5 things I want to do before I graduate

So I've kind of left this blog to gather dust over the summer. Between actual uni work, travelling all over Britain to sing in different choirs, and grieving over losing family, I've had bigger things to think about. Sorry to my mum and the 0.5 of a person who reads this website.

But now it's September. The leaves are turning red and gold and brown and the weather is very definitely confirming that yes, it's autumn now and you need to wrap up warm. The kids are back at school, as are the grumpy, angsty adolescents. And tomorrow the first proper week of lectures starts. The lecturers are drilling us with rhetoric about how hard second year is. It's not exactly subtle, but I've fucked up enough to learn that I need to work damn hard and damn efficiently. What's more, this year is really important; not only does it cover the deep core of practical skills and the foundations of my degree, but it also determines whether I get to stay on my MPhys course - and whether I get to spend next year studying in France.

To stop waffling and cut the bullshit, it's crucial that I get this year right. So very little blog time. At the same time, I feel like in just a year I've grown up so much. I've had to put down roots in a new city with hardly any support network. I've had to sort out my own medical care. I've improved so much in lab. I've had to balance my studies, my life with my friends and a relationship where my partner and I live nearly 300 miles apart. I haven't got it perfect; I've made a hell of a lot of mistakes. But I'm just about on track to do the things I desperately want to do and I'm in a much better place than I was last September. Actually, I'm really looking forward to properly starting second year. I'm really hoping it goes better than last year.

All the same, I've still got 3 years left of my degree and so much of Manchester left to explore. I don't know what's going to happen to me after I finish my degree, so I don't know if I'll still be living there.

So with the help of my amazing friend/housemate/PASS leader/lab partner/general partner in crime, physics and other such things, here's a list of 5 things to do before graduation!

1. End up in The Tab. Come on, everyone reads it.

2. Finally actually make it to Remake Remodel.

3. Go have that icing cupcake (as a shoutout to the Ising model...get it? Terrible pun, I know) in northern quarter.

4. Get to the jazz club. Again, in northern quarter, but jazz...Nice.

5. Go walking in the Peak District.

There's one thing that I've missed off my official list, because I've done it already: going on University Challenge.

Yes, I was that person who yelled "It's not that one!" at the top of my lungs and let down the entire university. My apologies. I promise that the rest of the team are actually much better in real life, but I can't say the same of myself.

(I also yelled "SHIT!" at earsplitting volume, got applauded for swearing on that most venerable of quiz shows, and also got called a "very naughty woman" by Jeremy Paxman, but unfortunately all of that was cut from the broadcast. Shame.)

For all that I fucked up on the night, though, I had a hell of a lot of fun and it was a massive privilege to be able to do something that difficult. It's not something I'm going to forget easily - especially since I've been teased about it a couple of times - and I think it's an experience that taught me a lot.