Skimlinks Test

We need to talk about the reality of life after graduation.

As a tossed my cap into the air, I breathed a sigh of relief – ‘I will never, EVER have to look at another history book, ever again.’ Flash forward 6 months and I have applied for a distance Masters in, you guessed it, history. 

I have reflected on the past 6 months of my life in a previous blog post, ‘I had an epiphany’, which you can find here. In this post, I get very deep and share my personal experiences of leaving University, moving out and beginning my ‘adult’ life. In this post, however, I plan to be a lot less philosophical. While we will touch on similar themes to what I did in that post, in this post, I am not sharing an epiphany, but rather asking a question.

I believe I speak for a lot of graduates when I say WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON? 

 

When I finished University I was one of the lucky ones in the sense I had a job sorted and knew exactly what I was going to be doing.

‘Well, that was easy…’ My life had all fallen together quite nicely.

Flash forward a month and I was poorer than I had ever been at University, renting in a place where I knew nobody and questioning why I did my degree in the first place. To be quite frank, nobody gave two shits. Two months later I realised how lucky I had been and how much I had taken my degree for granted. Truth be told, I really missed learning and my life was anything but sorted. How naive I was… 

The problem is, we are fed from the age of about 13 that everything builds up to that moment when you throw your cap in the air and get handed your degree. You then go on and change the world. But what happens if at 22 you’re not doing that? What if you’re in a graduate job, struggling to make ends meet and more than a little bit clueless about exactly where you want to go in life? Well, you’re totally normal. Life beyond graduation isn’t always all-go straight away. In fact, it’s a bit of an anti-climax.

However, that’s not what we’re being led to believe. A thought that crosses my mind on a daily basis is that I am running out of time and that all of these big dreams that I had for myself are futile now. I tell myself every day that I have failed.

I am 22. 

This all sounds pretty entitled, doesn’t it?

I have been privileged enough to have had access to degree level education, I leave, walk straight into a job and then 6 months later I’m moaning about it.

What am I actually looking for here?

Put simply, honesty.

For the majority of graduates, leaving education is scary. Many will fall in and out of jobs for years before finding what they want to do with their lives. The fact that more than 43% of us will be searching for a new job within two years is probably not only down to a desire to work for more than financial gain but also down to pressure to be ‘living our best lives’. If we’re not in our ‘dream job’ in our early twenties, the rhetoric that we should have everything sorted is enough to drive us into looking for something else. The idea at 22 that I am ‘trapped’ and that I will never progress is terrifying. Why am I not achieving everything my peers are?

Post-graduation life is tough, and if you are anything like myself and a lot of my friends, leaving University does not result in finding the answer to hundreds of life questions. If anything, it just brings up more questions. I am not for one second trying to make people yet to graduate fear the future. Rather, I want to tell them that it’s okay if things don’t fall into place straight away. There is a big wide world out there and we’re all just starting on our journey in it. A journey that is likely to take hundreds of twists and turns before we reach the end goal – if, in fact, that exists at all.

If more of us speak about the experiences we are having in our early 20’s, then perhaps we can help to get rid of this preconceived idea that you should have everything sorted because, well… chances are most of us don’t. Chances are you’re doing absolutely fine. Maybe instead of asking what the hell is going on, we should try to make the most of this new chapter in our lives to explore, make mistakes and develop.

You don’t have to have everything figured out right now, and it’s about time more people told us that. 

Jamie x 

University Survival Guide.

Hey guys and gals and happy September (madness, I know!). Over the next couple of months, Universities all over the country will be inundated with freshers starting what will probably be for most their first adventure away from home. I finished 3 years at Warwick University this year. I have quite literally been there, done it and got the T-shirt to prove it. Whilst the 3 years were the most challenging of my life, they were also moments that were some of the best and I learnt a hell of a lot about myself, other people and how to survive on pot noodle because you’re too hungover to go to the shop (essential life lessons really). For anyone heading of to University this year, I thought I would share with you some of my tips for survival – everything from feeding yourself to going clubbing. So, let’s get started.

