Fight or Flight

This final year of university is going to break me. It’s just the bet what it will be first, mentally or physically.

I feel like I am drowning; lost in a continual tidal wave of decisions and essays and stress. More than once, I have burst into tears, feeling like this whole university lifestyle is closing in on me, and burning up all the air that I have left.

Not only is there a dissertation to write, there are 6 other modules, volunteering, part time jobs, and all the social drama that goes hand in hand with university life.  As I write this, a huge pile of books are lying on my bed, trying to guilt trip with their philosophical theories that I have not yet read.

All I want to do is run away. If I could, I would take a taxi to the train station and just go anywhere. I would get on any train that could take me away from all this pressure. This pressure that has just suddenly appeared in my life, like a random rainstorm on a summer’s day. My thoughts are continually consumed with the future, and like the Basilisk in Harry Potter, I am too scared to look it in the eye.

But the harsh reality of life is that we cannot run away. The world doesn’t work like that.

So instead of running away, I am going to put on my big girl boots, and walk towards my fear, what is the worst that can happen?  The only person that is creating pressure is us; we stress ourselves to the point of breaking, and I am struggling to find a sensible reason why.  University is stressful, that is a given, but I can guarantee that as much as you try and convince yourself that you can’t do something, whether it is an essay or a decision, you honestly can.

Every once in a while, we all have to calm down and man up.

Remind yourself that this is only a small chapter in your life, this stress will be a miniscule aspect in the long run; in the end it won’t really matter. Losing sleep over the future, is like getting angry at the weather. It will solve nothing. As Kascey Musgraves once said, ‘if you want to fill your bottle up with lightening, you’re gonna have to stand in the rain’. Third year is like standing in that rain, just embrace it…

So, to get me through this minor breakdown, I am going to blast ‘I Love College’ by Asher Roth – a classic from my youth – till my ears bleed and this essay is written…

Bad Blood


As an avid fan of Taylor Swift, I have been obsessing over her newest album which was released today, especially the song ‘Bad Blood’. The lyrics of the song hint at the animosity between Swift herself, and another girl, and after listening to this song on repeat while in the library, I have come to a controversial conclusion.

Girls are bitches.

I probably shouldn’t have said that statement, but I stick by it. All girls have a bitchy side, and if they say they don’t, they are lying. I’m not even going to play the innocent card and claim that I don’t, because I do, and when it is released, it isn’t pretty.

The statement “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” is so true it is frightening. The minute you annoy a woman (whether you are male or female) you can see the pupils in her eyes turn to slits. No matter how lovely each girl may be, something out there will trigger the dark mass that is inside each and every one of us. But what is it, that is at the root of all this bitterness?

In my opinion, I believe it is competition.

The problem with this modern world is that everyone is in competition with everyone else, whether it is competing in careers, technology, looks, or personality, everyone does it. I would be lying if I said I didn’t do it too. But what I can’t comprehend is why girls are in competition with other girls?

It’s this competition that brings out the bitch in every girl, and we shouldn’t let it.

Girls take so much nonsense from the male species (I do apologize boys, but it is true) that we shouldn’t be putting our own gender through it. And we are all guilty of it, one time or another.

The bitterness raises our bitchiness when we see, for example, our ex with a new girlfriend who we think has a better smile or a better bum or looks like she knows what is going on in football. That bitterness makes us attack the strengths we see in her, so that dazzling smile turns into crooked teeth; that toned bum turns into a fat arse; and her football knowledge makes her a freak.

It’s not girl VS girl, if anything we should on the same team! We shouldn’t let the competition over a boy turn into a war against a girl.  That girl that you hate because you think she is prettier than you, she has had her heart broken and now hates another girl because she thinks that girl is prettier, and so on and so forth.

Okay, some people are difficult, and at times it hard to accept their strengths, but don’t let contradicting personalities create bad blood. Just walk away, before that bitterness on your face, curdles the beauty of your soul.

So, to all the new girlfriends I have hated, to all the girls I have despised walking down the street, and to those I have tried to trip up in a club because you were better dancers, I apologize.

You all have amazing bums.

