2018’s music – Albums I listened to this year

I rarely listen to entire albums. I usually don’t like all the songs in an album, so I end up playing that one particular song I like on repeat until I can’t stand hearing it one more time. But this year has been different, so get ready, ’cause this is the 2018 recap of all the albums I’ve been listening to, in no order whatsoever.

  • Infections of a Different Kind – AURORA (how did I not know about her before ??)
  • All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend – AURORA
  • Evolve – Imagine Dragons (why didn’t I listen to this album before?? It’s my favourite band!)
  • Smoke and Mirrors – Imagine Dragons
  • Pray For The Wicked – Panic! At The Disco
  • The Greatest Showman – Various artists
  • You (EP) – dodie (we love and protect dodie)
  • Intertwined (EP) – dodie
  • Black Panther: The Album – Kendrick Lamar and various artists
  • Bon Iver – Bon Iver (go-to study music)
  • For Emma, Forever Ago – Bon Iver (idem)
  • Z-Sides – Tom Rosenthal (again, study/relaxing music)

and others like Hayley Kiyoko, Hamilton, Zoë Keating, Sia, without forgetting my all-time favourite album, Night Visions by Imagine Dragons.

I’ll maybe make a special playlist with songs from my dance classes, because some of them are kinda cool too.

The classic 2019’s resolutions

Happy New Year everyone!

Is this the year where I finally stick to my resolutions? Probably not. That won’t stop me from making some though. And maybe if I write them down, it’ll be more motivating. So here we go.

Goals :

  • validate my first year, hopefully with good grades
  • get my driving licence (!!!)
  • keep seeing the friends I don’t see as much as I used to
  • try new clothes
  • go to my dance classes as much as possible, even when I’m feel tired
  • read 30 books or more (and as many in English as possible)
  • write articles more often (although this year was pretty good already)
  • keep practising my German, and learn Spanish
  • finish the series I’m watching (we’re close guys) instead of wasting time on social media
  • go out more (go to the cinema! go spontaneously see that exhibit you saw online!)
  • sounds silly but stay hydrated

Hopes/Dreams :

  • procrastinate less (ahah), or at least stop working last-minute, it’s not gonna work forever
  • travel to 2 or more countries
  • do English tutoring/baby-sitting
  • try to take more photos because I actually enjoy it
  • try cooking (you can’t keep burning food in the pan darling)
  • learn to play the ukulele (by that I mean more than 4 chords)
  • finally clear up the sleeping to do list on my computer
  • organise the thousands of pictures stored on my old laptop and print some of them

Reflection on 2018

This year was…

… going to my first ever concert! Discovering and meeting V.E. Schwab at Paris’s book fair! Going to Vietnam without my parents !! Graduating from high school with honours !! Getting accepted into my new school as « grand classée supplémentaire » (meaning I didn’t have to go through the writing part of the entrance exam because my grades were high enough)!! It was dancing my own creation (as small as it was) with my friends in multiple places including my town’s theatre, a university in Vietnam, my dance school, an art gallery, and a gymnasium for my high school dance exam!! And it was going to Bulgaria for three weeks!!

I participated to a remake of West Side Story, twice, and visited the Opéra Garnier, twice too!

I went to my integration weekend and got (slightly) drunk for the first time. I made incredible new friends. Finally, I was able to expose my own photographs in the previously mentioned art gallery for two weeks (!!!)

Sure, I had low moments. Moments where everything seemed foolish and pointless, where I wondered if by wanting to balance dance and my final year of high school, I would screw up both, and moments where I cried of frustration because of school. But I feel lucky, because I didn’t lose anyone in my family, because I am in a healthy place generally speaking, because I got amazing opportunities, because I can afford my school, and travelling.

And I am forever grateful for that.

2018, you were stressful, maybe the most stressful year I’ve had, but you were also the best one so far.

To 2018, cheers

GIF of Leonardo Di Caprio cheering with fireworks flashing in the background

On travelling and what it brings you

Today more people than ever are travelling around the world. Some people believe that such travelling helps to broaden people’s minds, while others think it just confirms their prejudices. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion. Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience. Write at least 250 words.

As modern technology evolves, we are more than ever able to travel the world and discover new countries. While some people believe that such travelling helps us become more open-minded, others might think it reinforces our misconceptions. I personally believe that travelling is the best way to broaden our horizons, but I understand why some might think the opposite.

Firstly, travelling means discovering new countries and new cultures. It means forgetting about your day-to-day life and considering new ways of living that you didn’t know existed. It means speaking to locals and discovering how they live. This allows you to learn about people’s habits and customs, and thus learn more about life in general. For example, travelling in Asia is an excellent way to discover religions like Buddhism and Hinduism, which hold different beliefs from Catholicism.

Moreover, travelling confronts the idea that you might have in your mind of a country with its reality. By doing so, we are able to change our opinion on prejudices we might previously have had, and this is what makes us grow as individuals. For instance, I went to Bulgaria this summer and discovered that it has a rich history and wonderful beaches. I discovered that it is a much more interesting country than I thought it was.

On the other hand, I understand that travelling can sometimes confirm our misconceptions, simply because oftentimes, they are based on truth rather than built up from scratch. For example, I traveled to Ho Chi Minh this spring, and had the confirmation that it is a very dirty and noisy city, where it is dangerous to cross the roads. However, I tend to think that this scenario is false in most cases. Furthermore, I find that if people think this way, it could be because they willingly refuse to open up to new cultures and to interact with the locals, thereby staying where they stand.

To sum up, it seems to me that travelling is one of the most efficient ways to broaden your mind, discover new cultures and erase prejudices. Nevertheless,  I have to admit that sometimes, those ideas can be true, and travelling justifies them.

On the benefits of social media

[Roughly, I think the subject was to discuss the influence that social media have both on individuals and on society. Note to self: write down the guideline from now on.]

It appears that social media are thought by some people to have had a negative influence on individuals as well as on society. However, I tend to think that this is only partially true.

Firstly, I believe that the rise of the popularity of social networking sites promoted narcissism among users. If used without reserve or awareness, selfies and pictures made people become self-centered. Nowadays, social media are commonly used to showcase entire parts of people’s lives for the whole world to see. This over-sharing phenomenon lead to a serious lack of privacy, and thus to important issues such as cyber-bullying, web addictions or the rise of extremism.

And yet, sharing personal interests has helped to create wonderful things that are online-communities. Those communities can even act as safe spaces for people who might not have one outside of the internet, like for instance the LGBT community.

Moreover, these communities have been a way to increase opportunities like organizing various events or meetings, finding job offers and so on, by giving people a chance to discover new things, to see and be seen.

Finally, people sharing parts of their lives allowed to shed a light on major issues deeply rooted in society like homophobia, racism, social and gender inequalities.

To conclude, I would say that the way one uses social networking sites decides whether or not they have a bad influence on people. Although they had negative impacts on both individuals and society, it is noticeable that they contributed to making the world a brighter place by raising awareness and bringing people together.