37717581_896629300525615_4799862971050229760_n

I made it!

Moving Day. 

Okay, so it’s moving day. The car is full and your Mum is crying. Moving day is an odd day – you’re excited and very, very nervous, but there are a few things you can do to make moving day just that little bit easier.

  • Take snacks (a box of Celebrations always goes down well): Having something to offer your new flat mates is a create ice breaker. I went to people’s rooms and introduced myself with a box a Celebrations and everyone appreciated it (even the parents). It might sound cringe but it is a nice way to open a conversation if you’re feeling a little nervous.
  • Only pack your winter clothes: Apart from a few dresses and fancy shoes, there is no point taking your whole wardrobe with you to University. One, it is probably not going to all fit in your wardrobe and two, you really don’t need it. You’ll be back home again at Christmas so you can mix things up then.
  • Buy stuff there: It might be nice to feel prepared and buy everything you know, just incase you get the urge to make your own yogurt or remove the core from an apple with only one appliance, but you really don’t need to clear Ikea out of its kitchen section. You’re not going out of space – there will be shops! If you find you need something when you’re there, just pop to the shop. It will probably save you money and some room in your parents car boot.
  • Keep your door open: Everyone says this but it is so true. Keeping your door open is a great way to let people know you’re there and willing to chat. It seems like nothing but just smiling and saying hello to someone walking past could start a new friendship.
  • Bag yourself a decent cupboard: I got to University very early and bagged myself the best cupboard in the kitchen. Not too far away from the cooker, but far enough away that it wasn’t going to be in front of everyone’s work surface. If in doubt take your Mum – they always know best.
  • Register with the University Doctor: It is super easy to do and the University will probably send you information on how to do this prior to your moving day. My University Doctor has been fantastic (they really helped during my tougher times), particularly during those first few weeks where I was pretty confident I was dying. Turns out it was just freshers flu – better safe than sorry. 

If I had to do moving day again: I am pretty happy with how my moving day went but I do think I tried ‘too’ hard to make a good first impression that I was not 100% true to myself. I know it is hard and I did my best but I would try and be more myself.

The First Few Weeks. 

Moving day is done, the hard part is over… Now what?

  • Get up half an hour earlier: You’re probably going to get lost and so you need to allow time for this. If you do get to your lectures and seminars early, it is also a great chance to chat to your course mates outside. It might seem like a pain after your third night out in a row but it is definitely worth it.
  • Don’t feel like you have to go out every single night: Your University is likely to have pulled out all of the stops for freshers week and there will be something going on every single night. Just because there is something happening it doesn’t mean you have to be there. I know, I know you’re only ‘fresh’ once and the FOMO is real, but if you don’t fancy it just don’t go. Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of time to make up for it.
  • Eat 3 meals a day and drink plenty of water: Everything will be a bit of a whirlwind for the first few weeks so it can be really easy to neglect the basic necessities. Make an effort to eat three meals a day and always have a bottle of water with you in the day (it will help with the hangovers as well). They might not always be the healthiest meals and they’ll probably be nothing like your Mum used to make, but make sure you’re eating.
  • Mingle outside your halls: It can be easy to think your flatmates are the be all and end all. Of course, get to know them – for lots of people they end up being some of their best friends. However, there is a whole University full of people for you to meet. Don’t restrict yourself!

If I had to do the first few weeks again: I definitely would make sure I met more people outside of the flat and my seminars. I kind of got myself into a little bubble and when that burst I was in a tough position. I’ve learnt that it is not about meeting one best ever friend in the whole wide world you’re going to have as your maid of honour and love forever and forever – it is about meeting a range of people and learning about them whilst also learning about yourself.

37681662_896629557192256_8889566530069594112_n

Uni was ‘first class’ (see what I did there?) 

Going Out.

You’ve not been out without you BFF since year 7 who turned 18 a month after you and it’s all getting a bit daunting. Drinks are more expensive than your home town and you can drink for literally nothing in the game of never have I ever. You ask yourself, Am I really that boring? as your new neighbour finishes her third pint.