I Love Lidl

I made a wondrous discovery today, a truly wondrous discovery.

I never thought I would find a better bargain than the KFC mega box, but then I discovered the products of Lidl.

I will admit I have been there before, reluctantly dragged there by my Nanny on several occasions – as she is an avid fan – but I never really listened when every week she would discuss the great bargains she found. Boy, do I regret it now.  If I had listened, I would probably be a lot richer, and the corner shop up the road, would be a lot poorer.

Students, near and far, listen to me. Do your shopping at Lidl.

I don’t want to go on and on, about how amazing this place is, because I am sure I would bore you…but it is just incredible.

When you join university, it’s the little things that suddenly make you happy and content,  My happiness nowadays is getting 8 hours of sleep at night, or having washing drying on the line, or, finding incredible bargains at lovely Lidl. (When I say bargains, I mean, 1KG of chicken for £4 bargains)

My first and second years were full of going out, and having some amazing times, but now I love a night in with the house-mates watching movies that I haven’t seen in years…Matilda being the latest one.  Everyone assumes that university is simply going out and drinking, but that is not true. Yes, every student has their fair share of drunken memories, but the ones that make me laugh the most are the small moments that I have experienced.  Like a house Christmas day, or doing washing at the launderette, or cling filming your roommate’s bedroom door…

Today, I have realized the three things that every student needs in their life: love, laughter and Lidl.

Chasing the Sun

I took a huge step out of my comfort zone the other night. I stood up at a Creative Writing Evening and read out my work.

I’ll admit it took a tequila shot and a couple of beers to get me up there, but I am so glad I did. After 2 and a ½ years, I finally did it and I’ve never been more proud of myself.

Every time I went to one of these open evenings and I would watch students get up on stage, exposed under a spotlight and read out their work, with me listening passionately, in awe of their confidence and bravery. It is petrifying having the world listen to your thoughts and have a preview into your imagination, it is such a personal thing to share with the world.

It takes a huge amount of bravery to follow your dreams, to hold your hands up to the world and admit that you have hopes and aspirations. The minute you let this out into the world, you put yourself at risk of failure, with the whole world behind you laughing. I used to believe this, and it was this fear that stopped me going after a lot of my dreams, and I now I have discovered that there is no such thing as failure.

Failure is simply a lesson that you learn from.

Who you afraid of? All those people that love to hate will forget about you the minute they find something else to destroy. You are not an unforgettable factor in their life, so why let them be one in yours?

This sounds ridiculously cheesy and fake, but I don’t care. I’m done caring about what people think. If you breathe in negativity, like smoke it will consume you, until all you give back to the world is negativity and then the cycle continues.

The phrase YOLO (as bleh as it is) is really quite accurate. We only have so many chances in this life, so why let any waste? If you want to sing, sing; if you want to write, write; and if you want to save the world, then go and save the world. Don’t let the fear of failure, take away the strength of your dreams.

To ‘chase the sun’ means to chase something that is unattainable, but in life, who makes the rules about what is attainable and what isn’t?

This is me, throwing my hands up and admitting to the world that I have dreams, I have aspirations; I want to write.

This is me, ladies and gentleman, chasing the sun.

Chance or Comfort

Everyone says that you should not go to university in a relationship, because it will never work, and to an extent this is true. When you leave home, you literally enter a free world where you lose all chains and reputations that come from living in a small place. It is a chance for you to become a whole new person. A new person with a different style, a different taste and even different perspective on life. This freedom can become overwhelming.

In my own experience, I went to Cheltenham in a relationship and it did not end well. I was a coward and got so caught up in being a new person that I screwed over a boy who was in love with me. If I had never gone to university I would have probably married him and lived a simple, but pleasant life back at home, because the truth is he is an amazing boy.

But that is the best thing about University, it opens so many doors and not only career wise. You meet people that you never thought you would meet and fall in love with boys that you never thought would exist.

Some relationships do last through university and they last for an entire lifetime, and I am happy to claim witness to the beginning (and not the ending) of many happy relationships.  This is not me saying “give up” on your home relationship simply because you have created yourself a new life, but this is me saying that it is okay if you want to leave an old you behind to discover what you truly want out of life.

