Be Nice It's Tuesday


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A Very Scary Thing

This week I have done something which, for me, was very scary. I confirmed my Uni choices.

I have been trying to decide between two universities ever since I got rejected from my first choice back in January. They both had good things and bad things, and, although I was erring towards one, I could not make the final decision. But then I realised that I never would be completely sure, so it was better to just commit to it, so now instead of wondering which is better I can just accept the choice I’ve made and properly get behind it and start to plan.

Even once I’d thought that though, I was still so terrified that I had to ask my Dad to click the final confirmation button for me, I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

You may wonder what could be so scary about such a decision, but I know I am not the only one, and I think there are many reasons for it.

  1. Going to uni is, for most people, a big thing, and committing to going to a certain place makes it seem a lot more real, which can be a scary thought.
  2. If you haven’t been sure which to choose, then like any big decision there is the constant fear that you’re making the wrong choice, again it’s a big decision and you don’t want to end up living and studying in the wrong place for 3 years.
  3. If the grade requirements for your chosen course are high, or will be a real push to reach, it’s a reminder of how hard you are going to have to work, and that you might still end up being disappointed.
  4. By choosing one university, you are declining your offers from other places, that’s a possible future life you could have had which is now gone. This may just be me, but there was a while when I was stressing about whether I was meant to go to one place rather than another, what if my future husband is at one, or if one uni will lead me to the life that  I’m supposed to live?

So I guess the point of this post is to reassure anyone who is going through a similar thing to me that you are not alone. I am a strong believer that your uni experience is what you make it. If you decide you’re going to have a great time, then where ever you end up, you will have a great time. So yes, it is a scary decision. But research the courses and places, take advice from people who really know you (not just the interfering acquaintances who tell you ‘you should definitely go to such and such a place’), listen to your heart and instincts, and when the time comes and it feels right, just go for it. I hadn’t fully decided, but one night I just suddenly thought ‘I’m going to accept tomorrow’.

Good luck.

This will be my last post as a child! It’s my 18th Birthday very soon, so got the next terrifying step of becoming an adult. I’ll let you know how that goes.

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Happy Days

Last year I did the #100HappyDays challenge. That finished in August, so I haven’t been taking a photo everyday, but I had a few from the past few months where I took a photo of somethings that made me particularly happy one day, so here are some:

???????????????????????????????On Valentine’s Day my boyfriend bought me a bunch of roses, which was very nice of him, even if he did break our ‘not spending money on it’ rule :P It was the first time anyone had given me flowers since I was very young and Dad put one in all of our bedrooms when we came back from holiday that he’d left early from. And these matched my curtains.
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One day in the half term holidays my parents were going out in the evening. We’d had cookies at the end of lunch and there was one left over so Dad said I could have it when they were out. Then when they had an early tea they had a banana split and left some chocolate sauce for me to reheat (Dad makes an amazing chocolate sauce), so, of course, I broke up my cookie and dropped the bits in  the chocolate sauce. Bliss.

IMG_0907When I was on the Berlin trip which I’ve mentioned a few times, I spent most of the trip trying to find Ritter Sport chocolate because it’s a lot cheaper to buy in Germany and other European countries than in Britain. In February on of my friends from the trip (the polite one) was on a Ski trip in Italy, and he bought me back two bars of Ritter Sport. He didn’t remember that my favourite flavour was the marzipan one, but I was still very pleased.
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I got on a bus one morning and there was this love heart next to the window. Really brightened my morning.

IMG_0987One day at college I left my folder on the table while going to talk to someone, and came back to find my boyfriend looking very shifty. During the rest of the day I kept finding these little notes in my folder.

IMG_0988I noticed this written in the back of my folder, and tracked down who did it by remembering hand writing of all my friends with names beginning with ‘S’. He still denies it, but it made me laugh.

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I got up early to go to an open day and when I went to the kitchen, my Mum had left this in my place (I’d asked her whether I could have a bit of it when she opened it)
IMG_1004It was recently what should have been the 18th Birthday of my best friend who died, and I asked my Dad to get some flowers for me to take to her grave. He bought some beautiful white roses, and also got some daffodils for me. Then my Mum and sister came home with a bunch of roses and lilies for me, so I was comforted by having a room full of lovely flowers.

