Third Blogversary!

Let’s talk about blogging for 3 years, what I’ve learned and take a trip down memory lane today.

Hi! Today is a milestone post. I made this very blog on the 7th of February in 2016 and published my first blog post the next day(Click here to read it!) which means I have now completed 3 years(on and off) blogging! Happy 3rd blogversary, Musings Of A Whimsical Soul and all you wonderful people who have given a young girl’s thoughts and opinions value here!

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In 3 years, the kind and content of the blog posts have changed and grown, much as I have. I made this blog when I was almost 17 and now I’m almost 20.  These have been very transformative years for me as a person and I feel quite fortunate to see my thoughts and their growth through the blog. In these 3 years, I became an adult(Read my post about my thoughts on that here!), I graduated from school (Read my post about that here!), I started college (Read my first post after starting college here!  ) and now I’ll be finishing with my teenage and starting my twenties. I am so thankful that I have all these milestones recorded on this blog. I find it to be the most wonderful thing and I love rereading the posts and cringing(a little) at little 16-year-old me.

3 years ago, I received just the most insane amount of love from this community when I joined it so much so that I ended up with 100 followers in one month! How crazy is that! Today, I’m at almost 1000 which completely blow my mind because just the fact that 1000 people care about what I have to say is HUGE and so completely wild.

I haven’t been the most regular around here because like I said, these are some of the biggest years of my life. When life got too hectic, the blog took a backseat. I wish it didn’t but I’m only human. Still, I can say I have 3 years of experience and there’s a lot I’ve learned and that might be helpful for new bloggers. I don’t want to be to sound too preachy but still, I’ve got three main tips that might be helpful to new bloggers or maybe even old ones and would love to hear some of yours. God knows I’m only an amateur here.

  • Be regular with your writing and posting

That is rich coming from me, i know, but I will tell you this. Regularity, having a posting and writing schedule will not only help you stay productive but also keep your readers engaged. You can stick to what works for you, I(try to) stick with a once a week schedule. You can choose twice, thrice a week or maybe even once a month. It will bring an organisation that will be so helpful to your blog for yourself and the readers.

  • Be careful to save your drafts 

This one comes from a painful,painful experience. I wrote an entire post on the Leaning Tower of Pisa for my Visting World Wonders series ( Click here for the last post of the series! and here for the first!) and then by chance, my browser refreshed,the draft hadn’t been saved and I lost all the pictures, the writing, everything. I was devastated and I am pretty sure I cried over it. (And as you might have noticed, I still haven’t got around to making that post again. This was in September 2018.) So, learn from my mistakes and always ALWAYS save your drafts.

  • Read, read and read!

WordPress has many wonderful blogs with many different kinds of content in them. Find your taste, your niche and read as much as possible. This goes for all writing, reading is the best thing you can do for your writing!

In conclusion, thank you for being so amazing to me for the last 3 years. It has been a blast. If the last three years are anything to go by, I cannot wait to see where the next 3 years will take us. To the next three!

THIS POST’S QUESTION: When did you start blogging? Do you have any tips from what you’ve learnt over your time blogging?  Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

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Some Thoughts on Airports.

 

Let’s talk about airports today.

Airports. Grounded gateways to aerial escapes to a different world. A new city, a new country, a new continent. Ah, how I love them.

In my lifetime, I have taken a decent number of flights. In the last year though, I have racked up some crazy flying miles, what with my vacation across Europe and flying to and fro between home and university. All this flying has meant I have spent a rather significant amount of time at airports too. Hence, this post dedicated to airports, paying a homage to the unsung holder of all things duty-free.

The thing about airports is, they’re essentially a test of a person’s patience. A lot of the time spent there is in wait. Waiting for check-in, waiting for security, waiting for your mom to buy the entire batch of duty-free candy or waiting for boarding. The human mind does not bode well for waiting and when in wait, it wanders. All this wandering has led to a lot of thinking and a lot of thoughts many of which I wrote in the notes app on my phone and I’ll try to consolidate in this post.