I would not be the person I am today without all the little heartbreaks that I have had in the past two years of university, and I am pretty happy with who I am now.  So, to all the people out there that are scared of taking the first step away from comfort into the big, wide world of the unknown, just remember…

You don’t regret the things you do, only the things you don’t do.

Goodbye Jäger Bombs, Hello Microsoft Word

I shouldn’t have gone out last night.
I should have stayed in and finished my dissertation work like a good student would have done, but instead I went out and drank a stupid amount of cheap shots.

Bad move on my behalf…

Last week I designed myself a studying timetable – no judgements please – and so far I am not really sticking to it. But this is all set to change.
Tomorrow, I shall start my new life as a role model student. Not longer will I drink 6 shots for £5, but drink only from the fountain of knowledge that are academic writings. I will dive into the challenges that stem from my scholarly research and no longer shy away from philosophical queries such as “Did God intend for me to write this essay?”
I will embrace the library like an old friend and indulge myself wholeheartedly to books such as ‘The Making of the English Working Class’ and ‘An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.’

But I have two and a half hours until tomorrow technically, so until then, I intend to watch ‘The Tudors’ on loop and eat a garlic bread baguette.

Welcome to the reality of student life.

Midnight Memories

Freshers week was one of the most thrilling and exciting weeks of my entire life, and I have the best memories from my first month at university! I would give anything to go back and live it all again.

I would love to relive those excruciating nerves I had when I first entered my flat and the breathless excitement of my first lecture. At the time I felt so lost, but in hindsight, it was that sense of unknown which made me beyond happy.

To come from a small village where everyone knows everyone to suddenly finding yourself in a new town, where no one knows you and no one knows your background is the best sense of freedom I have ever experienced.

What many students tend to forget is that everyone at Freshers week is in the same boat. Each and every one of those new students has said goodbye to comfort to start a new life, everyone has the exact same nerves and emotions. I didn’t think anyone was as homesick as I was during the first year, but after discussing that first week with my housemates, (same ones since Freshers) I discovered that when I crying in my bathroom, so was everyone else.

Freshers is basically a week of opportunities.

The people you meet in that first week will be the friendliest you will ever meet in your life, because everyone in every social situation is setting out to make new friends and create new connections.  Ask anyone who has been to university about their Freshers week and I bet you they will go off on one; reminiscing about ‘the good old days’, bringing out the photographs and trying to convince you that they used to be able to down a dirty pint in less than 30 seconds.

You will meet some of the best people in that first month, and you won’t just meet people in your flat or on your course, you will meet someone who knows someone who knows a party and there you will meet more new people, and so the cycle continues. Nearly all of my best  friends I have now in my third year are those I met in the first month of my first year. In one case, I met one of my friends through someone – who I admittedly don’t talk to anymore, but that’s life – and we have been inseparable since that first meeting…despite the fact he says he’s been trying to cut the ties since 2012…

So new students, when your parents leave and you and are left in an empty room feeling the tears starting to come, just remember how hard you worked to get there, think of all those sleepless nights and that relief on Results Day, when your dream finally came true. Don’t give up any of this amazing experience because of nerves, because I can guarantee you in 15 years when you are married, in a good job with children, you would love the opportunity to down just one more dirty pint playing ‘Ring of Fire’ at Freshers.

Morning Dawn

I have a new obsession with Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and their song ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’ has become the new theme song for my life. I play it on repeat when I am walking down the street, and each time it crushes my deep, dark past of epic fail relationships into the depths of my unconscious.

I could win an award for my break ups. Honestly. Each one tops the other.

After the argument, and the tears, and the begging, and then the sobbing, then arguing about the sobbing, I am left there heartbroken and feeling like the world is about to collapse on top of me. But now – after countless of these endings – I have realized that it is not my heart that breaks, but my pride.

The minute the door slams and that boy has walked out of my life, I look in the mirror and hate myself because I let myself get into that situation. I let someone walk over and treat me like I was worthless because I convinced myself I was in love, but the truth is,  love shouldn’t do that to you.

