23/07/2015

Life: Update 23/07/2015

I haven't done a blog post for about a week now because not much has really been happening! Things have been bubbling away under the surface and hopefully during the next couple of weeks they'll start showing themselves and I can start writing about them on this blog!

I've been continuing to redecorate my room and it's slowly (slowwly) starting to come together. Half of my walls are now white and hopefully by the end of this weekend the final half will be too. I've also been on a mission to try and find a nice bookcase and storage 'thing' for my clothes. The only problem is that I'm very particular about what I like and everything that I do like seems to only exist on Pinterest and I have no idea where to actually find it in the real world.

As I just mentioned, a couple of things have been bubbling away so don't think that I've been doing nothing this past week!

Firstly, I have a trail shift for the cool indie shop I told you about! Next Friday I'll be going in for a few hours to see how I get on so hopefully *fingers crossed* I'll make a good impression and that will work out. As I've said before I know that a trail shift doesn't mean that I have the job, and I don't at all want to be cocky and assume that I have a job, but it's another step forward and another experience!

Secondly, I've managed to obtain a contact at a local radio station. My dad was recently interviewed by him and got to talking about me and everything I did at uni. The guy knows Falmouth well so was quite interested and passed on his email which my dad forwarded to me. So hopefully with this contact something may be able to work out even if it just means the odd days work experience here and there (that is if I do manage to get a job in Birmingham of course and this person even wants to offer me work experinence!)

And finally, I've been thinking more about this whole 'being a writer' thing and I do actually take it quite seriously. I've got a couple of ideas for books so need to start knuckling down and trying to get somewhere with that. I always hate people that talk about what they want to do but then they never actually bother to do anything about it. I don't want to be one of those people that talks about writing but never actually sits down and writes. I want to start looking into how people pitch ideas and get the ball rolling. I know some things from university when I did a publishing module but still want to research a bit more before I go sending out ideas without knowing what to do with them.

10/07/2015

Life: a quick update!

So I thought I would write another quick little blog post to tell you all that I got a call this morning for another job interview!

I'm not quite sure what the saying is but it's something about waiting for a bus for ages and then suddenly about 5 appear at the same time; that how I feel about my job situation! I was feeling rather crap at the start of the week and now a few days later I've got two really exciting job interviews and I'm one step closer to being an employed adult.

This morning when I got the call for the interview I hadn't really spoken yet so my voice did that thing where it's all grizzly and weird so when I answered the phone I made more of a growl noise than a normal hello, but luckily I don’t think they heard and my second attempt to say hello was much more successful and sounded like an actual girl and not a bear.

I'm really excited about this interview, it's for a really cool independent store in Birmingham and every time I walk past I always think about how great it would be to work there. I saw the vacancy yesterday afternoon on Instagram and pretty much straight away tweaked my CV and wrote a covering letter to send over to them. You can probably guess that I was really excited to get a phone call this morning to say that I've got an interview. Again like I said in my last post I know an interview doesn't mean a job but it's really lovely and encouraging to be considered for an interview.

I'm about to pop out with my mom to get some snacks and then watch a movie with her, then I think this afternoon I'll do some research for both of my interviews so I can give them really clever answers to their questions and hopefully secure myself a job!

09/07/2015

Life: I'm no longer a grumpy sloth!

Since writing my last post I'm now out of my slump and feeling extremely positive and excited for the summer ahead!

I think maybe that I just needed a couple of days of feeling sorry for myself so I could get it out of my system and go back to being motivated and focused on having a productive summer.

In the past couple of days a few exciting things have started to happen. As you all know I'm currently in the process of revamping my bedroom and this weekend I'm going to be looking for a vintage filing cabinet (for all of my tshirts/jeans to go in) and will be finally getting some white paint so I can start moving my belongings out of the living room and back into my bedroom. It will be nice to have a normal bedroom again after a couple of weeks of living out of my suitcases!

The second exciting thing to tell you all is that very soon me and my family will hopefully be adopting a retired greyhound! We've wanted to adopt a dog for quite a while now but I didn't want them to get one and bond with it whilst I was away at university, but now that I'm home for the foreseeable future it's the perfect time to get a lovely little rescue dog! Me and my mom were looking online at local rehoming shelters yesterday and all of the dogs look so cute and wonderful, I honestly think we would adopt them all if we could. The main qualities we want from our dog is for it to be gentle and calm and also happy to be constantly cuddled!