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Airports hold so many people. People from different walks of life with different goals, ambitions, dreams. It amazes me to no end when I stand to wait and look around to see all the people who have a different story yet at this epoch they all intersect, right here at this airport. Perhaps, someone is going home or going away from home. Maybe, there’s a new baby in the family. Maybe, god forbid, there’s a loss. Maybe, they’re going to their dream job, maybe they just missed out on it. The possibilities are endless and I cannot even begin to wrap my mind around the extent of these.

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One thing I have also always noticed about airports is that time is seemingly not a construct in there. Any notion of day and night is only expressed through a peak outside. Inside, its always moving, never stopping. Airports are the land where time stops or rather, becomes irrelevant because there are people taking a flight to somewhere or from somewhere at just about all times and airports are always full. This led me to the very serious realization that an empty airport with no movement and no hint of day or night makes a fabulous setup for a dystopia or post-apocalyptic novel. Huh, maybe, I’ll write that, someday.

In all the airports I’ve been to, I’ve always seen a tiny glimpse into the culture of the city or country. All airports show little pieces of the personality of the place they are in. Be it the futuristic installations at Changi Aiport, Singapore or the grandeur of the airport at Dubai or even the wonderful food at the airport in Rome, it’s a little slice of what the country or city has to offer. Taking the phrase, “First Impressions are the last impressions” to heart, more often than not, most places put their best foot forward in the airport and thus, exploring an airport will almost always show you the best of what the place holds.

 

Airports are thus, apart from housing great candy and the best books, a building full of many many human emotions. There’s hope, there’s nostalgia, there’s joy, there’s sadness, there’s dread, there’s anticipation, there’s wonder, there’s  marvel. And for me, right there, wedged in with all the billion emotions, it’s almost like, there’s home.

THIS POST’S QUESTION: What are some of your airport thoughts? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

 

The Sad Truth About Going To Disneyland As An Adult.

Let’s talk about going to Disneyland as an adult and why that’s sad.

I went to Disneyland(Any Disneyland that is) for the first time on 4th June 2017 at the age of 18 years,2 months and 24 days. The one we went to was Disneyland Paris, the day was an unfortunate long weekend Sunday. I went on 5-6 rides in 10ish hours, saw the evening parade and 3 shows. It was disappointing.There, I said it.

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So, now that you have your pitchforks out and mouse ears on ready to attack me, let me finish with my explanation of as to why. If after that, you still feel compelled to chase me around with digital pitchforks you’re more than welcome to do so. So let’s get on with it, shall we?

Now, shocking as I bet it is for some of you, I never went to a Disneyland before I was an adult. (Yes, some countries don’t have their own Disneyland, imagine that!) I had gone to a theme park before,i.e. Universal Studios, Singapore and had the best time ever. We all had fast passes and Universal was such a breeze that I had higher expectations for Disneyland simply because it’s Disneyland. It’s the OG theme park! It’s where wishes come true. C’mon.

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Instead, I found huge crowds and desperately long lines and  rides I really looked forward to and waited an hour for shutting in front of my eyes as I finally reached the front of the line. It had been my childhood dream to go to a Disneyland. I wanted to feel the Disney magic and carry some pixie dust back with me to soar and fly in the world of my imagination. Instead, I was exhausted from waiting in line, went to barely any rides, had to stand on my toes to watch the shows, was jostled in the crowds and was melting in the sun. Of course, I was disappointed. Wouldn’t you be?

Now, I’ll state factors that I concurred led to this letdown. First off, it was a Sunday. Secondly, it was a long weekend. Thirdly, we did not have fast passes. Fourth, it was a hot day for Paris. Three of these were in my hand. I give you that. I will still feel disappointed because this was a childhood dream and I refuse to be fully logical here. Call me stubborn or call me a child.(How I wish for the latter!) The bottom line is, right now between Disney and Universal Studios, I choose Universal because me, the young adult , enjoyed Universal much much more.

