21 Things at 21

On Sunday I turned 21 (I’m still feeling a little weird about this) and I thought I would do a blog post listing the 21 things I’ve learnt in 21 years.  This is quite a common type of post but I hope you find it interesting nonetheless.

  1. It’s okay to lose friends:
    It is definitely not easy, however losing friends is a natural part of growing up, and over the years I’ve lost more friends than I can count on both of my hands. However, losing the bad friends makes the good friends even better.
  2. Reading:
    I have come to the conclusion that reading is something incredibly important, and I’m pretty confident when I say that reading has shaped who I am. Reading is not nerdy or weird so read as many books as you can, whatever genres you like. I’m currently reading Agatha Christies’s “A Murder is Announced” and I’ve got at least three other books in the pipeline. My top reading locations are, in bed, in the bath or while in the car (as long as you aren’t driving or travel sick.)
  3. Lists:
    Write lists for everything, they are vital.
  4. It’s okay to say “no” once in a while:
    Of course, saying yes to things is really important, for so many reasons, but you shouldn’t be afraid to say no to something if you know you won’t enjoy it.
  5. Night clubs don’t have to be fun:
    It is possible to get through your late-teens without clubbing. If you don’t like them, don’t let others pressure you into thinking you should like them.
  6. Do your homework when you get it:
    It is so easy to put off homework, but the sooner it gets started the sooner you can move on the the fun things.
  7. Failure is good:
    It’s hard, and is definitely something I have told myself I am. I think we’ve all been there where we’re sitting in bed at night wanting to cry about the fact you’re a “failure” because you didn’t do something as well as you wanted to. As cliche as this might be, courage is what counts, and the more you fail the more courage you build.
  8. Don’t compare yourself to others:
    Other people are quite simply other people. Although the world is competitive and fast paced, you don’t have to copy someone else to be validated.
  9. Eat cake:
    Cake is really bloody nice, and if you’re offered cake, take it.
  10. Make your bed in the morning:
    I have always been one of those people who has been taught by their parents to make their bed in the morning. Now, aged 21 I am proud to say I have never forgotten to make my own bed. Making your bed may seem time-consuming, but I genuinely think it’s starts the day off with productivity in mind.
  11. It’s okay to be a “fangirl”:
    People label me as a “fangirl” quite simply because I grew up with a handful of celebrities which I like. And that is okay. It’s easy to feel embarrassed about who you’re a fan of, but it is not worth it, they make you happy and that’s the most important thing.
  12. Growing up without the Disney channel makes you different:
    I missed out on watching things like Hannah Montanna, my television was purely CBBC and CITV and I am not complaining about it, in fact, I look back on those programmes with huge amounts of love and nostalgia. But if you have also grown up without these channels you will be familar with the phrase, “HOW HAVE YOU NEVER WATCHED *insert programme*” because in their eyes we missed out on a childhood, I like to see it as we had a different childhood.
  13. Growing up without the cult films makes you different:
    It’s the same story when it comes to films. If you didn’t watch Harry Potter, you will miss out on 308 references, but you’ll also be different, which is great.
  14. Drink water:
    I cannot stress enough how good water is for you. I’m bad at remembering to drink but 9 times out of 10 if I am having a drink it’s water. It’s SO good for you.
  15. Read the news:
    Due to my degree, I’ve spent a lot of time looking at, then analysing the news. Although it’s not usually uplifting I find it is really important to keep your eyes on what’s happening in the world.
  16. Education:
    Education is not the be all and end all, and there is so much pressure put upon students, but if you enjoy learning then take it as far as possible, look up words you’ve never heard of  (yesterday I saw the word “vociferously” for the first time), read conspiracy theories, learn about the Tudors, whatever you’re interested in, pursue it.
  17. Internet friends are the best:
    Finding people online is so exciting, don’t be ashamed of it.
  18. Enjoy hot baths:
    Spend an hour reading in the bath to escape the world.
  19. Organise your finances:
    Make a spreadsheet, and keep your bills and receipts, stressing out about money is draining, time-consuming and unhealthy.
  20. Travel:
    Travel can be fun. Whether it’s by coach or car or plane or train, go and visit new places, learn about new cultures, hear new accents. There’s a whole world out there.
  21. Turning 21 is the first age that feels significant:
    When I turned 10, 16, 18, 20, it felt like they were milestones, but nothing has felt like 21. I’m now out of education, I’m halfway to 42 (thanks for telling me this mum,) I’m looking to start my career. This is where my life starts and that’s scary.

