General Election – We proved them wrong

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I’m breaking my normal schedule today because I am filled with pride. While the General Election didn’t exactly get the result I was hoping for, there was one piece of good news. There was a lot of talk in the last few months about how Millenials won’t vote. For some reason there was a multitude of false reasons about why were, apparently, weren’t going to vote. Some of my favourites were:

  • We’re lazy
  • We’re self obsessed
  • We don’t care
  • We didn’t bother before

Well, yesterday 72% of 18-25 year olds turned up and voted. We were engaged and I firmly believe that it is because of my age bracket that the Conservatives did not get the majority. I’m hoping that this sends a message to the government now. That young people want change and we want to be respected. More than anything I’m proud that people are going to take control of their future. We made a difference.

Now, I am nervous about what is to happen. I don’t think the next 5 years are going to be easy BUT we will get through them. We’ll get through whatever happens with Brexit and we’ll carry on. That’s that. I’m hoping that in the next general election young people continue to vote, I’ll be 27 (!?!?) so not classed as a young voter anymore but I will continue to use my right to vote and encourage others.

Well done Millenials, I’m so proud to be one of you!

I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING! (But nor does anyone else)

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Ah the life of a graduate, the new and exciting opportunities, meeting new people, perhaps travelling, isn’t it wonderful? Well, it would be if life worked out like that. Recently I was talking to a few friends of mine who are coming into the final part of their last year at uni (how it’s been a year since that was me I don’t know) and they had the normal worries of a final year. Worries about the deadlines and dissertations but most importantly feeling like you don’t have a bloody clue what you’re doing. So I let them in on a little secret, I don’t know what I’m doing and as far as I can work out nor does anyone around me, some are just better at pretending than others.

My graduate life is different to how I thought it would be, because working full time every day is hard. It’s a different kind of hard work to what uni was. This is a physical type of exhaustion, my whole body is tired as well as my mind. Do I think Uni prepares you for working full time? No, no it doesn’t. I loved the freedom and the independence of uni, working from home and working when I feel most motivated. When you’re working you have set hours, depending on your employer you might or might not be able to work from home, although I’m yet to meet a graduate who is working from home full time. The transition is hard, it’s not all bad, but it is hard.

There are so many days when I feel my head is spinning and I don’t have a clue that I’m doing. BUT out of everyone I speak to and I mean everyone (who’s willing to admit it), no one thinks they know what they’re doing. There are some people that feel more in control and some that are better at pretending they do.

I have days now where I wonder what I’m doing because my life hasn’t followed this detailed plan I had in my head. I didn’t know that I can to know what I want but roll with life at the same time! So don’t worry if you don’t know what you want to do, no one does!

Introducing Feminist Fridays!

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Hello, hello, hello!

I’m writing today about something quite important. Now I know there will be people who look at the title of this post and think ‘oh god’ but wait! Give me a few lines. For the past few years I’ve been on my own personal search, the stage of your life where you want to know what you believe in. I’ve read countless books, looked at the world around me, at myself to decide if I am a feminist, what the word means (I’ll talk more about that later on). I wanted to start a weekly segment where I talk about feminism. I want to talk with you all about important issues, feminists to look up to and about our society today. I want to take away the misinformation, at least on my little corner of the internet. Most of all I’ll share my opinion and not step on another woman because of how she chooses to live, because that’s what feminism is about.

For this first post I thought I’d write a little about my life and feminism. Now, since I was a little girl I’ve always been adamant that I could do whatever the boys did. I would play with the boys at school, more than once I was the leader of the army through the woods. I used to draw dolls, because I felt Barbie was lacking, they were called Jenny Anything and they had so many different careers and I was 7 or 8 when I was drawing them. As I got older I still called out sexism, questioned things that I didn’t feel were right. Did I get in arguments with people? Of course I did!

When I was around 17, however, I started to lose my voice a bit. I started at college in a class of almost all boys (I was one of three females, which went down to two in my final year), which I think did have an impact on my idea of feminism. All of my friends were guys, I didn’t feel oppressed and I didn’t see it around me. The feminists I saw around me shouted a lot and talked about what I thought were stupid things like banning a song, I wasn’t like that. So when a boy slapped my bum, it was seen by a staff member and I was asked if I wanted to report it (which I did) I was pressured by the males in my class not to say anything because it was banter, could I not take a joke? Now I think about it am mad, but I was 18 years old and most of the time the only girl in the class and not always that popular for being a ‘nerd’ and a ‘swot’.

So when I got to uni I wasn’t sure about the whole feminist thing. I hadn’t seen a good example of feminism and looking back now I was naive so naive. I wasn’t looking at the bigger picture and I thought these girls were just huge killjoys. Who cares if women want to topless model, do porn or anything like that? Even today I still believe women can do what they like with their bodies and I’ll go into that in a different post. I didn’t see anyone who I could relate to and it’s something Emma Watson has spoken about (the first person I felt like I did relate to). Even in a university discussion I stated I was an equalist because I was fed up of women who thought they were superior to men. I believed the lies, I was young and impressionable and I believed the negativity. In fact now I’m embarrassed, but I truly feel that you need to find your own feminism, it can’t be forced on someone.

It wasn’t until I signed up for a Women’s Writing class and started reading the books that were assigned I started to realise something, there were people in here I could relate to. I realised that things I’d thought were ‘fine’ or me ‘fussing’ weren’t ok. That I can be a feminist and that this angry, hairy, bra burning feminist was something that was mostly made up. Yes there are some people I don’t agree with, but the world would be so boring if everyone thought the same. I realised that I am a feminist and that I may not have always wanted to use the word I’ve always wanted equality for women, I’ve always been passionate about men and women living together and being able to not have social pressures.

