I wasn’t even remotely planning on writing a blog post about this. I was going to just scribble something in my journal and call it a night, but then when the idea of writing a blog post instead came into my mind, I thought why not? A big part of the reason I’m so hopeless at actually posting regularly on here is because I’m so scared of sharing any of my writing with the world that I haven’t edited or censored heavily…I’m a perfectionist when it comes to writing. But damn why don’t I just be real and raw and unedited once in a while? The truth is that I, nor anyone else can truly articulate real life within the lines of a blog post or a poem. You cannot package up all of life’s ugliness into some pretty little stanzas…you just can’t. It’s origins will always be the messy draft that was probably written on the back of a receipt at your part-time job between customers, or at the back of a notepad minutes before your lecture starts on a shitty Monday morning (true story I’ve written countless drafts in these situations). Real life is the stream of thoughts we have inside our heads where editing is non-existent. So I want to actually write like that for once and let people see it (no matter how much it freaks me out).
I got my final university results today. And I passed; I officially have a degree after three and a half years. So in my classic nostalgic “I love to live in the past” fashion, I have been reflecting on my time at uni and everything I have encountered and learnt; It’s crazy to think of the person I was when I first started compared to who I am now. It’s been a heck of an experience. From the incredible friends, to the all nighters and afternoon naps, the gin shots and toast time, the laughter and the tears, the phone calls to home, the “I feel on top of the world” to the “I can’t do this anymore” stress induced mood swings and the “I feel like I’m gonna die” hangovers….it’s hard to believe that I’ve actually got myself a degree amongst all of this. I know these have been and always will be remembered as some of the best years of my life. And as much as I love to complain about university during its stressful times, I feel like I’m already starting to mourn the fact that it’s all come to an end, because despite the bad times being awful, the good times have been beyond great, and all of it in it’s messy yet extraordinary entirety has been the best experience of my life so far.
Aside from my degree, university has taught me so much about life, love (both for myself and others), maturity, responsibility, and friendships. So I thought I would share 10 things that came to mind when I thought about what I have learnt at university.
Here I am; day seven of the seven day blogging challenge. I did it, well, kind of. I did miss day 6 yesterday, but regardless, I’m still proud of my effort. In hindsight, I probably didn’t chose the best week for me to do this blogging challenge – I already had a lot going on in both my personal and uni life, so this was an extra expectation/source of stress I put on myself that I didn’t really need. But I made the commitment.
I seriously struggled on day 3, 4 and 5. I had spent all day at class and the library focussing on study, and it would get to around 10pm every night and I still had a blog post to write. I was exhausted. Those three nights I remember thinking “I don’t know if I can do this” (lmao dramatic much??). But I decided this blog was important to me, I care about it because I know it’s good for me to push myself and practice writing as much as possible. So those three nights where I really wanted to give up, I pushed myself to stay up to the wee hours of the morning and publish a post.
When I look at this in a larger context, it has taught me something really valuable. The career path I want to take, to be a writer, is not something that will just happen. Because being able to make a living from being a writer is not something easy to achieve, it’s definitely the kind of career you do for the love of it, not for the pay check. Getting published is hard work, being a successful writer is hard work, and I always worry that I’m not going to be good enough to get there. I’m just starting to realise that if I really truly want a chance at being successful in the field of writing, then future me is going to have to get on the grind, work hard, be self-motivated and put in long hours even when I don’t want to. Opportunities are not going to fall into my lap. Sometimes my efforts may feel futile and I will likely want to give up at times. But this week has taught me that if I want it enough I can do it.
“Every morning you have two choices: Continue to sleep with your dreams. Or wake up and chase them.”
Thank you to everyone (special shoutout to my flatmates and my mum) who stuck with me during this blogging challenge! I would not have the faith or courage to pursue my dreams without your support and encouragement.
Being 21 to me means nothing; age is a concept. I did not magically ‘become an adult’ when I turned 21. Most of the time I still consider myself an adolescent. I probably only consider myself adult-like when I make a Doctor’s appointment or remember to take the right colour bin out on the right day. The rest of the time I’m just me, on my own journey, still relying on my parents a little too much, still having no idea what I’m doing with my life.
When I was younger I used to look up to people my age, people in their twenties, and think they were so grown up. I thought age was equated with maturity, which really is not the case. Growing up and becoming an adult is not something that happens overnight, it is a steady upwards gradient that happens without you even realising it. It doesn’t happen with time, it happens through the experiences you have within that time.
I sucked my thumb until I was eleven, but I remember before then I for some reason thought that when I turned five years old, a switch would go off in my head and I would automatically stop sucking my thumb because I was ‘a big school girl now’. But I turned five and I kept sucking my thumb, nothing changed because I was a year older. I feel like we do the same thing throughout our whole lives. We say “when I’m 21 I’m going to be an adult”, “when I’m 30 I’ll have kids”, “when I’m 35 I’ll be at x stage in my career”. Why do we let our age dictate the timeline by which we live our lives? We all feel so much pressure to follow ‘the right path’ in life and accomplish certain milestones by certain ages. A lot of my friends right now are anxious about not getting a ‘real job’ right away when they graduate university. This is such a classic example. Yes it would be awesome to get a job straight out of uni that is in line with your career path, but if you don’t that doesn’t make you any less of a person. I very strongly believe in the power of divine timing, and that everyone is on their own individual path. You shouldn’t feel obligated to be at stage x, y or z of your life just because society says that is what is ‘normal’ for your age.