  • Have an emergency £10 on you at all times: There were many times during my first year that I was stranded in a night club having missed the last bus home. I’d recommend always having an emergency bit of cash just incase you need to get a taxi. Even if it’s just £10 in you phone case, you never know when you might need it.
  • No one will notice if you get a glass of water: Don’t want a drink? Don’t worry. Turns out water and vodka and lemonade look a hell of a lot alike (even more alike when you’re surrounding by drunk people who are seeing double). If you don’t want a drink just get water. You don’t have to tell anyone if you don’t want!
  • Eat before going out: I sound like a mother, don’t I? This one is probably self explanatory but make sure you line your stomach before drinking. I failed to do this many times (often on purpose) and I seriously suffered the consequences.
  • Take condom: Okay, maybe I sound a little less like a Mum now… The reality is that you might end up having sex with someone and it is vital that you’re protected not only from pregnancy but also from STI’s and other nasty things.In the heat of the moment, neither of you are likely to fancy wanting till tomorrow so it is always best to be prepared. Even if you never ever use it, it’s there. You might also help out a friend in need.
  • Learn to say no: It’s okay to say no. People won’t like you less. If you don’t feel comfortable then please, please, please do not do things solely to impress others.

 

35542996_864004847121394_4279202687259508736_n

Grad ballin’

If I had to do ‘going out’ again: I was very stand offish to boys when I went out as I was terrified of letting my hair down too much. In hindsight, I wish I would have let myself have a bit more fun. So what if you snog someone on the dance floor? When it comes to alcohol though, I would certainly have said no a lot more often and not tried to be the cool one doing all the shots – not big and definitely not clever.

Societies. 

Okay, your house mates are cool, but there’s more to you than just your address. What do I do when lessons are over?

  • Be willing to try anything: I never in a million years thought I would have my own radio show but I ended up absolutely loving it. If something tickles your fancy, give it a go! Be open to trying new things – you never know, you might love it.
  • Go to the Freshers Taster sessions, even if you have to go alone: Everyone is in the same boat at freshers sessions, so even if none of your flat fancy Doctor Who Society or Debating Club, just go! The exec board will be on their best behaviour (I promise, I have been there) and do everything they can to make you feel as welcome as possible!
  • Don’t worry about it all ‘looking good on a CV’: Sure, running my own radio show was pretty impressive on a CV, but it’s not all about that. If you fancy cocktail making club over Politics Society then that is totally fine. Societies are a great way to let your hair down and enjoy yourself.
  • Go on tour: I went on HistSoc tour in first year and it was incredible. I had such a good time and it is a great way to make new friends with similar interests. It is also useful if you fancy yourself as the next President or Social Sec – who doesn’t want to be a BNOC, right?

berlin

Little fresher Jamie on the HistSoc tour. 

If I had to do ‘societies’ again: I would absolutely do a sport. I was terrified of the sports clubs because I wasn’t particularly great at anything and I had heard terrifying things about their initiations. It’s true, sports clubs tend to be a little wild, but they are also such a tight-knit community. You don’t even have to be that good – there are beginners classes! Warwick Netball, if you’re ever looking for an alumni member… 

Staying Healthy. 

Embarrassed yourself drunk? Check. Turned up your 9AM after next to no sleep? Check. Eaten a healthy balanced meal in the last 8 days… Yeah about that. 

  • Buy some fruit: Getting your five a day is surprisingly challenging when you’re eating for one.Get yourself some apple or a punnet a grapes. Not only are they healthy snack but they’re also a super easy way to get in some greens without having to whip out your Grandma’s steamer that she promised you’d need.
  • Drink plenty of water: I’ve said this before and I will say it again – drink lots of water. It’s going to keep you healthy, help the hangover and it’s free – a students best friend.
  • Join a sports society (or the gym): Staying active is super important so get involved. Even if you’re only playing hockey once a week, it’s better than nothing! I also met some really lovely friends through going to the gym (and ended up qualifying as a PT and getting a job at Gymshark).
  • Make time for food shopping: I was the worst at food shopping, I mean really really bad. It might surprise you but if you don’t keep stocking up on food, you actually run out of food. I know, it shocked me too… Schedule a day once a week to do a food shop and make a list throughout the week of what you’re running low on. I’d also recommend getting delivery as it will save you time (and money) in the long run.

