16 things I learnt in 2016

On a personal level, 2016 has been a really enjoyable year, as well as one in which I have learnt a lot. For that reason, I thought it would be fun to give you an insight into some of the things that 2016 has taught me. Here they are...

1) Growing up isn't actually that scary. 2016 was the year in which I turned 18 and although I was excited about reaching adulthood, I also felt apprehensive about starting life as a mature, responsible "grown up". Three months down the line, I actually love being 18... believe it or not, there wasn't the sudden pressure to grow up that I thought there may be, although I do feel much more mature and respected than I did at 17. In fact, becoming an adult has actually given me the best of both worlds!

2) Your problems are miniscule. In 2016 it has been hard to ignore the awful occurrences going on across the world, with media outlets and the Internet bombarding us with horrific images of the people caught up in wars and terrorist attacks on an almost daily basis. Seeing the way innocent civilians are affected by the selfishness and pure evil of others is heart-breaking, but it also gives you a new perspective from which to look at your own life. The atrocities we've witnessed this year have made me much more grateful for my own situation, so much so that now when I feel stressed or worried or upset I look at the bigger picture and realise the insignificance of my own struggles compared to others' across the work.

3) Life is short. 2016 saw the much-publicised loss of many famous faces, from David Bowie and Prince to George Michael and Debbie Reynolds, to name but a few. Although I obviously didn't know any of these people personally, they did make a huge impact on the world and their deaths really reminded me how little time we have on this earth to make a difference, spurring me on to want to achieve as much as possible within my life and the potentially short time I may have on earth.

4) Hard work pays off. This year has been hugely significant for me, with one of the highlights being receiving offers from two of the universities I have applied for (hopefully I might receive some more in 2017!). This was a huge boost to my confidence and confirmed that working hard does pay off. I'll now continue striving hard to reach my goals as I believe that if you are willing to work for them, they can be achieved.

5) ... but don't work too hard. Yes, hard work does always pay off. That being said, it's also important to take a bit of time out to have fun and make memories that you'll remember your whole life. This year I've had some great times with friends and family from days out, theatre trips, parties, and holidays to Nice and Berlin.

6) Failure is part of life. In 2016 I began my last year of school, so academically there have been times when I've struggled or not achieved the grades that I've wanted to. Although this was infuriating and at times upsetting, it reminded me that, as Mick Jagger once said, "You can't always get what you want.", and sometimes you just need to pick yourself up and accept failure.

7) Everything will be OK in the end. This motto has been applicable to my life multiple times this year. Often I find myself worrying unnecessarily about little things - meeting new people, exams, giving speeches, the list is endless. However I realised in 2016 that, more often than not, these worries have been for nothing, as everything ended up OK. I'd therefore like to enter 2017 with a much more carefree attitude by reminding myself of this whenever I need to, particularly as I'll be facing some potentially scary situations this year like going to uni and living away from home for the first time.

8) Fake it till you make it. A cheesy saying I know, but as quite a shy person, I've had to tell myself this over and over in 2016 in order to make the most of some of the opportunities I've been given. I had a great week of work experience at a PR company back in July and got my first temporary job in November, brilliant experiences where I met some amazing people and had loads of fun. Had I not feigned confidence in these situations, I don't think my experiences would have been half as good. Although not everybody needs to be an extrovert, I learnt this year that sometimes it can be worth putting on a brave face in order to have a good time.

9) A smile is a powerful thing. Sometimes you can't help but feel a little shy, so often just giving a smile can be a way to get people to warm to you. This was a super important lesson I learnt this year which should stand me in good stead for the future.

10) Give compliments. You don't realise how happy they can make another person feel. So if you like someone's shirt or their makeup is on point, tell them!

11) Political decisions aren't the end of the world. 2016 has been a crazy year for politics. In fact it has been impossible to go a day without hearing the terms "Brexit" and "Trump". Although the political decisions we make can change our lives, both the run up to and the aftermath of these significant elections this year was characterised by a lot of panicking on social media and scaremongering within the press. I personally feel that from 2017 onwards we need to be less affected by other people's political views and stop letting them control our lives.

12) ... however it is important to develop an opinion on things. Having said we need to stress less about politics, I do think it is essential to get an opinion about things, regardless of what it is you believe. Be it about religion, vegetarianism, the death penalty or global warming, do develop a view and do use your voice to spread it!

13) Educate yourself. Whether you learn through reading, travelling or going to museums, you won't regret learning about new things. There is a wealth of information and facts available to us, so use it!

14) Accept change. As I've got older, I've repeatedly had to remind myself to be more accepting of change, as it is inevitable. However it's important to make the most of fresh starts and be optimistic, even if it seems like our whole lives are being turned upside down in the process!

15) Green tea isn't as bad as it looks. It might look bad, it might smell bad, but actually, there are some great benefits.

16) Make your bed in the morning. You won't regret it when you come home after a tiring day and don't have an extra chore to do!

Good luck for 2017 everybody!


  1. Yes to all of this! Your perspective is very wise. Green tea is a bit weird, there are only a few brands I actually like but other than that, most of them are so bitter.

    I need to get better at making my bed. I'm ashamed to admit I hardly ever make it!

    Hope you have a great 2017!


  2. Thanks Victoria. Have an amazing 2017!


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