Happy 100th post: Who are you?

Wow it’s my 100th post… Pretty impressive! Well, I guess it would be more so if I was a bit more regular with my upkeep of this blog but hey! So I’ve decided to write a nice personal identity kind of post to er… celebrate.

I’ve come to the conclusion that there are two types of people in the world, and I define them as the 9 to 5’ers and the adventurers.

Which does sound incredibly cliché I know. But in four years of university I got to meet some amazing people from all different backgrounds and walks of life. I met people from England, Ireland, Romania, France, Lithuania and America. We all had completely different passions (though our love of the local pubs and bars was shared with the majority of the student population) and yet I felt as if I was the only one who enjoyed the academic side of life.

While I was in the library until 6am researching for my latest 5,000 word essay; my more creative friends were out discovering the latest news to publish on their blogs, making music with their bands or planning out new documentaries to film. I was amazed watching them using computer programs like Photoshop and drawing brilliant portraits with a pencil and paper– skills that, as hard as I tried, just seemed impossible to me.

And they would look at me in horror whenever I mentioned my latest essay topic on social policy.

The best part though was that we never judged each other for our passions. Instead I think it gave us new things to talk about, and new areas to explore. I had been friends with the same crowd for the majority of my high school-hating years, and the only feelings that we had discussed revolved around our dislike of school. We did very little besides hang out in the park, or along the promenade, waiting for our GCSEs to be over. To be ‘free’ as if high school was some form of torturous prison… But I guess it’s the same for every teenager.

None of us had any sort of ambition that I can remember.

Obviously going into sixth form at another school introduced me to a new set of people– the nerds. These were the 9-5’ers of the future; these people had gone through school with their hands shooting up before the rest of the class and gaining straight As without so much as a gasp of surprise. It was expected. They were future lawyers, and doctors, and PhD students.

I just wanted an office job.

So the mix I met at university was scary and yet a relief. Though I was more academic, and probably the only person who actually enjoyed writing essays (shock horror!), I never considered those of my friends doing arts degrees as “stupid” or “doomed”. In fact, they never failed to amaze me with their creativity.

It got even more different when the discussion of travel came up. After university, my aim was to get a job. Yes, pretty standard I guess but in the crowd that I hung around with a typical 9-5 job was nowhere on the cards. Not because of our failing economy or the amount of effort it would take, and they certainly all had the brains to get a job, but they wanted to expand their horizons. They wanted to see the world not a computer screen.

One portion had been to Cyprus, another had spent a semester in China, there had been trips to Amestardem and Poland along the way. Me? I spent three months in New Jersey and a week in Ibiza. My passport has little more use than on the rare occasion that I get ID’ed at the bar.

I was discussing this with my most travelled friend of the lot last night (check out her new travel blog Frenchie Without Borders). Though I love hearing about her adventures (given that she was one who went to China, Cyprus, and is now running off to Canada) I couldn’t do it. I don’t think I’m brave enough. But more than that, I just don’t have the same passion that she does for experiencing new things.

I’m the kind of girl who’s in the office an hour before everyone else, and awake at 8am on the weekends. I don’t even have the slightest urge to open up a travel magazine and browse holiday websites.

But I think the best thing, by far, is that even though we are all so starkly different– us 9 to 5’ers vs. the adventurers– it’s not impossible to get along and learn from each other. And even now university is over, I don’t think that’s going to change.

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International Best Friend Day

Whenever I see celebrated holidays like International Best Friend Day, I can’t help but be doubtful. I mean, I join in but I generally don’t see them as little more than a ploy from social networking websites* to boost usage for a day– I mean, how many people really celebrate National Cheese Day on the 4th June?

Anyone brought the wine? source: http://wwwcheesestorecedarhurst.com

Anyone brought the wine? source: http://wwwcheesestorecedarhurst.com

Though admittedly we are a nation which is all up for jumping on the St Patrick’s Day bandwagon as a excuse to stay in the pub all day so I guess it’s not entirely unusual.

Anyway today I clicked onto Instagram and came across an interesting hashtag: #nationalbestfriendsday

I love any excuse to browse through my old Facebook photos and create a picstitch (and also any excuse to procrasinate) so I immediately got to work on looking through the images.

Friendship’s important, I’ve come to realise. I’m not close to much of my family anymore so I enjoy the company of my friends at university, but with everyone graduating and moving I’m starting to appreciate the friendships which last through that. But then I was struck with one problem– who do I consider my best friend?

The answer has always seemed simple to me: my oldest friend who I’ve known since I was three and first moved to the Isle of Man. But I guess that’s not the case anymore, we’re not as close in the typical sense of the word. I mean, you have people who hang around with the same people every single day– you don’t invite one without the other, and if you never see them apart. Well, I guess I’m describing certain girl friendships but still…

I’ve had many of those kinds of friendships in the past, but I’m the kind of person who feels suffocated with that kind of constant attention. So I’ve come to be bit more of a ‘hanger – on’ with a variety of other friendship groups. That way I can mix things up and I have the ability to bond with people without feeling tied down I guess… Yes, I guess the commitment phobe in me is beginning to emerge.

