Top Fives...

My top five things I’ve been doing other than blogging…

Hey guys,

I’ve been trying to blog at least once a week but things have got kinda busy the past few weeks hence my big failure. So thought I’d give a little life update and a top fives all in one…yay!

1) Having a job

Do you guys know how hard it is to get stuff done when you have to go to work everyday? Well obviously you do because you’re a normal person who has to go to work everyday. But it legit takes up a lot of time. I’ve been away the past few weekends so my life is pretty much a list of stuff I haven’t got round to, welcome to adulthood I guess.

2) Driving, driving, driving

The first time I started learning to drive was when I was 18. It was in my gap year after I finished my A levels and I had a really loud and friendly driving instructor who talked non-stop which would have been great if he wasn’t so busy talking that he forgot to tell me where I was supposed to be going and useful things like how to not stall and which pedals to press when. Anyway the winter of my gap year was a snowy one and I was far too scared to drive so that was the end of that. The second time I had driving lessons was in the summer after my first year at university. My new driving instructor was a very small man (honestly, I had to move the seat about a metre back when I got in to drive) who spoke about 5 words per lesson. Turns out feeling incredibly awkward for two hours isn’t a good atmosphere to learn to drive in. I don’t think I made that much progress that summer and then I left to go back to Nottingham and that was the end of that.

Anyways, now I’m on my third try and I actually have a test booked and everything! It’s in a few weeks so I’ve been having driving lessons a few times a week and my dad’s taking me out in our car. If I was able to afford to buy a car or insurance the prospect of having a driving license would probably be more exciting but y’know I’m a poor graduate so this will probably be a useless skill for a little while.

3) Trying to get a grown up job

Now that I’ve graduated I’ve been applying for jobs like a crazy person. I know that everybody knows it kind of sucks to be a graduate at the moment so I don’t really want to whine on about how much I want to find a job and how sucky it feels to get rejections (although maybe I will in another blog post) but yeah I spend most of my free time looking for jobs. I know I’m really lucky to have a job while I’m living at home so that I can afford to live and whatnot and I know that everyone is in the some boat so I shouldn’t complain. Still though I find it pretty depressing that when I get a rejection most people’s response to me telling them is ‘At least they bothered to get back to you’…which is true since most companies don’t even do that but…so sucky.

I’m done complaining now though, as everyone keeps reminding me, I know it’ll work out in the end!

4) Watching Bob’s Burgers

Bob's Burgers

Bob’s Burgers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you watched Bob’s Burgers? I’m completely addicted to it at the moment. I really enjoy the entire Belcher family and the bizarre happenings. Louise is probs my favourite because she’s the sneakiest little thing, I kind of wish I’d had a little sister like her…or just been her. Also they do really amazing puns, legit non stop. The only issue with watching it is that it makes me hungry for burgers like ALL THE TIME.

5) Reading

I love reading but I’m also quite lazy with it. You know those things that you have to make yourself do but when you do it you really enjoy it and can’t stop? Kinda? Well now that I’ve started reading for fun again (rather than reading for my degree) I can’t stop which is nice. So that leads me onto my new plan for ‘My Top Fives’ which is……..book reviews!!!!!

Ok that probably didn’t warrant so many exclamation marks. Anyway next week you’ll be able to read my first ever book review, I’m pretty buzzing. I’m organising my reading by alternating fiction and non-fiction because I love both equally.

So there you have it, as you can see I’ve been very busy doing all useful stuff, I’ll be back really soon though. (Seriously I will, I’m going to write another blog for next week like RIGHT NOW)

That’s all for now

x

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Top Fives..., Uni Life...

A few thoughts on graduating…

I graduated last week. It was a great day shared with great people and most significantly I didn’t fall over when I walked across the stage. I cannot tell you how many times I had nightmares about falling in front of hundreds of people, I need to get a grip!

Anyways, I’m taking to my blog today to help me process some of the thoughts I’ve had about this whole graduating thing. For the sake of tradition I’ll put them in a nice numbered list although there may or may not be five, we’ll have to wait and see.

