2016, The Year of Friendship

At the end of each year, I try to equate the year passed to something. 2013, was the year of Travel, 2014, the year of Growing Up, 2015, the year of Me and 2016, has without a doubt, been the year of Friends. 

I know Alice's Antics is read by friends and strangers alike, but I wanted to write this blog post to give any one and everyone an insight into my life. So whether you know me as a blogger, a student, or a friend, this blog post is a personal one which revolves around my year, rather than a general 'applies to all' style. Just a quick heads up. xoxoxo

 There are a number of reasons which has brought me to the 2016 conclusion, some of them are wonderful and some of them are sad stories of drifting away and growing up- 2016 marked the first time in four years my friendship group from school haven't had a giant Christmas soirĂ©e. When you've all got your own agendas and are in every corner of the world, it's hard to come together even when you really, really want to. 


2016 began with me falling down the stairs and breaking my foot. Not exactly how I wanted to start the 'new year, new me' phase, but none the less, I had to get on with it. 

The repercussions of being immobile meant I was at one of the lowest I've ever been. I went from playing football for the university, being the marketing director, achieving 2:1s and 1sts in my degree, to essentially not being able to leave the house without the aid of somebody. (This was proven by the many many times I slipped over whilst on crutches). But this phase in my life did also teach me a lot about the people I surrounded myself with. Which was, how incredibly lucky I am. 

From picking me up off the dance floor (woops) to picking me up off the pavement (double woops), my housemates are the first ones I'd like to mention. When I realised I couldn't afford to study in Washington DC, I spent weeks feeling like my heart had been ripped out. Studying in America was something I'd wanted to do since I was 12 and saved up my pocket money to buy an authentic Princeton Letterman jacket. But although I have no idea what Washington could have had in store for me, moving in with 5 of the most beautiful, strong, independent (sometimes lol) women I have ever met has made this year a far brighter place. Thank you for making my life 100x easier than it could have been, and for counteracting any of the hardships with laughter, love and a lot of tea. 
Following on from the disaster of Washington, I decided to find a job over the summer which would ease the pain. It may not be the White House, but instead I moved to France for nearly 4 months. And there, I found 3 extremely different soulmates, and a group of friends who know things about me no one else does. Living, working and socialising as a group of 8 is extremely intense. We were out clubbing at 3am and scrubbing floors together by 9am. Essentially, your whole experience is determined by the people who do your summer season alongside you. And although we had one 'bad' experience, it basically united us in our friendships with each other and by the end of the summer I felt like I'd made sisters rather than friends.

(apologies for the ultra HD photos to follow)
Returning to England in September, I was essentially, dreading it. I'd just had the summer of my life in France and the thought of 9am lectures, 7 hour library stints and the impending doom of my 10,000 word dissertation, I was dreading the thought of returning to Royal Holloway. 

But by December, I genuinely wasn't ready for this term to end. And I would say, amongst everything else, my housemates and the new radio show, the reason I had such a great term, was actually down to two people. Last (academic) year, I made friends with two needy first years, who started our friendship by liking every single one of my profile photos on Facebook. It's annoying when one person does it- and I had two. From being the person I call when I'm walking home scared or waking up at 6:30am and knowing the other is awake because of breathing (lol), to being coupled off by friends and family, having 7am Facetimes and introducing me to shinier, new friends... It's weird becoming friends with two people at exactly the same time, because for a long time I forgot about the two of them as individuals. And even though they're both extremely different, (and equally annoying), there's no doubt, a year on, I'm the most needy one in the relationship. 

Finally, are the friendships which are as strong now, as they were 5, 6 or 7 years ago when we met. I've written about all of the positive friendship experiences in the last year, but it's also the year of Friendship because of the ones I've drifted from or just mutually accepted the lack of common ground. So it's just as important to mention the friends I have who have stuck by my side through thick and thin, when I've been living in different countries or when they've been too busy to breathe but still call me up to wish me happy birthday. They're the best of my best friends and the people who have been by my side through it all, so it would be ridiculous to write a blog post about friendship and not include them. 
 It's all a part of growing up, but right now I feel like I'm surrounded by a group of people I can depend on. Whether it's calling them up drunkenly at 11pm saying I'm outside (sorry Alvaro) or crawling into bed with them at 3am because I think there's a murderer in the house (sorry Saffron). 2016 has been the year of Friendship, and I am so excited to find out what 2017 has in store. 

Ciao for Now!