So there was no way that my picstitch would be focused on a single person. Instead, I looked at the people I valued the most for many reasons and eventually came up with this.

(Inter)national Best Friends Day

(Inter)national Best Friends Day

Now, you might notice something in the caption of that picture: International Best Friends Day. Later on I decided to research a little about this holiday– like I said, I generally assumed they were social media antics and not of any significance in the real world.

Well, apparently I was wrong (that’s a rare occasion!).

International Best Friends Day has been recongised by the UN as the 30th July. So no, not today but I realised how significant it was on a personal level and I also noticed something else: coming to university has granted me the opportunity to mix with people I’d probably never meet otherwise.

No, I don’t mean those from rich families who I wouldn’t generally mix with.

The top photo in that picstitch has a variety of cultures in it including Romanian, Lithuainian as well as French. Not only do they all speak far better english than I do, but they have taught me so much about different countries and allowed me to gain an appreciation for travel and people.

Even since coming to university, where England counted as a holiday; I finally got a passport and visiting Ibiza (yes, it counts!) and spent a summer in America. Though it might seem like nothing to many people, in the past two years that’s more than I’ve travelled in my life!

Hopefully I’ll get a chance to see some more– and one day I’ll fufill my dream of seeing Rome and Greece.

x

(* except National Hug a Tall Person Day, I know people who take that very seriously!)

The woes of technology: Snapchat

image

I bet you know about it. If you haven’t already become obsessed with it, you’ve at least downloaded it. And if you haven’t, you’re probably an unfortunate Blackberry User.

But me on the other hand, with my wonderful Samsung Galaxy S3? Yes, I have finally downloaded the infamous app: Snapchat.

Now, for those of you who have been living under a rock here is the low down. Snapchat is an app. Following in the footsteps of Instagram and those social media sites, Snapchat takes advantage of the current geberation’s craze with weird and wonderful pictures.

You take a photo. Type a message. Select an amount of seconds you which the reciever to be able to see the photo and send.

The advantage is that given the extremely limited amount of time the picture can be viewed, there is less chance it’ll be uploaded onto Facebook and Twitter. I say less since I do have many friends who have managed this exact thing, much to their friends embarressment.

It’s addictive. It’s odd. And I have no doubt I will become obsessed with such an app. But admittedly I do fear how much my “mature and responsible older sister” reputation will die with my drunk photos …

I’m Not a Nice Person…

In year nine we did a thing in Religious Education: we had to write what we thought of each person in the class individually and the next lesson our teacher handed each of us a slip of paper with a summary of what people thought. I remember mine being quite general “she’s a nice person”. I think there were about three phrases essentially all varieties of that.

Now I’m at university, one of the ice breakers that my lecturers like to use every time we begin a new module is to go around the room and have every say their name, their course and one secret fact about themselves. You get a variety of facts coming out, we discovered that two people in the class had previously met through a company gathering and then you get some silly ones like one girl announcing that she was from the Isle of Man (yes, I did quickly point out she wasn’t alone in that.) But what I like about that is that they are facts. They have happened and, in most cases, they can be proved.

What I don’t like though is the concept of evaluating yourself based on your own opinions. I mean, some of us will be big headed while others are very self critical. In all honesty, I don’t think anyone can truely evaluate themselves in line with what others believe of them.  It’s kind of like when someone tells you that they’re a “nice person”. I mean, really… What is this nice? How do you know that everyone around you has the same conclusion about the term? And if not, then you can’t class yourself as a nice person because there will be some who would argue otherwise.

I have friends who tell me that I seem to be the most relaxed person they know with no problems- well, considering I suffer bad anxiety that’s a bad conclusion.

Others have told me I’m extremely motivated- but in my opinion, assignments are simply a distraction.

I have heard on a few occasions that I’m nosy and can’t stay out of others people’s business- well, this I wouldn’t argue with but I generally get what I know off social networking sites, so I argue that I simply pay attention and have a good memory.

The general consenus at work is that I’m quite lazy, and yet one of the only people willing to try new things and will happily do overtime… Well, that’s just a contradiction in itself!

And they’re just the opinions I’ve heard, I’m under no illusion that sums up me. But as you can see, there’s a big mix right there off the top of my head. On the other hand, maybe it’s simply how I act around certain people. In the case of work, I feel very overpowered by some of my more qualified collegues and therefore don’t like intruding on their jobs though I’m technically being trained in those areas. It varies a lot on who I’m talking to and how I’m expected to act.

How about you? Do people generally agree on what they think of you or do you hear several different opinions, whether you agree with them or not?

 

That Mood when… Well, you don’t even know!

So it’s been a crazy few days… fortnight since I last posted. Of course, my last post was about my success in my personal exile from Facebook. Looking back, that was a blissful seven days compared to the last fortnight. And the worst thing is, most of my dramas have come down to the hassle of social media as well but let’s not dwell on that.

America

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this already but I’m heading off to America. I’m going through a company called USA Summer Camps, which is part of Camp Leaders. Yes, before you ask, this is similar to Camp America but they are a seperate company.

