Monday, 24 July 2017

Being Eighteen

This week I am turning 19 and I can't quite believe how fast this past year has gone.  This year has been absolutely crazy with so many massive ups and downs but I can honestly say it has been the best year of my life.  I am feeling pretty sad that it is time for me to wave goodbye to being a free 18 year old but I'm also super excited for what my 19th year on this planet will bring.  As I am such a nostalgic person, I thought I would write a blog post today on all the things that have happened in my first year of being an adult so I can always look back and reminisce on this amazing year.  

Being a July baby is all fun and games until you have to spend your whole year of being 17 watching all your friends celebrating their 18th birthdays but you can't join in because you're still a child.  So, the first big thing I did as an 18 year old was get straight down the pub  (even before midday) and buy my first ever, legal, alcoholic drink, I felt SO adult.  That night was also the first night I threw up from drinking too much alcohol- I didn't quite understand the 'don't mix' rule - and I can tell you now, the next day I had probably the worst hangover of my life.  I certainly learnt my lesson early on.  That weekend I also had my very first night out and following that I went out in my local town for 7 weekends in a row, I definitely was making up for lost time.  That same summer I also cut off 10 inches of my hair (which was massive for me as I had always had long hair), I had my first ever Spa Day with my mum and sister and sadly I also crashed my car for the first time into a concrete bollard in a multi-storey carpark.  A summer of firsts, even if they weren't always positive.  

In August, I received my A-Level results.  Going to the University of Leeds had been my absolute dream but I had never for a second expected to get the grades that I needed.  I remember that sick feeling I had in my stomach all night - I think I probably got about an hours sleep.  The moment I logged online at 6 in the morning to find out I had surpassed the grades I needed by a long mile is a moment that will stick in my brain forever.  I jumped out of bed, ran into my parents room and absolutely balled my eyes out.  Despite the fact I had worked the hardest I possibly could at College, it was still a massive shock and I felt so overwhelmed and happy.

So, there I was in September all packed up and ready to move 5 hours away to the City of Leeds to be a History and Sociology Student.  I was so nervous about living so far away from my family and about making new friends and living in a massive City.  However, I can honestly say that I have not had one ounce of regret about choosing Leeds.  Every day I spend in Leeds I feel like I am becoming more of the person who I believe I truly am.  Which doesn’t really make sense but it has made me into the very best version of myself and I am so unbelievably happy there.  From the moment I ordered a prospectus for the University of Leeds I had a gut feeling that it was the place for me and I know now that I couldn’t have chosen anywhere  that was better suited to me.  However, after two weeks I did realise that Sociology wasn’t suited to me and I changed to a straight History degree.  
My first year at University has been massive.  I did my first ever food shop, I started Cheerleading, I got kicked out of a club for being too drunk, I went to my first ball, I got my first taxi alone, I developed my love for all things glitter and sequin and I became a lot weirder than I thought possible.  I’ve dressed up as a lobster, a rugby player and an alien.  I’ve had so many new experiences – big and small – that have just been incredible.  However, the best part about University is the friends I’ve made.  Now I knew id make lots of new friends at University but I never quite expected to meet friends who I would click with so well and who would make me so unbelievably happy.  I know that these wonderful people who make me cry with laughter every day, who will brutally tell me when my outfit looks terrible or who show me so much kindness when I’m upset will be with me in my life forever.  What makes them even more fabulous is that they all have such amazing dress sense and I never run out of clothes to borrow.  This year I have also lost a few friends from home as they no longer want to spend time with me.  I prefer to see this as a learning curve though – it certainly shows you who your true friends are, who has your best interests at heart, who makes you the happiest version of you and  it certainly makes you appreciate the other friends that you have in your life.  Sometimes as you get older and become an adult (eeeek) you do lose friends, and that’s OK.  
Coming home for Christmas was amazing.  Everyone who knows me knows how much I adore Christmas so coming home for all the traditional festivities was enough excitement as it was.  On top of that, I hadn’t seen my family or my dog in what felt like forever.  I will never forget the excited butterflies I felt getting off the train with my massive suitcase seeing my Mum waiting for me.  The excited feeling about seeing my Mum has still not gone away.  Christmas was lovely, made exceptionally lovely by the fact I did not have to work Boxing Day.  My first New Years Eve as an adult was also lovely.  I went to my local club and although it was fun, it didn’t feel very special or unique so will definitely be looking for something different to do this year.  
At the end of my Christmas holidays my nan was taken into hospital.  During my year of being 18 my Nan was diagnosed with dementia and she deteriorated quite a bit whilst in hospital.  It’s been quite difficult seeing my beautiful, caring, loving and selfless Nan get worse over this past year, especially considering how close I was to her growing up.  As a child, I saw my grandparents almost everyday.  However, it has certainly made me realise that I need to spend as much time as possible with the people I love and it has really made me cherish my loved ones.
When back at University I decided on the group of girls I am going to be living with in my second year.  They are the best bunch of people you could ever find and I am so incredibly excited to be living with them all.  It is going to be so much FUN.  I did go to move my stuff into the new house a couple of weeks ago and did find out that the house had been broken into and our TV had been stolen.  Not a great start.  I was feeling very upset and disheartened by this but I guess it's just another first and will make a fab story to tell people – always looking on the bright side.
Whilst being 18 I have been able to visit so many new and exciting places.  I have been to Budapest, Berlin, Croatia and even took a day trip to Scarborough.  This year has definitely inspired a desire within me to go travelling and I now have a LONG list of places I want to visit.  Equally exciting is the amount of gigs and concerts I've been able to go to now I live in Leeds.  Long gone are the days where I couldn’t justify buying tickets to see one of my favourite bands because the travel cost would be too much.  Now, all I have to do is walk round the corner to my local O2 Academy.  This year I have had the privilege to see The Weeknd, The Last Shadow Puppets, The Kooks, Chase and Status, Sundara Karma, Hannah Wants, Annie Mac and a few more.  The Leeds music scene is FAB.
During this final month of being 18, I have started a new job.  It’s only a summer job and is quite simple but I'm really loving it and It's made me feel so settled and at ease with life.  More excitingly, I also started my blog this month which is something I wanted to do for so long.  It’s still early days but already I feel like I’m improving with my writing, editing and photography skills and have learnt so many new tips and tricks.  However, I still have so much I want to improve on and this is really only just the beginning of what is to come.  I’m so excited to see how my blog, and I as a person, develop in my year of being  19.

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