If I had to do ‘staying healthy’ again: No surprises here but I would food shop! I would probably also have started the gym a little earlier and joined a sports club.

So there you have it – some of my top tips! But don’t just take it from me, here are some recommendations from others who have been there and done it. 

‘Don’t feel like you have to go out every night with your uni friends – you might get FOMO but your body will thank you for a rest every now and again’ – @emilycatmuir

‘I’m a lecturer at college. I tell my students going to uni 3 things have to be right or they won’t be happy. 1. (Pick a) good, interesting course. 2. Good uni and facilities and 3. Great location/city.’ – @Islandbeauty77

‘My top tip is make sure you have mugs, tea and coffee all ready for the first meeting with your fellow hall mates- I’ll make sure my daughter has some.’ – @Roots2Success

‘Live your absolute best life’ – @kerrismackley

I hope you have the most incredible time at University. It’s hard and not every day is going to be good. By second year I wasn’t sure I was going to make it, but I did. Make the most of everything and have fun – you’re going to smash it! 

Jamie x 

 

Outside The Classroom | What University Has Taught Me.

Hi guys and happy Friday. I thought I would do a slightly different post for you today to mark the end of my exams and thus the end of my time as a University student (the use of the word ‘thus’ shows it’s not out of my system just yet). I decided to look back over my 3 years at University and share with you guys a few things that I have learnt along the way. Fear not, this isn’t going to be me reciting all the Kings and Queens of England or taking you through the chronology of the Cold War. Oh no, this is going to be about the things I have learnt outside of the lecture halls. So buckle in guys and let’s get started. It’s been emotional… 

‘The best thing since sliced bread…’

I didn’t really need to spend £27,000 to learn this, I already knew really, but when you drunkenly call your Mum at 3am on a school night to cry down the phone to her and she answers, it really does hit home what an incredible person she is. My University experience has had its ups and downs and my Mum has stood by my side through every single moment of it. She’s helped me rationalise my drunken mistakes, get through stressful exam periods and generally reminded me every single day that there is nothing that cannot be fixed. I adore this women more than anything in the whole world and I can never thank you enough for everything she has done for me over the past 3 years, never mind the past 21!

From first year to final year… Apparently I turned into a unicorn and got better at contouring.

‘You’re not big and you’re not all that clever…’

You may have got into University Jamie but, trust me, you have proven many times over the past 3 years that you are not *that* clever. It might seem like a good idea to show off your non-existent drinking skills to your new found friends by ‘taking one for the team’ in every single game of ring of fire, but it’s really not… Luckily after a few embarrassing nights out and one fall in the middle of Tesco I did learn my lesson.

Turning 19 Vs Turning 20 Vs Turning 21

‘Actually, I don’t even like nights out…’

In first year I went out ALL the time. And by all the time, I literally do mean ALL the time. I’d say we hit a nightclub 5 times a week most weeks. Turns out, I don’t really like going out. I like a few cocktails with the girls, but a night club? Nah, not for me. It took me about a year of going out 5 times a week, spending money I didn’t have and pushing my liver to it’s very limits but, after a horrendous event over the summer of my first year, I learnt it wasn’t for me. This leads me on to my next lesson…

 

My first history ball and my last…

Maybe ‘never have a fringe’ should have been something I learnt?

‘You’re perfect. Just the way you are.’ 

