Top 5's of 2017
There’s only a few hours left of 2017, and I’m very excited for it to be 2018 if I’m honest. Maybe it’s just because I have a deep dislike for odd numbers, but 2017 has been one of the weirdest, most confusing years of my life and while it’s brought me plenty of amazing opportunities, I’m looking forward to what the next year will bring. I always like the idea of a new year; I think of it like a brand new notebook full of blank pages that you can’t wait to fill with memories. I’m getting dangerously close to that cringey ‘new year, new me’ territory here, so I’ll stop rambling, but there’s something hopeful and refreshing about the prospect of a brand new year ahead of us.
So I thought I’d have a little round up of this mad year by sharing with you the top 5’s of a few different categories that I’ve loved, or learned from, in 2017.
1. Harry Styles – Harry Styles
I think you were expecting that, weren’t you? It’s no secret that I love Harry Styles, and I was so excited to hear what his first solo album would sound like. It certainly didn’t disappoint and even though the style is so much different to One Direction, I absolutely love it. Hearing this album live in October just made me adore it even more and I cannot wait to see Harry again in April! You can read my full blog post about this album here.
2. Flicker – Niall Horan
Again, not a surprise really! I actually heard this album live before I heard the studio version which was a really weird but amazing experience. In August I saw Niall in London and hearing the songs for the first time and not being able to sing along was very strange but I loved it so much because you could just appreciate the music, it was such a unique experience. So obviously I was excited for the actual album to come out and hearing the songs on record was almost as good as hearing them live. I’m also seeing Niall again next year!
3. Reputation – Taylor Swift
It’s also not a secret that I adore Taylor Swift. She is my Queen. I actually wrote a blog post about this album pretty recently, you can read it here if you want. Since then I’ve just become more and more obsessed with it and honestly I listen to it way too much but I never get tired of it! I am so so excited to hear it live next year!
4. Divide – Ed Sheeran
You can’t deny that pretty much everyone would agree this album is one of the best of the year. Ed Sheeran absolutely stormed the charts with all of the songs from this album being in the chart at the same time and I truly think he deserved it. If you read my post about this album when it first came out, you’ll know I was unsure about how Ed could possibly live up to or even top his previous albums, but he certainly did it with ‘Divide’. I still love all the songs so much almost a year later.
5. After Laughter – Paramore
I’ll admit I haven’t listened to this album all that much because I forgot to bring the CD to uni with me! But I really love Paramore’s more upbeat sound in this album and I’m very excited to be seeing them live in two weeks for my first concert of 2018! I’ve never seen them live before so I’m really looking forward to it and I’ll have to listen to this album on repeat until then I think!
1. Sign of the Times – Harry Styles
I apologise, the One Direction boys will always feature a lot in my posts as you’ve probably realised by now. But my anticipation for Harry’s first solo single was so high and I was very nervous yet excited to see what it would sound like. I remember sitting on my bed listening to it being played on Radio 1 for the first time and being absolutely blown away by how beautiful it was. It still gives me that same emotional feeling that it did the first time, and I get goosebumps when I hear it because it just means so much to me. The lyrics are so meaningful and have got me through some times this year when I’ve been worried or nervous and that is why it’s my number one single of the year.
2. What About Us – Pink
Even though this song was only released towards the end of the year, it still made it into my top 5. If you know me you’ll know I adore songs that have meaning, and this one just makes me so emotional every time. This song is so close to my heart because it reminds me of my mum as she loves it. When I went to uni in one of my first days, I turned on the radio and this song came on and I just burst out crying because it made me think of my mum (lol cringe). I just adore everything about it, the lyrics, the melody, the vocals. Everything.
3. Back To You – Louis Tomlinson
Another appearance from a 1D member, what a surprise! I adore this song so so much because whenever I hear it, it reminds me of the day I met Louis in July because we were playing it on repeat while we were waiting outside for him to arrive. It reminds me of the anticipation I felt about whether I was going to meet him, the happiness that I was surrounded by amazing people, and the joy I felt when I did actually meet him. It makes me so happy.
4. Castle on the Hill – Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran was everywhere you turned this year, wasn’t he? I love this song because it also makes me really emotional and nostalgic. It makes me think of my friends from school, the friends I grew up with and the people who made me who I am today. It makes me happy yet sad at the same time. Happy that I’ve been lucky enough to have all those memories with such amazing people and that we are all still in contact and meet up whenever we can. Sad that we aren’t together five days a week any more and we can’t see each other as much as we’d like to. The fact that this song can evoke all these emotions in me is why it’s one of my favourite songs of the year.
