KU Talent Awards 2016

Tonight I attended my third KU Talent Awards! After being shortlisted for Rising Star in my first year, winning Overcoming Adversity to Achieve and being shortlisted for Second Year of the Year in my second year and now shortlisted for the Future Leader award, it’s been a great celebration throughout my undergrad. The nomination for this year’s award is for my work raising awareness and working with mental health, generally trying to make the world a better place. I’m home earlier than anticipated and I didn’t manage to collect an award this year, but I’m proud of myself.

You see, going tonight was about more than just trying to win an award to match the other, it was bigger. I’ve been anxious about it for the week, there are a lot of people at these events and there’s a lot of networking and on to of that I have to wear something ‘nice’. You guys know I’ve struggled a lot in the past year with my depression and anxiety and after my spine accident I lost a lot of confidence, so this years event was a big challenge. I did struggle tonight to sit, smile and engage in conversations when my brain was screaming RUUUUNNN AWWWWAAAAAAYYYYY, but I managed with my Mum by my side.

I’m not upset that I didn’t win, because I heard the story of the girl who did and she was an incredible person who really deserved the award for all of her hard work. Everyone has their time to shine, and mine was last year, which was truly one of the best nights of my life and I’m so lucky that my Mum got to share it with me. We don’t get to do as much just the two of us any more so I’m forever grateful when we get to hang out, because she really is my best friend.

I might not have won, but I got shortlisted and I fought my Anxiety and Depression once again and didn’t let it stop me, and that’s prize enough.

Sunday Seven: 7th Feb 2016

As promised I’m starting a new weekly post about my favourite 7 things of the week! Some weeks it might be themed, others it will just be my favourite 7 things of the week, like this week! If you’ve got an idea of what you’d like to see in Sunday Seven then let me know in the comments!

One – Having my face plastered across the Uni 

Last year I won an award for Overcoming Adversity and to promote this years award there has been a very embarrassing picture of me and the other winners  all over Facebook, Twitter, the student paper and all around the screens at the uni. I’m nominated for 3 awards this year too which is awesome, but doesn’t make this picture any less embarrassing.

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Two – My Hamsters 

Hamski and Noodle are my fur babies and have been really active this week. We’ve had a lot of hugs, some lessons in not biting (Noodle) and a few mini photo shoots. I’m completely besotted with them both.

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Three – Fresh Flowers 

I’m a sucker for fresh flowers. I just love the smell and the way they brighten up a room, even if it’s rainy and horrible outside. My grandparents got me these on Monday to say get well soon, because they’re adorable.
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Four – New Books! 

I had some books I needed to exchange this week and came home with three that I’ve been desperate to read. Sex Criminals is a graphic novel and nothing like the title suggests, well it is but not what you think a sex criminal would be, it’s volume 2 out of 3 and so far, so good. The next two books are by authors I adore and have reviewed  before, both are Young Adult fiction and look to be brilliant.

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Five – Primark’s Star Wars Game 

The Force is strong in Primark. I absolutely love anything Star Wars since watching the original trilogy over my birthday, then of course the new film was fantastic. I popped into primark and got a kick ass pair of shoes for a fiver (!!), R2-D2 cup for £3.50, Storm Trooper knickers for £2.50 and the socks for about £2. This badass stuff and the Harry Potter stuff they normally have is one of the reasons I only let myself in there sparingly. IMG_6340

Six – American Crime Story 

Now, I don’t normally watch a lot of TV. There are a lot of ‘cult’ shows that I’ve never watched or I have watched and haven’t seen the appeal, I’m much more of a book girl. That said, I watched the first episode of American Crime Story and I am hooked and can’t wait for the next episode on Tuesday. It’s also made me interested in the trial itself, meaning I have a lot of reading to do after pouring over documentarys last month.

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Seven – Harley Quinn 

All hail Harley Quinn! This is the graphic novel that started my obsession. I absolutely love the character of Harley and today picked up another novel, making it my third. There’s another two I need to buy and of course I’m excited about the new Suicide Squad movie. I have to admit so far I like this version of Harley better, but we shall see when the movie comes out in August. IMG_4616

Society Awards 2015!!!

Last night I mentioned that I was getting ready for the university Society Awards. It was all a bit of a rush at first with missing trains, busses not turning up and my sat in my wheelchair waiting for someone (Amy) to come and push me. We’ve gotten A LOT better at navigating around Kingston since the last time and Amy has strength that she never knew she did. So Amy, Laura and I headed out to represent Kingston Horse Riding Society at the awards.

It was a big dinner and award ceremony and I was wheeled around (and to my embarrassment carried because there weren’t ramps to the waiting area). We ate, laughed and took photos. First up was volunteering awards, which I’m embarrassed to say that I really didn’t know anything about. I’d love to volunteer but next year I’m going to be doing so much it will be unreal!

We nervously waited for our categories. This year we were nominated for Most Improved Society, Best President and Laura for Outstanding Contribution. We were shortlisted for the first….and then we won!!!!! We screamed so loud, our little society had won most improved! I was gutted that I couldn’t go up and accept with the others but a special mention was made and my picture taken! It was an incredible feeling and something I’m so proud to take through when I am president next year.

The society’s award!!! 

Next up was president of the year, which unfortunately Laura didn’t win but was shortlisted! We sat through the rest of the evening grinning like idiots because we did it! We had an award!! We only had one more to go and I, being the clumsy idiot I was, was trying not to knock everything over on the table.

