Last year was definitely the year of realizing stuff. I’ve been trying to draft this post for a couple of weeks, playing with different ideas, but I really want to open up about my year. From my Instagram account, it looks like I had a beautiful year. What was beautiful about it wasn’t the capture of perfect moments, but what I learned.
Let’s start with the beginning of 2016. I was in a really rough place in my academic and work lives, and I was very anxious and unhappy with my situation. My only outlet at the time was blogging, so I channeled my anxiety into that. I got an amazing opportunity to attend the Celebration of Harry Potter Social Media Meet-Up at Universal Studios Orlando (feel free to read my recap if you haven’t), and it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Spring Break came around in March and once again, I had an amazing time in Washington, D.C. Once I went back to school and work, I fell back into my rut. Spring 2016 semester was honestly just not my thing. Upon my twenty-third birthday in April, I did some reflecting. My anxiety was at an all time high and I realized I needed to stop fighting the universe and seek help. Seeking help ended up being one of the greatest things I have ever done for myself. I’ll open up more about my anxiety when I’m ready, but getting help was the turning point of my year.
April ended up being a great month; I got to meet Iggy Azalea (who’s a total sweetheart), completed my first blog collaborations with boutiques, had an amazing birthday celebration, and accepted an even better summer job position.
Since April was the turning point of my year, I decided to make some major decisions in May. For the first time, I didn’t take any summer classes. Did I need to raise my GPA at the moment? Absolutely, but there was a voice in my head telling me to take a break. I threw myself into my summer job, which I loved, and gathered inspiration and motivation. I delved into the “studyblr” community on Tumblr and found study methods that worked for me. Ultimately, I was refreshed and a lot less anxious than I was during the first half of the year.
My resolution to stop fighting the universe led me to go on adventures around Florida, explore animal and environmental science, and enjoy each day as it was. I made so many new friendships and learned about myself as an individual. I had renewed confidence in both my blog and my education. At the end of the summer, I had been one of the few chosen to host a Back to School party sponsored by Teen Vogue. This sounds cheesy, but it was honestly the best way to start my school year, because everything turned around for me at that point.
The studyblr inspiration that I gathered served as motivation for me to ace my classes, and I started receiving grades I had only dreamed of. My work ethic was on par with what it was in high school, and I was able to reap the almost immediate rewards of my hard work. I made connections with local Orlando bloggers who have the same values as I do, which is so important to me, because I’ve always been nervous to put myself out there as a blogger in the community.
I left my part-time job of a year and a half to work a job that would allow me to focus more on school and blogging, and it was another one of the best decisions I made all year. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, especially when it came to talking to my managers, but I had to do what I had to do to stay sane. In the end, everything worked out, and I ended up wrapping up the year on an incredible note: I got to work with Millie Bobby Brown of Stranger Things a month into my new job, I met all of my academic goals, and to top it all off, I landed a collaboration with Coach, one of my favorite designers.
2016 was a trying year for everyone, but I am so glad to have made the best decisions for myself. Here’s my advice to you: don’t be afraid to change if it will make you better. Always invest in yourself, and if you’re not satisfied with something, change it. Not every year will be incredible, but there is something incredible in every year. Most importantly, take care of yourself. Your health (physical and mental) truly come before everything else.
This year, I plan on implementing a bunch of new things on my blog and in my personal life. I want to be more of an open book, with the rest still unwritten, for all of you to read.
And don’t worry! You didn’t click on this post for no reason. I’ll leave you with the outfit deets.
Top: Missguided (old, similar here)
Skirt: ASOS (old, similar here)
Boots: Marc Fisher LTD Alisa Mid Shaft Bootie
Cardigan: BDG Parker Cardigan from Urban Outfitters
Bag: c/o Coach
I wish you all nothing but the best this year!