"Treat others as you would wish to be treated" and other life lessons

Guess what? It's been nearly two years since I graduated from uni, my last major life milestone. Crazy, isn't it? Since leaving uni, I've embarked on a career in marketing communications which allows me to be creative AND make a difference. I love being financially independent and have so far lived in two different parts of the country which is amazing and scary and eye-opening. So, throughout this time, just what have I learnt?

Learning on the job is the best form of education

As corny as it sounds, good grades only go so far. I was well aware of this fact when I first started work and rarely speak about my degree at length in interviews and applications. In the grand scheme of things, there's really only so much you can learn from a textbook and nothing beats real world application. Some of the smartest people I know never attended university.

Treat others as you wish to be treated

Criticism is far easier to swallow when there's a kind voice behind it. Treat people as well as you possibly can.

Everything happens for a reason

Every rejection is a brick on the road to something better. You're amazing and it might not have worked out anyway be it that job, opportunity or relationship.

Try to be on time

I always feel a certain sense of guilt when I'm late for something. So, I always try to be early. And whenever I'm late, I always try to make up the time. It's just good manners.

Not everyone wants to be your friend...and that's ok

Since leaving uni, I've lived with people who aren't students and who are a lot older than me which is fine...if we got along. But unfortunately not everyone in this world is as accommodating and welcoming as we'd hope. But that's ok because why would you want to be their friend anyway? The only person you can control is yourself. And if someone is causing you unnecessary stress, it might be better to get rid of them from your life.

Whenever I'm feeling a bit down, I try to remember the above which instantly puts me at ease. I can't wait to see where my life is going to take me.

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My time at uni: a reflection

University is an insanely nerve-wracking prospect for young 18 year olds who have never left home for any considerable length of time.

When I was 18, I was excited but scared...fizzing and bubbling with an overflowing cocktail of anxieties and worries. To relieve these worries, I decided to track the changes in my impressions of uni life by answering the following questions at the end of each academic year.  Overall, it now reads as my university story from my time in catered halls all the way to my final year. So, without further ado, here are my reflections written at 19, 20 and 21...

*Dramatic curtain reveal*

Did I cope by myself? *Worried face*

1 year on...

I survived first year! So, yeah! But that was all down to the people. You see, within 20 minutes or so of arriving in my dorm room, I had met two new best friends. I waved my family off really quickly as soon as they had helped me unpack. Last summer, I had promised to myself that I wouldn’t mope around by myself in my room until dinner. I was desperate to meet new people. So, I was never by myself as such. I think I cheated with the cooking part. I only ever really cooked pasta for lunch because I was in a catered hall. Next year will be the real challenge. All in all, I love the freedom of university; there were a lot of all-nighters, getting up in the afternoon and naps. I don’t think I’m a ‘grown-up’ yet though. Far from it…

2 years on...

Throughout second year, I matured quite a bit. There were fewer parties and more responsibilities like cooking, cleaning and food shopping. Sure, I lamented over these duties every so often but they were always done and dusted (sorry for the pun!). This was also the year of a burglary, a heartbreak and the onset of an illness. It sometimes felt like I couldn't cope but I'm so proud that I got through second year! I also learnt how to cook my beloved chilli con carne (my favourite meal) so that was a winner!

3 years on...

I'm not sure if I'll ever return to education and I miss many aspects of uni life not least the days off I enjoyed as a humanities student. However, final year was certainly a time I focused inwardly.

Did I get lost? *Bemused face*

1 year on...

Not really. I perfected ‘the-walking-around-until-you-find-it’ method. And it worked every time. I just had to set off super early to find my destination. But there was that one time, I caught the bus on the wrong side of the road…

2 years on...

I've resigned myself to the fact that I'm hopeless with directions and not much has changed.

3 years on...

All is good. I discovered Citymapper.

Did I make any friends? *Anxious face*

1 year on...

Yep, I did! You see, I tried to make friends with everybody. This year, I’ve met so many interesting people with their own idiosyncrasies. They are incredible people. There are so many people I’m going to miss next year as they are going abroad. I’m also thankful that I have friends who read my blog posts and tell me that I’m a good writer even if they’re lying. (Lol). On another note, it’s odd to think that there are going to be people I won’t see again for various reasons.

2 years on...

I made quite a few friends in second year. This year was certainly focused on making strong connections rather than a lot of little connections. I also learnt that you can't be friends with everyone and met someone very special at a party.

3 years on...

