We have reached the end of 2019 so I thought that I would look back at the main things I did in the 2010s.
The first 4 years of this decade were dominated by University. It was mostly an enjoyable time, but there were a lot of challenges, which you can read about here.
I began University in 2009 opting for a three-year undergraduate course in Interdisciplinary Science.
In case you’re wondering what the hell Interdisciplinary Science (I science) is you are not alone.
“What’s that?” was a typical response whenever my fellow students and I told anyone what we studied.
I will tell you, but I will spare you the boring details. It was basically a bit of everything. Lots of different science subjects all in one course, kind of like pick and mix, but for science, not sweets (sadly).
In hindsight, I wish that I had chosen to do a different course because I think my learning style was different from how the course was taught. Plus a single subject degree would probably have suited me better rather than trying to learn lots of different subjects.
I became a sort of a jack of all science trades but master of none.
In the end, I managed to get a 2:2 which I was a bit disappointed with, to be honest, but it wasn’t unexpected. Most people on the course got 2:2s, which I think reflects that most people struggled with it a little.
I graduated from I-science in 2012. The video of my graduation ceremony is below – I am on at 1:14:56
I decided to do a part-time Masters in Global Environmental Change (GEC). This covered climate change, how environmental systems work, and wildlife conservation amongst other things.
Usually, a Masters lasts for one year, but part-time it lasts for 2 years. This meant that my masters was much more laid back than my undergrad course, which is ironic. Usually, it’s the other way round. I ended up having about 2 lectures a week, and most of the rest of the week I had spare time to either do coursework or whatever else I wanted.
Coursework usually wasn’t due in until the end of the semester (about 16 weeks), so I didn’t have to worry about that for a while. I tended to procrastinate quite a bit!
I enjoyed GEC more than I-science because there was much less group work involved and I was more interested in the subject. Being more interested in the topic probably helped me get a better grade – I ended up with a merit which I was pleased with.
Aside from academic stuff, a couple of things I’m most proud of at University are managing to get into the University challenge team one year (we didn’t get on TV though) and resurrecting the chess Society. I’ll write a blog post about these soon.
After I graduated University in 2015, I had the idea of starting a blog because apparently writing was something I could do. The first year the number of views was quite small, which was to be expected. To put it in perspective the number of views I had in the WHOLE of 2015 was about 1200, whereas this month alone I have had over 2400 views.
In 2015 I thought that 150 views a month was good, but now if I get less than 1000 a month then I am disappointed. It shows you how much my idea of success has changed over the years.
So the blog is coming along nicely and hopefully in 2020 and beyond it will get even better.
Here are the top 10 blog posts with the most views this decade in order of total views:
After I graduated from university in 2015, I finally had the free time to travel abroad, which I had only done twice in my life before then.
Every year starting in 2015, I have travelled to at least one country. I’ve been to Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Rome, Lagos (Portugal), Tenerife, Sicily, a Netherlands river cruise visiting 7 towns along the way, and the Isle of Wight (I know the Isle of Wight is part of the UK, but technically it’s overseas, so I’m counting it.)
I have found it eye-opening when I travel to places that have worse accessibility than the UK. We often complain about wheelchair access in the UK (and often rightly so) but going to places like Paris or Rome showed me that the UK is actually a lot better than some countries.
On the flipside, places like Berlin show how much better wheelchair access could be. Berlin so far is the most accessible place I visited in Europe.
Next year I will be going on a Mediterranean cruise, so I’m looking forward to that.
Another thing I started doing during the 2010s was going to music festivals. I started off just going to local ones like Shanti fest and mud fest, and built it up to bigger ones like latitude, Blue Dot, and the Isle of Wight festival.
Initially, I just went to the festivals for one day, but I wanted to stay for the whole festival on site. So I stayed in an accessible motorhome a couple of times for blue Dot and latitude. This was great and allowed me to get a more rounded festival experience.
In 2020 I am looking at staying in a glamping tent on site because it will be a bit more spacious and hopefully more comfortable than the motorhome. But it depends on how accessible the tents are.
Here are the music festivals I’ve been to this decade:
So they are the main things that I have done this decade, but there were probably lots of other stuff that I forgot to mention.
For me personally, the 2010s have been a pretty good decade, however, of course, it hasn’t all been positive. I lost some friends this decade. My grandad and great aunt both have Alzheimer’s, which has sadly progressed in the last few years.
Let’s all hope that in the next decade there are a lot more highs then there are lows. I just want to say thank you for reading my blog, whether you are a new reader or a returning reader.
I hope you have a happy and prosperous New Year!
I will leave you with this quote from Neil Gaiman:
I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.