So somehow I’m very quickly approaching my fourth and final year at university. Mildly terrifying. I don’t feel old enough to be finishing off university and have graduate job hunting on the horizon, but here we are. Back in July last year, for my third year of university, I undertook a placement year; being in a creative industry, placement years are great to enhance a CV so I jumped at the offer. Since July, I’m sure those closest to me will agree when I say that I have changed a lot, in a good way of course.
Looking back to July and the final months of second year I had a very different out look on life. I suffered very badly with my mental health, I was extremely fragile and emotional and I just had a very negative attitude and not much motivation. I struggled living away from my family, never really settled into my second year flat, along with the increased workload of second year and trying my best to still train as much as possible and have a social life; everything started to get a bit overwhelming. But low and behold, if we fast forward to now, I’m in the best place possible in every way, including my mental health; which feels amazing to say!
I think its safe to say that the biggest change has been that I’ve suddenly acquired this new found confidence. If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I was always the girl with no confidence, the insecure one and the only always putting herself down, which just isn’t healthy. Partly influenced by social media, but also by the fact I was always desperately unhappy with the way I looked and I just couldn’t figure out why I felt so naff about myself. I was always SO concerned about what other people thought of me, which really did hold me back in my first two years at university. This fear stopped me from making friends and socialising more.
I can’t quite pin point what it is that has changed over the past year, whether its been getting a taste of the real working world, meeting my boyfriend or forcing myself into situations which I know would make me anxious like going out drinking and meeting new people. As I pushed myself more and more to go out and do new things, be a bit more social and make more friends, I began to quickly realise that they don’t care what I look like! I could rock up to a social occasion with my friends with no-make up, dressed in a hoodie and they literally aren’t bothered. It finally clicked that I was just being silly and I needed to let go of this fear surrounding what others thought of me in order to be truly happy!
I guess this is kind of where my journey towards self love started which I do want to do a whole blog post about, because let me tell you it’s been one hell of a journey! As I take small steps, I’ve noticed big changes which as a result and I’ll be going into my fourth year of university with a new mindset and a new found confidence!
Something that I have found particularly important is surrounding yourself with the right people. The people who are friends with you for your personality, your odd traits and your sarcastic sense of humour. Not because I haven’t got concealer on that day. It’s made me more accepting of myself, I can confidently talk to new people without going bright red and panicking, I can go to work with no make up on and not have a care in the world.
The increase in confidence has changed my mindset and out look on life also. I’m no longer negative all the time, don’t get me wrong, I still have days where I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, but I’m no where near as volatile as I used to be! I run six times a week now because I enjoy it and no longer use it as a punishment. I see food as fuel which keeps me going and helps me achieve my goals, not as an enemy. I sleep better, drink enough water, take care of myself better, even treat myself to a bath once in a while; which at one point I wouldn’t even consider because I was so at war with the way I looked.
It might sounds silly, but this year I’ve really learnt about who I am. What I want from life. Who best to surround myself with. I’ve grown up more than university ever allowed me to do and this year away from eduction and instead in the working world has been more benifical to me then I ever could have imagined. Not only has it given me industry experience, but it’s also moulded me into the best version of myself!