The Ramblings of the Excited 2nd Year

 

So, in light of my rather terrible installation troubles, i.e. no internet for the foreseeable future, posts will be even more limited than they are at the moment. Of course, I will do my best to abuse the uni WiFi, and will squeeze as many insightful and interesting thoughts out of my head as I feel I can. A new term of new books and new lecturers will surely provide me with ample material for posts. I started this blog as an outlet for this material, and so it will be nice to return to the original stuff, even though I’m sure you find my culinary updates just terribly exciting.

Now, I can’t sit still. That’s the main problem. Because I’m just so very excited. Sitting in the car tomorrow for the six-hour drive will just about push my patience to the limit I think, because I’m already itching to unpack everything, clean cupboards, and get really, really organised. I’ve even roped my little sister into staying with me for the first night; she’s really good at cleaning things and so I guessed she’d be a useful pair of hands for the evening. I will have to concern myself with trying to cram tonnes of clothes into my wardrobe, and negotiating homes for my ever-expanding shoe collection.

It’s the waiting that I hate the most about moving from place to place. I love the excitement of finding somewhere new to live, and I like having a clean slate; you can make it look as lovely as you’d want to, and I have a fantastic collection of fairy lights that somehow make any given room far more inviting than a simple ceiling light. I have shelves, and I couldn’t have asked for a better house. I even have a garden with a greenhouse; not that I’ve ever gardened, but I like to entertain a fantasy that I could.

I’ve also managed to create a collection of comfortable and yet attractive clothing this summer, thus dispelling the need for baggy track suit bottoms around the house. Instead, I’m going to head down the ‘jegging’ route, and whilst I hate the word, and used to despise the idea, I’ve come to realise that they are in fact quite comfortable, but look marginally more presentable than tracksuits. I also spent a vast amount of money on an original Rolling Stones tour sweater, but I’ve decided it was just completely, and utterly worth it.

Anyway, I have to try to sleep tonight, because tomorrow is going to be long and exhausting. So for now, I’ll leave you to stare at the screen in a nonplussed sort of way, trying to work out what I spent the last four hundred words talking about. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to come back, but I’ll do my best to make it soon!

(:

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Three Days Left!

It’s finally happened. I’ve packed up, ready to return to college for the start of another semester. I’ve been taking preliminary notes, and packing boxes of fairy lights and duvet covers up. It took nearly seven hours to sort all my clothes and bedding into vacuum bags. It took even longer to establish how many pairs of shoes I ought to take with me, and there’s no doubt in my mind that by the time comes to pack the car, there will be a conversation related to “How many bl***** pairs of shoes do you need? You’ve only got two s******* feet!”. But that is all a part of the joy of moving down.

It’s really weird, because I’ve just got used to living at home again. I got used to being told what to do again, and so now I’m going to go back and be a little bit confused, because I won’t have anyone who can tell me what to do. Freedom hits a person like a brick in the face. You know it’s there because it’s just kind of, well, scary. But I’m sure it’ll only take about ten hours to establish myself independently again. Probably even less. I managed to nearly amputate my foot earlier, by standing on a pair of nail scissors. I’m amazed people actually let me venture into the world, alone and unsupervised.

I’m actually going to have a few days completely alone in my new house. I have to be back, to help out with some student-y type things, and I have errands to run, and jobs to interview for. But this means I’m back a little early, so I’m going to end up having a few days to collect myself, and join gyms, and run, and volunteer for things. I’m doing that thing, where I plan to be a whole, rounded individual, and I really do want to stick to it this time. Because of my dalliances in the kitchen, I’m half convinced I’m kind of like an Italian mother, who’ll cook vast amounts of food for whoever feels brave enough to eat it. Our own perceptions of ourselves are quite interesting, I always think.

So, I have three days left here. There are hair appointments to attend, and last-minute washing to do. I’m going to spend some time with my family, and generally being at home. And then before I even realise it’s happened, I’m gonna be at a Pirate Party, wearing a ridiculous stripe t-shirt, and an eye-patch, with a cardboard parrot on my shoulder.

