Hey guys! The other day I came to the realization that June is almost over… which means that we’re almost halfway through 2014! Does anyone else feel like the first 6 months of the year go by way faster than the second half? I can hardly believe that it was 6 months ago that I was ringing in the new year with my friends in my hometown. For today’s blog post I want to do a bit of reflection on the past 6 months, and start thinking about what the next 6 months will hold for me.
2014 so far has been pretty eventful for me. I finished my first year of university, made some tough decisions regarding next year, moved out of residence, went on a road trip to America, and started my first real job. I think that my second semester of university was harder than my first – I had one class that I really disliked, the newness of university was wearing off, I started getting a bit bored with my 2 year-long courses, and I eventually had to start seriously thinking about whether or not I wanted to continue with my program. I decided to go into business because I didn’t really know what else to go into, and I thought that there was a serious chance that I might enjoy it. Turns out that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped, and I found myself really dreading having to go through another year – let alone 3 – of not finding my classes interesting, of struggling to do my assignments, of not feeling connected with my classmates. After thinking about it for a while, I made the tough (and scary) decision to drop out of my program.
Instead of continuing with a different program next year, I’ve decided to take some time off from school to get some ‘real world’ work experience, and to try to get a better feel of what sort of field I want to work in. I’ve never really known for sure what I want to do with my life, but hopefully if I take some time to explore some of my passions and see what kind of jobs I would or wouldn’t enjoy, then maybe I’ll have a better idea. I also want to incorporate some travel during my time off, so I’ve decided to go to the UK with a work visa! I really love the UK’s culture and history, and I’ve wanted to visit for a while, so I figured why not spend my year off there? I’m really excited to do some travelling not only in the UK but also around Europe, all while getting some work experience.
Speaking of work experience, I started my first ever job back in the beginning of May. I’ve been working full time for the past two months at a garden centre in the greenhouse, and it’s definitely been a learning experience! I’m not really interested in gardening or plants, but I thought that it would be a good summer job that would be interesting, and would also get me some experience with customer service. It’s a really physically demanding job, as I’m on my feet all day (working 9-10 hour shifts) and a lot of my job involved lifting and moving plants. I’ve also had to learn a lot about different plants and flowers, which has been interesting, and now if I ever need to plant my own garden, I think I’ll be set!
I think the most valuable thing I’ve learned so far has been simply the experience of working full time. After never having a part-time or summer job while in highschool, being thrust into the world of working full time was quite difficult for me. I’m so used to being able to do whatever I want, and to having a lot of free time, that it was quite an adjustment to having someone telling me what to do all day and to barely having any time to myself. Even now, my working days consist of waking up, getting ready for work, going to work, working, coming home from work, eating, showering, and going to bed. At first the long days were tiring, but my body has gotten used to it, and I’m not quite so exhausted every night :P Aside from things about different plants, I’ve also learned a lot about customer service, and working as an employee in general. Overall, I’m really glad that I’ve had this experience, even if I know that I don’t want to go into anything plant related. I’m still going to be working there until mid/end of August, although now that the garden centre is getting less busy, I probably won’t be working the full 5 days a week.
So that’s most of what has happened so far in 2014, now onto what will be happening for the rest of the year. As I mentioned above, I’ll still be working here in Toronto for the next two months, and then I’m planning on spending a few weeks back at home (to visit friends, bring all of my stuff back up there, and to pack) and then it’s off to the UK! Whenever I think of my upcoming trip, I get really really excited, and a bit nervous. I can’t wait to get to immerse myself in English culture, and to visit all of the castles and other historic places in the UK, and I think it’ll be a really great learning experience. But. I think it’ll be really scary and weird to not be going to school in September, and although the prospect of living & traveling on my own in a different country excites me, it also kind of scares me. Not to mention that I don’t really have a set plan once I actually get there, and am trying to have a ‘be open to different opportunities’ and ‘if things don’t work out it’ll be okay’ and ‘not everything has to be perfect’ sort of attitude, which is going to be tough for an organized, perfectionist, failure-is-not-an-option sort of girl like me.
But hey, scary is okay sometimes. The whole point of my trip is to get out of my comfort zone, to pursue some of my interests, and to learn more about myself and what I want to do with my life. And sometimes doing those things will lead to making mistakes and things not going according to plan and having to adapt to different situations. All of which are okay. After all, even if this whole trip goes horribly wrong, it’ll still be a learning experience, right?
So there’s kind of a life update / what has been happening in my life and what will be happening in my life in 2014. I think the beginning of 2014 has been pretty good for me – my life has taken some unexpected turns, but I think that the rest of my year is going to be even better because of them. How has your 2014 been so far? Tell me in the comments!