New Year’s Resolutions

BEN

The significance of new year’s resolutions is often questionable, whether it is fitness goals lost within the first few weeks of the new year, or shallow ideas of personal change. Nevertheless,  I thought it might be a good idea to kick off our new site, which Alex and I set up at the end of December, to outline our personal goals for 2017. It is always a good time to push for positive change!

Coming from quite different backgrounds in terms of life experience and origin, we met during an exchange semester in Taiwan. Alex from Worcestershire, studying International Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Me from Mannheim, studying Biosciences at Heidelberg University in Germany. We couldn’t have had a more diverse academic background but bonded over skateboarding, video games and music.

Skating in downtown Taipei

I am in the 3rd Semester of my Master Degree in marine biology at Bremen University, and life seems pretty overwhelming at this point. Some loose ends, a tragic personal setback and lost opportunities have made the past 6 months not entirely easy to go through. The demands of a scientific career have been looming over my shoulder, and I look forward to starting work on my master thesis this summer, whilst I’m still trying to organize internships for the spring.

I can already see myself getting trapped in the hamster wheel, that is the scientific path of “publish or perish”, on short-term contracts, undermotivated and overworked, but I don’t want to see that happen. This year I will have to find out if I can make it work for myself another way, combining scientific research with my passion for making music, photography, being outdoors, and generally feeling like I am doing something positive, something worthwhile.

This site, together with the cultural and political angle of Alex, will be the place to put all the threads together, I hope.

As for my goals in 2017:

  • Spend more time outside, less looking at screens.
  • Meditate every day.
  • I want to start writing more, particularly articles for the outpost. I have a few drafts started, on living in a van, and my time working as a research diver in Svalbard. I want to try and finish those this month.
  • Properly learn how to make videos. I recently got a GH4, with which I have been messing around a bit, and I want to use it to shoot interviews for the black fish, music videos for friends and myself and document my travel.
  • Develop my music further and finish an EP with a friend, for whom I have been producing a few beats already.
  • Go on a rad longboard/climbing road trip with Alex this summer! 🙂

 

Bubble Tea & Skateboards

ALEX

Unlike Ben I’ve managed to stop studying (for now) and am working in a new media company in the Netherlands, which is also where I’m living whilst my home country is in the midst of the most British political upheaval I could have imagined.

2016 was a year of unprecedented political firsts, as we all know well by now. This seems as good a year as any to really put more time into what I find interesting, namely politics and the media. (Both riveting topics, I know.) This will be more than just an opportunity to share my opinions on politics and the media, but also an opportunity to practice my writing; something which I’m passionate about, despite needing a kick up the arse every now and then to really get going with it.

Whilst I’m living and working abroad in the Netherlands – luckily avoiding the post-referendum fallout – I’ll be writing about politics, music and whatever else I feel like. With any luck, you’ll see weekly posts on anything from life in the Netherlands and English politics to climbing or my own misguided attempts at creating music. I’d also like to spend more time finding the good stuff in this year, those creating tangible, positive change, and along the way find the time to do some myself.

In 2017 I hope to

  • Write often. Pitch to news sites. Do more creative writing.
  • Improve what I create and regularly share it on this site.
  • Properly learn Dutch.
  • Do something to benefit others.
  • Finish a mixtape with Ben and my brother (fire af).
  • Go on a rad longboard/climbing road trip with Ben this summer! 🙂

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