My 2018 In Review

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It’s the end of 2018 now, and while I write this post, I doubt that any curveballs will be thrown between now and the new year. My 2018 was full of some interesting stuff that I want to talk about.

January-March

In short, my 2018 was alright. After the clustercrap of December 2017, it really was an uphill trend. The year started with me writing my dissertation. I spent the second half of 2017 planning it, and 2018 marked the start of me actually writing the damned thing. Writing it took about 4 months, and I finished editing it in April.

I also went back to Ormskirk as well. It wasn’t the first time I’ve been back there since Grandad died, but it was the first time I was there getting used to normal life again.

I also met a number of particularly famous people in the world of politics. I met, this year, John Bercow, Lynne Featherstone, and Caroline Lucas. The latter of these people actually is the reason I got into politics. To meet them all was amazing.

Caroline Lucas
My Political catalyst.

In February, I sat front row at a concert. Alright, it wasn’t for a big artist, but I did go to see Jay Foreman perform in Southport, and he was hilarious. I got some flak from my Mum and Brother because it was a kid’s concert. I maintain it was a family show.

March saw me try for President of the Students’ Union, something which I decided to run for when I started in University in 2015. Yeah, I got trounced by the victor, though the fact I came second to a very good and very popular candidate, and beat out 6 other people means more than winning. At least I gave them all a run for their money.

April-June

On the 30th March 2018, my cousin gave birth to a baby girl, Daisy. I met her at the start of April, and she was and is adorable. She’s a bubbly little soul, and I love her! The 8th of April marked my 21st Birthday, and I became a ‘man’ and began collecting records. Its a good hobby, and I like to listen to them.

Baby Daisy
Newborn Daisy. More alien than Baby.

April saw me meet Julie Ward, and host a guest speaker at the university with the Politics Society, in my last meeting as President of the Politics Society. And I think it ended on a high note. As did my last year as an undergrad. The 10th May marked my last day as an undergrad, and it ended with an exam…during my cousin’s wedding. That was a pretty long day, but I felt strangely calm.

Wedding Picture
Me, rocking the wedding party!

My first real day of freedom was spent on the 12th of May when I went to see the Terracotta statues at the Liverpool World Museum, which was excellent. I’d recommend you go, but they’re out of the museum now. I also applied for a job. Didn’t get it.

July to September

June was a bit of a lost month, as I had nothing going on, except waiting for my Graduation day in July. July was a fun month. We had a summer barbeque, with water balloons, and a paddling pool, all on our fancy and new astroturfed back garden. And then my mate Michael came home from Turkey, where he’d been working for a year. And I became a postgrad too. I love the PGCE life.

July also saw my brother name a street in Prescot (though he wasn’t listed as a winner). I also posted the best damn rant that I ever shared online on the night before my graduation. Sorry for making you cry, Mum. Graduation day was amazing. It was probably the best celebration of achievement that I have ever attended. And it ended with dinner at a Beefeater.

Looking good.

One of the big achievements in August that I made was my #Saveour139 petition, aimed at restoring our soon to be cancelled local bus service. I got almost 500 signatures, and the service was restored; albeit cut down to half the original route. It was a great start…to a shitty month.

August- the month from hell

August-September was stressful. I lost my Disabled Living Allowance in August, due to not fitting into the criteria. The DWP did not give me PIP, despite sending further medical evidence to them as part of an appeal. Losing that money, and the issues with Student Finance, getting an ID, and my DBS check, contributed to me having a bad late summer.

As for September, I increased my dosage of medication, which was fun. It was a good two weeks until it was in my system properly, and I had some mad dreams. But at least I started my PGCE course, and got used to waking up 5 days a week at 6:30 am. Woo-hoo.

September was a big month for ‘If you ask me…’, and its replacement with the new If you ask ben website. I have had this website for 3 months now, and I still love it. Thank you, Neil and Manchester Designs. This website has made my posts qualitatively stronger, and has given me so many new challenges.

October-December

In October I upgraded my photography game, by switching from the Jpeg format to RAW. All this was due to winning the Edge Hill University History Department’s Mark McGow prize, at the end of September. I used some of my prize money to buy a new SD card, which increased my storage eight-fold.

On the 6th of October 2018, I finally got to see Jeff Lynne’s ELO perform at the Manchester Arena. The concert; which I reviewed here, was perfect. In October, I ran for Postgraduate Students’ Officer…and promptly lose. And the end of the month, we visited Ingleton falls. And that’s all I will say.

As for November? I didn’t do so much. As part of the Shutterbugs, I went on a photography tour of Ormskirk, with my friend Annabel. I volunteered in a SEND college as part of my teacher training, which was an enlightening and rewarding experience.

Finally, December saw me do a ton of things. I started my permanent placement at St Helens College, and I am enjoying working there with their History department. And I released my first poetry book, The Internal Monologue. And, with that, that was my 2018.

BUY THE BOOK

Concluding thoughts on My 2018

My 2018 was, on the whole, alright. There were some bad elements in the late summer, but it wasn’t awful. 2018 saw me make a lot of achievements and progress in a lot of areas, and I fulfilled a number of my lifelong ambitions. In retrospect, it has been one of my better years, in terms of productivity.

2019 is around the corner, and I intend to complete my PGCE and become a qualified teacher. I think I may be the first Attwood to do so. As for the blog, I want to continue writing content of better quality, rather than quantity. But nothing is guaranteed. Let’s just see where the year takes us. Have a nice 2019, friends.

Related Posts & External Links

2017: A Year in Review

Ben’s Christmas Message: 2016

2014: My Year

About the author

Ben

Since 2012, Benjamin Attwood has written for the If you Ask Ben blog.

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