Thursday, 31 December 2015

Reflections on 2015

2015 has been the best year of my life. I finished senior school, said goodbye to my dance school, had an amazing summer and started university. As similar to last year's post I’m going to talk through my year and the best parts of it - I know this post is so long but I didn't want to leave anything out, congrats to you if you make it to the end! 

  • Back in January 2015 I had one of the best days of my life, my 18th birthday. Friends and family all came for an afternoon celebration of eating food, drinking wine and catching up. My most memorable moment from that day is my dad’s speech, it just touched me and it’s something I don’t think I’ll ever forget. The next month was dominated by the year 13 ski trip I went on with my friends. I learnt a few things here – I don’t like to ski! I was a novice at skiing and I didn’t take too well to it. Basically, I won’t be skiing anytime soon again. However I did enjoy it! I shared a room with two of my best friends Bryony and Ella and we had some cracking laughs. A couple weeks after we got back Bryony and I had our joint 18th party which was amazing. It was a smooth sailing party that I think everyone enjoyed - I know I did! 
  • From March to May my life was taken up by dance competitions and school work, but that was okay! I knew they both were coming to an end and it was just hitting me. So I tried to enjoy every moment of dancing on stage and sitting in the common room surrounded by my friends!
  • May was a weird month. Our last days of school crept up on us, it was such a bittersweet moment. I mean – we were leaving school! What I dreamed off forever, we were moving on, getting on with the rest of our lives, I would have thought I would be buzzing. And I was. But quite a big part of me felt sad. I’ve seen these girls everyday for the past seven years and once the last day of school was over, everything would be different. The last day of school was one of the best days.
  • The next few weeks were dominated by exams and dance competitions. Luckily for me I only had 3 exams so had plenty of time to balance everything. Half term was All England Semi- Finals which we went in determined to do our best but thought it was unlikely our dance school would get much through to the finals – however we got 28 dances through in total!! 
  • Another of my proudest achievements came in June when Ink, the school magazine that I was Editor in Chief of, won 'Best online magazine' at the shine media awards! I was so proud of our team as we had worked so hard over the past year on Ink and it was something I am so passionate about so to get the award was such an achievement.
  • Then some more of my ‘last’ moments came about - In July I went on a girlie holiday to Ayia Napa, had our ‘Final Fling’ (our school’s version of Prom) and my last dance show. All of these have been highlights of my year with so many memories made that it’s hard to recall specifics!
  • All England Finals were possibly one of my favourite moments of the year. I danced in five group dances and dancing all of them honestly felt like an honour. To dance next to these girls who I love with all my heart – some of them I’ve been dancing with since I was five – and for the last time was emotional. I knew these were my last moments as being part of LHTS and I tried to savour every minute of it. The fact that we won senior contemporary groups was the glory moment. We won. We were judged to be the best contemporary group in the country, that is crazy, it still hasn’t sunk in if I’m honest! At this moment I was so thankful to be part of this school. I remember driving back in the coach with everyone on the last day and one of the mums saying ‘it’s over’ or something along those lines, and I just burst into tears. The fact that I was leaving the school was hertbreaking and I couldn’t really fathom life without it! (read my post about dancing here)
  • But life went on and Madeleine, Matthew and I went to join my mum and dad out in Sicily for the best chilled relaxing week. Although we got stung to death by bugs and had the loudest air conditioning, this week was so nice. Just to have these moments with my family I tried to treasure. I knew that by the time we got home Madeleine would be moving to London and Matthew and I to uni not long after that any moment with the five of us would be scarce, so these were precious!
  • When I got back my results of my Alevels finally came through - AAB and off to Queen Mary's. I almost couldn't believe it, the thought of actually moving to London seemed like a dream for so long and all the hard work I put in over the past year paid off. All the blood,sweat and tears were definitely worth it!
  • V festival was a weekend of celebrations. I went with two of my friends from dancing, Becky and Emily an stayed in my aunts house with my cousins and met up with Bryony and Ella at the festival. This was such a great weekend as I had my best friends surrounding me and with the knowledge that as soon as we returned Emily would be off to dance college, it was the last hurrah. My best moment was just before Paloma Faith, the last act on the Sunday – Becky, Emily and I went on this rockety roller coaster and were so hyper and giggly that we thought it was the best ride we’d ever been on. It was just one of those moment, you know? That you know you will remember and you know will stand out amongst other big moments. 
  • After V life suddenly felt like a waiting game, I was packing everything up, saying goodbye to everyone and having our actual last moments. I had such mixed feelings about leaving, I didn’t want everything to change at all, it scared me, but I was so excited. Forever I’ve been saying I want to leave school and move out of this village, but when the moment came I was scared, excited and nervous all mixed in one.
  • Since I started Uni life has been a blur. I love it. I love uni, I’ve found some great friends – through my flat, through my course and through cheerleading. I love living in London, I’m actually living my dream, to be able to just pop on the underground and be in central London in ten minutes is amazing. I like what I’m studying, I’ve found modules I thought would be boring actually really interesting. I’ve struggled with some essays but have spent time on others and it’s paid off. I’ve learnt so much from cheerleading (as you can see here) and already made friends who I can tell will be with me for the long haul.

2015 has been amazing. So many things in my life has changed, but its all been good. I’ve learnt a lot and – as I said last year – Life goes on. I’ve learnt how to enjoy my own company, I’ve learnt time management (or so I like to think) and I think uni has overall made me more confident in myself.  
I haven’t focused all my time onto my blog, but over the past few months my life has been changing so much that my blog hasn’t been my first priority, and that’s okay. You have to live life in the moment and that’s what I’ve been trying to do. I don’t know what life will throw at me the next year but if it is anything like the past year I’m sure it will be just as good. 