1) First off it seems appropriate to say how astoundingly grateful I am to the people who helped me get through four years at university. The Vice-Chancellor of my university asked us, the graduates, all to stand up and applaud our friends and families before we left the ceremony last week and this couldn’t have been more of an appropriate way to end my university career. Particularly in my final year my parents and boyfriend read every single piece of work I handed in. They corrected it, gave advice and generally made me feel like I had a shot at doing ok…which I needed….a lot.

And even if they hadn’t done all that, my parents made it financially possible for me to go and live in America for a year, something I’d been dreaming of for as long as I can remember, and my boyfriend put up with a long distance relationship so that I could go and live that dream. So to them and everyone else who helped out and gave support, thanks guys-you’re the best.

2) My second observation about being a graduate…it’s not actually as scary as I thought. In fact, maybe it’s even a teeny tiny bit exciting. I thought I was the kind of person that needed to know exactly what my next step was because I guess that’s all any of us have ever known until we leave full-time education, but it turns out that I’m kind of ok with not being certain.

3) So here’s something of note. I assume it’s down to the fact that you automatically become a proper adult when you put that gown on and manage not to fall over while crossing a stage wearing heels but I actually do seem to be sorting my life out.

Since leaving Nottingham I’ve applied for several jobs doing really cool things that I actually really want to do. I’ve started selling all my worldly possessions on Amazon (this is a big deal for me, I normally vehemently resist getting rid of anything). I’m reading more and trying to use what limited spare time I do have now that I’m working full-time to do useful, grown up  things like read the news and make my CV look cool. I guess I got used to having a clearly defined goal last year…get that 2.1. Now that I’ve left I need loads of little goals, sitting around watching TV all evening just doesn’t cut it.

4) That kind of brings me onto this blog. I’ve been writing about it in my CV and covering letter but I sometimes imagine potential employers reading it and I wonder what they’d make of it. I guess it’s kind of lost its direction. I’m torn over how I should continue with it but I know that I don’t want to give up on it. My final year at uni confirmed how much I like writing and now that I don’t have essays to write I know that I’ll be craving an outlet every now and then.

I guess the thing I’m unsure about is what I’m trying to make of myself through this blog. On my CV I describe it as a place where I talk about my experiences on my year abroad and what it was like coming back to the UK. Well that just isn’t really the case any more is it? Do I need a clear thesis? Does the top fives thing confuse things? Does it need to be a blog about something other than my life? I’m not sure so I guess the next few months will involve me trying to work out the answers to those questions.

5) Wahoo I made it to number 5. My final thought on my experience since leaving uni is that the pain has most definitely been eased by the discovery that I’m going to be an aunt next January. I suppose if you don’t know me you won’t realise how much of a big deal that is for me. But trust me, I’ve been waiting for this a long time and I couldn’t be happier. That baby is going to be loved so much and I really can’t wait to meet him/her. (I’ve had a fairly convincing dream about it being a boy so I reckon I’m having a nephew).

So there we have it. For now, from the graduate…

My family

My family

 

My American Studies Buddies

My American Studies Buddies

 

And Me!

And Me!

That’s all for now

x

 

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Uni Life...

Hi again…

I’ve been reading blogs on and off for a long time. The thing I always find most disconcerting about them is when they stop. You’ve been reading along with someone’s life, learning about what they do and who they are, then suddenly the posts get farther and farther apart. Then they stop altogether.

You keep checking back and scrolling through the last few posts trying to figure out what might have happened. What stopped this person from wanting to share their journey with you. Of course it’s not just with you, it’s with the whole internet, but it feels like it’s just with you. As if you’ve learnt so much about their lives that you start to feel as though you’re part of it, as though they’re a friend you’re looking out for. Part of me wants to email them and ask them where they went but I realise that they don’t know me, they don’t feel like I’m their friend, I’m a stranger.

To me it always feels like something a little sinister even though I know that in reality whoever it is got busy just like I did. Their life was suddenly too much to get down on a website at the end of the day. Or maybe they ran out of inspiration and couldn’t find the words to make anything sound interesting. But I guess to the reader it just feels like a story left unfinished.

