Be Nice It's Tuesday


Leave a comment

Changes

A lot seems to have changed in my life recently.

Mid-September I left home again and moved into my new term-time house which I am renting with some amazing friends – it’s really starting to feel like home, and there haven’t been any arguments yet (even when we disagree about when the floors need cleaning). A week or so after moving in, my second year of university started. As well as being back to intense classes of German and Russian language, I’m doing modules of history and linguistics, and I’ve picked up Czech language. I’m enjoying the classes but it’s a lot of hard work, and I feel slightly like I’m drowning in an endless sea of vocab.

I’ve got back into the societies I was in last year, and am on the committee for my choir. Last week I went to an LGBT+ meeting for the first time, which was quite a big step for me. Also at the start if this term I started a new part-time job, and I am in the process of applying for two more.

A particularly exciting thing that’s happened is that I successfully asked someone out on a date. That was very scary, and I’m now nervous about meeting with him, I haven’t really done the whole dating thing before, in the past it’s taken so long for things to happen that we’ve just skipped straight to a fully formed relationship. But I resolved last summer to get better at doing things that scare me, and not just waiting and hoping things will happen, so I thought I should just go for it.

Finally, my family is currently very spread out, with one of my sisters in New Zealand for the next year. The other sister is in Edinburgh, not so far away, but still difficult enough to get to from Bristol that I don’t know when I’ll next see her. So I’m just trying my best to keep in contact with them as much as possible.

All of these changes are exciting, and I feel like I’m in a good place in my life right now, however they take up a lot of time and I am often very busy and tired. When I do have free time I usually watch Netflix or play my musical instruments. If I’m in the mood for writing I’m trying to write more of the piece of fiction I started over the summer (calling it a novel sounds too grand, but story sounds too juvenile). So as much as I want to keep blogging, and have loads of ideas, I just don’t really have the time and energy for it at the moment. I’m not giving up for good; I may post random things at odd times, and I hope to get properly back into it sometime, but for now I am freeing myself of the guilt I feel for not writing up any of the things I want to.

Until I write again, I hope everyone is doing well and staying positive, and don’t forget to keep smiling 🙂

Advertisements


Leave a comment

My Summer So Far

Hello!

Recently I’ve been struggling to actually get out the ideas I have into fully formed blog posts, so I apologise for the lack of content. But I quite like writing chatty posts, just about little things I want to say that don’t need a full post, so I’m probably going to be doing a few of them.

In my last post I mentioned some of the things I’ve been doing since I got back home from uni. I went to my older sisters’ graduations in St. Andrews and Edinburgh at the end of June. They were two lovely days with the family, and I’m very proud of them both. And I enjoyed the excuse to dress up posh. One of my sisters is home now, but the other is still in Scotland for a few more weeks.

It’s very nice having nothing to do, but I am aware that I don’t want to just laze around for 3 months, so I’ve been sorting out some things to do.

I took advantage of an offer at a local gym for 4 weeks membership for £20, so I’ve been going there a couple of times a week. I don’t push myself too hard, I’m not trying to transform my body shape in 4 weeks, but I know my fitness levels aren’t great, so I’m hoping this will help a bit. I have noticed it’s getting a bit easier. It is tiring though, especially as the walk between my house and the gym is 2.5 miles each way. I’m not generally much of an exerciser, but I’ve been enjoying going more than I expected, especially when I remember to take my iPod.

I was inspired by the Great British Sewing Bee to get back on my sewing machine, which I hadn’t really done much of since A-Level art. So far I’ve made a scrunchie and I’m half way through a dress. I’ve also been asked to make a scrunchie for a friend, and my mum want a table cloth and chair cushions for our garden, and a new sewing machine cover as our original one is very ripped. I’ve also been making more jewellery which I will be selling.

The other main thing I’ve started is volunteering at my local Oxfam book shop. I couldn’t really get a summer job as I have holidays booked, and didn’t particularly need to money or want the pressure. But I did want to be doing something which will hopefully help people and improve my CV, and volunteering is much more flexible than having a paid job. I’ve only done two shifts so far, but I’m enjoying it. I have to exercise great self restraint though, being surrounded by so many relatively cheap books, but my bookshelves are overflowing already!

