I’ve had a really eventful 2017, so I thought it would be good to reflect on the most significant things that have happened across the last 12 months.
I had a good start to my year by getting my first piece of writing published in print in the Nursing Standard. I didn’t have an overly eventful month, I just spent time finishing the end of my penultimate placement and recovering from all the December festivities.
February was a good month as I got offered my absolute dream job, working as a nurse in a specialist child and adolescent mental health team. I still had to get through the rest of university, but I really couldn’t see myself in another job and would have been so disappointed if I didn’t get it, so I was completely over the moon. It definitely gave me the push I needed to get through the last few months of studying.
I went to Budapest with a group of my very best friends in March to celebrate one of their birthdays. We stayed in this weird little hostel that used to be a school, and the people that worked there came out clubbing and on a beer bike with us. The beer bike was so much fun but also really hard work! I have to admit to not actually seeing a huge amount of the city but I had a great weekend away with my friends.
April was a very stressful month, as I handed my dissertation in. It was such a relief to know it was done, but I had to wait ages to find my results out. I went on a lovely little camping trip with my boyfriend as a reward to myself, and I mostly spent the rest of April recovering from all the stress of it and taking a well earned rest.
I got to have a lot of time off in May to recover from the stress of writing my dissertation. This was also the month I was discharged from my Community Mental Health Team back to my GP, about 18 months and several medications after receiving my bipolar diagnosis. It was definitely a relief to know that I didn’t need to keep being reviewed, but that I can go back at any time if I need to. I also went to a little local festival with my friends which is always fun.
June was a great month! It was my birthday, which I always try to extend for as long as possible (I managed 9 days this year I think). I also went to one of my favourite places of all time, Glastonbury Festival! It is without a doubt one of the favourite weeks of my whole year. We ended up finally getting into the secret bar, The Rabbit Hole, this year which has been my dream for years! It fully fulfilled my Alice in Wonderland obsession and we even made it into the VIP section, only to get told off by David Beckham. It was one of the strangest but best nights of my life.
I got my dissertation results back in July, which was my last academic piece of work, and I was so proud of my result. The end of my course was in sight at this stage and I was desperate to finish yet horribly anxious about it at the same time. One of my best friends had a beautiful baby in July too which was wonderful.
I finished my final placement at the end of August with top marks which was a lovely end to my course. I handed all my paperwork in and was officially signed off as a mental health nurse. It actually felt a little anticlimactic after all the hard work over the last three years. I finished with a first and was given an award for achieving the highest grades in my year which I wasn’t expecting at all!
This was a very up and down month for me. I started my new job which I absolutely adore and has been a complete highlight of my year. I went to Paris with my boyfriend which was beautiful, and went glamping with my friends for a night. I also got points on my driving license (doh), didn’t get paid from my last job, got paid wrong at my new job and was delayed signing on to the nursing register due to an admin error. I also started my blog in September which is something I’d been meaning to do for a long time!
In October I had a little trip to Torquay with my boyfriend. The B&B we had booked to stay in was closed and I was all ready to give up after everything that went wrong in September. But the company we booked through ended up putting us in this amazing little hotel with a pool, right in the centre of town and an amazing breakfast! My luck started to change in October. I also went to the Time To Change 10 year anniversary party in London, where I spoke with Jeremy Hunt about mental health.
I didn’t do anything hugely exciting in November except a lot of Christmas shopping and working a lot, but I did book my two week holiday to Bali next year which I am so, so excited about!
December was a good month. I got a tax rebate just in time for Christmas. I also officially graduated from university and got to see all my lecturers and friends again which was lovely. I celebrated my 6 year anniversary with my boyfriend and we spent a perfect, relaxing Christmas together. I’ve seen all my family too which is quite unusual, especially all in the same month. I’ve been lucky enough to have all of Christmas and New Year off work and I have been making the most of having some down time to recover from what has been a very busy few months.
I feel very thankful for how my year has been overall. My health has generally been okay, both mentally and physically, and I’ve achieved pretty much everything that I wanted to. I’ve got some great plans for next year that I’m really looking forward to and I’m hopeful that it’s going to be a good one.
Happy New Year’s Eve everyone! See you in 2018.