The third and final exciting thing to tell you all is that I now have a job interview for a popular shoe store this weekend! I know it's only an interview and I don't want to be over confident and assume that I have a job or anything but I am happy that something is starting to happen and knowing that my CV is working! For a while I was sure that I was missing something obvious and that my CV was terrible but nobody would tell me why, so just being called for an interview on it's own makes me extremely happy that I'm on the right track and that i've actually got a pretty good CV.

I do need to call the store tomorrow however as I think I may have written down the wrong time/day for my interview (whoops). I'm pretty sure the lovely woman on the phone told me my interview was at six but I'm also sure that she told me my interview was on Sunday? I could have just misheard as I was standing outside of a noisy room when I was on the phone but I just looked online and the store closes at 5 on Sunday. I was going to turn up early anyway but I want to call and confirm my interview as I would hate it if I did mishear and my interview is in fact on Saturday and I just don't turn up! Hopefully calling up tomorrow will also show that I am a confident and able grown up and will make a good impression! (and not suggest to them that my phone's signal can be a bit poop so I cant always hear people on the phone).

I'll try and write again tomorrow, and if not (and my interview does turn out to be on Saturday afternoon) then I will probably be writing my next post after I have my job interview and I will be able to tell you all how it went!

06/07/2015

Life: Feeling a bit sorry for myself

Today's been one of those days where I've been feeling a bit down and sorry for myself.

Nothing in particular really sparked my bad mood, I just woke up today feeling not quite right. I think the main reason I'm like this today is probably due to boredom. I've always thought that boredom feels more like a sickness than a feeling or emotion. It always seems to affect me deeper than it probably should. When I'm bored I don't just feel bored, I feel sad and tired and lonely and lost. But then again most people probably feel this way when they're bored. It's just we never really talk about it, or we just tell people that we're tired.

When I say that I feel bored I don't mean bored as in you've got a couple of hours to kill before you're off out to meet friends and I also don't mean bored like you've got thing to do that you're procrastinating from. I mean bored as in I feel like I'm not achieving anything and that I'm wasting my time and I really should be doing something more productive with my day. I should be working on something really important and I should be out taking risks and making memories, not lying in bed for half the day feeling sorry for myself.

I've been home for just over a week now and I haven't really achieved much yet; my room is still being dismantled, I still haven't unpacked, I still don't have a job and I still feel a bit lost.

I know it's only been a week since leaving Falmouth but I hate not having things to do and I hate waking up and having no plans for my day beyond what TV shows I need to catch up on. I'm one of those people that are truly at their happiest when they have about five little projects that they're working on at any given time, so I never really know what to do with myself when I've got nothing to work on. I just find my way into boredom and boredom always somehow results in me stumbling into this bad mood. Maybe it's because I'm a gemini.

Another side effect of this boredom is loneliness and I have been feeling a bit lonely recently. Again, nothing's really happened to make me suddenly feel like this. Because I'm not out of the house a lot at the moment and I'm not seeing many people outside of my family, I feel like I'm pulling myself away from my friends and not talking to people as much as I should.

I know I'm being hard on myself today and that I'm not going to be bored forever but I think every so often you need to have a shitty day so it's out of your system and you can go back to having good days again. I'm under no illusion that getting a job, or regularly seeing friends or even having a room that isn't in the process of being redecorated will mean that happiness becomes a constant state of being. But I think living with a particular set of circumstances increases the amount of happy days that you have compared to shitty days. And I think that when I do have a job, and see friends, and have a normal bedroom, that I will have less time to get lost in the weird void that is my brain.

It's 21:15 now and I'm going to go downstairs at 22:00 and watch the new season of My Mad Fat Diary (which is brilliant and I'm sure will make me feel better). I've got some more blog posts that I want to write that I'll probably type up before I go to bed. Hopefully tomorrow I'll wake up feeling more like me and if I don't then I'll have to figure something out.

03/07/2015

Listen: New playlist

I used to love making playlists and mix cd's for people but I haven't done it for a while, however today whilst continuing to dismantle my room I decided that it was about time I created a new playlist again and here it is....


 

02/07/2015

Life: A diary-esque post I guess?

You know when you go back home after being gone for a while and even though everything is the same, everything feels slightly different? Like when you weren't looking something moved? But then it turns out that the only thing that's changed is yourself. Everything only feels different because you feel different.