I’ve been seeing my friends, mainly at the pub, but one has been joining me at the gym a bit. I also had lunch with a few friends, including one who, in the time since I last saw her, has got married, got pregnant, and separated from her husband. I wanted to have a catch up anyway, but after hearing about this thought she might be wanting support from old friends. She seems to be doing well, and I did enjoy seeing her scan pictures and all the baby talk.

The rest of my time I’ve been reading, gardening, putting off the revision I should be doing, despairing at British politics, and doing nonograms, which are fun Japanese logic puzzles (link to a website where you can do them).

The other day I bought myself a daisy plant, because daisies are one of my favourite flowers and I really wanted one.

Finally, my bedroom floor is currently rather sparkly. Last night I was feeling a bit sad, and my sister had asked me to make her some flowers out of sparkly paper and glitter, so I decided it might cheer me up to sprinkle my room with glitter. It did.

Hope you’re all doing well, until next time xx

 


Leave a comment

Last Night in Halls

This is my last night in my first year uni accommodation. Most of my stuff has already been moved out – my parents picked it up last week – but tomorrow I will actually be leaving for good. And it’s sort of just hit me that I’m leaving here. This isn’t my home, it’s never truly felt like one, so I’m surprised at quite how emotional I’m feeling about this. But then, I’m always bad with change, and I have been living here most of the time since last Spetember, it has often been a place of comfort and solitude (usually in a good way). Also, although I was very upset about moving away from home last summer, that house and room is still there waiting for me, and I’ve been back in the holidays. This is the first time that I’ve gone from living somewhere, to moving out, knowing I will never be in this room, this flat, this building, again.

There have been things I’ve hated about living in halls, but also things I’m really going to miss. But those are both quite negative feelings, so instead I’m going to write some of the things I’ve enjoyed about living here, and some things I’m looking forward to about my house next year.

Things I’ve liked about living in halls:

  • It’s very sociable; I’m in a big building where I know a lot of people, even if I don’t know someone I’ll say hi as I pass them, and it’s always so easy to call in to other flats.
  • Having cleaners for the kitchen and bathroom.
  • Living with people I get on with, but who give me plenty of space, so it’s a bit like living alone.
  • Having a sink in my bedroom.
  • Free events put on by the JCR.
  • Having somewhere new to make my own and live independently.

What I’m looking forward to for next year:

  • Living in an actual house.
  • Having a bigger room and an actual window.
  • Being in control of our own fire alarms, maintenance, parking etc.
  • Having more privacy of no one being able to come into our house unless we specifically arrange it.
  • Using fairy lights and blu tack.
  • Having a garden.
  • Less noise.
  • Living with some lovely people, who I’m already very good friends with.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten some things here, but I just needed towrite this tonight, on my last night. I’m now going to go to bed for the last time in this room, so I can make the most of packing and cleaning tomorrow. Yay 😛


Leave a comment

The Best Week of the Year

A lot of people go on about how great Freshers’ Week* is, how it’s the best week of uni and then it’s all down hill. But I disagree, and I’ve only just realised how much I disagree with this. Freshers’ Week was good, but I was scared of the new place I found myself in, I was homesick. I met loads of people, but didn’t get to know many people well. I did quite a lot, but they weren’t necessarily things I loved doing.

I had my last exam five days ago, but I decided to stay at uni for an extra week rather than rushing home. And I am so far having the best week of my time as a first year uni student. That’s not to say that the rest of the year hasn’t also been good, but this is the first time since Freshers’ Week that I haven’t had any work that needs doing. I’ve been unbelievably busy, but busy doing things I want to be doing. Rather than lectures and revision I’ve had a night out with some course friends, gone shopping, spent a lot of time in chior rehearsals/service/social, gone to the zoo with some family, explored some strange places with a great group of friends, taken a trip to the beach. A lot of these are things I’ve been wanting to do for most of the year, but not had time, so I’ve been planning everything for after exams. And most importantly, I’m with amazing, close friends who I’ve spent the past nine months getting to know, but I’ve still been making new friends this week.

