With all the festivities around us it would seem that December is a time for Christmas drinks on campus, wearing seasonal jumpers and shopping in Tiger for numerous Secret Santas… What the naked eye doesn’t see is the simmering panic among us, not only about deadlines just round the corner but also all the important […]
I hope you’re well and ready to get really personal! I want to talk to you about a situation I’m in at the moment that you have also no doubt been in. I’m watching my friend(s) get their dreams and achieve their goals while I am helpless to do anything about mine. It doesn’t help that I share a dream of studying post graduate medicine at Cambridge with quite a few people around me and while they’re hearing back right now, I still have to wait a year to apply. More specifically, today my friend got invited to an interview at Cambridge and I went from being ecstatically happy to painfully upset all within 30 seconds. What followed was a dramatic email chain with my housemate where both she and I let it all out in emotional prose. If I were a buzzfeed headline it would probably say
**COULD YOU STUDY MEDICINE AT CAMBRIDGE? GET ON THIS EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER TO FIND OUT**
Here is how I am feeling at the moment. I’ve changed names too just for fun.
Subject: not the upbeat kind of email
I am writing to you regarding my conflicting emotions. Having heard that my good friend Izzie from Healthcare Assistant work has been offered an interview at Cambridge I got the thumping feeling in my thoracic cavity and the pulsing veins in my head – adrenaline had kicked in. This was partly because I was so happy for her and partly because it feels very personal. I had held Cambridge medicine dear to my heart for so long that anything related to it affects me personally. I’m so happy for Izzie. But I also feel upset by how helpless I am right now regarding my own opportunities. I want to apply and let them know about me asap but I have to wait until next year. Izzie will probably be in by then. She won’t have the stress, she will be living her dream. I almost feel like it’s unfair for me to have to go through this twice – once now, while I’m doing all the things my friends are doing but they’re applying and I’m not, and then again next year, but for real and all alone.
I know it’s a waiting game and I will be in a much better position to apply next year, but I am not a patient person, this is challenging me in more ways than one.
What if after all this I don’t get in?
I genuinely don’t know how I’d cope with that.
Hey guys, how are you doing?
This is how I greet customers at our Hollister store! Contrary to popular belief, we don’t have to say ‘Welcome to the Pier’ while standing outside the store in bikinis – GOD no. As a university student I wanted a part-time job for some extra money and just generally a bit more to do. I’ve been working at Hollister for a few years now and I abosolutely love it! Let me tell you why, hopefully bust some myths and if you’re looking for a part-time job and have a Hollister near you – I encourage you to apply!
- The People
I’ve worked at two Hollister stores in different cities and can definitely confirm that as anywhere, how much you enjoy your job will depend on what the people are like. I’m very lucky at my current store to have THE BEST managers, who are so much fun, literally basically the same age as me but are so good at balancing the banter with making you feel like a respected, valued employee. Hollister as a company try to encourange continuity among stores by having visiting managers and generally trying to bring the most sociable, friendly people to the company so I guarantee you will have so much fun working there!
2. The Customers
One of the reasons I love this job is because I really like the feeling of being able to help people. The best feeling is when someone comes in wanting something new but not quite knowing what and I am able to get a sense of what they’re looking for and what they would like AND THEN THEY LOVE IT AND GET IT AND THEY LEAVE SO HAPPY AND IT MAKES ME SO EXCITED!!!
If you’ve ever been in one of our stores you will know that the customer service is a bit full on, American style. While some people would rather be left to their own devices, our way of interacting means that those who wouldn’t usually ask for help or just don’t know what to ask, get to have a proper full shopping experience where there is always someone there to help in any way, even if it is just saying hello, smiling and making them feel welcome!
PSA: it has been brighter and quieter for YEARS now, the joke is old, we hear it at least 10 times a day, please… no more
3. The Hours
0 hour contract is the one, you can set your availability when you are free and if you need to be away for a while, let’s say going home for summer and away from uni, that is cool beans.
4. The Clothes
The most exciting thing is coming in for a shift and seeing all the new stuff, knowing that you have about 5 hours to be silently shopping for later... I have a weakness for anything with koalas, which lucky for me, most of the Gilly Hicks stuff is…
5. Learning How To Resist Impulse Shopping
When you’ve worked in a clothes store long enough, you will know that the safest way to shop for yourself is give a few shifts before you buy the thing you think you want – see how you feel about it after folding it for the hundredth time, seeing it a bit dishevelled in a pile somewhere, it really takes the marketing magic out of retail and makes sure you settle for the things you now know you will like and wear.