5. Reggaeton Lento – Little Mix
This is much more of a fun song than most of the others I’ve mentioned! It’s made it into my top five because it just makes me smile every single time I hear it. It makes me think of my summers spent in Mallorca with my family, sunny days and happy times and most of all it just makes me want to get up and dance! It’s such a feel-good song and definitely one of my faves this year.
1. Harry Styles – 29th October
I wrote all about this really recently which you can check out here! I won’t ramble on too much or we’ll be here forever, but finally getting to see my favourite person again after two years made me so happy. The show was breath-taking, and the atmosphere of love I felt in that room cannot compare to anything I’ve ever felt before. Truly one of the best nights of my life.
2. Niall Horan – 31st August
Again, you can read all about this here! As I’ve already mentioned, getting to hear Niall’s album live before it was released was such a special experience and to be lucky enough to have been one of 2,000 people there that night was truly one of the best things ever. The atmosphere was also one of the best I’ve ever experienced and I got to spend it with some of the most incredible people I’ve ever met which also made it extra special.
3. Steps – 1st December
This was very recent and you can read about it here. I cannot explain how incredible this concert was, it truly transported me right back to my childhood and made me the happiest I’d been in a long time! It was just one of the most enjoyable, fun nights I’ve ever had and to have been part of that was one of the most amazing experiences not only this year but of my whole life!
4. Little Mix – 18th November
Wow I sound like a broken record but you can read about this show here! I just don’t want to ramble on too much here so that’s why I’m putting in links if you want to know more about the shows! Anyway, Little Mix always put on an extraordinary show and this one certainly lived up to that standard. I love their energy when performing, their choreography, staging, vocals and outfits are always on point.
5. Olly Murs – 25th June
This was also one of the most unforgettable atmospheres I’ve ever felt at a concert. Being able to go to a show so close to my home and in the open air was so much fun and a really special experience for me. Olly is always one of the most fun and energetic performers and gets the crowd going so well! I truly had so much fun that beautiful summer night, and it made me so happy and content to see so many people around me also having the time of their lives.
1. Meeting Louis Tomlinson
Of course this has to be top of my list! I have been a fan of One Direction for around seven years and had never met any of them until last year when I was lucky enough to meet Niall. In July this year one afternoon I was on break at work and pulled out my phone to see a ton of tweets and messages that Louis was coming to Birmingham on a radio tour! I still believe fate was on my side that day because the next day, which was when he was coming, was one of the only days I had off work. I was truly blessed and followed the sign from the universe and decided to go for it. I really didn’t think I was actually going to meet him. When he arrived he kept skipping past me and I ran all the way around the back of everyone right to the end of the queue. He was about to leave when I called out to him and he turned around and gestured for me to come over to him and he took a picture with me before leaving! Just writing that out made my heart race, wow. It honestly was one of the most stressful moments of my life, I could see him leaving and really did not think he was going to turn around for little old me, but my voice came from nowhere which I surprised myself by as I usually freeze in front of celebrities, and it paid off because he noticed me! He’s honestly one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met and he doesn’t know it but he made me extremely happy that day and I cannot thank him enough.
2. Meeting internet friends
This year I have met some of the most amazing people who I can’t even imagine my life without now, and it’s all thanks to a little app called twitter. Over the years twitter has united me with fellow One Direction fans, but this year I have met a lot more people through our mutual love of them and I could not be more thankful. Thanks to Harry, I’ve met someone I now consider one of my best friends. All because of our spontaneous decision to buy tickets to see Harry together before we’d even met each other, and now I don’t know what I’d do without her. She’s the first person I think of texting when anything happens to me, good or bad, and she always knows what to say. Conversation with her is effortless, I don’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing or being judged because we are so alike and we even share the same ridiculous sense of humour. I honestly cannot thank Harry enough for bringing Maddie into my life. If you’re reading this Maddie I love you so much, thank you for being such an amazing friend to me. I’ve also met so many new friends when I was meeting Louis and at Niall’s show, which has made everything so much more fun and I know I have met some friends for life simply because of those One Direction boys.
3. Starting my Masters course
This one hasn’t been easy. In fact it’s been really difficult and stressful and everything in between, but I know it’s worth it. In January I was rejected from my dream uni in London to do a Masters in magazine journalism. Devastated was an understatement. I cried for hours because I just felt like a failure. But around a week later, I got an offer from another uni. It wasn’t London, but it was still my dream course and I accepted my place straight away and haven’t looked back. It’s been a massive change. In fact it’s been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I hate being away from home, I get so homesick but I’m learning and growing. I’ve learned to cook, I have wonderful flatmates and such amazing coursemates and I am enjoying the course so much even though I’m currently knee deep in revision. By the end of this course I hope I’ll be better equipped to get a job I’ll love and that’s why I’m doing this. Nothing worth having ever came easy.
