Surviving Uni & A General Life Update! (it’s autumn now ahh!!)

Me wearing brown brogues stood in a pile of red, orange and brown leaves

Hello! Long time, no blog, right? I don’t know about you but for me the weeks have just been flying by and I just haven’t had the time (or energy) to sit down and actually write. However, I am now on reading week at uni which means no lectures (yay!) and also that I’ve been here for six weeks and am over halfway through my first term at uni, so I thought an update about what I’ve been up to was due.

Uni has been MAD to say the least! things haven’t turned out how I expected them to be, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I feel like before starting uni, you have this ‘idea’ in your head of what it’ll be like, based on stories from family or friends or from TV programmes and films, but the truth is everyone’s experience of university will be different.

I’ve settled in surprisingly more smoothly than I thought I would, considering a few weeks before uni I was doubting whether I’d even be able to cope with living away from home, but I think because I’ve been so busy with lectures, studying, meeting new people and looking after myself I haven’t really had time to sit and dwell on things. I really thought I would be very homesick and want to go home but I’ve actually surprised myself in that sense because I love my uni and the local area and I haven’t really missed home a lot. I’ve missed my family and friends but I know I’ll get to see them soon so it’s okay! Before moving here I was determined to not come home for the first month and I succeeded in that! I still haven’t been home and it’s been six weeks now, although I am going home for a few days at the end of next week just so I can properly relax before term starts again. I think it’ll be really weird going home and then coming back to uni life again as it’s been so intense that I haven’t really had time to dwell on things, when you’re at uni you’re always busy and you just kind of get on with things.

I was really worried about making friends at uni as I’ve always been fairly shy and quiet however somehow in Fresher’s Week I found myself becoming very sociable and bubbly and excited to meet everyone. The initial first few days of inductions I was lucky enough to meet a group of people on my course who I got on with well and have stuck with ever since. I have been finding it difficult to move past the “people you hang around with in lectures” stage to developing actual friendships, but this past week I’ve really been making an effort to invite people out outside of lectures and it has really made a big difference, even if it was daunting at first.

It hasn’t all been easy though. I’ve found living in halls to be very intense and have been finding it difficult to get the right balance between socialising and having time to myself. For the first month I’d say I wasn’t very sociable at all as I was so stressed about changing course, had quite a few breakdowns and was really bad at managing my workload so I would spend my evenings shut in my room trying to cram the reading for the next day. This meant I haven’t really spent much time with my flatmates so we haven’t properly bonded, but I’m trying to spend more time in the communal kitchen now and just generally be more chatty. However I do find living in a halls there is almost a constant expectation to be sociable and some days I just really need a break from people and sometimes it’s hard to get that space, but I guess I’m still finding my feet and it’ll get easier!

In terms of my degree, as you may remember, I started out studying French and politics, and if you’ve followed my blog for a while you might know that I love languages, so I naturally presumed that at uni French would be my favourite of the two disciplines. However, after two weeks of lectures I found myself really not enjoying the French part of my degree. I think it’s partly to do with the way languages are taught here but also because I’ve been learning French in an academic environment for half of my life and I think I’ve reached the stage where I want to learn it more practically by living in France rather than studying in a classroom. The first few weeks at uni were very stressful because of this as I was just completely confused about what to do. I’d had it set in my head that I would study French and Politics for so long and when it didn’t turn out how I expected I was stuck. I was considering dropping out and reapplying to a different uni next year where they might teach french differently but I knew this was the right uni for me so in the end I decided to change my degree to Politics and International Relations. Although I am sad about not studying French anymore and missing out on the opportunity to do a year abroad, I think it was the right thing to do for me to be happy and fully settle in here. I’m really enjoying my degree now though and the modules I’m taking, even if I had two weeks worth of work to catch up on after switching degree!

I also thought I would struggle with cooking for myself as I didn’t cook often at home, but surprisingly I am doing okay and I think I am actually eating healthier than I would at home (aside from the snacking on biscuits…). I do have to rely on my mum for cooking advice though but I am surviving!