Now, to clarify, I did not think Disney was horrible nor have I written it off for life. The magic in that place is so strong, it doesn’t die out this easy. It only diminishes with the number of people entering the park and the intensity with which the sun beats down on our heads. I liked the rides I went on. I liked the shows. I really really loved the parade. I also realised that I would have loved all the things so much more as a child. It was almost sad, realising I was too old to love things I would’ve once loved so much.

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I would, for sure, come back to Disney, for a better, more magical experience. We all chase magic, I’m no exception. I feel sad merely because my first experience, my mythical changing is tainted by adult things like crowds and waiting too long for human beings to wait. It’s also the loss of my childhood innocence, of being able to see too far, not feeling wonder or curiosity as powerfully, knowing too much and losing sight of the magic that everything holds. That’s all.  Are your mouse ears still on? Can I put mine on too, to match?

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I found this picture on Pinterest but couldn’t track the owner of the picture. Let me know if you know who it is.

THIS POST’S QUESTION: Have you ever been to Disneyland? How was your first Disneyland experience as an adult or otherwise? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

Half Yearly Bullet Journal Update.

Let’s talk about Bullet Journaling and how my Bullet Journal looks, halfway through the year.

Hi everyone! If you’ve been around a little bit, you might be aware that this year I kept a Bullet Journal. If not, well, now you know! ( Have a look here for more on the thought process behind it.) I’ve made a few Bullet Journaling related posts since I started and have tried to take you along on this journey. So, here’s another one, to keep you in the loop as to how things are looking.

Now that that’s cleared up, getting back to the topic, this is the Half Yearly BuJo Update. How its going, what I like, what I dont like, how it looks, all that jazz. Yes, shockingly we are halfway through the year of 2018 already. It makes me uncomfortable too. Just a heads up, I’m going to try my best to be super honest because I’m not an artistic person and so my Bullet Journal is not something that is easy peas lemon squeezy for me. We’ll go covering all the little aspects of the Journal and I’ll try to update you on each of them.

The Year In Pixels

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So, my year in pixels is pretty red, because life is usually just okay and that’s okay. I like the Year in Pixels because that way you can look back and see good days, bad days, okay days, amazing days. Its a great jog down the memory lane but I admit that it’s not much of a help as an organisational activity. Its a hassle to keep up with too. I have had days where I forgot to colour in on that very day and did it the next day instead. Would I like to have it in my future Bullet Journals? No, I don’t think so. It makes for a nice memory box but with the compulsive picture taking habits I have, I pack them in just fine. It’s still a fun way to look at your entire year and how it went.

Book/Movie/T.V Show Tracker

The first thing you might have noticed is that there is no picture of a book tracker at all. That is because, as I shamefully admit, I haven’t got through an entire book this year yet. Blame it on long or boring books if you will, but the truth is, at one point in time I could get through 4 books a month easily and I have lost my momentum completely. It’s very sad and I will make a blog post about it soon because I NEED to fix this and that empty book tracker woefully reminds me of this tragedy every day. Movies, I watched many. I’m happy with the number. T.V. Shows, I didn’t do so well with but that’s because I keep binge-ing things I’ve already seen. I blame me. Are these trackers fun? Yeah, absolutely. These help me keep up with my goals for the year so if I have similar goals the next year I would continue having these trackers.

Monthly Spreads

I do monthly spread a tad differently because for me the idea was tracking my progress over the month and things I do. I have the name of the month, a quote I liked that month, a little “Hello” to the month with the significance behind the name of the month and an explanation for it all on the left page. On the right, I have a “Firsts” box to write whatever new thing I did that month and little boxes for updates on various other things like the blog or my end terms. I like doing monthly spreads a lot, though being artistically challenged makes it a little bit frustrating many times. Or, not having done much to document over the month, not all months are that productive!

Exam Schedules

An exam favourite! I draw out my midterm and endterm schedules as soon as I get them in the journal and the happiness that ticking the boxes next to the exams gives me is unreal. It helps me see how many are left, times, dates and is just a great planning and motivation tool during dreary exam days. I would definitely keep these in future Bullet Journals.