There’s no real point to this blog, other than I’m having such an incredible week and wanted to share it. I hope that whatever you’re doing, your week can be as good as mine.
*I’m not sure what it’s called/if it happens in other countries, so if you’re confused then Freshers’ Week is the first week of the university year, when there are no lectures but there are loads of events to help first years socialise and settle in. For most students it typically involves a lot of alcohol and clubbing.

 


Leave a comment

Post Exam Catch-Up

So I recently realised, although I’ve only had this blog just over two years, I have a very definite pattern when it comes to writing stuff. Over the summer I don’t have academic commitments, so while I’m not on holiday I post loads. Through September and into October I have all the new starts, talking about what’s changing in my life, getting new ideas for series. Then there’s quite a few Christmassy things in December, and New Year Resolutions at the beginning of January. But then the reast of January is quite a hard month for me, I’m not feeling so cheerful so don’t want to write. Febuary’s a bit of a nothing month, nothing much ever seems to happen. The from March I start to get busy with exams and don’t really post as much. And then we get to May/June, when I finish and have an update about what I’ve been doing and how I have so many ideas for posts, and we’re back to the summer boom. So this is my annual return from exams.

I’ve just finished my first year of university, it seems to have flown by. I’m still in Bristol at the moment, having a week to unwind with my friends here before returning home. I think my exams mainly went ok, it hasn’t quite sunk in yet that it’s over. I’ve been doing lots of really fun stuff since finishing though; had a night out with some course mates, a day with a group of biology students which I sometimes invade, today I went to the zoo with some visiting family, got a few plans for the rest of my time here. I’m finding it a bit sad moving out of my room; it’s never really been home for me, but I have lived here for the best part of 9 months. But I’m really looking forward to living with some of my closest friends next year. Over the past few weeks I’ve realised what truly amazing friends I’ve made here. I really didn’t want to replace my friends from home, and thought no one would be as good, but I am kind of amazed at how close I’ve got to people this year, and how many people I just love spending time with.

So that’s it from me for today. I’ll be quite busy for the next week, but expect plenty of posts once I’m home. If anyone has ideas of what they’d like to see me write about, I always love external influences to make me try new things, so please leave a comment. In the meantime, good luck if you’re still having exams, otherwise I hope everything is going well for you.

 

 


Leave a comment

Random Ramblings

Yesterday I had my first written exam of the summer – I’d already had all my speaking an listening and essays. But this was quite a big and stressful one, it was Russian Language. I’ve only been studying Russian since September, and it is rather hard, and I was convinced that I was going to fail the exam. But it didn’t actually seem as bad as I’d expected, so fingers crossed. I still have Russian History, German History and German Language to come over the next couple of weeks, but I decided to give myself the day off today. Partly because last night I had a night in with my Biology friends, who I love hanging out with, but we drank quite a lot so I wasn’t up to much this morning.

But one thing I have done today is file away all my Russian language work from the year, take down my revision posters from it etc., and start thinking about how I’m going to pack up my uni room as it’s only a few weeks now until I move out. It’s feeling very strange, the way the end of the year has suddenly crept up on me like this. I’m glad I’m on a 4 year course, it’s weird enough being almost 1/4 of the way through uni, let alone 1/3. Obviously I’m not going to be as emotional about leaving my halls as I was about moving in; I have grown to feel quite at home in my little room and flat here, but it hasn’t been perfect, it’s only been a year, and I am so excited to be moving into a house with some amazing friends. I’m starting to plan some exciting things for the summer – nothing fully sorted yet, but getting there. And there are other exciting things I’ve got lined up for next academic year; I’m the new treasurer of the choir I’m in, and I’ve just got a job as a peer mentor starting in September. So basically, everything is very exciting, but I am still getting a bit emotional about all the changes, as I always do.

