A new month, a new woman 

It’s not often that people blow their own trumpet, it’s frowned upon to stand up and say, actually I’m pretty damn awesome. It’s something I’ve got a history of struggling with and I’ll bet most of you do too. I’m more than certain it’s an ingrained British thing. We’re not supposed to shout about being great like our American cousins across the pond. But what if we did? What if we just thought we were cool?  I had that moment a few weeks ago. I felt like a new woman and that maybe, just maybe, things could get better from here. It’s a cautious hope but it’s definitely there. That is because the last 5 weeks of my life have been transformative. I know that sounds a bit sappy, but it has.

It started with leaving my job at Tech Data, I was given gifts and hugs from friends I had made in the three months that I’d been there. The confidence boost after losing my job in April was huge for me. Following that having a week in the sun, just Ali and I gave me a chance, for the first time since graduating, I could just enjoy my time without worry.  And I took a big step for me and my anxiety, I flew home alone, me! Someone who nearly cried when she had to get a bus alone for the first time all the way back in my first year of university.

Getting back and starting my new job I was nervous, of course, I was but something felt good about this job. I quickly started and got stuck in, learn names and met clients. I realised that I could pick things up in good time and maybe, just maybe, this was something that I could really be good at. I don’t want to get ahead of myself but for the first time since graduating I’m not in a constant state of anxiety over my job…and it’s been 4 weeks. That’s a record for me.

On top of that I’ve started dipping my toes into going out. I do like being at home, I love nothing more than having a nice weekend with Ali curled up in the flat. That said, sometimes my anxiety got too much and I would hide, I didn’t want to go outside. Now, I’m slowly planning things. I got to book club once a month, I go to the gym with Abbie, we’ve been out the last two weekends and this weekend I’ll go to Pride in Brighton.

I don’t think I’m cured, that I’m a different person and I’ll never be anxious or depressed ever again, but I do have some hope. I know all too well that the depression is always there, it’s somewhere in my mind and it will come back but I will deal with that when it comes and, of course, Ali will be right by my side.

2017 on chloemetzger.com!

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A new year and more blogs to write and plan for you all to read. I really had trouble tonight thinking of what I wanted to write, what direction I wanted to go. A few nights ago I asked those of you who follow me on twitter (@chloemetzger) who you would like to see more of on my blog and if you’d like me to write two book reviews a week (!!). The majority of you did want two book reviews a week, which is something I’m working on doing in this years planning. In terms of what you’d like to see you asked for more mental health related posts and more general lifestyle posts. I am more than happy to give the people what they want!

So far I post Book Reviews on a Thursday, Feminist Friday’s and Sunday Seven. Three regular slots that my lovely subscribers and Twitter followers know are coming. After hearing back from some of you I’m also hoping to add a weekly mental health post and more general lifestyle in between. Basically, I want to get a more regular schedule together for the blog and make 2017 really productive and positive year for the blog.

I’m really proud of how it’s evolved and how many of you that I get to talk to and interact with online. It’s because of all of this and the positivity I have felt from you guys I’m taking active steps to write my book. Yep, I’m not calling it a resolution for this year because I know that it could take years before I’m happy with it and I also know that there’s a chance it will never get published, but what the hell.  This blogs in its fourth year now and I know I can write long pieces from my dreaded dissertation, so why not?

Is there anything else you want to see or maybe that you’re excited about? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me!

Settling in and Adulting Hard

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It’s been 35 days since I accepted my first full time job. In the past 35 days I’ve bought a new car, left my two part time jobs, started a job, moved out of mine and Ali’s first home, voted in the European Referendum, booked my graduation, got my results, released two new singles and played the main stage of the biggest free festivals in the South East. I get up, shower, drive to work, design, market and all that jazz, get lunch with some colleagues, maybe cuddle a dog or two, then I drive home and for the past few weeks I’ve always had something to do or somewhere to go. To say I’ve been busy is an understatement and so I hope that you will understand the reason the blog has been so all over the place!

More than anything post uni life has made me tired but happier. The end of uni was hard, third year wasn’t my best and I was terrified of what the future was going to hold. That’s not to say that everything has been easy starting my new job. I almost had an anxiety attack on my first day, I’ve been trying to understand the ins and outs of the company as well as working out how the hell I fit in. I’m lucky though, I have a great team of people who are genuinely nice and supportive. I haven’t found anyone who I don’t get along with (which is good because there are less than 20 of us).

