Happy New Year!
As per tradition for the end of the year, here is 2019’s roundup (seriously I’ve done so many of these you’d think they’d consider movie rights ????). It’s a long ‘un as always, so if you’re prepared to read on, here we go!

JANUARY - The year began with A Level mocks and my Durham interview, so it was a month of stress ???? Thankfully, I nailed both, and was offered my conditional place in Durham for Primary Education. Plus it snowed, and I LOVE snow.
FEBRUARY - Allocated to Hatfield College! Woohoo! My Durham journey had officially begun. I also enjoyed a lovely week in Bath with my friends which was definitely one of the highlights of the year.
MARCH - Happy 18th Birthday to me! And in the same week, Post Offer Visit Day in Durham. This was probably the best thing I ever did this year, it sold Durham to me and I met some amazing people who I am now really close to!
APRIL - We did the first canoe day of the season, and it finally started to feel like summer. A-Level revision took up basically all of my time too...
MAY - A-LEVELS STARTED!!! Revision, revision, revision. I don’t think I’ve ever spent that much time staring at books in my life ????
JUNE - More revision, more exams! But they finally ended, and I did 2 weeks of work experience back at my primary school which was so nostalgic and so much fun.
JULY - Quick trip to Paris in 43*C... hot and sticky, but fabulous!
AUGUST - This month was certainly bittersweet. Results day had me feeling sick. I hardly slept and logged onto UCAS half an hour early just waiting, and thankfully my dreams came true with my place at Durham confirmed! I was allocated my room and I felt ready to start uni, although I still had a month to go. There was also a lovely gathering of family to celebrate an anniversary, which was a wonderful break. Sadly though, the month also brought trouble back in Kashmir, which left its mark for the rest of the year, and had us praying for the safety of our family and all Kashmiris.
SEPTEMBER - This month was INSANE. It started with a trip to Seville with my friends for one last hoorah before uni. Then as soon as I got back, I saw Hamilton for the first time, which was bloody incredible. IKEA and London trips kitted me out, and I officially moved in to Hatfield College, Durham University on the 29th. I was thrown straight into it, with mingling beginning the second I walked in, and I formed a fantastic circle of friends.
OCTOBER - Matriculation and freshers week kept me busy busy busy! From carving pumpkins and microwaving pigs in blankets, to LEGO in seminars, meeting my ‘biological’ and ‘adopted’ college families, and joining a band that is literally named ‘Kinky Jeff and the Swingers’, it was a crazy month! Mum and Dad came to visit at the end of the month, and it was so lovely to see them again after 4 weeks ????
NOVEMBER - School placement started, I went to my first black tie ball for Caledonian Society, and I jumped out of an aeroplane with a parachute surrounded by my college family... As crazy as it sounds it was the best experience ever, terrifying, yet oddly peaceful. In all fairness I did kinda muck up the jump from start to finish and may or may not have broken my wrist, but the massive hugs at the end from those jumping with me made everything worth it! I also went to visit my sister in Cambridge for a weekend, and my friends came up to see me, so I was constantly on the move.
DECEMBER - College family laser tag, A Very Kinky Christmas social, and my first vote in a general election wrapped up the first term in Durham. I then travelled home for the first time since September, which was truly special. I met up with lots of home friends, chilled out at home, and missed Durham like crazy, but I have certainly been enjoying my family’s company and being able to see them every day again!

So here’s to 2020. Who knows what it’ll bring, but I wish for all of you for it to be filled with joy, hope, and love, no matter who you are or where you are.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Leah C, Hatfield Fresher. 

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