So yeah, that’s how I’ve been finding adjusting to university life so far. It still seems weird to think of myself as a uni student as part of me still thinks I should be doing A Level (sixth form will forever haunt me). I haven’t managed to tick anything off my London Bucket List yet (actually I have used the tube so that kind of ticks one of them off??), but I have been exploring the local area a bit which has been fun as it’s so different to home. I really miss being by the sea though 😦

I’ve joined the hiking society which is great to get off campus and spend some time in the countryside which always helps me to relax, even if my friends think I’m mad for walking 13 miles for fun! I’ve also joined the Student Scout and Guide Organisation so hopefully after Christmas I’ll be going to some of their national rallies around the country which I’m really looking forward to as I love camping. I’m also going to start volunteering at the local Scout group after the Christmas break as I’ve really missed Scouting after having a two year break, so it’ll be great to get back into it.

Perhaps the most exciting things that’s happened since I started uni was going into London on Saturday to meet up with some blogging friends! It was a miracle we all managed to find each other in Waterloo station considering how busy it is on Saturdays, especially when there’s a rugby match on, but we managed it! We ate lunch at a restaurant (after much indecisiveness) and then spent the day wandering around the city and it’s various parks, chatting and laughing about various things. It was so surreal to actually meet them after years of chatting online and following each other’s blogs, but it felt like I’d known them forever and the day flew by way too quickly. A massive thank you to Eve, Janet, Megan and Kel for making the day so enjoyable! We definitely need to meet up again soon!

I think that’s all for this sort of ramble-y life update thing. I have a feeling a lot of my posts are going to be like this from now on as uni life is very hectic, but you never know! I hope you are all well and if you’ve just started university, I’d love to know how you’re getting on! 🙂

P.S. I hope you enjoy the most autumnal photo I’ve taken this year – I got a lot of strange looks from both human and squirrels whilst photographing my feet standing a pile of leaves in the woods on my uni campus.

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Rambling about uni instead of doing the stuff I need to do AHH

Okay, time for another ramble because I can’t seem to keep hold of blogging ideas for more than two minutes before I get distracted by something else AHAHHAH. I’m moving to uni in 10 days (help) so things are a little busy/stressful/hectic at the moment!! I thought I’d take some time to write down my current thoughts about moving out though.

This week has been weird as some of my friends have moved out already and others i’ve met up with for the last time before uni. It’s WEIRD thinking that some of my friends are already at uni. I kind of wish my term started earlier as I’m the last to leave from my friendship group, which isn’t a bad thing but the longer I have to wait, the more nervous/excited I get about moving into my university halls.

At the moment, I’m a bit stressed because I can’t pack anymore than I have done as we don’t have many suitcases/boxes so I have to wait until my sister moves back to uni on Saturday before I can pack anymore, which means I’m a bit restless at the moment because there are lots of things that I need to do before university, but can’t currently do. Also, I still haven’t got my full timetable or chosen my optional modules for French which is stressing me out a bit as I don’t know what’s going on, not to mention I have no clue which induction talks I have to go to in Fresher’s Week because I’m split between two departments. Speaking of Fresher’s Week, I can’t buy my tickets for event until Monday ahhhh. For someone who likes to be organised, it’s difficult having to wait for things to be sorted, but I’m trying to be patient!!

As for moving out itself, I’m quite looking forward to it. I found out my flat number last week and have met a few flatmates online which is reassuring. I’m looking forward to having my own space in my room and being able to cook what I want to eat, although I’m sure cooking will come with it’s own challenges! I am nervous about meeting my flatmates and course mates though – I’m hoping we get on well, but I’m trying to keep an open mind and just embrace everything as it comes.

I’m worried I’m going to forget something whilst packing because although I’ve written a big list, I’m bound to miss something, especially as I’ve been packing for the past few weeks rather in one go, I can’t remember which boxes and bags everything is in, which will make it interesting when I unpack, I’m sure.

I’ve been trying to keep busy this past week or so, meeting up with friends, going on days out and a few goodbye parties. In a way it’s been nice as I feel like I’m making the most of my last few weeks at home, but I haven’t had much time to do important things that need doing before I start, so that’s my plan for next week.

I’m sorry this is a little all over the place – that’s been my constant mood lately -but I think my blog is going to be like this for a while as I’m settling in and adjusting to a new environment, but hopefully I’ll post the odd update here or there!

To anyone that’s starting uni or college this year, I hope it’s goes/is going well!!

Bye for now 🙂

(Also, sorry this post is horribly incoherent and rushed!!)