At the risk of sounding all Bridget Jones on you, I really did learn that everyone is perfect just the way they are. In second year my mental health was in pieces. I had had the most difficult summer of my life and I no longer wanted to be the girl I was in first year. I couldn’t be her anymore and it took me a long time to realise that that was okay. It’s fine to like different things to people, it’s fine to not ‘fit in’. I learnt that when you have the confidence to be ‘you’ you never have to pretend to people. Since learning this I have met friends that are like me and that support me in everything I do. Turns out Colin Firth was right. Who could have ever doubted Mr Darcy? 

‘If you need help, just ask.’ 

With regards to my mental health, as mentioned, second year was really tough. I had been to counselling prior for a few session and at the end of first year was feeling really good, but by second year I really didn’t think I was going to make it through the year. I really did need help and this experience taught me that there is no shame in that. I went back to the counsellor and I went to see my Doctor. In asking for help I had thrown myself a life line and, instead of feeling like I was drowning, I kind of felt that I was treading water – it was tough but I was doing it and somehow keeping afloat.

Cosmopolitan Self Made Summit Transformation

‘It’s never too late to start over.’ 

By third year, I had changed a lot. I was no longer the girl desperate to fit in and chucking back every last shot going just to avoid been dubbed the ‘boring one’. I was being me. This was all well and good but I went into final year pretty much completely alone. I had been lucky enough to get a room back on campus (very last minute) but I knew no one and the way I saw it, no one wanted to know me either. Turns out this could not have been further from the truth. This year has been the best year of my whole University experience. I have made some incredible friends and experienced things I never thought I would have been capable of. I trained as a personal trainer and got my physical and mental health back on track. I got an internship in my dream company and I bagged myself another for next year working with my favourite magazine going – Cosmopolitan. It really is never to late to start over. I was totally on my own. 9 months on and I am the happiest I have ever been. If you’re not happy with something, don’t let fear stop you from changing it.

 

I like to think I have also learnt how to take better selfies… 

‘Things really do get better.’ 

If I take one thing away from my University experience it will be this – things really do get better. It doesn’t happen over night, it can take a really bloody long time, but it happens. When I look back at the person I was a year ago today I would have never thought I could be where I am now. I know that sounds cliched but I honestly couldn’t – I was at a point at which I genuinely did not believe I was ever going to recover. But I did. I’ve never been as happy as I am right now and no matter how hard things get I will always remember the journey I have been on to get to where I am now and it will always serve as a reminder to me that things really do get better.

diss

Dissertation deadline day! Cheers to that. 

University really has taught me a lot. From trivial things like the fact I actually really like coffee, to hugely profound and life changing revelations that have changed me as a person (not that finding out I like coffee hasn’t been life changing because, let’s be honest, where would my Instagram be without a pumpkin spiced latte?). I will take the lessons I have learnt over the past few years with me on my next journey, and I have no doubt I will learn a lot more along the way… 

Jamie x 

cropped-jamie-lee1.png

My Goals for Term 2: The Countdown Begins…

Hey, hey, hey. So it is officially term 2 of my final year at University. This is officially my last 9 weeks of taught content of my whole academic career. Madness. In light of this, I thought it would be apt to do a post chatting about what my goals are for this term. I find that setting goals helps me stay focused and driven towards them, rather than just floundering about without a particular direction. I like to set short term, long term and medium term goals as it means it doesn’t feel like I long slog, instead I get little celebrations along the way. So that’s exactly what I’m going to do with this post. So, without further a-due, let’s get started.

Short Term: Weeks 2-4.

So I have already missed week 1 for my internship (good start) so my short term goals are going to be weeks 2-4…

Begin the first draft of my long essay.

Along with my dissertation this year, I also have a long essay due in week 10 of this term. I’m doing it on retrospective diagnosis in history and how context has dictated historical trends with regards to science and the AIDS crisis. I know it doesn’t sound super interesting if you’re not a history student, but I’m actually quite enjoying it. I want to have a meeting with my tutor regarding my plan this week and then get started on a first draft.

 Try 2 new fitness classes.

