Browsing Tag

Adulthood

Lifestyle

My Bucket List: 25 Before 25

January 22, 2018

This month I turned 23 years of age and while I have definitely done and achieved a lot in those 23 years there are still things that I am desperate to do.

I have had an all encompassing bucket list for a few years now and have only managed to tick off about four things. The main reason for this being that a lot of my items on that list are things I am not physically capable of achieving at this point in my life. So I decided to write a new bucket list that was shorter and more suited to my current life status. I figured giving myself a time limit of two years was a good idea as it meant I wasn’t rushing to complete items and therefore not taking the time to truly enjoy them. This deadline gives me something to work towards and if I complete these things before my 25th birthday I feel more confident about avoiding having a quarter life crisis! So here is my bucket list:

1. Get my full driving license

– I have been putting off learning how to drive for years because I never had the money or the time. Now that I am finished university though and not living in a big city, not having a car is becoming a big problem for me. So I am putting this first just to remind myself to get my butt into gear and start sooner rather than later! I am definitely not a confident driver, I have yet to even drive on a road, but I am hoping that I can do all of my lessons and get my license before my 25th birthday!

2. Skydive

– This has been on my bucket list for such a long time! It’s probably the craziest thing on this list but I think it would be amazing too. I know I will be terrified but I hope that I will be brave enough to go through with it! I know so many people who have done it (some of them have done it multiple times) and they say its one of the best experiences of their lives. So if I am brave enough to go through with it I know it will be something that I will never forget!

3. Visit Niagara Falls

– My sister moved to Toronto last year and I have been making plans to visit her over there ever since. I am hoping to go over in either May or June and as Niagara falls is very close to Toronto I think this will be an easy one to knock off my list. Plus the falls are so well known I would be an idiot if I passed up the chance to see them when I am so close by. This has been on my bucket list well before my sister moved so now I get to hit two birds with one stone by visiting both the falls and my sister at the same time!

4. Get a full time job

– As mentioned in my recent post I am currently on the job hunt for a full time job. I hate being unemployed (although I technically work for my mother right now) and really want to find a job that I am going to like. I have spent time redoing my CV and am feeling very positive about the job hunting experience. I have a much clearer idea of what kind of job I want and where I would like to live so that has narrowed down my search a lot. Fingers crossed I will find something soon!

5. Get another tattoo

– Secret fact about me I have a tattoo on my ankle. It’s a secret because very few people know about it, my family don’t even know! I love tattoos especially very simple small tattoos. I am constantly looking up photos of tattoos for inspiration ( Pinterest is my best friend for this) and I have several ideas for new tattoos in my mind. I know tattoos can divide people’s opinions, personally I only want ones that have a very special meaning for me. That way I know I won’t regret them in years to come! I also don’t rush into getting one, it’s been three years since I got my first tattoo so the second one has been a long time coming!

6. Start a capsule wardrobe

– This is one I am definitely going to struggle with. I am a self confessed shopaholic so limiting my spending habits is going to be difficult! Although I also basically wear the same clothes all of the time so maybe I can make it work. I have seen so many bloggers and YouTubers do this in recent year (one of my favs being @theannaedit) and they make it look so simple and easy! I hate how much space my clothes take up and would love to have a wardrobe where you can actually see everything easily and be able to grab and go!

7. Move out

– After finishing university I moved back into my parents house as I only had a part-time job and wasn’t making enough to pay for my rent. Living with your parents has its pros and cons (Keep an eye out I will be doing a post going into detail on this) and it is definitely a challenge going from freedom to no freedom! I desperately want my own apartment so that I can decorate it just how I like it. So I am starting to save so that I can hopefully move out before the summer *fingers crossed*

8. Post consistently on blog for 1 year

– I have spent so many years deliberating on whether or not to start a blog and now that I finally have I want to really commit to it. I have so many ideas for posts and I want to get better and better at writing as well as improving my layout and blog design. I also want to improve my use of social media and figure out how to get the best results out of it. I am aiming to post continuously every week for a whole year so hopefully by this time next year I can cross this goal off my list!

