It’s pretty crazy that as I’m writing this post, I turn 18 tomorrow. That means adult responsibilities, one step closer to living on my own, more independence and starting to live my life how I want with the help of my parents keeping my life on track, of course.
It honestly feels like only yesterday I turned 17. How my years of childhood have flown by. However, I’m excited and overwhelmed for this new chapter in my life, and I’m thankful for everything I’ve learnt over this past year.
1. Exam stress does exist
The saddest part about being 17 is probably that I spent my whole year revising the hell out of my A Level subjects. Sat in a classroom learning about Karl Marx and English poets could’ve gone better. I work myself up so much over exams. If something doesn’t go in, I get frustrated and begin to blame myself… and exam stress leads to becoming ill. Due to this, I was still up at 2am in the morning before my last A Level exam in Sociology throwing up. Note to self: Don’t pressure yourself so much Becca- everything works out how it’s meant to in the end.
2. Cut out toxic people
I hate to break it to myself, but there are such thing as toxic people and I have experienced them. You know the kind of people that continuously put you down and aren’t concerned with your well-being at all? The sort in which you give everything to them, and they pay you a pittance back? Yeah. Thankfully they’re pretty much gone from my life now and I’m a thousand times happier. Well done me.
3. College will be the best time of your life
Wow. Never in a million years did I ever imagine I would say this. I have learnt this year, that college was the most empowering and happiest time of my life. I met my bestest friend through college and learnt some of life’s most important life lessons through college this year. Maybe hard work does have some positive aspects too. *cough* I’m going to miss college and the people *cough*
4. I can actually be loved
Quite ironic how this time last year I was so down over how I was ‘unlovable,’ and completely baffled by the concept of ever being loved by someone, never mind ever being in a relationship. I remember being sat with my friends last year so bogged down over myself, my low self esteem and how I would be single all my life (we all have these moments, but I literally thought I was unlovable). However, I had my first relationship while I was 17, pretty crazy huh? Turns out I’m not completely worthless to everyone as much as I thought a year ago.
5. Confidence is friggen amazing
HEY SO HALF WAY INTO BEING 17 I FOUND THE FEELING OF CONFIDENCE AND EMPOWERMENT. I never understood how people could stand there and admit they were confident in themselves and their body. It really baffled me. But I found that self love and acceptance works wonders. I’ve learnt to embrace my flaws and just accept myself (and write a thousand blog posts on self love and empowerment, but you get the gist).
6. Break-ups suck
With my first relationship came my first break up- but that’s the way of life. It was only a month or so ago, that I admitted to my friend that no one can prepare you for a break up and how surprisingly stressful and mentally draining it can be. My key to it was keeping myself busy and not staying in the house… and it worked wonders. But with that came stress, there’s only so much you can do in 3 weeks without it getting boring. But time heals. You get over it. You end up doing better things, and concentrating on yourself first and foremost. Break ups may suck, but maybe it was a blessing in disguise. Without it, I probably wouldn’t have my blog or be this happy. Like I say, everything works out in the end.
7. People actually hate equality
I educated myself a lot on the concept of Feminism whilst being 17. Even though I’ve labelled myself as Feminist for about 2 or so years now, it’s only been over the past year that I’ve really spoken up regarding inequality. I have been slated shall you say for being a Feminist, and it is quite upsetting and irritating more than anything. How can you hate someone for literally just wanting gender equality???? THAT. IS. IT.
8. How happy it can make someone reminding them of their beauty
Ok so I get it. I used to think it was pretty ‘weird’ to tell someone how beautiful they actually are. I mean, it must be one of the most cliche and overused phrases going. Nevertheless, I realised that we live in a world with people of all ages and genders who are so insecure and it genuinely upsets me. Over Christmas season last year, I decided to compliment one person a day and their reactions made me so happy. I may make that an 18 tradition too…
9. Who I am
I was a bit late learning this whilst I was 17. I spent the majority of being 17 completely baffled as to who I am, what my purpose is in this world, and if I even am a worthy enough person. I have slowly began to realise that the only person I should please is myself. I’m happy and confident in the person I’m turning into- and finally think I am ‘kind or compassionate enough.’ It’s sad how much I put myself down and how much pressure I put myself under to be ‘good enough’ for everyone. But I’m me, and I’m not gonna change (that dramatically anyway!)
10. Friends can be the best part of life
Over the past year, I have grown to cherish friendships. Good friendships with people who genuinely care about you are hard to find; but when they do come into your life, it’s one of the best feelings. I have recently vowed to myself that I will continue to meet new people, and make new friends. Being surrounded by positive, and utterly inspiring people fills my heart with such gratitude- and I couldn’t be happier with the group od friends that surround me right now.
11. How to be a good person and that it is possible to forgive
Maybe this isn’t one of the best things I’ve learnt whilst being 17 because sometimes I end up pressuring myself when I’m not as kind and compassionate as I would like to be, but it’s still an important lesson I’ve learnt nevertheless. It’s pretty crazy how many times I’ve decided to forgive people whilst being 17, and surprisingly I don’t regret any of the times I ended up forgiving others. At the end of the day, it has helped to shape my life today- and I wouldn’t have many of the happy memories if it wasn’t for me forgiving.
12. Developed my passion for music
I have always been a huge lover of music, regardless of the genre. I think it’s so beautiful how relatable music is- and even how amazing the production can be in some songs. When I say I love music and I’m so passionate about music and the industry that surrounds it, I really do mean it. Whilst being 17, I recently stumbled across some of my most favourite music artists to date; from Melanie Martinez and Halsey to Macklemore and The Weeknd. I really am such a music enthusiast.
13. My personal ‘therapy’
This is one of the most important things I’ve learnt whilst I’ve been 17. Even a few months ago, I didn’t have a ‘therapy’ for when I felt down or felt like the whole world was literally on top of me. It’s pretty scary getting in that frame of mind, and I have finally found my therapy which can help that- words. I recently did a blog post on the healing of words which illustrates this point perfectly. Whether it’s writing poetry, scribbling down my thoughts in my notebook, or even writing a blog post; words have really helped me heal over the past few months and that’s pretty surreal.
14. To just be myself
I think I am the worst person when it comes to being worried about people hating me or judging me. I constantly worry over people judging everything I do. People thinking I’m “too this” or “too that.” That I shouldn’t do this or that and it can get really draining. I have slowly began to realise that who cares? These judgement are coming from people who barely know me, who barely make the effort to know me, and who are judging me based on false or inaccurate evidence. I know who I am and I’m happy in who I am. You either like that about me, or you lump it. Cut me some slack people.
15. How ‘in touch’ I am with the world
I don’t think even I really understood my view of the world before this past year. I never understood my own views on things. I have now realised that I have my eyes so open to th world around me. Whether that’s understanding people’s intentions, or admiring nature; I’m pretty awake when it comes to this world.
16. Blogging friends are pretty cool
Okay, so I may be kinda new to the whole blogging idea and the blogging community. However, I’ve made friends with an amazing bunch of girls within such a tight community. You can check out our joint Twitter account here! #GRLPOWR
17. And finally, life is pretty amazing
Being 17 has been a whirlwind for me. I’ve made friends, lost contact with some friends, and met new people. I’ve discovered new amazing things about myself that I never knew existed. I’ve opened my eyes to the world and the amazing people that can come with it. I’ve looked after myself, and not let anxiety define me. I’ve battled, and I’ve got through things. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been in my life right now and I am so unbelievably confident and empowered. Roll on turning 18 and everything that comes with it!
Love and happiness always,
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