Reflecting on 2017

This year has been absolutely incredible, so much has happened that I never dreamed would and I couldn’t be more thankful!

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So I thought I’d list my favourite 5 things that have happened this year.

1. Fitness ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I have never been into sport or fitness, or at least wasn’t until January.
I made the same New Years Resolution as everyone else – this will be the year I get fit. But this time, I actually meant it and to aid this I changed gyms. I previously went to a council run gym where the classes didn’t really fit in with my life (going on the workout machines and lifting weights made me so uncomfortable), so I joined a gym that only did classes and didn’t have any machines.

It was theย bestย decision.

Five workouts a week, and being motivated by the people around me has totally transformed my lifestyle.

I’ve lost weight and I’m the smallest I’ve ever been –ย  size 6-8 – but I work out to be strong and fit – not skinny.

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Through this resolution (which I’m still keeping! ๐ŸŽ‰) I’ve discovered two new loves – boxing and Gymshark ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

2. Promotion and Graduation! ๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐ŸŽ“

Going from an apprentice to an associate software developer was such a great feeling! Knowing all the hard work and effort I put into my coursework for the foundation degree had paid off made all the stress from writing essays and OOP code worth it – especially when in August I found out I had achieved a Distinction! (May or may not have cried a lot of happy tears…)

Graduation took place in November, and we travelled down to London specially for it.
It was so cool showing my parents my work’s headquarters, but seeing them look as proud as I felt through the ceremony was the best part of the whole trip.

3. Code First:Girls ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿป

Not long into this year I received an email from CFG saying I had been nominated as one of the Top 25 Under 25 Ones to Watch.
This was the first time CFG came into my life and I am very thankful that it did. Through this award I became thrown into an inspirational community of women from all around the UK that are doing great things in all parts of technology.

I attended their welcome breakfast in April where all of those on the Top 25 list could meet and then I attended their conference in November.
Their initiative is brilliant and they connect so many women through coding and open so many doors in technology for these individuals.

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Photo credits to Pauline

I am extremely excited to become an instructor for them in the New Year!

4. Friendship ๐Ÿ‘ฏ

I have two friends that I have known for past five-six years, who rapidly became my best friends around three years ago, and we often go camping, drinking or exploring together.
Another year has passed and it’s amazing to know that our friendship is the same and that we are there for each other through thick and thin.
And for that I am so thankfulย โค๏ธ

But, I’ve also made a lot of new friends this year by pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and through doing that I’m now in lots of different communities, and in some cases know there will always be a friendly face when I attend certain events – regardless whether they are technology based or not!

5. I can! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป

For as far back as I can remember I’ve always doubted myself. Whether it was down to sports, school or work.
This year I decided it was time to tell that doubt whose boss.

After realising this, I started approaching different areas of my life, and the first area was my code.
Then decided to stop focusing on everything I didn’t know, and start celebrating what I did know and congratulating myself on little achievements.
This made tackling things that I though were quite difficult easy! Once I knew them it was just adding them to the list of things I knew. It became an organised way of improving myself one thing at a time, rather than trying to learn everything at once (which doesn’t happen I promise you!).

I then started applying it to different areas of my life and came away with some amazing experiences and new friends.
By pushing myself out of my comfort zone I went somewhere where I didn’t know anyone and left having broadened my confidence and with a promise to meet up with those lovely ladies again next year!

The #thisgirlcan handle can be applied to anywhere in life, not only sports, and it’s something I remind myself of whenever I feel like I’m struggling.

2018…

I don’t know what next year holds but if I can take anything that I have learnt from this year it would be:

  1. Keep up the fitness!
  2. You can tackle anything you put your mind to!

I hope you’ve all had a good year, and next year is just as good or even better ๐Ÿ˜

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