Life as a Graduate Part Two.

Around 5/6 months ago, I posted a blog about being a graduate, trying to find a job as a newly graduated arts/fashion student, the changes of living away to living at home etc. Now this time has passed, I just thought I’d update you all on what is going on now that I’ve well and truly graduated and so far away from what I knew, uni life.

I still, every single day, miss the independence of living away from home but I’m very much loving all the food, internet and alone/quiet time I get. I’m loving being closer to family and not waiting up to months or when I could afford to get home to see them. I miss the uni lifestyle more than ever. I’m missing the routine. Even if I only got up to sit in a computer room for hours with my uni friends and headed home for dinner and an evening of Greys Anatomy on the box, it was still something. I miss being pushed beyond what I thought I could be creatively. I miss being inspired by class friends and tutors. I just miss uni. If you had asked me this time last year, if I was looking forward to being out of education I wouldn’t of hesitated to answer… hell yes. It’s only now, I would do anything to go back.

Sadly, all in all, not too much has changed. However, I have realised and learnt a lot from the interviewing world. I’m not sure if I should put the number on here or not, but why the hell not? It’s real life isn’t it. Since July, I have applied for 238 jobs/internships. That number is a total from only two job sites I have used. There are at least 4 other job sites I have used, where I haven’t added the number to the total. 238 times I have been rejected. 238 times I have had my hopes up when either applying or interviews. Some I have even had trial days for. 

I understand that when you graduate, it’s probably advisable for you to go into an internship. Especially if your degree is in creative subjects. Internships, from what I understand are designed for you to gain industry experience, the company can help you learn and gain the skills for industry, whilst working in industry and prepare you for working in the big wide worldwhatever that is. So, when I’ve gone for design internship interviews to just get an email back to say they have chosen someone with  more experience than me, doesn’t that just defeat the purpose of an internship? I try so hard not to be mad at that… but I just can’t help it.

 

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(Image from Pinterest, love this type!)

We all know the world of employment is difficult to get into, whatever career path you take… but for a graduate, this is really and truly tough. Getting turned down every single day, no matter how hard you try for the job is so emotionally and mentally destroying. I know people are trying to help by saying there’s a job out there for everyone, keep going, don’t give up etc… however, sadly it just doesn’t take the emotional and mental side of being declined away. You still have to read the email you’re not good enough because of experience. You still have to deal with the thoughts of; am I good enough? Why did I do a degree just to get this constantly? Will I ever be able to be a girlboss in the career I’ve always dreamt of being part of? I think it’s just as important to address this side of job declines as it is to say keep going.

I do, however have some good news, or news that I hope will be good news in the end. I went to a job interview last week where I thought I had done the best interview I’ve done to date. Despite having a panic attack in the middle of the street in London, I went in and thought I had bossed it. I had created a whole campaign for the brand that I took additionally to my interview with my portfolio and the brand loved it. I was then told at the end to wait until the end of this week. That was one of the longest weeks of my life. The wait to hear back from job interviews literally turns me into such an anxious mess. From the experience I’ve already had… is there any surprise?

I finally got an email this morning to say I am through to the second interview with their creative partners and I am so BEYOND excited. However, I am so nervous… I am so nervous because standard interviews I’ve done a lot now. But have never done a second interview and I just want to do the best I possibly can for the role.

I need this job more than ever now. It would be the most perfect Christmas present. Please keep your fingers crossed. 

I’m looking forward to updating part three in another 5/6 months from now to see how much things have changed, if at all? 

 

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Online friends, role models, bullying and a little bit of news. 

So, on the 29th October 2010 it was the first time I met one of my role models growing up, Dannii Minogue. Exactly, seven years ago today and I can remember the lead up to it so very very well. That feeling of not being able to sleep the night before out of pure excitement. Creating a card from scratch, which I had an argument with the card shop man about getting the perfect card… to then being able to give it to Dannii. I remember, watching Dannii on X Factor for years, walking into newsagents and seeing Dannii on magazine covers and buying them and collecting them (not ashamed to say I still have them). I never thought, that I’d ever meet the real lady herself.

