19 thoughts before 19

Tomorrow is my 19th birthday and I am so excited to spend time with some very special people. This has been a challenging year, I passed my A-levels, I started and got through 2 semesters at University, I had amazing achievements I never imagined having and struggled in ways I haven't before. I wanted to pause before the 'big day' and reflect on 19 lessons I've learnt from being 18 and some resolutions for the year ahead. 

1. God is good. 
Over the past year I feel like I've been on a bit of a journey and I've really had to rely on God. I'm still learning to trust in Him but I'm loving the journey. 

2. Uni is hard work, but I can do it. 
If any uni student tells you that "first year doesn't count" then I want you to shower them in revision notes and walk away. Your first year might not count towards your grades, but depending on your course there will be important foundational work that you just have to stay on top of. 

3. Time off is important too. 
I've been getting better at timing projects. Which has allowed more time for socialising and just resting. I've been drawing again and it's so relaxing. 

4. Friends love you for who you are. 
Growing up there can be a lot of pressure to worry about your appearance, or what things you like, or any manner of things. In my last year of college I just got fed up of worrying. So I started by ignoring the side-looks or snide comments that people sometimes make and I embarked on a mission of positivity. And it's been so liberating. I have friends who love me for who I am and I love them. 

5. Immerse yourself in new cultures. 
Things are different in a new city and really getting into the city can be so rewarding. Not only that but meeting people from different countries and cultures is fun and I love learning about their homes!

6. Relationships are hard but so rewarding. 
Me and the boyfriend have been together for over a year now and we have learnt a lot together. We've learnt how to cope with starting a long distance relationship and then moving even further away to uni- practically the other side of the country to each other. He's taught me a lot about myself and he's been there for me through some really tough times. But best of all, he makes me smile every day. And that is so important. 

7. Say yes more. 
One of my New Year's Resolutions was to say yes more, even if it meant stepping out of my comfort zone a little bit. It's only been a few months but I've been making more of an effort to step out and I've made some really cherished memories! It's so worth it. 

8. Make time to bake. 
College students, I have one piece of advice for making friends with your flatmates. BAKE.
Baking gets you friends, it makes you a treasured member of the flat. At uni- food is life. And anything you can offer in the way of sugary treats will be hugely valued. Not only that, but baking is fun. It's relaxing. It's a creative form of procrastination that no-one can really blame you for- not if they get to have some of your freshly baked goodies! 

9. I want to write more. 
The funny thing about doing a writing degree is that by the time you get home in the evening, sometimes you just do not want to write. I'm trying to break through that and write. Not just articles, but stories and poems, little things that make me happy. 

10. Sending and receiving letters is gold. 
When at uni it can be really hard to balance you home life with your uni life, especially when you live so far away and your schedules just don't always align. My family send me the occasional little letter or package with treats and drawings and they never fail to make my week. People say that the art of writing a letter has been lost. I don't believe that. I just think that technology has made receiving letters so much more special. 

11. Maybe exercise isn't as evil as I thought
At Uni I've been more dedicated to staying healthy. I've started jogging, once a week if I can and the strange thing is that jogging improves my mood. It might be hard work and leave me sore for the rest of the week but it's something I really look forward to doing. 

12. Don't be afraid to give it a try. 
Over the past few months I have tried swing dance, salsa dancing, radio presenting and production, design, sign language, Arabic food, Japanese sweets and learnt a variety of quirky facts from it all. 

13. I learnt shorthand. 
 I have worked so hard to get my shorthand speed and in March I passed my 80 words a minute. Doing this might seem like a little triumph (to blessed people who don't know the bitter-sweet pain of shorthand) but to me it feels like I'm setting my dream in concrete, like some day I can actually be a journalist. For an example look here

14. Make time for your family. 
A quick phone call here, a skype call there can make the world of difference to how you're feeling. And if you're feeling down- tell them and they can help. 

15. Asking for help is a good thing. 
I can get anxious and it can get on top of me and make things hard. I've been learning that there is nothing wrong with asking for help. Those that love you will stand by you. 

16. Phone calls are invaluable. 
When you're missing someone, hearing their voice can work wonders. If you can't afford calls then look up some apps, like LINE where you can make free calls. It feels like they are a part of your day-to-day life and can lessen the pain of distance. 

17. Smile!
It's so beautiful to see people smiling, I'm trying to smile more!

18. Say hello. 
Ayah, my crazy friend, says hello to everyone and I'm trying to take a leaf out of her book and not be afraid to just chat to people. It's fun and you meet some great people!

19. Keep moving forward. 
I want to keep setting goals and resolutions. Not to be strict and goals-focused, but so that I can keep improving and growing and seeing more of the world. Never stop learning. 

If you survived that really long post then congratulations and thank you! I hope that gave you a little insight into what my life has been like in the past few months. 
Hope you are all well and have a lovely Easter. 

Love, Kimmy x


Kate said...

Happy birthday! I hope you've had a wonderful day. I really enjoyed reading this post, sounds like you're having a fab time at uni, and had a great year. I'm totally going to start baking more now (and will probably have to start jogging because of my massive cake intake!) xx

Kimmy said...

Thank you so much!! Hahaha thanks, I know it's a massive post but I wanted to get it all out! Hahaha I can offer some advice if you need it for jogging! xx