I'm going into 2016 with a positive attitude. I really believe if you set your mind to something you can do it. I've got so many things I want to achieve - do well in my first year of uni, progress lots in cheerleading and overall fitness, find a part-time job, focus more time on my blog, travel, and just enjoy life! 

Happy New Year everyone, I hope 2016 is your best year yet. 


Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Falling in love with a new sport

I fallen in love with a new sport. Last April I wrote a piece about the importance of being a team and I linked it all to dance - for as long as I can remember, dancing has been my life - but when I finished school last July, it was time to say goodbye to dance. And that broke me, it was so hard to leave everyone there (even though I know they are always there for me to go back to) and I found it weird to not dance over the summer. Come September when I packed up my things to go to Uni I was stuck, I knew there was a cheerleading and a dance team and I knew I couldn't really do both. 

I chose cheerleading, and it's been the best decision I've made this year. The thing is, I've danced since I was three and always with the same people and the thought of not doing it with LHTS was too frightening, plus I wanted to try something new. So now I've gone from part of the 'LHTS Army' to the 'Queen Mary's Angels' and I couldn't be happier.

Cheerleading is hard. Don't go thinking it's some kind of wave your pom poms round, cheer for a sports team (although I would love to do that..!) Think more of a mixture of gymnastics, weight-lifting (but with people) and dance. Training's long and tough, you stretch, you tumble, you stunt and occasionally you dance. All building to create a routine to compete in three competitions come February. It builds muscle, creates friends and brings a great sense of accomplishment. 

Dancing was always about the lines, technique and the gracefulness however cheer is more about strength, power and technique. I've never been strong, before my back surgery and after, I've lacked having core strength and I've struggled lifting things, but cheer has made me strong. It hurts, god, the conditioning hurts but after doing it twice a week (at least) every week since the end of September, I can definitely see an improvement!
If I think back to the first session when I struggled with just two press-ups to yesterday, when I finally got a two man stunt (mainly me lifting one flyer with the support of one other person.) After a lot of fails and a whole lot of help, I still managed it and comparing that to September, I'm amazed.

I have so much further to go, I'm on an all-girl level 2 team which is hard. However on Sunday I travelled to support our 'elite' team ( a co-ed Level 3 team) I was amazed and inspired all in one. They are amazing: the way they hit their stunts so smoothly, the fast, clean and gravity defying tumbling - all with a happiest (and sassiest) of grins on their face was breathtaking. It inspired me. 
Not only to be stronger, mentally and physically, but it just made me happy that I've found a new family.

At my dance school we were such a close family and it's a similar feeling at QMA. Everyone is so friendly, welcoming and motivating that having a range of abilities is no problem. We motivate, help and advise each other to be the best that we can be. I've already made such close friends at cheerleading and the thought that I get to spend another three years training and improving with them at my side makes me so excited and motivated to give it my best.

People were skeptical when I told them I would join cheerleading because of my back. I knew I wanted to join QMA ever since I heard of Queen Mary's but always had a niggle of doubt that my back couldn't take it. But I, and everyone else, was wrong. It makes me stronger and more aware of my body. Yes, my back still aches occasionally, that is never going to change, but the muscles that I've built have strengthened my back and my confidence in myself - scoliosis will never hold me back! 

One piece of advice I've always heard given to people going to university is to join a sports team or a society and I couldn't agree more! I'm so excited to get stronger, more confident and work towards the best we can be with my team.  It's sad to wave dancing goodbye but it has given me the basics that I look forward to using over the next three years when I fulfil my childhood dream of being a cheerleader!

(If you wanna see Elite's routine check it out here, its amazing!) 


Thursday, 3 December 2015

Sometimes taking a break is better

Sometimes a break is needed. Whether it be from work, a place or even a person. Although over the last month or so I've felt pangs of guilt for not keeping up to date with my blog after a while I realised that there must be a reason why even though I felt guilty, I wasn't writing. For a while I blamed it on being busy and not having time but I've come to realise this week that if you make time for something, you can do it. This week has been jam packed as I've got three large essays in for Sunday and after feeling down about my first marked essay, I've been extremely motivated to do my best this week. So every day since last Friday, apart from Tuesday (when I have a six hour day of lectures and seminars) I've been in the library for between three to five hours. I've learned that if you make time for something, it can happen. This morning I got up at 8, was in the library at 9, worked until one 1:30 then came back. That's when it clicked, I've been avoiding my blog, not because I didn't have time, but because I wasn't as in love with it as I was over the summer and didn't put aside a part of my week to get on top of it. So this afternoon I've been brainstorming, working out how I can take my blog from a teenage girl in the country with her mum taking photos to a young adult in London balancing uni, cheerleading and having a social life and I've realised my content needs to adapt. 
I've got someone who is more than happy to take outfit photo's so that will be continuing, but my style has changed since uni. I have to wear clothes everyday, I can't buy new pieces every other week and my style may not be as different as it once was, but that is just how I've changed this year. I am reading a tonne of different material every week and I'm hoping I can integrate what I'm learning somehow into my blog. I'm living in London, the world is at my fingertips and although there are still so many places I need to discover, I figure I can offer a unique point of view of London from a students perspective.  I'm doing an English degree, I love being creative and I love writing and I just needed to remind myself of that and I think taking this break has revitalised me and I'm hoping my blog can change and adapt to my new lifestyle and hopefully you all stick around and enjoy a change. 

 I know you've seen this quote from me hundreds of times but it's on my wall at uni and I don't think I have ever related it to my blog. But I should have, if I dedicate my time and put my heart into this blog there is no way it is going to sink.

Now Watching //One Tree Hill, I am obsessed. 
Now Listening // Check out my November playlist here (basically a typical teenage girl playlist...I'm not ashamed.)

© StyleStorey

This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services - Click here for information.

Blogger Template Created by pipdig