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. 

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!

Just a little note…

University started again this week and I feel like it’s given me a massive smack around the face. Finally going into the final stretch of my university life and head first into third year is so daunting. Suddenly everything feels so real. It’s now all about getting them grades that will help get me my future after. I have so many anxieties about this such as if I actually have the skills I need to be able to do this in the first place. In fact I think this worries me more than it should. Damn you brain

Sadly it means that I’m going to have to step down a little from my blog. I want to try and post every week but I’m not sure it’s going to happen. I’m going to be trying to juggle university with a job and can already feel the stress. I really hope you all understand. 

 I’ve had the most incredible support over the summer from this blog… it is so crazy that five months ago no one apart from myself knew I had Trichotillomania. I kept it as my own little secret away from the world. I was so ashamed of it and I thought even if I went to try and explain to people they would not understand. I mean, hell even I don’t understand it. It’s a difficult thing to understand if you’re suffering from it yourself, let alone someone who hasn’t. Thank you to every single person has got in contact with me after my posts of Trichotillomania. If you suffer from Trich yourself or know someone who has it then please, if you need someone to talk to… I’ll be here always. 

I’m so proud that through my little space on the internet I was able to reach out to people about this awful illness and try and bring understanding and awareness to people literally all over the world. 

Another thing I’m incredibly proud of is THIS. The first picture is my hair two years ago compared to one of my latest selfies (I take way too many!) HOW HAS THIS HAPPENED!!! I’m not going to lie to you all, I teared up seeing this. I’ve always always dreamed of having hair all the same length, ever since Trich took over and… I’M ALMOST THERE. Almost


Hope to speak to you guys soon. 1st October – 7th October is BFRB (body focussed repetitive behaviour) awareness week and Trich falls underneath this. I’m hoping to post through this week. Thank you with everything I have for supporting this blog and I hope you all continue to, even if I may be a little quiet. MUCH LOVE and remember I’m always here if you’re struggling. Don’t fight it alone. You’ve got this.

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.

University – Top five tips

It’s already September – how? Although this does mean Autumn, i.e- cosy jumpers, drinking hot chocolate with lots of cream and marshmallows and not getting weird looks, PUMPKIN SPICED LATTES, cute over the knee socks – you get the idea. It also means for some people a stressful time of moving away from home to a whole new city, where they may not know anyone and it can be scary. I’m about to go into my third year at university and now quite used to the lifestyle that comes with moving away.

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(Photo credit: Instagram – positiveheadspace)

I have some of my top tips which I have learnt after moving away. It’s all so exciting moving away and I can tell you it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. I’ve gained so much independence and learnt life things which I wouldn’t have known if I didn’t move away.

I’ve piled some into a list for you here and I hope they help you in one way, or another:

– BUY EARPLUGS. Oh christ I wish I knew this before I moved to university. I didn’t use them in first year and just put up with the noise. Only recently have I bought some as next door have parties regularly and they are the best investment. You might not need them every night but it’s so good to have them there incase you do. They will become your best friend. 

–  If you can, get a group together to do a food shop and get it delivered to your halls/house. It’s so much easier than trailing across town with bags and bags of food. If you split the cost of delivery and pay your own share, its lifesaving. Seriously.

– If you’re moving into halls getting a lock for your cupboard stops people getting in your cupboard and stealing food. Although you can only control it in the fridge if you buy yourself a mini fridge for your room (I did, best £30 spent! Who doesn’t want milk in your room for a late night cuppa without leaving your room?) 

Keep on top of washing up. There is nothing more frustrating for other flatmates/housemates than someone in the kitchen who doesn’t clean their own plates up. There is also a hygiene issue with this too. Not ok. Just keep on top of everything in general. If you stick post-it notes over your room and it helps – do it. If you’re someone who like to keep a diary and write stuff down like me – buy one. It will help you so much and you will feel so much more productive. 

– If you are missing home or have other issues then please, please go and speak to someone within the university. There will be a student support centre within your uni who are there for you. It’s there job to look out for people. Don’t ever feel like you are being too silly or a burden  I did feel this before I went to talk to them and they’re so helpful. They offer services for all sorts of issues including money, homesickness and mental health to name a few. Best thing I done was talk to them. Honestly.

– Keep track of your assignments and work. It goes without saying really. I only decided to discover the library at the end of second year – yep. It is the perfect place for work to get peace and quiet. Sometimes your house/halls can be too loud to get some work done. Also, if you don’t do anything whilst there, it still feels productive because you’re at the library. If you struggle with writing/reading there will be people at the library who can help you too. Win/win.

