Just a small town boy…

Ever wondered what it’s like to live in a town which sits right next to the shore?

I’ve lived by the sea nearly my whole life. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. The beach in my home town, Sheerness, is something I can’t fault. Despite the town’s many flaws, it can be quite elegant in the summer.

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Sheerness at dawn. [Cameron Jull, 29th April 2016]
Everyone says they hate the place where they grew up. I’m guilty of it. I have a love-hate relationship with this town which so interestingly has a lot of history behind it. If you look out to sea carefully, you’ll be able to see the wreck of the SS Richard Montgomery, and the various different buildings scattered in Southend-On-Sea. Fun, right? Sometimes. I might complain a lot about it, but this is home to me and it will always be. I’m not particularly proud of where I live, but come on, who actually wants to stay in the same place for the rest of their lives? Definitely not me.

When the sky is blue and there isn’t a cloud in sight, it makes the town look like a paradise. A rare sight considering this is Britain we’re talking about. I’ve walked across the promenade many times by myself and it’s such a great place to escape to. I consider it my ‘happy place’ and I always have.

There’s just something about the tranquillity of the beach; the high waves crashing graciously against the shore, and the local townspeople walking their dogs or cycling between the two white chalky lines. Sometimes, I’m tempted to just pick up a book and go there to read, but naturally, I don’t get round to actually doing it.

In August every year, Sheerness often holds a carnival and fair that nearly everyone enjoys. During the evening, fireworks are lit on the beach and you can see the protruding colours pour into the sky, illuminating the water below. It’s a wonderful sight.

Even though there isn’t much to do here and my constant complaints about the boredom, it’s still home. It always will be, and a part of me will always belong to the sea.

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Sheerness beach looking out to Southend-On-Sea, Essex. [Cameron Jull, 29th April 2016]
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Reflections

My second year of uni is coming to an end, and I feel like it’s time to reflect on how this academic year has been.

Without exaggerating too much, it has been one hell of a year. While it’s been emotionally and mentally challenging, with hurdles and obstacles along the way, it has also been great. I finally made sense of my identity, discovering more about myself and taking big leaps into being the person I am today, and I’ve learned from my mistakes and improved upon them.

In second year, our grades are actually counted towards our final mark in our degrees. It has been an incredibly stressful journey, having failed one assignment last term and worrying about under-achieving, but I think I’m doing well. I’m not completely failing so that’s good.

I’ve come out of my shell a lot this year. I went out with a bunch of friends at Halloween, which was actually my first night out since I started university. It was a great night and I ended up on the brink of being tipsy, but I still had fun. Everyone who knows me well knows I tend to be on the introverted side, so this was a new experience for me as I had only been out with my family and close friends to the local pubs, which didn’t have quite the same effect. We played Cards Against Humanity, watched The Rocky Horror Picture Show (even though I arrived at my friend’s house just minutes before it ended), went to the Student Union and played pool. As expected, I lost. I really hope we can have more night outs because I absolutely loved it.

As mentioned above, I faced failure on an essay I didn’t particularly like. I expected a poor mark, maybe a third, but never did I expect to fail. Needless to say, I was shocked and disappointed and upset, but it was all my fault because I allowed procrastination to get the best of me. I definitely won’t be doing the same thing again. Nevertheless, I didn’t fail the overall module, so I was relieved to hear that.

I’ve set myself some goals which I hope to fulfil in 3rd year, which will undoubtedly be the most stressful year of my career as a student, so here is what I have so far:

  1. Stop procrastinating and get on with some work.  
  2. Finally publish something, even if it’s just on Wattpad. 
  3. Eat healthier, drink more fluids and sleep earlier. 
  4. Don’t worry too much about assignments. 
  5. Go on more night outs. 
  6. Live more. 
  7. Be more confident. 

Obviously, I can’t say I’ll achieve all of these, because who knows what third year will bring. But this year has taught me that I need to buckle down and stop wasting my time because after all, I will leave university next year. I will graduate and I will wish I never left, so I’m determined to make 2016-2017 the best year ever before I graduate and say goodbye to everything I’ve dreamed of for the past sixteen years.