Life’s a Beach

Yesterday I spent my day at the seaside, which is something I don’t do very often. Usually when I go to the beach, I’m with my family and it’s not a relaxing experience, it’s a hike. So, to actually spend a few hours sat on the beach was very rare and very enjoyable.

I spent the day with one of my friends from college, which was a lot of fun. For the most part. As romanticised as it is, the beach is definitely not all it’s cracked up to be.

The sand. It gets everywhere. If not on your food, then in your food. It gets in your shoes and socks, and basically every item of fabric you bring, including the beach towel. It’s in your eyes, hair, nose, between your toes where it will remain for at least 5 weeks,  (this also rhymes which is very pleasing yet unintentional.)

Good luck standing up and leaving the beach. If you want to flap your towel you better check the wind speed and direction first otherwise you’ll go blind. You should also be aware of the people around you, as they will also go blind.

We also had a frisbee thrown in our direction which very nearly landed on the flaming BBQ which is a health and safety disaster.

Also, make sure you wear suncream but, for gods sake, do not apply it when you’re on the beach. My friend made that mistake and just ended up sticking sand to herself, as if it was some kind of exfoliating mask. It’s not.

BBQs on the beach have their upsides, for example they are cheaper than going out for dinner, and it means you can have as much food as you want. But they have downsides. Namely being the constant fear of being in charge of a small fire in a public space, surrounded by children and seagulls. I was genuinely worried for my safety when the wind started to blow the flames in my direction. And don’t get me started on lighting the disposable BBQ.


The Healing Power of Music

It’s been over a week since the horrific and senseless Manchester Attack, and today Ariana Grande announced a gig in memory of the attack.

The attack itself made me cry, and seeing this news made me cry again. Thankfully, in a good way.

Over the last week I have come to realise just how powerful music is. In the past I’ve done blog posts on how important going to gigs is, and I still stand by this. In fact, the horrific attack made me believe in it even more.  At first it worried me to think people would be put off for going to gigs, but I now know that us fans are strong and brave, and won’t be put off seeing our favourite live.

The thing that made me realise this the most, was the sheer number of tributes, positivity and connectivity then came from this attack. People were helping other people. And in this day and age this doesn’t seem to happen very often. There were taxi drivers giving free taxi rides, men and women giving free drinks to the emergency services, people online giving their support and donations, people meeting up for vigils. Then there were the tributes bands and artists gave at their gigs, resulting in thousands of people singing Oasis, clapping or standing in silence together, the sheer power of this was incredible, genuinely giving me goosebumps every single time I’d see it.

It really shows how a shared love of music just brings people together, no matter who you are, if you’re with people who like the same music as you you feel as though anything is possible.

Was this too cheesy? Probably.

Top 5 Songs of the Moment



YES we’re back on my normal upload day, I’d like to apologise for being so out of schedule recently, I was working on two assignments totaling 15,000 words so I was basically crying all the time.

Now, I am back in business and ready to share some of my current shower jams with you all. I hope you enjoy:


My first song is a classic from Scouting for Girls: She’s So Lovely. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like this song. It’s upbeat and is perfect to clap/dance/sing/play air instrument along to (or all four at once depending on how big your shower is.)



My next one is a bit more current. Paramore have been favourites of mine for a while, and I fell in love with this song as soon as I heard the opening 10 seconds. It’s quite a sad song, packaged in a happy 80’s vibe. The music video is really well put together, with loads of satisfying colours and patterns. And clouds. Cannot forget those clouds. Also Hayley Williams looks so adorable in this.



The next is another current song that I first discovered on Radio 1 (surprise, surprise.) Sigrid’s “Don’t Kill My Vibe” is similar to Paramore’s song in the sense that it’s a pretty sad song, in a happy package. It’s a relatable song that has multiple interpretations, whether it’s about an ex or an old friend, you could probably find something in your life that relates to the lyrics.



The music video for the next song does what the title would suggest. It’s all about washing. However the lyrics to Dirty Laundry are less trivial. I am obsessed with the backing track to this song- it is just so catchy. I think it’s impossible to not sing along to the “ooh’s” after the “you” in the chorus.


And finally, a song I had completely forgotten about ’till just last week. And since then I have listened to it approximately 208 times. Of course, the lyrics are problematic, but if you gloss over the misogyny and the bizarre carrot reference, it’s just a great pop song with such a well-known beat, I guarantee you’ll recognise it.

Talking to Myself

I’m just going to get this over with as soon as possible.

I talk to myself.

