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The Phenomenon of Not Enjoying University

Today I’m going to speak about something that has pretty much changed me completely in the last couple of years. It’s quite personal to me and while I don’t mind speaking about it, I am aware that there are always going to be people that just can’t understand the impact of what’s happened. This monumental ‘event’ was university and the whole crock of shite that came along with that.

Looking back, I didn’t quite consider how much of a leap leaving school was: 2010 was probably the happiest year of my life up until September. Then, although I was going to uni locally in Liverpool, I took the attitude of ‘obviously I’m not living at home during uni, partaaaayyyy’ and moved my little self over into halls. My room was lovely, in fact the flat was really nice for student halls. The problems started when freshers actually got going, and I realised I was completely and utterly not fitting into student life.

I still had my old job (I can’t survive on student loan alone!) and so was coming back over to the flat late some nights. On nights when I’d come back at 1am, all I would want to do was sleep, but music would be blaring and a flat filled with smoke would await me – when I picked a non smoking flat for my hatred of the smell. They were nice people, don’t get me wrong (and at least their music taste was good) but I spent many a night in my room alone wondering why I wasn’t the same as everybody else.

Watching friends uploading hundreds of photos and chatting about all their new best friends (‘OMG, we just click you know, we have so much in common, she’s amazing’) and wondering why I wasn’t as excited as everybody else about…well, anything. To make it twice as bad, the fact that I do a Combined course at uni meant everybody in each subject was already grouped off and I really put myself out there trying to speak to people. Each time, I was rebuffed and never saw them again.

To cut the ramble, it culminated in me feeling down all the time. I literally couldn’t pick myself up – even the course wasn’t, and still isn’t, what I expected – and eventually, the worst of it came when I sat in my room, with one of my best friends at the time, and just cried without knowing why (he felt awkward to say the least). I made the decision to move back home. It was so hard, mainly because I didn’t want to seem like a failure in comparison to all my friends that were loving itbut also not to burden my family. A lot of people will say this is bad, that I should have stuck it out but for me, this was the right decision. Even when I moved home, my depression continued for a good few months and the amount of times I went into my mums bedroom, lay on the bed and just cried were numerous and distressing. I tried not to tell anybody unless I had to, or said it was for money reasons.

A few months later, when I was starting to get a bit better, I found out something that my boyfriend had done (involving, of course, a ‘best friend’ and some inappropriate not-at-all friendly messages, stereotype much?) which sent me right back down again. I’ve had my sister say to me over and over about how I’m a failure and I can’t cope with ‘normal’ things.

Most people have been supportive, even if they can’t understand. People say things like ‘oh I’ve just been really lucky’ or ‘you should have moved into the actual uni halls’ but in hindsight, I think that maybe I was expecting too much and I never would have enjoyed it, and the person who I am now is confident enough to admit that. I just want other people to understand why I feel that way too.

I’ve learned to cope, and although I don’t enjoy uni loads still, I have people in my lectures that I can speak to and get on with. Some amazing friends outside of uni, people I work with and people that understand what I’m going through have helped me so much through this. Having Lauren come back from Japan in November (and start uni the next year) really helped me to accept that it’s okay not to have the typical student experience. Similarly, when I met Hollie a few months ago, it was great to show her that it’s okay not to settle in straight away and it helped me to come to terms with it myself.

I take things week by week and always make plans (I used to like being alone and chilling: a side effect has meant that if I don’t have plans for a day, I feel down and scared all over again). Enjoy the things that you have – I am lucky enough to not do long-distance with my boyfriend, which some other people find really hard. Sometimes I do wish that I’d had the same incredible experiences as others but there’s always a silver lining and while third year is going so fast that I’m scared to go into adult life, I’m hoping my time after uni will be a much happier stage of my life.

It’s okay to feel like this.
A lot of people go through it and hide behind social networking because they don’t want to feel like  they’ve failed as well.
Do what’s right for you and it will never be the wrong decision.
Laura x
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My Poland Adventure!

Hey guys! I’m back from my week long blogging break (I have to admit, I did miss writing!) and feeling a little chilly in England again.  This is going to be photo heavy – most are my own, any others are from somebody I went with.

