2017 has been a bit of a whirlwind with many ups and downs. I started the year off by heading back to university for my final ever semester (a terrifying thought). I had achieved good grades in the first semester so it wasn’t quite so daunting going back.
My final semester of university was incredibly stressful but I enjoyed it so much. I made some great friends (Amy & Megan), I really don’t know what I would have done without them in the end. I somehow managed to finish my 10,000-word dissertation (thesis) and even got a first for it. I finished university on the 8th May and that seems like such a long time ago; time is a weird concept. I am glad that I worked with such fun people because they made the work a lot more enjoyable and I really miss them all. Finishing university is so strange as it is such a bittersweet moment; you’re happy to be done but sad as everyone goes their separate ways.
I also spent the first four months fundraising for my trip to Peru. I remember this time last year, it seemed like I had so much money to raise and that I was never going to get it done but I have some incredibly generous friends and family members and I cannot thank them enough. I did various fundraisers such as a bingo night and speed dating, although they weren’t always successful. I found it quite difficult to fundraise whilst at uni as the people around me didn’t have very much money and I didn’t have a lot of time to think about fundraisers. Once I had raised the money, I spent three weeks teaching in Peru before doing the Salkantay Trek to Macchu Pichu. I have written a blog post and made a short video about the experience if you’d like to know more about my trip. Peru was definitely the highlight of my year and I would go back in a heartbeat. I made such great friends, especially Katie (lol hi if you’re reading this) and I was so sad when we had to leave and go back to reality. Once I returned to normality, I spent a couple of weeks recovering from the kidney infection that I got due to dehydration and fortunately because I had to sleep a lot, I didn’t feel the effects of jet lag.
Time has just flown by since returning from Peru, I honestly can’t get my head around how quickly time flies. At the end of July, I had planned in with my dad in Bristol as there are better opportunities there. I hadn’t lived with my dad since I was 5 years old and we have never had a close relationship so I was kind of nervous. I’m not going to lie, this was the worst 2 months of this year and every day was more difficult than the last. I wouldn’t say this was my dad’s fault, the problem was more with his wife as she made me feel very uncomfortable. The details aren’t necessary but it was an awful situation and I know it is probably quite common for things like that to happen to people with divorced parents. I am grateful for those in my life who are supportive and continue to be there for me on a daily basis.
I had my graduation in September and I really didn’t want it to end. Daniel’s graduation was the day before so I went to two graduations in two days. It was so nice seeing everyone again and fortunately, it didn’t rain the whole day. It felt so weird to be wearing the mortarboard and gown and then go from graduand to graduate. It was such a special day and something that I will treasure forever.
While I was in Bristol, I had three jobs. I started off working at this pub called The Winter Stream Farm and I hated it! Because the hours and money weren’t very good, I decided to get a second job and when I told my then manager, he confronted me in front of three men to tell me how I was unreliable and he wanted to fire me. I then had to work for 6 hours not knowing whether I was going to keep my job or not. I would then find out that he would talk about me behind my back. It wasn’t a pleasant experience. My second job was at a clothes shop called Joy and I really enjoyed it as the people were always lovely. After a few weeks, I received a phone call from a shoe shop called Office and fortunately, I could work there full-time so I quit my other two jobs and started working at Office in September. I was only there for three weeks but I loved it. I was able to earn commission and make friends with those that worked there. I wish I could still be in contact with everyone from Office because they were so lovely. I had to quit my job at Office after the whole situation and moved back to Norwich in October. I stopped looking for jobs related to my degree as I just wanted to go home and move back in with my mum. The best thing about this situation is that I became closer to my family and realised just how important my friends and family are. I am so grateful for my friends and family being so supportive during this terrible time. When I got home, I made sure to take some time for myself and do things that I wouldn’t have the time to normally do. I visited Katie in Lincoln and had the best time seeing Jedward at Quack (cringe), I also got to see Giedrė and took time to see Daniel.
The one consistent thing in my life is Daniel and I am so grateful to have him in my life. We do so much together and have the best time. This year, we have visited York, Bristol, London, Nottingham and Sheffield. We have been to see The Book of Mormon, visited Winter Wonderland, visited new universities together, graduated together and celebrated the new year together. I am grateful that I can share my life with my best friend in the whole world and I hope that 2018 is a great year for him.
Since being home, I started a job at M&S in the lingerie department which I really enjoy. Although I will finish before the new year, I have had a great time working there with some really lovely people and I will be sad to leave. I have also been able to see my friends, Laura, Grace and Bella. Since leaving uni, it is a lot harder to see friends as everyone is busy doing their own thing but it makes it that bit more special when you do get to meet up. This is the first year that I have been able to afford Christmas presents for everyone so I started my Christmas shopping back in November. I am actually excited for Christmas this year and I am grateful that I get to spend Christmas at home.
I think it’s safe to say a lot has happened this year and I am so grateful for every single person in my life. I’m sorry that this has been a long post but thank you if you have read to the end. I hope that 2018 will be just as exciting and that every one of you who is reading this will have a fun and prosperous year.