2018 seemed to last forever but fly by all at the same time. For me, this year was full of change and uncertainty. 2018 started with immense stress trying to submit the first draft of my thesis, I will never forget how tough that was. The next few months are a blur of finishing my Final Year Project, getting snow randomly in March thanks to Storm Ophelia and generally feeling very lost.

I've always been a planner, ever since I was a child. I would plan my outfits for the next day, plan what dinners I would have that week, plan my whole life out really. My plan was always, do well in school to get into university, do well in university and get a great job and the rest would fall into place. What I didn't account for however is that my mind would change about what I wanted and I never in a million years thought that I wouldn't have a plan for after college. So come April/May when I was finishing up with college and had no plan what so ever, it really REALLY threw me.

I like to think of myself as a glass half full kinda gal, I always try to find the silver lining and truly believe that everything will work out in the end. While I believe that everything will work out, the inbetween moments of doubt crippled me. In June myself and James headed away to America to go to Disneyland and Universal Studios, my dream holiday. I had saved up for a full year to be able to afford to travel after I finished college. A gift from me to me, for all the hard work over the previous five years. It was the most amazing holiday and I will never forget it! But when I came home, I had to face reality. I no longer had a plan, all throughout my life, my years, months and weeks were set out according to the academic calendar, every September I would be starting back at school/college, every December I would get a few weeks off for Christmas and every May/June I would have a few months off before it started all over again. But this time it was different, come September I knew I wouldn't have that routine anymore and I didn't have anything to replace it. I had a part time job but with so little hours, it would never have even covered the rent.

I thought life after college would resemble something from the movies where I would wear a fancy shirt and a long pencil skirt, go to a million job interviews and land my dream job. The reality was a greasy hunbun, pajamas all day everyday and wallowing in self doubt. After a few days of lazing around, I started applying to jobs and as luck would have it I got called for two interviews within a week, both scheduled for the same day! I headed up to Dublin for the first one, I was so nervous I could of been sick. I wanted the job so badly and to be honest, I thought I would have been perfect. But unfortunately nerves got the better of me and I make a complete balls of the interview. My mind went blank and that opportunity had been lost. I was completely devastated. I got the train home and prepped myself for the second interview, this one was over the phone so I felt a bit more comfortable. At that point I thought to myself, well it surely can't go as badly as the first one so let's just give it a go. And sure enough, it actually went really well. Within a day or two I got the job - YAY!!!

Even though I now had the beginnings of a plan, it was only a three month internship and I knew I would have to figure something more long-term out, but this bought me time. Getting this internship is definitely the highlight of my year, it has opened so many doors to me and I have learned so much! It also helped me focus on what industry I wanted to work in and start to help me carve my way into it. By August another opportunity came up, a chance to explore event management for a month too. I was able to extend my internship and go to Dublin for a month to learn.

The long term plan was that I would secure a full time position after my three (now four) month internship was complete. That unfortunately fell through. I was heartbroken if I'm honest. I was back to square one with no plan and all of my savings had been spent. This time though I had more experience on my side and I had learned a lot, mostly about myself.

In November I decided to take on some freelance work until I got a full time position somewhere. I did not expect what happened next. Due to the contacts I had made at the internship, I was booked out with work, in fact since starting my own business I have been so lucky to be fully booked and I have even had to turn away work. I am so grateful.

There was lots of days in between all of the above that I want to remember like my graduation day, going to Indiependence with my friends, booking a trip to America for next year, my birthday, many nights out and lots more, but if I'm honest grad life took over this year and was the biggest thing in my life. I know this may sound strange but I really feel like I've grown up so much this year, I'm much stronger than I ever was, I'm much more confident and I'm much more chilled out about not being able to plan every single detail of my life.

I'm actually immensely proud of myself and all that I've overcome this year! At one point I thought 2018 was very grey, not great, not bad just...grey. But looking back now, I can see that I've changed a lot over the past 12 months, I've adapted and I'm a better person for it. I have no idea what is in store for 2019 and I'm actually ok with that.

Oh also, did I mention we repealed the 8th? Definitely one of the most important, historical and monumental things that has happened this year!

Erin X
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