Back in September, I turned the grand old age of 22 (don’t tell me you didn’t proceed with I’m feelin’ 22…), and I think it is always good to reflect on our years, and everything we’ve achieved. Whether you deem the achievement to be a big one, or a small one, they’re all achievements of which we should be proud of and therefore share them. We need to take more pride in ourselves and our achievements, and so I thought I would share 22 things I have achieved in 22 years.
1. Got my Driving License
Back in October 2015 I passed my driving test, so I have been driving for over 4 years. Despite it being quite a while since I passed my test, I am still so proud of myself for passing my test, and having my license is something I am so grateful for. I couldn’t imagine not driving.
2. Bought my First Car
Following on from my first achievement. After passing my test in 2015, I used my mum’s car for 2.5 years. It worked so well, and mum was so great sharing her car with me. But, in April 2018, I VERY spontaneously bought my first car. If you want to know more about my purchase, I wrote a blog post about my car at the time, click here to be redirected. My car is my little baby, and I’m so sad leaving it behind whilst I’m in the UAE.
3. Adapted to driving on the WRONG (right) side of the road and driving automatic
Okay, these sounds simpler than what they are. Moving to the UAE meant moving to the right-hand side of the road (and I now have a new level of patience for driving in the UK, because UAE drivers are a little chaotic), and also some of our work cars are automatic. It’s so hard to get your head around when all you’ve driven is manual. But, I think I’ve cracked it, and can swap between manual and automatic driving pretty well now.
4. Travelled to 16 different countries / been abroad 33 times
I LOVE to travel, whether that be jumping on a flight to another country, or exploring my home country. Whenever there is an opportunity to explore somewhere new, I’ll take it. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been taken abroad every year by my parents, and my continued this after they divorced. Our favourite family destination was of course Greece, and this country still remains my favourite. This love for travel is definitely a key factor in me spontaneously moving abroad for work. Where will be number 17?
5. Completed a First Aid Course
This is something I believe should be compulsory within the education system, as it is truly shocking how few people could comfortably administer first aid, had they ever need to. With this in mind, a couple of years ago I signed up to a first aid course, and with that, I have achieved my first aid certificate and could administer first aid should I ever need to.
6. Worked hard and I am good with my finances / saving money
I don’t think I give myself enough gratitude for my attitude towards work (as in employment). I got my first paper-round when I was 11, started helping dad in local pub kitchens when I was around 12 as well as working in his cafe when I was 15, then getting my first ‘real’ job at 16 in a big chain restaurant, to my 5 years with Massarella cafe, pub work, whilst NCS mentoring over the summer at the same time as working these part-time jobs. Then finally to my summer with Bushcraft, and now my new upcoming job in the UAE. I’ve constantly worked, whilst in education, and I know that isn’t always the norm. I respect my parents for bringing me up with the mentality of having to work hard to earn your money, and mum teaching me the importance of saving (sorry dad but you’re rubbish at saving money!).
7. Got into my First Choice of University
This was again something I didn’t think would happen. The University of York is a Russel Group uni, and with that one that requires pretty high grades to get into. After finishing my first year of college with grades BCC and not mentally prepared to resit any of my exams, except one, I didn’t have my hopes up about achieving the AAB requirements for York. But, I somehow did it and definitely made me see that hard work does pay off eventually!
8. Seen Live Music
This is an achievement for me, as I don’t do too well with crowds, and obviously a concert has a lot of people in a small, enclosed space. I have seen my favourite band play three times, and have been to one arena tour seeing Hugh Jackman at the MEN.
9. Signed up to be a Stem Cell Donor and Organ Donor
I am on both the Stem Cell and Organ Donor registers, and it is an area of topic I am very enthusiastic about. I cannot even begin to explain how happy the new ‘opt-out’ system, also known as “Max’s Law’, coming into policy in 2020 makes me. Research has shown that 82% of people support organ donation, yet only 37% have recorded their wishes on the NHS Organ Donor Register. Which is why the new opt-out system is necessary. Plus, the new policy brings the possibility of saving up to 700 people’s lives a year. A YEAR.
10. Graduated from University
I don’t even know how but in July this year I graduated from the University of York with a BA in Criminology. The three years of university, were the most mentally challenging, but I came out at the end and had the best graduation day too.
11. Ran a Race for Charity
Back in 2017, I ran the 5K Pretty Muddy Race for Cancer Research. I am NOT a runner, but the pretty muddy races involve a lot of obstacles (and mud!) which makes it so much fun. I completed it, had so many giggles and raised money for a fantastic charity too.
