Reflecting on the year 2018 brings me both feelings of sadness and pride. To say this year has been tough is definitely an understatement, yet somehow I have managed to leave 2018 so much stronger and happier than when it started. I am writing this post as a quick reflection of what made my 2018 so special as when that has shaped my identity and helped me grow as a young person.
The first picture that I took in 2018 was one of me and my dog Belle sharing a New Years kiss 😉 My highlight of this month was spending quality time alone with my mum in Penrith where we visited the home of a late family member, Auntie Nancy, who had recently passed away. Auntie Nancy was an inspirational figure in my life as a best friend of my grandma and my encouragement for becoming vegetarian. I have many happy memories visiting her in Penrith and so I really enjoyed revisiting the area in her memory.
Towards the end of this month I got to travel to London with my parents to visit Shakespeare’s Globe as part of my birthday present before having a Midsummers Night Dream themed afternoon tea. You can find this experience on my blog. This short break was a great start to 2018.
This was undeniably the hardest and most challenging month of 2018. When having to spend two weeks in hospital, I encountered some of my greatest fears in terms of injections and recovery so much so that even reflecting on this period of my life is difficult for me. However, I do feel extremely proud at how far I have come since this event in my life and thankful that I had so much love and support surrounding me from family, friends and hospital staff.
March was pretty much a month of recovery and finding my feet again after the stress and shock of February. I had a lot of time away from college giving me spare time to myself. This is when I really started to enjoy reading- both novels and poetry- as an escape and distraction from my everyday challenges. Following this reading, I started to think of ways that I could share my thoughts and feelings to other people with similar interests to me. This is when I decided to set up a blog and I’m so glad I did otherwise I wouldn’t be sat here writing this post now!
Leading up to April was both exciting, yet nervous for me and my parents as we had a holiday booked for India. Although, since my admission to hospital, it was not certain that I would be in the best condition to go. Luckily, after a quiet month of resting in March, we decided to go on the adventure together. The food, people, and sights that I experienced in India was definitely one of the main highlights of my year. You can read all about my trip to India on my blog.
May started with special family time in our favourite place in Wales, Anglesey.
And ended with me celebrating one of my best friend’s birthday, Eloise.
May was also a big month for my mum who had her friends and family brought together for her sixtieth birthday this year.
In one month, my passion for English Literature quickly grew as I visited Stratford-upon-Avon, the home of William Shakespeare, twice!! The first time was with a college trip to watch The Duchess of Malfi at the Rose Theatre and the second was with my mum to revisit and explore the area together. Again, you can read about this experience on my blog.
July was a busy month for me as it started with my niece’s eighth birthday party as well as my sister, Catherine’s birthday and dad’s birthday in the same month.
This month was the first time that I really felt like I had successfully reconnected with my friends after my time away from college in hospital and so I started to feel a lot happier than in previous months.
In July, I also fell in love with the aspirational idea of studying at Cambridge University. I visited with my mum on an open day and immediately felt like it was the best place for me to study. Now, going into 2019, I’ve had my interview and am waiting to hear whether I have a place or not… fingers crossed!!
Towards the end of July, I visited York with my parents to see the pop-up globe and watch Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth live. This was so enjoyable for me as Macbeth is the play that sparked my love for English Literature during high school. You can read about my time in York on my blog.
The best part of August was spent in Venice. This is somewhere that I’ve always been intrigued to visit and it definitely surpassed my expectations in terms of beauty and enjoyment. This trip was so memorable as one of the most picturesque places I have ever visited. I also discovered my new favourite drink, Aperol Spritz, here.
This is when the pressure really started to kick in at college which was not ideal as it’s also the month that all the 18th birthdays started! This month was filled with revision for my Cambridge admissions test and mock exams. Although, I managed to enjoy the month by spending a lot of time with my friends.
However, this was also a month of grieving as my Grandpa passed away- he is still greatly missed and in my mind daily. ❤️
My birthday month!! On my actual birthday, 3rd October, my parents took me to the restaurant Panoramic 34 which looks over the city of Liverpool- it was a beautiful meal and memory. The days after this were pretty packed and busy as I visited Chester Zoo, had a family party and a party with my friends too!
Towards the end of October, I was further challenged by submitting two pieces of written work to Cambridge and taking part in the admissions test which I somehow managed to score highly with 4 hours sleep and 3 cups of coffee!
I got an interview for Cambridge! This month was me putting 100% in preparation for this interview and dealing with the disruption and ‘drama’ of people at college. However, this reinforced the importance of friends as me and my best friend, Ellie, treated ourselves to buying our first legal drink in Revolution to escape from this pettiness.
Yikes! The year has gone so fast. December was definitely a month that I am most proud of this year. I fully enjoyed my interview in Cambridge and Lancaster as it seemed to be a symbol of how far I have come and how much I have grown since January. I was able to take my 18th birthday present from my sister and brother-in-law, Sarah and Chris, to both interviews. This bag brings back happy memories of walking around Cambridge in July and counting over 60 of these bags belonging to students in the area. The bag is shown below as I stood outside of Sidney Sussex College, the college that I am waiting to hear back from in regards to a rejection or offer to study at Cambridge University.
In December, I also received an unconditional offer from Lancaster University and Newcastle University which was a wonderful reward and compliment for all of my hard work in 2018.
To conclude this post:
Just wanted to write a quick appreciation for all of the love and support that I have received from family members and friends this year. I can’t imagine where I’d be now without these people in my life. Lastly, I would like to thank my 500 followers on this blog for reading, commenting and sharing my work. This blog has been such a huge part of my 2018 as it has been highly influential in my recovery and development of literary skills.
I have found that each day brings a new challenge, yet I have now developed the resilience and determination to tackle and put my all into everything I do knowing that I 👏 am 👏 good 👏 enough 👏!!
Wishing everyone a happy 2019, let’s do this!! 🥳😋
Thanks for taking the time to read this post,