And I am living proof of that, I just got so distracted. I can’t believe it’s been six months since I last wrote anything, it does not feel like six months.

When I say wrote anything, I obviously mean wrote anything on here because I’ve actually written several essays and a twelve and a half thousand word dissertation since then. Now it’s all done and we’re in the painful process of waiting for results.

2 weeks tomorrow.

In the meantime I’m going to be turning 23 and having major freak outs about where my life is headed now that I don’t have the safety net of further education to catch me.

I have big plans for sorting my life out this summer which I’ll be sharing with you over the next few weeks. If you’re a long time reader of this blog and have managed to stick around for this 6 month dry spell then you’ll know I’m pretty much always trying to sort my life out. I guess that’s just how it goes, my life is a work in progress.

Sorry for being so quiet for so long, I’m glad to be back, it feels good to write again.

That’s all for now

x

 

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My Favourite Things...

Blog birthday and a daily prompt…

WordPress just informed me that I started this blog a year ago. I’m not really counting it as a year because there was a huge long gap when I wasn’t blogging at all.

When in doubt, a picture of a cat is always appropriate

Still, a lot has changed over the past year and I might even give you lucky readers a chance to read a top fives about that tomorrow, depending on how I’m feeling.

Right now I just wanted to take a brief moment (and it will be brief because I’ve just got home from a friend’s house and I need to go to bed very soon) to consider today’s Daily Prompt. Which is actually about public speaking but I’m making it about my blog because it’s my blog’s birthday and so today is all about my blog.

For me, public speaking is something I don’t really come into contact with that much. I know that I can do it but I’d really rather not. I just don’t really enjoy everyone looking at me because I think I’m quite an awkward person.

What I do come into contact with a lot is writing. Writing right here for the ‘public’ to see.

It’s scary.

When I first started this blog a year ago I was safe in the knowledge that no one other than a handful of friends and family were reading it and even then I worried. Now I have people (not many but a few) who actually follow this blog, who comment on my posts and I appreciate every one of them. But it also means I have to check and check and check again that what I’m writing is coming across the way I want it to. And even more so, that I haven’t made any stupid mistakes that make me look like an idiot.

I’ve had posts that have been surprisingly popular when I thought they were pretty average and I’ve had posts I’ve poured my heart into and they’ve bombed with everyone but my parents who are eternally enthusiastic (and for that I am truly thankful).

Every time I press that publish button I have a moment when I think maybe I should have done something differently but then I remind myself that I just spent the last half an hour reading it over and over and checking it for mistakes.

Yeah public speaking is real hard…but it’s got nothing on this blogging stuff!

That’s all for now

x

P.s Thanks to anyone who actually does read and comment on my blog. I love you all very much in a platonic, internet friend kind of way.

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My Favourite Things...

My top five reasons I’m addicted to reading blogs…

Until recently I hadn’t used my WordPress account as a way of discovering other blogs. I would dutifully come online and post whatever top five I was working on that day and then head off back to an episode of Come Dine With Me or whatever other trash I was watching at the time.

Now I linger. When I have nothing to do, instead of turning on an episode of something, I’ll click onto Freshly Pressed and find someone new to learn about. I hover over my reader page waiting for someone I follow to post something new for me to consider. It’s my new favourite thing.

1) I’m so very nosy

I admit it, there is a part of me that simply loves reading blogs because I like hearing about other people’s lives. I always have been very interested in other people. I like to understand how other people live and what interests them. That’s not to say I want to push into people’s lives and know more than what they’re willing to share but when I click onto someone’s blog and they tell their stories about what they’ve been doing that day I feel like I’m getting to know them a little bit.

2) What I don’t know

I can tell you close to anything you want to know about what it’s like to be a student in the UK right now, if I haven’t experienced something, someone I know probably will have. What I like is that I can get to know what life is like for someone else entirely. Weirdly, I love reading parenting blogs, make of that what you will! I love reading about what life is like for people in other countries, that travelling curiosity coming out. People write blogs for so many different reasons…I love to find out what the are.

