2013 in Review

POSTED ON 31ST JAN 2014

Albeit late, 2013 has been a tremendous year and so I'm going to take this opportunity to summarise what this past year has meant to me. So here goes...

January 5th 2013: I headed back to Hatfield to continue my second year, studying Computer Science. The place was covered in snow, so to lighten the hardships of semester A assignments and exams, I created a poorly constructed snowman!

Image of a poorly constructed snowman

I also checked out the snowed over table tennis tables, too. Although this winter weather did have it's benefits- working in the LRC was a bit nicer due to the cool backdrop.

Image of the lrc with a backdrop of snow

I then met my girlfriend, Sarah. Now, she's awesome because she likes everything I like (as she also studies Computer Science)...well everything except Minecraft, but we can work on that. I then started posting projects on my website such as the video editing work experience I did for NG Kids, when my sister travelled to Iceland in celebration of Ice Age 4: Continental Drift. Then it got really cold once again.

Image of Icicles

Whilst it was so cold, I thought 'why not go for a shoot?', so I headed out with my friend Saahil onto the American football pitch, where our uni team, the Hatfield Hurricanes, won the game.

Image from my American football shoot

Then I sort of went media consumer crazy with the likes of YouTube, TED talks and BBC News. However, I managed to tear myself away from such distractions to get on with something more important...D&D. Yes, I played Dungeons and Dragons with my uni friends in the depths of the LRC (of course, after we'd finished all of our work!). But it wasn't all fun and games, evident from my 2:1 AI and Robotics grade.

When summer fast approached, it soon dawned on me that I would have to find some place else to stay for my final year. Lo and behold, I met my current flatmates through a round of 'Housemate speed dating'...don't ask.

An image from the extravaganza event

Some more volunteer photography work was to be had at the UH's end of year extravaganza, where there was a society football tournament and a cake baking competition. I watched Iron Man 3 with my course mates and went to Thorpe park with some friends. By the end of May, I had totally redesigned my website after discovering the greatest thing that ever came into web design history....responsive website design.

Summer was full of great memories. I held a retro gaming night with friends from my home town. I delved into more blogging and developed my experience of JavaScript and CSS by creating web applications that simulate behaviour and intelligence. I even went to the Olympic and Paralympic Anniversary Games with my family, at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London.

Image taken at the games

In August, I was given more video editing work experience from NG Kids, in the form of junkets celebrating Disney's Planes. I also turned 21, which was celebrated whilst surrounded by my family and girlfriend. I also went to see Les Miserables in the theatre for the first time and went on a high speed boat tour down the River Thames...awesome!

Image of myself and my father on a speed boat at the thames

In September, I bought a new telephoto lens which exploded my photographic potential! I left my old, three level house for the last time and said hello to my new flat with my new flatmates. I became head tenant; utility comparison and set-up only took 3 hours of phone calls...hmm goodbye mobile limit.

Through my flatmate I joined the Drama Society. Probably one of the best decisions ever made, as that led me to meet a tonne of crazy but awesome people. It also allowed me to continually have subjects to practice my photography skills on.

A shot of the hertfordshire student union drama society after their final performance of their winter play Snow White

[Image by Amelia Dyer]

Then, something big happened...my laptop's hard disk drive developed a fault. Crisis! Luckily it wasn't all bad; a month earlier I started regularly backing up my PC to a portable hard drive, so that minimised dramatic loss but I still lost about 3 days of stuff (not work though cause that's cloud sync'ed). So I bought an SSD (solid state drive), which greatly improved the performance of my laptop. So from the pain of my pc crashing, it was a sort of upgrade. I also converted to Linux Ubuntu for the first time. After the initial frustration with the change I actually now prefer it as my main operating system.

Two great Halloween parties later, the Drama Societies' auditions and rehearsals began for their winter pantomime, Snow White.

The poster used to advertise the Drama societies winter play of Snow White

[Artwork by Aiden Moore]

While the panto rehearsals continued, the annual charity event Movember began. This was my second time round but this time there weren't just 7 of us...there was a whole crowd!

Zombie chase image

I once again was one of the volunteer photographers for the RaG Zombie Chase charity event and one of my pictures even made the front page of their newsletter! I successfully made my first cake (with the help of Betty Crocker). I celebrated my girlfriend's birthday by holding a surprise party, making Quesadilles for her and my friends as well as another cake (in proper cake tins this time). The month of November ended with attending PTX's first London gig with my Sister!

Image of the food ingredients ready to be made into Quesadilles

In December, I helped with the production of three performances of the Drama Society's panto, Snow White. I helped during set-up, and I was also a stage-hand, a tree and at times, a disgruntled techy...oh and I also helped out at the afterparty. I celebrated Christmas with both my girlfriend and with my family, playing the most infuriating party games thinkable.

So there you have it, my year, which brings me to the person I am today. I've learnt an insanely vast amount about photography, various computer jiggery pokery and life in itself. Now, I can't wait to start another great year! To all those who played a part in making my year awesome, thank you and I'll see you in 2014!

Tags: 2013, year, review, recap

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