Funny story about the actual day, whilst we were waiting in line to meet, Dannii walked down to where she would be signing her new book and it was literally the first time I had ever seen her, in flesh. I remember turning to my friends and saying ‘omg she’s real’ – how cute! 

As I was growing up I was teased a lot and made fun out of supporting Dannii and the other people I looked up to.

But what people didn’t know, was… watching Dannii on X Factor every weekend and the fact that she tweeted back took me away from the real life problems that was going on… for example – BULLYING.  I’ve touched on bullying on my blog before. It’s such a part of my life, although it is such a sad, horrible part, yet a big part… that I only really talk about it in context.

I was bullied right from year one at school to when I left in year 11. I would be wary and on my toes, every single day at school. A few times, during school, I was left on my own in break times and lunch times. I’d go into lessons and have the words ‘spongebob squarepants’ or just the plain and simple words ‘SQUARE HEAD!’ shouted at me, continuously until I believed it. I believed I had a square head, especially with the amount of people who used to remind me of it, every single day.

Even now, today… it has knocked my confidence so much. I’m away from the people who used to call me names, but their words have scarred me. I find it incredibly difficult to speak up about ideas in a work/education situation. I never did it whilst at school, because I didn’t think the class would be worthy of my answer. To them, I just thought I was a square head and that was it. To this day, I still don’t know how I put up with it for years and years. How did I let people degrade me and make me feel like that? 

I wasn’t scared as such to go to lessons, they didn’t scare me… it was just, the thought of being called it continuously, even when I was minding my own business and stayed out of people’s way..  sadly it didn’t make them stop. I remember, so many lunch times and break times you would never see me on the school playground or field. I felt more safe and secure being inside the school, even if I did annoy the teachers. 

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(Seeing Dannii seven years ago to this day – 29/10/2010) 

But, becoming a supporter (I detest the word fan) of Dannii and Kylie and all the other people I’m a fan of, I felt validated. Something I didn’t feel from my own age group in real life. I had Twitter before everyone else caught on at school, and through Twitter and Dannii/Kylie I was able to make friends. Friends I still have to this day. Friends, I will always, always be grateful for. I didn’t talk about being bullied online at school because I was scared. But these people made me feel like I had friends outside the few I had at school. Even if they weren’t right there with me. 

Through the friends I had made on Twitter and online, I felt listened to. People would reply to my tweets and made me feel like people cared as well as making me feel people wanted to talk to me.

And guess what? Not once on the internet or since school have I been called a square head. Not once. 

People may of teased me back then about looking up to a celebrity(ies) but what they didn’t know is, they helped me feel me again. They helped me make friends that I still see to this day. They have made me feel validated. 

I still struggle every day with self confidence issues and just confidence in general. 

In fact, I have my dream job trial day tomorrow (30th October) and because of my confidence issue of speaking out ideas, and believing in myself, if I am good enough… I’m terrified. But I’m gonna try my absolute best. 

I hope this post helps people out there. In one way or another. It was incredibly hard to type but I’m so glad I have.

Most of all, thank you to all the role models that I have looked up to, who have helped me make friends for life and for making me the happiest when I was the saddest. 

To the person, who has not found love, yet…

I’m not really sure how to begin this post apart from, I have a lot of things on my mind lately and figured writing about them in a blogpost will be a great way to get it out. I thought I would write this post in an anonymous letter, to whomever may need it, including perhaps myself. I’m not entirely sure if this will flow well, at all.

“Dear whomever is reading this,

I’m not sure how I’m gonna get into this letter. I guess the only way I can do is state what I want to say without ‘beating round the bush’ – whatever that means. I’m 23 years old. I’m a female and I’ve never ever been in a serious relationship. I say serious, in actual fact I mean… any love-type relationship, at all. 

I often see posts on social media, of people my age and even younger with their loved one. Going away on holidays together, romantic dates or even days where you sit in bed, eat pizza and binge watch TV shows. I know that what is posted on social media is what people want you to see of their lives, or has been said before… a show’s highlight reel. I know, it isn’t always what it’s really like. There could be other problems and issues people are going through that they don’t want you to see. I get that. But the posts I do see, I can’t help but feel, when will it be my turn? 