3) They’re inspiring

I can look to people who are writing their blogs to help them deal with personal trauma, depression, loss and find hundreds of people that are inspiring in their own way. Even if they feel as though they’re struggling to make it from one day to the next, as they document this struggle they are offering the rest of the world some hope as they find ways to deal with the lives they have been given. Not only that, but people who are writing simply to entertain, for something to do, because they love writing…why ever they might be doing it, their blogs can offer little pieces of inspiration, especially for blogging beginners like me.

4) Learn stuff

People are writing blogs about all sorts of things. For me, cooking blogs are my favourite for this. I’ve always loved cooking and baking and cooking blogs are my way to learn more about food and more about the way people cook, especially on a budget as I will be once I’m back in a student house.

5) Have a chuckle

Of course there are the humour blogs which set out to make people laugh and I follow plenty of them. But then there’s all the others. I guess what I like about reading people’s blogs is that along with the sad and the touching and the thought provoking, there’s a lot of people just writing about their lives and, as it turns out, life is pretty funny. As well as feeling for people when sad things happen to them and supporting them with a comment when they need it, I just like laughing with people who want to share their funny stories with the world.

I’m sure if you’re reading this you enjoy reading blogs as well, if you know any great one’s please recommend them to me and help feed my addiction!

That’s all for now

x

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Weekly Posts...

My top fives of this week…

Hello Dear Blogging World,

I’ve decided to start a new thing. I’ve been struggling to think of new material for my blog this week and I’ve been in a bit of sulk because of it. I guess there is benefits to having a format to a blog such as mine; I do really enjoy researching and writing them. But sometimes I just can’t think of something that fits that well into a top fives…at least not something that’s remotely inspiring me.

But I still want to write. So today (and once a week from now) you lucky people are going to get to read about the things that have been on my mind, the things that have been preoccupying me, the songs I’ve been loving, the TV I’ve been watching , the things that I’ve enjoyed and the things that have pissed me off. Not quite a cop out because I’M STILL DOING FIVE OF THEM!

So here goes!

1) How do I get the internet to love me back?!

Please love me back..or at least like me on Facebook

I’m currently working for a company that sells incense and candles and stuff doing some social media for them. They recently launched a new website and I’m trying to build up their twitter and facebook following. This week we published our first facebook ad and it had a kind of varied response. One day we managed to get over 20 likes in one day, which for us is amazing, but it was only teasing it turns out…the rest of the week has been pretty av leaving me very frustrated. Combine that with obsessively looking over blog viewing figures and my head has been filled with trying to work out just what I can do to please the internet world!

2) Meeting the family

Last weekend I went to stay with my boyfriend and met allll of his family. My boyfriend and my family can testify that this is something I have been freaking out about…I don’t have much faith in myself to make a good impression although I’m not sure why because I’m fairly inoffensive. I tend to just smile a lot and not say much, I’m quite shy really. Anyways, having met his parents a few weeks ago, it was now time to meet the siblings plus their partners. Actually went pretty well and they are lovely…obviously. I don’t know what I was worried about….

3) Songs I’ve had on repeat this week

P.s. If you like stuff like this you should follow High Class Filter, a blog for electronic music lovers.

Oh hey Barack, mind if I write 10,000 words about how cool your wife is?

4) I started my dissertation reading guys!

By far my proudest achievement this week is that I started reading for my dissertation. For those of you who aren’t in the UK, over here most degrees (at least ones in the humanities) culminate in writing a dissertation of around 10-12000 words. Mine isn’t due until next May but I’m not particularly skilled at keeping on top of things so I figured I better start early. Combine that with the fact that my dad is way too excited to start having in depths conversations about it (something about him wishing he could go back to uni I think). I’m writing about First Ladies (for anyone who hasn’t previously read my blog, I’m doing an American Studies degree). It doesn’t have much of a structure or anything at the moment but I’m unusually excited about the topic so that’s a good start…expect that to all change once I’m reading about it non stop. Anyways, more than likely I’ll become so obsessed I’ll start blogging about them all at some point.

