For any of you who have been a part of my little family (yes, my readers are all like family to me - I apologise for that) since the end of last year, you may or may not remember I wrote a post at the very end of the year where I gave you a round up of what 2018 was like for me and what my hopes were for 2019. If you did not see that post or want a quick reminder of what I wrote, you can find it here. I feel that was a good way for me to have my dreams for the year ahead set in stone (well, a blog post on the internet) so that I could try and accomplish these, knowing I had to as I had put them out there for the whole world to see. So, as this is my second year of doing this, this post will consist of my round up of 2019, whether I have achieved the goals I set out for myself and what my goals are for 2020.
A round up of 2019:
I started university in September 2018, so in January this year I had to hand in my first two assignments. I am studying an early childhood course and those two assignments were an essay about child development and a poster on the history of health in childhood. In February I found out my results for both of these assignments and I am proud (and shocked) to say that I managed to get a first in both of them. I got 70% in both which is just about scraping a first, however it is a first nonetheless and, even though first year does not count towards anything, I am still proud of myself for persevering, even though I did consider dropping out several times, and managing to get those two firsts.
In march I turned nineteen. This birthday is particularly memorable for me as it was the first birthday that I spent alone. I am not expecting anyone to feel sorry for me about this as it was my choice to spend my birthday alone and I have never been one to be all that fussed about my birthday. That day gave me the chance to really think about my life and to re-evaluate the people I choose to keep in it. I had turned off the notification people get on Facebook to let them know it is my birthday and as such only three people bothered to send me a Happy Birthday message on there and that was my Uncle, my Auntie and one of my cousins. I also had messages from my Mum, my Dad, my Nan and Grandad and a 'friend' who I have not heard from since (but that is a story for another time). I try to keep these posts as positive as possible, even though that is not real life as we all go through negative experiences, however this is in no way a negative experience as it really made me realise who actually cares about me and I really just had the chance to take time for myself and learn about me - as that is something I have not done in a long time.
In May I had to give the biggest presentation of my life. I was in a group with four others and it was about children who have physical disabilities and how there needs to be better access for them, i.e. ramps, lifts, etc. I had practised my bit over and over again and my part was meant to last five minutes, with the entire presentation lasting twenty five minutes. Every time I had practised my part, it had always lasted at least five minutes. However, on the day of the actual presentation, the whole presentation was ten minutes shorter than what it should have been and my part probably was not any longer than a couple of minutes long. My anxiety was pretty bad at that point in my life and as a result of this, my heart has never beaten so fast in my life and I was genuinely concerned for my health and wellbeing. However, on my feedback my tutor told me that I delivered the presentation confidently, which I was pretty shocked at as I thought I must of looked and sounded like a massive mess. It was that comment that made me realise that as long as you practice something over and over again, this can help build a confidence in you that in that moment you do not even realise you have and is something I am definitely going to take on board for future presentations I have to give.
One of the requirements for my second year of university is that I have to go on placement from November this year to April next year. Unlike first year's placement, this had to be organised by me with as little help as possible from university. I am someone who hates engaging in any form of communication with people, especially those who I do not know. Even though I left it a little later than what I should have done, I managed to organise my entire placement for the next year by myself with no help from anyone else. I emailed a few nurseries who are near where I live and only three got back to me, with the one I had a particular interest in going to not replying. I then emailed back one of the places and eventually gave up when after several emails they did not reply. So then I emailed back a place that was actually the nearest to me and they replied within a matter of minutes and in the space of three hours I managed to organise and finalise my placement for the year. I am actually glad that this worked out how it did as, completely opposite to what happened at my last placement, I have not felt the slightest bit anxious in going there and genuinely feel that this was the right place for me to be in. I have never been a big believer in things happening for a reason, until this moment happened.
In November, I applied for a Help to Buy ISA. It was very last minute when I applied for this as I previously did not realise that I could apply for one and thought it was only for people who are currently in the process of buying a house (a bit like a mortgage). It was not until my Mum came into my room on the last day you could apply and told me that I really need to apply for one that I bothered to look into it and realised that I was eligible to apply. I have not currently received anything about my application and do not know whether it has been accepted or not, but I will let you know in due course (NGL I felt like a proper adult doing this).
My goals for the year and if I achieved them:
My first goal for 2019 was to find love this year and it is safe to say that has not happened. I did download Tinder at the beginning of the year, where I did find someone who I did genuinely consider meeting, however I did not as there was something about him when speaking to him that seemed a bit off. For example, he was happy to ask loads of questions about me and my life, however when I did the same to him he would answer the question but would quickly start asking questions about me again, not allowing me to ask more questions about him from my previous question (if that even makes any sense). If there is one thing I have learnt, particularly over the last year, is that my gut decision is always the right decision and I should always go with that and trust it. I may have given up with Tinder, however I have now taken the approach that I will meet the right person for me when the time is right and that I should not try to force something that is never going to work.
