So I have finished my final second year exam and wow, I guess that means I am free? What do I do now?! I am not used to this life… there is so much room for things aside from revision?!?!
What a crazy year it has been! I have laughed, cried, felt anxious, scared, upset, on top of the world, at the bottom of the pit. It has been a rollercoaster to say the least.
When I finished first year, I wrote this post and it is madness to look back on it and reflect with how much I have grown, learnt and become, dare I say it… an adult??! I cannot believe that I am writing this post, judging by how quickly this past year has gone. It is crazy to think how fast time goes when you are constantly busy and you don’t know where the days go anymore. But here goes…
1. I don’t actually like clubbing as much as I thought
Crazy right?! I am a student, I should be partying all the time and drinking my sorrows. I mean, I still drink of course, but I have actually gotten to the age where a ‘cheeky few’ is literally a glass of wine. I found myself the other day saying “I need this after the week I have had”. Hello adulthood, we finally meet. But in all honesty, clubbing isn’t like it used to be. Maybe because I have a boyfriend and feel a bit more mature but going out doesn’t appeal to me anymore, I like that I can chill at home with a few beers and watch a film, or just sleep.
2. It is all about mindset
I have found that I have tried for years to prepare and be as prepared as possible, but the truth is, it is not possible at all. I have learnt that whether I take 1 month to do something, or 3 days to do something, if my head isn’t in it then time is of no use. I have had to accept that I will never be 100% prepared for everything that comes my way, and I never will be, but as long as my head is there without the need for anxiety! I have also had to boost self-confidence and focus on myself this year, and without that it would have been hard to get the results that I am aiming for and what I want out of Uni. So when you see it, grab it!
3. Learn to say “No”
I read an article the other day about Steve Jobs, who would say to the Apple design chief Jony Ive every day “How many times did you say no today?”. Ive says that because of saying no, Jobs learnt to become incredibly focused in his work and disciplined. I have found this too (obviously not to Jobs’ extent) but saying No helps in so many ways. It keeps you focused on your work, it keeps you motivated and it means that you don’t take too much on that you can’t handle. It is better to do less and focus than do too much and de-motivate.
4. People have different views about friendship… and that is ok
I suffer sometimes with social anxiety and that is something that I deal with personally, and have done for a very long time. I have learnt over this year that some people see each other constantly, some people don’t, and some people need space and that is ok too. I like my personal space and my time to myself, alone time to gather my thoughts and just be. I don’t feel the need to be around people constantly, and that is ok too. Your real friends will be your friends either way.
5. Quality over quantity
In every aspect of my life – clothes and food shops, friends, social life, revision, coursework, money, cooking, cleaning, doing my makeup! I have learnt this more than ever. It doesn’t matter how much you do, but more what you do. It could take me a month to revise viciously and I would not know a thing, or I could spend two weeks looking over it for a few hours every day and know much more than I did to begin with. It is the process, not the finish!
6. I am rubbish but great with money
Again, my life is an oxymoron. But I have accepted the fact that I am not good with money in terms of budgeting, but I save money and I ensure that there is something there. My ethos this year has pretty much been “I have worked hard, I deserve this” and thus it stays… what is the point in having money sit there just for the sake of saying it, rather than making yourself feel good, doing something for yourself or treating yourself like the sassy Queen that you really are?!
7. Home is what you make of it
Home has been a recurring theme this year and it continues. My family are moving house, my student house is on the verge of a breakdown, and I spent first year trying to figure out where I thought home is. Truth is, home is where-ever you are comfortable. I spent months perfecting my room, see my post here of how I made my room feel a bit more like ‘me’. But I have realised that where-ever feels right is home; whether that be a place, a house, or with a particular person. It is where you are at your best.
8. Your well-being comes first
There is no point of half-killing yourself for a good grade or loads of money. I have come to terms with the slightly less spoilt side of life, and I know that it could be so much worse. We are so lucky to even get this opportunity. But your body and your mind comes first (see my post here for how I looked after myself this year and here on how I focus on not to overthink). It is your sole responsibility to keep yourself healthy. I eat better, I make time for myself and people around me, I stop home-home when I can and I go out if I feel good. And if I do not, I spend time figuring out why.
9. “Look for the bear necessities”
It is true, it could be so much worse. It has been a year where I have definitely been tested for patience and for my appreciation, but honestly, I feel extremely lucky for the smaller things around me from University, and for the important things in life-such as the people, friends, family, food, shelter. It is the basic bare necessities of life that are important. I always look on the bright side instead of looking at ‘what if’ or ‘what could have been’.
10. Life is too short
A cliche phrase that I hear all too often. It has been said so many times but this year I have really started to feel it, you know? Like when I was looking for placements, or writing this blog, or looking back on old pictures, I realised how fast time goes. Not only did I turn 20 but myself, my family and my boyfriend lost some amazing people, whether that was people that we met a few times, even my University lecturer who really touched my life in a special way, or someone we saw and spoke to everyday. It is crazy to think that I am taking a year out of my third year of university to jet start my career that will take me through to the rest of my life. I cannot fathom how fast it goes. So I have learnt to hold those close to me that little bit tighter, tell people I love them more and just be honest with myself.