All in all, I absolutely love my job there, I love how it is an environment where full on interaction with strangers is encouraged – I learn so much about people each shift and it’s lovely seeing them pleasently surprised to be paid so much attention to. 🙂
Let me know if you have any questions, I’m happy to answer anything, even if you’re just a bit curious!
Thanks guys, have a lovely day!
(another classic work phrase for me)
Hello! I am so glad you’re here – it’s been an intense couple of weeks of being back at university (though I am working full time on an epidemiology placement this year) and I’ve been waiting and waiting to be triggered to write a blog post. I turned 21 on the 5th October and one thing we all have in common as bloggers is being a bit nosey about things/hauls/presents. I was very lucky to be remembered by so many friends and so I thought I’d share a few of my favourite presents with you! Warning: I love the Moomins.
These are the first few bits:
- Morphe 35W eyeshadow palette – a present from my housemates. I don’t know much about make up at all, only that I like warm pinky/peachey tones and have loved this palette so far! I wore plum for my birthday party with a dusting of the light blue and it looked very spacey (fitting for a star sign party). I also put gold glitter on top (courtesy of Tanya Burr’s Advent Calendar 2016).
- A llama Urban Outfitters daily journal – love it love it love it love it! It doesn’t have set dates so if you miss out a few days of writing in the planner you don’t waste any pages!
- A Whittards Alice in Wonderland cup and saucer – I had pointed it out enough times to my boyfriend in the window display of Whittards on our way to Macdonalds’ enough times… I love it!
- A little notebook with my initials in the corner – look at that colour!!!
- The amazing backdrop is a Moomins tea towel! I said straight away I wasn’t going to use it in the kitchen as I love it too much and now it’s found its use!
This is my current bed situation. These sheets were a gift from my boyfriend (they’re from John Lewis) and I love them so much – the wild flowers are so pretty and so me (and the sheets are super soft too). I got the cushion for myself from Tiger – LOOK AT THE TASSELS!
So this makes me look like a toddler but here are my buddies! There is an interesting fact about them so bare with:
- Peliukas (left) was a gift from my dad on the day of my birth so he is also 21!!!
- Kevin (koala, middle) was a gift from my boyfriend on my 19th birthday so he turned 2!
- The Moomin was a gift from my housemates this year so he is our baby!
It seems that if I get a soft toy, it will ONLY be on a birthday. 😀
This is the cup in more detail – I love its shape and how light it is, I also have a newfound love for saucers – what a convenient way to hold a cup! It says ‘DRINK ME’ on the bottom… need I say more…
Finally, the peak of my birthday was our house party, which was star sign themed! We covered the house in glow in the dark stars, fairylights and covered ourselves in glitter. It was an incredible night and so many of my favourite people coming together for it was the best present I could have wished for! Here’s me breaking my anonymous blog rules and showing you a glimpse of my outfit:
Let me know what you want to read next: tips for a successful house party? Glitter looks? More Moomins?
It’s good to be back!
You know when you’re thinking of what to write your next post about, and although you’d never have thought about it before, some things are just screaming to be written about? Well, let me tell you a story about how I rediscovered my love of candlelight, went to the library for the second time in my university career and grew two cold sores (from having too much fun sitting next to an opened window during a storm in a coffee shop).
This year I’m on a placement at a Medical Genetics Statistics lab – long story short, I was the first housemate to be back this year, about two weeks ahead of everyone else. After a long drive across the UK, accidentally driving into Wales (not AT ALL where I am at uni) and having to pay the bridge toll just to turn around, my dad and I arrived at my uni house close to midnight.
Despite the stale smell and the sticky-kitchen-surfaces-courtesy-of-builders, I was excited to be back. We brought in my bags, claimed some left-behind ciders and thought, here we are – the hardest part is over.
Spoiler alert: IT WAS NOT.
My suspicions rose as the previously fully functioning bathroom light would not switch on. Neither did the corridor light. Nor the showers on the second floor. Hmm. I can sense a storm a’brewing.
I mean, if you’re anything like me, you wouldn’t be too surprised. OF COURSE some major electrical fault would happen when you’re the first and only housemate back, just before the weekend, when there’s no hope of getting anyone capable of fixing it. Classic me.