(Sorry for the photos on their side, can’t seem to rotate them)


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BeNiceJewellery

IMG_1081I’m afraid this is going to be a bit self-promoting, but I wanted to share with people something which I’ve been doing recently (in between all the revision and blog writing :P).
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen I was at high school, I went to a friend’s house one evening and her mum had a box of beads and some elastic for us to make bracelets from. I really enjoyed doing this and, if you’ll excuse my lack of modesty, I think both the friends I was with agreed that mine was the best. I went home and searched through the house for beads from broken jewellery, I bought some nylon elastic, and that was that.
IMG_0663Throughout high school I kept making bracelets with anything I could get my hands on, then moved onto necklaces and earrings as well once I got some more sophisticated materials. Some of the things I made I kept for myself, some I gave or sold to family and friends, some I just made then kept in boxes, and it became my dream to one day open a little shop in a seaside town selling handmade jewellery and crafts. Of course reality struck, I realised how difficult it is to make an art business take off, and that Art was my worst AS subject, so I accepted that it wasn’t going to happen.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut I still enjoyed making things, and I still had boxes of jewellery just sitting in my room, so when a family friend was planning a home craft fair with a few artist friends of hers, I asked if I could try and sell some of my jewellery there. I went along and was quite well received, and that got me thinking, maybe I could actually sell more of this.
???????????????????????????????I then found out about a thing called the Alternative Market which was happening in a town quite near to me. They were basically giving young people a stall in this one-off market for free, so I applied and got on that. It wasn’t until we were getting more information about it and had a training session that I realised how seriously it was actually being taken. A lot of the stall holders were graduates, this was about actually trying to start a viable business. So I did my marketing, came up with the name ‘BeNiceJewellery’ (I think I was actually on this blog when I suddenly realised I needed a name, hence the lack of originality), made a Facebook page, Twitter account, business cards.
IMG_0838I did the market before Christmas and had unbelievable success. I did work out that if I’d paid myself minimum wage for just the hours spent standing on the stall, then there would have been no profit left, but that’s the reality of it, and for something that’s been a hobby, I was very happy. I then did another similar market last weekend and made slightly less, but I still did well with it.
IMG_0875Like everything I do, I try to make my jewellery happy. Each piece is unique; I can make adjustments for specific customers; I reuse materials whenever possible but keep them good quality; I avoid plastic; the materials, shapes and colours are often inspired by nature, particularly flowers and the sea, and I aim to keep prices as low as possible so that my jewellery can be enjoyed by everyone.

IMG_1133I have an Etsy shop ready for once exams are over, I’ve already started having orders and commissions though my Facebook page. I am happy that I chose a language degree, not an Art Foundation/Jewellery Design course, but I still love making and selling and I hope I can continue. If you’ve liked any of these pictures and want to see more, I’d love it if you visit my Facebook page here, and maybe ‘like’ it to stay updated 🙂
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Some thoughts on Feminism, Sexism and Rape/Assault (non graphic)

*Disclaimer* ~ These are some really big issues, so before I start I want to make it clear that I’m not pretending to know everything or have all the answers, I have not researched what I’m about to write, nor is it supposed to be representative of all people, or even a majority. These are just some thoughts I’ve had, based entirely on my own personal experiences.

Last October I was in Berlin. There was a group of three boys with whom I spent a lot of time; the one who is now my boyfriend, and two whom I shall call the polite one and the one who likes guns. My boyfriend doesn’t drink alcohol, but the rest of us were making the most of the lower drinking age in Germany by having a glass or two of beer or wine.On the first night, the friend who likes guns offered to buy the round of drinks, so the next night to polite friend paid for us. The one who likes guns suggested that my boyfriend could buy a round the following night, then on the last night we paid for ourselves. When I asked when it was my turn to pay, especially since my boyfriend was always getting the cheapest drinks, the two who are not my boyfriend were almost horrified by the suggestion and assured me that I did not need to pay, they were doing it. I’m fairly sure chivalry was mentioned in there somewhere. I was torn about this. Sure, it was very nice to go out for a meal, have a glass of wine, and only pay for the food, nice to be looked after and spoiled a bit. But I am a feminist, and I thought, well why should they be forced to pay just because they’re men? Are they saying that women are superior so should have things bought for them? Or is it that a girl couldn’t possibly be able to take care of herself, she has to rely on men for everything? Either one of those would be wrong. I did end up buying drinks for them on the last night, but I didn’t bother trying to explain to them that they’re not obliged to buy things for women.

Last Thursday was my friend’s 18th Birthday, and the last day of term, so a fairly large group of us went out for a meal then to a pub to celebrate. I knew that I’d be going home late, and didn’t want to pay for a taxi, so I had considered asking if anyone would walk home with me then stay at mine because where I live is quite out of the way, but in the end I just decided to walk with a friend who lives on my way home then do the last bit alone. My sisters always say they weren’t allowed to walk home on their own at night, which is probably mainly because they generally went out together, but I think it does worry my parents a bit. I don’t mind walking around at night, but if I’m on my own I stick to bigger roads when possible, try to remember to take something reflective, don’t listen to music so I can hear what’s around me, keep my phone out so if I have to go past anyone who worries me I can pretend to be talking to someone. And I’m quite confident (some would say stupid) with it; I know girls my age who would never walk home on their own after dark. At the meal on Thursday I was talking to a friend with whom I’ve often had problems in the past, he can be quite…insensitive. Or to put it bluntly, very offensive. But he’s been alright lately, so I was talking to him about how I was getting home, and he was shocked by how much I’d had to think it all through – whereas he just wouldn’t think twice about going home alone – and the fact that I think when I move to a city I won’t go out on my own at night. He’s been known to be quite sexist and inconsiderate, but he actually said to me Is that what it’s like being a girl, you don’t feel safe even round here, you have to think about all of that? 