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(Photo credit: Instagram – positiveheadspace)

Make sure you have the best time. Although at some points it may get too much just remember why and how you got there. You can do it. You will get through that ever ending to do list. You will get that assignment thats kept you up for months done and you will get used to being away from home.  Remember if you ever do have any issues, especially homesickness message me any time. You can do it and it will be the best years of your life, honestly!

Don’t let trichy days get you down

Incase you’ve missed it, it’s been unbelievably hot recently. During this week the weather has hit temperatures of 31 degrees. THIRTY ONE. In the UK that is unbelievably hot. I don’t think we are prepared enough for this type of weather, considering it only happens around three times in a year, no joke.

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If you are like me and suffer from Trichotillomania (Trich) then it can be incredibly hard to get through the warm days as well as the not so warm days. I must say recently, I’m not sure what it is, but I haven’t pulled that much. I have pulled but it hasn’t been to the extent that I’ve been sat there hours at a time doing it, which is a massive massive step for me. I am however about to go into my third year at university with final major projects and dissertations to be writing, so I’ll look back at this time with a massive smile and say that I can do it. YAS!

I have a few different ways which I have that help me try to cope with Trich and just general bad days. It’s so frustrating there is no cure for Trichotillomania. There are ways however that make me feel a little bit happier. I’m still learning every single day how to deal with this myself, so if you have any suggestions please do let me know. I have put a few together in this blogpost and hope it helps someone with Trich or gives people ideas how they can help someone if they have Trich. Some of these can be for sad days too.

– It goes without saying, always always try and keep your hands busy. 100%. If you know what triggers you to pull then plan in advance how you can distract your hands. Carry a stress ball with you at all times. Its small and can fit in your bag/pocket and that way you know you’ve always got something to help. 

– Talk to someone. I suffered myself everyday for so many years and I kept it to myself. It’s 100% true, Trich makes you feel the lowest of lows. It makes you feel like you can’t be in control of yourself. It makes you so down, so so down and so self conscious. It is the worst thing to go through and especially by yourself. A very few close people knew of it and of course people notice it. Talk to someone. Whether they be professional or someone you can trust and know you can talk to, friends/family/teachers/work mates. It will be hard, they may not understand straight away but once you talk about it more, it’ll become easier. Remember if you or someone you know needs to talk to someone and are afraid… I’m always happy to. Always. 

If you are feeling down and upset one of the best ways to lift your mood is to pamper yourself. Pampering can help so much with Trich. For example, putting a hair mask on your hair it begins to repair your hair and makes your hair oily. Oily hair helps you not grab strands of your hair and pull them. In my own experience hair oil on my hair makes my hair feel less coarse and stops me pulling. After you wash it let it dry naturally. Wet hair is also really hard to pull or snap as it doesn’t have the same texture as you normally pull. 

– I’m seeing these appear more and more in shops and it’s making me very happy. They have been a huge fashion statement this Spring/Summer and I’m sure they’ll carry through to the colder months too. Hair wraps/headscarfs. I was sceptical at first but my goodness they are a god send. You can wear them SO many ways. I have a Youtube video planned to film showing you how I style them. I’ve began to wear them not to just tie round my head but they look damn cute tied around a hair bun or even a balaclava around your neck (I’ve been doing that a lot when it hasn’t been too hot and will carry it through to autumn, definitely!) 

– On Trichy days I genuinely wear my hair up. I’ve been wearing my hair up a lot recently, because finally the underneath bits where I had broken it off have grown back and I don’t need as many hair grips – YAS! You can do your hair in all cute little styles too. I’m really loving the two Miley buns, the top knot and two french braids. I see a whole lot more growth if I have my hair up too which is amazing. 

– Go out. As soon as you get out of bed make it. I find if I make it straight away it stops me from climbing back in it. I know you more than likely don’t want to face the world but even a small trip to a coffee shop and getting a take away coffee makes me feel so much better. I think it’s the air, fresh air.

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(Both photos from an Instagram account called trich.otillomania. A special shoutout to whoever runs this account. If you don’t already follow them on Instagram and you have Trich then I would recommend. They just get i t. I also recommend if you don’t have Trich and want to learn more of how it feels to deal with it and for some positivity then I’d suggest following them too. I’m so grateful for the account and making me feel less alone.)

I hope some of these tips help someone with Trich or helps someone you may know with Trich. It’s an awful thing to go through and can be difficult to understand but if you have it – you’ve got this! If you don’t then please, whatever you do, be understanding of those who do.