It was a long and tedious road of uncomfortable phone calls, firm texts to the property manager and wishing I hadn’t used up all my phone data already. Long story short, I lived alone in a 7-bedroom student house (that’s 7 rooms which could be haunted), for 6 days without wifi, or electricity anywhere other than the kitchen (they spoil me). If you’d told me that before I came down here I probably wouldn’t have come, but now it’s over I can tell you, it wasn’t THAT bad. Here’s why:
- Coffee shops are your friends (NOT for downloads though)
I’d find myself a bit lost when it got to the afternoon when I’d usually watch a vlog or something. I think that’s the aspect of having wifi I missed most because vlogs make me feel like I have company, they are a form of social interaction, even if it’s one-sided. And I needed it!!!
Coffee shops also have comfy chairs, the staff will treat you like one of their own if you’re nice to them and you also get to people-watch – honestly a good place to come if you’re feeling lonely.
Don’t try to download any films on their wifi though – mine was estimated to take 2 days.
2. Films are underrated
The way I’d deal with still having things to watch was to download films at the library. I usually choose to watch series or vlogs, which are much shorter to cater for the short attention span of our generation. I always wish I watched more films, especially the good ones, and here’s a few I can recommend:
- Florence Foster Jenkins
- Made of Honour (romcom which doesn’t get enough credit!)
- Megan Leavey (all about a dog in the army!!! Although I don’t think it did enough justice to the real story it’s based on)
3. Days started to have structure
I had to go somewhere in the mornings because there was just nothing else to do. It was actually wonderful!
When I was at the library, I did work. When I got home, it was food and film time. Very distinct environments.
4. A natural sleep pattern
As I had no lights to stay up with, I was forced to be in bed by 10pm and ready to sleep. This also meant I woke up earlier and is one habit I wish I could keep.
5. The benefit of phone calls
I still had to speak with my friends!!! Two solid phone calls a day would fit in just as much communication as texting the whole day. And it’s so much more personal! When you see they’re calling, you know they’ve been thinking of you and you’re already excited for the banter that’s about to occur… mmm…bliss!
Also when you’re texting someone rather than messaging, so much more thought goes into the content, choice of emojis and actually having a good conversation.
sorry not sorry
6. Having time for the there-and-then moments
As I had no distractions, I had the luxury of doing one thing at a time. If I was getting ready in the morning, I would take time choosing an outfit, doing make up, and there were no notification sounds to interrupt me before I was done and ready to move onto the next task.
I could go on! Overall I feel like this experience reminded me what it feels to be completely present in the moment, totally in charge of your day. I had to come up with fun ideas to fill the time, which were just for me and I feel like we all should take the time to do that. While I don’t wish power-cuts on anyone, it is amazing to learn what we do and don’t really need. The things I missed most were all the ways I am used to connecting with people over the internet, rather than the internet itself. I found other ways to do that, like calling them purposefully, or taking a picture worthy enough to send when I’m on wifi again.
When the wifi man finally installed the broadband I was suddenly very overwhelmed – what do I do first??? Check if Caroline Calloway has any more gems on her InstaStory? Vlogs? Twitter? I was relieved I had it all back, but also quite nostalgic of all that time I had just to myself.
I still burn my candles in the evening rather than have lights on. 🙂
I would love to hear your thoughts, especially if you’ve had similar experiences!
Thanks for reading xoxo
Recently I’ve been spending long hours training at the hospital to be a Healthcare Assistant! To those unfamiliar with UK NHS terminology, a healthcare assistant is someone who helps patients with their personal care, such as washing and eating. I’m very excited for my first (12.5 hour lol) shift on Friday but until then, my boyfriend and I fancied a trip away and we decided to go to London!
We booked an Air Bnb in Battersea (5 mins walk away from Chelsea – oi oi Bluebird Cafe, famous ‘Made In Chelsea’ brunches) and were looking forward to a somewhat cultural (enough to tell parents what we did) time together (which was most important).
- The V&A
Ever since my 13th birthday trip to this museum it has been my absolute favourite. If you’re into art, fashion, costume, theatre, photography – V&A will always deliver. Set against the backdrop of South Kensington it gives you a chance to dream of new real-estate goals as well as the possibility of bumping into the cast of ‘Made In Chelsea’!
The only downside of this museum compared to most others in London is that the special exhibitions require purchasing tickets (usually £12+). Being students, we decided some of the free exhibitions would do. At the time there was an exhibition about Plywood – a versatile material made of lots of thin sheets of wood compressed together. What I learnt on that day was how much people were willing to pretend something is super interesting if it’s free. Queuing up to take pictures of the diagram of the production of plywood in wood factories… I mean come on???!!!