I think though, although it’s generally viewed as being a problem for girls, I don’t worry about being attacked or whatever because I’m a girl. For me, I think the risk comes with the fact that I am very small and therefore quite weak (which I suppose, on average more girls are than boys). I am often acutely aware that if anyone wanted to do something to me, most of them could do so easily and there would be absolutely nothing I could do about it. It would be interesting to see generally how much size/strength of males and females has and effect on perceived safety.

When I was at that party on Thursday, I was wearing a lacy top, a black skirt which I will admit was rather short and tight, and some tights with a pattern of hearts up the back. Two of my friends called me a prostitute, and one of those (and another one) also said I looked like a slut. This didn’t bother me too much; they’re my friends, I know and they know that I am not a slut or a prostitute, and to be honest, I was happy with how I looked so I didn’t really care what they thought. It does always irritate me a bit though when people think it’s OK to pass comments on people like that. And then I was struck by the fact that, when I was walking home and passed the one other person I saw on the walk, as I approached I automatically pulled my skirt down to make it longer. Why should I have to feel like I need to cover up a prescribed amount of my body to protect myself? It goes back to everything about people thinking the best rape prevention is to teach girls not to get attacked, or that if you’re dressed provocatively then you’re asking for it anyway. And yet that was so deeply ingrained in me that I didn’t think twice, there’s a man there, I need to make sure I don’t look tempting or whatever. (It should be noted that this man and his small dog in no way posed a threat. As I walked past, the dog came to have a sniff, at that point the man noticed and did the general nod/murmered greeting that us Yorkshire folk do upon seeing a stranger, as though nothing was more normal that taking your dog for a stroll through the village at 1 in the morning.)

Finally, there’s a lot on the internet at the moment about protecting people (not just women) from rape and sexual assault, and this is a good thing. There are many different parts to this, so there’s no way of generalising or finding any one answer. One big problem isn’t people getting attacked by strangers (as they’re walking home alone in the middle of the night obviously), but people who are in relationships where one of them pushes too far, or they do something then one changes their mind and gets angry. So I guess I wanted to finish by talking about my current relationship, to show that not every relationship goes wrong, there are good people out there. I’m not going to go into details, but I think many people would think me strange for how little I’ve done in that department as a 17 year old who’s had two long term boyfriends. I don’t really see anything wrong with people who have done more, I’ve just never wanted to. A lot of that stuff just scares me really. So I’ve told my boyfriend that. Any times we’re together we constantly ask each other if we’re OK. One time something happened which I was fine with at the time but did change my mind, I told him, he felt the same, everything was fine. Later this week he’s invited me round, he told me his mum will be out, but we had a discussion, we set down ground rules of anything we don’t want to happen, so now I can look forward to spending a nice day with him without any pressures or expectations on either of us. So my advice to anyone would be, whatever you want from a relationship, find someone who thinks the same, and communicate, listen, and respect each other. If only it were always that simple.


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Why I love March

06March

Probably the thing I love most about March is the flowers. Daffodils and crochi (that’s right, I use the Latin plural) are coming out everywhere; my front ‘garden’ is just a sea of tete-a-tete daffodils, and if I think of my mum, one of the things that would quickly come to mind is buying daffodils every week to have in the house. And in the past week I’ve started to see blossom trees coming into bloom, which are just lovely.
In fact it is just nice having everything that bit brighter, there’s a Spring feel to the air which could almost be called warmth – until it starts hailing again to remind you that it’s not Summer yet.
Nothing much important has happened this March, a few concerts and Birthdays, the inevitable moment for this time of year when you realise how close exams are and how much revision needs to be done. I’ve also had University Offer Holder Days, which meant travelling to Devon for a weekend, then back to Yorkshire for two days, then down to Bristol and back in a day! I was jealous of my sister who came to both Open Days as my ‘parent’ but went to London in between, which is much more en route.

The song which I’m going to dedicate to March is Cave In by Owl City. I was introduced to this song by an old friend who’s Birthday is in March, so she seems like a March person to me. It also has a very open, happy feeling to it, which I think reflects the freshness and new possibilities which Spring brings. Oh dear, you vcan tell I’ve been doing too much Art analysis!