Depending on whether you’ve been following my blog since its conception or not, you might be familiar with this “little” challenge I set for myself back in June 2018 called 28 By 28. The concept was simple: I made a list of 28 things I wanted to do or accomplish before I turned 28.
Looking back on this challenge, I can say with hindsight that this was probably a bit too ambitious: 28 things is a lot when you include a move to another city, the start of a full-time degree and all the projects that came with it. Not to mention that I made this list back in the summer, and sometime between the end of autumn/beginning of the new year, I realised that I wanted to focus less on quantity and more on quality — basically, I stopped paying attention to my 28 By 28 list as I decided to focus on fewer, more important aspects of my life, so as to not stretch myself too thin. I kept the list up, but I stopped trying to actively cross things off it about halfway through the year.
So, with that in mind, I thought it could still be fun to review my 28 By 28 list, see what I did manage to cross off (even without trying to) and maybe this will help me think of a better page to put in its place. So let’s begin!
Move to a nicer flat (where I can make youtube videos more easily). ?
Done! In fact, this was one of the first items to get crossed off the list last year (I moved at the end of August). Still happy about that. ?
Read 5 books about photography. ?
This might have been a little too ambitious with the start of my full-time degree.
Read at least 5 books that are classics or that are on my “serious” to-read list. ?
Definitely completed! I read The Time Machine, I, Robot, Franny & Zooey, Notes on a Nervous Planet, Frankenstein and To Kill A Mockingbird, which had been on my classics/”serious” to-read list for ages. (I also read other books in-between, but I’m not counting them for this challenge.)
Read at least 5 big, bulky comics that are classics. ?
Again, too ambitious with the start of my full-time degree. However, I did read some non-bulky comics like some of the latest Wonder Woman Rebirth issues and the first in the series of Hellboy comics. I started Perez’s Wonder Woman and Giffen’s Justice League International. I want to read The Umbrella Academy. I’m definitely still reading comics, haha.
Upload at least 10 videos to my youtube channel. ?
Wow, past Faith — ambitious, much? Ten videos, with my full-time degree? Yep, it didn’t really happen, haha. But! I did upload a video for my youtube anniversary and my short film back in May! I also have a couple of scripts basically ready to record for some video essays. Ten videos were way too many, but some were still uploaded, which I’m pretty happy with. ?
Turn meditation into a habit and make it part of my daily routine. ?
I suck at meditating. It was really hard to make it a routine because I constantly forgot about doing it; and also I’m so bad at it, that I don’t really feel like it most of the time. I know it’s something you get better at with time though, so I might try again this year.
Have a nighttime routine and stick to it. ?
I don’t know how to feel about this one, because I kinda do have a nighttime routine, but I have trouble sticking to it depending on whether I am too exhausted and/or sleepy from waking up early to get to uni, haha. So I’m giving it an orange heart.
Have an exercise routine and stick to it. / Exercise regularly. ?
Exercising is definitely one of the things that fell entirely to the wayside once I started my degree. Something had to give and there was no way I could keep this up — I was either too sleepy, or I had too much to do to even remember to exercise. Oddly enough, I didn’t feel guilty for letting this fall to the wayside — it always felt like an annoying chore and knowing I wasn’t under any obligation to stick to it (especially with all my deadlines in the picture) was very freeing. That said, I might try and come up with a short, non-intrusive exercise routine that doesn’t feel too much like a chore this year.
Join a martial arts club at my university. ?
Just like the exercise routine, this just wasn’t happening while I adjusted to my degree, lol. It didn’t help that I was never on the uni campus (my first two years are at a smaller college instead) and my budget was too tight to get the bus to the university campus just for a martial arts class. Again, I didn’t actually feel too guilty about letting this one fall to the wayside too. Maybe during my third year?
Join a society at my university. ?
This actually did make me a little bit sad when I didn’t go through with it. I was a bit paralysed by all the choices I had and just… ended up not joining any society or club. This year I definitely want to join a creative club of some sort — possibly the film production club. Crossing my fingers. ?
Write on a fairly regular basis, at least monthly — it can be for magazines, for my blog, scripts for my videos or just fiction. ?
I’m gonna give this challenge a green heart, because I did write on a fairly regular basis! I wrote various scripts for uni (fiction and documentaries, both for film and radio), I wrote scripts for my video essays, I did write a magazine review for RockShot, I did blog fairly regularly and this summer I’ve written a lot of fanfiction, which still counts! I’m pretty happy. ?
Get into a good sleeping schedule. ?
Gonna give this another green heart! I do have a good sleeping schedule — I can fall asleep easily again and I wake up pretty early (between 6:30am and 8am) on my own, without needing an alarm. Turns out all I needed to fix my erratic sleep schedule was just moving to a quiet flat! (Who would have thought?)
Finish / Complete 5 video games I have yet to complete. ?