9. Reach goal weight

– Like a lot of people I used the new year as an excuse to begin a new diet and weight loss plan. I am doing this mainly for health reasons but also because I have been feeling very fed up of my body lately and would like to get some of my body confidence back. I am a big believer in loving your body no matter what size you are but think a big part of that is taking care of your body by eating healthier and exercising regularly, two things I am definitely not doing enough of. So I am slowly aiming to lose a bit of weight but overall I want to change my lifestyle so that it is healthier!

10. Start my own freelance Social Media Management business

– I recently began an online course by the freedom junkies that shows you how to do exactly this. I would love to have a freedom lifestyle at some point in my life and this kind of job would work so well for me. Considering I have a degree in marketing I think I could do well in this, I just need to take the time to plan it out and get it rolling. Having a blog is allowing me to practice my social media skills and I am really enjoying it so far!

11. Move abroad

– I desperately want to move abroad and live in another country for awhile. My plan at the moment is to get a two year visa to Canada and live and work there for awhile. That way I can travel around Canada and hopefully visit a few states in America as well. I would also love to travel around from country to country which is why a Social media management business would be perfect for me! If I am working just from my laptop I don’t have to be location dependent and can freely move around while still earning money.

12. Save €5000

– Like I said I am a shopaholic, meaning I am very bad at saving money! I really want to improve on this and have money stashed away for a rainy day. I want to start seriously building up my savings and learn how to properly budget so I spend less money. There is so much I want to do over the next few years that I am going to need a good bit of money for so I figured the earlier I start to save the better!

13. Visit 10 countries

– As mentioned earlier I love to travel and I am always dreaming of my next holiday destination. I want to see as many countries as I possibly can so I think setting myself a target is a really good motivator. My sister bought me a scratch map for Christmas a few years ago and I am desperate to have my entire map coloured in!!

14. Learn new skill 

– I have yet to decided what skill I am going to learn. I am thinking along the lines of crocheting which I used to know how to do in primary school but have completely forgotten. I would love to crochet a new blanket or cushion cover for myself. I know this makes me a bit of a granny but I think it would be calming to do. My other idea is calligraphy but I don’t know if I have the patience to write that slowly 😂 If you can think of any other cool skills that I should try let me know!

15. Visit Giants Causeway

– Even though I have lived in Ireland for 23 years I have actually seen very little of the tourist sites. I really want to see this area of Ireland as it looks amazing and is such a natural wonder to see. I think it is so unique that it is a must see when in Ireland. I also haven’t been in Northern Ireland before so it will be great to explore while I’m there.

16. Run a marathon

– This has been a goal of mine for awhile but I am finally going to get serious about it. As I am currently working on my own health and fitness I feel like it is more achievable now and it will be how I test how far my fitness will hopefully go! I would love to take part in the annual marathon in aid of breast cancer in Dublin as it is a cause close to my heart and it would be great to raise money! This is one that I don’t think will be crossed off until next year but it is something that I am really going to work hard over the year to achieve it.

17. Visit London

 – I have lived across the pond from London my whole life and never been. It has been on my list for years and I am fed up of always putting off actually going. So I am going to book tickets as soon as I can because they usually only cost 20 Euros so I have no excuse not to! I want to see all the tourist sites like Big Ben, the London eye, Westminster and Buckingham Palace. I also want to watch a west end show while I am there like Les Mis or Wicked!

18. Take up a sport

– I used to like sports when I was younger but didn’t keep it up. I want to find a sport that I really like and that I can take part in either individually or in a team environment. I am thinking of trying out kick boxing  or aerial hoop classes as I have heard that both are really fun and challenging.

19. Dye hair a “crazy” colour

– I have wanted to dye my hair any colour other than blonde for years but my mother always said no! So this is one thing that is going to have to wait until after I move out of my parents house because she won’t be happy with the results! I really want to go a light purple/ lilac colour as I think it looks so pretty. I would also like to cut my hair super short as I haven’t had my hair in a bob since I was five.

20. Go zip lining

– This is another adventurous item on my list that I have seen people doing and it just looks fun. I would particularly like to do it over amazing scenery such as in New Zealand or Hawaii. It’s one of those things ,like skydiving, that I think look cool but I don’t know if I will actually be brave enough to go through with it!