12. Learned Bushcraft Skills
Over the summer, I worked for The Bushcraft Company, in the UK. This was my first time working in the outdoor industry, and at the beginning, it was NOT my cuppa tea, but I left that job feeling absolutely gutted that season was over. I learned so many bushcraft skills and found an even greater love for the outdoors and nature as I wild-camped the whole time (now having a preference for wild camping over having a tent!).
13. Move out from Home
If you know me well, this is something those closest to me thought I would NEVER do. I’ve never moved away, stayed at home for uni, and haven’t been apart from my mum for more than 10 days, and we’re super close. Moving away from home wasn’t a plan I had in mind back last august, as I planned to be at home for a least a few more years. But, last September, as a lot of you may know, I made a HUGE move to the UAE for work and I’m somehow still out here. This change is one of my biggest achievements in the past 22 years, and I am an incredibly homesick person, yet I’ve moved out here and I’m living for this ‘new’ life. I miss my mum more than you can imagine, but this change of country, people and lifestyle has been so good for me. This is the biggest thing I’ve achieved in the past 22 years.
14. Travelled Solo
I am an anxious traveller as it is. I am comfortable travelling, and love jumping on planes to new places. But, being a stress-head doesn’t make travelling easier. This year I travelled alone to the UAE, which included a cross-over in Istanbul. I know a lot of people would never travel alone, so to me this is an achievement because I thought I was one of those people. With that, I’ve also learnt that travelling solo is actually pretty nice, and a little less stressful I have to say. Travelling solo is now a breeze to me, and this was shown over Christmas when I was in 6 airports in 7 days.
15. Skydived for Charity
For my 18th birthday, I completed a tandem skydive from 10,000ft. I am not good with heights, and I can’t deny the fact that I cried on the way up, I was that nervous. But, I did it, and there are no words to describe that feeling when you jump from the plane. Putting my fear to the test, also allowed me to raise £1000 for York Special Care Baby Unit, which has a truly special place in my heart.
16. Started this Blog…and Gone Self Hosted
This was something I’d wanted to do for years, and was always too embarrassed to start a blog. I can’t deny the fact I still get a little embarrassed when anyone mentions my blog to me, but at the same time, it’s something I’m pretty proud of.
WOW, the challenge of going self-hosted last year, and purchasing my own domain made me realise how hard it can be to have a blog, and how much work truly goes on behind the scenes. Going self-hosted made my little blog feel so much more ‘mine’, and I’ve learned and achieved so much in the process.
17. Worked with my First Brand/First Sponsored Post
In December 2019, I published my first sponsored post. The whole process had a lot of ups and downs, but it is a huge accomplishment for me. I started this blog during uni as a hobby, and then somehow I was reached out to, to collaborate on a sponsored post. Click here if you want to give it a read!
18. Donated blood – 10 times in fact
Similar to being on the organ and stem cell donor register. I regularly donate blood, and have reached my tenth donation. I was inspired by my mum to start donating, as I watched her regularly donate when I was younger (8 year-old me obviously had no clue, and just enjoyed the free biscuits at the time).
19. Met my Childhood Crush
Ok, so you’re all going to be like what the hell, but 4-year-old me would definitely see this as an achievement. A couple of years ago, mum and I went to see Footloose at York Grand Opera House, one because we love the film but mainly because Gareth Gates was performing in it. Yes, from being 4 until maybe 10 (or maybe 22…).
20. Realised who my True Friends are
It took me until college to realise with friends it’s about quality, not quantity. I walked away from a huge group of friends at college, and with that met some people whom I absolutely adore. Friendships throughout the education system are pretty messy, but you learn who you do and don’t need to be surrounded with and that’s important. With that, I have no problem with removing toxic people from my life, and this is something I’ve learned in adult life.
21. Being Self-Sufficient
After going to uni and moving out to the UAE to live with a lot of people of the same age, it is so surprising to see how many people don’t know basic life skills like cooking, DIY, and cleaning. Mum has instilled these skills with me, which meant when I moved out being self-sufficient was no issue at all.
22. Overcome a fear(s)
Everyone had fears and some of mine include the dark, death (always a taboo topic), and being away from my family, specifically my mum. I am, well I thought I was, the most homesick person you will ever meet. If mum or I go on holiday for a week, I get upset, we are literally joined at the hip. Moving out to the UAE, and being 3462 miles away from home, completely crushed this fear for me and I have very rarely felt homesick. Getting over my fear of the dark can be in my 44 achievements in 44 years maybe!?
So, they are the 22 things I have achieved in 22 years. What are your biggest accomplishments? what have you achieved?
Have you read my last post? – The Oman Series: Top 7 Things to do in Muscat