(:

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This Writer’s Block Shows No Sign Of Letting Up

So things are just a little different at the moment. I seem to be leaving a trail of destruction behind me.  I’m exhausted, because I’ve dived straight back into working long shifts, and I find myself confronted with some rather horrible realisations, especially related to my future, and the path I seem to be following. Or as I like to put it, I haven’t found a path yet; I’m just stood at Clapham junction, waiting for the lights to change. I just haven’t figured it out yet, and it’s starting to affect everything, from my self-esteem, to the ways in which I approach employment, and employability.

So at the moment, I’m bumming around at home, tackling my second year reading list, brushing up on some philosophy, and working every shift I’m allowed to try to save some money up, readying myself for my climb up Kilimanjaro next year. I don’t know what it’s going to be like; I toyed with the idea of dropping out last week. However I received an email that snapped me out of my reverie: my deposit had been processed, and so without any real input from me, the deal was signed and sealed. I’m going to Kenya next June. For sure. I’m sure there’ll be a number of posts about the preparations for the mountain; it’s promising to be a daunting task, and the fundraising itself is going be to a gargantuan challenge; three thousand pounds must be raised.

Another problem I’m facing is that I can’t think of anything to write about. There’s nothing that’s attracting my attention. I seem to have run out of things to write about, because all I can think about, is me. And that’s terribly selfish, and I feel horrendously self-involved. I just don’t know what to say, and I certainly have nothing to say that would be of interest or note to a reader.

I wish I had more to say during this post, but the sad truth is that I don’t. I wish I did. But I don’t seem to be able to think about anything but the above, and I’m hoping I’ll venture back to the blogosphere again soon, hopefully with something better to write about, something a little more positive.

(:

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Supporting Photographers!

Yesterday, my lovely flatmate, Sam, updated his blog with all of the work he’s put into his first year of BA Hons Press and Editorial Photography. His work is fantastic, and I’ve never seen anyone so committed to a particular course. It’s remarkable how myself and other flatmates moan around exam time about the complexities of our course, and Sam just gets on with making workbooks, and hanging out in the dark room. He put an awful lot of effort into work this year, even securing freelance work for companies such as Student Surf Tour.

So, please have a look at his blog, its brilliant!

http://samuelshrimpton.blogspot.co.uk/

(:

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On Beautiful Shoes

I genuinely hope to own these one day, they’re Miu Miu (1)

I really enjoy luxurious things. I always have. It’s been something of an expensive pursuit, over the years, and by far the worst part of university is the inability to buy expensive body cream, and pretty clothes. I still do fairly well, all things considered, however being financially responsible is really not something I enjoy. In fact, I’d much rather go back to the days where I bought lots of things, and my Mum told me off for not having any money (because I’d spent it all on something ‘useless’. Occasionally our definitions of useless clashed considerably.) I never used to feel guilty about spending money, however now, I do, if I buy something I could have acquired for less money, or if it’s something I don’t really need.

I do occasionally get round this guilt by persuading myself that I really need a new dress. I go out quite a lot because I’m a student, and therefore I must have something to wear to this multitude of occasions. They also have to be fitting for lots of different things, from casual nights out, to themed space parties. My advice to a prospective student is to find as much dressing up stuff as you can, before you depart on your adventure. It’ll solve so many problems. I also suggest finding false eyelashes, tails, cat’s ears and wings, because I find that they are multi-use items of clothing.

It all depends of course, on where you go to university. If you live in a distinctly rural area, like myself, heels are very rarely worn on a night out, and I think I’ve worn trainers on most of the evenings out I’ve had. I choose this because at some point during the night, I tend to get tired, and take my shoes off. Which means I either walk with the risk of broken glass in my foot, or I change into trainers. I therefore prefer to skip this, and just wear trainers from the outset. If you’re at university in somewhere like London or Bristol however, heels are the norm. You should really adjust your wardrobe accordingly, and don’t take things that you won’t use, because at some point, you’ll have to move out of halls. The best thing to do is streamline the shoe collection, especially if like myself, you’re something of a collector. At home, I have a beautiful shoe collection. And I genuinely worry about them feeling neglected during my long absences.