Birthday Pages

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I loved doing these too! It is a great thing to look back on and a practice I plan to continue, a little letter to self every year with goals for the next year, praise for the progress and acceptance of the shortcomings of the past year. I talk about these in depth in this post.

Half Yearly Goal Update

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I made this little goal progress check for myself writing down the exact goals I wrote at the beginning of my journal for the year and how the realisation of those goals is coming along.  It made me realise what I needed to work harder towards, reaffirmed my goals for the year and was a great reality check. I would definitely do this again as I found it quite useful and informative.

Quote Pages

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I make quote pages like this one when I am free and have another quote that really inspires me that month. I am someone who is very moved by words and for me and my abysmal lettering skills, this is also great lettering practice. I like doing these because its entirely up to me if i want to do one and the flexibility is relaxing.

And that’s all for the half-yearly Bullet Journal update! I hope it was helpful and I was able to keep it real. I really tried. Have a good next half of the year!

THIS POST’S QUESTION: How did your first half of the year go? What are your hopes for the second half? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

My Bullet Journal Essentials!

Let’s talk about the pages I chose to have in my bullet journal, as a first-time bullet journal-er.

Hello! In my previous post, I talked about how I came to start Bullet Journaling. First off, I would like to thank all of you for your kind words and lovely advice. It has been a bigger driving force for me than I could put into words!

In this post, I wanted to talk about the few starter pages(That is, pages minus the monthly/weekly/daily spreads) I felt were essential for me in my bullet journal, at this point in my life.

(Also a massive shout out to Little Coffee Fox whose blog posts about Bullet Journaling have been such a boon and who a lot of my attempts at brush lettering are inspired from. I have also used Shelby’s free month printables in some places in my own journal because I’m only beginning to learn and there are some places where cutting and pasting makes things so much easier.)

A Cover Page

I really just wanted to design a cover that sets up the theme for the journal and is commemorative of the fresh start that is this new year.The cover was important because it sets the theme for the rest of the journal and is the representative of the journal itself.Since I’m not particularly artistically gifted, I knew I had to keep it simple and elegant. I had been idea-searching on Instagram for months and this is the end result.

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A Calendar

While, in today’s smartphone age, physical calendars are going out of vogue, I personally liked the idea of having a written calendar in my bullet journal, which being my planner, organiser and journal hybrid, will make it a massive boon for me throughout the year.Something about being able to see the months and days together appeals to my organisational side. This is the final calendar I made. The beautifully written 2018 is Shelby’s free printable 2018, credited above.

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Year In Pixels

A wonderful little project that I recommend everyone should do, not only people who bullet journal. It is an easily made record of how the year went, that I first found on Instagram last year and fell in love with. The number of categories and colours and level of artistic-ness is totally up to you and it makes for several jolly trips down the memory lane, so I had to have it. This is how my Year In Pixels spread looks.Also just for your information, this picture was taken a few days after New Year’s hence some days are already coloured in.

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Goals For 2018

I had to have all my major goals for 2018 listed out explicitly and in one place, so I could have a look at what i want to achieve over the year whenever i want, enjoy the clarity of thought it brings and judiciously work toward achieving said goals. The broad goals and what I do for them is something I’ll track through my monthly spreads.This is how my Goals for 2018 spread looked. You’ll notice goals related to all the important things in my life; academics, personal happiness and growth, this blog and my passions.

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Trackers

Knowing my broad goals, I set up a bunch of trackers in my journal to track their progress and just keep a record of how things are working out with that yearly goal. It also offers me a chance to record things I’ve done/achieved over the year that I can look back on later. I made 4 trackers in my Journal:-

  1. A Book Tracker: A place for me to maintain a record of the book is read over the year to track my goal of reading more.

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  1. A Movie Tracker: A place for me to list out all the movies I watch over the year to track my goal of watching more movies. You’ll notice one movie already there, because like I previously mentioned, I took these pictures a couple of days after New Year’s and thus had already seen a movie by then.(Also since we are already at it, can we talk about the amazing-ness that is Ant-Man?)

