I Know What I Want

This feels like an odd post to write, but it’s definitely something that’s on my mind a lot. A lot of people around my age don’t know what they want to do with their lives, or what they want out of them, and they don’t know what sort of people they want in their lives. And the thing is, I do.

And that can be quite isolating.

I know that I want a career, and I know what I want that career to be centred around. I know which sort of people I want in my life, and which I don’t – and I find it easy to read people, so it doesn’t take me long to realise if someone I meet is somebody I want to be around.

I know that I’m okay with working hard for the things that I want – I actually like working hard to achieve my goals. I know I’m not a party animal, and that I don’t have to be. I know that I don’t want to use Tinder, as much as it often feels like I’m the only person my age who feels that way.

The only issue, I find, is that most of the people I see in my day-to-day life don’t feel the same way. From my experience, at university, the guys I meet are far more likely to just be boasting about their drunken conquests, with no direction and no aims. Often, the girls aren’t much different. Pretty much everyone looks at you like you’re a weirdo when they find out you don’t drink alcohol. And a significant portion of people are reluctant to do the work necessary to achieve their goals – if they have any.

It’s a laugh for many people I see if they only turn up to one hour of lectures in a week, because they only came to experience the ‘student life’, whereas I came to university because I wanted to study. I wanted to learn about things I didn’t know about before, and build my knowledge base. Lectures and seminars and reading are the reasons I came to university, not the nightlife. I came so I could experience living somewhere else and meeting new people – but even meeting new people is hard after everyone’s settled in in first year.

You get people wondering and asking why you don’t have a relationship yet. Some people thrust Tinder and a billion other dating apps in your face. They talk about how they met their partners after six beers in a bar in the early hours. And for someone who doesn’t want to meet somebody that way, that idea doesn’t particularly appeal. I know people whose relationships have only ever started in a state of inebriation, and I can’t help but feel a little sad about the idea that people are so reluctant to speak to people if it’s not online or if they’re not drunk first.

I think many people I’ve met seem to be waiting for the dream to come to them, waiting for the solution to just walk into the room. And I’m not sure that’s the way to go about it. I’m not saying that it’s not okay if you simply haven’t figured out a direction for your life yet, because it is. But I do think it’s good to take time to figure out what it is you do or don’t want, however you want to go about it, because it allows you to make more valuable use of your time.

Sunshine Blogger Award

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I’ve finally gotten around to writing my Sunshine Blogger Award post! I was nominated by Jenna from Northernbird84 and by Milli!

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award? Well…

The rules:

1.) Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and link back to their blog

2.) Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you

3.) Nominate 11 new blogs to receive this award, and write them 11 new questions

4.) List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog

I was nominated by Jenna first, so I’ll answer her questions first and Milli’s afterwards!

Jenna’s Questions

1) Which blogger would you love to work with and why?

Does a vlogger/blogger count? I’d probably say Tanya Burr. She stands for a lot of the same things I do, I admire her work ethic, and she’s not afraid to dream big.

2) What one thing could you not live without?

There’s a lot of material things I could go for here, but I’m going to go ahead and say I couldn’t live without my creativity. I get bored really easily, so if I didn’t have that, I can’t fathom how dull life would be.

3) Do you have pets? If not would you like to?

I don’t, but I definitely would like a cat… or a tortoise… something that doesn’t need to be taken on walks! I’m too busy/lazy to deal with that.

4) What made you start blogging?

I was extremely stressed in sixth form and decided I was too out of the habit of writing, so thought that if I set up a blog and made myself stick to a schedule (even though that’s gone a bit out of the window recently – but I have reasons, I promise!), I’d get back into it. I really wanted to improve my writing skills, and just become comfortable reading my own writing, and this seemed like a fairly accessible way of working towards that.

5) Has your blog changed over time?

Definitely. Massively. Different layout, different categories, different content. I think the only thing that’s stayed the same is what I write about Travel – but I’ve been so swamped by university that even that’s feeling neglected right now! I recently cleared out my old blog posts to give myself a bit of a fresh start, took away a few categories, and added one called Advocacy. I’ve decided I’m going to write about the things that matter to me about the world, and that’s where it’s going to happen. The first few posts there are already up, if you want to check them out…

6) If you were offered an all expenses paid holiday anywhere in the world, where would you go?

So many places! If I really have to choose just one, I’ll say Italy. I hear it’s expensive. I’m really interested in Roman history, and I’ve never really learned much about it, so I’d probably go to Rome.

7) What is your beauty must-have?

Probably a hair brush. It’s a bad day if I’ve forgotten to pack one of those – especially here in Liverpool, where the wind today as I’m writing this was simply mad. The six foot guys standing next to me at the lights were struggling to hold their ground.

