I cannot believe that tomorrow it will no longer be 2015. This year feels like it's flown by! It's been a very tough year for me with my depression and anxiety being at an all time high, but because of this all of the events of past twelve months feel to me like such big accommplishments and I wanted to bring them all together in one post to help me remember that I am a strong person, no matter how bad I feel sometimes, and that it's important for me to focus on all of the positive things in my life instead of the negativity that invisible illness can bring with it. I hope you all enjoying reading this post. Happy New Year for tomorrow :)
♥ Manchester Comic Con ♥
Going to my first ever Comic Con event in July was definitely one of the greatest times of the year for me. I've forever been fascinated by cosplay, and the idea of transforming yourself into one of your favourite characters for a day. I am always amazed by the creativity and amount of effort that goes into designing and handmaking the costumes and all of the accessories, especially huge elaborate weapons. I'm a big kid! I'm like the girl equivalent of Peter Pan and I love fancy dress! Up until Comic Con I'd only dressed up for themed nights out at uni so it was an awesome experience. I loved being surrounded by so many people with similar interests and it was kind of surreal seeing robots and other fantastic characters from movies, comics and anime/manga walking past me. Plus, all of the stalls there were just great. I spent alot of money and came home very happy. I challenged myself to go to a place that I knew would be heaving with people and was proud of myself. I cannot wait for next year.
♥ Awesome university memories ♥
I didn't go out as much as I did in my 1st & 2nd years of uni because with it being my final year, I had a massive amount of work to complete, including the dreaded dissertation. I did still go on a few fantastic nights out and had lots of fun! We have a bar on my campus that organised themed events for special occassions of the year. Every Valentine's Day, they host an event called 'Kinky Brack' which was great as usual, and I also went to a 'Cops & Robbers' event. Some of my best memories spent with my friends drinking and having a good laugh was at my friend's birthday party in January. We ordered chinese takeaway and had a flat party; I had a fabulous time. I love a good night out, but I realised how much I prefered parties in the comfort of my own flat. The highlights of my third year are all of the little things that I really miss now that I've graduated, such as sitting in the kitchen with my flatmates and chatting about so many different things, playing playstation games and watching TV shows together. I really miss that there was always someone to chat to, even in the early hours of morning. I'm a natural night owl who also happens to have a lot of sleeping problems so it was fantastic to have something to do at night. Me and my friends often stayed in the library on campus until 2am writing our dissertations #topstudents. At the end of the academic year once our dissertations had been handed in, we had some BBQs which were great and I had lots of time to go walking with my camera in hand. Summer Ball was amazing. The huge white gazebo they set up on campus was so pretty inside and everyone looked great in their suites and dresses. Such a brilliant way to end university.
♥ Completing my dissertation ♥
I was so proud of myself the moment I received three professionally binded copies of my completed dissertation standing in a small printing shop in Newark, Nottingham with my friends. It was such a relief to have finally finished it as it symbolised all the hard work I'd put into my entire degree for the last three years. It caused months of crying episodes, almost emotional breakdowns and sleepless nights to get it finished and it felt great to look at the 10,000 words I managed to pull from my brain, whilst struggling to write all the assignments for my other modules. To anyone else who is currently writing or is about to write their own dissertation, keep up the hard work and try not to stress too much over it :) it will all be worth it in the end. Good luck!
♥ Nature Photography ♥
One of my hobbies is taking photographs of beautiful things I see outside: flowers, birds, insects, trees, I love the natural world. It's gorgeous and I enjoy capturing moments when I see something beautiful so I can remember it forever. This year, I didn't go out as much as I used to and I had no motivation to do things, but I tried really hard to go on walks whenever I could and take photos to remind myself no matter how much I get disheartened with the world, there is so much beauty in it. I was really over the moon when I managed to get a photo of a Peregrine Falcon sitting on top of the accommodation building across from mine, and a photograph of an orange-tip butterfly with it's wings open which I was a challenge for me being short (I'm 5''2 haha) and it being on top of a tall bush.
♥ Cats the Musical ♥
I have been a huge fan of this musical since I was around 7 years old and it kickstarted my love of all musicals. I was so thrilled that I finally got the opportunity to see it in July this year at the Blackpool Opera House. It was absolutely AMAZING! Fantastic stage design, fabulous costumes, exceptional make-up and breathtaking voices! I managed to get some great seats on the right side of the room... the people who were supposed to sit in the front row didn't turn up and since we were in the second row that meant we were then at the front! Our seats were situated in front of the steps leading onto the stage so the cast would walk right by us, which was also amazing because I was on the end of the row so constantly got interacted with. I was pawed on the arm by many cats that night! haha It was my best friend's first musical so it was great that I was able to share that experience with her. I will be going back to see it again without a doubt if they come back to Blackpool or Manchester.
♥ Welcomed a new nephew! ♥
My adorable nephew Steven was born in April this year :) I now have 2 nieces & 2 nephews.
♥ Final year of university & Graduation ♥
Getting to the end of university was my biggest achievement of the year. I was so proud of myself that I'd managed to stay strong and stick it out for three years. I'm a determined person and when I put my mind to something I don't easily give up, but it was such a difficult year and to be honest the whole experience was challenging. As soon as I started university, I also started experiencing the symptoms of chronic illness. I'd had problems all my life leading up to this point but after dealing with depression for almost 2 years before I went to university, it had really taken it's toll on my body and it was impossible to ignore the changes to my health. As a result of the pain and problems caused by IBS and Fibromyalgia, I developed anxiety and over the last three years all of it has gotten worse and worse. This last year, dealing with depression and anxiety has been so tiring, frustrating and emotionally draining and it took all of my strength to do my uni work and revise for my exam but I DID IT! I'll never forget my time at university... I met so many wonderful people, had great fun and was really glad that I moved to somewhere 3 hours away from my hometown despite how terrified I was! The campus I chose was beautiful and I saw so much wildlife whilst studying there, including Great Crested Newts!
Since I was young I wanted to go to university, to prove to myself that I could do it. Throughout high school and college, I was knocked back everytime I tried to work towards getting onto a science degree; my school wouldn't let me take higher science GCSE papers because I wasn't very good at Maths and the local college wouldn't let me take science subjects for AS Levels but I worked around it and ignored people who told me I couldnt do it. I now have a Bachelor of Honours Degree in Zoo Biology, and it makes me feel like sticking my middle finger up to them all and saying look what I did! I'm also glad that I'm a girl who I studied a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) subject and will one day hopefully get a job in my field #girlgang
♥ Starting my blog ♥
I started my blog on 10th September this year with my first post about why I love Autumn. I'm so glad that I decided to just go for it and make a blog. I'd been considering it for a few years and I thought it would be great for me to start as soon as I left uni to give me something to do. I knew that I wouldn't be able to think about working for a while because I'd need to work towards recovery and needed something to keep me occupied at home and to help me focus on all the things that make me happy. I can't believe this will be my 75th post! Blogging has helped me a lot so far. I've met so many lovely people and I appreciate so much that you all take the time to read about my life. I love the amount of support in the blogging world and how open people are about their struggles with mental and physical health. Reading about the experiences of others has been really beneficial for me. Thankyou everyone ♥
Overall, 2015 has been a year of up's and down's. I've had lots of fun times and made some fantastic memories, however it has been a hard year and I hope that 2016 is better!
What is your favourite memory from this year?