Other than exams, I have recently been spending a lot of time on trains, going up and down the country – Yorkshire to Bristol, then to Edinburgh and St. Andrews, then back to Bristol, then Yorkshire, now I’m back in Bristol again. I went to visit my sisters in Scotland which was good, a while since we’ve done anything just the three of us. Then I went home to surprise my mum for her birthday. She also shares a birthday with my two best friends at home, so I got to see them both too. I’d never done the surprise visit before, it’s great fun. I don’t mind trains too much, and it is great to be able to get to all the places, but I have been on quite a few delayed ones recently. Most notably, I had to go via Reading to get between Bristol and Birmingham because of a problem last week. If you’re not from the UK that won’t mean much to you, but it was quite a big detour. On the plus side, I should be getting some money back.

Think that’s all from me for now, I hope you’re all doing well in whatever exams/work/personal challenges you have going on in your lives right now 🙂

Oh, and I know what I forgot. This blog turned two on Monday, which is a nice achievement for me. Thanks to anyone who’s ever read anything I’ve written, it means a lot.


Leave a comment

A Year of Adulting

Anyone who was reading this blog a year ago may remember that I spent a month making a very big deal about turning 18 and therefore becoming an adult. Well I have now had a year of adulthood – I recently turned 19 – which seems to have been a very long year. I still don’t feel like a proper, fully fledged adulty adult, there are many times when I still feel like a lost little kid looking for a parent or someone to help me. But as the year has gone on, particularly since I moved away from home, I have gradually felt more like a grown up. During the year I have been compiling a list of specific moments which really make me feel like an adult, so here is a count-down of the 15 most adulty things I’ve done.

15. Travelling Alone: Before I was 18 I would often get trains on my own, so this isn’t something that suddenly changed, but it was always something that made me feel older. Since starting uni I’ve been getting trains more frequently, and sometimes more complicated journeys, and it is always exciting arriving somewhere on your own, when you’ve been completely responsible for getting yourself there.

14. Doing Laundry: A lot of the things that make me feel adult are mundane, everyday things that children don’t generally have to deal with. Doing laundry may be boring, expensive and annoying, but it’s something adults do. They even do laundry on Friends. I’m an adult level ahead of Rachel in the first series.

13. Alcohol: Since being able to buy and drink alcohol is one of the things people make the biggest deal of on 18th Birthdays, you might think it should be higher up this list, but I had drank before turning 18, and once we could go to the pub, it quickly became the normal thing to do with my friends when none of us really felt like proper adults yet. But it is always nice to be able to buy a drink, especially if you don’t get ID’d. And I had a very smug moment at the Sainsburys self service check-out when some underage boys next to me were trying to buy alcohol and failed, and I knew that I could just get whatever I wanted.

12. Cooking: I normally don’t bother much with my food; my tea is generally frozen stuff on a tray in the oven for half an hour. But on the occasions when I have cooked a proper meal, with different things happening at different times, I really feel like I’m on top of things.

11. Being Knowledgeable: This one is more to do with being at university, but a few months ago I was staying with my aunt and uncle, and my uncle asked me a question. He had read Anna Kerenina quite a while before hand and been confused about why it said that the characters spoke to each other in French. Using the Russian history that I had been studying, I was able to give him a full answer, and have a sophisticated discussion about it with him.

10.Buying Towels: When I was shopping for uni, the thing I was most excited about was buying towels. It’s just so nice having new, fluffy, white towels which are actually mine. Maybe this one’s just me, but I loved buying them. I had wanted yellow towels, but they’d sold out. I guess white (or, sorry, ‘almond’) is a bit more grown up, but one day I will have my yellow towels.

9. Drinking Tea: I never liked hot drinks, but I decided that drinking tea is something that any self-respecting British adult should be do, so I have managed to force myself into it. I’m still not a massive tea-person, and I don’t want to become dependant on it like some people are, but it’s useful when people invite you over for a cuppa and you can actually have a cuppa. I also felt very mature the other week meeting some friends in a café and choosing tea over a gingerbread man.

