Around this time of year, I tend to do a blog post about my personal experiences which generally includes the ups and down. Due to their being some crazy big ups and some massive falls it seems only appropriate to cover both in a blog post, as I have other years.

Let's begin chronologically to cover everything appropriately and not end on a low. If I could pick 10 things that have happened this year, (good things and bad things) they would look a little like this in a list.

1. Moving into my first house (that isn't university halls).

In September I moved into a house with two friends. We are lucky enough to have a house spread over three floors, giving us plenty of space to socialise as well as have our own space. Although we are all living in different places next year, it was still exciting to be able to have our own house; rather than just having a room in a flat with people you don't know, as halls was.

2. Travelling

Being able to visit three new cities was an incredibly exciting part of this year; Geneva, Budapest and Christchurch. I had never thought that travelling would be something I would be lucky enough to do, never mind being able to visit two new countries, three new cities and have a holiday in the sun (Tenerife). I have been incredibly lucky in terms of travel this year.

3. Having two jobs

This may be considered an odd thing to be thankful for. However, had I not been hired at university and at home I would have definitely struggled financially and overall would have had a lower quality of life, due to being stressed over lack of money. So thank you to the two places that hired me!

4. Finding my feet and figuring out more about myself

2017 has been the year where I have felt truly happy, accepted and comfortable with the person I am becoming. There have certainly been points where I have felt so content that I even started thinking about my future and genuinely believing that I can reach for aspirations 99% of the time I don't even think about attempting. I have quite a low opinion of myself, but during this past year, I have definitely learnt to love myself a lot more.

5. Falling in love, hard.

I deliberately left this as point number 5. Smack bang in the middle. I have done this because although this is definitely up there right at the top of the list of highs, it is also right at the top of the list of lows, therefore it seems appropriate to put it in the middle of this list. When I say I fell in love this year, I mean I fell 'hook, line and sinker' in love for someone; like the way you see people fall in love in films like the Notebook and you know that Ally and Noah are meant to be. That is what being with this person felt like. Being with this person was like nothing I have ever experienced and because of that, I had to include it as part of my list for the 2017 round-up, simply due to it being such a prominent part of this year for me.

6. Dealing with some extremely painful things that are generally out of my control.

Number 5 on this list is connected to number 6. Nine times out of ten when young people fall in love so intensely and so quickly, problems will arise. Often these problems are not because of who the people are, but are just because of due to their age they are unable to fight the struggle they face together. Sometimes you can fall in love with the right person at the wrong time.

7. Tackling some of my own mental health issues.

Throughout this past year, I have struggled with stressful periods, episodes of self-doubt and anxiety, as well as moments of real loneliness. Yet, with a little help from family, friends and those who can help I have always been able to get to the other side. Thank you so much to those of you who have helped, I am so appreciative.

8. Writing poetry

This year I have discovered a new way of expressing myself. My Mum has always been fond of writing poetry but when studying at school I really was not keen. However, the older I got the more I have grown to appreciate the beauty of poetry. Due to this quite often when I find it hard to explain myself and I feel quite overwhelmed with everything that is going on in my brain, I take some time and type or write until I feel a little calmer.

9. Realising that the people that really care, are not as far away as you think.

Being so far away from home means that when times get a little tough it is easy to feel quite alone. However, you really discover who your true friends are when going through difficult times. So this is in a way a thank you to all of you lovely people that have stuck with me through hard times. You are an incredible bunch and I am so grateful. Thank you.

10. Thinking of others

I thought the best way to finish this post was to end my year by noting something I have made a conscious effort to do this year and will continue to in the new year. Try and do one nice thing for someone every day. Whether that is holding the door open for someone you don't know or to say have a nice day to the cashier when they serve you. These don't have to be big acts, just little things to change peoples day.

To conclude this hefty post, I would just like to say thank you to everyone who has been there for me and that I have had the privilege to know and get to know over the past 12 months. I hope that everyone has a lovely holiday season and a fantastic new year.