That's how I feel at the moment in regards to my bedroom. It's the same bedroom that I left nearly three years ago when I went to university, and even though I've been back since because I'm now living here for the foreseeable future I don't feel like it's really my room anymore. It belongs to a different version of myself. This is probably why since returning home I've focused most of my energy on changing my room around trying to make it feel mine again.

I think though that partially I'm using redecorating my bedroom as another way to postpone growing up.  I have tried to start looking for jobs but I honestly don't really know what I'm doing. I know what kind of jobs I want to get but because I don't have experience no-one will hire me and I can't get experience because I don't already have experience? It doesn't really make sense but in summary I need someone to take a chance on me.

At the moment the main thing on my mind (when I'm not thinking about bookcases and paint) is that I don't really know what I'm doing or what I want to do with my life. But that's a lie. I know what I want to do but I'm worried that either it wont work out or that it will and I'll make a stupid mistake and ruin it all. I want to be a writer. I want to work for a magazine. I want to work for a company that I care about. I want to own a record store. I want to live in a city with a pet dog and indie-rock boyfriend.

I know everything will work out OK because everything always does. But right now because this is the first time in my life that my future isn't timetabled out it's a bit scary knowing that it's all up to me now.

29/06/2015

Life: Goodbye Twilight!

So as you've just heard if you read my previous post I'm now taking this whole growing up thing far more seriously now that I'm 21 and no longer have student discount.

After spending a majority of my first day back at home lying in bed and avoiding the thought of unpacking I woke up this morning (well it's now 00:47 so I guess yesterday morning) and decided that I would begin the process of moving back in to my tiny box bedroom/fairy cave.

At the moment most of the possessions that I had with me at university are still cluttering up the living room/bottom of the stairs/some of the kitchen and the only things that I've managed to actually move back into place are my coats that now live on a rail just outside my bedroom door (my room is so small that my clothes rail doesn't even fit inside!)

However the reason that I didn't unpack more today was because after spending Sunday in bed staring at every inch of my room, I knew that I didn't really want to start unpacking yet because my room was so full that I didn't really have anywhere to unpack.

So because of this I spent today (yesterday) decluttering my room and drowning under a pile of old books and dust.

Something you should know about me, and can probably guess when I tell you that I'm a writer, is that I love to read! However an occupational hazard of being a reader/writer is that you tend to accumulate books a lot quicker than you can hope to read them, and because I've been a reader for quite some time now I've accumulated quite an impressive hoard of books.

Another thing about being someone that loves to read is that you can get quite attached to your old books, even the ones that you didn't really enjoy that much or ones that you read years ago and cant really remember the plot of.

But I'm a grown up now, and part of being a grown up is making grown up choices like saying goodbye to all of the supernatural-teenage-romance novels that you loved dearly when you were 15-years-old and choosing between Edward and Jacob was something that sparked debates amongst you and your friends (for the record I am team Edward even though personally if I were in that situation I would pick Jacob).

As I sorted through all of my old books I found every type of supernatural romance that you could hope for from zombies and fallen angels to vampires and shapeshifters. Another genre that I clearly loved growing up was dystopian, however I do remember being frustrated that every dystopian novel targeted at my demographic insisted on a romantic subplot- just let me read about a girl kicking ass and leave the romance out until more pressing issues have been resolved.

I spent a good three hours slowly unpacking my bookcase and choosing which books made it back onto the shelves and which ones made it to the ominous pile that was forming that was destined for the local charity shop.

Every so often I would become overwhelmed with how grown-up I was being and had to spend a moment doing nothing and listening to the Spotify playlist that I had put on to motivate me to declutter my room. At one point the playlist decided to play a large chunk of the Back To The Future soundtrack which did the trick and helped me resume my dusty descent into the bookcase.

Something I haven't mentioned yet in this post is that one additional reason that I decided to start decluttering my room was because on Sunday night before I went to bed I made a very grown up online purchase on UrbanOutfitters and bought my first ever piece of furniture; a vinyl rack and basket to store my record player and the vinyl that is now overflowing from my vinyl carrier case. Two other purchases that I made with this order include a blue tapestry throw for me to hang on my wall and a branch jewellery stand for me to hang my necklaces off (up until this point I've always hung them off a coat hanger- not a very grown up thing to do).
 
