Things I Learnt in 2014

Because I like to tell myself that I did learn something and this whole year wasn't just a blur of endless internships, pointless Communication subjects and throwing my money away on expensive, instagrammable lunches. And there were many, many instagrammable lunches (according to my Netbank records).

Things I Learnt In 2014

1. Give Yourself Permission to be Fabulous

All of you should make this quote your wallpaper and tattoo it on your left buttcheek

I wish I had understood and taken this to heart earlier because if so, the last 19 years of my life wouldn't have been such a waste. And it's never hit me so hard before, but that's what they were. A big fat waste of time. I squandered away my teenage years over-studying and dedicating all my energy into school when I could've allowed myself a bit more freedom to go out and try new things.

It's not that I was trying to please my parents per se because, let's be honest, as long as I didn't get pregnant and/or join a gang, they were fine diddly-doo with my life choices. It was more the fact that studying was easy and comfortable. Plus I was good at it. So why bother expanding my options? And apart from my awesome, free-spirited, cousin Roxie, nobody else in my life really branched out into other things. My friends were much too similar to me, my cousins way younger, my world in general was too small.

I've written a shitload of posts on this and on educating yourself via experience so at this point I kind of just sound like a broken record. Moral of the story: go out and try new things if you aren't doing so already. Take baby steps (such as joining a new club or social group at university) if you're a bit unsure and when you've gained more confidence, look into bigger commitments.

By nature, I've never been a confident person and in terms of independence, it was only last year that I started to do things without having to rely or consult others so I'm not professing to be any sort of expert on this. In fact, I'm sure a lot of you out there have already done amazing things and are probably rolling your eyes at this so-called "life lesson" of mine but this really is something that has had a big impact on my life in 2014 and I just wanted to share the insight. At the beginning of this year, I joined the Peer Network at my university. Next month, I'm travelling to Thailand for a one-month volunteering/ambassador trip. Who would've thunk?

2. Get off yo ass and do something meaningful

So while I was in the middle of shoveling bucketloads of horse shit in rural Australia (yeah, that really happened), it finally hit me: I couldn't have picked a worse day to wear my only pair of semi-decent jeans. Also, my life until this point had been an extremely self-centered, privileged existence.

Sure, my family's not exactly well off and yes, we live in a tiny townhouse in one of the more-infamous areas of Western Sydney but seriously, I grew up with a good Australian education and never wanted for anything. And I've never appreciated it enough nor made an effort to help those looking for the same.

(Photo courtesy of Milo aka @theawkwardninja)

Earlier this year, I joined a tutor/mentor program at my university that does high school outreach work in Western Sydney. I thought it was a good way to earn a bit of extra cash and fill up my resume but after a few team meetings, I realised the importance of the work the team were actually doing. Their focus was on overcoming the disadvantages faced by students of immigrant backgrounds and encouraging them to get into university. It was such a good cause and I actually felt proud to be part of something so meaningful. It made me want to do more with my life apart from the old cycle of work/study/spend money/rinse and repeat.

3. Get healthy, bitch

No I didn't throw out all my Red Rock Deli chips and restock my shelves with acai berries and chia seeds. I did start regular exercise though and I tried to cut down on all the fatty, sugary shit that I was eating. I'm not quite sure why I started taking more care of my body to be honest. Nothing major really triggered this but I guess part of me knew that I wasn't exactly living a balanced lifestyle. Plus, I'm not a teenager anymore and my body doesn't have the crazy metabolism that it used to.

It's true but you actually do feel a lot better with exercise and healthy eating. On the days that I did do an hour of cardio or pilates (Blogilates is my bae), I felt way more energetic and confident. I also didn't get that crippling feeling of guilt when treating myself to something since I knew I could try to even it out the next day.

I did fail a little bit in my self control when I went to South Korea. But seriously. Could you blame me?

I felt like shit when I came back though so I got back into the rhythm of exercising and eating healthy. But I take it as a good sign that my body didn't respond well to the junk food.