The ‘attention’ I ever seem to get is from men, which I wish would leave me alone. For example, not too long ago, I got off the train from London after a job interview and couldn’t afford a taxi home so had to get the bus. Whilst walking to the bus stop the bus passed me and I missed it. I still headed there, waiting for the next bus as the walk from the station home isn’t long, but long enough. Especially after a day in London. The bus stop isn’t in a location where there’s no one around. In fact, it’s in a place where many, many people are around. Walking, driving, whatever it may be. However, there was this one man… quite tall and weirdly carrying a balloon. Must have got it from McDonalds near by, who was following me. Every time I stopped and turned round, he stopped. Not that this should be an issue at all, but I was wearing quite a short leather skirt and a longer blazer. I mean… I had to dress up smartly because I had an interview. I started to get concerned because I was alone and this guy was literally following me. It wasn’t until he started shouting stuff I really got nervous. I ended up having to run… literally run, two bus stops away to get away from him. WHY is it always, these types of people I attract?

I would say that I’m an outgoing person. I would like to think I am fun to be around. Of course not all the time, we alllllll have those days. Whether we admit it or not. You know, them types of days where you just want to hide from the world, snuggled in bed, watching your fave TV show and drinking hot chocolate or cups of tea on tap. (If you’re interested, my show is Greys Anatomy… I’ve watched 11 out of 13 seasons and it’s the ONLY show I can watch, without getting bored… unless you’re talking about Friends, but that’s a different story – that Now TV I bought at Christmas time, my fave for all Grey’s binge sessions) With that being said about myself, why haven’t I found someone yet? Why does no one pay any sort of attention to me?

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I feel a little left out. I feel like maybe I’m not good enough for a partner. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a bit terrified of love, because I’ve never had it before. I wouldn’t know the first thing to do. Maybe it’s just the attention I want and the love and not everything else that comes with it? Maybe… I just don’t know what or who I want after all?

I hate putting labels on things, especially things such as love. Love should just be love, right? Whether you’re a boy/man who has fallen in love with a boy/man/girl/woman or if you’re a girl/woman who’s fallen in love with a girl/woman/boy/man. Surely love, is love. 

I don’t know if what I’ve said has made sense. If you have read this and has also never had a boyfriend/girlfriend, who is also the only one out of your friend’s who hasn’t got/had a partner, Just know you’re not alone. I know the feeling is crappy and I too, am fed up of that saying… there is someone for everyone. I will believe it when I see it. I do, however.. believe everyone is worthy of love. Whoever and whenever it will be.

Until then, I guess you and I will be holding out for a hero… whoever they may be x x x”

 

LFW – #TommyNow show. What it was like being there.

I, for one, cannot believe I get to write a blogpost about attending a London Fashion Week show. Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to attend one. It was always my goal, but, I knew that you had to be invited to the shows, which meant I had no hope at all.  However, whilst scrolling through my Twitter feed I saw that Yanin, (PrettySickly) had an opportunity to attend the Tommy Hilfiger RockCircus show…of course I jumped at the chance and… I won!

Let me start by saying, I cannot thank Yanin enough for choosing me and my plus one Sophie, for this experience. To see any London Fashion Week show would be a plus, but to see the one, where two of my biggest muses, Gigi Hadid show her third Tommy collection and walk the show, as well as her beautiful sister, Bella Hadid (that I have a crush on!) with all their model friends, it was a dream come true. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.

The whole process began with the decision of – what am I gonna wear??? For a broke graduate, I knew I would not be able to buy the dream outfit I would want to wear so had to settle for something less. I was umming and ahhing all week before the show, shall I order this? Shall I order that? Hmmm. It wasn’t until the day before I headed into town in hope that something jumped out at me. The weather has turned cold and I was so not up for wearing anything that would make me freezing. So, I settled for this outfit.

A £10 dress from Primark. Thanks Primark, you babes. My favourite part of the outfit is, the studded boots (from H&M) and fishnet socks teamed with the biggest, brightest, Pat Butcher-esque earrings from Topshop.