But anyway, back to my starting sentence. Luxury is something I hope to afford one day in the future. And in the meantime, there are quite a few passable body creams out there. It just depends on how much money you’d like to preserve for things like food, and rent.

(:

(1) http://www.sisow.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Miu-Miu-Luxury-Shoes.jpg

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On the Publishing Industry

As far as the publishing industry goes, I know very little about it. I know that I would like to be involved in it. And I know that it is incredibly difficult to get into the big publishing companies, purely because they’re just so competitive. The problem is less about your own aptitude for something, as opposed to finding a position that will allow you to pursue the career of your choice. Because in the corporate world, your dreams are just the same as another applicant, and you both want everything in the position.

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The problem is acquiring experience and having enough initiative to search for the highly competitive internships that do exist out there. I think being aware of them is part of the challenge, and then finding out where to go from there is naturally difficult, but not completely impossible. I personally felt better about the whole prospect of searching for a job after attending some employability events, and realising that networking as opposed to simply qualifications, is the way forwards.

However, a note on talent; I feel that everyone has one, and it just takes longer to come out in some people. It’s always there, and I do honestly believe, even though I am known for being a tad cynical, that everyone has something. It’s hard to compete with people who have a huge amount of talent, all the time, but I think that’s just a part of the world we inhabit today. Once upon a time, people found a career and worked in it until they retired, however today, we’ll all have a number of different careers, and we’ll be wanting to move on, and upwards in the world, until we retire. There’s more of a hunger to be rich and famous today than there ever was; we all want to be something, or someone, or at the very least, we want to be rich and famous.

I don’t really know how I will go about being somebody, however I think my business which has started well, and I hope it continues to go well, will help with this. It’s not always easy, phoning and emailing everyone you know to tell them about it, but eventually you have to be accepted somewhere; it’s a law of averages. Eventually, someone has to say “Yes!”. Eventually however, is not a specified time frame, and everyone I’ve spoken to says that perseverance is key. Networking is also key. Talking and communication is key. It’s almost comparable to the Deathly Hallows, really; the three ingredients to worldwide domination.

So there we are. I love the idea of belonging to this industry, no matter which bit of it. I’d like to be involved in PR, and maybe even consultancy, but it’s so difficult to really define what it is I’d like to do. Which is natural, and it’s why people of my generation tend to have a multitude of careers, and areas of expertise. The agony of choice; that’s what’s made our lives both more delightful, and more difficult, all at the same time.

(:

(1) http://www.consumercareinc.com/grey_business_group.jpg

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Onwards, Upwards, and Backwards

The problem is time, and loneliness. They go hand in hand; they always have. People do not form meaningful relationships overnight; a classic example of course, is the one night stand. However people also do not form relationships over any short period; there are fleeting friendships, holiday romances, work colleagues. They all form your perceptions of the world around you, and impact you in different ways, however they are rarely long-term friends, or even very good friends, because after all, we impact one another without ever really realizing that we have.

(1) It's nice, to be together. Ask Winnie the Pooh.

I always feel slightly deceived by the cliques that exist in high schools across the world, and the misconceptions that surround universities and colleges, after high school. Nothing really changes, and friends are not magically made. You do have to go out and find them, and hope that whilst you’re away, your old friends don’t move too far away from you. This is one of the worst parts of university; a complete upheaval of everything, including your friends, who are essentially the people you grew up with. It’s hard to be away from the people who know you better than anyone; suddenly you have to start making first impressions all over again, being presentable. You cannot be yourself in its full, unmitigated glory, because people can’t always handle that.