21. Visit cliffs of Moher

– I went to university on the west coast of Ireland about 40 minutes drive away from the cliffs and yet I have never been. Everyone I know had already been and weren’t bothered going again but I’ve decided to bit the bullet and just go by myself. The cliffs are one of the most popular tourist sites in Ireland and they are gorgeous to look at in photos so I can’t wait to see them in real life!

22. Write a book

-I am a huge book nerd. I love reading and could easily spend everyday reading if I was able to. I have an active imagination and am constantly thinking up different scenarios and wondering what would happen after the ending of a book. Like did the characters really live happily ever after or did something happen to tear them apart again. So it has been a dream of mine to write a book and get all of the ideas in my head down onto paper (or the computer screen) and see what happens. There are no guarantees that it will even be good but I would like to challenge myself to just do it anyway!

23. Visit New York

– New York has been on my bucket list from the first time I ever saw the TV show friends. It’s the city that you just have to visit at least once in your life and I am dying to go there! I can’t even tell you the amount of vlogs I have watched on YouTube of people in New York. My dream would be to live there one day but getting a visa is such a pain that I don’t think its going to happen anytime soon. But still a girl can dream !!

24. Learn to cook well

– I am an alright cook, but I am not a great cook. I can mostly only cook pasta and stir fry’s so I want to learn more recipes and just generally improve my cooking skills! I would love to one day host a dinner party and really impress my friends with some delicious fancy looking recipes. And of course have a super Instagrammable table setting to go with the food 😛

25.Visit south east Asia

– I have wanted to travel around south east Asia for years but my friends always thought it was too expensive! I’ve decided to just go on my own and travel to China, Japan, Philippines, Thailand and India. So many people I know have gone to Thailand and their photos always look amazing. It’s a part of the world that I have been fascinated with for a long time so I can’t wait to start planning a trip there.

University

Six Months After Graduation

January 15, 2018

It was a sunny August morning in Ireland, a rarity in itself, and I awoke feeling an uncomfortable mixture of anxious and giddy. I woke up early that day, which for me was an achievement in itself, and began the arduous task of trying to beautify myself. I took extra care straightening my hair and applying my makeup knowing this would be a day I would look back on in years to come and I wanted to look my best. I had spent months searching the high street and online for the perfect dress and having no success. That was until five days before my graduation when I found a dress for a steal in the coast sale #jackpot. It seemed like everything was falling into place nicely, setting the day up to be one to remember. I arrived at the university early, anxious for the day to begin. I received my black cap and gown and put them on excitedly, having imagined that exact moment for years. This was it, the day had arrived, the day I had been waiting for for four years. I had finally achieved something. Although it wasn’t what I necessarily wanted to achieve but it was still something, right?!

Before University

I had always been told that you needed to go to university to get a degree in order to get a good job. Apparently you didn’t stand a chance of getting a job without that expensive piece of paper. One thing you should know about me is I am very much a follower, if someone tells me to do something I will generally do it, excluding any requests to do something monumentally stupid or harmful to myself or others of course! So like a good follower I went to university and spent four years studying a subject that didn’t really interest me, just so that I could get that all important degree. I felt very much like I didn’t have a choice. I am the youngest in my family and all of my siblings went to university so it was just sort of expected that I would too, especially because I was a more diligent student and generally got better grades than my siblings. I think everyone feels a sort of peer pressure to go as well, the majority of my year group in school were seeking further education. This meant that I would be the odd one out if I didn’t go to university and like I said I am a follower and generally dislike being the odd one out when it comes to anything.

My main issue with going to university had been that I didn’t know what type of career that I wanted and therefore didn’t know what subject I should study. There are so many options available and I wasn’t able to imagine myself actually doing any of them. I spent months deliberating over what I should choose and it didn’t help that I had family, friends, teachers and strangers asking me every two minutes and offering up their suggestions for what I should do. I think the system is flawed. No eighteen year old should have to spend their final year in school breaking out in sweat due to the stress of deciding what they are going to do for the rest of their lives. Because lets be real how many people actually know what they want to do at that age? I am now five years older and I still don’t know what I want to do! I ended up going to university to study business as I figured that it would give me the most options when it eventually came to the time to choose a career for myself. You can do a lot with a business degree, there are a whole host of jobs that you can do and I thought keeping myself open to all of those opportunities would be a great idea. I would later find out that I was wrong, as I now face having to decided between all of the different kinda of jobs and it ain’t easy!

