I said previously that this year’s sales for me have been about investment pieces that I can wear time after time – and I think my shopping aim for the year (to control my unruly impulse buying habit) is to give more thoughts to the items I’m purchasing and consider how much use I’ll actually get out of them.
I don’t know what it is about this particular January that has got me feeling so glum; maybe it’s the fact that I know the next five months of my degree will be the toughest yet, and then I’ll have to face the uncertain road of where to go next and give up living with my best friends and being constantly surrounded by the comfort and support of some great people.
January to May is probably my least favourite time of year – I’ve never really been a fan of Spring. The fun of Christmas has been and gone and left us in the depths of winter, it’s the most intense and difficult period within education (luckily I have no exams this year, but the amount of coursework I’ll be doing makes up for it) and summer waits far ahead, teasing us because there’s nothing else to really look forward to. The answer? Retail therapy, of course.
The prospect of a new year is always a bit daunting for me – there seems a lot of pressure to make the moment perfect, which is something I don’t believe in anyway, and then expectations to make the whole year amazing. I’m an optimistic person, but inevitably there will be ups and downs to face throughout those twelve months and so it’s unrealistic to assume it will be ‘perfect’.
Being home for the holidays feels even more special after being away at university for most of the year, and it really rings true to me how irrelevant gifts are in the grand scheme of things (although they’re lovely) and the importance of being with loved ones. My family have lived in the same village in Wales for about 7 years, and so it’s the place I associate with the season. We’ve made our Christmas traditions here, like getting drunk and hitting the driving range at the golf club up the road, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Traditions are a major part of my Christmas, and most of them I’ve stuck to religiously each year. I have always gone to pick out the best real tree (I’m a firm believer that artificial trees just aren’t the same) with my Dad, and insisted we all wear Santa hats while decorating. Usually after about ten minutes I would become chief decorator as my Mum, Dad and brother would drift off and do their own thing – but being the OCD way I am this secretly pleased me and I’d happily take over while listening to our one and only Christmas CD.
One of the things I love most about being at university somewhere far from home is the visits from friends and showing them round a city I can call my own. I’m lucky to have friends in other universities too so I can escape for a nice little city break every now and then.