Okay, so hopefully we are still just about in the new year spirit, if such thing exists, where we still may be reflecting on the previous year, just before we must face January full on and forget all our new year’s resolutions. I remember last year (well the year before now), posting “18 things I have Learned before turning 18”, although I have decided this year to write about what the year has taught me instead. Because, at least from my experience so far, being 19 is the same as being 18. Because I still have the same responsibilities, I am still a teenager, and although I have been a legal adult for over a year now (eek), I still do not feel like a fully grown adult. So here goes…
1. I Actually Know so Little
What a great way to begin. But it is funny that when I was around 12-16/17, I thought that I was so wise. Yet, I think that due to new experiences and situations arising, I have learned that there is an awful lot which I do not know yet. Which is fine. Does this feeling intensify as you get older, if anyone knows, then please enlighten me…
2. Reach out to people
I admit that this is not always going to work, as people are busy, and they may not have too much interest in talking to you. But at the same time, they could potentially end up being significant in your life. And if you do not try, then how will you ever find out? I used to push people away, because I was so terrified that if I were to hang out with them more, act more like myself around them or even go to lunch with them (when invited) I would appear needy. Life is too short, and I know that I would never think ill of someone who contacts me first, even if at the time I was busy and did not have the time to engage with them. And I hope that you would not either (unless you knew that person was a bit of a c*nt).
3. Lots of men are trash!
I really do hope that one of the things that 2022 will teach me, is that there are many decent men about as well. Of course, this is something which I do already know, yet 2021 has not really shown this to me. Perhaps I am just too good at attracting bad people. Oops.
4. Be a bad bitch
To overcome some of the pain and toxicity that life throws at us all, you need the strength to fight back. Even if you are not the least bit confident in yourself, fake it until you make it. Tell your friends stuff, because often they will recognise that something or someone is not good for you, when at the time you are blind to it. Subsequently, they can tell you not to go on possessing dog poop and wait for something better (even if you will be waiting an eternity). Just remember, you are no one’s object or trophy, no one’s nice person to turn to only when they are feeling down and you are most certainly no one’s plan b!
5. Workplaces are fucked
What I mean, is that if you work somewhere, there is usually something going on behind the scenes, which is not too great… An extreme example I want to share, is when I was working back in the summer (working 50+ hours a week😭), there was a particular member of staff who was high up. He was fired, for being under the influence of drugs, sexual harassment and getting into a fight. Only for him to be rehired again, just in time for me to work full time over the summer. And as he would walk by, he would brush up against my ass🤮 I told the managers, and one of them thought I was lying, and then she told me how she was against the me-too movement! Thankfully, I quit in July and found somewhere else where I was not working as many hours. Ha, another lesson, always speak up against this kind of stuff. Even if it is trivial in comparison to what others have been through, it is still unacceptable, and if no one speaks up, these kinds of people will get away with much more severe wrongdoings, which could potentially traumatise someone. Because, as I thought at the time, it was gross that he did that to me, yet if I had been 14, and had a history of sexual abuse (which fortunately is not the case), the consequences could have been severe and long lasting.
6. Taking breaks is so important
This is something I have learned this year, and as a result I have far more time to socialise, take time for myself (self-care products are amazing, even though it’s basically consumerism) and my productivity has improved so much. For instance, at the end of 2020 I was super stressed about a levels, and I was working my bum off, only to find that when I started spending less time on work, my grades improved! Perhaps this also means there is something to be said for a four-day work week. Admittedly this is still something that I find difficult, maybe because of being a Capricorn with both parents also being Capricorns (only joking, I do not really believe in all of that).
Here are some things that I have learned about myself this year.
7. I am far less introverted than I thought I was
Ok, it is still the case that when I am in my room be it at home or at university, I like to be uninterrupted. But then I suppose that is the territory that comes with growing up with no siblings, very rarely seeing other family and having remarkably busy parents Xx
But (and it is a very fat peachy one), if I am out the house, I just love to have a long ass rant with someone. I love to say what is on my mind and I love meeting new people depending on the kind of person they are. I do like to be around people providing that they are the right kind of people. Also going out is so much fun. I think in previous years, I have been overly shy, therefore I went for the easier option of not being as open and shrinking myself to match the vibe of those around me. Which I would say has had a detrimental effect on me in the past. I suppose I am an ambivert, or an extraverted introvert or something, but who knows next year I may come to do a similar post and be like “yo- annoying ENFP has entered the room!”