4. Helping set up a new store
In June I went with one of my managers from work to Stafford for six days to help set up a new store there. It was honestly one of the hardest, most tiring things I’ve ever done. We worked for 12 hours every day for six days straight and I’m not going to lie, at times I was literally losing the will to live. But I did it and being there on opening day to see all the customers flood through the doors I felt so proud! Seeing the way it all came together to make a store that looked incredible was such a great achievement and I’m so proud of myself for not only surviving but doing a good job too!
5. Moving house
Me and my family moved from my childhood home on the last day of March. I’d lived in that house since I was about 3, ever since I could remember. It was all I’d ever known as home and I was worried that when we moved I wouldn’t be able to think of another house as home. Of course it was weird at first but I am so happy we did it because I adore our new house and in this short amount of time it’s become our home. It’s the only place I think about coming home to from uni.
1. Change isn’t easy
If I had to choose one word to sum up my 2017 it would be change. My whole life has changed this year, starting with moving house and then leaving my job in September and moving away to start Uni. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about change it’s that it’s not easy. In fact, it’s really flipping hard. Before I left my job I knew I was going to miss it because I’d been there three years, it was my first ever job and all the people I worked with were so amazing. I loved my job, and that’s rare for someone who just works in a shop. But I did not think I’d miss it quite as much as I do. I thought I’d be somewhat glad to be free of all the negatives – the early mornings, the long hours, the annoying customers. But when I think about it now I miss it so much. Again with Uni, it’s been a huge change. When I did my undergrad degree I lived at home, and then I took a year to just work and save up money for my Masters. I’ve never been away from home for more than a week by myself, so it was a real wakeup call when I found myself on my own. I won’t lie and say it’s been easy, or that I’ve fully got used to it yet. But I’ve met some amazing people, I love my course and I’m getting there.
2. There’s no ‘right way’ to live your life
This kind of follows on from my last point; I’ve always felt like I’m not as mature or advanced as I should be because I was 22 and still living at home. I felt like I wasn’t doing what a person my age should be doing because I hadn’t moved out for Uni and I didn’t have an ‘adult job’. But what I’ve learned this year is that it’s okay. Everyone has their own life, their own mind and it’s your choice what to do with it. There’s no rules that say you have to be doing this or that by the time you’re a certain age. Yes, I love being at home. I used to think after my masters I’d move to London and get a job at a big magazine but now I realise I want to look closer to home first. And that’s perfectly alright. Whatever you want, and whatever’s best for you, it’s okay.
3. Things don’t always work out like you expect them to
Again, this is very similar to my last two points. This time last year I thought I’d be going to London to do my masters. Who knows what would’ve happened if things had turned out differently? The truth is we don’t know. We just have to accept that sometimes, life doesn’t work out the way to imagine it to. In fact, it rarely does. But I believe that whatever happens, even if something sets you back, it might be because something better is just around the corner.
4. You’re capable of more than you think
I’ve learned to believe in myself a lot more over the past year. I’m doing things on a day to day basis now that I never thought I’d do. I can cook now, yes it’s basic and it’s mostly pasta but it’s enough to get me by! I am so much more confident than I ever was. I talk and joke with my friends, I’ve actually made new friends! I had the confidence to talk to the people on my course and become close with them, and that’s something little shy younger me would’ve never believed if I’d told her. Even if it seems impossible, you’ll get there. You’re capable of so much more than you think. Stop underestimating yourself.
5. Home is where the heart is
They say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. I can tell you this is true. It’s the simple things I miss while I’m at Uni; sitting in the living room with my family with a cup of tea in front of the TV in the evening, having my dog rest his head on my lap as he begs for the pizza I have on my lap, even just the short drive in my mini to work. Even the way that my co-workers would greet me with a friendly smile as I walked into work. I’ve always wondered, and still do, how some people just adjust to Uni life so easily. For me I think I’ll always love and miss my home. Home is where my heart is, and where it always will be.
That turned out so much longer than I thought it would be, so if you read all of it congrats and thank you so much! 2017 has certainly been a crazy one. I’ve had a lot of amazing times this year, met new friends, been through a lot of change and learned a lot. I’m on my way to what will hopefully be a fab future for me, and my dreams are within my reach. I hope I’ll reach them in 2018. But if not, I’ll keep trying and eventually I know I’ll get there. I might be 23 but I’m still learning, and I plan on doing a lot more of it in 2018.
Thank you so much for reading, and everyone who has kept reading my blog this year even though it’s been all over the place! I appreciate it so much.
I hope you all have the most amazing New Year and I’ll see you all in 2018! x