After spending a couple more hours tackling my bookcase I set my sights on the DVD filled bookcase by my door. Since becoming a self-confessed Netflix addict the DVD's in my life have become somewhat abandoned and I only really watch them when the internet is down or when I fancy watching something on the TV downstairs.

About a year ago I made a similar DVD cull and got rid of all the movies that I hadn't watched in years or that I knew I could access on Netflix easy enough if I really wanted to watch them.

This time however I decided to only keep my absolute favourite DVD's as I knew that I had a lot of movies that simply didn't interest me anymore or no longer seemed so fun since becoming more socially aware and letting the feminist within me run free and wild.

So that's pretty much what I achieved in day 1 of me becoming a grown up. I got rid of a lot of old books and DVD's and my room feels about 15% lighter so I'd say today was pretty successful. Tomorrow I plan on continuing with this attitude and getting rid of loads of magazines that I know I will no longer reader and I will begin my search for the perfect bookcase.

Life: Becoming a grown up!

Hello!

I know I've literally said this multiple times already but I really am going to start taking this blog more seriously and I think this time it may actually stick.

I want to start updating more regularly and creating content that I care about (rather than just writing a blog because for some reason university degrees are obsessed with blogs but I'll come back to this point later...) and will be using this blog as a way to stop myself from becoming mind-numbingly bored whilst I sort my life out and try to become a proper grown up.

In my last post I wrote about how I've recently finished university and graduated with a first (still v excitable and proud over this fact) and now I've officially moved on to the next phase of my life.

Up until this point I've spent the majority of the last 21 years on earth knowing what I'm going to be doing in September and knowing what I'm working towards. Whilst I still obviously have goals and aspirations I no longer have the safety net of going back in to education and having my life planned out for me, so I need be more pro-active when it comes to keeping myself busy and motivated towards reaching certain outcomes.

During the past few years I've updated this blog quite sparingly and the content has primarily been about my progress at university. In case you weren't able to figure it out this was mainly because as a part of my course I was required to write reflective posts about my work and whist I understand the merit of this, I would have much rather preferred creating a workbook to run alongside my degree as I very much doubt anyone was reading this blog eagerly anticipating the next instalment of "what Tara does at university".

But seeing as I'm now no longer at university this blog is free to be about whatever I want once again!

I've actually written a list of content ideas on my iPad that I will start to post on this blog as I want this little thing that I'm creating here to become something that I can show future employers so they can get a nice flare of my writing style and find something more interesting than just my twitter and linked-in page when they google my name. Also, I think as someone that hopes to become a writer a blog is a good way to keep myself busy with writing original content instead of just telling people about wanting to become a writer but never actually doing anything about it.

So I guess the main thing that I'm trying to convey in this blog post is that I will now spend more time writing blog posts about things that interest me and will hopefully interest you as well. Right now I'm pretty sure I'm shouting into the vast and cluttered void that is the internet and that there isn't anybody out there who regularly looks at this blog but hopefully the more I start to nurture it the more likely this is to change.

I doubt that I'm going to become one of those lucky bloggers that gets sent incredibly cool things to write about (hint hint The Great Frog London...) but I'll be quite happy if this blog simply becomes something I can show people when I tell them that I'm a writer and they ask to read something that I've done.

One goal that I've set myself in regards to this blog is to write a new post at least every two days. Whether this is a sort-of diary entry like this one, or a mood board or playlist, this blog will not have month long gaps between each post like before.

One particular set of posts that I plan on writing during this summer will be regarding my search for full time employment and realising that I can no longer postpone adulthood. These particular posts will document my efforts to declutter my life, become more healthy and turn myself into the cool hipster-it-indie-alt girl that I aspire to become (I'm looking at you Erin Wasson and Margaux Lonnberg).

My next post that I will be writing moments after I post this one will be about the first day of me decluttering my life, I hope you enjoy!

28/06/2015

Learn: Finishing University!

Hello once again!


I'm writing this blog post from my bed back in Birmingham as I've now finished university and left Falmouth forever (well I'll be coming back in September to graduate but that will only be for a flying visit!)

I've got so much to write about and update you on that I've even made a list on my iPad so I don't miss anything out.

I guess I should begin with what I've already mentioned at the start of this post - that I've finished university! It feels very odd to be able to say this and I'm now slightly worried that I have no more reasons or excuses to postpone growing up.