Having spent about 10 minutes looking at sheets of plywood, we spent another two hours having coffee in the V&A garden, dipping our feet in the fountain, watching tourists try to fight off sturdy British pigeons. That was the best part of the day. 🙂
2. The Tate Modern
Lots of art. In random order. Got lost in a painting-trail maze. Sat through clips of Polish-army-picnics, Austrian-right-wing-leader-funeral, protests in Isreal. Just really needed to sit down. Don’t love the atmosphere of art galleries I must say. Trying to read a tiny painting description, feeling three other people’s breaths on your neck as they’re doing the same, in an air of pretentious contemplation.
3. The Moomin Shop in Covent Garden
I was mistaken before – this was definitely the best part of the day!!! I came, I got a moomin lanyard for work, I conquered.
This is where our story begins… Let me give you a bit of context – having visited London many times for different reasons I cannot go to see any more sights – no more Big Ben, no more Buckingham Palace, no more being carried by the crowds on Oxford Street. I’ve maxed out my tourist card and must start acting like a local, and going to the places the locals go!
Go to Shoreditch, they said. It will be fun, they said. You’re young, you’ll like it.
One of the more recent attractions at Shoreditch is the Boxpark. It’s lots of shipping containers, each its own cafe or hipster shop, converted into a sort of cool-hang-out-area. Now I’ve always thought I was easy-going enough to pass for ‘cool’, I was even wearing my Zara cactus jeans! But this was a whole other level… As you walk up the steps to the Boxpark, even the high-vis staff look like they’re judging you, not to mention walking through the bar/shisha areas… Suddenly my cactus jeans seemed mainstream and were letting me down for the first time. Should we get a drink here? But everyone seems like they’ve come in big groups and the only spaces at the tables are among these groups… Stress levels were high. At this point, I was wishing I had facial piercings, and a really high-up fringe.
We kept walking and promising that we’d get that drink at some other bar (I already knew it wasn’t going to happen). The walk down Brick Lane was actually fun, it was very empty and we got to see world-famous places like the Cereal Killer Cafe and loads of street art that Shoreditch is known for. And then we approached more open-air bar areas… My boyfriend kept asking ‘do you like this’ ‘do you want to go in there’ and I’d find a reason to walk by each one. Something about so many bouncers at every corner, the loud groups, overpriced alcohol, the ever-so-stylish and out-there outfits of people who I SWEAR were looking at us, made me feel like this is the last place I wanted to be in.
As we exited the area and ended up by a Tesco Express (bless you Tesco for bringing normality back into my life) I couldn’t help but get teary as I was feeling so foolish and disappointed in myself for being 20, a student, the sort of person who goes out and is good with people, and not being able to go for a drink at a bar in a place that is literally targetted at people like me??? but y???
I kept apologising to my boyfriend, who could not understand where this guilt was coming from and kept reassuring me, but I just felt bad. I felt bad that I wasn’t the cool girlfriend I wanted to be, I was worried that when he goes on his year abroad to a trendy city I will no longer fit in (throwing a random one in there I know), and even more strangely I felt bad that I wasn’t the cool hip daughter my dad thought I might be when he recommended me the place.
To top it all of, as said boyf lit up a cigarette, I said ‘ok at least let me have a toke of it, that will be my ‘cool‘ of the day’, bearing in mind I don’t smoke, so I breathe it in and just as forcefully cough it back out. ‘Would you say this sums up your experience of Shoreditch?’ he said. Oh yes, yes it did.
So what is it about cool places that seem amazing on paper, that makes me feel like a baby among grown-ups? Why do I feel like they’re not for me and I should play the role of the observer? I’m not usually this self-conscious, so why did this happen?? I get a similar feeling with small hip independent coffee shops… where do I order?? what’s the procedure here?? Do other people there think I don’t fit in?
Honestly, this rather pathetic fear is the thing I want to change most about myself. Sometimes, I choose going to a coffee chain rather than a shop I would love to go to, just because I know how everything works…
If anyone reading this is a cool person please help!!! How do you do it? Do you have any advice?
I would love to hear from you (if you don’t unfollow me having learnt how uncool I am),
It feels like only yesterday I was weeping happy tears for being mentioned in Michele’s blog, and here we are now – NOMINATED FOR THE LIEBSTER AWARD!!! When I first saw people on Twitter announcing their nominations, I thought this was like the Oscars of blogging. I gazed longingly at the logo and dreamt that maybe one day I would too climb my blogging Everest.
