marks!! 2 MARKS!!!!! sooo close!! To attend as many hackathons and BCS events as possible Attended 1 online BCS event, maybe like 5 hackathons Go somewhere really cool this summer I went to Germany!!! Write more blog posts Oh boy, I wrote 25 blog posts this year! So many! Learn alot of German Can’t understand Megan and can barely order a coffee Make the student experience the best It can be In the end of the academic year of 2016, the student experience from the students union was under a 30% satisfaction rating (students said that they didn’t like the students union). By the time I finished, EVERY SINGLE STATISTIC TO DO WITH THE STUDENTS UNION WENT UP BY 70 - 80%!! Not only that, but I was the only SU officer compared to 10 previous officers! Get a job I actually did, alot actually. But I gave them all up to study. Dress better Hola @ UO for saving my horrible dress sense <3 :) Start saving better Hey!! I did this too!! I’ve saved over 11k this year!! Contribute more to the technological community Technical blog posts and contributing to open source, I did this too!!! Start Meditate I do this all the time (mindfullness) Write a business plan I did this, but the business didn’t take off. Oh well, lessons learned. Pass my driving test Decided I don’t want to drive.
Goals for 2018
Commit to #100DaysofHealth
This is a challenge started by Alex, a fellow coder. Here are the rules For the next 100 Days:
I will be focused on improving my health in various ways every day. I will tweet an update daily with the hashtags: #100DaysOfHealth #100DaysOfX and a day on which I am on, and with my thoughts/feelings on that day I will encourage at least 2 other people in the challenge daily I will work out at least 3 times a week (*whatever a workout means for you) I will allow myself a little square of chocolate daily, if I want it I will make an effort to buy healthy food (groceries) and to cook at home as much as I can. I will NOT eat any junk food (e.g. chips, ice-cream, instant noodles, etc.) I will NOT weigh myself during the challenge. It’s one of the most important rules because it switches focus from a results-oriented to a process-oriented one. Also it helps us appreciate and love our bodies and not to diminish our worth based on a number. I will NOT drink sugary drinks as they are often a hidden source of an enormous amount of sugar we get daily – which means: soda (pop), juices, sweet coffee/tea drinks. Rules are rules, but if one day I have a huge craving for some specific type of food, I will allow myself to eat it. The catch is that it will be a small amount.
It’s almost impossible to achieve a goal without stating why you want it. So here’s my whys:
- To look better
- To feel healthier
- To be able to pull all nighters easier
- Lose weight (pretty cliche)
- To enjoy life more
Some of the ways I will do this are:
- Hike more
- Maybe start climbing
It’s important to only set one habit to obsess yourself over, since you can’t juggle many plates. So this will be my main priority for the first 100 days. Other things I’ll achieve are
Finally get rid of my wisdom teeth. Why? Because they hurt and it sucks that I’m so afraid to go through with it.
Seriously, I code so little I’ve almost forgotten how to code. I need to code more. Whether it be Java or not. Why? I want to be a really sucessful entrepeuner. In order to do that I need to code. It’s the easiest way to make a startup, is to code.
Complete YCombinator School
If I get accecpted, I will complete all 10 weeks of Ycombinator school. Why? Because I want to make a startup, and you can’t make a startup without knowing Ycombinator exists. There online (free) school will help me alot in the future, so I may as well do it now.
Secure an internship
Secure that internship. You want it? You want it because it’s your dream job at your dream place, that they only accecpt 3 people a year? You work for it. You want it? Do it fast and work hard. Nothing is going to be given to you for free. Just. Do. It.
Wake up earlier
I want to wake up earlier. Jocko said that:
By waking up at 4:30am, you are forced to be motivated and achieve your goals. What else are you going to do? You have to work. If you write out what you want to do the night before and go to bed, wake up at 4:30am. Work out first thing. Then do those things you have chosen to do. When it comes time other people wake up, 7, 9, 11am you will be done for the day. What can you do? Anything you want. It’s going to be incredibly hard, but I’m going to do it as part of my #100daysofhealth
I need to network more. You want to be a crazy sucessful startup founder? 90% of startups fail in the first year. 99% fail in 5 years. There are hundreds of thousands of startups every year and almost every single one fails. You want to make it in the world? You need to network. Attend more networking events.
My classmates are extremely satisfied with my blogposts. I want to create better, nicer blog posts to help them and to help myself study.
Do something absolutely insane this summer
Go to Africa, alone. Do something literally everyone will tell you is insane. It’s how you grow.
Go completely vegan
Meat, diary, animal products make me feel very ill. It’s important to have a clean mindset and a good heart. You need to do this.
No sucessful person doesn’t read. Every single person you know who is successful reads, alot.
The books I will read this year are:
- How to Win friends and influence people It’s a classic, I’ve read this twice already. Let’s go for a fourth.
- Ted talks It’s important to know how to give seminars, this is vital.
- Smart cities You got into CS because you loved the idea of smart cities, this book is perfect for you.
- On anarchism Chomsky’s writing is quintessential to the idea of “knowledge”, read this book to fully understand an anarchists mindset.
- Homo Deus It’s about the future and technology. You need to read this.
- The China Study Not just the first 100 pages, the entire book.
- Hacking secret ciphers with python edition 2 The first book got you into Python, this one will be just as good.
Listen to more podcasts
Podcasts are amazing. The most amazing people in the world who are everything you want to become are creating podcasts about how to do it. Why don’t you listen to more? Commit to listen to at least 1 more podcast every week.
Slow down once in a while
Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. Feris Bueler’s Day Off
Get a first in your first year of university
This is not a choice. You CANNOT get anything less than a first. You ABSOLUTELY must have a first. I know everyone wants a first, but you NEED a first. Even if it kills your social life, you need this way more than anyone else. DO NOT GIVE UP, ever.
Discipline Equals Freedom. Free yourself.
Review this every single month to make sure you keep your goals on track.
Practice How to win friends and influence people
Actively try to make this a part of your life.