Turning 20

Today marks my 20th birthday, and honestly, I just have one question, where did the past twenty years go?

I enjoyed my last 19 minutes of being 19, watching terrible TV all tucked up in bed. And for my birthday, I took an afternoon trip to Hema to buy more stationery as well as Lola’s cupcakes for a single, lonely, birthday celebration for myself. That’s the thing about growing up, each year so much changes, and this year, I’m unfortunately swamped with revision, essays and exams. Work hard now, party later once it’s all over, eh!

So, I am no longer a teenager, and it only feels like yesterday that I spent the whole night awake in sheer excitement of turning 13. Little did I know, that my teenage years would be some of the absolute best and worst years of my life to date. Let me take you back a bit, before we move forward onto the next decade of my life.


Year 9 School Camp

When I was 13, I honestly believed that I was the absolute best at everything I did. Truth be told, I was pretty great at most things not to blow my own trumpet or anything. The world was my oyster, I had the closest friends in the entire world and I literally spent day-in, day-out watching movies, swinging on the swings at the park and making endless (slightly rubbish) daisy chains. I loved pretty much every single day, I looked forward to school and X-Factor at the weekends. However, by the time I was 14, everything that I had ever known in my life changed.



In the year of 2010, just a couple of weeks after my 14th birthday, my Dad left us for someone else. One day he was there, the next he was gone. And honestly, it completely broke my heart into a thousand pieces. Never in my life had I ever felt so hurt, and to see my Mum and Sister hurting too was incredibly hard. I lost many of my friends, shut myself away and spent months on end upset, lost and confused. 15 and 16 weren’t to get much better, I had my GCSEs to stress over but in all that I visited both Berlin and Uganda, found my favourite ever band One Direction and made some lifelong friends through Twitter. At the same time as hating the world, I was also creating some of my fondest memories. From meeting Niall and Zayn in a London backstreet to spend hours on end with Mum exploring our home county, Cornwall. The summer after my Dad left was one of the best summers of my entire life, my friends basically came for a sleepover one night and never went home. We played the playstation until all the games were complete, ate pizza and turned our spare room into a giant duvet fort. And of course, we decided that you can never be too old to play with barbies or have a huge water fight, on a pedalo, in a random lake. Yup, that happened too.

The Best Summer EVER

The Best Summer EVER

After what felt like a lifetime of worry, my GCSEs ended and I got into college to study the International Baccalaureate. Throughout my two years there I went to New York, South Africa and Swaziland, hosted my first ever house party (I don’t remember a single thing), had my appendix taken out, broke my finger at my first music festival and put up my very own art exhibition. The year I was 17 was the best year so far, I tried new things (*cough, cough* tequila), discovered things I hated (the Big Bang Theory), explored and found myself a bit more. For the first time in a long time I was happy. I had an incredibly fun group of friends and I basically ate curly fries every-single-day. The day I turned 18 was monumental, I was in London with my friend Jess to see McBusted, I bought my first alcoholic (legal) drink from the Slug and Lettuce at the O2, you’d be curious to know that I let the barman choose and ended up with a “Sex on the Beach” #StayClassy. I went to my first club the week later, with my Mum in tow, of course. After my IB exams, the traumatic wait for my University acceptance began… and after weeks of begging and pleading, I got into my first choice, who’d have thought it?


University rolled around incredibly fast, I was excited and absolutely terrified. In fact I last less than a week in London, before I got homesick and went home. However, now almost two years on and I am still here, hanging on in there, just about anyway. From 18 to 19, I met two friends for life Anna and Rohini, met my favs 1D, went to the cinema with the Vamps, hung out with my favourite YouTubers and got to at last, after years of dreaming, move to London. It was in my 18th year that I was diagnosed with dyslexia and dyspraxia, something that has changed my life forever. Being 19 holds some special memories, I got see the wonderful Adele and my boys, One Direction six times in one year (yes, six times…), my blog was recognised by Unite Students and I managed to achieve the almost impossible, I got my first First in an assessment essay! Party!!! I also went on a fab holiday to France with my grandparents!


Meeting the SacconeJolys with RoRo


London & Bloggers – The Unite Student Experience

But now I am 20, and whilst I am a ickle-bit sad that my teenage years are over, I think I am about to enter into the most magical ten years of my life. I’ve already overcome the scary, from sitting my first exams in secondary school to getting into my university of dreams (debatable…) to travelling all by myself here-there-and-everywhere. Who knows what the next ten years holds, but I can take a few guesses, more than likely my first proper job (I was a waitress for two weeks and it quickly came apparent that I was far too clumsy), my first proper shot at happiness and my first flat/home/apartment/anything-more-than-halls. I just have one last question, where do you see yourself in ten years? Let me know in the comments below!

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About the author

Channon Gray

I'm Channon and yes, it's spelt wrong, but that is interesting right? I'm 23 years young. I like to write, create art and travel. Cornish bumpkin who studied in London then Cambridge. I'm now a Postgraduate Student, Stationery Addict and all-round Life Enthusiast.

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