It was surprisingly warmer than you’d expect when you think of Poland – luckily as we did a lot of walking! Never seen so many churches in my life, there was one wherever you looked! It was amazingly cheap at the same time as seeming expensive (if that makes sense at all). The UK exchange worked out around 4.5 zlotti to a pound, so a bill for an entire meal at 200zl worked out at about £7 each! Needless to say, we drank and ate a ridiculous amount…

There was some beautiful bars, and I definitely found ‘my drink’ in one that did a cocktail called the ‘Gryffindor’. The Harry Potter nerd in me will never die!

As well as looking around the old town and market square and visiting a shopping centre, we were lucky enough to visit Aushwitz, Birkenau and the Wieliczka Salt Mine. It was a ridiculously sunny day when we visited Aushwitz and Birkenau, which felt wrong considering the atrocities which had taken place there. Even when I was there, it was unimaginable that I was standing in the actual place that so many people had died, particularly when we went into the gas chamber bunker. Almost everything there was original, not a reconstruction. I didn’t get many pictures inside out of respect, but here are some;

After this, we needed some severe cheering up so went onto some beautiful little bars around the city. We had to drag ourselves to the Salt Mine the next day, and personally I wasn’t expecting much. But I have eaten my words – it’s incredible! The amount of sculptures made of salt and the detail in them is just amazing, as well as a chapel hundreds of feet underground that you can actually get married in. If you follow my instagram, you’ll probably find a lot more pictures of that (@lauragois!)

So yeah, overall I had an amazing time – it was much prettier than I ever expected! I’ve wanted to go for a couple of years now, and am really glad I got to go with some of my good friends! 

Love Bites: The Travel Bug

Lately I’m feeling the urge to just get away. Unusually much. I’m normally a homebody – I like my comfort and stress free routine, without worrying about being broke and missing people that I love lots. So I’m going to have to take them with me (kicking and screaming? Hopefully not with the places on my list!). I’ve already been to several places I love, and feel lucky to have been to: particularly Madeira as it is so familiar to me now, surrounded by family there.

It’s my third year of uni now; while that means work is getting a lot more serious and maximum concentration is really needed, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about what’s next for me. I don’t want to rush into a career when I still feel like a baby. I haven’t experienced the world, and inside me there’s this weird feeling that thinks maybe if I do explore, I’ll find stuff about myself I didn’t know, and consequently what I want to do with my life.

I LOVE London. First on my agenda, is to go back again. And again. And again. I love the rush, buzz, the immense amount of things to do and places to explore. Planning a shopping trip with my favourites is making me want to jump up and down in happiness! 

Poland next week will be entirely different from anywhere else; I’m imagining it to have a relaxed vibe like Amsterdam, but the history of the place is going to add another layer of depth to it; particularly our planned visit to Auschwitz – but more on that when I return next week I’m sure!

Planning a trip after exams is keeping me sane this year I think! It’s come down to a frenzied desire to go to Bali/Hawaii/Fiji that’s going to have to be fulfilled very shortly. But I think after reading blog posts about her time in Japan, we’re pretty much decided that Lauren will be showing me around for two weeks in June! And I’m mega excited to go somewhere that frankly, I never thought I’d want to go.

Last but not least. My boyfriend and I already had an idyllic holiday in Lanzarote in June. Instead of Christmas presents (as we both usually ask for completely random/useless things, if anything at all), we are booking ourselves a mini break in January! A city, or somewhere snowy and pretty. Then onto planning another blissful summer holiday.

Then it’s time for reality, and real life to kick in….

So guys, if you’ve stuck with this spontaneous (and rather rambling) post for this long, this is where I need you. I need recommendations, and places from your wishlists to make myself a bucket list of locations, if you will. (NYC is already up there, and any opportunity I take to go there, I will snatch with both hands and be at the airport before you can blink an eye). So hit me up, inspire me…..

What Music Means to Me.

There aren’t too many people around that don’t love music. No matter the genre or popularity, it appeals to almost every single person in one way or another. In societies where people are incredibly poor, they sing and make music to bring their communities together. Some people make incredible amounts of money from making music. It’s a shared love and everybody has their own individual take on it.