Love shouldn’t make you feel like you are second best or that you need to jeopardize every other part of your life to make it work. If anything, it should bring you tears of laughter rather than tears of sorrow.  We have all done it – I know I have – when you put on a show to society, trying to convince them with your bad acting skills that you are happy. But when you shut the door, and the curtain comes down, and you are left wiping away the painted smile on your face, who are you really fooling? Certainly not yourself.

There will be no applaud when the show ends, there’ll just be pain.

I am well aware that I am young, and haven’t experienced the world to its full extent, but it’s true, heartbreak is heartbreak no matter what the age. A breakup hurts because we feel like we have lost something that we can never get back, but that’s not true. It hurts because we have damaged our pride; each and every one of us is annoyed that we fell for the trickery of a devil smile or a soul searching conversation or eyes that we need a GPS to find our way back out of. It is that slam of reality which hits us like a shard of ice through the soul, when we see with our own eyes that the Prince Charming we love at midnight is really a coward at dawn.

It doesn’t matter what the gender, the age or the situation, the heart breaks and the pride gets bruised and some nights you get lost in the tears, but that is okay. That morning light hurts the eyes and the heart, but we adjust and eventually learn to get on with the rest of the day…

Oh, that’s ironic, my darling Frankie has a song titled ‘Breaking Up is Hard to Do’.


Planes, Trains and a Plant

Travelling from university to home and back can be one of the most stressful experiences ever for both parents and students alike. Each semester my father and I have war-scale arguments over the amount I am taking home with me. (He has a vendetta against my peace lily plant)
So if, like me, you live in a small place in the middle of nowhere, your life will eventually revolve around a ridiculously expensive rail company.

*Please buy a railcard, they aren’t expensive and will save you money that would be better spent on food…or cocktails*

Today, my fellow students, I have learnt a valuable lesson, a lesson which I keep forgetting to remember, but this time I have a small blister on my hand as a reminder.

I over filled my suitcase.

It’s an easy mistake to make, and we all fall into the trap. We go home proud of ourselves (especially girls) because we have packed light. And when I say ‘packed light’ I mean one pair of shoes, one pyjama set and a fresh pair of jeans, with a variety of small (and very light!) t-shirts. Yet, as soon as you get home you discover a pair of jeans that you forgot you had; a DVD that you have been dying to watch; and a pair of shoes which would go great with several of your outfits.
Each and everyone of us forgets that, WE LEFT THEM THERE FOR A REASON!

During my two years in university I have travelled by planes, trains and automobiles and every time I pack too much stuff! I get off at the platform dreaming that I look sophisticated and elegant with my hair perfectly intact, when in reality I arrive sweaty, out of breath and tripping over an oversized suitcase with a broken handle.

Freshers, take it from me, you do not need that extra jumper.
Put. It. Down.

Did that really just happen?

The amount of mistakes I have made at university is ridiculous.

There have been situations I have gotten myself into and I don’t even know how it happened or why it happened and to this day I don’t even know how I got out of them.

Oh good god, the memories make me cringe.

But it is memories like these that makes life, and especially life at university. When I first visited my university’s open day I went to view the accommodation, and on my way I saw a boy doing the walk of shame dressed as a Hawaiian hula dancer. In my two years at university I have seen many of these walks of shame, and prospective students I can guarantee you will probably make this walk.

I would and probably should confess my ridiculous stories of university, but I am a bad example and people should not follow in my footsteps. However, most of the memories I have make me so happy when I think about them, and I would probably laugh about them till the day I die.

This is not me encouraging binge drinking (!) or stating that getting yourself into dangerous situations is funny (touch wood, I have not done this), this is me being honest – which I intend to be in this blog – on what occurs at university.

So, fellow students, please take note. If you want to avoid memories like some of mine, please, do not drink an entire bottle of Malibu during beer pong. It is a bad idea on so many levels.

Also fellow Welsh students, if you attend an English university, you don’t have to prove that the Welsh can drink by drinking countless amounts of tequila shots, trust me! Everyone knows we can drink, but if you really need to prove it you will wake up next to a mop bucket with an unknown club stamp on your hand. Believe me.