5) Big life changes

Ok well not quite life changes but hair changes. Last week I did something very exciting. Something I’d been planning for quite a while (ever since watching Pitch Perfect and deciding I wanted to be Brittany Snow). I went and got my hair dyed red. I used to be blonde guys…THIS IS A BIG DEAL. Fortunately I love it which is all that matters right? Well, that I like it and my boyfriend still fancies me, which he claims he does so it’s all good.

Five semi-interesting things about my week. Hopefully I’ll have some really big exciting things to talk about in the coming weeks. Can’t think of anything right now but I’m living at home and working full time, something amazing is BOUND to happen to me…

That’s all for now

x

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Family & Home..., My Fresh Start...

My top five things about right now…

I’m writing this in response to the Daily Prompt: State of your year.

I started following The Daily Post to try and make sure I kept writing even when the ideas weren’t flowing. Well, I still have ideas but I’ve been toying with the idea of writing about how things are going in general and this seemed like a good opportunity.

So, where is my life at right now? I’ve been back from the States for about 6 weeks and all the fun stuff I had planned for my return is just about over and done with. This weekend I felt the full force of being back, the prospect of working full time looming alarmingly close and returning to a long distance (admittedly much shorter distance but still) relationship. After moping for the weekend I’ve decided that’s enough of that and I’m going to look on the bright side, after all, this is my fresh start…

1) I’m blogging properly

As I’ve talked about before, I started this blog to talk about my year abroad. Unfortunately, that didn’t quite pan out how I’d planned and I let life get in the way. Since coming back I’ve started writing again and suddenly I’m obsessed. I think about blog ideas all the time; when I’m having conversations with people I’m thinking about how I could create a top 5 based around what we’re talking about, when I go anywhere I’m considering its five high points, even reading books and watching films and TV programmes is all about what could go into a blog later that day. I’m sure any long time bloggers will know what I’m talking about, it’s an addiction and I’m excited that it’s finally happened to me, I just hope I can stick to it when my life gets a little busier!

2) I’m home

One of the main things I learnt while I was living in America is how much being away makes you appreciate home. I’m not saying that if I didn’t have the opportunity to travel right now I wouldn’t take it, but I’m still in the stage where I can appreciate the little things about being at home. Being cooked for and feeling completely relaxed, which I never really do when I’m travelling and fully in charge of myself. It’s nice to have that comfort you know? In a few weeks I’ll probably be sick of it, but for now I’m comfortable and happy here.

3) 2013 is turning out pretty great

The first half of this year has been scary, exciting and life changing. I spent the first 6 months of it living in a different country, I travelled and saw things I never imagined I’d get to see and got to do it with some wonderful people who made it all the better. Then I had the joy of coming home and the reunions which I’d waited so long for, and they didn’t disappoint. In a few months I’m going back to Nottingham for my fourth year and I can’t imagine being more ready to tackle the prospect of a dissertation and some really hard work, let’s hope that actually turns out how I’m planning!

4) Obama’s still in power, my mug collection is expanding nicely and I have a great boyfriend

The world is just as it should be in the most important of aspects. My love, Obama, who I’ve expressed my approval for in previous blogs is still doing his thing and making the world a little cooler. This year has seen my mug collection expand at an unexpected but delightful rate with the addition of at least 6 since the new year. On top of all that, I’m in a real, proper relationship for the first time and, not to go on too much and embarrass myself, it’s pretty great.

5) What comes next?

I decided what I was studying at university when I was 17 years old; 5 years ago. From that age I knew I was going to spend a year living in America and, in part, my life up until last August was me waiting for the moment I took off and went to have this adventure. And now I’m back. I’ve tried to work out how I feel about this and I’m still not really sure. The adjustment to going back to being without this huge experience on the horizon is pretty disconcerting. The ways I’ve found to cope with it at the moment? Forget about what’s going to happen in a few years time, it’s not always good to live your life like I was before; waiting for something. I’m focusing on what I want out of my life now that I only have a year standing in between me and being a ‘real person’. Now I’m thinking of the rest of my life as the next adventure.

That’s all for now

x

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