“The first draft of anything is shit.” – Ernest Hemingway

So here we are: my first attempt at writing something resembling a blog post. I’ve wanted to start a blog for a while but didn’t think I’d have anything worth writing about; however, year abroad seem to present the perfect opportunity and subject matter, so I’ve very spontaneously decided to take the plunge. YOLO and all that.

I’ve heard year abroad blogs described as “agonising” to read (there’s nothing quite like a sweeping generalisation, is there?); hopefully, mine will at least be tolerable even if it’s not exactly inspiring. My aim is not to smugly present the next year and a half as a ‘gap yah’-style voyage over the course of which I will lose my inhibitions, find myself, and acquire native level fluency, but as a unique experience during which I expect the struggle will sometimes be a bit too real. I feel like the best I can hope for is for the good times to ultimately outweigh the trickier parts.

I’m really into writing but my style is a very long way from being refined or original – but what better way to practise than on an editable platform that’ll probably get a few hits per post if I’m lucky (hi Mum!)? My year abroad isn’t actually starting until the middle of August, when I’ll be heading to Laval, France, to start a six-month internship. I’m currently still in Oxford finishing the sixth term of my degree, but I’ve got a few things planned for over the summer before I leave for France and I hope to write about some of the stuff that happens before year abroad, even it’s only as a way of practising writing. (I totally did not just Google the difference between ‘practice’ and ‘practise’.)

This may have been a bit waffly but what I’m trying to say is this: I’m new to this, it might be a flop, but I’m going to have a go anyway. I’m already (probably a bit too) excited to get going with it; all that remains to be seen is whether my enthusiasm will last.


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