22 Before 22: Never Miss an Opportunity

It feels like it has been a while since I checked anything off this list! I’m not being lazy – honest! – most the the challenges are currently shelved as ‘WIPs’, particularly the ones that involve completing several things or that will be long term projects. I have made a start on a few such as sorting my laptop but, lets face it, that’s never fun. My documents were seriously hacked and my photos were backed up on a hard drive to take some of the stain off my ageing laptop…it was marginly faster for about a week and now it is painfully slow again but I feel slightly more confident that it might cling to life a little longer. My iTunes playlist is still in serious need of a sort and my music folders need organising. Other than that, it is just a case of sorting my bookmarked pages into folders then there is another one off the list!

However, it was number 18, ‘never miss an opportunity’ that has been played out this week. Strangely enough, I expected this reflective post to come at the end of the ’22 before 22′ challenge, looking back on what I had achieved in the year but yesterday brought to light two opportunities that I took the plunge for.

The first one was to do with my role as Music Editor of The Hullfire, the Hull University student newspaper. This time last year I was roped into running for the position by the previous editor, and I was completely clueless and absolutely terrified about what was involved. I stood up and mumbled my way through an awkward speech and answered some questions from the audience and miraculously was voted as the most suitable candidate for the position. Since then, the editorial team slaved away to save the reputation of the paper that had slowly crumbled the year before. Amazingly, with a lot of hard work and determination, we really turned the paper around and we are very proud of what we have achieved. Then the elections for the next academic year were approaching and I couldn’t quite bear to walk away. I had never envisioned editing while I was studying my masters as I know the workload will undoubtedly be more but I had grown so attached to the paper and the music section in particular that I couldn’t bring myself to part with it. I really felt like I had just found my feet within the section and now that I was confident in what I was doing, I could really bring a lot more to the section. So, I put myself through the stress of the election process again and I can proudly say that I will once again be editing the music section.

As if the added stress of the paper wasn’t already enough, I have found myself taking on another role, this time not in the university but in my voluntary work with Girl Guiding. For the last few years I have been a leader in a Rainbows and a Brownies unit near where I live. I loved my experience in Girl Guiding when I was younger, and in my last year of 6th form I decided that I wanted to go back as a helper to ensure that young girls had the opportunity to have the memorable experiences that I was fortunate enough to have. However, the role of District Commissioner became vacant and needed to be filled. This role involves supervising all of the units within the district. While the workload would be impossible for me to manage alone while learning full time and working two jobs, I said that I would be interested in helping out as part of a team. Since then, two more helpers have been recruited and next week we have our District Commissioner training.We have shared out the workload between us so it should have a minimum impact upon my university work, and, if for any reason it did start to affect it, it is nice to know that there is the support of the other two there to help me if I am in need. While I am still getting my head around everything I have to do, I am excited about learning the new skills. I feel a bit like I did a year ago when I signed up to be music editor when I was uncertain of the role and whether I would be able to fulfil it, but if the outcome is anything similar I know that the rewards will be worth the hard work and it will be an enjoyable experience.

So, this post may be coming earlier than expected but I’m sure there will be several more opportunities throughout the rest of the year, however, I feel that these two certainly qualify to cross this goal off my list!


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