Now that June is over, I think it’s an apt time to share with you all, an update of my life and how it has gone for the first half of the year! So today’s blog post is a mid-year update of my life, my writing, reading and Youtube!
I think it goes without saying, that the first half of 2021 has been overwhelming. But before I delve into it all, I want to ask you all how you are. How did you feel for the majority of this time? Did you have anything going on at the time – school, college or a job? How have you been coping? Do you think you need to pay more attention to yourself?
In this increasingly online world, I think we all can agree that the personal and professional have merged. The line separating them has blurred; there are no divisions. We are compelled to check our email inbox regularly. We don’t have separate family/personal time and work time, anyone, because an email or a call may come that will disrupt the difference you may have attempted to set up. And so on. So let me know. Share your thoughts. Perhaps in this way, your heart will feel lighter, as I hope mine will too, once I am done writing this blog post.
Mid- Year Life Update
On the 16th of March 2021, I completed one whole year of being in isolation. And I shudder to think that in just another six months (less than that, to be honest), 2020 will have been two years ago! I certainly cannot bring myself to believe that.
My life has been disrupted much like yours. I was dreaming of moving to a city to start my MA. I was dreaming of that ever since 2020 when I graduated with my BA degree amidst the deadly pandemic, the likes of which we had never seen before. But then, because of the said pandemic, my admission into the next phase of study life got delayed and delayed.
Usually, a new scholastic year starts in August/September. And this first semester runs for roughly six months, ending in December/January. And the next semester then runs from January/February to June/July. What I mean to say is that any semester has a definite five/six months worth of classes. But the pandemic brought a stop to that as well.
The Infamous Delay
My admissions, which ideally should have been over by August, took on forever. in fact, it got delayed to the extent that my first semester of MA, started in January 2021, an estimated six-month delay postponing it to the extent that the first and second semesters of ALL first years students (either BA or MA) had to be reduced to a period of three months, so that by the time August 2021 could come around, we would catch up to the usual timings.
So that has put a damper on everything. As students, we are questioning how much knowledge we have actually gathered in this rushed situation. But we are still hopeful. It’s going to be okay.
I have started my second semester from June onwards and it’s starting to get a little bit hectic now. But a highlight of this period has to be the fact that I just got an email from the authorities of my university, that I will be getting a merit scholarship because of my first semester results. I was simply stunned. I did not know that there was this merit scholarship scheme in my university and so it came as a wonderful surprise. My parents and very happy of course, but they hope that I will take some time off for myself.
Time for a Break?
If you told me this a few years earlier I would have laughed outright. Parents telling you to study less? Why that’s the stuff of legends! But my parents probably saw my hard work during my BA years (I finally passed summa cum laude and the hard work paid off) which was when they had first told me to “relax a bit”. Perhaps they see the same now, but while the success surely makes me high, I do need to take a breather.
Ever since passing my 12th board, I have been constantly working. I finished six internships during the three years of my BA and now I am doing another one. I am managing my Youtube, writing on Medium, updating my Instagram regularly and whatnot. Perhaps at the end of this year, I just might take a much-needed break. But that’s for later.
Mid-Year Writing Update
I have started to put down my writer’s cap more firmly on my head. You see, I have finally started to write more regularly and I am loving the mental stimulation it has been providing. At the same time, I am admittedly also taking it slow and only writing when the inspiration strikes. Based on my previous experiences, I know that forcing myself will usually backfire and I want to avoid that at all costs.
I am also publishing my works on Medium and oh what a delight it has been. Getting validation in the form of claps, highlights, amazing comments and the “Congratulations! You are a Top Writer” emails has been a constant drug I am thriving on.
A book review I wrote recently, is a favourite from my writing samples. The Dangers of Smoking in Bed was a wacky book and I am so in the mood for more!
Right now, I am doing a challenge where I am hoping to write at least 12 articles in July. It has been going well so far and so I hope I will have good news to share when I will write the end of the year update.
Mid-Year Reading Update
Oh, but where shall we start about my reading. I read a total of 146 books within the January-June period, but unfortunately, my reading was not as good as I’d like.
And that is also why I decided to read less but more consciously from July onwards. I am reading two books currently – Mouthful of Birds, by Samanta Schweblin and A Suitable Boy, by Vikram Seth. Most importantly, I am tremendously enjoying both of them!
My Top 10 Reads of the First Half of 2021
That said, I also made a list of the top 10 books I have read this year, across various genres such as Adult Fantasy, Literary Fiction, Adult Romance, Poetry and Non-Fiction.
New Books I Want to Get To
Two of these are books that I have acquired recently and the latter two are actually new releases! These are The Maidens, Plain Bad Heroines, Ace of Spades, When The Girls Are Sleeping, and The River Has Teeth.
I was sad that this happened, but then again, you cannot absolutely love some books, without disliking another. So the books I thought were disappointing were Jane Eyre, and Blood and Honey.
I assumed I wouldn’t really maybe like these books, but I ended up liking them more than I had expected! Those were Skim, I Am Heathcliff, I Would Leave Me If I Could, Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom, The Empress of Salt and Fortune, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Daisy Jones and the Six, Supplicant, and the Heart Stopper series.
Mid-Year Thrillers Recommendations (BONUS!)
I also got to read/listen to some fantastic thrillers, including The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, The Devil and the Dark Water, The Girl Before, Believe Me, The Guest List, The Hunting Party, Every Vow You Break, and The Wife Upstairs.
Mid-Year Youtube Update
Collaborations and Sponsorships
Thanks to your support I was also able to do some amazing collaborations and sponsorship projects!
I also had fun filming a few vlogs, both in terms of reading and lifestyle.
Book Recommendations and Tips!
So as you can see I sure had a lot of fun exploring my creativity during the first half of this year! I can only hope that this continues.
And that’s pretty much it, lovelies! If you have any thoughts about these books, do share them down below in the comments. Alternately, if you have also written a mid-year update, let me know!