One of the first challenges I completed! Here’s a list of the video games I completed (and some I 100%’ed): Tekken 7, Mass Effect, Life is Strange, Life is Strange: Before The Storm, Aviary Attorney, The Gardens Between, Oxenfree, Ori and the Blind Forest, Yoku’s Island Express, Finding Paradise, Hue, The Silent Age, Titanfall 2 and Celeste. The bulk of these were completed during the Christmas holidays because free time!
Complete the first year of my degree. ?
DONE! I finished first year and not only that, but I passed it with the highest grade I’ve ever gotten on anything — a 95/100! I was so happy about it and it still feels kind of surreal. ?
Write a letter once a month to my penpals. ?
This one was always going to be a struggle, with all the deadlines and coursework I had, along with adjusting to the other changes. I did keep in touch with my penpals through other (digital) means, though!
Get rid of at least 30 items of any kind that I don’t need. ?
Done as part of my move to another city! Gave a lot of stuff to charity or to friends and it felt really good doing so!
Use my BuJo regularly every month. ?
I’m gonna give this an orange heart. I used my BuJo regularly from December until April, and then life and coursework got really crazy in May so I didn’t have the time/energy to keep a BuJo on top of everything else. I had some other demons to combat during the summer and my bujo fell to the wayside, but I have recently gotten back into bullet journaling. I’ll keep on doing that during the last months of the year for sure!
Know French to at least a conversational level. ?
Yeah… no. Languages were another thing that had to give while I worked on my degree. Sorry, French. I just realised languages aren’t a priority right now. Maybe I’ll pick it up again in the future, but I can’t see myself doing that this year, or while I work hard to get my Bachelor.
Get back to playing the ocarina on a regular basis. Be able to read and play notes. ?
Funny story: I put this on the list because I had backed an ocarina book by David Amos (aka Docjazz) and knew the book was almost complete at this point. I had a digital copy, but I wanted to wait until I had the physical book. The physical copy was sent to me, from the U.S., at the end of 2018. You know when it finally arrived? In July 2019. I am not joking. It took the package half a year to arrive to Scotland from the U.S. I am 90% sure it got lost in the post until it magically found its way to me (at this point it’s a miracle it ever did). So yeah… maybe this year? ?
GM something; one session of a campaign or a one-shot. Anything. ?
Seeing as I moved away from the friends that played tabletop RPGs with me shortly after I wrote this challenge, I never really had the chance to do this. Someday, though!
Publish some short fiction stories in a literary magazine. ?
This also had to fall to the wayside while I worked on my degree. I’m not too disappointed, though, as I did still write a lot (as pointed out above). I really just have to research what literary magazine would be best for the type of stories that I write.
Read at least 5 or more Lovecraft stories. ?
I’m slowly making my way through Lovecraft! I did read The Shadow Over Innsmouth, which was on my list. It’s a bit hard since I need to be in the mood to read Lovecraft, but I will certainly keep on going.
Go to the beach. ?
I WENT TO THE BEACH!!! ? I wrote it thinking I would never be able to cross it out, but I did! Peter’s mum brought us to the beach this summer for a day and it was super nice. I love the beach a lot. I want to go back again!
Start my podcasts and upload at least a few episodes of the podcast series I have in mind. ?
What’s this? Me, being too ambitious again, not realising just how busy I was going to be with my degree? You don’t say! But yeah, this was another case of stretching myself too thin. Ten youtube videos and a few episodes of my podcast? Was probably not going to happen, haha. I do have outlines of some episodes ready, though!
Collaborate on a video with my youtube friend. ?
We were both really busy this year with various things, but hopefully, in the future, we’ll collab on a video together! ?
Keep the blog going until I turn 28! ?
Here I am! So that’s another green heart!
Eat more healthily by cooking more and incorporating more fruit & veg into my dishes. ?
I’m giving this an orange. I went full vegetarian this year, with the intention of also eating vegan as much as possible. I did cook more as a result, and also had healthier food. But I’ve still got some way to go before I can say I’m eating “healthily”. Nonetheless, I took some significant steps this year, so go me!
Meet new people and make new friends! Both online and real life friends count. Also, get back in touch with some friends I’ve lost contact with due to depression. ?
Big green heart here! I made new friends and I got back in touch with the best friend I lost contact with due to my crippling depression. Double win! ?
So, I think I didn’t do too badly at my 28 By 28 challenge! Sure, a number of the challenges were red, but the important ones were green, which is what matters! And we had some oranges here and there, too. If we count those, I have completed 14 tasks out of the 28 I set for myself, which is exactly half. And knowing I basically wasn’t even trying to tick these off for half the year? Yeah, I’m definitely taking that as a victory!
I will be thinking of another list to replace my 28 By 28 challenge with — a much smaller, more manageable list, this time around! And that will truly reflect what my priorities are and what I will be focusing my energies on this year (and by ‘this year’, I mean my 28th year).
Either way, you did a good job, self! ?