When uni gets you down

I feel like all I write on here is rambling, negative posts about university and I’m sorry, I’m trying to be more positive and I want to get back into blogging properly but it’s hard when you’re not feeling yourself. In all honestly, I’m not coping with university very well. I mean, anyone looking in from the outside would disagree – academically I am doing well, I turn up to all my classes, I do the work, I have made friends and I am managing to cook for myself but on the inside I do not feel happy, or as happy as I could be.

One of the hardest things I’ve found about being at university is that you are the only person that knows who you are. It’s taken me a while to put my finger on it, but I think this is been something I’ve been struggling with ever since I got here. Sure, starting at a university where you know nobody would be hard, I knew that, but I it’s not hard in the way that I thought it was. Making friends has been fairly easy as everyone wants to make new friends as much as you do, but it’s really, really hard feeling like even the friends you have made don’t really know who you are and that they all have different perceptions of you, none of which reflect your true self.

As someone who has never had a strong sense of identity (hence my various crises over sexuality) and has never been very self-confident, being somewhere where I don’t have my friends and family to remind me of who I am is very difficult. I just feel lost, to be honest, like I’m not living my life anymore and I’m just doing things because that’s what I’m expected to do or that’s what other people think I should be doing. I don’t feel like the life I’m living reflects my inner values and self and I don’t know what I can do to fix it.

I make it sound like I don’t like university at all, which is not true because generally I like living away from home and being independent, I am enjoying my course even though I’m still a bit shaken up and uncertain if this is the right path for me after changing my degree in first term, I do have some friends and sometimes do fun stuff with them, but there’s this recurring feeling of being lost and not feeling like I fit in here or that being at uni is the right thing for me at all. Quite honestly, all this thinking and questioning is exhausting.

I do spend a lot of time by myself at uni as I don’t have many contact hours and I haven’t really clicked with my flatmates, which is fine when I’m having a good day as I don’t mind my own company and I sometimes find socialising tiring after a while anyway, but when I’m tired or stressed or something happens which triggers a negative spiral of thoughts, I really struggle being by myself as I spend too much time in my head.

It’s frustrating because I want to enjoy myself at university and I don’t want to be held back by this mess of thoughts, but I just seem to be stuck in a never-ending cycle of feeling down and lost at the moment.

I try not to talk about how I’m feeling with my friends and family back home as I feel like it’s hard to understand unless you’ve been through the same thing. As far as they’re concerned, I’m having a great time at university and my parents couldn’t be happier that I’ve settled in ‘so well’. Even with my friends at uni, I feel like I can’t open up to them because if anything I feel like they’re having a much better time than me and I don’t want to feel like a burden.

I’m not sure what this post is meant to be, I just have a lot of thoughts and I need to get them out.

I hope you’re all doing well and I really hope I can find the energy to write some positive posts about uni life sometime soon. For now I’m just going to try to work on taking care of myself because I want this term to go better than the last!

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2018: The Year of Being Me

Hello! As it’s nearing the end of the year (HOW is the even possible??!), I thought I’d take the time to think about the year that’s just passed. At the start of 2018, I decided not to set myself resolutions as such and instead I said that this year, I just want to learn to be myself and be happy with who I am. I wrote a post about this back in January, explaining how in previous years, I’ve tried to ‘change’ myself, not drastically but there were always parts of my personality that I was unhappy with and for a long time I wished I could just ‘fit in’ like everyone else. But this year has been all about changing that mindset.

I know learning to accept and love who you are is a difficult challenge and not something you can achieve overnight, but this year I’ve made it my focus and I think I genuinely have made progress towards it. 

I think this year has been a year of big changes, some of which have pushed me out of my comfort zone and forced me to deal with things I’ve never had to deal with before. But I’m very much a believer in “we grow through what we go through” so although there have been some pretty low points this past year, I know that I’ve become a lot stronger because of them. 