8. Kitchen Utensils: One thing that I’ve noticed quite a few times over the past year is how excited I get about kitchen utensils. First I got some beautiful Cath Kidston mugs for my 18th birthday, then came buying plates, bowls, glasses, chopping knives and board, baking tray etc. before moving to uni, which was exciting. But then one day last autumn I went into Wilkos and I didn’t even look at the cheap sweets, I just bought a potato peeler and roasting tray so I could make roast potatoes and parsnips. In fact several times I’ve gone into a shop and instantly looked at the kitchen section, and got very excited when I actually buy something. I even had things like garlic press and tongs on my Christmas wish-list!

7. ‘Proper’ adults as equals: A slightly more subtle change I’ve noticed is the way I now interact with people – mainly family and family friends – who I’ve always considered to be ‘proper’ adults, those who have been adults my whole life (as opposed to cousins who turned 18 several years before me). I think they always will ‘the older generations’ to me, but they definitely have started treating me as more of an adult, and an equal, for instance having much more serious conversations, or just them not adopting an ‘adult-to-child’ approach to me.

6.Voting: I think I wrote last May about how important voting is to me, and I was very excited to turn 18 just before a General Election, and I have voted again in this year’s Local Elections. Democracy is important, an 18-year-old ‘middle class’ girl with no money or property having the right to vote would have been inconceivable in the not-too-distant-past, so being able to vote was the biggest thing for me in terms of ‘what actually changes the minute you turn 18’.

5. Parents on school run: This sort of links to no. 7, but three mornings a week at uni, when I have 9ams, I walk past a lot of parents taking children to school. I’m one of those people who smiles at or says hi to everyone I pass, but after a few months I realised that I was smiling at children in that ‘adult-to-child’ way I mentioned, whereas I actually feel more on the same level as the parents.

4. Being responsible for other people: Last November I was on a train very late at night, and across the aisle from me was a girl, probably in her mid-twenties, who was very drunk. The middle-aged lady she was sitting next to was trying to talk to her and make sure she was ok, but she had to get off a few stops before. The drunk girl was getting off at the same stop as me, so the older lady had asked whether I would keep an eye on her, which I did and she got safely into a taxi at the station. But it did feel very strangely grown up to be looking after someone who was older than me, and when the other woman said about me ‘this lady is going to make look after you, but she’s busy working so don’t disturb her’. A slightly similar thing happened on another train recently, this time someone’s suitcase fell on her head, and I was the one to check if she was alright, and help clean up the blood. That’s not something kids have to deal with.

3. Weekly Food Shop: This is something I am quite proud of really. I am a very organised person, and I take after my Dad in that way. So when I started having to buy my own food, I thought about what Dad does. Throughout each week I keep making a list of what I will need the following week, and what might run out soon, then first thing Saturday morning I go to Co-op or Sainsburys (depending on what I need) and sometimes the Greengrocers, and buy what is on my list, looking out for good deals on things I will actually use. To me this feels grown up, but it’s the obvious sensible thing to do, however I know other students -including my older sisters – who seem very impressed that I actually plan what I need to buy and do it all in one go.

2. Paying Rent: Like doing laundry, this is just such a young-adulty, Friends style, thing to do, or more noticeably, to talk about doing. ‘I’ve just paid my rent’ ‘my bank account looks full but I still need to pay rent’ etc., it doesn’t get more adult.

1. House Hunting: Well, one thing does get more adult. House hunting. Yes, I was just looking for a house to rent with a group of friends for the next year of uni, but going house hunting has got to be the most grown up thing I’ve ever done. Frustrating, hard work, ending up with something that’s good but not quite what we really wanted – it’s got all the key features of adulthood! But seriously, I cannot wait to move into my own house – even though it won’t be my own house, it’s the closest I’ll have for the next few years, and it really makes me realise that I’ve grown up a lot in the past year, but I still have a lot of growing to do. (In the maturity sense, that is, I think I’ll be stuck at 5′ forever now!)