A New Year and Looking to the Future – OurWarwick
OurWarwick

A New Year and Looking to the Future

Emma Barnard United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
Emma Barnard | Theatre & Performance Studies Contact Emma

Throughout both my first year and my first term of my second year at Warwick, I have been trying so very hard to be aware of the future, and how to make the future I really want possible. Sometimes it feels like every activity, job, piece of work, and experience I do or partake in is always gearing towards the bigger picture- how will this fit with my future? How will my present form the person I want to be to attain the goals I want? Needless to say, I have in fact always struggled to balance the need to plan to achieve new things in the future while simultaneously enjoying the present, or dare I say it, what has been achieved already.

I remember getting my first notification from UCAS saying I had gotten my first choice of study. It was a moment of relief and elation, something which so many other hardworking students have experienced. Moving forward to my first day at University, it was numbingly new, and exciting, but I already had my goals and aspirations for the year in mind: get in the gym, try performing and auditioning, try something completely new, get writing, do my studies, learn as much as I can, get a job (or several), sound people out, have some nights off etc- and in the midst of ticking them off and getting closer to finally breathing out the words ‘I have finished what I set out to do, for now.’ I forgot to be mindful of my success so far. Success, a word I hate to use about myself and something I hate to meditate on. This could possibly be the reason why I am constantly on a treadmill, fully believing that the next job, assessment, shift, workout, performance, script, or essay will be enough. Although there is always something else on the horizon, a new sought-after goal that seems more desirable or even more necessary than any other I have faced before- and so, I have to do it all again.

Therefore, with the New Year fast approaching you can imagine that I already have my list in place, and of course after a break, I have every intention of completing that list and hopefully getting one step closer to a future I am proud of. However there is a small part of me, more or less completely ignored, that is not only tired, but also cynical of my approach to work. If I never truly appreciate what I have achieved so far, then who is to say that one more goal, or one more challenge accepted will be enough? Still, this is not an uncommon feature in our generational mentality. I know so many other people who feel defined by the challenges they take on, and immediately forget the success they have had in the past. In other words ruminating over success and self-congratulation is becoming increasingly awkward and even sullied both in social situations and even in private.

I recently read this on a meme page, I had hoped to find a simple laugh, but stumbled across this instead and it totally rang true:

‘I feel like I’m constantly worrying about the next part of my life without realising that I’m right in the middle of what I used to look forward to.’

That being said and reflected on, my New Year Resolution list does not seem as urgent as it did this morning. What if this coming New Year we don’t come from a place of burning expectation and pressure but instead are motivated by the self we have created in this very moment? We are currently studying, hopefully things we love, or subjects that will get us to a place that we want to be and getting here was a task off our own back- and an achievement that is enough and remains enough even in the face of the New Year.

Just some thoughts of mine, and others. I hope you are all having a lovely break.

Best,

Emma

Emma Barnard United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
Emma Barnard | Theatre & Performance Studies Contact Emma

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