When I turn 22 I will still be the same person, still trucking along on the same path, still probably relying on my mum a little too much, still no vast amounts of maturity gained overnight, but maybe a little bit closer.
If anything, we should stop worrying about growing up at the right time, and just hold onto our adolescence for as long as we possibly can; youth is a transient gift.
I’m going to get a little more personal today..
So this morning I had a really productive session with my psychologist. We talked about cognitive distortions, which are basically different ways in which you can distort the way you think about yourself into something negative. I (unfortunately) have a pretty tight relationship with cognitive distortions, hence the psychologist, lol.
Anyway, one that I’ve noticed myself doing a lot is ‘mind reading’, which is basically where you believe you know what others are thinking about you, without considering more realistic possibilities. I always find myself thinking that people around me are thinking I’m stupid, or annoying, or over-emotional, or promiscuous, or rude, or any other number of negative things. Sometimes I stop for a second and think about the assumptions I’m actually making. A lot of the time I can take a step back and see that logically they are probably not thinking these things, yet in my heart of hearts I still truly feel that that is what they are thinking. I still feel like I can read their mind, even when evidence points to the contrary.
My flat mate said to me the other day, that when it comes down to it, no one can ever really know what someone else is thinking. Even if someone explicitly says to you, “this is what I’m thinking, this is what I’m feeling”, how do you truly know that is what is going on in their head? It is impossible to know the intricacies of someone else’s mind unless you are them.
Trying to constantly have a handle on what others are thinking of you; trying to control the uncontrollable, is simply futile. You cannot read the unreadable. Actively engaging in the belief that you can essentially ‘read people’s minds’, and letting the thoughts that arise from this belief have an influence on how you feel about yourself is both irrational and exhausting. People will think what they will think. And you will continue to be you. Because nobody is liked by 100% of people 100% of the time. There will be a time when one person or another thinks something negative about you, and that is perfectly ok. People disagree, and get on each others’ nerves, and have arguments, it is only natural and expected that we have negative thoughts about each other from time to time. The most important thing are the thoughts you have about yourself.
Love to my fellow mind readers out there who can vibe with this,
S x x
p.s. I feel like all my blog posts are just turning into me talking about things that I want to change/work on in myself and then proceeding to give myself a big pep talk, except changing the pronoun from ‘I’ to ‘you’ to make it feel more inclusive lmao help me plz
If you’re a female millennial that likes to party then you know as well as I do that entering the girls’ bathroom on a night out is always an experience and a half, and never a bad one either. It’s some sort of parallel universe where everyone comes together and looks out for one another like they’re sisters. I feel like I would see a unicorn in there – it’s just a magical place where everyone sprinkles love around like it’s fairy dust, and I fucking love that. From helping that one girl (there’s always one) fix her makeup after crying about a boy, to telling another you’d go lesbian for her because she’s so hot, to sharing a bathroom stall with a random and having a heart to heart with her while you’re naked and taking a piss with your playsuit around your ankles. It’s a bonding experience like no other.
We need to be more like drunk girls in bathrooms
Something I’ve noticed recently is how girls are often so quick to snap into a negative, bitchy, self defence mode when we feel threatened by another woman. And of course this is a major generalisation, not all girls are like this. But I know I myself am guilty of this at times, and it’s something I really want to change. If your ex moves on with another girl, or the boy you like starts following a new girl on Instagram, what is our automatic response? We stalk her pictures. We pick her apart, trying to find any flaws we can to make us feel better about ourselves. We make negative judgements about her character when we don’t even know her. Why do we do this?
It’s so detrimental and counterproductive to yourself and women as a collective. We have been fighting for equality for women for so long, so shouldn’t we take any opportunity we can to make each other stronger, more confident people, rather than belittling one another?
Lift each other up. Find beauty in all women. Empower one another. Be a drunk girl.
I love words. I read an article yesterday that really resonated with me; the words hit me like a fucking truck, and I could physically feel them in my stomach. The fact that language has the capability to make me feel at such an intense level is something I find both terrifying and mesmerising. It’s why I fell in love with poetry. There’s nothing more satisfying than reading a poem that so exquisitely puts into words the feelings that you cannot.
So I thought in honour of my love of language I would share, in no particular order, my favourite poetry/quote pages to follow on instagram, so you can have a little bit of wordy inspo on your feed too.
I thought I’d just leave it up to you to look at these grams at your leisure and find your own favourite pieces, because what I love and resonates with me might not be the same for you. Poetry is subjective. I hope you find something that makes you go “wow”.
I’m going to finish with one of my all-time favourite pieces from the queen herself, Rupi Kaur.