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The end of an old chapter, the start of a new one

I often start the beginning of a blog post saying something on the lines of ‘wow, I can’t believe I’m writing this’ etc. But when writing this blog post, I have to repeat myself. I cannot believe that the time has come for me to pack and move to Paris. It seems so long ago that I had found the family and skyped them for an interview. Yet here I am.

It’s finally hit me. I’m moving to Paris for a year. Although the road has been smooth sailing so far, one thing that has had a slight effect on me is packing. Many people enjoy packing, and don’t get me wrong, I also do on the odd occasion. But when you’re trying to cram everything that you think you’ll need for the year in one luggage case it can get quite tough! But woe is me. How bad does that last sentence sound?! It feels a bit like getting ready for my first year at University again. Except for all the Supermarket value alcohol. That was a bad idea – any undergraduates or just people in general, Supermarket value alcohol is never the way to. Save your self the embarrassment and other things that come with drinking, and spend an extra couple of pounds to get some decent drinks. Luckily for me I don’t really drink anymore, so that is not an issue for me. But, yes. I have that weird mixture of nerves and excitement at the pit of my stomach. I guess the one thing I’m worried about is the first week or two. Once I get used to my new environment and scheduling of the week, it should hopefully all go pretty smoothly from there on.

I completed an online French test yesterday as part of my enrolment for Language school. Lets say confidently that I managed to answer around 10 out of 50… With that dismal attempt aside, I’m really looking forward to learning a new language the proper way – by immersing myself into the country and it’s culture. I cannot wait to meet other Au Pairs, and make new friends whilst in Paris. I hope that during my time there I will be able to join a Tennis club and continue playing, and maybe even join Yoga classes too.

This last year has had its ups and its downs. Not many people know, but I was unwell during Autumn and beginning of Spring term. Luckily, I had a support from a great network of family and friends, and also within the History of Art department. My tutors this year have been amazing. The support and help that I have received from them is next to none, and I honestly don’t know if I could have managed without their encouragement. Despite this ‘bump in the road’ so to speak, I had a great third year. Even though it was a testing time, in enabled me to truly see who was there for me, and sadly, those who were not. Which I guess has its blessings as you can really comprehend those who you can trust and rely on.

Academia wise, third year was definitely a year in which I felt myself flourish. I studied topics that I adore, and would love to study again. This year also confirmed my desire to continue further study from a Masters to PhD level. So keep watching this space! I’ll be sure to update everyone on my progress with applying to Masters etc. This may sound weird, but since finishing my Dissertation and finishing University, I do miss the research and reading. So, I guess that’s a good sign and indication that this is what I should be continuing to do in my life and future.

This summer has definitely been the best by far! I don’t think I have mentioned it on my blog, but I worked as a Court Attendant at this years Wimbledon Championships and has the most amazing time ever! It is safe to say that I had the best two weeks, and hopefully will return again next year to do the same. Not to boast, but, I not only got to meet some of the best players in the world (including Federer, Nadal and Lisicki) but got a half side hug from Djokovic! I was also blessed to be given the opportunity to work on centre court during the Women’s Semi-Finals.

After all the excitement and hard work of Wimbledon, Graduation followed. Graduation was definitely a significant moment in my life, as I am sure it was for others. It really felt like the perfect way to celebrate the fact that I had managed to persevere the ups and downs of the year and achieve the best that I could.

Basically, this has been an awesome year and summer, and even though it all hasn’t been smooth sailing I wouldn’t change any of it. I believe that things happen, not necessarily for a reason, but when they do, you really do learn from them whether good or bad. I feel as if this is the closing of that chapter, and tomorrow begins the beginning of a new one! Ahhhhhh!!

This entry was posted in: Life


Roisin Astell received a First Class Honours in History of Art at the University of York (2014), under the supervision of Dr Emanuele Lugli. After spending a year learning French in Paris, Roisin then completed an MSt. in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford (2016), where she was supervised by Professor Gervase Rosser and Professor Martin Kauffmann. In 2017, Roisin was awarded a CHASE AHRC studentship as a doctoral candidate at the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, under the supervision of Dr Emily Guerry.

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