Can you tell how excited we are? 😀 

For the final award of the night, Outstanding Contribution and we have a winner!!! Laura was one of 8 chosen! I cried when she won this award. I’m proud of all for my friends for different reasons, for Laura this is just a smidgen of how proud I am of her. Like me, she had a fall last year but is STILL recovering and had 9 months off of riding while she helped all of us and taught me everything I know about horses. She’d dealt with a load of other stuff as well and always has a smile on her face. Well deserved is an understatement and I am so happy to have her in my life and I can’t wait to watch our friendship grow over all our riding adventures!

Lovely Laura with her incredible award! 

I was so glad I went, after all the nerves and panic I felt about going in the chair. There were also times while I was there and feeling a little bit overwhelmed. So many people wanted to know about the wheelchair and what happened and what was going on in terms of recovery. I appreciated their kindness but it sent my anxiety into overdrive and nervousness.

Later on I’d calmed down and enjoyed myself. I was even wheeled on the dance floor and spun around, trying to wave my arms like a mad thing. Later, Laura did the same until my meds started to ware off and I got tired. I ended up getting wheeled home after midnight with lollipops and sweets. I was tucked up in bed (after being lifted in when my back decided it didn’t want to work) with a smile on my face and a tummy full of nerves for a fantastic society next year.

And the winner is…me!

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I’m writing this with the biggest, stupidest grin on my face. I won!!!!!!! I cannot believe it but I won! I am this years winner of the Overcoming Adversity to Achieve award ahhhhh! I’m still half in disbelief, even though it’s right next to me as I type this (and looked pretty damn good in the flat if I say so myself!).

I honestly thought that the amount of inspiring people who were up for that award that I was going home empty handed and I was fine with that, they were all so amazing I was shocked that I had even been shortlisted with them. One of the best parts of  the evening though was sitting with SIR TREVOR MCDONALD of all people on my table and having a long conversation with him about literature, music, the world in general and the new TV show he has coming up. He even mentioned me in his speech and before announcing I was a winner said that he really thought I deserved it. He is truly one of the most wonderful men I have ever met.

Everyone was so welcoming and so proud I won, hugs and congratulations all evening! Some of the people tonight I am proud to be at university with and proud to be at Kingston itself, a place I will always love. I’m struggling to write this because it’s all still sinking in and its so incredible.

Thank you to everyone who helped me along the way. I’ve come so far from what I was and I’m so proud of myself for making the changes and making myself face up to them. I couldn’t list every single person but you all know who you are, I love you so,so much. Winning this has made me even more determined to keep working on mental health, to keep helping others.

Don’t give up guys! I never thought this could happen for me! ❤

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KU Talent Awards, I’m coming for you!

I’ve been lucky enough to be shortlisted for not one but two KU Talent awards this year!! I really didn’t expect to get shortlisted for both, I was happy if I had a shot at being shortlisted for one. This year I’m up for Second Year of the Year and Overcoming Adversity to Achieve. It’s absolutely incredible and I feel like I’ve come so far since I started uni. So keep your fingers crossed for me!

Not one, but two!

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I’m going to be super happy and shout from the roof tops and I think I’m allowed to! Guess who won today at the English Literature awards!!!!!!!!! I’m so happy, being recognised for Academic Contribution and winning is more than I could have ever hoped for at uni, it’s far beyond anything I would have expected. I’m so excited by this and to top it off I was commended for the Best Overall Achiever award! I am really pleased that another girl, Daisy won though, she’s amazing in lectures and would make a great teacher.

My Mum, Sister and Ali came with me today, it was so nice just to have them there on such a big occasion to me. Here’s to the next 2 (or hopefully 3!) years at Kingston.

The KU Talent Awards

Tonight was the KUTalent awards 2014! I’m going to start the post by letting you all know that I didn’t win. I did however get to spend some time with my Mum, have a lovely dinner and meet some interesting people. I’ve spent the day working on other things, trying to keep my mind off of the awards tonight partially to fight of nerves and partially not to get my hopes up. 

The hotel was amazing and as usual the KU team really managed to pull it off  with guest speaker Kris Akabusi (a very famous Olympic runner for those of you who don’t know, I didn’t at first so don’t worry!) who made me laugh so, so much. Before all this though we walked down the red carpet and were given green champers much to Mums delight, I still feel sick when I smell it after the last event I went to, I’ll never be drinking that much again! We moved around the room and chatted to various people and had a few more drinks t calm my nerves. Before we got downstairs I’d been a mess I was so anxious I didn’t think I could leave the hotel room I was crying and stressing and worrying if I would fit in at all. 

Luckily all my worries seemed to be for nothing, the evening went by and I spoke to everyone and got into detailed conversations with the other members of my table who all appeared to be very impressed. Had I been a third year I would have left with a job offer apparently, always a bonus! The problem came when the nominees for my category were announced. I had been telling myself not to get excited, but when Kris said ‘she’ I knew there were only me and another girl in my category, he then said ‘she has been involved since the first day’ again something I had put on my application, then he said ‘lacrosse’. I don’t lie to you guys so I’ll admit I was absolutely heart broken, I thought I was bothered but I really, really was. I kept trying to smile but after all my anxiety before it felt like a black hole in my chest. 

Everyone I had spoken to came up to me after and told me how well I’d done to get there, how next year I’ve got to do it again. I was too upset but smiled nevertheless. As the evening went on it got easier despite being really tired, I hope I can go again next year but right now I’m trying to focus on spending time with my Mum. I’m glad she got to dress up and come out tonight, I also wish I could have been super happy and excited all night but she doesn’t seem to mind. So I’ve had my calming shower (a technique that has never failed for me yet, if only I could always get in a shower when I felt down!) and now it’s time for bed. First day of work tomorrow and hopefully I can be as positive as everyone else..I did get shortlisted after all.