Slowly and surely I’m finding my feet in the big adult world. There have been some wobbles and times when I’ve sat there and thought ‘I don’t know if I can do this’. I’ve had days where I’m so tired I’ve just cried for no reason and yesterday I got very lost in London (that was something I got very stressed about). The thing is though, knowing I have a team that I can ask questions to and rely on is a brilliant feeling. I’m still the new girl, I will be for a while but that’s ok. In the meantime I can work on this whole ‘being an adult’ thing…that might take a little more work.

Image from Pinterest

My First Dyslexic Session

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Way back in first year I discovered that I am in fact, dyslexic, and quite seriously so as my educational psychologist report says. There was a lack of tutors for me to start tutoring when I requested it in first year, I then developed the attitude of ‘well I got this far without it so why bother’ partly to hide my feelings. I wasn’t embarrassed to be dyslexic at all, in fact it made my constant troubles with punctuation, grammar and spelling that have lost me so many marks over the years. All in all I just didn’t want another label and have to answer more questions because people didn’t believe me. I love to read, I have done since I was a little girl, people see Dyslexia as not being able to read or write but that’s not what mine is, it has such a broad spectrum! I guess I just didn’t want another label on me.

Fast Forward to a few weeks ago and I was struggling with my course work I didn’t have anyone to have a read over for me or help me understand what was going on with my work on a regular basis. Some friends would help but it wasn’t fair to keep asking when they had their own assignments to do. I decided to try and get the tutoring again, because otherwise my allowance from the DSA was just sitting there not being used. Because it is run by a different company I quickly got a response and was booked in to see a tutor.

I was nervous, I’m really independent when I work so it was something I’d never done before. I shouldn’t have worried, my new tutor is absolutely lovely and respects the achievements and way of working I have. All my sessions will be lead by me and what I want to cover, while my mentor will suggest things that make my life easier in terms of my writing. You never know, the blog might improve too! So, every week I’ll be taking work with me for us to look at and try to make it better, meaning I’ll hopefully get a better grade.

Fingers crossed!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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After weeks of having Star Wars constantly on the brain today I got to put on my new jumper and head into a galaxy far, far, away. Yes, I got to go and see Star Wars: The Force Awakens today with Ali after booking what seems like a lifetime ago. I’ll say now this WILL NOT have spoilers, because I think that’s cruel to all the people who haven’t seen it yet. That and someone ruined a big plot point for me on Twitter and I have a special hatred for them that will last a lifetime.

Did I like the movie? Yes, of course I did. I was apprehensive before going in and kept reminding myself that this was a new film, new characters and just to enjoy it for that but as soon as the music started I had a chill down my spine and squealed. Of course it’s common knowledge that the original heroes are back and of course they were incredible (there’s no question about that) but I need to focus on the new trio.

Rey, Finn and Poe are going to be incredible through the next set of films, I’m calling it now. All three actors were absolutely phenomenal and were working with an incredible script that made you fall into the story seamlessly. The boys both had a brilliant on screen dynamic and really gelled I felt but it’s Daisy Ridley that I have to give a special mention to. She’s had minimal acting experience but there is no way that you would know, her performance of Rey was flawless and I’ve fallen in love with both Daisy’s character and her acting.

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The only thing I’m still not sure about as I write this is how I feel about our new Dark Side. Despite all the promo Captain Phasma didn’t seem to be that much of a big deal to me, she looked cool but I don’t know how vital she is to the story. Additionally I’m not 100% on Kylo Ren as a villain at this point, I have a feeling that as the movies continue our new villain will be one of the greatest but I’m just not feeling it yet.

So I’ve left the theatre feeling a spectrum of emotions and my overwhelming feeling is that I need to see it again as soon as possible. The Star Wars franchise is very much back and I’m already obsessed over theories for the next film. Only a year and a half to go!

A girl walks into a comic shop…

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Hello everyone!

Sorry I’ve dropped off the radar for the last few days with my back protesting and a low mood creeping in I’ve just found myself blankly staring at my laptop not knowing what to write. Instead I’ve surrounded myself with some good company when I could and I think I’m slowly breaking out of this low and through it I’ve found a strange new love.