The past few weeks have felt like a bit of a weird limbo period for me as even though I handed in my last piece of uni work at the start of June I still had just over a month left of my lease so I decided to stay down in Falmouth until the end of the month rather than moving back home like I usually would. I'm not really used to being in Falmouth and not having work to do, so to be able to have a while to actually go to the beach and have fun without having to think about deadlines was a strange but nice change.

I spent this strange little limbo period seeing friends a lot, drinking Jack Daniels a little and not doing much useful work at all (my excuse being that these few weeks were the last chance I really had to be silly and fun without the responsibility of a job or other grown up things hanging over me).

Also something very exciting that happened whilst I was in limbo was my birthday! I turned 21 and spent my first ever birthday in Falmouth. It was quite nice to celebrate with uni friends and having a birthday away from home means that I get a second chance to celebrate with all of my home friends.

My final week in limbo was spent avoiding the harsh reality of trying to find a job whilst also saying goodbye to friends that I will no longer live a short distance away from! It will be sad not being able to see them so easily but I also know that Facebook and Snapchat exists to keeping in touch with them hopefully won't be too hard.

My last full day in Falmouth was actually one of the most exciting /nerve-wracking days I'd spent there as it was the day that I found out my final mark. I'm over the moon to be able to tell you that I will be graduating Falmouth University with a first class degree in Journalism!

Before I knew my results I really wasn't sure what my final mark was going to be. I knew that I'd worked extremely hard and that I wanted a first, but I wasn't sure if I was going to get it or just miss out and graduate with a high 2:1 (even though this is still a fantastic grade and I would be proud to achieve this, it's just something I knew that would annoy the over-achiever in me!)

So thats everything to tell you related to finishing university. I have loads of other things that I want to write about but will break it all down into multiple blog posts so I don't make this post about 10 pages long!

11/02/2015

Learn: the final semester of my final year!

Hello!

The last time I posted on this blog I was slowly approaching the deadline for my dissertation and I'm now happy to say that the storm has passed and my dissertation is complete and has been handed in! I haven't had my grade back yet so I'm not sure how to feel about the whole process, however I do know that I worked extremely hard and that my dissertation supervisor is aware of how much effort I put into my work.

Since my last post I have however received my grade for my International Journalism module, and whilst I don't usually like it when people post their results online (as it often comes across quite 'braggy' and people often try to down play how much hard work they put into getting that grade), because this blog is about my time at university I thought if it was appropriate to post this information anywhere it would be here! So I am happy to say that for my first module of my final year I managed to get a 1st! I'm really proud of my grade as I did work extremely hard and it's always a nice feeling when you know that your hard work has payed off.

After finishing the first semester and handing in all of my work I had two weeks off for an assessment period during which I travelled back home and spent my time off relaxing and finally catching up on all of the TV that I missed whilst I was working.

I'm now back in Falmouth and I have started my final semester of my final year at university! It seems strange to think that in a few months I will be graduating and will be out in the world trying to find a job that I love. I know that most news outlets like to emphasise the shortage of jobs for recent graduates and that in reality we should be grateful for any work we get, even if it is in a fast food restaurant (I want to point out here that this is still a valid job and I have endless respect for those that work in the service industry), but I don’t think that I will ever settle for a job that I don’t absolutely love.

The whole reason I decided to go to university in the first place was in increase my chances of getting a job in a field that I find endlessly fascinating. When I was in my final year of secondary school and throughout college the question "So, what do you want to do when you're older?" kept on cropping up, and at the time I had no idea what I wanted to do! I'm not sure how many people grow up knowing the answer to this question with absolute certainty, for me it was more of a gradual elimination process.

By the time I finished secondary school I knew that I was good at English and that I enjoyed writing (academic essays as well as creative writing, sometimes I even enjoy academic writing more) and by the time I finished college I knew that whatever I was going to do with my life would include writing in some context. However even though I knew that I wanted to write, I wasn't entirely sure of what it was exactly that I was going to write.

I decided to look at a degree in journalism as writing in any format is better than not writing at all. During the second year of my degree I created a magazine called yearbook, (and if you scroll down you will be able to read blog post about creating the magazine) and discovered that I'm actually pretty good at making a magazine. I adore magazines and working for one is pretty much my dream job.