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  1. A T.V. Show Tracker: A place for me to take note of all the t.v. shows i watch over the year to track my goal of watching more quality television.

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  1. A Blog Tracker: A place for me to track where things go on my blog o meet my goal of working harder towards my passion,i.e. blogging. I took a bunch of statistics like my follower count,total views,number of posts and total visitors and noted them down from the Stats section on my Site Admin on the 1st of January 2018 and will write those same statistics again on 31st December 2018 to see how much my blog has grown using those numbers.

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THIS POST’S QUESTION: Which pages do you HAVE to have in your own Bullet Journal,if you have/were to have one? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

To be a guest writer on Musings Of A Whimsical Soul, fill the form below!

 

The Start Of My Bullet Journaling Experience.

Let’s talk about Bullet Journaling today.

Hi.

Let’s begin with answering the burning question.WHERE WAS I?

I’ll be honest. Life caught up with me. I was busy navigating dorm life, University, adapting to a new study pattern, coping with all the new subjects, building myself an identity in said university and living in a new place. I ran out of time to devote to things I loved to do.

Don’t get me wrong. I love University. It just gets a little too much to handle at times. Thus, I read less and less, till I barely read anymore, watched less and less movies till I watched none anymore, and the worst part, wrote less and less till I barely wrote anymore. It takes its toll. As happy as I was with my new life, I still felt frustrated because I couldn’t do things I liked to do as much as I would like to.

This is when I found Bullet Journaling. I found some journal spreads on Instagram and then looked into Bullet Journaling and saw it be the ultimate tool to the time-management and organisation I crave and desperately need in my life with an outlet to my creativity that would refresh and re-energize me.

According to the amazingly helpful bulletjournal.com ,” The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less. ”   Basically, a Bullet Journal is an all-in-one planner system, that can be whatever you want and need it to be.

I then started compiling all the ideas and things I definitely needed in my Bullet Journal and organizing my goals and dreams for 2018 in my head. I told my family and friends about my ideas, which were received warmly and with lots of love which I’m extremely grateful for. Now, all I needed was the stationary and a start. (And a Journal but that’s a tad too obvious!)

These gorgeous spreads are courtesy of (L to R) the folks at Lazy Genius Collective  and Minnevore.com. I was greatly inspired by them, though I’m hardly talented enough to produce anything similar!

Deciding on when to start was the boggling one. The stationary I only had to buy, really. I had always considered the concept of New Year’s Resolutions silly because no one really followed them two, maximum three weeks past New years and it seemed pretty desperate. But, now, as an ‘ adult’, I saw the charm of the new year, a fresh start, an opportunity to begin over.(The adult is in quotes because my being an adult is a highly debatable thing to me,)So, it was decided. I would start Bullet Journaling from January 1st,2018. Then, I was lucky enough that my parents gave me a Vintage Journal and different sorts of stationary as a Christmas present this year, knowing I meant to use those from New Years.

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My Starter Pack: A Vintage notebook,AddGel Little Artist Brush Pen set, Faber-castell highlighters(Yellow, Orange and green), Pentel Roller-Gel Pen set and Uni-Ball Sigo Pens(Silver, White and Gold)

Hence, I’m all set to dive into Bullet Journaling. Today is the 28th of December where I live, and I have been and will continue to ready my journal, to be used in the upcoming year.Since it’s only my first time around, I may falter, I may make mistakes and I might fail.But, I’m including you guys on my little “BuJo” (As it is affectionately called in the Bullet Journal community) journey so you can help out this not-so-artistic novice and keep me accountable.So I’ll make a few Bullet Journaling related posts this year (Fingers crossed) and you’re most welcome to join in!

Lastly, I would like to wish you and your family Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from my side. I hope you that this holiday season onward, positivity and goodwill abound in your life!

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A Watercolor painting and brownie courtesy of my mother.