A Cliché Ramble About Happiness

Hello! This post is a culmination of thoughts that have been floating around my head for the best part of a month now, stemming from my trip to North Wales in late July.

I feel like I’ve learnt a lot in the past 6 months (ish). After my friendship group fell apart and I lost the close circle of people who made me happy (well, that’s before everything became a mess) I spent a great deal of time feeling lonely and lost. Being at sixth form kind of felt like being in a bubble. It was easy to forget that people, problems and life existed outside of those that I’d encounter everyday and couldn’t escape from. I thought losing these friends and being on the ‘outside’ of the bubble was the end of the world but as I later found out, it was the start of a new part of my life where I have a greater sense of self and inner-happiness that didn’t existed when I was wrapped up in friendships that weren’t made to last.

When I confided this to a good friend of mine, she reassured me that I will be happy if I try not to depend on others too much to make me happy. At first I sort of dismissed the idea that I depended on other people, but the more I started to think about it, the more I realised she was right. I was in a mindset where I thought the more people I surrounded myself, the happier I would be but even when I was surrounded by others, I would feel lonely and the only logical solution I could come up with was to shut myself off from everyone. Part of this mindset stemmed from the unhealthy relationship that I had with social media where I would think that because I wasn’t constantly doing stuff with my friends and posting it everywhere, I couldn’t be happy which is RIDICULOUS.

When I went to Wales, that week away, without social media, camping in the countryside really helped me to clear my head and sort through some repressed thoughts and feelings. It helped me to change my mindset and get a better perspective on life again.

The main point of this post was to talk about happiness, so let’s get back to that. For the longest time I’ve told myself that I won’t be truly happy until I can accept myself and I can’t accept myself until I know who I am. I am a very deep thinker and I strongly feel that I barely have a sense of who I am yet. But after yet more deep thinking, I’ve realised that this is okay, that I can be happy and find peace without knowing who I am. If I can accept myself no matter who I am, who I was and who I turn out to be, then I can be at peace with myself.

A while ago I talked about my crisis of identity specifically regarding what clothing I feel comfortable in and how I present myself and lately I’ve been feeling a lot happier about how I look. Finding clothing that you feel comfortable in really does help your self-confidence and I know I feel a lot happier when I’m wearing clothes that feel right on me, rather than trying to fit in with society’s ideals of what a teenage girl should wear. And I think the more comfortable I feel in what I’m wearing, the more ‘me’ I feel and the more I can be the person who I know I am inside but rarely gets shown on the outside. So I’ve made a bit of progress with accepting myself in that sense, knowing that I shouldn’t force myself to wear particular clothes to fit in. I still don’t know where this fits in relationship to my gender identity, but that’s okay.

This all sounds rather cliché, I know, as happiness can never be a constant state or emotion, otherwise we’d get used to it and take it for granted. For me, happiness is a journey of discovering more about myself, watching myself grow and finding my place in the world. I can’t be happy all the time, but I know that however low I am feeling, happiness will catch up with me again at some point in my life.

I think I’m becoming better at not depending on other people for happiness, thanks to the advice from my friend and the time spent reflecting on things and I hope that I will continue to become more comfortable with myself and grateful for life as time goes by.

I know this has been a little all over the place but sometimes I find it’s best to just splurge my thoughts out onto a (digital) page in order to make sense of them. 🙂

Climbing Snowdon the Hard Way

View of mountains. Title reads 'climbing Snowdon the hard way'

A few weeks ago, I ventured off on a camping holiday with my family to Snowdonia, North Wales. As the unorganised blogger I am, I’m only just getting round to sitting down and writing about the experience of climbing Snowdon, Wales’ highest mountain. For me, this was one of the highlights of the trip as it proved to be quite an emotional experience, so I thought instead of doing a whole series of travel posts like with Amsterdam, I’d focus on climbing the mountain. 🙂

Now it’s hard to imagine just how big a mountain is until you’ve seen one and even whilst driving through Snowdonia on the way to our campsite, I just couldn’t believe the sheer size of the mountains there, let alone get my head around the fact that I would be climbing one!

Snowdon itself is 1088 m high – or 3568 ft, if you prefer. This wasn’t my first experience of mountain climbing though. In 2011 I went to Austria with my Scout group and we descended a Tyrolean mountain (can’t remember which one) after taking the ski lift. However, the prospect of climbing up a mountain was more daunting as I wasn’t sure if I’d be physically fit enough to do it.

