Far from a Homebody

Homebody /’həʊmbɒdi/: A person who likes to stay at home, especially one who is perceived as unadventurous.

If there’s one thing I know I’m not, it’s a homebody. That’s probably pretty obvious when you consider that I literally moved alone to a city I’d never spent more than eight hours in before. It’s probably more obvious when you consider that I want to spend one year of my degree studying in Canada, a country I’ve never been to before.

The weird thing is, I had my life up to this point planned out since about the age of four. Minor details changed – studying history and English, rather than just English, for example – but everything else came pretty much instinctively. It’s probably been a good thing up to this point; I mean, I haven’t had to worry about the questions of what I want to do with my life, and going to university was never even a question. It’s saved me a lot of stress. Plus, I’ve always been clear on my interests, so I’ve always been able to pursue them.

But now that I’m here, knowing exactly how the next few years are going to pan out is the absolute least thing I want, and I knew that I’d feel that way. I like being open to different things, I want to see what opportunities stumble across my path, and frankly, I have no plans to settle anywhere for a long time.

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I have a lot of ambitions for the future, a lot of dreams. I like to think I could achieve three in particular. But the ins and the outs of how I might get to achieve those things are wide open.

I see a lot of people who are perfectly happy to have a fairly static life – goodness knows there are too many people in my hometown whose parents moved there, they grew up there, and now they’re having or have had families there. Honestly, that life would be my worst nightmare. I see even more people who have had the exact same job for a really long time, sometimes decades upon decades. If I had that sort of unchanging career, I can’t tell you how quickly I’d go insane.

It runs in the family, to some extent – my mum’s side of the family came from Ireland and moved to England, and my mum for a long time was never in the exact same occupation for any more than a few years. My dad spent his childhood moving around and, similarly, never had exactly the same occupation for too long a time. They raised me with an appetite for travel, and being a bookworm, you become fascinated with escapism and everything that’s ‘other’ to what you know.

So yeah, that’s one thing I know for certain about myself, that I’m not a homebody. It’s something I could never see myself becoming. I’m constantly after new things, new people, new places.

Are you a homebody? If so, what holds you back? If not, what drives you forward?

Katy x

Priorities Stink

If you follow me on twitter then you might know that on Monday, I was offered an incredible opportunity. An amazing opportunity. An opportunity that would have been huge and brilliant and sort of nerve-wracking but nevertheless so good.

And I couldn’t take it.

I wanted to, believe me, but (hence the title of this post), it came down to priorities. Those sucky things we have to pay attention to even when we don’t want to. The opportunity would have been me and possibly someone else interviewing some people (I won’t disclose who but they’re very well recognised), which would have taken up most of the rest of the day – it was only half one when I was offered the opportunity and I’d have had to be at the venue by half five.

Unfortunately, this week is crazy-full. And it’s crazy-full for my degree, and my parents coming to visit, and other commitments… and I feel insane thinking about all that when it comes to weighing up the way I actually spent my evening and the way I could have spent my evening, but that’s life, I guess.

I came here to study and get opportunities, and this was one of those moments where I had to choose which took priority. And unfortunately, one of my deadlines being on Monday (this coming one – Halloween) and worth 40% of my module grade, amongst various other things, my degree had to take priority.

I’m not going to lie, it felt pretty depressing having something so amazing thrown your way only for you to hesitate and it be gone. Someone else took the job about ten minutes after I found out about it. (What a conflicted ten minutes.)

The stupid thing is, journalism isn’t even what I want to do – you say to people “I want to write” and usually the first conclusion they jump to is, “Oh, so you want to be a journalist?” … No, people, that’s not it. But interviews kind of seem to fit journalism. But then again, I guess they fit blogging too. It’s just this particular interview would have been so cool.

Priorities are also why I’ve not taken up another opportunity – this was an 8-week coding course for girls, and I learned how to code in Python during my final year of GCSEs and really enjoyed it, and I feel like this course would have been amazing but I just couldn’t commit to it right now with everything else going on. This is actually a real shame, too, because it would have helped me figure out how to actually build my own website.

But, I’m keeping faith in the idea that other opportunities will come along, and if not, I’ll find a way of making opportunities. Just at the moment, priorities suck.

Katy x

A Week in the Life

Hey guys! Before I came to university, I was super confused about how timetabling worked, and what actually happened in the average day of a uni student. Now that I’ve been here for over a month (can’t believe it’s been that long already!), I feel like I’m able to answer that question.

I thought it’d be fun to share what my average week looks like – obviously this is only representative of me and my course (English and History, if you were wondering). I have to admit, though I’ve strived to spend a day away, I’m pretty sure I’ve been to the library at least once every day for the last three weeks. I promise, I only went in to collect a couple of books today and that was it!

Monday…

6:30: Mondays get off to a quick start, and I get up by half six most mornings.

7:00: By now I’ll have showered, I’ll get ready, do a few chores (like last night’s dishes – I’m terrible at doing them after eating).

