Hi everyone, before you begin to chastise me for my absence.. I just wanted to let you know that I wrote a piece for The Move Hub’s End of Year Edition whilst I was gone, please check it out! ( It was a short reflection of this year so far and I offer some advice to take into the new year. Even though I stated that this was relatively good year for me. I feel like a majority of you would not really know the ins and outs of my year. So I thought I’d do a list of a few  reasons why I’m thankful to God this year.

 I brought a car 

This is something that I’m so grateful to God for, because I actually passed my driving test when I was 17 (September 2015). I went to a sixth form in Essex and it was the absolute norm, for a lot of the kids to get a car for their 17th birthday and be driving within a few months. I thought that would be the same case for me. In fact, purchasing a car wasn’t too much of a problem. There were plenty of second hand cars available at a good price. The problem was INSURANCE. Insurance is ridiculously priced for young drivers & there was no way I could afford it whilst I was still at sixth form. However, in January, I finally sorted out my insurance and I became an independent driver. It was one of the best feelings, just finally being able to drive myself around and bang out my favourite songs on full blast.

I passed first year of uni

This may not seem like such a huge achievement. In fact, many people even told me that ‘first year does not count’, which allowed me to become so complacent in the first place. I don’t really feel like I spoke about my experience in university during first year (in particular, first term), but let me just say that I hated it. I didn’t like my university, I didn’t like my course, I didn’t really like living at home also.  So, I could say that these factors affected my attitude towards learning. I was also working on week days, so the time when I should’ve been studying- I was working or too tired to study. It wasn’t until around February/ March that I really woke up to myself. It took a lot of hard work and determination (a couple of all nighter sessions in the library) to do well in my exams. So, when my results came out in Summer, I was too grateful.

I travelled

Luckily, I travelled twice this Summer.  This is a big thing to me because growing up, I didn’t go on many holidays at all. Firstly, I went to Dubai with my sister and I had such a good time. I’ve wanted to go to Dubai for many years, so I was so happy to finally get the opportunity to go. It’s such a beautiful country and I can’t wait to visit again. Secondly, I went on my first solo trip. Well, I don’t know if staying with family counts as a solo trip- but I went alone regardless lol. I went to Lagos for two weeks, I just love being in the motherland to be honest. The vibes are just so different from being in the UK. My favourite part was the food of course- I probably ate my body weight in shawarma and suya. I seriously can’t wait to get more stamps in my passport in 2018!

I started this blog

Before I started this blog, I knew that I enjoyed writing and I wasn’t bad at it also. I’ve always been better at expressing myself through writing, rather than verbally. I didn’t necessarily believe that I was a good enough writer to even start a blog. However, it wasn’t until I stepped out of my comfort zone that I was proved wrong. The reception that this blog has received has been overwhelming. When my friends told me that my blog was ‘good’, I didn’t believe them too tough, as friends are supposed to support you regardless. It actually wasn’t until people who I barely knew were telling me that they loved my blog; that was when I realised that I was semi decent at this thing. I’m just happy that I’ve found something that I enjoy doing. I’m hoping for many more features in the year 2018, by God’s grace.

I started a society at university

Now this is the one thing that shocked me the most this year. If you know me on a personal level, then you would know that I am selective confident. I am confident to my friends and family, but in front of people that I’ve just met- I’m pretty shy. So, when I got the idea to start up a Nigerian Society at my university, I just ran with it . Well, I chickened out initially- but ran with it. This really threw me out of my comfort zone and it has been a very interesting experience so far. I’ve developed so many skills in a short amount of time; skills that I would have never known that I had, if I didn’t start up a society.

I survived*

Last but not least, I SURVIVED. This may sound pretty strange, but I promise you there’s a story to this. A couple of days ago, I was involved in a major accident. In case you’re probably wondering- I’m fine. Thank God! I was just driving home on a Friday evening, when another car skipped the red lights, which led to us colliding. The thing that I find so crazy about that day was that I had driven on the motorway,  and in busier areas where accidents are more prone to happen- nothing happened there. It wasn’t until I was about 5 minutes away from home that this accident happened. On this day I really understood the saying of ‘my life flashed before my eyes’, because I felt it. Out of the many things that I have to be grateful for this year, this is the main one. I am still blessed with the gift of life.

Before I leave, I just want to say a huge thank you for all of the love and support that I’ve received since I’ve started this blog. I can’t wait for what 2018 holds for us all. Have a wonderful Christmas and a blessed New Year.

Christiana Akerele.

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