We chose to climb Snowdon on the third day of our holiday to give us time to settle in to life at the campsite and also give the drizzly weather a chance to pass us by. We didn’t want it to be swelteringly hot like back home (we did go away in the height of the heat wave but it was cooler in North Wales than at home in Somerset) but we also didn’t want to hike in the rain. Luckily, the weather on the day we went wasn’t too bad. It was very cloudy though, so much so that we couldn’t actually see the summit from the ground, but it was cool and dry so we were happy.

Lake in foreground with mountain in background, covered in cloud

I was a little apprehensive about hiking in the fog/mist/clouds (??) because I know how dangerous it can be if you get lost in the fog, however as we were walking one of the more moderate and well-traversed paths, my parents reassured me that we would be fine and wouldn’t lose our way.

One of the hardest parts of the climb turned out to be the very beginning when we were ascending the foothills before actually setting foot on the mountain. There was a very steep zig-zagging path through a sheep farm that was very hard going on your legs and lungs – I struggled to catch my breath and had to rest many times!

I did wonder at this point if I would be able to complete the 8 mile trip up and down the mountain if I was struggling on the first bit, but my determination to reach the summit made me persevere and I’m so glad I did.

The next part of the route was fairly flat as we walked along the foothills towards Snowdon. The mountain itself is sort of nestled between other, smaller mountains and hills so you have to cross these hills before you actually reach Snowdon.

Twisting path up a mountainside covered in cloud

Starting the ascent of Snowdon was required some climbing and scrambling the terrain was very rocky and the path zig-zagged between large rocks jutting from the mountainside. It actually felt like we were walking through the set of Doctor Who or something, it wasn’t like anyone I’ve ever walked before and the Austrian mountains were certainly very different! The looming cloud made it feel slightly eerie too.

Rocks pertruding from mountainside
The rocky mountainside surrounded by cloud.

The higher we ascended up this steep section of the mountain, the further into the cloud we plunged. At some points it seemed as if the clouds were moving up the mountain with us but then the wind would force the down again, surrounding us. Walking through clouds is a strange experience – in some places our field of vision was restricted to a two metre radius, and by the time we’d reached the top, we were quite wet as if we’d been in a rain shower due to the water vapour that forms the clouds and clings to your body.

Once we’d reached the top of the first ‘peak’, there was a flat area of ground where – if the cloud cleared – you could see the nearby town of Llanberis, where many walkers choose to start their ascent from. At this point, we had no idea how far we’d walk and even less idea of how far we had left to go. We still couldn’t see the summit and the path ahead disappeared into the cloud so it was sort of a guessing game really.

KODAK Digital Still Camera
The path ahead!

The next section felt like it lasted forever as if time had stood still. The path wasn’t particularly steep, more like a gradual slope, but it was at this point in the climb that we began to feel the temperature dropping and as we were even further into the cloud, the fog became much thicker, even distorting the sound of jet planes flying over the mountain. It was really quite disorientating not being able to see the planes over head. They felt a lot closer than they probably were.

Since we’d started climbing the mountain, we’d barely passed any other walkers. I don’t know if it was because the weather put people off, but we probably encountered only about 3 or 4 other groups of people. Their shadows would emerge in the fog, they’d pass us by and encourage us to keep going and then disappear back into the fog. At some points, we were very relieved when this happened as it really didn’t feel like we were anywhere on Earth.

The cloud also was disorientating in the sense that it distorted images too. I remember debating with my family many times whether a vague lump in the distance was a sheep (as there were many sheep on the mountain) or a rock. Some of the sheep just looked huge! I even mistook a seagull for a llama, which sounds rather stupid, but I saw a long neck emerging through the fog which looked much bigger than any seagull I’ve ever seen, so I just presumed it was a llama!

Even though passers-by kept reassuring us we were nearly at the top, it really didn’t mean anything when you can’t see where you’re heading anyway. The summit still felt miles away.

It wasn’t until we heard – and saw – the Snowdon mountain train emerge through the cloud, heading down the mountain, that we really felt we were almost there, as at this point the route we were following joined with another path so we encountered many more people, both going up and down the mountain.

Single carriage train in mist
The train surrounded by fog.