Before you all start phoning a psychiatrist I just want to clarify this isn’t me muttering disturbing poems or chanting. I’m literally just talking things through to myself. I hope I am not the only one who does this. Let me explain in more detail.

I love planning my day and doing lists in my head, however I also find it very handy to say these outloud to myself as I get ready in the morning. So I’ll be walking round my house or brushing my hair telling myself the plan for the day. As someone who spends quite a lot of time by themselves, talking aloud just gives me a chance to talk in general, if I’m thinking about something I have found interesting or annoying I’ll discuss these outloud, with myself. This has the added benefit of not having to talk to somebody who disagrees with you. I’ve also started to catch myself doing this outside, which can be problematic, especially when walking down a busy road. And then there’s just the standard singing and laughing along to the radio or to a podcast, which I grant you can look weird, but having over-ear headphones kind of helps this as it makes it a little clearer to other people that I’m not just laughing to myself as I walk down a road. At least I hope it does.

Please let me know if this is normal. Please.

The End of an Era

In one months time I will have finished being in education. Completely done. I don’t know if anyone else has gone through this/is going through this, but I for one cannot get my head around the fact that over a decade of my life has been spent in education and now it’s drawing to a close.

From being in education for so long, I’m not really sure what to expect with suddenly having no homework and to going into full time employment. I mean, I’ve had full time employment before, when I did my placement, but it was only short-term and at the end of the day, it was just a placement, I was going into education when I’d finished. So, I am basically in an existential crisis, stuck between “yay freedom and happiness and mental wellbeing” and a fear of societal pressure and the potential of remaining unemployed for all of time.

I’m sure this feeling is something we all, well, feel, and I think the lack of solid careers advice doesn’t help matters. As young school children we’re encouraged to go to uni, given one careers meeting where they talk about the imporance of having a good CV without telling you what this is, then they say bye and you’re off on your merry way into a physics lesson. There’s no help with anything and it’s scary. Especially if you don’t have any future plans at all. I mean, I had no idea what I wanted to do for a job at all during school, despite the people around me being confident in their dreams of working with children or as a doctor, I had nothing.  I flitted between loads of different ideas, but nothing felt right.

Luckily now I have a career goal in mind, but the path isn’t going to be a straight jolly walk. I am expecting a full blown hike through dense undergrowth with cobwebs and spiders lurking. And that’s just the job hunting process. But I am confident that I have the skills to make it to the end of the march, after all, I do love my countryside hikes.

So what has uni taught me?

Well, I now know what a panic attack feels like. An odd lesson I grant you, but it’s given me the chance to actually understand mental health problems so much more. It’s given me the chance to practice my speed writing thanks to those times in lectures where the slide is about to change yet there are still lines left that I haven’t copied down. It’s given me the chance to learn exciting and fascinating theories behind things like, fan culture, interpersonal communication and gender roles in advertising. It’s taught me that I love coach journeys, I’ve been able to travel all around the UK during my three years thanks to the loan and kind timetabling. I’m stronger mentally than I ever imagined, being able to juggle three, four, five assignments, mental health, food shopping and trying to stay social all at the same time. I suppose it’s given me more time, three more years of figuring myself out.

And now it’s drawing to a close. So I suppose it’s a thank you and goodbye university.
Thank you, and goodbye x

Who Am I?

Although I am a scientific person and recognise the lack of evidence for them, I absolutely adore doing personality tests, reading about my Zodiac sign, finding out the meanings behind my name, and, yes, reading my horoscopes, but I genuinely find them interesting, and, dare I say it, relatable?

I thought it would be fun to include some of the results I’ve found doing certain tests below, and for you to tell me your personality type. I am pretty obsessed with reading these things.

The RHETI test.
I discovered this literally 10 minutes ago, in fact it actually inspired this post, because I was so interested in all the different types of people there are.

The RHETI is based on the Enneagram, which is a pretty complex idea but basically it’s a circular graph with nine points inside it, connected to one another with triangles (think of the Charmed logo, but more lines.) These basically connect together in different ways, ultimately showing your personality type (I said it was complex.) The overall orientation of your personality is actually influenced by childhood factors, even including genetics. (I do recommend you read this if you want to know more, https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/how-the-enneagram-system-works/ ) So the nine points mean nine personality types, and though they’re named after their number they also have a word name too. They range from, Type 1, The Reformer, to Type 9, The Peacemaker.

