What 2019 Taught Me

By Millicent Machell

As any self-respecting (and self-appointed) Dad-joker has already taken great pleasure in pointing out, we are heading into a new decade (“See you in the next decade!”), a fact which will surely spur a lot of gym memberships, library sessions and general self-reinvention into action. It also, however, seems an apt time to look over the past year and reflect.

For me, going into my second year of University and moving into my own home was a big deal. I come from a family home with strict parents, and, as much as I loved the unlimited food and two-minute walk to lectures that college provided,  it tended to feel a little like a boarding school for drunk twenty year-olds. Therefore, having my own space, deciding my own schedule and looking out for myself was a wholly new experience which would come to define my 2019.

There were both highs and lows. At some points I felt purely relaxed as I ate cheese on toast for breakfast at 2pm (and a cheese on toast snack at 2.45pm) and was able to catch up on His Dark Materials whenever I wanted. At other times, I stood in front of my laundry basket for far too long, wishing that someone could just sweep in (and sweep the floors whilst they were at it) and do it all for me.

When you live in a house that you had chosen yourself, with friends you had also chosen, the responsibility for the things you don’t like about your life suddenly seem to be thrust into your own hands. Friendships are tested by varying expectations and an unreasonable amount of shared time. After a stressful day of essay writing, or a day when you really should avoid any kind of mental strain, you come home to a house that is exactly as messy as it was when you left it and a fridge exactly as empty as you have made it.

You come home to a house that is exactly as messy as it was when you left it and a fridge exactly as empty as you have made it

Perhaps it sounds obvious, but suddenly you are an adult. And that can be a lot harder than you’d expect.

Coming home might have brought some unwanted wake-up calls and a peppering of nagging, but it also made me realise something truly important.

When your deadlines are mounting up, and your student loan is running out, it’s okay to ask for help. Most of us are lucky enough to have one or two people – family or friends – who love us unconditionally. And whether they can offer a solution to your problems, or simply an absorbent shoulder, you’ll often be surprised by people’s kindness.

You’ll often be surprised by people’s kindness

As you’ve heard too many times before, a problem shared is a problem halved. You don’t have to do it alone.

Image by mploscar via Pixabay

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