Friday, 15 April 2016



I'm currently at university which is super fun and exciting but also so strange and foreign. I applied nearly 18 months ago and it feels like that time has gone so so fast, it feels like only a few weeks ago I ran into the living room and collapsed next to my mum trying to tell her i'd got into uni through my tears.

Being away from home is stressful, I have to do adult things like buy toilet cleaner and apply for council tax exemption forms, as well as trying to cook food without getting food poisoning or setting the kitchen on fire. If I can't find something I can't ask my mum where it is, I have to book my own appointments and remember to go to them. I'm not going to sugar coat it; going to university has been one of the hardest things i've done. It's hard emotionally too, I now only see my boyfriend once a month if i'm lucky, I can't have my family around me when i'm stressed out. Of course there's so many new people to meet and befriend and i've made lots of really cool friends; but they're still new friends. In reality I hardly know them compared to my 10 year+ friendships I have at home, we don't have years of memories and embarrassing stories about each other. Everything is all brand new and shiny but I like things to be well loved and worn, it's more inviting and homely that way.

Like I said I have made some great friends who i'm sure will be there when I get married or when my children are christened. I'm just still finding my feet a little. I love my course and the university itself, the library is absolutely huge which greatly excites me and there's always something going on.

I feel like people only talk about the best bits of going away to uni and forget to mention the homesickness and the large amount of growing up that must be done in a matter of weeks. Uni is wonderful but also so scary. I think maybe people should talk more about the reality, perhaps it wouldn't seem so foreign if I knew exactly what I was getting in to.

Here are some things I wish i'd known before going to university:

IT'S OKAY TO FEEL A LITTLE LONELY - You've probably moved a long way from home and are surrounded by people you don't know. Trust me, everyone else feels the same - they might just hide it under the copious amounts of alcohol or their 'I must make everyone my friend' face.

Bring your own washing up liquid and hide it. - I left a bottle of it on the side in the kitchen and within a few days everyone else had used it. Don't get me wrong it's great your flatmates are doing their washing up but you paid for that! Being a student will teach you to guard your money and the food/supplies you have bought with your life.

Don't buy any textbooks until you are there - If your course is textbook heavy, you could end up paying £200+ on what is essentially pieces of a dead tree. There will be 2nd years selling their second hand books cheaply, you don't want to pay full price for something some lecturers may completely disregard anyway.

Don't spend all your money on drinks in clubs - drinks in clubs are blooming expensive. Pre-drink to a level where you will be nicely tipsy the whole night to avoid paying £3 every time you want a jagerbomb. Also don't get absolutely smashed. It may seem great at the time but when you're walking home from the club trying to hold both yourself and your equally drunk friend up before throwing up in the toilet, you'll probably regret every decision you've made. Not going to lie, i've been there and you probably will still end up doing it, but hey you can learn from your own mistakes.

Go to lectures and pay attention - If you don't go, you will feel like you've missed out loads. Lecturers tend to go through things really quickly so if you miss an hour or two it really matters. Lecturers also don't usually give you much time to write stuff down so only write the basic ideas that you can go away and expand on in your spare time. Don't try to be clever and artistic making your lecture notes look neat and tidy and accept everything you scribble down in that room will look like a 5 year old with no thumbs wrote it. Also don't sit there on your phone or arrive late/leave early, your lecturer will notice, and if you're really unlucky, will point you out to the whole room.

That's all for now, bye!!

Monday, 11 April 2016

Why we should all be more like Ron and Leslie

One of my favourite television shows and the only one that makes me cry over a miniature horse is Parks and Recreation. It is not only immensely funny but touching, thought provoking and loving. The whole show is based around a group of people working in the parks department of Pawnee, Indiana who all have completely different personalities and political views but still respect and love each other.

Leslie and Ron are two of the main characters who both have very strong views on politics, friendship and breakfast food. Leslie on one hand is confident liberal with a portrait of Hilary Clinton in her office and a crush on Joe Biden. Ron believes government is useless and wants to eliminate the post office; his idea of a perfect government is one man in a room who can only decide who to nuke. It would be very easy for these two completely different people to hate each other but the whole point of this post is that they don't. In fact they are friends, or as Ron would say "work proximity associates". They could not disagree more about politics and government and social issues like parenthood and marriage but they are still good people and see each other as good people. This is something we seem to be unable to do in real politics that don't involve parks or town rivalries. It's all too easy to assume that someone of a different political stance to you is wrong or misinformed and that you will never be able to be friends with them because you are so different.

Although Parks and Rec is a comedy show based in a fictional town with fictional issues, perhaps if the way these problems are addressed were applied to the real world, the world of politics would be a much nicer and more appealing place. Whilst Ron and Leslie almost never agree, they respect each other and I think this is something we are missing. Some people are too caught up in mocking David Cameron's forehead or Jeremy Corbyn's suit choice to see that we all (mostly) want the same thing and that is a better society. People disagree on how to reach this goal and are quick to bash anyone with a different idea which is why politics and government have become so dark and uninviting. The only thing Ron and Leslie seem to agree on is that we should all eat more breakfast food but they both also want the best for each other and their friends (work proximity associates).
You never know, you might just meet some really cool people if you just accept we don't all think the same things and that is perfectly okay.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

International Women's Day

Today is International women’s day. 

I am not oppressed, I am a straight white girl getting a university education and free health care. Today is a chance to recognise those women who are oppressed. The girls who have to drop out of school when they start menstruating because they can’t afford sanitary products. The women in countries where marital rape is legal. The girls who are forced to marry by the time they are 14. The women who can’t get the abortions they need to save their lives. I could go on. Today is about recognising the world is not equal and that this is a massive global problem. It has nothing to do with wanting to be better than men, it’s about wanting the same treatment and opportunities whether you have a vagina or not, whether you were born in the western world or not. The only difference between me and a 19 year old girl in Central Africa is where we were born yet our futures look so very different and this has to change. For the sake of women everywhere, for our children and theirs, for humanity. Please. 

If you want to get involved, here are two useful websites with loads of information

Images by Freepik