There were fewer parties and more time spent with chilled people.

Did I miss my family? *Smiley face*

1 year on...

To an extent, I did. The evidence lies in a tweet about missing ‘my loud family,’ directed to my bubbly sister. But, all in all, I was having too much fun to miss my family that much. My dad reprimanded me for not calling enough.

2 years on...

I felt rather hopeless and low at the start of second year so I missed my family greatly. However, things perked up enormously in second semester.

3 years on...

I don't remember missing my family in final year. That came later when I started my first job after uni.

How much has life changed? *Whimsical face*

1 year on...

It’s changed a lot. I feel like my life has finally started. I had more fun than anything else but I also had a lot of rewarding experiences such as my first taste of proper magazine journalism.

2 years on...

My self-esteem has sky-rocketed and I finally know which direction to take with my future career. I've also become a far efficient worker and have really pinpointed what makes me happy!

3 years on...

I have matured a lot and am excited to start post-uni life.

These reflections have been an interview from myself to myself to assess how I have changed from a fearful A-Levels student to a more knowledgeable university graduate. One thing's for sure, a lot can change in three years...although three years is a relatively short amount of time! Although I really enjoyed my first two years of uni, I'm glad final year is over. It's been six months since I left the comfort of student life with a humanities degree and since then, I've interned in corporate communications and started a new role in marketing. More about that here. Much has changed from year to year but a few things have remained: my insatiable appetite for horror movies, desire to write and...crazy night owl tendencies.

Now I've entered university and come out the other side a different version of myself, I'm thinking more acutely of the advice I'd give to those who are going to start university or are already there.

If I could do it all again, I would make sure to keep my emotions in check, take as many photos as possible for prosperity and...avoid renting a room on the ground floor. Sounds about right!

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Careers Case Study: Marketing Intern & Volunteer

Check out what I have to say about building a career in Marketing, the importance of experience and my voluntary work all on Marketing Career Path, the ultimate destination for advice on launching a career in Marketing!

(read my case study by clicking here)

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When I Was Younger...

I have a stack of baby snaps sitting on my bedroom table...

From time to time, I retrieve this stack, take a moment and sift through the memories. I love leafing through the pictures, marvelling at myself as a sweet cherub and rejoicing over everything I've experienced over my 21 years of existence (yes, even all the woes and worries)...

When I was younger, I would spend hours on end simply in my own company. As a young dreamy girl, I wasn't perfectly content with spending so much time by myself, cooped up indoors like an unwilling prisoner. Even as a young girl, I was aggravated by my loneliness and daunted by the fact my siblings were out and about in the great OUTDOORS. Isn't there such a stigma surrounding solitude?

I still spend many hours by myself but I'm really not my own best friend in this respect. I constantly fidget, procrastinate and despair. Despite days on end as a solitary kid, I would find plenty to do and I wish I could go back in time and re-adopt that healthy mindset. I would do stuff simply because I enjoyed them without the pressure of a deadline or an opinion; I did them for me. So, as a reminder of the past, I've compiled a list of the more quirky activities I used to enjoy as a child and teenager. I was one hipster kid (before hipster was even a thing!).

Autograph collecting

Whilst some people collected stamps, I collected autographs! Yep, back when Myspace was BIG, I would scour sites for various email addresses and Myspace contacts of minor celebrities. I would delight at all the international stamps from sunny places like L.A, inwardly smiling at each envelope that leapt through the letterbox. It was really exciting to retrieve my own post from the letterbox, back when I really didn't receive any post of my own! My most notable success was perhaps Taylor Swift. But I also received an autograph from Ashley Benson in her Bring It On days, who now stars as Hanna Marin in Pretty Little Liars. Now I love watching Pretty Little Liars!

Sims voice acting

If you never played Sims as a child, you seriously missed out! I went one step further and offered my 'voice acting talents' to Youtube shows composed entirely from Sims clips (and a little help from Windows Movie Maker). Back in the 2000s (and beyond?), Youtube was inundated by 'film-makers', stringing clips together to create shows with distinct and often outlandish story-lines. You can still find clips of my voice on Youtube today! 

Building websites

Before animations were known as Gifs and before Facebook was a thing (imagine!), I would build websites centred upon colourful little graphics. They filled me with so much pride and I wish I could go back and do it all again. I would draw my own graphics on MS Paint and store them in a sort of online portfolio with lots of fun things for the visitor. I credit my love for building websites then with my love of blogging today.

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