So, what’s my number? Well I took the sample test (sod paying money for the official one, here is a link to it, https://trans4mind.com/rheti_html/test.html) and my three biggest numbers were, 2, 4 and 6. And, after reading the descriptions, I have concluded I am a Type 6, aka, The Loyalist. So, to sum me up, I am the “committed, security-orientated type.” Already I was pretty convinced. The website told me that:
“Sixes are reliable, hard-working, responsible, and trustworthy. Excellent “trouble-shooters,” they foresee problems and foster cooperation, but can also become defensive, evasive, and anxious—running on stress while complaining about it. They can be cautious and indecisive, but also reactive, defiant and rebellious. They typically have problems with self-doubt and suspicion. At their Best: internally stable and self-reliant, courageously championing themselves and others.” AND I WAS SO SHOCKED AT THE ACCURACY, I feel like this is me down to a T. It weirdly is similar to the traits of the Cancer zodiac type, so now my whole world makes sense. If you want to find out more about my type, click here.

The 16 personalities/ NERIS Type.
Although a vague name, this is basically your ESTPs to your INFJs. All those letters I’m sure we’ve all heard about before, if not, these basically refer to whether you’re extroverted or introverted, and then cognitive functions referring to your thoughts and feelings, (read more here, https://www.16personalities.com/articles/our-theory)

I’d done this test before (yep, more than once) but thought I would take it again today to give you an accurate result, also because I am curious to see if I’ve changed. If you want to do this test, click here. And my results were actually the same, I am an INFJ-T aka the Advocate. So, I am 92% Introverted, 71% iNtuitive, 74% Feeling, 84% Judging and 93% Turbulent. So, what does this mean? Well according to the website I am “quiet and mystical, yet very inspiring and tireless idealists” (I BLOODY LOVE THIS.) It goes on to say:
“The Advocate personality type is very rare, making up less than one percent of the population, but they nonetheless leave their mark on the world. As members of the Diplomat Role group, Advocates have an inborn sense of idealism and morality, but what sets them apart is that they are not idle dreamers, but people capable of taking concrete steps to realize their goals and make a lasting positive impact.”
There are literally pages and pages of information on these types, which is great as it means you can learn so much, but to conclude my type, and so not to waste too much of your life, it said:
“Few personality types are as sensitive and mysterious as Advocates. Your imagination and empathy make you someone who not only cherishes their integrity and deeply held principles but, unlike many other idealistic types, is also capable of turning those ideals into plans, and executing them.”

There are dozens of these tests out there, which excites me a lot. So if you don’t hear from me again it’s probably because I can’t stop doing them.

Have Your Say

With another election looming for us Brits, it’s important to know how to choose who to vote for. This election is set to be a dramatic change to our lives and we deserve a say in what should happen. So here are a few tips on knowing who to vote for:

  1. Register.
    The most important thing to do pre-election. If you’re eligible, please do register
  2. You matter.
    It’s easy to think “oh I won’t vote, loads of people will” or “what difference will I make”12 million people thought the same in the last election. That’s insane and huge. Remember it’s your right to have your say.
  3. Study.
    This isn’t a fun word, but it’s an important one. Make sure you look at each party and politician carefully, listen to arguments, read their Twitter profiles, watch the debates. Make sure you have the confidence that you understand what they’re offering. It’s so easy to see one photo or one slogan or one bus *cough* and think that’s the be all and end all.  Politics is a messy and scary industry, and it’s easy to be misinformed.
  4. You
    This is your vote, not your mum’s or dad’s or friend’s. If someone’s a hardcore Tory, a lifelong Labour or a UKIP “for the lols” voter, don’t think that you have to follow in their footsteps. It’s up to you to decide what you agree with, what issues are close to your heart, and what you want the future of the country to look like, No one elses.

What Have We Learnt?

I’ve done a lot of thinking recently. This year is my final year in education, which got me thinking… I started secondary school in 2007. TEN YEARS AGO. Which then made me think about secondary school, which then made me think, what did I actually learn? (I told you I’d done a lot of thinking)

So let’s chat about the education system and what those five years in school actually taught me.