Although we still couldn’t see much, we knew we were walking along the top ‘edge’ of the mountain, on our way to it’s peak, as the path had flattened out and it was considerably colder. We were later informed that it was actually 10 degrees at the top, compared to 24 at the bottom. We were glad we’d brought extra layers with us as we’d walked the majority in just shorts and t-shirts!

This was one of my favourite parts of the climb as as we were heading towards the summit, the path was lined by large pointed rocks sticking vertically out of the ground, and as we couldn’t see much more than a metre either side of us, we had no idea how high up we were or how close we were to the edge. It was thrilling, in a way, knowing whether was a large descent but not knowing how close we were to danger. If it was a clear day, however, I probably wouldn’t have like it as much as I’m not a big fan of heights.

Eventually the rocky path gave way to steps heading upwards and we could see the vague shape of the summit itself in the distance, people swarming round to take photos.

Rocky path towards small mound of rocks (summit) in the distance
The summit, still shrouded by mist!

To reach the summit itself, you had to walk up some large spiral stone steps. At this point, our legs were so tired we ended up crawling up the steps. Also this was out of fear because we couldn’t see either side of the steps so we had no idea how close the land below was if we fell. (We probably looked like right idiots haha).

Spiral stone steps
The steps!

My mum almost didn’t make it to the summit as she has problems with her knees but we persuaded her to do it as she’d made it so far, she couldn’t let a few steps defeat her!

Me stood behind trig point wearing a blue rain coat and looking rather soggy
Hello, this is me at the summit, looking rather a mess but happy!!

The trig point on the summit itself told you how far it was to other places in Wales and around the world, but I didn’t want to hang around up there too long to read things because I was starting to feel a little be wary of how high we were!

It was an exhilarating feeling to reach the summit though, knowing that I’d overcome physical challenges in the three hours it took us to ascend, but also mental challenges in motivating myself to carry on. It sounds strange but I’ve never felt more alive than I did on that mountain. I was tired yet so energised and my mind felt so refreshed. In a funny way I couldn’t help feeling that the climb had been a bit of a metaphor for life because once I’d overcome the challenge of climbing the mountain, I felt like I could overcome any obstacle that life threw at me. I felt strong. And even though we were wading through fog for most of the hike, we knew we had to keep going and trust that our feet would lead us where we needed to go, even if we couldn’t see the path ahead. That made me feel that even when things feel foggy in life, I’ve got to keep going, keep fighting. I think I needed that revelation, more than anything else about the experience. It really helped me to regain my perspective on life again after a difficult few months mental health-wise.

Anyway, let me get back on track. After reaching the summit and taking a few photos, we went into the visitor centre. It felt strange that somewhere so natural and far from modern life had been commercialised – with train and now the visitor centre. Either way, I was happy to have somewhere warm to rest my feet, eat and buy a few souvenirs (now I can say I’ve been there, done that and (literally) got the t-shirt!).

I think people who had taken the train up that day were a little disappointed that they couldn’t admire the view from the top because the cloud was so thick but we were happy that we’d made it, and climbing the mountain proved to be more about completing the challenge rather than admiring the view for my family and I.

After about an hours rest, we headed back down the mountain with a new-found spring in our step. The paths that we had traversed earlier which felt like they were never-ending we now descended with ease and we walked down about twice as quickly as we’d gone up.

Railway track to the left, people descending in the centre and roc
Descending the mountain and disappearing into the clouds.

The cloud still hadn’t really cleared, but when we’d reached the sort of viewpoint again where you could look over Llanberis, the cloud did clear for a few minutes so we could get a glimpse of the view (from about a third of the way up the mountainside).

View of town with mountains either side
Looking out at the view of Llanberis.

We stopped again at the top of the second zig-zag section we’d walked up, where I took a few photos of the view across from Snowdon.

Lake in the foreground, mountains in the background
We started our walk over the hill on the right.

It turns out walking down the very first zig-zag section through the sheep farm was just has hard as walking up had been. it really does take a toll on your knees, walking down a steep slope.

Eventually, we got back to the car and our time on the mountainside was over. It was a bit sad, in a way, as we had to go back to reality now, but I was still very proud that we’d all managed to it.

In an amusing turn of events, as we were driving away from the mountain, the cloud around the top completely cleared! It was so ironic we had to stop to take a photo of the whole mountain. If only the cloud had cleared just a few hours earlier when we were at the summit we would have been able to witness the stunning views!