Obviously moving away from home has been a big change and one that I’ve embraced. It hasn’t been easy but I’ve got through the first term of university and am feeling optimistic about next semester, so that must be a good sign. I’d always thought that starting uni would be a fresh start, a chance to start being me without worrying about people’s preconceptions and the “boxes” people at home put me in. In many ways, it has been a fresh start however it’s been harder than I thought to shift the label of being the “quiet one” which I’ve been branded with pretty much since the start of secondary school. However, I have learnt that you can’t fit in with or get along with everyone in life. You meet so many new people at university from different backgrounds, which I have loved and honestly I have made some lovely friends who I can really see myself becoming close to over the rest of the year, but I still find myself feeling out of place in some social circles, but that’s okay because we’re not compatible with everyone.

One big (ish) thing that proves to me that I have become more accepting of myself is that I came out as bisexual to one of my best friends. Albeit it was after having one of many massive breakdown about my identity (because the first half of this year I was in a permanent phase of identity crisis) and everything came pouring out, but I still did it. My sexuality is something I’ve been bottling up for around three years now so it was a big thing that I was able to come out to someone. 

Another thing is that my relationship with my mental health has improved. I’ve had some pretty low points in terms of my mental health this year but I’m learning to accept them as part of me and have started to open up to people a lot more about what’s going on inside my head. For example the other week, I was feeling really down about university and was on the verge of wanting to drop out but I made myself pick up the phone and spent about 5 hours talking to two of my best friends honestly about what was going on inside my head and I’m so proud of myself for doing that and admitting that I wasn’t okay. That gave me the confidence to open up to one of my closest uni friends too about how I’d been struggling with various oppressed emotions from the past few years and honestly I can’t believe I opened up to someone I’ve only known for three months, but it just goes to show how far I’ve come in accepting that it’s okay to not be okay.  Things still aren’t perfect and I frequently wonder if the mess of emotions in my head will be with me forever or if I’ll be able to work through the fog at some point, but I’m proud that I’ve started to accept that I do struggle with my mental health rather than pretending everything is fine.

This has all been a bit of an emotional ramble so far and that’s only about to get worse, but I honestly feel like this year I’ve made a lot of progress towards being happier with who I am and that’s something that I’m proud of. It’s not consistent progress and often feels like I’m taking two steps forward and one step back, but it’s progress nonetheless!

This year has been very much a roller coaster in terms of my personal life and I’ve had to deal with some difficult situations and emotions, but there have also been several high points. This year there have been quite a few moments where I’ve really felt strongly connected to myself and just felt pure in-the-moment happiness and really felt alive, that’s something I haven’t properly felt since the summer of 2016 after finishing secondary school. 

For example, when I went on holiday to Amsterdam with two of my best friends, it felt so freeing to be travelling independently, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.  Then when I climbed Snowdon with my family, that was honestly the most breathtaking experience and it really helped to pull me out of a mental health rut and look at life from a different perspective. I’ve also had some pretty powerful experiences with music this year, seeing both Eliza and the Bear and Walk the Moon in concert, two bands which I’ve loved for years. It’s so hard to put into words the feeling of watching bands you’ve grown up with play the songs you love and feeling so connected to all the previous “versions” of yourself who’ve sung those lyrics countless times. This summer I also found clothes that I actually feel comfortable in. It sounds like such a little thing but with all the confusing thoughts I was having about gender earlier on in the year (and still am having to an extent) it just felt so good to feel comfortable in what I was wearing.

It all might sound a bit weird, this “feeling connected to myself” thing, but I can’t think of any other way to describe it. I have often felt lost over the past few years and I think that is just a thing with growing up and discovering who you are, but this is the first year that, on a number of occasions, I’ve felt like I belong, like I’ve found who I am inside. And it’ll take many more years or perhaps a life time for me to feel like I can be myself all the time, but I’m proud of the progress I’ve made this year and am looking forward to what the next year holds!

I hope you enjoyed that little ramble-y reflection on 2018. I’m sorry my posting has become rather erratic since starting university and I haven’t been putting as much effort into my blog this year as a whole, but I really appreciate everyone who still reads my posts! You’ve all been as much a part of this year as everything else!

I hope you’ve all had a brilliant 2018 and that the new year will hold many good things for you all. 🙂

November wrap up!

