Recollections and Anticipations

Article by Anjali Kawa
Art by Emily Bourne

Colourful drawing of a face with the text "This is the change I want to see in 2018", "protecting", "power", "ups and downs","dreamed","repair", and "energy".

Over the past year, the world has seen so much change, both good and bad.This is paralleled in my own life and I assume in a lot of your own lives. A year is a long time and looking back at the past 365 days, I see that I was unsure about a lot - primarily because of the looming exams I had in summer 2017 which were going to determine where I ended up in three months. Now I find myself studying new subjects I love in an environment where I have been able to challenge myself and grow. Huge ups and downs this year have revealed a lot I tended to hide about myself, particularly the contrast in how much energy I invest into others compared to myself. This is what I want to
change in 2018.

The phrase "Today is actually my 17th birthday" inside colourful floral decoration

Today is my seventeenth birthday. This age is daunting because between now and my next birthday, University application and offers will have become the priority in my life. This year I have learned the limits of my abilities. I have dreamed up plans to push these limits further in 2018 and am hopeful about them. I study four subjects (Politics, Philosophy, English Literature and History) that call for me to think and analyse peoples’ behaviour and this practice has definitely leaked into my personal life. This has been detrimental and caused me to overthink constantly: a habit I need to eliminate.

In today’s socio-political climate, I think that taking time out for yourself is more important than ever. Taking care of others is a trait we should all value and encourage, but whenever another disheartening event took place the past year, I saw tweets and posts circulating the message that we should take time for ourselves to support ourselves through any distress and I wholeheartedly agree. A study showed that Americans specifically feel incredibly ‘stressed' about the coming years Being a pessimist, I fear little change will happen next year, but we can all still make a change by protecting ourselves and lessening the power of those trying to create rifts in society. I implore you to pursue discussion but also to protect yourself and keep yourself strong enough for the protests, whatever form they take.

The phrase "Leading on from this... I think educating myself is something I need to place more emphasis on" surrounded my colourful floral decoration 

I believe that educating myself is something I need to put much more emphasis on. I don’t necessarily mean in terms of college and my A Levels, but just reading and consuming more impartial and clarified information on the political scape we are in. My history teacher told us in a lesson early on in the year that nothing can truly be unbiased, and this has stuck with me, contradicting my earlier point about impartiality. Having said both of these things, I do think some material can allow us to truly form our own opinions, and one of the ways to do this is consume viewpoints from all sides and from multiple sources. Allowing ourselves to be influenced by others (whether personally or politically, from issues about what we wear to what party we support) can impact the quality of our lives and the general society in which we live.

I find the notion people can deliberately separate themselves from politics and history almost paradoxical because somehow society has given us the power to stop us learning about the place and system that we live in. So, in 2018, I’m going to try and learn more about issues outside my own space (i.e Western and South Asian politics)  and I call on you to do the same.

Every new year gives us the opportunity to change and grow, and my musings have definitely been based around the idea of gaining knowledge and helping to move against the tide of political change that has happened this year. Aside from this, it is definitely an opportunity for us all to learn more; whether it be about ourselves, the people we know or society.