8. I kind of hate myself
I am going to try and work on my confidence next year though, but then I do that each year and sometimes I feel like I am getting nowhere. But then I am certainly far better now than I was even last year, not to mention a few years ago. But then I had been trying to “fake it until I make it”, which helps to some degree, but really it is important to be confident internally as well.
9. Loving yourself is so important
Do I love myself? Sounds odd to love and hate yourself at the same time, but I am getting there. Do not take shit.
10. I am definitely pansexual (bisexual)
How much more oversharing can I fit into one post? Yet since being around 12, I have always felt that I am bi-sexual, although I would not find someone nonbinary or of a different gender off-putting. Yet, I would say that this year has proven that I am not a lesbian, and that I am not straight.
11. I have internalised homophobia
Yep, girls are attractive asf! But I tell myself and others that “I know I’m bisexual, but I tend to go for guys over girls.” While it is certainly true that most bisexuals, if not all, are not exactly “50/50”, I could be lying to myself a little when I say that I have a much stronger preference for guys. I know I am more likely to subconsciously push a girl I like away in that respect, I have far more confidence flirting with guys rather than girls (still it is scary), yet there was a female “friend” who I had maybe some feelings for, and I got signals that she may have felt the same about me, causing me to shove her right into the friendzone.
The rest of what I have learned this year are less serious things, because come on! It only has been a year.
12. First term of university is a doddle compared to A levels
I am not saying it is easy, and I am not saying that there is not a ton of reading and revision that I really ought to get started with. But, compared to the work and stress that came with A levels, this is nothing. It is partly because I am with people who, saying it in a nice way, put in varying degrees of effort. In contrast, where I was before you had people crying over getting one B grade, and now there are a substantial number of people in my classes who I do not think I have met yet, because they have not turned up. Yet I know that to pass this year, I only need 40%, which literally means listening to the prerecorded lectures at double speed, and then hoping for the best.
13. I can be defensive and arrogant
Sorry if I have hurt anyone, I don’t mean to be a dick. But knowing our own flaws is important if you want to improve yourself💕
14. Tinned sweet corn is amazing
15. Don’t live off junk food at university
It makes you feel like crap, and gives you spots. I knew that already ok; I was quite capable of cooking a proper meal before, but at the same time I was scared to go into the kitchen some of the time, which is so silly considering all my flat mates are lovely people.
16. When you first move from an area you have lived in all your life, you will miss it
When I was in Swansea, (when you read this I will be back there again), I actually missed Bournemouth so much, and when I got to Bournemouth, visiting seemed so reviving. This said, I made the right decision to move quite a distance away.
17. Buying Clothes is too Addictive
I remember being younger and not really having enough clothes to be able to express myself in (or enough clothes at all to be honest). Then as soon as I started working, I was like “yey, I can finally afford to buy nice clothes”. Sadly, however, this sort of addiction does not really stop. Not sure whether it is just the highly effective impact of personally directed ads, the impact of mini trend cycles or if it is just down to the fact that there is this empty void inside of me that needs something else rather than new clothes. But once you get into fashion, it does not stop… Saying that I have not really brought that much in a while, wait that is a lie. Never mind!
18. Once you go to university your bank account will be fucked
All right, so I worked all summer, I got a grant, got my student loan and I even have a part time job. But my bank account is looking sadder as the days go by 😦
19. The laundry trip at university is hell!
At this stage I should have just titled this post “University Survival Guide.” But this is worth mentioning, I promise. Because it is a five-minute walk from home to the laundry place and getting the washing and drying done takes at least three round trips.
20. Spellings Matter
Even though I have successfully managed to spend the first 19 years of my life convincing myself otherwise. But seriously, I know that the content of the writing is more important than the actual spelling. But at the same time, you do not want to take the risk of someone reading your work to notice that it is full of spelling mistakes. This always used to be me, at school and then sixth form, and I used to think to myself, why is any teacher going to care about what I can and cannot spell, if my essay is about Cuspate Forelands (why do I even remember these things?) But I do not think that the teachers took too well to my poor spelling.
21. There are no Sheep in Swansea,
probably because they have already been taken XOX. I do feel bad though because some of the guys at the university are jerks.