As I mentioned, I'm now in the second and final semester of my university experience and one of the modules that I have to compete is called Negotiated Portfolio. This module is focused on creating a portfolio of work that I will be able to show to future employers once I have finished my degree. Because I want to work for magazines after university, all of the work that I create in this module will be created with this in mind. I want to create a body of work that not only reflects media subjects which I am highly interested in but my ability to write about these subjects to a high standard!

I will be writing a series of blog posts throughout this module discussing my progress as I create pieces of work for my portfolio and hopefully send them off to various publications for writing opportunities! This has been a fairly lengthy post but I hope you enjoyed it!

Tara x

01/01/2015

Learn: How to cope with deadline stress!

Hello again lovelies!

My deadlines are looming in the near future and I'm currently having to find a way to deal with the expected deadline stress, so I'm writing this post to share with you all the tips and tricks that I've picked up over the years that have helped me keep a cool head whilst at university. Some of them may sound silly, but they always work for me so why not give them a try!


  • Tidy your workspace, and I don't just mean your desk! Personally I can feel quite overwhelmed if I have too many tabs open whilst using the internet or too many icons cluttering up my desktop home screen. I find organising things into folders not only helps me relax but also makes everything a lot easier when it comes to finding something again.

  • Take breaks however best suits your working style. Sometimes I benefit best from one hour long break after working for a few hours and other days I find small breaks every half an hour more beneficial. Whichever method best for you, make sure you take breaks long enough to help you wind down but short enough that you don't get sucked into another Netflix binge.

  • Lists! I really do love writing lists! At the start of the day I will write down all of the work that I have to complete, and then a second list for all of the things that I hope to achieve during the day. As I complete each thing on the list I will tick it off and feel myself getting slightly more relaxed as I work my way through the list. At the end of the day I will write a final list of all of the things that I hadn't magaged to complete that I can start working on tomorrow. Somehow things don't seem so intimidating if you can fit them onto a post it note.

  • Don't leave everything until the day before your deadline. I know this one sounds obvious, and luckily I've never been once to leave my work that late but honnestly your life will be a lot easier when you just tackle whatever it is that you need to work on! And if you are procrastinating, try and figure out why that is. If you are feeling itimidated and overwhelmed with your work load there are always people you can talk to for support, from people at your school/university to friends and family.

  • Get a good nights sleep. Doing an all nighter may work for some people, but I've always found that instead of worrying through the night about work getting a good nights sleep and starting fresh the next day always helps me clear my mind and produce better work. This point also includes taking naps if you need them! After working for a while I can usually feel myself get a bit sleepy, so rather than writing whilst battling with my eyelids I find that having a short power nap works wonders! If you are afraid of over sleeping just set a timer on your phone for a certain amount of time and then hopefully afterwards you will wake up with a fresh burst of energy to carry on with your work.

  • Don't forget to eat! Again, this sounds silly but sometimes if I spend all day concentrating on my work I can forget to eat at appropriate times and I end up having a naughty binge on unhealthy food that probably doesn't help my productivity. So set an alarm for your meal times and make sure you drink water throughout the day.

So that's it! My little list of tips for you all. I hope they are useful and good luck with all of your deadlines!

Tara xx

Life: Hello 2015!

Hello once again lovelies!

I can only apologise for the fact that I haven't posted in quite a while, but it hasn't been due to laziness or blog abandonment!

In September (2014) I started my final year of university and I am now pretty much halfway through and I can (kind of) see the finish line. I'm still writing my dissertation at the moment and even though I only have a couple of weeks until my deadline I still have a lot of work to do! I would say I am about 2/3 of the way through and I will be turning into a little work gremlin until deadline day.

Because I have my own little methods to help deal with deadline stress I think I shall treat you to another post shortly after this one telling you my tricks to keep a cool head whilst doing your own work!

However because this post is called 'Hello 2015!' I shall now be telling you about my year in 2014 and what I hope to achieve in the following 12 months.

Overall, I would say that 2014 was a pretty good year! I turned 20 and got one step closer to becoming an actual proper grown up. I learnt boring grown up things about washing machines and standing orders but I also learnt other things like the fact that candles and tea towels are quite cool.

My dress sense in the past year somehow became more monochrome and my skin somehow got even more pale?! I don't know if this means that I'm actually turning into a vampire or not but come to think of it I have been spending more time awake at night compared to the day recently...