So the other day I finally got my flight details confirmed: I fly from Manchester on the 30th May to New York! It’s just over seven hours, so not only will it be the furthest I’ve ever travelled, the longest I’ve spent away from home, but also the longest I’ve ever spent on a plane- and most likely the biggest plane too. So plenty of firsts there! Ironically, I’m just under 11 weeks away from leaving which is actually a week and a half less than how long I’ll actually be staying in America for. Not that’s a scary thought.

But back to the present, today I’m going to a “Prep Day” organised by Camp Leaders. It’s in Manchester this morning so I’m about to go for the train… Well, in a couple of hours. According to Google Maps, I’ll only need to walk 10 minutes before I reach it so let’s cross our fingers I don’t get too lost (directionally-challenged doesn’t quite covered my problems with getting lost!) At the minute I have no idea what to expect besides camp songs, and learning about everything you’ll generally need to know about camp. Since it lasts seven hours I imagine there’ll be a lot! That’s a bit scary too… But, of course, it all adds to the excitement in the end!

After this I have my Visa interview next month and then I’ll be in the final countdown. Wow, 11 weeks actually isn’t that long!

University

Apart from America, I also have to organise myself with university. Work, assignments, dissertations and post graduate applications… Everything really does pile up. We’ve just had the final warning for our last drafts to be in in just under a fortnight. I need to pull 4,000 words out of thin air (yes, I am over half way through before you start thinking I’ve yet to start) as well as completing my other essays. Easter’s coming up though so that’ll be two weeks of work and assignments.

Hence why I’m in the library at half 5 on a Saturday morning!

Fingers crossed.

Day *54

So today is my last day before going back to Preston for a few more months. At the minute it looks like I’ll be heading back in April which means, apart from this last skint, that’ll be my shortest period between two visits. Which is weird since you’d imagine I’d spend longer away from home as I go through university. But I don’t think it’s purposely getting shorter. When I’m at university, I think about home a lot less than in first year. Though, on the other hand, I have started talking about home a lot more and comparing Preston to the Isle of Man… So maybe, there is something else to it.

One thing is sure though, I’m definitely not ready to move back here just yet. This entire week I’ve been updating Twitter and Facebook much more, even running up a huge phone bill due to the roaming charges. I’ve been hassling friends back in Preston, reminding them that I’ll be home tomorrow. I can’t imagine moving back in with my mum and sister either, especially without a guaranteed job here on the island. Mum hassling me for rent when I was 16 and had a job was bad enough!

At least, if anything, this visit’s helped me get my head straight though. I know I want to be an Educational Psychologist. The practical placement has also helped set a few theories that I’ve been learning about into my head. Which is actually fantastic! Even if it has got me itching to get back into the library…

Third Year: Realising it’s all ending…

Last night was definitely one of those times reality hit me like a ton of bricks. Well, that’s how this hangover feels today!

Basically, a few of my friends who study journalism have decided to spend their second semester studying (and working) in China. Though I’m terrible at geography so I can’t tell you much, all I know is that they are all very excited. Personally, I don’t have a big passion of travelling to that kind of place- though admittedly that’s mostly due to my nut allergy and not being able to get right into that exotic lifestyle. And being terrible with languages. And direction. And new people…

Well, you get the picture.

Back to the point:

We were going to throw them a big leaving do. My friend, Eva, wanted to do pub golf. Since she’d never done it before I personally thought it was a brilliant idea. No joke, you should have seen my excitement when she told me. And the best part of it all was, since she’d never played before, was that she didn’t know the rules and therefore I had to organise it. If you know me you’ll know that me organising drinking events is my forté. In a former life I was probably a (bad) party planner but I love getting everyone together!

So on Monday we were sat in the pub organising the rules. Now, if you’ve never played/heard of pub golf essentially it’s like golf (obviously). The organiser (me!) sets out a course (of pubs) which is usually nine holes (read holes as pubs). In each pub there is a set drink which you have to “down” within a specific time or go’s, that’s the par. Once you finish the “course”, like in golf, the one with the least amount of points wins. But in pub golf, for fun, you get to throw in penalties and bonus’ so in my case, as organiser and umpire, everyone had to do many shots of tequila!

Now the annoying thing is that Eva doesn’t do rules, so you can understand how frustrating that is for me attempting to organise her event. So I decided to try something new: I would do all the tricky parts, which mainly consisted of explaining the rules on the Facebook event. Then all I had to do was turn up. Now, seriously, that’s wierd for me. Normally I need to know every tiny detail but no, last night I let go.

And it was amazing!

Only me and one other girl chose to dress up out of the entire group. I got a free jagerbomb. Everyone ended up getting with some random strangers. My poor friends behind the bar had one of the group harrassing all of them for photos (that was one of the bonus’). We all had leukemia wished on us by a (terrible) comedian in one of the pubs. And everyone is suffering the worst hangover this morning.

But the scariest part is that this would be it. If I hadn’t decided to come back to university for a Masters I would never see Eva and co after today since I’m going home for the week tonight and she leaves on Monday. Now that’s scary because even though I will see Eva and all my second year friends again, it’s doubtful I’ll see many of my third year friends after I go to America.

University is all coming to an end now.

pub golf