8) Do you have a favourite blog post of yours?

I can’t think of one off the top of my head, so I’m going to say no. I don’t think I could choose.

9) Are there any brands/charities you’d want to work with?

I seriously want to work with the UN at some point in my life, particularly in the Global Goals sort of area. I’ve thought this for years. It’s so international, and I think it would be amazing to work with them.

10) What would be a perfect evening in for you?

A perfect evening in would definitely include good company, chocolate, a cosy film (let’s face it – a Harry Potter), blankets on a comfy sofa, and my laptop or a notebook so I could get some writing done. I realise that may sound like work, but I get restless and writing relaxes me.

11) If you could give your past self one piece of advice, what would it be?

This is actually a really hard question, because I feel like struggles you’ve had teach you something, and they make you who you are. But I think one thing would be to go to the doctors way earlier about acne, because I had that for a solid nine years and it was definitely a stress I could have done without. It took enough trips to the doctor to get a treatment that worked, but it would have been good if I’d done that about two years earlier!

Milli’s Questions

1) Do you wish you’d started blogging sooner?

Not really. I started around the time I turned eighteen, and moved platforms a couple of months afterwards, so I’ve been here for 2 years. I don’t think it would have been worth starting any earlier – I was writing online for a website for a while in my teens anyway, as well as a few things for my school’s newsletter, so I think adding a blog may have been too much.

2) Do you want to make your blog into a career or is it just a side hobby?

I don’t have specific plans to make my blog my career. I want to write, but I’d really like to be a novelist/screenwriter, so I guess I’d have to say side hobby!

3) Are you single or taken?

Sin-gle. As single as can be.

4) If you could only eat sweet or savoury for the rest of your life, which would you pick?

Savoury. As much as it pains me to say it, savoury. Savoury foods are just more filling, y’know?

5) What is your Myers Briggs type?

INFJ-A, so apparently one of the rarest? I did the test a couple of times, once a couple of years ago and once more recently, and the result didn’t change. I have friends with some of the same letters, but I’ve yet to find another INFJ. Either way, the result probably tells you more than enough about me!

6) What’s your biggest goal for 2018?

*Whispers* Get a book deal. Shhhh!

7) What is your job role and do you enjoy it?

I have a very flexible role as a brand manager on my uni campus, so if brands host events at my uni and need promoters, I can do the promotion. A lot of it so far has been online work, just promoting competitions and things on social media. It’s an alright position, nothing too stressful going on. It’s good I can work it around my studies and other commitments.

8) Did you enjoy school?

Complicated question. Yes and no. I’ve always enjoyed learning, I enjoyed seeing lots of people every day, and all that – but the education system in the UK infuriates me for reasons too long-winded to go into here!

9) What’s the last purchase you splurged on?

Like, really splurged? My camera. I got it last summer, and it’s probably the most expensive thing I’ve ever bought myself! The camera was on a deal on Amazon, and the deal was one of those lightning things that only lasts a certain amount of time, so I basically just went for it. I wouldn’t say I regret buying it – it’s really great quality, and it’s meant I’ve taken many more photos since I got it. I’m really trying to save money now, though.

10) Any exciting trips planned for this year?

No 😦 unfortunately not. Depending on when my one exam for this semester is, I may be going to the Lake District with my parents for a week in a couple of months, but if my exam is later than I hope, I’ll be staying at uni. Dying for a sunny holiday, but that’ll have to wait for now!

11) Favourite genre of music?

I wouldn’t say I have a favourite genre. According to Spotify, I listen to pop the most – but I don’t pay attention to genres. I like a lot of different things – pop, indie, country, whatever… A bit of Evanescence. All that.


So there we have it! My 22 questions from 2 nominations. Now it’s my turn…

My eleven nominees:

1) Tarnya (@sweet_allure)

2) Highlands2hammocks (@highlands2hamm)

3) Dani (@daniwanderlust)

4) Jess (@FairytalesJessx)

5) Hels (@thehelsproject)

6) Elizabeth Walton (@Life_WithLizzie)

7) Farrah Aslam (@farrahaslamblog)

8) Emmax (@lifeofemmax)

9) Esther Wyse (@EstherRuthWyse)

10) Grace K. (@blogherosix)

11) Honey (@Honey_KJ)

My eleven questions:

1) What are three things you really want to do in your lifetime?

2) If you could help solve one world problem, which would it be?

3) What song’s been in your head recently?

4) Name one public figure, outside of the blogging industry, who inspires you and why.

5) Are you an earphones person or a headphones person?

6) Do you write anything outside of your blog?

7) Have you gone to/are you at/will you go to university?

8) What do you see yourself doing in two years’ time?

9) Are you a ‘foodie’?

10) Are you interested in world affairs?

