I know it’s been two weeks since exams finished for me (!) but the effects of summer are already setting in. I can’t do this weather justice in words to be honest, but the heatwave is making everything feel good. The world feels softer around the edges and life seems to have slowed down to a leisurely stroll.
I wanted to touch on the personal growth I’ve experienced throughout the past two years of my life in particular because I think, since leaving high school, I’ve really changed a lot mentally (not physically in the slightest though, 5ft gang for life) and I’ve been reflecting on it a lot recently.
First and foremost, the change in my own attitude and mindset has been remarkable to me. In terms of my work ethic, I feel like I know what I need to do and this has been something that’s come about a lot more recently because up until maybe the start of 2018, I don’t think I still had any idea of how hard I should be working, but A-Level exams have opened my eyes wider than I ever thought they could. I still think back on the UKCAT and BMAT and wonder what on Earth I was doing because I would never go into an exam as unprepared as I did for them. All I did for them was some bad imitation of revision, continuing to do the easy stuff because I was getting it right and feeling good about it. Thinking about it now, I am so disappointed that I let my desire to look successful out-compete my desire to actually succeed and if I could go back in time, I would work so much smarter. It’s not always a case of working harder because I did work pretty hard, you know, on the fun stuff that I managed to score well on, but that wasn’t even remotely working smart.
Obviously once wasn’t good enough after the UKCAT because I did the exact same thing for the BMAT and maybe after that it started clicking in my head that there was a reason I wasn’t doing so well. Now, however, it has become solidified in my mind that eventual success is a result of many instances of failure. I am not perfect. It still gets me down when I fail repeatedly in order to get even a semblance of correctness in my answers, but I am trying to continue regardless. It sounds a bit egotistical to myself, honestly, and I’m working as hard as I can to stop being so afraid to make mistakes but I know that’s the case for a lot of people and burning out after early years of succeeding with flying colours leaves a hard-to-swallow pill for the future.
Growth, however, has embellished my inner peace in ways I don’t think I can properly explain. I went through a very angst-ridden phase at one point in my life, mainly in early high school and it was so unexplainable and dumb. I am not one to hate on myself in hindsight and reprimand my former emotions because I really believe that whatever I feel is valid and important but that was just ridiculous. Maybe it was the result of that vulnerable age and being at high school where I was always just a little bit too bitter, but I was angry and hateful internally, even if I didn’t really express it externally.
At this point in my life, I’ve never felt more at peace with myself because recently I’ve been honest with myself in a way that I never have been before. That’s definitely been one of the main things that has helped me to find myself a bit and it’s just being honest with myself and the people around me. When I meet new people, I find it a lot easier to be authentic and true to myself and I don’t feel uncomfortable being who I am.
I suppose what I want to say is that I have fallen in love with myself. I am funny and cool and a great listener and I’m decent at giving advice too. I am a gem and I think my friends are lucky to have me in their lives.
Though equally, I am incredibly lucky to have my friends in my life and they have proven to be really wonderful and sweet in every way. A lot of people say that you become the people you hang out with most and I would not choose to be around different people because my friends inspire me and keep me going constantly. A part of my growth has been making new friends and despite how much I appreciate and adore them, I know there will be current friends with whom my friendship does not survive but there is something very timely about certain people in your life. I am not an advocate for forgetting the people who have supported you the most but friendships vary so significantly and there are often relationships that don’t last and you shouldn’t beat yourself up about people who naturally phase out of your life.
What I want to say is that I’m back with a vengeance, and I’m in it for myself, as I encourage you to be. Cherish the ones who keep you sane but don’t lose yourself in the process of obsessing over others. Detach yourself from those who aren’t worth your time and aim to grow emotionally and mentally as much as you can.
Wishing you all the best of luck with succeeding, growing and advancing with your life. The summer will come and go but the growth you make during it will stay with you forever, I hope.
Thank you for reading!