Friday, 12 February 2016


I can't believe I have nearly finished my degree - I don't know where the time has gone. Seriously, where has it gone? I have learnt so much over the past three years, I honestly don't know how I will feel once I have graduated! I guess it will be a mixture between happiness and sadness. On one part, I'll miss all the amazing people I had the chance to meet, both friends and lecturers. On the other hand, I can't wait to throw myself into the deep end and begin a career and apply all my new skills and ideas. I thought I would take some time to reflect and write down some of my thoughts regarding university and my experience with it - good and bad. When I say I have learnt a lot, I mean it both educationally and skill wise. 

Firstly, keeping a diary is essential. This may not apply to everyone, but for me, I need a diary to write down deadlines, to-do lists and lot's of other info that should not be forgotten! I like to do countdowns in terms of weeks until a deadline as it allows me to instantly look and see that I have x amount of weeks left until hand in. I also like to write in the times and locations of all of my lectures and seminars. I am one of those people who double check everything so even though I know I'm in lecture room 1, I still check out of worry! A diary also let's you see everything at once so your week feels more like a whole instead of lot's of small pieces.

It sounds odd but I have really learnt more about who I am as a person, as well as what kind of people I like to be around. I love being around friends and going for cups of tea and a gossip, but I also value my alone time. I think a healthy balance between both is extremely important. I found that in my first year of university everyone loved going out and drinking most nights in the week, but this wasn't me at all. Don't get me wrong, I like to drink - I just don't like drinking cheap drinks to the point of passout. After transferring to another university for my second year, I found myself surrounded by likeminded people who also didn't want to drink 24/7. I have met some amazing people and it really does teach you a lot about yourself and who you want to be. I am really comfortable with my personality and I have learnt that you can't please everyone, it just isn't possible. You need to be who you are and in return you will attract others who value your friendship and want to see you achieve awesome things.

Okay, so probably one of the most important lessons I have learnt from university is that sleep is a gift. I can spend hours watching YouTube videos and spiralling into a google search concerning something totally irrelevant and unnecessary to anything in my life. (For Example, "Who really killed Teresa Halbach?" and "Who is part of the illuminati") - Really if anyone has any theories regarding this please do send them my way. I have learnt that I can't have it both ways, if I want to feel refreshed and get up early, I need to go to bed early. I hate waking up early and feeling too tired to function - It really puts a cloud over my day. Although I do still have late nights, I know when to call it a night - when I have a lovely 6am start. I also use an app called Sleep Better instead of the iPhone alarm, the app has a really nice relaxing wake up sound and it also tracks your sleep and lot's of other cool stuff.

A really vital lesson I have learnt is that asking questions is not a bad thing. I used to feel like asking questions made me look stupid, that I shouldn't have to ask questions because I should have understood the first time. This is totally untrue and far from reality - asking questions is good! I now see that by asking a question you are showing interest and engagement with a topic. It is far better to clarify something than to guess and mess up, ask questions early and don't worry what people may think.

Sort of hand in hand with my last point, don't expect to know everything. It's very easy to feel the pressure during your studies and the syllabus can be quite large. Not only this, but you are expected to keep up with extra reading and assignments. As long as you try your best and push yourself (in a healthy way), you're on the right track. You won't get 100% in every assignment, but you can definitely aim for it. I have learnt to be proud of each achievement, even if it's not what I initially wanted. It's also important to learn the art of being happy for others. I have witnessed a lot of academic competition in university and I don't agree with it at all. Yes, it is brilliant to want to do well and excel in what you are doing, however, that does not mean taking happiness in the failings of others. It is possible to succeed and also celebrate the winnings of those around you. Help one and other and you will create such an inspiring environment to work in.

So if you don't attend uni, I'm guessing you have a stereotype in mind. Let me just say, and I'm not the first, this is very untrue! There is such a diverse range of people in uni and they do not all fit into one category! I am not an alcoholic, I don't make lot's of mess and I eat quite a healthy diet - I never eat pot noodles to be more to the point.

I have learnt during my last year especially, I can handle a high amount of negativity. A lot of emotionally heavy events occurred throughout my time at university and I managed to stay afloat throughout it. Don't get me wrong, there are times that felt like everything was on top of me, but those times passed and I managed to come out the other side with a positive attitude. I like to think I have this characteristic due to both my Mum and Nan, they're real life super-heroes. Both these women have always taught me to be positive and motivated, this was really put to the test over the past two years and it shows how a bad situation can be conclude in a positive way. I have completed modules, exams and assignments during this time and I am so glad to have stuck at it.

Finally, I have learnt that university its't just about getting a degree, it's so much more. I have become so much more independent since starting uni, I think I may be on the road to becomming a professional chef. I actually love cooking, and baking is equally as tasty. I have made lifelong friends who also share the same level of sarcasm, this can be hard, seriously! I have also found a love for being creative in a professional environment, I love marketing, advertising and consumer psychology - I can't wait to find my career during the near future.

There is so much more I could discuss but I think I may leave it here for now - possibly write up a part two in a few weeks! If you have attended university or currently in the process of applying, let me know what you think / are looking forward to!

Monday, 8 February 2016


I don't know about you, but I have never outright stated that I look good. I don't actually think I have ever heard anyone say it either. I was thinking about this concept last week and I felt inspired to write about it. It hit me that thinking you look good and being happy with the way you look is seen as a negative in todays society. This confuses me as we are constantly being told to "love yourself" and "be comfortable in your own skin" - this is simply not the case. 

I love browsing Instagram, there are countless amounts of selfies. However, scroll through the comments and there is usually a handful of people using in particular, the word "vain". Now, correct me if I am wrong, but waking up and thinking, "hey, I look good today", is not a bad thing. I've done it myself, if I feel good, I will take a selfie and I'll post it on my Instagram feed. I mean, what is so wrong with this? I feel like there has been a miscommunication of the word "vain" where it is often used instead of "self-esteem". Someone with high self-esteem is not a bad person and should not be attacked because of it. 

It saddens me as most of the culprits for this attitude tend to also be female. There is no explanation for the act of bringing down another woman simply because they are confident, shouldn't we all be able to feel this way? Liking the way you look is not vain and nor is it arrogant - we should be encouraging and rewarding this behaviour. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we should all be self-obsessed, but we should be able to voice that we feel and look good. 

I think that being shot down for having body image confidence in turn results in a lot of women feeling it is "normal" or "expected" to highlight flaws. Why is it most commonly accepted to hate  ourselves more than we love ourselves? I am not only talking about women either, I am sure men suffer the same social expectations - however, I am not equipped with the experience to comment from a male perspective. 

I am not saying looks are everything, nor am I encouraging the idea that we should all stare into the mirror in awe. I am just wondering whether the line between vanity and self-esteem has been blurred. Looks most certainly aren't everything, but being happy in our skin is not a sin.  It is hard to remember that photos of people online are only a snapshot, a split second of a whole life. Just because an individual feels confident on one day, does not mean they will feel confident the next. Allow people to be happy with the way they look and celebrate what makes them feel good. 

I would love to see more encouragement of self-love, we should all be able to accept ourselves and voice this. I don't think it is wrongful to take photos of ourselves and share this with others, I personally love scrolling through Instagram and liking photos from those I follow. The word vain needs to be clarified because being happy with the way you look is a positive, not a negative. 

Let me know if you have any thoughts on the concept of being "vain" - I would love to get a discussion going! If you don't agree, why? what are your opinions on people who like the way they look?