Hello! It’s December yay!! In two weeks time I’ll be at home, beginning my month-long Christmas break which I am honestly so ready for. Today I thought I’d wrap up November by recapping what I’ve been up to, as well as some things I’m looking forward to in December. Time passes so quickly at university that it feels like I’ve done so much yet nothing at all, so it will be nice to look back at the past month!

Meeting bloggers!

I think I mentioned this in another post but at the beginning of November I met up with Megan, Kel, Eve and Janet and spent the day wandering around London, it was such a  lovely day!

Going home!

My university had a reading week at the beginning of November too which essentially consisted of a week of no lectures to help us catch up on reading and work on our assignments. On the Wednesday of that week my mum and my sister came to visit, I showed them around my uni and we went shopping and ate out in the local town. Then my mum and I got the train home and I stayed until the Sunday. It was so weird being home, it almost didn’t feel like home anymore, but it was lovely to spend proper time with my family. We went to see Bohemian Rhapsody at the cinema, we watched our local illuminated carnival even though it was tipping it down and I also went to the Remembrance Day service. I also managed to see one of my friends who had come back from uni too so that was great!

Fantastic Beasts

Me and three of my uni friends went to see Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald. I have to say I was a bit disappointed with it as the first film was so good, but it was a good evening nonetheless!

Essays…ugh

I had three 2000 essays due in this month which each contribute to 25% of my grade for each of those three modules. Honestly I got so ridiculously stressed whilst writing these essays that it was making me ill as I couldn’t sleep and felt constantly exhausted and dizzy. It was not fun so next time essays are due I definitely need to manage my time better, try not to panic and make sure I’m sleeping and eating properly. 

Birthday!

Last Wednesday was my birthday! It was so weird not being at home, seeing my family or doing our usual birthday traditions, but I did have a nice day. My family had sent some cards and parcels to me so I did have some presents to open, then two of my uni friends took me out for brunch which turned into a shopping spree!

I also met up with my sister again last weekend as I was so stressed I just needed to get out of uni, so we met up in a town halfway between her uni and mine. Something I’ve learnt whilst being at uni is that sometimes you just need a bit of normality because everything can get overwhelming very quickly, so seeing family or talking to friends from home can really help you to put things in perspective.

So that’s how November panned out, now some things to look forward to in the coming month.

Obviously Christmas break is what I’m most looking forward to – I get to go home for a whole month and I can’t wait! I think coming up to the Christmas period I’ve been more homesick than previously as at this time of year I just want to be around my family. However I haven’t got long to wait! 

I’m really looking forward to just spending evenings with my family, playing board games and watching TV. I’ll also be going to Devon and Yorkshire to visit my grandparents which will be great as I haven’t seen them in about a year.

I’m really looking forward to catching up with my friends from home too as we’ll finally all be in the same place.

I’m sad I don’t have time to do Blogmas this year, but if any of you are, let me know as I’d love to keep up with your posts!

I think that’s all for now, sorry this post has been a bit all over the place!

Feeling Lost

Hello! It’s been a while…again. Can you believe it’s been almost two months since I moved to university? I certainly can’t. I thought I’d take some time to sit down and write today as I’ve been struggling a bit recently to be honest. University has been hard, but not in the ways I thought it would be and these past few days I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all.

I am enjoying being here and I’m not really homesick, which is what I thought I might struggle with, however I just feel a bit lost at the moment, which I guess is normal as university is such a big change in your life.

I have settled in here and found friends which I am grateful for – I honestly thought making friends would be the hardest part but I seem to have just found a group of course mates who I get along with, which is good. Yet I’m struggling to develop those friendships and get to know people better. I think it’s the nature of my course as well because we only have 9 contact hours per week, so it takes longer and more effort to get to know people than at secondary school or college when you spend the whole day with people. Also I can’t shake the though that I’ve missed 18 years of my new friend’s lives and that I’ll never be able to have the same bond with them as I do with my friends from home.

