2016 has been a very hectic year for me and – as I can imagine – most people my age. I welcomed the year in with my family as usual, in the midst of deadlines and revision for my A2 exams, as well as awaiting university offers and preparing portfolios for interviews.
The essence of 2016 for me has been University – from January to July, my life was centred around ensuring that I was working hard enough to succeed at A-Levels and gain a place at my first-choice Uni to study Music Journalism. July, August and September were incredibly fast paced, with myself trying to make time to see family before moving away all the while preparing everything I needed for Halls and my course. I’m very lucky to have such supportive friends and family around me – I would not have maintained such focus during my A-Levels if it wasn’t for my mum and friends helping me, and I certainly wouldn’t have been as calm about moving away if I didn’t have such an amazing family to carry my doubts for me and help me through them. Now, I’m at University and completely in love with my course – whilst it’s stressful and challenging, it’s so fulfilling being able to wake up and spend the day doing what I love.
Since I was a young teenager I have struggled with confidence and anxiety, particularly in High School. I would often be incredibly nervous about speaking in class or reading aloud to people and most of all, hearing the dreaded word ‘presentation’. 2016 has been a massive game-changer for that. Everyone suffers from anxiety, no matter how severe it will affect all of us at some point; since proving to myself that I can do well in what I do, my confidence has grown immensely. In 2015, I was definitely getting to grips with it but there were always underlying struggles. Now, though, my anxieties and self-doubt have almost entirely disappeared; I’m so much more self-confident and happier than I was before, and the self-reliance that I have now has provoked that. It’s incredibly scary to have to count on yourself when you’re miles away from home, but eventually you learn more about yourself and – for me, anyway – it has brought out a more positive side.
As with any other year, I’ve developed some relationships and lost some simultaneously. My family will always be around (whether I like it or not) but friends will always come and go. I am so grateful to still be in touch with my best friends from back home – ty for helping me with this idea btw – and very lucky that two of them also live in the same city as me, so I’m never completely alone. Friendships have faded out over the course of the year, due to both wrong-doings and out-growing one another. Nonetheless, I’ve also developed amazing friendships along the way; myself and my flatmates are very lucky to have been put together by the uni and I’m incredibly grateful for how much they have supported me through some hard times over the recent months, and I’m privileged to have helped them through difficulties too. Unfortunately, what with moving to another city I don’t see my mum and brother every day and rarely see my dad or the rest of the family. My brother is capable of so much and I’m incredibly proud of the man that he has become and as for my mum and dad, I couldn’t wish for more supportive and loving people and I’m looking forward to being able to give back to them what they have given me. My gratitude and love for them will never cease and I can’t wait to see how they develop within themselves.
Although 2016 hasn’t been amazing, it’s been a year of growth and development and I’m very looking excited to see how 2017 plans out. I am dreading second year deadlines though.