Moving on to more important things, this year I somehow managed to keep in touch with all my home friends whilst also making new ones at university (I realise this is only impressive if you know how socially lazy I can be and that I often find it difficult keeping in contact with people!). And everyone in the Pilkington clan ended 2014 feeling happy and healthy which is always something to be grateful for.

As I mentioned at the start of this post, in 2014 I started my third and final year of university, and at the moment I would say that everything seems to be going well! I've handed all of my work in on time (and in 90% cases I've done so a day earlier, quite swatty of me I know) and even though I don't know my grades for this year yet I'm hopeful that my hard work will pay off.

There are probably a lot of wonderful thing that I could write about that happened in 2014 but looking on my Instagram feed does a much better job as opposed to me rambling on.

I've never really been one for new years resolutions, but in the spirit of this post here are some things I'm going to try and keep in mind throughout 2015 and constantly remind my future self. Maybe some of these will also apply to you!

Things to remember in 2015
  • continue to work hard at university, you're nearly at the end champ you can do it!
  • actually get a proper grown up job and save some money. Your little bedroom at home is cosy but it's not really big enough for you anymore so start saving so you can move into a little appartment with your friends.
  • try and travel if you get the chance, because why not!
  • keep in touch with people, most of the time they're not really that bad you're just prone to being anti-social.
  • start writing that book you always tell yourself that you're going to write, and actually write it down properly not just in little scrawls on your phones notepad.
  • try to eat a little bit healthier, smoothies are quite nice so try making your own more often.
  • try to learn how to drive this year, even if you dont really need a car it's a good skill to have.


There are probably more things that I should keep in mind, but for now that seems like a pretty good list!

Tara xx

04/10/2014

Learn: Final year at university!

Hello again!

Since the last time I posted on here I somehow managed to complete my second year of university and I am now starting my third and final year of my journalism degree!

I have a couple of exciting things in the pipeline that I'm excited to share with you all, but I wont tell you just yet until they become more concrete ideas.

This blog has become a kind of online journal/progress report for my time at university and hopefully has been a somewhat useful reference/resource for people that are either at university, thinking about going, or just want to hear about my own experience so far.

One thing that I can tell you guys is that I'm going to be creating an online platform soon that will act as more of an professional portfolio than this blog does. Whilst I do love this blog I also know that it is quite casual and not a professional or academic reflection of what I would like my online presence to be.

However I do enjoy writing these more down to earth posts, so this blog wont be going anywhere! I'm not sure what format this online portfolio will take yet, but I know that I want a very clear and clean looking online space that I can fill up with all of my work to show future employers.

That's all I have to say for this quick little post but I thought I would let you all know that I am still here and I don't intent on abandoning this blog anytime soon!


Tara xx

10/06/2014

Learn: Case study reflection and dissertation thoughts

This is going to be my final post regarding my university case study and also introduce what I plan on doing for my dissertation.

Looking back at the process of creating the study, the main concern in that I have is that my results may have been completely different had I actually gained a work placement. However, this was out of my control and even though I applied for placements I had no luck. Other than this, I'm proud of all of the hard work I put into my case study and hope that I was able to reflect my efforts in my final piece of work.

Moving on to my dissertation...
Recently I had a lecture regarding my dissertation for my final year at university and I've had a pretty strong idea of what I want to do for a while. For quite a few years I have had a great interest in the way mental health is represented and portrayed in the media. From news stories regarding individuals with mental health disorders to the way mental health is portrayed by actors in films and television, I've always been interested to see not only how accurate these representations actually are but how the general public use these representations as a framework for how they view and understand mental health.

If somebody with a mental health disorder is portrayed as dangerous by a news story, and subsequently in a film, do people that have no prior experience of mental health disorders then only understand and view this disorder via the distorted realities in the media representation.

Recently there have been campaigns to try and break the stigma and silence surrounding mental health, and I plan to make my dissertation run alongside these campaigns. I want to try and establish how important it is to portray mental health accurately in the media, and how this can have a direct influence on the way people view mental health. I also want to talk to people that live with mental health disorders and establish their views on how they are represented and if they are satisfied with the way mental health is treated by the media. I finally hope that by creating this dissertation I can show that people with mental health disorders are not inherently abnormal or strange, but individuals that deserve the same amount of respect and patience as everybody else.