Term is over and we’re onto helping with interviews down here; so far only the usual administrative inadequacies, so all okay. It’s been a busy four days. On Wednesday night I gave up with my essay, since I didn’t have to write it and I didn’t feel like I had anything to say. I felt quite bad about this because my tute partner kept reading more to try and do something better, not finishing his term’s work for an additional 24 hours after I’d signed mine off and had started having fun. Wednesday night a Hungarian maths friend was in the bar for his birthday then we went and played some DotA, he’s pretty hardcore. Thursday we went out for a Maths lunch, though there were only four of us, then it was the JCR Christmas Dinner in Hall that evening followed by a bop. The dinner was alright. We had those balloons that are designed for firing off like rockets rather than using as decoration, so it was fun to try and lodge them in the rafters. Later on the food fights started, and we found ourselves being hit by random potatoes and whatever. Dessert was a chocolate mousse pyramid with hard chocolate buried inside which was very nice, but which others decided to smear on each other instead of enjoying it, which I didn’t really understand… The bop was very fun but when the girl headlining decided to turn her one or two Christmas pop songs into an entire half hour set of them, I was a little less happy.

Here’s a picture of my bop costume, which started off as the Ghost of Christmas Past but became an angel after some design assistance from a bunch of girls:

[to be posted when it gets e-mailed to me]

On Friday afternoons this term I’ve been spending about five hours in the Philosophy Faculty, since I’ve had a tute, lecture and then work in the library (which I should write about), so Friday was my last time at this. It’s been a really nice thing to do each week, productive, and I love the environment there as I’ve probably mentioned before. As I was leaving this week the Faculty Christmas Party was just kicking off. As staff I got invited to stick around for a bit, but had to head off to the Committee Last Supper at a restaurant. They had a LOT of food and drink for the academics and grad students to get through.

After the meal it was the JdeB Pantomime/Nativity. I had a starring role as King Herod who had lost some JCR records and had to call an emergency GM—this was referencing the recent Balliol housing crisis which I was the scapegoat for, which I should write about at some point.

Friday night was Committee Lock-in. It was much nicer than last year, because Committee 2011 has had far fewer weird people on it; the story from last year that kept being referenced was one girl crying and taking her clothes off (this did actually happen, I was there). I only stayed until 3:30am, far less hardcore than last year when I was there ‘til 6 or something. Then Saturday afternoon I had some friends over to play StarCraft and then Skyrim[1] which one friend is going to be playing in my room for the next week and a half so that I am forced to go the library and work rather than sitting here. I can’t be bothered to play it myself, sadly.

So I haven’t really stopped since finishing work on Wednesday, due to some academic stuff but mainly social things. Such is the end of term. Do not want to go back to real world.

Now to the title of this post, which refers to a recent concern: am I running out of personality because I am attempting to define myself in terms of other people rather than going my own way, at the moment? This is a feeling I have been getting. Here’s an example. One group of friends I have here are three or four philosophy-obsessed second year PPEists, who I love, and have a lot of fun with. But they are somewhat alienated from mainstream Balliol, and once more this is an example of a group who I have to sit and listen to fairly cruel criticism of them from JCR types and fellow mathematicians and whatever. Now recently I realised that I developed a bit of a complex about this group, being essentially jealous and inspired of their apparent commitment, wanting myself to be more like them in terms of this, and this is my example of defining myself in terms of others. It’s kind of like a romantic crush except it’s (definitely!) not on an individual. But then this complex got shattered by various pieces of negativity I didn’t realise were around: I thought these guys were just unknown or viewed with mild amusement, not disliked, as I have now heard. But then, all I’ve done here is swing back to being defined somewhat by the combination of these friends and others’ criticisms of them. I shouldn’t be doing any of this, or rather, I shouldn’t let it affect my inner core of self so greatly, as it seems to be doing.

Day-to-day this manifests itself. I’ve noticed that habits of what individual students around here, including myself, do and say and who we see, tend to change up every three or four days: I will see, for example, some of these second year friends every day in the library for four days, then I won’t see them for a four or five days. Alternately, such as the past four days of end of term events, I will spend time talking to one or two more mainstream individuals more than others. But the point is that my priorities swing all over the place over these periods. For the first four I’m glorifying philosophy to myself. For the next four I glorify wit. So what do I actually think is important? Popularity, or at least being known by most of college, is seductive.

I think how most people avoid this is by sticking to their cliques of friends. This is what I did in first year with my third year friends. Perhaps this is something that explains cliques, this issue I am explaining, but probably not.

So there’s a few thoughts; going to refile a massive pile of paper on my shelf now so that I can head to the library this afternoon in a better-organised state.

[1] Yet again I was about to type ‘Oblivion’ there, srsly