I loved the fitness classes I joined last year and it’s a great way to meet new people and also learn about different ‘types’ of fitness and the teaching style of others (something I think will be particularly useful in my future endeavours). My friend who I train with is a huge fitness class over so I would really like to go to one a week and try out something new. I have been recommend Body Pump and then maybe something like yoga for an active rest day. I also think it’s important to make time for fitness when things are getting stressful. It gives you some time for yourself and take care of your body.

blog

Continue with dissertation reading (and get a plan sorted)

So my dissertation is coming along nicely but I need to really knuckle down now after my week off kind of threw me off track a little bit. I am planning to get more primary sources read and analysed and some sot of coherent plan that both myself and my tutor are happy with.

Medium Term: Weeks 5-7

So this will include reading week (week 6), so I am hoping to use this time to get my long essay sorted and start writing my dissertation.

Write my first draft of the first 4,500 words of my dissertation.

It’s likely this first draft will be appalling but I always find that it’s easier to get into something when you’ve just started it. No matter how rubbish it is, when I was writing my book, I would just write. It gets the creative juices following and gets rid of the daunting initial stage. You can always go back and work on it later.

Continue to go over and develop my long essay

By this point, I really need to have a confident draft of my long essay ready to go over and polish off weeks 8-10.

 

Long Term: Weeks 8-10

Finish and submit my long essay.

I say this is a goal, it’s kind of a necessity to, you know… pass. But my this stage I was to be proud of what I have produced and feel happy submitting it. I want it to be a case of don’t stop until you’re proud, not don’t stop until the deadline.

Begin planning my revision topics and make a plan for Easter

So, with a history degree you don’t need to revise everything. Rather, you pick the topics you are interested in and focus on getting your knowledge on those topics essay ready. I want to go through the topics I have covered and pick the ones I want to focus on.

Finish the first draft of my dissertation

This is scary to write. I can’t believe how quickly it has come around and right now finishing my 9,000 word dissertation feels like a long way off. However, I know that after cracking down during reading week and getting back into the swing of things, I’ll be ready. Hopefully.

These are all pretty work-focused, which makes sense considering I have deadlines to meet. However, I also have some continuous goals for the term that are a bit more personal.

Continuous: Weeks 2-10

Sign up more clients to my online fitness and nutrition programmes and keep supporting the girls currently smashing it.

Kind of self explanatory but I want to continue growing my little business and help my current clients smash their goals, whilst learning more about business and making it the best I possibly can.

Get up at 7:30 every morning (9 at weekends, I’m not crazy!)

At University it can be so tempting to just stay in bed until you have to go in for your 10am. This term I really need to get past that as I am wasting lots of time I could be being productive and smashing my goals. Even if I use this time for my training session or a little bit of reading, it means I will have more time later on in the day to be researching and writing my essays.

Make time for friends

Last term I met some lovely new friends who I absolutely love spending time with. This term I want to make sure than work doesn’t get in the way of taking care of myself by spending time doing things I enjoy with friends.

Continue with my training programme

What with Christmas and the internship, my training programme has kind of gone to pot. As soon I get back I want to get right back into it and continue with smashing my fitness goals and becoming healthier, happier and well… more bootylicious.

Drink enough water and eat three vegan meals a day.

This sounds easy enough but during stressful times it can be really easy to forget the basic necessities. I did quite well last term on the eating front and I am excited to get back into my meal prep and try some of the delicious vegan recipes that are in the recipe book I got for Christmas.

vegan 1

If Wagamama’s fancy helping me out with this goal, that would be great. 

Get enough sleep.

I am a terrible sleeper. According to my FitBit I get about 4 hours sleep a night (on average) so it’s really no surprise I’m constantly knackered. I don’t like making sleep a goal as it put pressure on me and then I sleep less than I did before. However, there are certain things I know I could do that I just don’t. For example, I should stop playing with my phone just before bed and getting up to answer it if it flashes. I need to give myself some wind down time to do something for me – maybe reading a book that isn’t related to history or something like that. I know this will be a difficult goal but I would ideally like to double my average time spend asleep at night and be able to cut down the naps in the day.

