Today I turn 22, its my first birthday without seeing my family, and my last in Bangor. My age is by all means absolutely hilarious because I still get ID’d for paracetamol and energy drink. But, heres a somewhat personal post, mainly for myself to reflect back on this time next year and see how far I’ve come- sorry science-y folk no science here today!
My 21st year around the sun has been a beautiful one, especially in comparison to my 20th. This time last year, having had a battle with my mental health, I told myself I was going to do everything I could to make my 21st year a better one. In doing so I: broke up with someone who made me unhappy, I got rid of friends who made me feel awful about myself and worked my arse off at university.
I successfully gained an internship with my university and got microplastics experience, and I travelled to Virginia to undertake a field course through my university at VIMS. I met some absolutely wonderful people who’ve kept me sane these past few months, and I got closer to people I only knew in passing. I passed my driving test (2nd time around. Oops!) and got offered a place to do the MRes Marine Biology degree at Plymouth university, where one of my marine biology idols is based.
21 has been absolutely wonderful, and despite the university stress and the occasional relapse of bad mental health, I wouldn’t change this past year for anything. 21 is going to be a tough year to beat, but 22 is going to be such a big year, graduation is in sight! Followed by interrailing and starting a masters degree!
The last few years have gone by ridiculously fast. So, I’ve decided to do a ‘30 things to do before I’m 30’ list (If you haven’t noticed yet- I like making lists!)
30 before 30
- Do a masters
- Get a PhD
- Publish a paper
- Reach all dive qualifications to Divemaster
- Become fluent in Spanish (Or at least be able to hold a conversation)
- Write an article for national geographic
- Visit Italy
- Observe the hammerhead migration in the Galapagos
- Travel Australia (And find a sea dragon)
- Hike New Zealand (And visit Hobbiton!)
- See the Northern Lights
- Go to Scotland
- Host a dinner party (And be the one who cooks it all!)
- Learn how to use photoshop
- Learn to ballroom dance
- See a cirque du soleil show
- Camp on a beach
- Volunteer with the homeless on Christmas Day
- Do the 3 peaks challenge in less than 48 hours!
- Run a marathon
- Take a yoga class
- Try an extreme sport
- Learn to climb
- Learn photography techniques and invest in a new camera
- Buy a car
- Have a deposit saved for a house
- Start the book you’re been going on about writing since you were 12
- Help someone fulfil a dream
- Donate blood at least once
- Keep my blog going
Some of these are achievable, and some might not be, but I’m determined to do as many as possible over the next 8 years. The hardest thing was picking 30 and trying to stay realistic but also true to myself. I wanted to put about my desire to have a house and be married by 30, or to visit the Masai Mara, or Hawaii or see a tiger in the wild. But sadly money is the biggest restriction of dreams, and my list is slightly limited. Its here for the world to see, and as a reminder to myself to stick to it.
Truthfully, I still feel like I don’t live enough and spend a lot of time in my anxiety ridden brain, but I’ve come on miles from where I was. Time to start living in the present and stop worrying about the future so much because the world is my oyster.
So… heres to a wonderful 22nd year around the sun and the start of my 30 before 30. Feeling incredibly grateful for everything in my life right now.
Until next time,
(Just a few pictures of my 21st year below)