Looking back on 2018…
2018 was such a positive year for me, teaching me a lot of invaluable lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. The events of this year were a lot better than the previous years, leaving me with many memories that I will forever hold in my heart. I fell in love, met some amazing people, started a job that I love, and started loving myself.
This year I decided to take the bold step and move out of my family home. I spent my holidays in my university flat, working and saving up, taking more control of my life. I used to be rather dependent on my dad before this year, wanting to go home a lot, not being able to cook proper, healthy meals for myself, always feeling as though I wasn’t able to properly look after myself. With time and effort, I’ve finally found myself in a place where I can say that I am independent, growing towards eventually becoming a proper adult (because I hardly feel like one at 21), and really getting myself started with life. I’m moving into my own flat with my boyfriend around June time, so I’m looking forward to continuing this journey, getting my own home together and growing even more than I have.
I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression for a few years now but, recently, I’ve learnt to be a lot more positive about my life and to not have such a negative outlook on things. It’s strange how, by altering my thoughts, the world around me seems to follow suit and become more positive itself. I no longer allow myself to get stressed out, always taking a break whenever I feel overwhelmed and calming myself down. I organise myself in a way so I can do everything that needs to be done and not panic. In the past, if I had a lot of assignments, I’d end up a complete mess and not actually get anything done. Now I pace and reassure myself that it’ll all get completed in time, so I generally don’t have many panic attacks anymore.
Give yourself a break
This leads on from the second point. I used to be work-obsessed, spending every minute either at work, studying or blogging. I never really gave myself time off as I thought that was time wasted but this year I definitely learnt to be more relaxed with myself and to give myself time off here and there. I used to study for hours on end with no breaks, now I go and make myself a cup of tea or snacks whenever I feel like it, approaching my work from a more relaxed point of view.
How to budget
This is probably one of the BEST lessons I learnt this year. I decided to stay at my student flat this summer to work as I was paying the rent anyway, so I thought I’d make the most of it. Upon getting my first non-retail job, I’ve tried to become more mature in how I handle myself, situations, and my money. I have three bank accounts, one is a regular debit card and the other two are savings account which I use to store money that I’m saving and the other my rent, so I always have enough. My debit card is the card I use to pay for everything, and mobile banking has become my best friend as I’m constantly moving around my money. This means, if I want to buy something, I have more time to rationally think about it. My job pays me quite well, 24 hours a week gives me just under £700 a month, which covers all of my rent and leaves me with extra. My student loan is put straight into savings and I have become very strict with my spending.