11) What’s one thing you wished people knew about you?

I look forward to reading the responses!

 

What Getting Into Your Insurance Uni Is Really Like

This isn’t a pity-me post, and it isn’t meant to warn anyone off university, or even my university – just an honest post about what it’s really like to get into your insurance choice university.


Way back in early 2016, I was considering which universities out of the five I had applied to I should put as my firm and insurance choices on UCAS, the system UK students use to apply for university. If I’m honest, the decision was half-made already: I wanted to go to the University of Nottingham, so that was clearly my firm choice. I knew I didn’t want to go to two of the universities I had applied to, because I didn’t like the courses – I’d applied mainly to fill the spots. So, really, the choice I had to make was between the fourth and fifth universities: Liverpool (the one I’m at) and Southampton.

As is probably clear from the title of this post, I put Liverpool as my second choice. I felt like the impression I had gotten from the applicant day I attended was that it was a better fit than Southampton. To me, the campus just seemed more comfortable. There wasn’t a huge amount in it between the courses, from what I can remember, so I was mainly going off of the vibe I got from each of the universities when I visited.

Fast forward to August 2016, and one of the most emotionally confusing mornings of my life: A Levels results day. Having pretty much hated the process of A Levels for reasons worthy of a post entirely their own, I actually didn’t care what my grades were going to be. I only cared about getting into one of my chosen universities, so I decided to wait for UCAS to update at 8am, rather than head straight to school for my grades. I’ll spare you the long and confusing version of events: I was accepted into Liverpool with no issue, even though my grades hadn’t been what they asked for.

I say it was emotionally confusing, because while I was so relieved I had been accepted into university and hadn’t had to go through clearing, I had been so set on going to Nottingham. For the whole of that day, I wasn’t really sure what I was feeling. By the end of it, I was disappointed I didn’t get into my firm choice, glad the A Levels ordeal was finally over, sad I hadn’t done as well as I’d hoped, and relieved Liverpool had accepted me. On top of that, I was just really tired. Sixth form was intense, and spending the summer waiting for something that was now out of my hands and would decide on the course of the next 3 years of my life hadn’t been all too pleasant.

In the weeks after, however, I felt excited. Beyond excited – it had settled in that I was going to a good university, the course looked good, and it was a major life goal that I was about to realise.

So what’s it been like in the time since? A lot of students you see in university prospectuses will say how they were accepted into their insurance, but they wouldn’t change it for a thing, and they now prefer this one to the one they’d intended to go to, and they’ve never had so much as a second thought.

Yeah, that’s not quite true for me.

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Don’t get me wrong, I do love being here in Liverpool and it has given me some great opportunities. The course is, on the whole, exactly what I wanted. I have a lot of control over the modules I take, and my grades are doing well.

However… When you do get the impression that a certain place would be perfect for you, it’s hard for the place you felt like was a runner-up to beat it. Admittedly, some of the things sound quite arbitrary: I still prefer the actual Nottingham campus to the Liverpool one. I think the variety of societies and social activities seemed better there, especially as a non-drinker – personally, I’ve found being a non-drinker in Liverpool a bit tragic. Most society events that I’ve found are pub crawls, or will be a short event followed by a night of clubbing. And I think gym membership was cheaper at Nottingham. But sometimes it is the small details like these that can make all the difference to your experience.

Of course, I can’t say any of this for sure; I don’t know if the impression I had from Nottingham would have turned out to be entirely accurate, and I don’t know if I would have found other aspects of university there more difficult. I can’t say for sure whether I would have gone for a year abroad if I’d gone to Nottingham; I chose not to here, because my course only facilitates a semester, and I didn’t feel like that was a long enough time to get settled in in an entirely new environment and enjoy it. There’s every possibility that I could have gotten to Nottingham and found just as many things to dislike, or which I may have wanted to be different.

There are some things that I’m sure are true of all universities: I’m sure there’s always some divide between those who came to university to study and focus on their degree, and those who simply came for the ‘student life’ (a.k.a frequently getting drunk and missing most of their lectures). You’re always going to run into people you don’t get on with. Student accommodation is notorious around the world for its turbulence in terms of arguments with flatmates about cleanliness and noise – that pretty much comes down to your luck of the draw. After all, most people at university are young adults; we don’t all have everything figured out, and some people you’ll run into will have been doing chores for years, and others won’t have figured out how to use a washing machine yet.


So I won’t say that my experience getting into my insurance choice university has been perfect, as I saw in so many prospectuses when I was researching universities. I’m not going to pretend there haven’t been some days where I’ve thought my firm choice could have turned out better. But I do like my university! It’s an experience I won’t regret, and I love the work I’m doing. No matter where you go, there will be things you love and things you wish were different. And that’s always worth bearing in mind.