So there you have it, some of my goals for this term. I really want to make the most of my final term of taught content by fully embracing University life. I am hoping that, if I continue to put myself first, I can make my final year of university one I look back on fondly (unlike the first two.) What are your goals for the next few weeks and how do you plan on achieving them. 

‘Anything is possible if you’ve got enough nerve’ 

Jamie x

cropped-jamie-lee1.png

 

First Term Reflections.

Good morning guys! It’s finally the day. I am heading home for Christmas after completing my first term of my final year as a University student. A lot has happened this term. I’m now a qualified personal trainer, I have chosen my dissertation topic, I have met loads of new people and I have bagged myself work experience in my ideal place! I’ve not exactly spoken highly of University on my blog in the past and so I thought it was only right to dedicate some time this Blogmas to reflecting on my Winter Term. 

smiles

After last year I had kind of given up hope that I was going to enjoy my time at University and so I started this year pretty pessimistically. It’s just a means to an end, I remember telling myself as I moved into my little room on campus (not exactly how I imagined to be starting my final year). My mental health was still pretty bad and, to be completely honest, I was dreading it. I’m happy to say that this term has proved me wrong.

I’ve worked really bloody hard on myself and I can finally say that I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of my struggle with anxiety. I’ve continued to get help and really make the most of it, learning as much about myself and how to take care of me as possible. This has helped me loads. Don’t get me wrong, not everyday is sunshines and rainbows, some days can be pretty crappy but when I compare myself now to the person I was this time last year I am hardly recognisable. That makes me really proud. This has been helped along by some lovely new friends. A big fear of mine was that I was coming back to University to be lonely but I really haven’t. I’ve made so many new friends, which I really didn’t expect in my final year, and I feel comfortable being myself around them. I’ve finally sussed the dreaded work-life balance and I can proudly say that this term I have managed to achieve my academic and fitness goals whilst still having a social life that works for me and what I enjoy and feel comfortable doing. I haven’t been out clubbing but I have been out for drinks and meals and more coffees than I care to admit (I’ve gone from a none coffee drinker to an at least one coffee a day sort of gal, as long as it has a syrup in it of course). It’s really nice to know that if I feel lonely friends are just a phone call away. I’m still with Conor and so we spend a lot of time together, which is really lovely and makes even my bad days bearable, and my positive mood has definitely made me a far better friend and girlfriend (if I do say so myself…)

I’m on the radio again, something I thought I was going to have to leave back in second year and I’m loving it! I’m going to the gym 5 times a week with my new gym buddies and I have finally worked out how to fit in self care with going to all my lectures and seminars (I’ve become a proper teachers pet and I’m not even sorry about it). It’s perhaps the lectures and seminars that have shocked me the most – I’m actually loving my course!  Not every single reading, let’s not get carried away with ourselves now, some of them are bloody painful but it’s a hell of a lot better! For the first time in my 3 years here, I am loving my degree and my passion for history has come back, which is a really nice feeling as I kind of felt like I had had it sucked out of me. It’s also been a term where new passions have been realised and I have been thinking about my future and my priorities once I leave University. What once terrified me is now a really exciting prospect. I don’t have an exact plan but with my Personal Trainer qualification, a history degree and a plan to get further qualifications in physical and mental health, I’m really optimistic. I’m so excited to go back home today and spend time with my family (and adorable puppies, of course) but I’m also not dreading the thought of coming back. I can’t really pin point where the change has come from or when it happened but my reflections on this term are the most positive they have been since I first started. I’m really grateful to everyone that has made this term my best one yet. I’ve learnt a hell of a lot over the past year and I’ve realised how determined I am, not to be rich or famous or bloody Prime Minister, as was once my goal, but to be happy.

I’m still on my journey but I really hope that, if you have followed my journey at University so far and resonated with it at all, that this gives you a little bit of hope. I’m doing good. The best I have in years. So all I can say is keep going. Fall down seven times, stand up eight. You’ve got this.  

Jamie x 

logo