I also started to do my own grocery shopping...but not out of choice. My parents got lazy and decided to stop...parenting...for a while so I had to do the Woollies runs. At least I got more control over what I was eating?

Seriously though. Mum has barely cooked in over a month. Somebody please adopt me.

4. Don't invest all your time and energy into just the one pursuit

As in, don't just channel all your energy one goal and then forget about all the little things; don't invest all your time into one relationship and neglect all your other friends; don't put all your eggs into one basket..... you get the point.

I guess I was just a lot happier this year because there was always something new to do and keep me interested. It kept me sane and a lot more chill.

(Photo courtesy of Michaela)

Plus, when I'm 80 years old and living with 50 cats in a housing commission, I want to at least have the comfort of knowing that I lived life to the fullest and didn't just sit there on the sidelines while everyone else got to do cool things. I don't just want to talk about interesting people. I want to be one myself.

Hi. As you can probably tell, I've been watching way too much Funforlouis on YouTube.

5. Don't take things for granted / become complacent

We're always being told this but there's no harm in reiterating it here: this year I really understood what it meant to not take things for granted. And by things I mean people, responsibilities, blessings, etc. Pretty self-explanatory so I don't need to say any more. But yes, this too.

6. Take a chill pill

And we've reached the final point on this list and that is: 2014 taught me that everything is temporary. Yes, even happiness, because we're human and we don't stay satisfied for long. But you know what else is temporary? Sadness. Anxiety. The shitty times. As well as the highs, I have had quite a few lows this year, not gonna lie. But you learn to get over it. You move on when you start doing other things and before you know it, it just becomes a blip on your memory. It's such a cliche but you really can control how you feel, or at least how a situation looks like. So like, take a chill pill, watch some cat videos, hang out with people who bring out the best in you. And when you're fine again, get back out there and enjoy life.

Happy New Year Everyone!


  1. Hi! I just wanted to say that I LOVE your blog. I randomly found it when I was searching for hikes in Sydney, which led me to Nancy's vlog, which again led me to her blog and now I'm here. I've read a huge chunk of your posts, and they're so relatable and funny. Anyway, I'm a Congolese-Norwegian Upper Secondary student, and I'm thinking about taking my Bachelor degree in Sydney (most likely UNSW), so it has been fun to read about your adventures. I also think it's amazing that many of your friends have blogs too (not to sound creepy). I look forward to reading more posts!

    1. Hi Bella! It makes me giddily happy that you managed to find my blog and enjoyed it enough to stay! I'll have to thank Nancy as well for the link on her blog. But anyway, I think it's exciting that you're looking to study in Sydney. If you do do it, it's going to be such a massive adventure and learning experience. And UNSW is a great choice - but I may be biased since I've got a couple of friends who go there, haha. Let me know how it goes and whether you'll be coming down to my part of the world in the future :)

      P.S. Funny you mentioned hikes because I might be going on one tomorrow. If I don't die from mosquitoes and my own gross unfitness, I'll try to take some photos for the blog.

  2. I'm glad to hear that about UNSW! It seems like a great university. The thing I love the most about it is how easy it is to navigate on their website. Plus they answer any questions I have very quickly, even though I live on the other side of the planet. The biggest fear I have when it comes to studying abroad is the difficulty of learning in another language. In addition, the school system is very different from what I'm used to. I also often hear that Australian vernacular doesn't sound like English, which is freaking me out!

    Have fun on your hike!

    1. Hmm, well based solely on the way you write, it doesn't seem obvious at all to me that English isn't your first language. But I guess it's a different story when you're studying in English. I'm sure they'll be support systems for you. For example, at my university (UTS), they've got free sessions on English academic writing for international students or just people who need some extra help. UNSW probably has something similar.

      As to the other matter on Australian slang, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Yes, our accent is different and there are certain words which may confuse non-Australians but overall, people like to exaggerate how indecipherable Australian vernacular is. My international friends at uni have confirmed this for me and they say they have very little problem understanding the way we speak.


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