It’s challenging then, to go back to a time where people don’t know you, and have no history with you. They really don’t know you from Adam, and therefore, why would they bother with you if you didn’t come across well? This is a valid point, and one that I think is rather valuable to remember; people don’t owe you anything, ever. You call in favours, you must have history and friendship; the world is build on the latter. It’s a warm fuzzy idea, however sometimes it’s just plain alienating, because the new world is a billion miles away from where it used to be, and nothing is ever quite the same, after that. Including going home.

It’s inevitable that some life changing things will happen, and that some progress will be made. How much or how little is dependent on one’s willingness to change and evolve, and sometimes people have to go forwards in order to appreciate what they used to have. People move on. It’s one of the worst and best things about university, and I think it’s natural to think that. People are the same across the world; even if we were all still together, things would still be moving along. This tends to happen; as horrible as it is during high school, its way worse in reality.

But inevitably, we also find new people. And these people are just as amazing as the old people. They’re our people too. Real friends never tend to move too far away; they always come back given a phone call, or two.

(:

(1) https://sarahalicewaterhouse.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/best_friends255b1255d.jpg?w=300

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On Coming Home

A very short note, to prove to all of you that I haven’t abandoned the blogging-sphere. I haven’t, really, I’ve just taken a small blogging hiatus, whilst I’m on a holiday of sorts, with one of my best friends. Anyway, the holiday is drawing to a very rapid close, and this time tomorrow, I will have skipped merrily across the country, back to my own house, and my own bed. I’m very excited.

I think my love of coming home stems from the fact that when I was younger, I couldn’t wait to move out; I thought it would be the best thing ever; you know the drill. Unlimited freedom, the power to go wherever I wanted, with whomever I wanted to. The part I managed to leave out of my perfect little fantasy, was that with unlimited freedom, comes unlimited responsibility. Money, bills, rent, and so on. All those things that just sort of weren’t there when you were fourteen, and designing grand houses that you would move into, as soon as you escaped from home. I realised however, this was the most preposterous thing I’ve ever done in my life. Ever.

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Anyway, the point is, that in twenty-four hours, I’ll be back at home with my parents and little sister, and all my teddy bears. I’m nineteen in a week, and I still cannot wait to go home, put on my onesie (they look ridiculous, but it’s like being in a bag of blanket), and cuddle up with my Mum. Whenever I tell people this, they either think it’s lovely, or that I’m somehow pathetic, and not independent; I think the two concepts are not the same. Loving home, and being independent, are not the same thing. There’s a distinction to be made, and I always feel as though people should realise the difference, and appreciate things they have, whilst they have them.

So to conclude: the rucksack is packed, the train tickets are ready to go. A spot of washing, and the making of packed lunch, and we’ll land back in the homeland before you know what’s hit you. Guess who’s back?

(1) http://www.twincitieshomeforeclosures.com/images/home/quotes/HFquote10.gif

((:

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Since When Are Student Houses Idyllic Cottages?

However, no matter how nice my cottage is, it's nowhere near as cool as living at Hogwarts... (1)

I have a new house! Which seems a rather random declaration to make, but it’s true; instead of a grotty old flat, I’ve acquired, along with three of my friends, a three bedroom cottage, which is ideally placed in the middle of everything I need to be near. It was the closest I’ve ever come to believing in an intervention in fate; the cherry on top of the house being the fact the landlord is willing to buy new appliances, in colours of our choice (within reason of course). I spent about an hour picking out matching kettles and toasters, as well as pretty pink sofas.

I’ve never really had a house of my own before, and so I’m incredibly excited about the decorating. I like buying things for houses, and I have a sugarplum fairy shaped house planned out in my head. The paint can all be of our choice, as long as it remains in pastel shades; pale pink and purple. We’ve decided we’re going to grow flowers, in window boxes (because it’s a cottage, they’re already installed), and we have a two level back garden, with adorable little steps going up to the top. We’re currently entertaining some rather grand notions about what we’d like to do with the garden; this includes growing our own vegetables, to having barbecues.

