OH HELLO, IT'S HANNAH

UK Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Turning Nineteen: How I've Changed & What I've Learnt In A Year

Ah, long time no blog! I can't believe it's been so long since I last wrote a post! I guess I've just been so busy catching up with friends, celebrating my birthday, working and actually getting out and enjoying the amazing weather the UK has been lucky enough to have. 

I thought I'd share with you what I got up to on my 19th birthday and where I am now compared to where I was when I turned 18. I have for sure grown as a person and learnt a few things on my way in the past year, so I thought this post would be a good one for me to look back on in months and years to come, as well a good one for you to enjoy too - hopefully.

On my birthday, I went kayaking with Aaron and two of our best friends, who also happen to be a couple. We hadn't spent time together as the four of us for months, so it was so nice to all do something together on my birthday. Then, Aaron and I went for a walk down the beach and ate some yummy nachos, which was then followed by a lovely meal and cocktails in the evening. The following day, my family got together for a BBQ, as it was actually my Nan's birthday a few days after mine, so it was a little joint celebration for us both. There's a cute photo above of Aaron and I from that day, and I love it. 

I received lots of lovely presents from my family and friends for my birthday, which I am so thankful for. I was going to do a post showing you all what I got, but there's so many random little bits that I can't fit them all into a nice blog post without me rambling on for ages. I think I'm going to dedicate individual posts to certain things I received so I can talk to my favourite things in more detail, so I hope you guys are happy with that.

So, onto how I've changed & what I've learnt in the past year...

My mental health has significantly improved.


May I add that the word 'significantly' should be especially emphasised here. Last year around the time of my 18th birthday, I was in a pretty bad place. My anxiety was all over the place and it was getting to the point where simply hanging out with my friends was causing me to throw up and have awful panic attacks. Now, I'm not saying that my anxiety has completely vanished now, as I have come to the realisation that it's always going to be a part of me and no counselling is ever going to cure me. I'm not saying that counselling isn't a cure for everyone, but for me, counselling is the foundation which then guides me to change my thought processes and also a temporary release when I'm going through a bad patch. But anyway, what I'm saying is, my anxiety is much more under control  nowadays and my panic attacks are limited, and I'm also doing things that make me a little nervous, but feeling the fear and doing it anyway, as Susan Jeffers says in her very famous book. And you know what, these things aren't that bad after all. 

I have a shopping problem.


Hah, story of my life. I don't know what it is, but in the past year I seem to have spent more than I used to. I've never got the point where I have absolutely zero dolla (and I don't plan on that) but sometimes I feel like I cut it a bit too fine for my personal liking. Sometimes I do impulse buy and get sucked into the latest trends and releases. At the end of the day I am aware that sometimes I do spend too much on things I perhaps don't need, and when times get tough I'm good and hold myself back. So, it could be worse, right...? I'm just a gal who loves her makeup and clothes, what can I say. 

I'm not as shy as I used to be about my blog.


My blog is always something I've kept relatively private from people I know, even from my family and close friends. In the past year, I've definitely opened up to my parents, Aaron and a few of my friends about my blog. My blog came in really handy at a job interview I had earlier this year, and it actually got me the job because they were so intrigued by the concept of blogging and thought my ideas would fit in with the job role. It's only a part time job, but I'm hoping my blog will also come in handy when I'm applying for placements when I go back to uni and also after I graduate and start a career. I'm proud of my blog and it feels great when people I know look at my blog and say it's really impressive, so I think I'll slowly be telling more and more people about it. 


Going to university was the best decision ever.


I definitely don't think I could have chosen a better course or uni for myself. They both suit me so well; my course is so diverse and covers so many interesting aspects of media, and plus my uni is close to home, so I'm a lot more comfortable and happy. I'm actually looking forward to seeing what all of my new units are going to be like this year, but I'm sure I won't be saying that when I'm drowning in assignments, haha. Uni has also given me the chance to meet the most amazing group of girls who I love and get on with so well. I can't wait to see them all again in September!


Clubbing isn't what the seventeen year old me quite imagined.


This has been my first full year of being legally allowed to go clubbing, so I've had the chance to see what it's really like now. When I was seventeen and a clubbing virgin (lol), I thought going out and partying would be the best thing since sliced bread and every night out would be better than the last one. But no, I think I was dreaming a bit too big there. Don't get me wrong, I love a night out and it is good fun, but only in small-ish doses. It's sweaty and hot, there's a fair few overly keen guys who try to dance right next to you and your friends and sometimes the music is a bit crap. But, I've come to learn that it's all part of the experience, and when I'm with the people I love, it's more than often a good laugh. Plus, going out is a great excuse to get all done up and buy something new and fancy to wear (now you understand my shopping problem)


I'm so lucky to be surrounded by amazing people.