It’s difficult being in a new place where nobody knows me well as I feel like I’m losing my sense of self, if that makes sense, because I don’t have my childhood friends to ground me and remind me of who I am and what makes me me. It’s a weird thought but for the past 18 years, I’ve only known who I am in relation to those friends and my family back home, so now I don’t have those familiarities, it feels like I have to shape a new identity for myself here and because I have been internally questioning several aspects of my identity, I feel like I’ve lost any sense of myself that I once understood through my friends perceptions of me.

Pretty much since I’ve moved in I’ve been stressed about finding housemates for next year and I feel like I haven’t really been able to enjoy the present as I keep worrying about the future to the extent that I’m losing sleep over it, which I know is ridiculous because in reality there will still be houses available in May/June time, but everyone seems to be rushing into making plans. 

I also keep comparing myself to my friends at other unis, who seem to have settled in really well, found a group of really good friends and some of them have already put deposits on houses for next year, which is adding to my stress as I don’t know why things haven’t been so easy and straightforward for me. But I have to keep reminding myself that everyone has a different experience of university and that is okay. Everyone deals with change differently and I’m not a failure because I haven’t 100% figured out where I fit in here.

Everything seems very up in the air at the moment and I’m not sure what’s going on or whether I’m making the right choices for myself anymore. You may know that I actually changed my degree in the first few weeks of term from French and Politics to Politics and International Relations. Whilst I am happier with the modules I am taking now, it’s hard to adjust to the fact that I will no longer be getting a modern languages degree, which had been my plan for the past year or so, so now everything about my future seems uncertain. I feel like university has made me lose sense of who I am in a way, because for the past few years languages have been a big part of my life and something that I saw myself using in my future career, however since coming here, I haven’t been able to connect with that part of me, hence why I changed degree and changed my future plans.

Sometimes I wonder if I had taken a gap year, like I had been considering due to nerves in the run up to uni, whether I would have been more ready to go to uni and ready to study French again. Because I worked so hard for French at A Level, I feel like when I started studying it at uni again I was exhausted from studying it which is why I wasn’t enjoying it and consequently dropped it. 

I don’t know if I regret dropping French or not, because I am definitely a lot happier and more settled just being in one department, but at the same time I feel like I’ve betrayed myself and a lot of doors have closed for me. I’m worried I won’t be able to regain touch with the part of me that loves languages and culture again because I’ve put myself on a different path. 

It’s scary not knowing what I’m doing with my life and if I’m making the right choices or if I just feel too pressured to pursue what’s right for me. 

Everything seems so difficult at the moment and I really feel like I’ve lost connection with myself whilst adapting to all the changes over the past few months. 

I keep thinking about how it feels like time hasn’t moved since August and I’m worried that’s because I’ve been making choices that haven’t been right for me and that’s why I haven’t felt like myself lately.

Honestly, I just wish I could go back to college where I had a clearer idea of who I am and what I want to do because right now I’m not sure about anything and I’m just hoping that I haven’t made a mess of my life. Part of me just wants to run away from it all and take time out to figure out what I really want to do, but that feels wrong too.

I’m sorry this hasn’t been a very cheery update, I am generally okay and enjoying university life, it’s just sometimes I have moments like this where I question everything and feel overwhelmed and so I thought it was best to write my feelings out in the hope that someone might be able to relate. 

Anyway, thank you for reading. I hope you are all doing well and hopefully I’ll be back soon with a more positive post. 🙂

Travel Favourites: Memories from Extraordinary Places

Hello! I’ve been loving writing more travel-themed posts this summer (mainly because I really wish I could be traveling right now!!) and I think this is the direction I want my blog to head in, as well the odd post about studying or ramble about life. This time I thought I’d reminisce on some of my favourite memories from travelling and favourite places I’ve been to over the years. I haven’t travelled a lot or gone on a massive tour around multiple countries (I’d love to though!!), but I have been lucky enough to go to a few different places over the past few years, whether that be on family holidays, with school, friends or Scouts. I hope you enjoy! 🙂

Austrian Mountains

Sunset over a river with mountains in the background
This is one of my favourite photos I’ve ever taken??? (I just wish 11 year old me knew how to focus a camera properly lol)

I went to Austria back in 2011 with Scouts and we stayed in a town called Stanzach in the Tyrol region. The scenery was breathtaking, particularly the mountains which you could see form anywhere within the valley. I remember going on many evening walks to the river in the photo and skimming stones and building dams whilst the sunset. We also took a ski lift to the top of a mountain then hiked down. I’d love to go back one day and explore the mountains more!