This cottage seems to have improved my mood considerably, probably because I like the idea of being able to move into a house and not having to move out again, after a year. We’ll be able to live in our sugarplum cottage until we graduate, which is certainly an advantage to sharing with a smaller group of people; there’s less likely to be huge upheavals in the house, and because we’re all like-minded, we’re unlikely to seriously argue. I feel extremely lucky to have found some people with whom I feel comfortable sharing with for two years, at least.

Anyway, I only have one seminar left now, until the end of term, and revision commences. There will be a couple of revision lectures, however nothing strenuous, and until the end of May, it’ll just be cups of tea, books, and myself. It’s about five solid weeks of work, revision, and exams, but then the summer will arrive, and I’ll be back home with my Mum, Dad, sister and my friends for four whole months. There’ll be a week when I have to come back, to move and decorate my house, but aside from that, it’s back to work and home, just as if I’ve never been away.

I’d love to know how everybody else found their student houses; were they nice, could you decorate, or were they stereotypical student houses, renowned for mould, damp, and leaking pipes? I find housing experiences distinctly fascinating, because they seem to help shape a person’s university experiences. Living somewhere habitable and lovely improves your mindset immeasurably, making you a happier student, and therefore much more likely to get your work done. Sitting amongst moldy, cold houses, is a recipe for disaster.

I’m just feeling incredibly lucky today.

(:

(1) http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lyj226l9nf1r5ap1go1_500.jpg

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On People

So, I seem to have been running a theme of happiness, or at least optimism, through my last few posts. I like optimism, you see. Anyone who knows me in person will be slightly bemused by this, because outwardly, I’m not always optimistic. Sometimes I’m downright pessimistic. I like to refer to it as realism; I like to know how things work, and I don’t like things that hide how they operate from me. For example, homeopathic medicine unnerves me slightly, because I don’t always understand how it works. The chemical reactions in medicine however, are something I can understand.

I think this is the same for lots of people; the emergence of science began to disprove, or at least make unlikely, the existence of divine powers. We are human, and so we tend to believe what we see and what we can feel. We don’t like power we can’t control, and I think it’s almost an arrogance of species that we think we can control everything our world consists of.

Some people however are remarkably strong in that believe in whatever they want to, even when evidence, or events in their lives challenges the ideas they have. Everyone, at some point believes in something different to someone else. That’s why during Fresher’s Week, at university, politics and philosophy are generally topics of conversation that are avoided. Part of the bonding process is avoiding contention, and finding common ground. In a university setting, the common ground tends to be making arrangements for a night out. We don’t moan about the washing up until much later on, until we know each other better. You don’t know people you live with until such time as they’re grumpy, and you’re grumpy, and you’re all feeling awful. Or when you’ve all got upcoming deadlines. I think people reveal themselves then, because the stress, and the hangovers bring out the worst in people.

Do you like my new sunglasses? (: (1)

I suppose this idea could apply to all environments, in all walks of life. In a work environment, you don’t moan about your job until you know people better, until you know what the atmosphere is like. You don’t take liberties until much later on. It’s probably one of the hardest things to do in the world; establish what the appropriate code in a social situation is. In computer games such as Sims 3, relationships pop up in little measuring bars; in life we go in completely blind, and feel our way through the dark.

Moving through the dark is character building though; you have to offend people sometimes, to know how to apologise. Most people aren’t born with the innate ability to know when they are wrong; sometimes you have to apologise. At some point during adolescence, people have to realise the difference between hiding from someone, or just thrashing it out. Relationships aren’t formulaic, and what offends one person won’t offend another. We just have to bridge the gap between regional differences in humour, and try to know when we’re wrong.

I did warn you all; I’m feeling philosophical, and rather optimistic, too.

(:

(1) http://api.ning.com/files/iIAE1QM9rlcxI0cGQ8WtvWY7Yl4JqtZwyTaXHis9yBQPn8y7AAHuaOFWTa-AG6tAzM3W71dC*C1olX6q8LbJVRapvvLGM1zb/optimism.preview.jpg

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