Around this time last year, I wrote a list of the 12 biggest lessons I’d learnt in the previous 12 months. I thought it would be interesting to compile another one without reading the first and then look back and see how they compare. A lot has happened since August 2018, from starting university and completing two internships to travelling to six countries. So what have these experiences taught me?
I love learning
My course has pushed me in some ways (such as clashing deadlines), but the actual content I’ve found enjoyable to engage with. Spending a couple of years away from the intensity of education before university has made me really appreciate this.
Hobbies really can help you progress in the ‘real world’
I truly believe I wouldn’t have gotten either of the internships I did this year without blogging (one was in comms and marketing for the university and the other for comms and social media stuff for a mental health charity). In the interviews for both I drew on my blogging experience; without this I’m not sure I would have had as many relevant skills to talk about.
Having a positive work environment is paramount
I got so much out of interning in a supportive place alongside passionate people. I’m definitely going to take this aspect of a job into greater consideration for future roles.
I push myself more than I realise
…and I actually deal with being overwhelmed better than I thought I did. I have voiced my opinions in seminars, applied for jobs outside my comfort zone, and taken on multiple challenges at once. I am resilient, I just need to recognise this!
However, I deal with breaks worse than I thought I did
I know it’s important to have downtime, but I’m not very good at doing this in a healthy way. I either do mindless things that don’t actually relax my mind (yes I’m pointing the finger at you, Netflix) or try to stuff my time full with productive tasks.
My perception of myself needs an update
Several people have said that they see me as confident and sure of myself and that this was their first impression of me. I think I still believe people will see an anxious introvert first and foremost, even though these qualities actually stay in the background a lot of the time now.
Friends are everything
The new people I’ve met at uni, and the people who I knew from before, have all been a great support network for me this year. I’m not sure where I’d be without them.
Processing emotions takes time
…but music and chatting to others helps. How I feel about certain things shifts as the weeks march forwards and that is okay. Emotions are not static and neither is the processing of them.
A change of location creates a change of mindset
I think this is why I value travelling so much. Being in different countries surrounded by different cultures and sights and sounds and smells really helps to shift perspective.
Staying in one place is hard for me
…evidently, based on the amount of globetrotting I’ve fitted around my academic and work commitments this year. I think because I find it so helpful to have a change of scenery I rely on this too much; it would be helpful to be able to change my attitude towards things more easily without having to cross a border.
Getting involved wherever you are is important
Throwing myself into experiences no matter the location is something I’ve tentatively stepped into this year but am determined to get better at. Whether that’s societies at university or talking to people abroad, connecting with others is such a powerful thing.
I’m proud of how far I’ve come
Even though several of these ‘lessons’ include the sentiment that I want to do more of whatever it is, I’m proud of myself for the progress I’ve made in the 2018-19 academic year. I have realised that I can still achieve great things even when I’m at rock bottom and that my potential for personal development is huge. I’m proud of that.
So how does this compare to last year?
Last year, a lot of the things I learnt seemed to focus on accepting uncertainty in my life and creating a greater space for considering my mental health. This year I have built on these things, feeling more confident in myself and finding more clarity in relation to what I want out of life. Interestingly, both posts end with the same point – pride. I wonder what the next year has in store?
What’s one lesson you’ve learnt over the past 12 months?
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