Does it sound maybe a little bit ridiculous to feel like I’m turning into an old granny because I’m 22 in three days?! Maybe a little… It’s just so crazy thinking about how fast the years are going – I remember turning 18 like it was yesterday, and now I’m headed right on my way to 25. Of course I couldn’t let a birthday pass without doing a chatty birthday post – so… in the words of T Swift – I’m feeling 22 – here are some experiences that have ‘made me’ up to now…
18 years of school
School is hard. I don’t even think I ever realised how hard school was before I left school, turned around one day and thought – “well, damn!” I can’t say it wasn’t a good experience – I met some of my closest friends (going on ten years now), I was generally happen on a day-to-day basis at school and overall it was a pretty care free life to live (even though it seemed stressful af at the time). Sometimes, I miss how easy life was back then – nothing to worry about aside from studying (for exams that were actually pretty easy, at least up until A Levels)!
But away from the fluffy stuff… school is difficult. And the main reason for this is that everyone is so damn immature, including myself at the time! For example, the boys in my school would make ‘lists’ of who they thought were the prettiest girls in class and share it around. The parties were fun – but if you didn’t get invited, you simply were not welcome and, when you’re younger, that could have you feeling like you were missing out on the world. Things were so cliquey – for the most part you stuck to your group, and lets be honest, there were hierachies amongst different groups; it’s not just on American TV shows that they have the ‘cool kids’ and the ‘not so cool kids’. Plus there was a ton of peer pressure to be in (childish) relationships and not be ‘frigid’. During school I was learning, I was growing and I was maturing… but, I do not at all feel like I truly started growing into the person I’m becoming and the person I want to be, until I started university.
Although school is difficult, ofcourse it’s not all bad – you make great memories, you learn a lot, and for the most part it’s fun – after seven years at the same school – I even cried on the last day, which means it couldn’t have been a horrid experience. But, it’s just the tip of the ice berg, and you’ll find that life is probably much better once you’ve left.
12 years online
When I was almost 10 years old, I was chatting to my cousin Maryann, and she asked me if I wanted to make a free website. She’d discovered this thing called ‘Freewebs‘ and thought I would like it too. Little did she know she was actually about to change my life…
Once I hopped on the having-my-own-website train, I really never got off. Soon into secondary school I got the title of the girl who put in tons of effort into her Piczo (but my Piczo was poppin’), and behind the scenes I was deep in with a group of pre-teens (or early-teens), and we all owned what we called ‘graphic’ websites (it’s all in the name, you make graphics/designs, put them on your website, and people woul download them to use). There were only a few of us that were online at the time making these ‘graphic websites’ (a few of us are still around online now), but as we were so young this also led to a lot of drama behind the scenes. People would have ‘jail’ pages on their website for people that ‘copied’ them, people would have ‘sister sites’ and me and another girl even coined the term ‘bffo’ (best friends forever online)… yeah, that was me! We’d even have late night MSN chats where we’d all just sit and gossip about the ‘online world’. But you know what, within this little world – I was doing alright. The drama and the cliquness somehow led to my website views literally being 10x higher than they even are now (well, maybe a slight exaggeration) – I also had quite a few people that would sometimes send me hate messages – that’s when you know you’ve made it haha!
But of course, we all grew up and went about our own ventures. I stuck at it online and opened up my own webdesign shop when 15. I only charged people £7 per design (for a fully coded website layout, wasn’t I generous?!), and would sometimes have queues of up to 15 people waiting for me to do their orders. I closed that down when I was 18 as I fell out of love with designing and coding, and focussed a bit more on the Skylish you see here. I decided one day to combined my love for YouTube, with my love for blogging, with my love for website making… and came up with Skylish. This blog here was really off and on for a number of years before I decided to put my full focus on it back at the end of 2015, and in fact it’s actually really only within the last 6 months that I can whole heartedy say I’m happy (and dare I say it… proud?!) with the content I put out. That’s not to say it doesn’t get tough, I spend a lot of time complaining to my boyfriend about how frustrating blogging can be sometimes, because you just don’t feel like you’re doing as well as you’d want to be. Being an absolute perfectionist, I cannot ever see myself being truly satisfied with where I am, but for me what’s more important is to appreciate what I achieved and know that I’m enjoying doing something that I love.
22 years of learning about people
Let’s start off with… boys. Growing up, I was never that girl with loads of boy attention and lots of boyfriends. What I learned over the years was about the kind of guy I didn’t want to be with, more than anything else. For example the first time I started ‘chatting’ to a boy I was 16 turning 17. Sure he was a fairly nice guy but he wasn’t quite what I was looking for in the sense that he had no desire in the world to do much more than talk to girls and sleep (no shade, it was years ago). That made me realise that I needed to be with someone who was ambitious and wanted to achieve a lot (because that’s the way I am). I’d say I only spoke to about two other guys after that before my boyfriend, and whilst one made me realise that I wanted to be with someone who was smart, the other made me learn a few tell tale signs regarding knowing when a guy is just basically a psycho. Girls get a lot of stick for having lists of what they want out of their other half and a lot of people get told that with their lists they’ll end up ‘single forever’. I would have to whole heartedly disagree with this and believe there is nothing wrong with seeking certain qualities from your other half.
Friends. I’ve made some amazing friendships over time. Some of my friends now I’ve known for over 10 years, and still meet up with and catch up with, some of my friends from uni I met in my first week and still catch up with on a weekly basis. I’d say I have some really close friends (the real OGs), some good friends (people that I still love), then loads and loads of ‘acquantances’. Some of these acquantances you love but only really catch up with them when there’s some sort of a event, like someone’s birthday. What I’ve learned over the years is that for the most part – friends come and go. As pesimistic as that may seem, we all know it to be true. How many people were you besties with in your first year of university that you don’t even speak to anymore? Or how many people did you used to go to their house and spend hours talking to, that you have no clue what are up to these days? I have quite a few of those and I think that’s fine, it’s just a part of life. We’re all constantly growing and evolving into different people, especially when you’re young, which means naturally you’ll grow apart from some of your friends and your lives will move you in different directions – and you know what, that’s fine.
A nice meaty post for all of you – just reflecting on a few major things I’ve learned in life and also gone through in life. In particular reflecting on the things that have really made me who I am today. There’s so much growth ahead and I’m looking forward (but not in a rush) to see how much things have changed when I hit my next mile stone ages of 25 and 30.
Rounding things off with my favourites thus far:
- Being very appreciative and mindful of the fact that I had a very smooth and easy up bringing, with no real dramas along the way. My parents are real OGs and I don’t know anyone who works as hard as them – they came from abroad and basically had to start from scratch yet still managed to build great lifestyle for themselves and also for us – real inspirations!
- Getting into the London School of Economics
- Getting to travel the world (11 countries, 16 cities) and counting…
- Meeting my boyfriend, falling hard and spending 2 and a half solid years together so far
- Being a blogger – meeting amazing people, working with fantastic brands, and making my own money (yes, lawh)
… with so many more to come!
“What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t happened yet…”