My next goal was to set aside my anxiety and to become more confident in myself. At the start of the year my anxiety was probably the highest it has ever been and I was maybe slightly more confident than I was while in school and sixth form, however I still was not as confident as I would have liked to have been. I would say that as it currently stands my anxiety has hardly shown and I have actually been able to fall asleep relatively straight away and not spend hours on end tossing and turning, just to try and get to sleep. I did think I would have gone to the doctors to get this sorted, however I asked a few people about their experience with going to the doctor about their anxiety and as mental health services in the UK are not that great, I decided this option maybe was not the right one for me right now so took things into my own hands and just tried to be more aware of my anxiety and to try and control it and know when to not exert myself too much and to take some time out for myself and not do things just because they had to be done, but to do them when I felt able to do them. I would also say that even though I am not as confident as I would like to be, over the last year I have become a bit more confident than what I was last year. So was this goal a complete fail? No, I do not think so. I may not have completely achieved this, however I am somewhat on my way to doing this, but when, or if, I achieve this is unknown.
My final goal for 2019 was to be happy. It is safe to say that I have definitely not achieved this goal. To be fair, I do not think I have got any less happy than last year, in the same way I have not become any more happy than last year. I am unsure of what will have to happen in my life for me to become completely happy with anything, nor do I believe anyone is ever completely happy with their entire life. However, one thing I do know for sure is that there is nothing really in my life right now that is making me feel some form of happiness. I have lost all my friends and would only really say I have acquaintances, but no one who I would feel fine with going to if I needed someone to open up to. I am really annoyed with myself with not achieving this goal in particular as a bit of happiness is something everyone needs in their life and I am not afraid to say that I have struggled quite a bit this year, particularly at the start of the year. I would say things are (hopefully) getting a little better in terms of my 'happiness', so hopefully 2020 will bring me the happiness I wanted for this year.
My hopes for 2020:
My first hope for 2020 is to get through my second year of university and to finish this year with a 2:1 at the least. This year counts for 40% of my overall grade when/if I graduate from university in 2021. It is quite a big chunk of my overall grade so I want to make sure I work really hard this year in order to achieve a good grade so I do not have to put more pressure on myself than I already will be when I am a third year student. I have to admit at the time of writing this (towards the end of November) I have hardly started either of my assignments that are due in January and am about three weeks behind what I was last year (UPDATE: on the day this is published I can confirm I have finished both of my assignments with just over a week to go and am just putting the finishing touches to them). However, I am slowly starting to get there and me not having started these assignments is more to do with me not having received all the information I need to do them up until now and is not due to my own laziness. Even though I really do want to get a first overall this year and then go on to graduate with one as well, I feel a 2:1 is a more realistic outlook and something I should (hopefully) achieve.
My second hope for 2020 is to lose weight. I know as it is 2019 (and soon to be 2020) and we are trying to accept and celebrate all body types, however I am really not happy with my weight and over the last couple of months I have started to try and lose weight. As it currently stands, I have managed to lose three pounds. I started my weight loss journey at ten stone ten pounds and my ideal weight to get to, as a minimum, is eight stone seven pounds. I have been trying to focus more on what I eat, have been trying to cut down on what I eat and trying to ensure I eat as much good food as possible. I am not looking to make a drastic change in my weight over a short amount of time, as I know in this instance it can be quite easy to then put all of that weight back on over a short period of time. I know we should all be able to be happy in our body, no matter our size, weight or shape, however I am not happy with mine and want to feel able to happily and confidently wear a bikini on holiday without feeling the need to cover up or that I am being judged. I also want to be able to look at my body in the mirror and be happy with what I see. Yes, maybe if I do lose the weight I want to lose I will still not be happy with my body, but right now I feel that losing this weight will eventually make me feel happy with my body, so I do hope that, despite other years of failing to lose weight, I manage to achieve this goal.
My third and final hope for 2020 is to make some friends. This literally sounds like the saddest thing, but I have never particularly been good at making friends of my own and have only ever become friends with people through having a mutual friend. As I have lost pretty much all of my friends this year (which was really through me realising they were not the type of people I should be friends with), I would like to have some people in my life again who I can speak about anything and everything to. I know you cannot force a friendship and that these things happen quite naturally, but in all honesty I have been feeling rather lonely recently and to even have just one friend to spend time with and talk about complete and utter nonsense and really deep stuff with is something I have been really longing for. A friend right now would be really great and I can only hope and dream that at least one friendship does arise from the year ahead.
So that was my round up of 2019 and my hopes for 2020. I am really intrigued to know the things you have achieved this year and what you hope to achieve next year, so please comment them down below and support other people in achieving their hopes and dreams.
As always, if any of you are struggling with absolutely anything I am always here for you. My contact details are all in the contacts tab at the top of this page, so please use any one of the ways of contacting me to get in touch and I will aim to help you in any way I possibly can.
Love Beth xx