  1. People can be brutal.
    I think it’s very hard to settle into a friendship group in school, the popular group seems so out of reach and idealistic yet not at all like a good place to be, then there’s one group that seem like the best of friends but they’re the uncool and bullied group and, well, out of fear you stay away. So what does this make? A hierarchical system, which seems to imply some sort of potential to “progress to the top” (this is a whole different kettle of fish,) you may have guessed I never made that progression, I was pretty close to the bottom of the hierarchy, but that didn’t bother me. Even though, as it later transpires, I never fitted in with the group I was in. But they were all I had (Friendships on Rough Seas.) The other non-group students can be quick to judge you, if you’re intelligent you’d better be popular or you’ll be called a nerd, if you’re not as bright you’d better make people laugh or you’ll be called thick. You can’t win.
  2. Horrible Histories is the only place you’ll learn about history.
    I don’t know about you (but I’m feeling 22) but my history lessons at school were awful. I remember sod all. Actually I lie, I do remember two things. One, the teacher dressed up as an executioner and hid in the stationary cupboard. Two, this was the class I met my best friend in. Other than that I have no recollection, truth be told I don’t think I could even tell you when World War 2 was, and I hate myself for this ignorance. I watched, and indeed still do on occassion Horrible Histories and this show taught me so much (although as I have a shocking memory some of it is probably very confused.) To this day I still remember the lyrics to the theme tune. Long story short, history teachers should just wheel in that old massive telly and put Horrible Histories on in class.
  3. Maths anxiety is a thing
    I used to cry over maths. One of my strongest memories of the first year of school was when I cried about the maths homework outside the classroom, my teacher was so concered he rang my parents. What didn’t help was my fellow classmates who laughed at me. For some reason though teachers always seemed to love me and this guy slammed them down, and for that I am grateful. But maths anxiety is a thing and annoyingly, I don’t think many teachers understand this. I used to lack so much confidence with my maths, I’d need things explained to me several times, and I would need time to get used to the work. Once I was setteled I actually enjoyed maths, the problem solving was quite fun and, I was pretty fast at getting the work done. I think if I’d recognised this anxiety earlier and had it nurtured I’d probably have done something science based at uni as I really love science (but this is a weird existential thought that I want to forget immediately. ) It was actually commented on at a parents evening once, I think the teacher said something along the lines of “it’s unusual to have a student in the highest set for science, yet be in the third set for maths.” So you can imagine how that made me feel.
  4. There are three types of rock
    This is one of the facts I do remember from school. Igneous, metamorphic, sedimentary. Boom. Not that I have an issue with learning this, I loved geography. I just wish we were actually taught important life skills. Such as, where countries actually are on the map, the capital cities of these countries etc etc. This isn’t just limited to geography. In French I wrote an article about the global fashion industry, yet in France I can’t order a jug of water for the table, book a taxi or know what to say at a till. I don’t know what a mortgage is, how to buy a house, what a credit score is. Need I go on?
  5. Trends
    When I say trends I mean to do with the fashion that is school unoforms. Head bands were cool, thin eyebrows were on, and if your shirt was tucked in and your tie was long you were bullied. Looking back that look was scruffy at best, and when my brother started school, specifically his last two years he found it hilarious and weird how that was cool. Because when he was at school it was cool to tuck your shirt in and have a normal tie. I just find it so strange how these things came to exist, who decides what is considered fashion? And why was everyone obsessed with being cool?

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Comedy and Mental Health

Last night I saw Russell Howard’s Round the World tour live, and it was utterly incredible. It was a blend of observational comedy, satire, and deep thought-provoking discussions about current affairs, womens rights, self-harming and mental health. And it got me thinking, just how important I think it is that people take more time to go to comedy gigs (and indeed music, but this is focussing on comedy) as a way of coping with mental health issues.

As the world around us seems to crumble into a mess of damaging ideologies and just plain weird politics, it’s so important for people to try and look for the good in life, as Russell said yesterday you never know when the next laugh out loud moment will come, you need to look out for it. There’s something about sitting in a room full of people, people you may never have met, that connects you for two hours of laughter. Being in that one room, you’re focussed on the comedian on stage, you barely have time to think “oh did I remember to lock the back door” or “are the people behind me judging me?” or “what if I fail that exam I have next week” or “I’m so worried about the high rates of race crime.”

Of course, depending on the style of comedy you’re watching, these topics of conversation may come up, I know yesterday Russell talked about a lot of hard hitting stuff, but perfectly blended with perfect Donald Trump impressions, singing and hula hooping, you weren’t left feeling stressed. You could think about these important issues critically, then laugh, then move onto the next thing. And I think this is what’s so important. Being able to move on, it’s so easy to have something just loop around your brain, but at these gigs they don’t. Or if it’s not very political comedy, you just have a chance to laugh about the everyday things that links human beings together, whether that’s driving or football.

Being at the gig you feel at ease, or at least I do. I know I feel so much less anxious about what other people are thinking about me when I’m sat down in a gig, than when I’m just simply walking by a road.  I sometimes wonder if the comedian on stage realises the positive impact they have on people’s mental health.