I am a feminist and I can’t wait to talk more with you.

 

 

 

Image from Popsugar

Did I look that young? I must really be a third year

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On the left is a picture of me just before I started my first year, my hair was short and I was both excited and terrified. On the right is a picture I took this morning while I was waiting to collect first years to take to enrolment, I’ll admit my hair has a little more frizz now than that carefully straightened bob from first year rather than being thrown up in a bun in the morning. Now, from the minute I got on the bus this morning I’ve been able to spot Freshers, is it because I feel crazy old? No it’s more because I remember being them.

I see them all wondering around trying not to look lost, carrying pieces of crumpled paper with their timetables on and being very well dressed. I think we all started like that, nervous, excited and a little confused at times but I couldn’t help thinking did I look that young when I started? Looking back at some pictures and reminiscing I know that I did and it still feels strange knowing that now I’m in my final year of my undergraduate degree, that I’ll graduate next year *gulp*.

I think the main difference is that I’m not that girl that burst into tears at least 3 times in the first week because she was so overwhelmed. I read the first year of blogs I wrote as a student and as well as being pleased my writing has improved, I don’t regret the struggles I had. I mean, yes I kind of wish I could go back and tell her to take a deep breath because she’s going to love it and this time it really will be the best time, but who wouldn’t? It’s no secret that I don’t want to leave, I want to make a life for myself in academics if I can’t go touring the world in one way or another.

So maybe I’m classed as old to the newbies but you know what I’ve been having the best time of my life and if anyone is reading this and they’ve just started university then hold on, you’re in for a fantastic ride.

What have I done this summer?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the expectations of summer today and for the past few weeks. As we creep closer to September and the evenings start getting darker that little bit earlier summer is scampering away before our very eyes. While I was lying on the bed at my appointment yesterday, as my physio was telling me to slow down and not push the muscles too hard something in me snapped. NO! I wanted to scream in my head, No I’m done, I want a summer do over, I want to go and explore the world and write books and go all over London. Just give me a do over. But I was sat slowly trying to pull my knees towards my chest and having my reflexes checked every week to make sure that I wasn’t getting worse. I was waiting on doctors appointments and adjusting medication levels every few weeks. What the hell was I going to say once I got back to uni?

Almost on queue my anxiety  kicked in today, with a days of depressive thoughts too. What if everyone just ignored me when I couldn’t keep up or go on nights out properly? What if I just sat in the corner while everyone talked about how awesome their summer plans were and how they were glad they spent their last summer before graduating having fun and being young? All I could say was that I fractured my spine, got to go in an ambulance and slept a lot.

So I got sad, got angry, and tried to convince myself getting out of bed and getting dressed was going to be a good move. I threw on some clothes after a while and scraped back my hair, intending to take some pictures of Kingston in the sun. The short story is that it didn’t happen, the long version includes a lot of muscle spasms and swearing. So I moped even more and did housework. Now I bet you’re thinking why do I want to read her moaning about life being sucky, WAIT, this bits almost over, I promise.

I thought the words, what have I done this summer? After waves of negativity I had a lightbulb moment, I managed to get my spine to heal back together. I realised how awesome and amazing my body had been this summer. I might not have done anything that other people I know will have done like a trip to Australia or going to Reading Fest, but my body has managed to piece itself back together and escape never being able to use my legs again.

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I realised that it was pretty awesome that I’ve gone from needing help to get out of bed, to walk even the tiniest bit and helped out of the bath every time (now it’s not as often) to having the independence to go to work and my physio appointments without everyone being anxious about it. I’ve learnt to deal with doctors and have a love for nurses. I’ve learnt that I can handle levels of pain I wouldn’t imagine and that if my determination ever needed testing this would do it. I didn’t back down on going to Athens or performing at Basingstoke Live, as people keep telling me I’ve been pretty bad ass.

I still have a long way to go, more appointments, more physio and having to adjust my plans but your body healing itself is a pretty awesome thing and it even makes me forgive the stretch marks that have caused me so much upset lately. Even with all that and the chance I’ll never be able to ride again/ it will be too much of a risk, the experience has made me grow, as cheesy as it sounds. I’ve picked myself up from lows I never thought I’d have and I’ve seen the beauty in the people around me.

So that’s what I’ve done this summer, how about you?

Babyface strikes again

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At the age of 20 and 11 months, I still manage to get ID’d if I ask for a drink with my meal at a restaurant as well as normally being given a children’s menu. Tonight on a long awaited family meal for my Nanna’s birthday my family got to have a laugh as I was asked to get my ID out in front of all of them. It is a blessing and a curse having a baby face. I get told time and time again that when I’m 30 I’ll be grateful for it. That might be so but it doesn’t help when you’re trying to buy a 15 DVD in HMV or when people ask if my Mum and Dad are home.The picture above is how I looked tonight, make up on, hair straightened and nice clothes but alas, I still look 16.

That said, if you look at the rest of my family they all look young for their age, especially my parents, neither of them look like they’re in their 40s. You can see here that my Mum’s side all have young faces too…

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It’s not all bad, I mean I can still get away with kids tickets on the train most of the time, if I’m not feeling too hungry the kids meal is normally a good option and every now and again because I’m so tiny I can fit into my little sisters hoodies (kids clothes are also cheaper). I don’t want to be a baby face forever though, especially while at work and people think you’re the kid on school work experience. ‘I’m 21′ I want to shout at them ’21!!!!!!!’.

This was just a quick blog tonight guys, I’m sorry last nights blog wasn’t posted I was completely absorbed in a Paula Daly book (the review for which will be out in a few weeks!). Back to business though are there any fellow baby faces reading this? What is the most embarrassing thing to happen because you look young? Or maybe you have something you really enjoy! Let me know!

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!