 

Tommy Hilfiger – RockCircus was on Tuesday 19th September and that afternoon I headed up to London to meet Sophie for pre-fashion week dinner. After dinner in our favourite chinese restaurant in Leicester Square Mr Wong, we headed to the venue. When we arrived, we were in a completely different line and completely bi-passed all the people. How cool. How VIP. How sassy. We had to wait outside for around an hour until we were allowed in.

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When entering the venue we were handed a Tommy Hilfiger drawstring bag. Yaaas!! As soon as we got in, there were stands with the collection that was being shown on. There were photo booths. There were GIF booths. There were people offering wine. There were people offering free burgers, hot dogs and fish and chips. There was a bar. It was all lit up like a circus inside, with a big Tommy RockCircus light up sign. It was something that I had never ever seen before. I was overwhelmed. 

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One, that I was even in the building and I was actually at an invite only London Fashion Week show, but how incredible it looked as well. We found a spot where we could stand and chilled until the show started, trying to spot the celeb just down from where we stood every time a bunch of paparazzi had their cameras flashing. All whilst standing, sipping wine and taking it all in. It wasn’t long until someone who was working the show, walked by and offered a halloumi burger. HALLOUMI BURGER. ALL THE YES FROM ME. Damn, it was sooooo good.

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It wasn’t too long until the show started and that was when the adrenaline kicked in and the buzz was felt in the atmosphere. Gigi walked out first and I swear, I could of fainted. I’ve admired this lady and her work ethic for so long and to see her, right there, in front of me. Literally, arms length away. Wow. I could feel that inner 14 year old fangirl in me about to make an appearance. The show had the most perfect soundtrack. Hip hop/RnB to strut your stuff too. I was so tempted to join in, not sure if they would like that though. I was stood with water in my eyes a few times, just so beyond grateful to be there. My dream coming true before my eyes

Gigi and Bella Hadid – ahhhhh!!!

Jourdan Dunn, Hayley Baldwin, Georgia May Jagger, Joan Smalls and a smiling Bella

When the fashion show had finished, there was a legit circus act happening. People on a trapeze and swinging from hoops, climbing big pieces of material, just wow. Whilst that was all happening, the stage was getting set for the one and only The Chainsmokers. They were performing at the afterparty. YES! I’ve loved these guys for a long time, just a cherry on top of the cake. Whilst standing watching The Chainsmokers (wow amazing live!) we were handed mini doughnuts. This show was the most incredible, amazing, overwhelming event I have ever, ever been to. 

Sophie and I stood watching the show for a little while before taking a wonder round. I didn’t want to mooch before the show, as I didn’t want to lose what incredible space we had. We went into the photobooth and got the biggest poster, with the Tommy London writing over the top as a take away gift for being there. We posed with microphones and a star tamborine. Just like Gigi does in the promo running up to the event. I was living the dream. 

Even now, 16 hours after coming home from the event I am still on a buzz. I cannot believe I was given this opportunity. I cannot believe I saw Gigi Hadid and Bella Hadid with all their model friends. I always catch up on these guys, when they walk catwalk shows. Then, they were right in front of me. I cannot believe I got to attend such an incredible, well put on and fun event at London Fashion Week.

I hope in the future I can attend more London Fashion Week events, they are so fun. And, thank you, once again Yanin, for making my dream come true. 

 

Confidence VS Creativity

So, it’s got to the main crucial part in my whole degree… my FMP. An FMP is a final major project and it’s the last ever project I will do at university. You will then potentially show future employees after you leave. To me, that sounds scary.

I’ve been studying fashion graphics (which is basically fashion and graphic design combined) for three years now. I have enjoyed myself throughly on the course and I have definitely learned skills I never thought I had or could have. One of skills being digital illustration. My mum is very good at drawing and so is my uncle, so I’m guessing that’s where my creativity comes from. I love showing off the work I’ve created and proud of to people who follow me on social media, people I know and see day to day and professionals at interviews for work experience/freelance.