Now I’ve been friends with Joe for years, back when we were both super anxious 18 year olds about to start uni. Ever since I’ve known him Joe’s been heavily into his comic books. When I was younger I got hold of a copy of Spider Girl and loved it but with no comic book shops near me I completely forgot about it. Since then a new comic book shop has opened in Kingston town centre and, of course, Joe has gone and landed himself a job there. After a while of me visiting I felt like I should probably buy something and try to understand what makes comic books so great.

I feel like I shouldn’t have made that decision because my bank account really hates it. Firstly it was getting into the Spider Gwen then the Gotham Academy series, which I’m now obsessed with. Now it’s evolved into me having a list to buy as well as buying three Superman and Wonderwoman comicbooks, Thor Goddess of Thunder, the two Gotham Academy issues I was missing and two indie Graphic Novels. Basically Joe is not only a great friend but also a great salesman. I’ve spent a good few hours pouring over them and I have to say he’s very good with recommendations.

I’ve met so many different people in the past few weeks since I started reading, mostly guys and they’ve all been so nice! This isn’t like my beloved novels, it’s nice to have something to just flick through, look at some nice art and something to look forward to monthly rather than once or twice a year. Don’t worry, nothing will be replacing the love I have for books but it’s another way of appreciating literature in a more visual way.

So that’s what I’ve been up to for the past few days, I have another thing to explore and get excited about and I’m pleased to report there are loads of awesome female heroes in comic books, much more than people would have you believe. There’s the ‘female versions’ of the well known super heroes but they’re not just rip offs they all have their own pretty awesome characters and ideas, Godess Thor is one of my personal favourites after reading today.

I’d love to know if you guys are into comic books and have any recommendations for me! I love a kick ass female or two in a comic book so if that gives you any ideas! Also if you’re in Kingston make sure you find Piranha Comics on one of the little side streets near Kingston Markets, it’s a great shop and all of the staff are great! I really love the way that they’ll sit and talk with you and actually care about the recommendations they give you, basically they’re one of my absolute favourite shops in Kingston now.

Book Review: Go Set a Watchman – Harper Lee

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Five minutes ago I put down my copy of Go Set a Watchman in a state of, well, loss but also amazement. To Kill a Mockingbird is without a doubt one of my favourite books ever. I fell in love with it as a sixteen year old and it sparked a love that not many other books have. I’ve been worried about reading it because of all the controversy in the news but I had to read it anyway, it’s a sequel to a novel I’ve treasured for years.

While there have been numerous bad reviews of the novel, this will not be one. Is this novel as polished as To Kill a Mockingbird? No, I don’t think so. I also think that the negativity is because of what people wanted to read. They wanted the world to be free from racism and for Scout to still be the lovable kid we first read about. The difference is that Scout, now called by her real name Jean Louise, has grown up. She’s twenty-six years old and a lot has changed for her. She no longer had older brother Jem and her best friend Dill to rely on (something which initially upset me but made sense at the end of the novel) and has to make her own sense of the world.

Before long and reader familiar with Lee’s work falls into Maycomb again. While 20 years have passed, it seems to Jean Louise Maycomb has stayed frozen in time. She’s still told off by Aunt Alexandra for not being as feminine as she should be, which made me laugh. While the sleepy town is the same, the reader is introduced to Henry, a Maycomb County boy, Atticus’s law partner and Jean Louise’s on, off love interest. The relationship between the two characters is vital to the plot and to Jean Louise becoming who she is at the end of the novel.

There has been a lot of controversy about Atticus, people have screamed about him being racist and letting go of everything he stood for in To Kill a Mockingbird. I don’t want to spoil the novel, but I do want to say wait. Read the book before you get mad and start ranting. If you start reading and want to throw it at all wall, carry on because I promise you there is a reason for this, a reason that is vital for Scout to grow into JEan Louise.

I could not put this book down for the life of me. I needed to read it, even when I was frustrated or didn’t understand (there is a lot of historical knowledge that I wasn’t too sharp on) I needed to get to the end. I found that I really connected with Jean Louise, she will always be Scout to me though. I just felt what she was feeling, when you go back to your hometown and you just feel like you stick out. When you need to realise that ultimately, everyone is human, even if it hurts.

Aside from the heavy parts of this novel, some of which had me on the edge of sobbing my heart out, there is laughter. The novel gives us glimpses of our favourite trio growing up. It felt almost like a comfort blanket reading about Scout, Jem and Dill and the things they got up to after that eventful summer, as well as who they grew up to be.