A cliché thing to say, but oh so true. This year I have especially realised what people actually do for me. For example, I'm surrounded by my friends at uni who are adapting to living alone, whereas I'm still living at home, thus they make me realise how much my Mum still does for me. I'm so grateful for my Mum and I'm so glad that I can be at uni without having to be apart from her, as I honestly would miss her so much.  My boyfriend Aaron is another person that I truly appreciate and adore to bits. He's helped me so much in my journey to becoming more mentally well (in terms of my anxiety as I explained earlier) and he's just the bestest friend that I could ever ask for. I wouldn't be the person I am today without him.

If you're still reading, then thank you! Knew this would be a long one.

I don't feel much older since turning nineteen, my Mum always says it's going to be like that for the rest of my life, haha! But hey, I'm finally a part of the nineteen club - one more year until I hit my twenties! Oh god that doesn't sound right, haha. 

Have you learnt anything in particular about yourself as you've grown older?
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Monday, 1 August 2016

One Year Of Driving: My Thoughts, Goals & Advice

So, a year ago yesterday, on the 31st of July, I passed my driving test. It's been the quickest year of my life so far, so to think I've been on the roads alone with my full license for a whole year is pretty crazy. 

I thought I would take the opportunity to share my thoughts about my first year of driving, as well as some goals that I'd like to achieve in the future. I also thought I'd try and give a little bit of advice to anyone that's thinking about learning to drive or anyone that's freshly passed their test; I know a lot of people get nervous about driving, and don't worry, sometimes I still do - it's completely normal.

My first year of driving has all in all been positive. Of course I do have my bad days where all I want to do is get home, but that's totally normal (I think). It feels good to finally be a part of the driving clique. Days are gone where I have to ask for lifts constantly; the freedom and independence is great. I can pop up the shop, go out to see my friends or boyfriend, to uni, etc, whenever I want. I also finally understand the little things that drivers find both satisfying and frustrating, which were things that as a passenger, prior to learning to drive, I didn't often notice. Things like getting stuck at all of the red traffic lights and having to dawdle along behind someone doing 20 in a 30 zone are so annoying, whilst parking your car perfectly on the first go (which is pretty rare for me) and gliding through all of the green traffic lights, especially when you're running a bit late, is the best feeling.

My confidence has slowly built up over the past year, driving a car feels like second nature, but I still get a bit nervous about driving around places I'm not familiar with or particularly busy places, as well as long haul driving. So for this year I really want to try and improve my sense of direction and become more familiar with driving around places a little further out than my hometown.

I've still never been on a motorway alone, which some of you may find surprising, but this is something I want to try. My hometown isn't particularly near any motorways and I don't need to travel anywhere that I normally would day to day on a motorway, so it's not like I have completely avoided them. When Aaron is at uni, I get the coach down to see him instead of driving, as the thought of driving on my own for so long scares me and I don't really know exactly where I'm going either. To be able to drive to see Aaron would just be a dream, as I could visit him whenever I wanted and wouldn't have to rely on a coach that only departs once a day.

Another thing I would really like to improve is my parking. I always manage to park too far over to one side in a bay, it's so annoying and embarrassing. I'd love to be able to drive in a space and nail it on the first time, every time.

For people who are nervous about starting to drive, you're not alone. Going out on the roads is scary for the first few times and I did get anxious about it. But learning to drive was the best decision I ever made, and there's no way I could ever have not stuck with it. It's given me the independence and confidence I needed and wanted! My advice to you is to take it slowly, and maybe tell your instructor that you're a little nervous so they know to put you a bit more at ease. You're not going to get it right the first time every time and your instructor will always help you if you somehow find yourself in a tough situation. 

And for people that have freshly passed their tests, first off congratulations! If you're feeling a little apprehensive, try driving around your local area a few times on your own, as this is an area you will be very familiar with and you'll feel more at ease. I remember my first trip out on my own was only around the block; it was the most strange but most amazing feeling. Just remember you passed your test, so you're ready and you can do it!

Do you drive, and if so, what has your experience been like? Or are you learning or thinking of learning to drive? How do you feel about it?
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