However, I am not that confident. To be honest it scares the living life out of me the need to be confident about ideas. I’ve never been that person in class that puts up their hand first to answer a question in a full class and I am definitely not that person who voices their opinions to a massive crowd. I have grown to be OK with that and accept it as part of me. This isn’t a blaming game but I do think school and the people who constantly used to tear me down and rip me apart have played a major role in shaping me to be this person. Of course, my anxiety isn’t exactly the biggest help either.

With my confidence not being the best, it effects the way I create for my degree and other pieces of work. I am never, ever confident with my ideas and every time I submit a piece of work I worry for hours and days about if it could of been better. I’m sure lots of people have this too but I will not rest about it. I always don’t think I’ve pushed myself to my full potential and this is probably the main reason why I feel this way. I want to ask for people’s opinions on things more and I want to ask for help if I’m stuck on something but my confidence just won’t let me.

I absolutely love seeing people do their best and do well. Nothing makes me happier and I am 100% routing for them. Yaaassss!!! But with everything I have, I just wish I could do the same for myself. Instead of sitting there for hours comparing myself to creatives I see/follow online and creatives I see on a daily basis, I wish I had the confidence to say “IM GOOD TOO!”

This lack of confidence is something I’m going to try my absolute best with in the last four months of uni – yikes!! I want to be able to leave my degree after being so proud of what I have achieved through my FMP and actually show my full potential and not hide back on ideas. Not to let my brain win when it tells me “don’t do that someone else would have done it better” or “your idea is rubbish, you share that everyone will laugh” I want to come out of this degree shouting my opinions around and not have those awful feelings after. After all, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.


At the end of the day, I am my own worst enemy. If it doesn’t change now, will it ever in the future? Will I get that dream job with no confidence? It’s time to make some changes

Follow my graphic design instagram if you’d like, it’ll be updated with my inspiration and development as well as personal projects along the way. Who knows, there could be more creative posts on here in the future!

Happy two years Southampton

Grab yourself a cuppa, this one is going to be long. Today marks exactly two years ago I made one of the biggest decisions and done the biggest thing I’ve ever done; move over 100 miles away from my family and friends. 100 miles away from home.

screen-shot-2016-09-17-at-19-51-46I still remember the run up to going away. I remember every time I went to go and visit my nan. She would have added an essential thing you needed to have when living on your own which I would never of thought of. You know things like medicine – of course you’ll need that at some point unless you’re supernatural and immune to all illnesses, if thats the case please give me your secret. My nan still does that to this day, tops me up with the stuff that I will need but may not already gone out to buy it or wouldn’t necessary bought with a food shop – thank you nan! I really appreciate it.

I also remember my going away meal. The meal where my family got together for a little goodbye to uni and I bought my good friend Shannon along. It was the weekend before I went and I remember then it kicking in that my family won’t just be down the road. That if I needed eggs to bake cakes I wasn’t able to just run to my nan and steal two eggs and instead have to go to the shop and grab six eggs and waste four because I don’t like eating eggs on their own.

However, it meant that I was about to start to gain my own independence and that was exciting. I was about to have all the freedom I possibly could have, not that I didn’t have that before but even more so now. It meant that I had to grow up, quickly. Hell did it smack me round the face as soon as I got there. Once I had grabbed my fob (I was staying in student halls first year, as many people do) and unloaded the car of way too much of my belongings into my room I’ll be living in for the next ten months, grabbed a food shop and saw my dad off which was hands down one of the worst times – ever, I headed back to my room and sat on my bed thinking, what now with tears down my face. Even now when I say bye I always cry, there’s something about your family leaving you down away that is just so so sad.

In my first year I’m not going to lie I got homesick a lot. To the point I wouldn’t leave my room and just lay in bed feeling sad. I missed the whole different lifestyle I had at home which I didn’t realise I had until I moved away. I would call any family member as many times as I could just to talk to them. I didn’t even meet the people I’m currently living now, who lived down my hallway until a few weeks in. Not every one has an experience like that but because I feel like I’m such a family girl, it hit me hard. Looking back on that to now I don’t get it nearly as much. I’ve finally got round to thinking in my head, I’m only a three hour train ride home, it’s not that bad. Besides, it’s so much nicer to go home and see my family after a long while, it feels more… special?