I thought long and hard while reading about how I was going to rate this and what I thought of it. While reading the majority of it I had a solid 3 star review in my head, and then I got to part seven, which changed everything. It explained what I needed explaining and made me think about my own life. I have to give it to Harper Lee if she can take credit for anything it’s making people think.

I want to give the novel four stars ****. Before people question it, let me just say there was something in this novel that caught me. Jean Louise is only six years older than me and I felt a connection with what she see’s and how she tries to make sense of the world around her. Lee has taken To Kill a Mockingbird and shown us again that life isn’t clearly divided into good and bad, black and white. I think for anyone who loved To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman is a must read, especially for those of us at a confusing time in our lives.

Review by Chloe Metzger

Why do I blog? Two years on and what started it all.

For the last few days I’ve been spending my time with some great students. These guys are around 16/17, just finished their first year of college or sixth form and are thinking about going to university and we got to show them around, take them to taster lectures and answer any questions that they had. So I loved working with these guys and they asked some great questions, one of which really got me thinking. Why do I blog?

Ah! Why do I blog? I really had to think so I just kind of went through the last few years and realised that it might be an idea to share it with you guys. SO first blog, my first blog was about books surprise, surprise.Basically my Mum was always nagging me to get rid of some books every time I bought new ones, so as a reason to keep them I set out to review as many as possible and fell in love with it. I done that weekly for about two years until I realised that I wanted to write about my experiences of uni.

I wanted to create a second blog for a while and played around with ideas and themes while I was 18 until I realised what wanted to read. I wanted to read about people like me. People who had no idea about uni, started completely clueless and to tell the truth about what it was really like. Around the same time I finally got a mental health diagnoses and I was passionate about including that too. So this blog was born on the 1st September 2013 (although it’s changed names several times before I realised my own name was pretty awesome).

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The beautiful picture of a very fresh faced looking me the week I got into university, aww. 

I knew what I wasn’t your typical student, at the time I didn’t really go out drinking, I was in a long term relationship and I had terrible Anxiety and Depression related issues. BUT! I knew I wanted to write almost every day about my experiences and my life so that others could find it and have a reference point and someone to ask questions too.

My reasons have evolved over the years such as: 

– I love to write every day, it keeps me constantly thinking and in practice

– Mental health is important and needs as much help as possible to beat the stigma 

– You don’t get a manual on how to be a student…so you might as well have some true experiences 

– I love talking to people! I have some great friends online now, like Caitlin, Alwyn Ash and so many more! 

– I had no idea what uni was about and was fed up of generic guides which were all positive! 

– I absolutely love it 

So why do I blog? For so many different reasons but mostly because I genuinely enjoy it. I’ve had people be SO impressed with the fact that I write nearly every day, but I just see that as normal. It’s not a diary (there would be a lot of swearing if it was) but it’s just me being able to reflect and share that with you all.

So I’m nearly two year in now and I love it. I plan to carry on this blog for as long as I possibly can really. I also want it to get better! I have already started my weekly book reviews, a few opinion pieces and I will be starting more top 10 and uni advice blogs! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this and if you’re even slightly considering creating your own blog, go and do it! Why not! Drop me a comment with your blogs below and I will try to follow as many as possible.

Thanks for reading guys and check back in tomorrow for a new book review! Also can I please say thank you SO much to everyone who has followed me, I now have 600 followers! I want to get to 1000 by Christmas and who knows I might do some kind of prize…ohhhhhhh!

Paid Internships Exist! Starting my job as a Social Media Coordinator

We all know the problem with finding a job right? To get the job you need experience, to get experience you need a job. Now I know like the rest of the student population it can be ridiculously hard finding any kind of work experience/ internships. Today I was lucky enough to start mine!

Before getting super into social media I thought about going into teaching or magazine journalism. Now most of the time you need to ‘volunteer’ in schools so I did that under a scheme which luckily made sure I got a bursary payment as I was promoting the university. As for magazines, I am get to find a paid internship that are above minimum wage (seriously try travelling into central London and living on minimum wage while looking good enough to work at a magazine, nope, not happening). So I’ve always been a little cynical about becoming an intern, it’s something that more well off people seemed to be able to do, not people like me. Not any more!
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Ready to start this morning, trying out my new lipstick too! 

