One Year Older: Time for Reflection (Part 2) | Lifestyle

Hi everyone, earlier this week I decided to post quite a lengthy blog on my experiences this past year before I turn one year older. Due to the length of the post, I decided to split it into two parts to make it much more engaging for the both of us! – These posts are more personal and I have chosen to create them to format a diary-like section for my blog that I can look back on in the future, but if you enjoy them in the process, then that is even better!

Leeds, UK
Leeds, UK

Part 1 focused on me turning 18, my A-Level exams, what I got up to during the summer and also the start of university. I made reference to the different individuals and groups that have really been a part of my life this past year and this post will include more names that have really shaped my year, so don’t threat if you weren’t mentioned in the last one *cough* Michael *cough*, because there are lots more to get through.

I ended my first post talking about the people I had met at university and also my experience as a fresher, and for a while it was just nights-out after nights-out in the student venues, so I will spare all the boring details and move onto the academic side of university. – I will probably end up doing a whole other blog post about university but, in brief, my experience started off very positive.. I had made so many new friends that I could easily speak to and I felt like the course was right up my street, all alongside me having a brand new job that I was enjoying.. so why did I end up leaving? – To put it short, my love for the course started to dwindle and the lack of support I felt at my university just made me feel really unmotivated. From doing a marketing course, I felt like I was going to be doing much more practical work when in reality I was hammering the theory but not putting it into practice.. But, I will discuss this further on in the post!

After having a great first term, it was time to enjoy a well-deserved month off for Christmas and celebrated it by going down to my sister’s house in Leicester over the festive period! Although I had to get some revision done for my mock exams in January, it was nice to have a little break away from university and spend it with the family, especially because I don’t see my older sister that much anymore! It was also around Christmas when I decided to hand my notice in at Starbucks to concentrate more on my exams and enjoying my first year!

Me & My Mum - Leicester, UK - 25th December 2017
Me & My Mum – Leicester, UK – 25th December 2017

After completing my exams in January, it was just back to the routine of going in for lectures and coming back to my flat and writing notes for them.. I felt like I was becoming involved in a vicious cycle and my mood in regards to university was constantly dropping. I felt like the only thing keeping me going were my friends, the social events that we all went to, and the fact that if I was to drop out of university I would lose the independence that I had gained from living by myself!

Me & My Friend Lucy - Leeds Bierkeller, Leeds - 5th February 2018
Me & My Friend Lucy – Leeds Bierkeller, Leeds – 5th February 2018
5 out of the 8 Kevs Angels - Leeds, UK - 1st February
5 out of the 8 Kevs Angels – Leeds, UK – 1st February
LUBS After Party with Megan and Nat - Backroom, Leeds - 11th March
LUBS After Party with Megan and Nat – Backroom, Leeds – 11th March

After a few frustrating phone calls with my mum, my motivation at university continued to just drop.. I felt like for the £9250 a year I was paying, I was not getting what I wanted out of it, and once I said that, my parents knew I needed to leave because my heart wasn’t fully in it. I remember feeling constantly stressed about what I was going to do instead of university.. I felt trapped in denial and I was adamant that I would make university work, especially because I knew that the degree would put me in the right direction for the career I wanted to do, and also the fact that I had already signed for a house in January with 6 other friends for second year.. but deep down I knew I needed to leave.

I got my January exam results back at the end of February and I was so pleased with what I had achieved (apart from Economics but let’s not get into that :)), and with a 1st and a 2:1 in my other modules I felt motivated to carry on with university but again.. after a couple of weeks, the motivation had gone and instead of revising, I was looking at apprenticeships in digital marketing and digital media instead, and that’s when I stumbled across The Juice Academy thanks to our family friend Alex – I made a separate blog post about my experience at the boot camp for the academy if you are interested in reading about that!

The Juice Academy

Unfortunately, I was not offered a job at the academy at first which made me more frustrated and stressed about what I should do next! After writing the blog post about my experience at the Juice Academy, I was actually offered a position to be a video editor for one of the companies that attended the event, but due to not being passionate about this side of digital media I chose to decline the offer – I was hoping for copyediting or social media positions as they form the career that I wish to pursue in the future!

This then left me with the same issue as before – I was stuck in university when I did not want to be there. My parents were now telling me to continue with my studies and do the exams to finish first year, and although I could understand where they was coming from, I hadn’t even thought about making notes since March, never mind revising them and it was now late April! So with no passion anymore for my course I knew I had to leave and luckily I was offered a position back at my old job where I now do more hours and can now work towards saving up for a new car, as well as the funds to go travelling!

Even though I now had a plan as to what I was going to do after leaving university, I still had one problem and that was me still being on the tenancy for the house we was going to move into next year.. This was by far the hardest and most stressful part of leaving as finding someone who would get along with my friends and have similar interests became utterly difficult, however, we luckily found someone who fits into the group well and the change in tenancy could be finalised!

As you can probably, the first half of 2018 has been quite a stressful one for me, but since leaving university I have been so much happier, and I have been able to spend more time focusing on my blogging which I am hugely passionate about, as well as working towards achieving some of my own goals that I struggled to fulfill at university –  one being me and my best friend setting up our own YouTube channel where we could capture our best moments all in one place, discussing the topics we love the most!

Me and Tabie - Manchester, UK - 31st May 2018
Me and Tabie – Manchester, UK – 31st May 2018

So, as of June, I have been focusing much more on myself and giving myself a well-deserved break from education. I am working with different companies to build up experience in the digital marketing sector which has been thoroughly rewarding so far! I hope to return to the Juice Academy next April, making it one year since I last attended, and returning with better knowledge and more achievements that I can list off to the companies to help me bag my dream job in digital media!

We have finally approached the end of the year in reflection, and even though I have aged another year, I have definitely got so much out of this past year, and learnt from different mistakes and challenges that I have faced. I can now look forward to celebrating my birthday next week with my family and friends with no stress, and I can finally do what I want to do at my own pace for this next year, which honestly, I couldn’t be happier about!

To summarise, it’s probably clear that part 1 of this post was definitely a lot more positive (the summer months usually are), but as I write this on the 8th June, I am finally earning again, out of university and ready to enjoy a year working towards achieving a variety of goals to give me a bit of purpose again! I have definitely not regretted this past year even if it seems like it was a waste of time – I have met some of my closest friends at university and I can’t wait to see some of you next week for my 19th!

I guess this ends my post about this past year and the different experiences I have been through, but I would just like to thank everyone at university again for being absolute gems, especially Kevs Angels and the Business bunch (you guys know who you are), and I hope you have an airbed ready for when I come back up for your re-freshers next year!

Kevs Angels out in Force - Leeds, UK - 31st October 2017
Kevs Angels out in Force – Leeds, UK – 31st October 2017
Shaniece, Yasmin, Me, Meg and Georgia.. aka the Business Bunch - Revolution, Leeds - 18th April 2018
Shaniece, Yasmin, Me, Meg and Georgia.. aka the Business Bunch – Revolution, Leeds – 18th April 2018

Hope you all have a great day!

James x

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