It’s no secret if you’ve read my blog before that I have a mental health illness which is triggered majorly by anxiety and depression. It was life changing moving away from home and battling with that. It’s made me more aware of how to look after myself more and it literally is just me here, to look after myself. If I’m sick and I don’t have medicine in, I have to go out and buy it and still make my dinner and get through the day. This is probably one of the biggest thing’s I’ve learnt. I have had an overwhelming amount of support for this, however. Last year, just after I had started my second year I went to seek help with dealing with anxiety and the way it was making me feel from the uni after advice. It helped me a lot. I’ve wrote about it in a blog post here.

All in all I have learnt a lot about myself. I have a stable job here now, I’ve been passing my university projects and now going into third year and I have my own little uni family. I know more than two people now, I know all the great coffee shops and take aways and I now have people down here who look out for me. I have no idea, how I’ve made it this far without going home… especially after them first few weeks, but I battled through it and still going now. It’s been an adventure for sure. I still haven’t left Southampton and gone anywhere else down the south coast, that is still on my list to do, as well as go the Isle of Wight.

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A massive special thank you to the family and friends who listen to my rants constantly. Who listen when I have something I’m finding difficult and just need to speak it out. Those who give the most invaluable advice and those who check up on me to see how I’m doing. Those who call me for hours and hours because I’m feeling alone and those who text me to make sure I’m OK. I appreciate it so much, so so much. Genuinely. If you have just moved to uni and feeling alone, down, don’t really know what to do.. please please do message me. I would so love to help you and give you tips.

I’m lucky now that I can call Southampton my second home and I’m proud of myself.

June Goals

We’re already in June – how on earth did that happen??? We’re half way through 2016 now which is also scary in its own right, my family were right when they say that as soon as you get older the years fly by because they really really do.

Heres the reflective part of this post, my first half of the year was, average. Average in the way that not a lot happened fun or exciting, which sucks. I feel like the majority of fun happens in the second half of the year with summer and then the run up to Christmas. I mean I did turn 22 in April which was fun and did a few cool trips such as going up The Shard, which… if you haven’t been was incredible. I also went to a few, not a lot because of working on the weekends messes everything up, blogging events which were fun. I also started an internship to then drop out of after three days to my own decision, sometimes things aren’t meant to be. It meant, however, that I had to spend money on getting to interviews (rail fare is SO expensive), getting around London and living in London with my friend for a few days. I now feel like I’m back at square one again but this time with a lot less finance to be able to do it sigh.

With this in mind however I have no finished university until the end of September/beginning of October and have a lot of spare time. I have got to complete 100 hours this summer in a placement to pass my degree – sigh. I have been thinking about what to do about this which will cost a lot less money. If you have any suggestions fellow creatives, please let me know. I have set myself a few realistic goals for this month which I’m going to try my hardest to reach, if I don’t there’ll be next month, I guess.

These goals are both personal/not so personal. Just some things to focus on this month.

  • Cut out additional sugars. I legit think I am addicted to sugar. I really really need to stop asap for my own health. It is becoming not ok and I’m well aware of it.
  • Go at least one day pull free. Just one day. This hasn’t happened in a while because I’ve been stressed and anxious about everything thats going on with the internship, getting something to pass the 100 hours and you know, general life stresses. I’ll be sure to update you all on my social media if this does happen, however – eek.
  • Get in contact with companies which I 100% want to get work experience with. Not just applying through panic and getting an internship I really don’t like again. That was not fun. I may do a blogpost on this soon about my experience with this internship and how to look for one which you love, if you’d be interested. Let me know.
  • Blog more. I’ve just recently started to share my experiences with mental health condition called Trichotillomania and the response/support I’ve received from it has been incredible. My blog posts about MH have been the ones which have been viewed/read the most and that makes me extremely happy and proud.
  • Get home and spend more time with my family. I’ve been home not even a week this year with university and I miss them home comforts so much. It is summer now and although I have to work overtime to pay the bills I must find some time just to take a break and re-coup at home. This also goes aside seeing my friends more often. I need to do this, need need need.

Do you guys have any goals and achievements you want to achieve this month? Let me know! I’m all interested in this.

Speak to you soon x