I listen to different types of music. I’ll listen to the chart, rock, classical, ‘indie’ and enjoy it all. Getting laughed at for having Classic FM tuned on my car radio to getting startled looks when guitar and drums blast out from it; it’s typical and you can’t escape the preconceptions of what people expect of you. But challenging them is something that I find fun and if something makes you happy, it shouldn’t matter what it is. I suppose this kind of applies to most other areas of life too.

Music at gigs should be loud, hot and as long as you have enough space to bounce up and down, a good time is pretty much guaranteed. I’ve been to concerts of massive artists in seated areas, and while they put on an amazing show, it’s not the same as being down in the crowd. It’s a feeling of anonymity and freedom to scream, dance, sing, jump. And you come out so filled with happiness and adrenaline, you feel like you’re floating on air. Especially when you meet the lead singer of your favourite band….ahhhh. Love you Josh.

Music in headphones is private. You can go loud and blot out the world, or give it a gentle soundtrack on a long journey. Slow and sad for when you’re chilled and calm. So bouncy that it makes you smile, tap your feet and want to sing along (usually in my head). Attracting strange looks from people when you laugh to yourself at a happy memory associated with the song. You walk a little bit lighter and happier with music playing in your ears.

When a song I really love comes on – especially when you aren’t expecting it, like on the radio or a TV show – I get really, really happy. A lightness inside. Usually, I’ll close my eyes and just listen, not think. Examples of these songs for me are :-

I Giorni – Ludovico Einaudi
Welcome to the Black Parade
 – My Chemical Romance
Young Blood – The Naked and Famous
Many of Horror – Biffy Clyro
The Great Escape – Boys Like Girls
Say You Don’t Want It – One Night Only
El Tango de Roxanne – Moulin Rouge Version
Liquid Confidence – You Me at Six
Brat Pack – The Rocket Summer
We Found Love – Rihanna and Calvin Harris
Swan Lake Soundtrack

Does anybody else have songs that make them feel this way?

A thing that people find unique is relating to songs. Lyrics posted on MSN, Twitter, Facebook status’s with a situation that seems to relate exactly to how we are thinking and feeling. And the beauty of that is it touches people differently. But the fact that it can touch so many people means that it’s universal. Being able to write a song and affect so many people with it must be incredible.

For me, it is a way to remember good times. Use it to get you through bad times Associate emotions with songs, happy or sad. And it will be a part of me for my whole life.

Term Time Resolutions.

I’ve been lacking inspiration for my lifestyle posts recently, despite having a pretty exciting week. I started a new job, on Thursday, my old job had an amazing staff day out: Go Ape in Delamere Forest, Sapporo, and Alma de Cuba. Go Ape is kind of like an assault course but up in the trees (ending with amazing zip wires!): the meal in Sapporo Teriyaki was incredible and anybody in Liverpool that hasn’t been to Alma de Cuba (and has a decent size budget) I would advise you to get down now! Saturday was a friends 21st in a new 24 hour casino that opened. So, pretty good all in all.

1. Go Ape Treetop Adventure. 2. Sapporo Teriyaki. 3. Cocktails.

But now it’s that time where I have to settle down, do some work, and try to be a responsible student for my last (eep!) year of education. I got the inspiration for this from Hannah’s wonderful blog. Like she says, I’ve made these resolutions every year since I started my GCSE’s, but this year it really counts. Uni couldn’t have made it any easier for me to laze around with my 4 hours a week timetable (full time, yeah right!). These are my aspirations for the year:

1. Get most of my project done in Semester 1.
Due to my lack of actual lectures in this term, I have plenty of time on my hands. Instead of using it to stay in bed, shop, go for lunch with friends (as I spent the entire of my second year doing), I will go to uni, and work hard at getting my work done. One year of hard work – maybe I’ll miss it when it’s gone so why not do something productive, instead of doing nothing (*cough* playing on The Sims). 

2. Get fit.
I never appreciated the effect 13 years of ballet had on my body, until I quit two years ago. Now my confidence is low and I need an overhaul that doesn’t feel like a chore. Joining the uni gym sounds like a good idea – having Lauren as a gym buddy will make me more likely to go! And I want to get back into swimming. Also, eat more healthily.

