2018? When did that happen?
Once again we have arrived at the end of another year. Inevitably, as the midnight hour edges closer, it elicits that somewhat cliché air of reflection within us. In the anticipation of a new year, a new life, a new tomorrow, we are invited to contemplate the events of the past 365 days and what they have meant for us. I have been so busy this Christmas period that I really haven’t had time to stop and think about the blur that was 2018 until now, on its very last day.
Going back to 2017, I would say that was probably one of the hardest / most emotionally challenging years of my life. This meant that I was so very glad to leave the events of that year in the past as I moved into 2018, a year that I just knew was going to be better because I had so many things to look forward to. I was enjoying university infinitely more than my first year, I felt healthier because I was eating better, I had my year abroad coming up and all in all, I was feeling like myself again.
I have always had a tendency to be hard on myself about things and I also spend a lot of time comparing myself to others, which of course, in modern society certainly isn’t a problem unique to myself. But with this in mind, and in light of the truly positive year I have just had, I wanted to make a post (I suppose for myself more than anybody else) highlighting the things that have made me proud of myself in 2018… well I did warn you that reflections are cliché.
I STARTED SINGING AGAIN
From starting singing lessons in year 7 and doing singing exams all the way up to grade 8, I have sung for most of my life. However when I got to university I really felt the absence of all the opportunities I had to sing throughout secondary school such as musicals, concerts and performing arts classes. It took me quite a while to find my feet at university and so I felt like talents that I had whilst growing up really took a back seat. However this year I have managed to get my voice back! I have friends who are amazing at music and so I have finally had the opportunity to perform again, singing with them regularly at open mic nights.
I am so happy that I have started doing this again because it’s something that I really missed during 2017 when I unfortunately lost a lot of my confidence. I am definitely going to continue performing in 2019 and I can’t wait!
I PERSISTED AT MY STUDIES
As I said before, I am often very hard on myself, particularly when it comes to academic results. Being surrounded by a LOT of intelligent people at university can make it really difficult to not feel stupid sometimes. In my first year I constantly felt like I wasn’t good enough and likewise at the start of my second year I got a few results that I was really unhappy with.
However, I tried not to let this affect me and instead I endeavoured to find out where I was going wrong to try and improve. There were definitely times where I was pulling my hair out over certain essays, but I persisted and I managed to finish second year with a 2:1 in all of my modules! This was such an achievement for my and I am really glad that I put the work in. I am still yet to ever achieve a first in an essay but that is a goal for final year!
(P.S if you have struggled with university grades then read my post on Dealing With Bad Grades at University for some advice)
I INCREASED MY WRITING
When I first started my blog I didn’t take it that seriously and if anything, I hid it from people because I thought they would think it was cringey or embarrassing. However as time has gone on, I’ve really started to enjoy my writing and I’m not embarrassed to share it with people anymore. I love the blogging community and most importantly I love to write, so I am really happy that I have managed to keep up with it, even creating an Instagram where I can share all my new posts! Of course, relative to other bloggers my following is tiny, and I’m still trying to work out how to grow it. But for now I’m happy and proud of myself for keeping it up!
I have also written lots of articles for my university newspaper as this is something I really enjoy and hopefully I can get some kind of journalistic work experience in the next year!
I STAYED POSITIVE
The title of this one says it all really. I feel like this year I have had such a more positive outlook on life. Most people have said to me that I come across as a positive person anyway, but I feel like this outward perception was really translated into my own mind during 2018. Obviously nobody can be positive 24/7 but I think I have definitely viewed some things differently over the course of this year, and I really hope to keep it up in 2019!
I EMBARKED ON MY YEAR ABROAD
Here comes the biggie. I could write endlessly about my year abroad, but in a nutshell I’d say that is has made 2018 one of the best years of my life so far. I have met loads of people, experienced living in another country, travelled to some great places, improved my language skills and grown my confidence massively. I highly recommend a year abroad to anyone who can do it because it really is a life changing experience. I am so happy with and grateful for my current situation, and I am even more delighted that I still have 6 months to go in the wonderful city of Toulouse! This has really made 2018, and hopefully 2019 too, a year to remember.
So there you have my cliché reflection of 2018, one of my favourite years so far. I can only hope that 2019 is even better and brings me more of the same good things. Happy new year everyone!