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



Family & Home..., Top Fives...

My top five things about my big sister…

Yesterday was my sister’s birthday but I won’t say how old she is because I don’t know whether she’d be cool with that.

I was planning on writing this yesterday but yesterday turned out to be a bad day and I was too busy wallowing to write it so you’re getting it today instead.

Also, today’s Daily Prompt was about someone who deserves being commemorated…I don’t know if I’d go that far but I do really like my sister so that’s cool.

So yeah, my sister. Her name is Sally and she’s 11 years older than me. Maybe that’ll help you work out her age if you’re that interested and happen to have paid enough attention to know how old I am. When I was little me and Sally weren’t that close but as I got older we got much closer. She lived with us after she graduated and I was in secondary school so I spent a lot of time with her. Now I’m at uni and she’s subsequently got married so we don’t get to see each other as much which kind of sucks.

Anyways, I won’t bore you any longer with my family history. Here’s five of my favourite things about my sister. Oh and HAPPY BIRTHDAY SALLY.

1) She’s really smart

Yeah she’s the sibling that makes the rest of us look bad. You know that one? Despite the fact that me and my oldest sister are actually super clever too, Sally comes along with all her perfect grades and overshadows us. It’s ok though cus that brain makes her really fun to have interesting chats with.

2) She’s an incredibly talented artist

For my 16th, 18th and 21st birthdays my sister has made me a picture. They’re all so different and they’re all really special. I have them up in my room here and I will in every other place I live. Unfortunately I can’t do anything cool like that so all she gets is a blog post about her. Now that she’s a real grown up she’s an art teacher and I’m sure she’s amazing at it.


…and I got to make the cake!

3) She let me be her bridesmaid

Like most girls, it was a lifelong dream of mine to be a bridesmaid. FINALLY, when I was 20 years old, Sally got married and I got to be her bridesmaid. It was a really fun day and I got a really awesome brother in law out of it.

4) She gave my family a reason to go on a really awesome holiday

A long long long time ago, back when my sister was at university, she did a year abroad just like I did. Except she went to the West Coast and my parents and I took a trip out to see her. Even though I was only 10 at the time I still remember it being a really fun holiday and it was so nice getting to go back to those places as an adult this year.

5) She was a really entertaining child

Ok so obviously I wasn’t actually around for this but I’ve heard the stories plenty of times as parents do love to embarrass their children. In fact, these days Sally thinks she’s too old and mature to be reminded of these stories so I won’t tell any here. But she is one of those people you can just tell were really adorable when they were a kid, I really wish I’d known her back then.

So there’s five great things about my sister on top of her being just an all round lovely person and great sister.


That’s all for now


Family & Home...

My top five things about Christmas…

I know, I know, it’s far too early to even be thinking about Christmas, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to give in and write a little about my favourite time of year. The fact that I’m going home relatively soon for the ‘Winter Break’ has been on my mind a lot this week and the anticipation of seeing all the people I miss combined with it being Christmas 9 days after I get back is just getting too exciting. So in order to channel this excitement into something constructive, I figured I’d try to get it down to the five things which I love about Christmas the most.

Birmingham’s Christmas German Market

1) “Merry Christmas”

One thing I love about Christmas time is the way people are constantly wishing each other a ‘Merry Christmas’. It might seem simple enough but it makes me so happy when even relative strangers take a second to wish me a ‘Merry Christmas’. I notice this especially when working in retail around Christmas, which can be a bit of a nightmare, but for some reason even on the busiest of days, you can’t begrudge a ‘Merry Christmas’ as you hand someone their shopping.

2) Traditions

It’s well known in my family that I take Christmas traditions very seriously. In fact it has become something of a standing joke that each year new ‘traditions’ are added to the list. This insistence of keeping with traditions has left my poor Mother with an endless list of tasks she has to complete to make our family Christmas just right. The main one that springs to mind is the fact that she is still expected to make me and my sisters (bearing in mind that I’m 21 and both of them are in their thirties) advent calendars with individual presents for each of the days leading up to Christmas. It all got a bit ridiculous a few years ago when my oldest sister decided that we should start making them for my parents as well, but still,we did it once so it’s a tradition now and we mustn’t stray from it. Even the little things, like the argument we have every Christmas Eve over what time I’m allowed to wake everyone up the next morning (I tend to start off with a suggestion of 6am, they normally give in around 8.30) I see as a tradition now. Every Christmas I look forward to what new things my family can come up with to add to the long list of traditions.

3) Family Time

I come from an extremely close family and ever since I was little I have looked forward to important occasions so that we could all get together. As the years have gone on and my sisters and I have moved out, it feels like these family occasions happen less and less often, which I suppose is inevitable. However, Christmas is the one time I can count on all of us being together and that’s probably why I look forward to it so much.

4) Everyone’s Christmas is different

One of my favourite things about this time of year is that time when a conversation starts between your group of friends where everyone shares what happens on their own family Christmas. There are discussions over the little things like whether you open presents before or after dinner (after obviously!) and who gets to decorate the tree. I just love how excited everyone gets and the way every family has their own way of doing things which makes their Christmas special.


So I’ve been trying to write this post for a while and I’ve been editing and editing to get it to sound less cheesy. However, I’ve finally come to the conclusion that it’s pretty hard to talk about how much you love Christmas without sounding pretty cheesy. It reminded me of an argument which always occurs in my family (yes, I suppose another tradition) between me and my sisters over how to decorate the Christmas tree. My oldest sister decorates according to a colour theme, be it red and gold or silver and purple and yes it all looks very nice and tasteful. My middle sister and I take the exact opposite approach. Left to our own devices when decorating the tree we never hold back. Every decoration we can find goes on there, things all three of us made in our primary school days, every set of lights and piece of tinsel, it’s all thrown on while dancing around to Christmas songs. My mum always makes jokes about what she calls our ‘tacky’ approach to Christmas decorations but, as far as I’m concerned, Christmas is all about embracing all the tackiness and cheesiness you can.

So there we have it, it’s only mid-November and I’ve already given in to the Christmas hype!

I’m sure I’ll write plenty more blogs before the 25th of December but just in case…MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

And I’ll leave you with quite possibly the best Christmas song of all time, take a listen and try and tell me you’re not excited!