I applied for the position because firstly, it was paid, secondly, it’s something I’m interested in and thirdly I thought I might as well. I felt like I had a good build up and some experience that would get me an interview, but did I think I’d get it? No. I really didn’t. Although the interview went well I hadn’t had a proper sit down interview for a few years (they’ve all been group interviews for my last few jobs) and there were some questions to make me think. I left and tried to put it out of my mind, knowing that I would know by the end of the day. Then I got an email saying it would be at least another day, maybe more. At this point my spine was still making me sleep almost all the time so I didn’t think too much but the longer it got, the more I thought I hadn’t gotten it. So imagine my surprise when I got the email offering me the job and it would pay a little under what I’m earning as a Student Ambassador.

It was decided I’d start after going to Athens, fine by me seemed like aaaaaagggggeeeeesss away. Nope. Today rolled around and I had everything ready, woke up early, played with the hamsters but I was SO nervous. I couldn’t remember what medication I’d taken and didn’t want to take it again so I was flapping about that. I ended up going with just paracetamol for my back (in hindsight a BAD, BAD idea.) I was worrying, what would people think of my brace? Could I really do this job when I only have 400 followers? I was so nervous/ daydreaming once I got on the bus I nearly missed my stop altogether.

I shouldn’t have worried, I was very well looked after. I was introduced to everyone in the office, a lot of people happened to recognise me from the KU Talent Awards. I’m slowly learning peoples names but I think it will take me a while. I’ve been set up with a staff account, I’ll be getting a staff ID card and can use the canteen…god I’m such a dork. Everything was gone through slowly and my new boss is fab, she’s open to ideas as long as I have reasoning! I’ll also be able to meet some of the fab guest speakers we have coming up (beyond excited).

So I’ve really landed myself a great opportunity, doing something I love. I will still be a Student Ambassador and International Ambassador too! This is just something that is more specific to a career path if I decide that I want a break from academics. I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

I wrote a post a while ago about being brave. This is it. If there aren’t any opportunities for what you want to do then go make some. Start a blog about your interests, do research just because and don’t give up. I never, ever thought I could be an intern and be paid a decent amount, whilst being treated like one of the team. People think that I just get given these opportunities sometimes but, I really don’t I work very hard and stay connected with people, it works!

I hope you all enjoyed reading today ( I know it’s been a long one!) and if you have any questions let me know below!

10 Reasons being a student is the best.

We all know that being a student is that beautiful time between being a teenager and becoming an adult (gulp), so here are just 10 of the reasons being a student is THE BEST.

1.  You actually get to study what you want 

No more P.E! Can I get a woohoo! There is nothing worse than the classes you hate at school (for me P.E and Maths) and at degree you get to study what YOU want to!

2. More independence! 

Whether you’ve moved away from home for the first time or you’re commuting, you get to be independent. Sorting yourself you is actually a lot of fun. I know most people really enjoyed their first food shop on their own while lying to their parents that yes they had bought fruit…strawberry ice cream is kind of fruit 😉

3. Taking up new things 

You might take up things you’ve never thought of before in societies, I took up horse riding, I have friends who do rugby, fencing, and once I knew someone who attended Wine Society, no word of a lie! It’s cool you can try something out and make friends along the way.

4. Being able to explore 

Whether that be the world, new culture,yourself, your sexuality, university is the time to explore!! You can try new things and see what you like and don’t like.

5. You can eat what you want….seriously

Want cake for breakfast? Go for it. Want a bowl of cereal for dinner, why not? Ok so it might not be that nutritional but it is fun.

6. You make friends! 

Ah making friends. Something which before we all come we’re absolutely terrified of. I met my band mates and some really good friends since being at uni, all of which accept me for the things that I used to get called weird for.

7. You learn some life lessons 

Like going out on an empty stomach and downing shots all night…don’t think you’re going to want to see daylight in the morning.

8.STUDENT DISCOUNT! 

I love student discount to the point that I’m a total dork about it. Most places offer a student discount, even 10% can make a difference, my NUS card was totally worth it and nice shops will check if you have it so you can spend money. I got a damn good haircut at a great salon with my discount that would have cost me nearly £50 at home !!!

9. You can decide what you want to do with your life

Most of us don’t know what we want to do at 18, so having 3 years to work it out is a good idea…even if most of us still don’t completely know at the end of it.

10. It’s  fun. 

I never thought I’d be this in love with uni. It is definitely not easy but it’s a great thing to do and I feel like a different person 2 years in!

Have I missed something off? Add with your comments below!