The University Experience

Now just because I have stated that I didn’t enjoy my course doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy university! Overall it was a good experience and I can definitely take away a lot of positives from it. I am pretty sure my experience with university wasn’t as positive as other peoples but that was mainly done to my own actions and my own circumstances. As someone who suffers badly with her mental health I unfortunately spent a lot of my time in university isolated from people as I dealt with my own problems. However the times when I was healthier and happier and able to drag myself out of bed I thoroughly enjoyed all that university has to offer. The social side of university is something that cannot be missed out on. I made so many different kinds of friends and got to do so many different kinds of things that I would never have experienced if I had forgone university and stayed in my hometown. University gives you freedom. You learn to become independent, your own person. For many it’s their first time away from home and they must learn to be responsible for their own food, clothes and money. These are important lessons to learn and university is a good place to learn them. I am thinking of writing a whole post on what you can expect from university and the things you can experience so I won’t go into too much detail here, but keep your eye out for future post to come 😉

So overall I am glad I went to university but it still hasn’t had quiet as big an impact on me as it has on others. I am not yet convinced that it was the right choice for me and slightly fear that I have wasted both four years of my life as well as thousands of euros of my parents money! Only time will tell if that is true or not!

Life After Graduation

Something that really annoys me is that no one told me what it would be like after I got the degree. No one told me that having a degree doesn’t actually guarantee you a job. It isn’t true that you walk straight out of college into employment. For some, this may be the case but it doesn’t apply to everyone. It especially doesn’t apply to those people who don’t know what to do after university and therefore don’t know what kind of jobs they should apply for a.k.a ME! I didn’t know what jobs to apply for, which companies I wanted to work for, what part of the country I wanted to live in and when you don’t know those things getting a job is harder. I started applying to lots of different types of jobs; office jobs, sales jobs, you name it I applied for it. The problem with that though was that I was being offered interviews for jobs I had no interest in or jobs that were paying very low wages in a city that has a high cost of living rate. It didn’t help that I was watching friends from university starting their jobs and moving on with their lives. Many of them had been lucky and had secured their dream jobs, others were simply accepting what jobs they could in order to make some sort of start with their lives. I was stuck as I didn’t know what my dream job was and I didn’t want to settle for a job I had no interest in. I was more lost than ever not knowing what I should do and eventually I decided to just stop applying for jobs altogether.

Taking a Break

I ended up taking two months off to decompress and reevaluate what I wanted as a career going forward. This was definitely the smartest move I could have made and I suggest anyone in a similar position to try it! You don’t have to take as big of a break as I did, (honestly my break was excessive but it coincided with Christmas so it worked out 😛 ) but do take a few days at least to step back and think about what type of job you really want! Make a list of the things you count as priorities for any future job you may have. For example, where should the job be based, what working hours do you want, do you want to work independently or in a team setting? If you have been unemployed or job searching for awhile, taking a step back and finding a new perspective is extremely helpful.

During my break I thought long and hard about where I see myself in years to come. I personally see myself going and living abroad for a few years before moving back to Ireland in my late twenties. I have always loved travelling and am desperate to see more of the world, the only problem being that travelling costs money, money I don’t currently have. Therefore, I need to find a job in Ireland for at least a year so that I can save up to move abroad. While I look for a job in Ireland I am going to continue planning my move abroad and have taken steps to help me when I eventually do move. For instance, I recently began an online course that teaches you how to become a social media manager and make that job your sole income. I have also obviously started this blog and I am using it as a way to experiment with social media and expand my knowledge of the internet world! I am doing these things in order to eventually  support myself financially with a job that is not location dependent!

Right now I feel like I am in a good place post graduation. I have more clarity than ever when it comes to my dreams and my goals for the future and I finally have a plan in place that will hopefully get me where I want to be. While I may not be where I expected to be six months after graduation I am no longer disappointed with where I am. The future is looking up for me and I hope that this post helps others to make a plan for themselves and their futures and know that it is never too late to decide to go in a different direction! While education is important it doesn’t need to dictate your whole life, there are always more options available to you than you think!

Amy xo