Little did I know, the sun rose on that day earlier than expected. And it all started with Ellen’s message…
Ellen has an amazing blog guys! She writes in such a heart-warming way, you can’t help but love her! If you’re into travelling, discovering, dogs, creative writing, books and finding best-online-friends – CLICK ON ANY OF THESE WORDS FOR A SURPRISE POST!!!
Here are the 11 questions she asked me!
- What was your favourite childhood film?
I had MANY. Having grown up in Lithuania, I never watched the ‘typical’ childhood films like Disney or idk things like Tracy Beaker. We had, what I can now retrospectively call, slightly second-rate-Western-TV, but I loooved it all! Sabrina the teenage witch (omg that sassy talking black cat, amirite??), overplayed Shrek, Princess Diaries on every month, but the one I would stop EVERYTHING for was…
2. When was the last time you laughed so much that you cried?
To be honest it was probably at one of my own jokes earlier today! It doesn’t take much.
3. Which 3 famous people would you go for lunch with?
CAROLINE CALLOWAY! She is an Instagram blogger/feminist/inspiration!
I wouldn’t say no to a lunch with Justin Bieber… Belieber at heart…
This one is a bit random but Manolo Vergara! He’s the son of Sofia Vergara (Gloria from Modern Family) and honestly he’s the funniest person I follow online – 100% my kind of humour and would love to be friends!
4. How did you feel writing your first blog post?
Embarrassed! Kept thinking what my friends would think if they read it!
5. Have you always been a writer?
I wouldn’t dare call myself a writer haha! But I did have a brief period of pretty impressive song-writing when I was 13, even recorded them on my mum’s Blackberry and everything!
6. Where is your favourite place to blog? (e.g in bed, at a cafe etc)
At my desk! I’ve recently had my room redone at home and have been loving sitting at my desk and looking out of the window (it’s one of those ones you pull up – old fashioned!). I also love my windowsill! Here’s an authentic low quality pic. I’d love to try it in a coffee shop somewhere, but currently my laptop is a brick of a DELL, so we’ve got limited mobility.
7. What kind of music do you enjoy? Recommend something for your readers to listen to!
DE-SPAAA-CIIIITO i dunno the words so i say dorrito, i dont know the words so i say burrito!
For studying – Schubert is the best classical music composer imo! Tried and tested during exam season. Not too much distracting singing and music isn’t too emotive.
8. Do you have any pets?
I have a British Shorthair cat called Uoga (Berry, in Lithuanian). But if you know anything about me is that I am dreaaaming of a dog!
9. What has been one highlight of your week so far?
Making friends in an otherwise really intense and overwhelming work induction! Some of these girls are just the sort of people I can see being friends forever with!
10.Which book could you read over and over without getting bored?
Arthur: The dog who crossed a jungle to find a home. Quelle surprise – it’s about a dog!
11. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
I would honestly love to spend a bit of time everywhere. However, if money was no object (and so I could afford a decent life in $$$ places) I would love to be based in New York City at this point in my life! I’d love to start my medical career in NYC hospitals which would be so diverse and exciting!!! I’ve never been but I just imagine my life would feel like a film every day?? Can anyone confirm if this is the case??
11 Questions From Me to You:
- Describe your perfect day. No detail is too small!
- Are you in love? Have you ever been? Share a story/lesson with your readers, whether it’s funny/romantic/heartbreaking </3
- What’s your dream holiday?
- What song could you listen on repeat at the moment?
- What song would you choose, if everyone who chose that song got put on one island and had to live together forever?
- How do you feel about your blog? At what point did you start feeling proud/confident of it? Straight away? Or did it take encouragement from others?
- Share a joke with your readers!
- What meme sums you up the best?
- What would you like your name to be if you had to choose a new one?
- How are you feeling today?
- If you could go on a date with a well known person, who would it be?
Bloggers I would like to tag in this blogging-love-letter-chain are:
- You!!! Whoever you are reading this, if you’re a start-up blogger and we haven’t met yet, feel free to answer my questions on your blog!
- I’d like to return some love back to Ellen: https://itsjustellenblog.wordpress.com/
- Michele: http://letmecrossover.blogspot.co.uk/
- Fernanda: https://thewanderlustreaderofficial.wordpress.com/
- Lauren: http://laurensjourney.com/
- Chloe: https://diaryofalonelygirlblog.wordpress.com/
- Lisa: https://lisawilliamsxblog.wordpress.com/