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  • Writer's pictureAnna Curston

Thoughts on a New Year!

Hello once again, my friends. Next week is Fresher’s Week and then the new year will officially begin! Can you believe it’s that time already?? Scary, huh?! For the past (at least) two years I have written a post at the start of the new academic year about my feelings going into it. So today, that is exactly what we will be doing again: Let’s talk about third year!


I am so excited to be doing my course again – I just love it. The last two years have been a blast and I see no reason why this year should be any different. I realise it will be hard work, but it always is. I don’t mind working hard when I’m working at something I love. I don’t need to find my motivation because my desire to paint is already there (plus on any day where I do need to find it, my desire to get to where I want to go is usually enough to persuade me to get started).

I’m excited by the doors I could open for myself if I work hard, the skills I will develop and the confidence and belief I will gain. I get to spend the year doing what I love and get to finish it all off with the Degree Show – my work up on the walls for people to see. To get a taste of that will be amazing. All I have to do is throw myself in and give my all.

I have some new teachers this year so a new perspective could be really good. New members of staff will also push me to form new relationships which (unfortunately for me at least) is a very important skill for someone pursuing art. This will be good for me.


Despite all my excitement, naturally there is also fear: What if I don’t get on with the new members of staff? I spent so long building a relationship with my old ones so that I felt wholly comfortable to talk to them and freely express myself. I now have to go through that all over again, what if it doesn’t go how I’d like? What if they don’t like me??

Then there is the pressure. The pressure I put on myself to do well because I want to achieve. If truth be told, I want that First… I really do. There is also pressure to do well and follow in the footsteps of my family. Every single one of them was/is really good at what they do and I don’t want to be the one that ends that trend. Although that is of course ridiculous because we all have gone very different ways in life and you can’t really compare any of them as they require very different skills. And of course, there is the pressure to do well because I wish to follow up my degree with a masters and of course that requires that I do well (especially the specific course I want to do as it only has ten places).

All this pressure brings to me my next fear: What if I fail? I may love what I do but that doesn’t mean I’m any good at it. What if I’m just not good enough and thus all my dreams and aspirations are simply impossible for me to achieve because I do not have the capability to do it? How do I know that when people compliment me, they’re not just lying so I don’t feel bad? What if this is all for nothing?

My last major fear is running out of inspiration. This year is so important, if I go blank and can’t find anything that inspires me it could ruin everything! I remember my final year of GCSEs; I went through an alarmingly long period of hating everything I was doing and having absolutely no direction. Once I finally found my direction, I suddenly found myself with very little time and a very large amount of stress. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned it could happen again!


This is, of course, my final year of university and with that comes a mixture of emotions. I am excited to move on to new things and places, but I will also be so sad to leave. I love this uni and I love this town. I have so many wonderful memories from my time here that I will treasure forever. I’ve made wonderful friends and had wonderful experiences, but a new place will come new friends and experiences and that is good too.

It’s not over yet though, and I intend to enjoy this last year to it’s fullest!

Let’s get prepared!

With still a full week to go before teaching starts, I want to feel as prepared as possible. This means making sure I am well rested so I can comfortably fall back into a routine. Nothing kills my productivity like a lack of sleep and being disorganised! This need for organisation also includes my house. I need to make it as tidy and organised as possible so I won’t waste time wondering where on earth I should put things or finding a tidy place to work.

This blog post has also been another way to help me feel prepared. Despite my long list of fears, my overriding emotion is excitement. Although my fears are all from a very genuine place, I know that they will all most likely turn out to be false because I love what I do and most importantly, I really do believe in myself. Writing down my worries like this is a good way to acknowledge them so I can move on. At the end of the day, I believe I am capable of doing as well as I want. When it comes down to it though, the knowledge I take away from my time here is the most important thing. A grade isn’t everything, and I will put my all in no matter what.

That’s all for today folks. When we next catch up, I will have completed the first week of the new term! I hope you all have a wonderful next two weeks and I’ll see you in the next one!

Anna x

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