3. Spend my money wisely.
Getting into the habit of buying things out of boredom is never good…also, find cheaper alternatives to going to Topshop all the time. Forever 21 cannot open in Liverpool fast enough.

4Travel.
This relates to after I finish really, but starting now! I go to Poland for a few days next week (history, water park and vodka), and am planning a shopping trip to London soon too as I am completely in love with the place. Instead of Christmas presents, my boyfriend and I are looking at going on a short break somewhere which would be lovely.
But the big one is my plans for after exams/graduation. I’m not ready for a serious career; I haven’t lived and found what I really want to do. Me and Lauren are planning to go somewhere after exams for a couple of weeks (tropical and beautiful!), then Glastonbury with a few others, then Crete for her 21st. Feel like it would be scary, but I think would make a huge difference to how negative I’ve felt for the last few years.

5. Write a lot.
This has already started here, and I’m also writing for a new student website/magazine in my uni, as well as a creative writing module at uni. With experience, comes interest and hope, and I always have hope that one day something brilliant will come to me. And I’ll get a job on Cosmo magazine and everything will be amazing. (maybe). 

Do any of you guys make resolutions at the start of uni/school/college as well as new year? Also, how do you like these kind of posts compared to my beauty posts? Let me know, opinions welcome and appreciated!

Exciting update: new boots and film set near me!

This is a very quick post about two things I’m excited about!

1. I finally picked up my new boots!

Pull and Bear, £29.99

I really love Pull and Bear clothes – it’s part of the same company as Zara, and their clothes are really affordable: it’s my go-to place for summer bargains usually! For a while now, I’ve been searching for a pair of boots I really love (I’m pretty picky) and these aren’t too expensive. Plus they do free delivery to the store within 5 days 🙂
They feel comfy and best of all, don’t make my feet look ridiculously long! They’re only size 5, but recently, I tried on some grey boots in River Island and they made my feet look stupidly out of proportion! Only time will tell if they’re good quality to last through the rain, but they’re seeming pretty sturdy so far.

2. There are ACTUAL REAL FAMOUS PEOPLE around the corner from my work.

The trailers of Keira Knightly, Kevin Costner and Chris Pine!!

Apologies for the bad quality photo – it involved me going up to the roof of my work and climbing up a latter to be able to see over the top (cinemas are very tall….). But yeah, they’re filming ‘Jack Ryan’ around the corner so keep closing off roads around here, and my boyfriend saw a fake NYPD van hanging about. Exciting and so tempting to casually walk by.

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This post probably seems very random to most of you, but wanted to express my happiness at how this day has been! Hope you all have a lovely weekend and any comments welcome 🙂 x

Positivity: Unlock Your Potential.

This blog has been an escape for me so far. A way to delve into beauty, humor and the pretty parts of life, to forget about the things that I’m maybe not as happy with. But I have some important things I want to get off my mind today.

For this piece, I have an appropriate soundtrack. You may or may not be surprised to know that I’m a classical music fan, as well as chart/rock/pop/indie//whatever else. A friend sent me this while I’ve been revising, and it kinda reminds me of a film. It’s a piano piece, and makes me relax. Press play:
I Giorni – Ludovico Einaudi

 I’ve acquired this book from my mother;

Source Credit to Openlibrary.org

She bought it for me just after I first started uni. I was depressed (as in bawling every single night, not just a little sad). This book says that what you attract to you is what you give off. So, if you’re negative, you’ll get negative things coming back to you. For  example, I spend most days in a place that hardly anybody wants to be, the atmosphere sucks and people are rarely cheerful when we’re there. All the bad ‘vibes’ (for lack of a less cringey word) join together and make everybody else miserable. And the cycle continues.

I’m not sure how much I believe in something like this, but it never hurts to be more positive. I want good things to come to me – new opportunities. And maybe they haven’t yet because I haven’t been giving off the right attitude to the world. I used to live in the past, still do to some extent. But also, didn’t realise that recently I have locked away a lot of good memories. They’ve started to fade, or be replaced by negatives. And this can’t be good for anyone.

NEW START: Letting the things I’m grateful for override the things I wish were better.