THIS POST’S QUESTION: Do you have a Bullet Journal? If yes,what tips/suggestions do you have for a first time Bullet Journal-er like me? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

To be a guest writer on Musings Of A Whimsical Soul, fill the form below!

Surprise Lesson In Living In The Present.

Let’s talk about life currently and being in the moment, today.

Hello, wonderful people of the Internet! (A rather paltry attempt at being jovial and chummy, I do sincerely apologize.)

I will begin talking (Or typing, technically.) today as I seem to do always, with an explanation.About an hour back, I finished up the post detailing the first day of my amazing European vacation last month, the first in a daily narration of the entire fifteen-day vacation, with pictures and everything.(Lots of  pictures of the Eiffel Tower, no less, yes, day one was Paris.)

Just as I was about to click on Publish, I decided to address the niggling feeling eating away the back of my head since I had begun sorting through the pictures to add to the post.The feeling being, I felt a little criminal and a lot ridiculous for making 15 posts about a month old vacation when there’s so much happening right absolute now. (Not this very moment but you get my drift, right?)Now, what are these many things, you ask? Among many things, these include but are not limited to, finally deciding on a college, going to said college, maybe moving out to live in a hostel/dorm for the first time in my life, maybe moving to a city I’ve never been to, and meeting a gazillion new people, all by the end of this month.(That is a lot of commas.Thank you, English Grammar for being so simple and sorted.) Which, is actually only 11 days away. (Since it’s nearly the 20th in  speck I call home in this world.)Which in turn, increases the magnitude of all the emotions I’m feeling and dealing with.

And when I feel a lot of emotions I write on here.I bring them out.I involve every single person reading this in the silly woes of a teenaged girl and I keep you in the loop with what is up with me and what I am up to.Which is what I decided to do, this time too.So, I am putting the entire Europe vacation diary on hold and I’ll talk about what’s current and new and what’s happening now and how I’m feeling about it.So, this is your warning, heads up, whatever you’d like to call it. Emotions and changes are going to be sold by the penny next post on.Brace yourself.

So, what am I up to now? To be perfectly honest, it’s a lot of things that are embellished ways to say “nothing huge”. My phone hasn’t been working for the past week.When you have holidays and nothing to do, that isn’t the best of situations.I have to admit though,It hasn’t been all bad because of that.I’ve had moments where I’ve been glad I didn’t have my phone because I’m more efficient, fast or just simply had more attention to pay(Attention is something you learn to appreciate more than most people if you’re me) to other things.Meanwhile, I’m also reading the Song Of Ice And Fire series, by G.R.R. Martin (If you have or are too, please comment below.I loooooove talking about it.)I’m also watching Game Of Thrones(Again, If you are watching let’s talk) alongside as I finish each book.(Yes, I know the entire world has seen it, I  respected the fact that it’s an adult show, okay?) I’m doing some college-related shopping, packing, contemplating(A veiled way to say paranoidly overthinking) and mentally prepping for majorly three things.

One. The changes that are soon coming in my life.I have a track record of not being the best at dealing with change while it’s happening.I almost avoid thinking about it so this time I have decided to be a ‘grown-up’ about it and will deal with it while it happens instead of bottling it all up till I have an explosive meltdown.

Two.A new setup.I understand school as a construct, I’ve been involved with it for 14 years.College is something I have a rather as I believe, misconstrued image of, attributed to books and movies and I do and do not at the same time know what to expect.I’ve to learn and adapt and grow and I’m gearing up to do it in the best way possible.

Three and most importantly, socialising. As a rather antisocial and a pretty socially inept person this is the one that is the most daunting for me.But I’m also contradictorily, a  person who enjoys talking to people and getting to know them and is excited by the prospect of making all the lifelong friends I am going to make.So me, a shy extrovert needs the preparation to open up to people and get ready to do what humans are notorious for: socialise.

Apart from that, I’ve basically been utterly and undeniably bored.And that’s it, folks, it’s what I’ve been up to and that’s what you can expect from me now on.Cheers and see you later!

THIS POST’S QUESTION : What is something you’ve done recently that you’re proud of ? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

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