Mountain through the trees
The summit is the pointy bit in the middle, we climbed up from the left hand side!

All in all though, climbing Snowdon the hard way was everything I expected it to be and more. I’m so grateful that my parents were willing to drive almost 6 hours to take us to the beautiful place that is Snowdonia. By the end of our long week away, I had grown quite attached to the scenery and didn’t want to leave.

I know someday I want to return and climb Snowdon again, to feel the emotions I felt up on the mountainside again. But for now all I can do is plan my next adventure and keep hold of these memories. 🙂

1 am musings

The amount of past-midnight posts I’ve written and not bothered publishing in the past few weeks is reaching a worrying amount but maybe I’ll actually post these sleep-deprived musings for once.

So, I’ve just got back from a night out. Or what was supposed to be. I’m the type of person that gets very, very stressed before certain social events that I am not 100% comfortable with and as I am not used to going out clubbing, this was sort of out of my comfort zone a bit. So before even going out, I was already feeling very anxious – I was worrying about all kinds of things like not being able to find my friends in the pub, getting lost and even the possibility that my friends would stand me up (because I’m just a bit paranoid at the moment when it comes to friendships). The friends I was meeting I’ve known for a long time but hadn’t seen them since exams in June, so that also made me nervous because I wasn’t sure if things were going to be awkward between us.

Eventually I managed to persuade myself to go and I found my friends and for a little while the nerves calmed down but to cut a long (boring) story short, I ended up being so stressed and overwhelmed that I felt really nauseous and on the verge of breaking down in tears (which is what happened the last time I drank so I think me and alcohol just don’t mix anymore). So I came home early before we’d even made it to the club, however I’m still proud of myself for actually going out to town on my own, I might add, to meet these friends when it would have been all too easy to say I couldn’t make it, as I have done in the past with social events for a multitude of (mostly irrational) reasons. So I think that counts as some progress???

Anyway, what I wanted to talk about was what was making me feel overwhelmed. When I was with my friends, I kept thinking about how much I’ve changed since June and how different I am. I felt as if I’d been living in a different world to them these past few months and I can’t relate to them as much anymore. I guess I have changed. I’ve been making a conscious effort to really work on my self-esteem and confidence and find what makes me feel alive, as such. It felt like they didn’t know me anymore, the real me, because they hadn’t witnessed how I’ve changed and I hadn’t been there to see how they’ve changed too. It kind of made me sad, in a way, as I’ve known these people since Year 7 and although I’ve never been as close to them as they are to eachother, I am grateful for their friendship and we’ve shared many happy memories, but I’ve realised we’re on diverging paths that are growing farther and farther apart.

Going out last night really did prove to me that that just isn’t me. Sure having a laugh with friends is great, but the pressure around going out and drinking really makes me uncomfortable and I find it hard to relax enough to enjoy the experience. Let alone I can’t dance so if I do ever make it to a club I feel very awkward. I also wore a skirt because I feel there is also a pressure surrounding how you should dress on a night out, even though I didn’t feel comfortable or like myself wearing such clothing and make-up. It was like I was trying to be someone who I am not, who I maybe used to want to be but now have realised I can’t force myself to be something I am not.

Another thing that got me thinking was that we bumped into an old friend who I’d known for about 12 years then sadly drifted away from. She chatted with me for a bit whilst I waited for my parents to pick me up. It was strange because I haven’t seen her for over a year, yet I feel like she instantly knew me better than the friendship group I was out with. Talking to her for a few minutes felt familiar and easy because although I’ve changed a lot since I last saw her, when we were good friends she really knew me and I could be more myself around her than my other friends.

I read something a few days ago, can’t remember where, about not feeling like you fit in with your friends and I could certainly relate to it. It’s not that I don’t enjoy spending time with this group or value their friendship, it just often feels like I’m the odd one out. I have a stronger sense of who I am now then when I last saw my friends. Whereas fitting in used to be my main priority – or trying to at least – I know now that you can’t make yourself fit into a group of people who are very different from you.

