My Hopes For 2020

We’ve done it. It’s the last day of 2019 and we’re about to go into a new decade. The 2010s were full of growing and change, I left school, I left college, got my degree, started my career. The 2020s are also going to be full of change, I’ll be getting married in 2021, this will be the decade I hopefully have children, maybe put a deposit down on a house. It’s a lot.

So, what do I hope for the first year of this new decade? I just want a steady year. Is that mad? I don’t need massive changes and fireworks – 2019 had that for me. I would love to be able to get on with my current plans, pay off the wedding and count down – work on some projects that are interesting. See friends and family and that, to put it simply, is enough for me.

I know that 2021 is going to be incredible and fast paced and brilliant but for 2020? A chilled year would suit me just fine.

What do you hope for in 2020?

10 things I’ve realised since graduating

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On July 21st 2016 I graduated. I have an Upper Second Class degree in English Literature from Kingston University. It feels like so long ago that I put on that cap and gown, shook someone’s hand and became a graduate after 3 years of hard work. Then that was that it was done and I was launched into the ‘real world’. So, here I am a year later and reflecting on what it’s been like to be a graduate. It’s been a very weird year and after uni a pretty big come down I think. I’ve written about post uni depression but I’ve also had some great times. So, here’s 10 things I’ve realised in the past year.

It’s ok if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Everyone seems like they’ve got it together with Master’s degrees or travelling or jobs in the city. I had a job but still felt like I was drowning. I had no idea what I was doing. This wasn’t an essay I could logically put together and get a first on, this was real life. One year later and I’m only just working out what I really want to do because I’ve had experience! Just try things out, don’t feel like you need to know everything as soon as you have that bit of paper.

Most people don’t care what grade you got.

I was embarrassed, that’s right embarrassed when I told people I got a 2:1. I’d always slip in I was only 3% off of a First Class because I’m a perfectionist. Admitting I got a 2:1 meant I wasn’t perfect. The thing is, I’ve never been asked what grade I got, not once. The fact I got a degree was enough for all of my jobs. Some will want specific grades, but from most of my friends, they haven’t been asked either!

£2.50 double vodkas were a blessing.

I wasn’t a big drinker at uni, I didn’t go out all the time. That said, when I go out now I hate paying normal prices for drinks, almost £5 for a double vodka? Blergh.

Sometimes friendships aren’t meant to last forever.

I’m a firm believer that some people are meant to be in your life and leave. I had some friends in uni and we had great times before we drifted apart or the friendship broke down. I’m forever grateful for the memories though.

Life is going to change.

People move, get jobs, some get married, others will have children soon. Life is changing and going so fast and sometimes it is a little overwhelming and that’s ok. Take a moment and just appreciate the small things.

Sometimes you’re going to wonder if it was all worth it.

Getting a job, or a job that you’re passionate about after graduating is hard. It’s taken me a whole year to work out what I enjoy in a working environment. There’ll be late nights and possibly some jobs you don’t enjoy where you think, should I have just gone out to work? My hardest part was when I saw people buying their first homes after working since 16 and I know I’m nowhere near a deposit.

The only person judging you is yourself.

I got so worried about how other people would judge the degree I did, my grades, the fact Ali and I lived with the family. Really, the only person judging you is you. People know that taking your first steps is hard! Don’t beat yourself up!

It’s ok to ask for help.

I didn’t want to ask for help and there were times when I needed to. When I just felt nervous or worried or wanted reassurance.

You still have so much time!

You know when you’re young you have this plan? I want to be married by this time, kids by that time etc, etc. Let it go. You have so much time to do what you want to do. Take a breath and do what feels right for you!

Taking time for yourself is important.

It’s natural to want to do your best in a job, to want to see old friends, make new ones. That said, taking a bit of time for yourself is really important, I’ve talked about my top tips for self-care before, you’ll feel much better.

It’s ok to miss uni!

It was, for most of us, full of great times! Of course you’re going to miss it! That said, there are still good times to come.

Make time to see your uni friends.

My friend Joe and I try to see each other once a month, because he’s still one of my best friends!

Everyone’s Grad journey is different

It doesn’t matter if you go stright into work or travel or study! Everyone is different and so are their lives! There’s no ‘right way’ to be a graduate! Don’t feel pressured to do certain things.

It was the best time of your life…so far!

I had some times where I worried if this was it? Was I ever going to feel the way I did at uni? I had some low periods, BUT I realised that uni was only the beginning of my independence. There is so much more in life I have to look forward to and now I’m happier I’m looking forward to every exciting thing that’s going to happen!

You did something pretty amazing.

You got a degree, that’s awesome. Go you!

 

What did you learn after graduating? Let me know in the comments below!

Not little forever

Today is my not so little cousin Elliott’s 16th birthday which is crazy. I still remember going to the hospital to meet him for the first time, I was five and he was a premature baby and my aunts first child. Now it wasn’t the first time I’d met a little cousin, I already had two female cousins but Elliott I specifically remember meeting. He’s gone from this teeny tiny baby to a gorgeous 16 year old boy.

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I was really sick today and so I had to miss his birthday dinner and little family party which broke my heart. I love trying to be here for all of the kids birthdays because I’m close to them. The only difference is that I don’t see some of my family members any more, which means I’ve missed birthdays and celebrations and in the future I’d love to see them again.

So while I was home being looked after by my dog, who didn’t leave my side for hours, I started thinking about all the kids. Then I started thinking about 2016 and all the things I wish for them.

For my sister, I wish for another brilliant year of just happiness and being so badass like she already is.

For Lollie and Ralphie, I just wish for a lot of fun this year and for you to just enjoying being kids and running around and playing.

For El, I hope that the hard work you put in to show in your results and that you really enjoy college. It’s going to be the making of you.

For Harv, I hope you don’t break any bones this year and  carry on being the awesome little dude you are.

For Kieran, I wish for you to love being a big brother! It’s honestly great having a small person in the house!

For Lexi, I hope for a great last year at nursery and an amazing time when you start school.

I honestly want all of them and my other cousins to have a brilliant 2016 and I’ll do anything to make it even better.

Happy 16th Birthday El, love you lots.