9:00: The first lecture of the week – English 101. It’s the only 9am I have, which is quite nice.

11:00: I have a short gap before this lecture, which is History 117 – one of my toughest modules.

Then, the rest of the day is free to spend as I choose. Usually I’ll grab some food and then hit the library for a few hours of study, and probably do some shopping. I’ll spend the evening working if I’ve got a deadline coming up, or just watching Netflix or something if I don’t.

Tuesday…

Tuesdays are the busiest day of the week, and they tend not to change a great deal.

7:00: I’ll be at the gym by 7, working out for about half an hour – it takes me 15 minutes to walk there, so I end up doing a full hour of exercise. I’m trying to focus on abs and particularly my left arm, which sounds strange, but my left arm has had a lot of injuries for the last 6 years, so it’s incredibly weak.

8:00: Then I’ll have some time for a shower and some chores or some reading. I’ve always got more reading to do – one of my modules this term involves reading the equivalent of a book a week, and usually there’s a multitude of things I need to get through.

11:00: Now comes the only two-hour seminar I have, for another history module, which always makes me desperately hungry. Food is a must before and after.

13:00: At this point I’ll go somewhere else, either home or the library, depending on what I feel like. Most of the time I’ll go straight to the library, because it’s closest to the building I have my seminar in. My flat is over half a mile’s walk from most of my buildings, so I often pack up in the morning and don’t come back for a long time.

17:00: Once the four hour intermission is over, I have a 5pm lecture. This is both a good thing and a bad thing – I like having the daytime hours mostly to spend as I choose, because working in the daylight is when I work best. So for me, having a lecture in the evening is quite a good thing, even though it makes my day really long.

18:00: As it’s been an intensive day of studying, usually I don’t feel like cooking, and nor do any of my friends from that lecture. So, we’ll leave together and find somewhere for a cheap dinner – we call it Tuesday Pub Night, but it doesn’t have to be a pub. Anywhere will do. We like trying different things!

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21:00: Mostly we’ll be back from dinner by then, at which point it’s time for a room clean, maybe some laundry if it’s desperate, possibly some Netflix or YouTube or something. It’s the only really flexible hour of the day.

22:00: Sad as you might think it sounds, I’ll probably be getting into pyjamas by ten. I’ll do some course reading if necessary, and if not, then some reading for pleasure. Or some writing. But not for too long – I’ll usually be lights out by half past or eleven.

Wednesday…

Wednesdays come in a cute little one- or two-hour package of actual contact time – one of my seminars is only once every fortnight, which means the larger part of the morning is quite flexible.

11:00: This is the biweekly seminar for history, so half the time I have the whole morning free, and the other half I’ll be in this seminar.

12:00: After that, I have an English seminar, which happens every week, and is ironically in a science building. The thing about a humanities degree is that you don’t need labs or anything, so my lectures and seminars are all over campus instead of one or two English/history-designated buildings.

This means that by 1pm I’m free again! Wednesday is definitely one of the easiest days of the week for me, so often it’s really productive. Then again, sometimes I might go to a café with a friend, supposedly to ‘get work done’, but of course we end up just chatting.

Thursday…

Another gym day. I work out three times a week, and this is the second day.

7:00: I like to keep routine, so I’ll go to the gym for seven again. I tried my first gym class this week and never have I found stairs or bending down quite so painful as I did the two days after.

14:00: Technically my first thing of the day isn’t until 2pm, and it’s an English seminar. But usually I’ll have had something to fill the morning.

15:00: I’ll go to the library after this seminar, mostly because it’s far closer than my flat, but also because I have my second 5pm lecture of the week on the same side of campus. Spending three hours at the library is a fairly concise little study time.

17:00: The lecture… it’s actually for the same module as the seminar earlier in the day, which is convenient – it means I only need one subject folder with me.

19:00: The film society has showings at the student union building every Tuesday and Thursday at 7pm, but as my Tuesdays are hectic this is the only day I might go. It’s quite a rush to get there – the lecture finishes around six, and always runs late because most people have another one directly before it so show up late. So it’s a quick dinner if I go, and if I don’t, it’s a leisurely evening.

Friday!

The end of the week arrives! This is a good’un. I can have a stress-free morning most of the time, organising my life, then I just have a 10am lecture and I’m free. It’s a good day for catching up, tying loose ends, organising and taking it easy or going out. I’m not a great partier, particularly because I can’t drink alcohol, so my idea of going out is a little quieter than others’…

And there you have it, that’s my average week, give or take. My weeks tend to follow the same sort of pattern, but only my lectures and seminars are fixed in place. A lot of what I do is pleasingly changeable, and what I read and write every week is different. Learning to adjust to this after the absolute nightmare that was A Levels has been a little strange, needless to say, but I’m enjoying it.

I hope this has been interesting, it’s certainly been a long one. Catch you on Wednesday!

Katy x