So as you can tell, the supposed night out didn’t quite turn out how I expected and I am now lying in bed with hundreds of questions floating around my head and I can’t quite out my finger in the answers. I guess realising now who I am and who I am not means I am probably ready to move on, to move to uni and meet a more diverse range of people. This whole experience felt like stepping backwards into a former version of myself that I left behind long ago and that I don’t really want to be again. Like trying on old clothes that no longer fit. I retreated into myself and became very quiet again as I was for a long time. I used to think that being shy was all I could ever be, but now I know there is more to me, I am a whole person with interests and positive traits and important things to say, but most people only get to see the quiet version of me. I’ve realised in some social situations, I really don’t show any of my personality at all – it must be like talking to a brick wall sometimes, it’s a wonder I still have friends. However I want to be ‘me’ all the time. It’s going to be hard to break down these walls which have been ingrained in me for so, so long and are very complex, but I’m determined to try.

I do hope I can keep in contact with my friends though, as I will miss them at uni, but I think it’s time I branched off a bit and found people who I can really relate to and be myself around.

Hope you found some enjoyment or interest in these random musings! I’m sure I will look back on this in a few months time and realised I have changed again. But for now I must try to sleep off this banging headache and nausea.

Shuffle Song Tag :)

I haven’t done a tag in such a long time (sorry to anyone who’s nominated me, I don’t often have time to do them and keep losing track, but thank you anyway!) but I saw Bethany did the Shuffle Song Tag on her blog, and I was interested to see how my music taste has changed since the last time I did a tag like this.

So the rules are to press the shuffle button on whatever platform you use to listen to music and reveal the first ten songs that come up.

Here are mine:

London – Paris Youth Foundation

Paradise – George Ezra

Hard Times – Paramore

Tiger Teeth – Walk The Moon

Lost in Paris – Tom Misch, GoldLink

Wild Love – James Bay

Mercy – Madame Monsieur

Hell – Eliza and the Bear

Falling – HAIM

Hunger – Florence + The Machine

I feel like my music taste has definitely broadened in the last two years! I still listen to some of the same artists like Walk The Moon and James Bay which will always be amongst my favourites, but I’ve started listening to smaller artists too. 🙂

Hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into my music taste and if you’d like to do this tag too, consider yourself tagged!!

 

 

Summer’s The Word #3: Reflections on traveling

Summer's The Word

When thinking of summer, traveling is usually the first thought that comes to mind for me. Ever since I can remember, my family and I have spent our summer’s camping in the Great British Countryside from Devon and Cornwall to Wales, we’ve been exploring our country one summer at a time. Even though we’d spend just a week away at a time, those nights spend under canvas felt like they stretched out forever when I was a child.

In my teenage years, I’ve been lucky to travel abroad in the summer too, including an amazing Scout adventure in Austria and various city breaks in Berlin, Marseille and, most recently, Amsterdam.

Since returning from Amsterdam, I’ve realised that traveling really does give me a sense of fulfillment in life and I can tell because I’ve found my inspiration to blog again, I’ve started some painting and sewing projects and I’ve started reading again after 6 months of a reading slump. The thrill of exploring a new culture and being surrounded by foreign languages will never grow old for me and when I spend time abroad, I feel content as if there is nothing more I need in life. In Berlin, I felt – for the first time outside of the UK – at home as if I could leave my life here behind me and start a life in Germany. Then when I travelled to Marseille last year, I experienced the same feeling but more intense as I can (somewhat) speak French so felt more immersed in life there, which made it hard to adjust to being back at home and having to switch into English-mode. I was surprised how quickly my brain switched to understanding and thinking in French during my four day trip. In Amsterdam, I also felt this homely feeling – and almost a week after returning when I’m writing this, I still feel as if I want to go and live there.

In the near future, I would love to spend a summer interrailing around Europe, revisiting these cities that I’ve come to love and long to return to but also exploring new places.

Before, the prospect of travelling on my own seemed daunting but since going to Amsterdam with two of my friends, I know that I’d be able to get by and that thrills me because now I can plan a future of travel and experience this sense of fulfillment more often.

Maybe one day, my travels won’t be exclusive to the summer and I’ll be able to live abroad for a few months, maybe years.

When this post is published, I will be camping in North Wales, exploring the beautiful mountainous Snowdonia but after that, I’m not sure where I’ll be traveling next. My friends and I were thinking about going to Rome or Barcelona next summer or maybe somewhere else. I love the uncertainty of it all. Who knows where I’ll end up next!

Do you like to travel? What is your favourite place that you’ve visited? 🙂