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My 2016: Love and Loss, Hello and Goodbye

Written by Channon Gray

2016 has been a year of absolute highs and absolute lows for me. I experienced stress like I’d never before, passed my exams with grades that I thought were beyond me and spent a whole lot of time living in the ‘now’. I opened a sticker shop and wangled a few blog opportunities. I’ve been through both love and loss, said goodbye and waved hello.

At the start of 2016…

The first few months were pretty plain sailing. From January, I finally got to undertake a real fieldwork project for my Anthropology degree, looking at dieting clubs – it was fascinating! I finally attended an Adele concert – I was, well…! In the spring, I got to meet the SacconeJoly’s again at the Big Walkies, I watched the London Marathon and worked on a super cool project with O2, which focused on how people interact with their phones when its their job to be online.

However, with all the excitement came a ton of work. The Spring/Summer term was the hardest few months of my entire life and not just academically. Essays, exams and battling dyslexia/dyspraxia every-single-day finally took its toll. I thought there wasn’t an end to my insomnia and sadness. Never before in my life had I encountered what I genuinely believed to be impossible. I had no choice but to take each day at a time, accept my teary perspective on life and get on with it. 

Having been what felt like an eternity, exams drew to a close in early June. I moved home and after months of feeling so utterly useless, I decided to focus all my attention on starting a business, and so, PlanningWithC was created.  

Summer

Throughout the summer, I was lucky enough to attend Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Exeter, Boardmasters with my little Sister, MTV Crashes in Plymouth and a Scouting For Girls concert. I danced around the forest at a Rogue Theatre event. I even hand fed a giraffe at Paignton Zoo, which might I add, was something I’ll never forget. And most importantly, I voted in the EU referendum and then ranted about it

Paignton Zoo Giraffe Experience

Summer was a whirlwind and whilst I was supposed to be figuring out my dissertation, I spent most of it asleep, designing or being with family. 

My exams results surprised me and allowed me to believe, even if only for a short while, that I absolutely was capable of getting a degree with a shed load of hard work and most importantly, determination. I achieved my first proper First in Anthropology and Media (a course that I understood NOTHING in – hey ho)! 

Back to the Grind

September soon rolled around which only meant one thing… Third year! Eeek. I decided at aged 20, that I was simply too old for Freshers Week and so it was straight into work, work, work. October was pretty much me commuting between London and home for various appointments and family events. I also attended my 16-year-old Sisters’ Halloween party (I know, I’m goals).

Then came winter. November was at the same time both the best and worst month of this year. On the 18th, we said our final goodbye to our beloved dog, Becky – it was like losing a limb, a family member, a shadow. However, as the month ended my Nanny finally came to stay with me in London for the first time. We spent several days making memories and getting bucket list goals ticked off. Our adventures included Afternoon Tea at the Ritz, Winter Wonderland and seeing Mamma Mia in the West End. It was phenomenal and amongst my highlights for 2016. 

Likewise, December has been pretty busy and magical. I went to Longleat for the Festival of Lights with my Grandparents. It was phenomenal especially with the Beatrix Potter theme. I also seen the X-Factor Final at Wembley with Kate and went to the BBC Music Awards. 

In the most recent months, I’ve shy-ed away from blogging; mainly because running a small shop and finishing my degree is a lot to balance. Although I will say, I finally decided on a dissertation topic, Disneyland (yup – you heard it here first)! So that’s good news, right?

2017 is already setting itself up to be one of the most exciting, yet scary, years yet. I will graduate in July with a BA in Social Anthropology, find myself my first “proper” job (hopefully) and I hope to push both my blog and shop to the next level. I’m so excited to see what the future holds for me, and you guys will no doubt join me at some point or another.  

So here it is, whilst I sit here freezing (almost to death) on London’s Embankment awaiting the NYE’s Fireworks – I wish you all a happy New Year. May your dreams come true and life be ever on your side. 

Let’s just hope the upcoming year brings more joy to most than 2016 has. 

Be bold, be you, be kind. 

About the author

Channon Gray

Hi, my name is Channon and yes, it’s spelt wrong, but that is interesting right? I’m 21 years young. I like to write, create art and travel. Cornish bumpkin who studied in London. I’m now a Graduate Student, Stationery Addict and all round Life Enthusiast.

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