This ones for the dreamers | Achieving the things you never thought you could achieve

I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t drafted and redrafted this post about 7 times by this point to settle on something that I was happy with to go on my blog. Am I ever happy with my own work? (no) I was toying with writing various topics but none of them seemed right to talk about until I had addressed the very large elephant in the room (to me anyway) finishing university- for good. 

And breathe.

 Honestly, that's a sentence I never imagined writing other than within the first few weeks of my first year where I sat in a lecture frantically writing down the information we needed to know about 'repaying loans' if we were considering dropping out. I can still remember the sickness I felt in my stomach to this day, even regardless of having done my Foundation Course beforehand. 
My fashion degree felt more cemented and serious and that thought scared me a tremendous amount. 

I guess it’s the same feeling for anything you sign your life away to for the next few years. It felt like a huge commitment but after the initial panic it was a choice I knew I’d made for a reason, otherwise, I would have never applied in the first place. Once I'd come to terms with that eventually I felt more settled and compelled to finish my degree. Still, my degree which much like anyone else who has been to university will know that sentence isn’t as confident as that then sounded. Being compelled to finish my degree wasn’t an easy ride. It was HARD.
 Don't get me wrong it had its times of happiness, funny times, exciting and rewarding experiences but it wasn't easy. Not just the workload, the projects, the skills I had to learn. Like any other time within life, I had things going on that tied into the overall experience.
 It's fair to say I had my fair share of challenges and things to overcome. 

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For the first part of university, my foundation year and even into my first year I spent battling anxiety.  Something that I’ve never fully spoken about on my blog before or to anyone really other than close family and friends. And man I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through. I’ve suffered from anxiety most of my life- from a young age. Even if I didn’t think it was that at the time (I used to think it was butterflies for some reason because usually, it related to me feeling anxious around boys- sometimes I think that worked in my favour, still at least I can laugh now looking back). So I knew how to cope with them and how to overcome them when I felt that way but for those that suffer from anxiety know that attacks often take on a different form from time to time. So embarking on university I learnt new triggers and new forms of the way my anxiety worked. 
The main one being anxiety and drinking don't bode well together which you could say is fairly obvious but prior to university I had never really been 'out out'. I mean I’d dabbled but I never properly went out with friends to nightclubs and got highly intoxicated, I sound like a policeman saying that when really I mean drunk (not that I’m recommending you do that at university but for the most part freshers is about going out and drinking. I mean not all of it but anyway, I did and guess what my anxiety didn’t like that at all. I mean to the point I could barely leave the house before even touching a drop of alcohol or meeting friends, some nights I had to cancel fully because my body felt so heavy and I felt so out of my own body the last thing I could do was leave my house to attend a nightclub or some nights even just to a friends house. I spent countless nights pacing up and down or sitting shaking on the stairs to a be given a look of concern in my mums eyes where she would say 'you can't go out like that.' It was bloody hard because it made my friendships difficult. Though it’s one thing I’m ever thankful to my best friend for sticking with me by even if he didn’t understand. 

I’ll be honest one of the things that I’m almost certain to this day cured (I say cured) helped my anxiety was meeting Jay, who like my friend didn’t fully understand but he still did everything he could to try to. From both meeting Jay and practising pushing myself continuously out of my comfort zone- because ultimately I had to. I started to get better with my anxiety, something that I still let a long breath out with when saying because sometimes it felt like I would never overcome it. 

One of my fondest memories of university to come out of that was in my second year whereby I went abroad for the first time, with my university. Something I never ever imagined I would be able to do and from there I’ve now been abroad 3 times since. 
That is in a nutshell however and summing that up in a paragraph is much easier than having gone through the experience of battling anxiety and overcoming my fears whilst at university but I did and I NEVER thought I’d hear myself say so. 

I never thought that 4 years later I would be here where I am now having reached the top of the educational hill armed with my graduate status. Which again I don't think I've actually addressed on here? If I have I do apologise. I did in fact graduate university with a First Class Honours Degree with Professional Enhancement. I think every moment I say that it's like the first time I went into shock after receiving the news- in wetherspoons of all places (which on twitter apparently is goals)

Like anything in life, you have to put yourself in positions where you not only challenge yourself but realise your skills. Over the past few years its not been only university that's helped me achieve the things I never thought I could but also meeting the people I met, taking my placement year (which taught me A LOT) going to the places I did all helped me realise the things I can do if I set my mind to it. 

I have to stress this post isn't an advert to go to university because I believe that achievements in life can take on any form and sometimes it can even be the littlest things you take pleasure in achieving but one of my achievements is learning to have confidence in myself whether that be with my style, my ability to take on challenges or in particular my confidence with my own photography and videography. Something that has taken 4 years for me to pluck up the courage to say 'damn I am good behind the camera, and I can be in front of it too.' 
Achieving those things don't come with a truckload of confidence that means you think you can achieve anything I still from day to day doubt those things especially my confidence within myself because honestly is anyone truly inside and out confident with themselves?
But I know the things I can and have done are there to remind me that I can achieve anything I want to. 

You must allow yourself those days of self-doubt and be able to second-guess yourself because that keeps you grounded, it makes you human but you must never put yourself down enough that you think you can't go out and get what you want and own it. 
I stand fully by the quote 'life is what you make it' and I hope this post doesn't make me sound like a right arse saying 'hey look what I achieved and here's how I did it' because it's not I know how hard success and achieving your goals is and by no means have reached it but I know I can. I guess in a way this is something I can read back to reassure myself over in the future because for me university will become a tiny part of my life and the bigger challenges will be later on. 

We've all been there, I am there at a time where I feel like the hill is too high to climb but I know imma' try. 

Outfit: Bottle Blonde Studio
Sunglasses: Nasty Gal
Trainers: Primark (Similar: Missy Empire)
Earrings:  New Look
Lipstick: 3ina Shade 423 Matte

Photography: Jamie O'toole

What's your opinion?

@paige rhianne_