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



My Favourite Things...

My top five moments of a trip to Ikea…

It is a well known fact among my family and friends that I love Ikea.

Of course the main highlight of any trip to Ikea is the meatballs. But once you’ve had your fill of their Swedish meaty goodness, there is so much more fun to be had.

When I was in sixth form I even made up a song about Ikea to entertain my friends during a particularly boring free period. The lyrics were very simple, something along the lines of “Ikea, Ikea, everybody loves Ikea” and I would sing it in a terrible Swedish accent (think Phoebe from Friends when she pretended to be Swedish that time). I was considering marketing it as an idea for Sweden’s new national anthem until I met a legit Swedish person and they told me that Sweden isn’t just one giant Ikea…who knew?

Anyway, Ikea tends to send me into a bit of a hyperactive state so today I decided to channel this energy into something useful like writing a blog post about it. So here is your taste of what I would class to be the defining moments of any trip to Ikea.

ikea1) Forgo the ball pit and head for the meatballs…

Ok so you arrive at Ikea and the first thing you see is the play area which was a major thrill when I was a little thing. Except back in those days it was just a ball pit…now it looks way more exciting.

playCastle keep? What the hell is that?

Anyway…these days I’m all about the food. If you take a trip to Ikea and don’t go and have meatballs I’m not sure we can be friends anymore.

meatballsJust look at those bad boys!

2) Pick up a tiny pencil and try on some fur…

No trip to Ikea would be complete without a tiny pencil. We all know the ones I’m talking about but just for consistency, here’s a picture of the tiny pencil.

tinypencilAs well as tiny pencils, Ikea has a great range of fur products (I’m not sure if it’s real fur or not, for that price I’m inclined to say no). Ever since I remember going to Ikea one of my favourite things to do was go around and stroke/wear all of the furry things. Here’s an example.

fur3) Pretend you live in Ikea…

Welcome to my kitchen, take a seat while I cook you some food.

kitchenAnd now we’ve eaten let’s go and relax in my living room.

sofaI’m tired now I’m going to bed.

bed4) Play with all the toys in the kids section…

I am going to buy all of my future kids toys from Ikea. No child’s bedroom would be complete without the classic Ikea snake.

snakeOr even better, Mr Carrot and Miss Broccoli, teach your kids to have fun AND love vegetables!

vegetables5) And finally…

Get more meatballs to take home with you!

takehomemeatballsThat’s all for now


P.s. I must apologise for my appearance in these photos, I went straight from work. Hopefully the awesomeness of Ikea will distract you from my face. Oh and in case you were wondering who that man is on the sofa with me, it’s my dad.