The Eden Project, Cornwall

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It’s been a fair few years since I visited the Eden Project, but I remember really enjoying my visit. There are some really interesting and exotic plants within the rain forest and tropical ‘biomes’. My family and I were obsessed with the mimosa which look like mini ferns but when you touch their leaves they close up! It was really cute haha.

Studland Bay, Dorset

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Studland is one of my favourite beaches! When I was younger, we went camping in Dorset quite often so we’d visit Studland a lot. It’s great for swimming as the water doesn’t get deep very quickly and great for sand castles too! One of the most amusing memories I have comes from this beach. My sister and I decided to partially bury my mum in the sand and turn her into a mermaid but we later discovered that we’d left the camera in the car park down the other end of the beach. Not wanting to miss this photo opportunity, my dad, my sister and I walked back to the car park, and on the way my dad was convinced he’d seen his brother and children playing in the sand, so he went over to say hello. My sister and I realised immediately it wasn’t them but my dad insisted and kept saying to the man “don’t lie, you are my brother!” (in a friendly way). He thought his brother was messing around haha (can you tell we don’t see our family often enough to recognise them haha??). Eventually my dad gave up (my sister and I were so embarrassed at this point) and we carried on walking to the car park. When we got there, the funniest coincidence happened – we bumped into his actual brother and his family 😂😂 It was so funny! We told them about the mishap with the look-a-like and they said that that man was actually staying on the same campsite as them and that my cousins kept mistaking him for their dad, so at least it wasn’t just us!!! It was so weird though 😂 I’ll never forget that haha.

Double-decker trains in Berlin!!

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I still get slightly excited by this but DOUBLE-DECKER TRAINS AHHHH. I didn’t know they existed until I went to Berlin???!!? We took one out of the city one day and it was a really cool experience even though I’m too tall to stand up on the top deck haha.

Kynance Cove, Cornwall

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This beach really is a hidden beauty. We only found out about it as we are National Trust members and they own the land, but it is definitely worth a visit!! You have to walk quite far from the car park before you can descend the headland to the beach. The water was so blue!! And there were lot’s of little caves to explore. The main thing I can remember though is getting my hiking boots soaked. My dad told me to stand in front of this big rock to take a better picture of the sea, not realising that the waves came in really fast so when a big wave came in, my dad was able to scramble up onto the rock whilst I couldn’t because I was holding my camera so I was submerged up to my knees! When the wave went back out again though I was fine but had very soggy feet for the rest of the day!

Branscombe Beach, Devon

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As you may be able to tell, I really like beaches. I think it comes from growing up in a seaside town – I just love being on the coast! Branscombe Beach is another sort of hidden gem. We had to walk for a few hours to get there from our campsite, descending through the lovely village (and stopping for cake). The beach itself was stunning with sloping red cliffs and red-tinted water. My family and I spend a long time on the beach walking around, paddling and posing on various rocks for photos (as you can see above haha).

Notre Dame de la Garde, Marseille

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I visited Marseille last year and one of the highlights of the trip has to be going to the Notre Dame de la Garde cathedral, which is perched atop a hill overlooking the city. The views were incredible, especially looking out to sea, and we had to take a little train up the hill to the cathedral which I’ll always remember as it was one of the first times I had a proper conversation in French (in France) as I was volunteered by my classmates to ask if our tickets were valid for the train. (Still surprised that I actually managed to do that, though! Speaking to natives can be daunting sometimes!).

MuCEM, Marseille

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Another memory from Marseille was visiting the MuCEM – the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations. The architecture of the building was?? INCREDIBLE?!! The outside is basically made to look like water ripples (I think??) so on the inside the light reflects through the gaps in the outer shell making it feel as if you were underwater! The actual exhibits themselves were really interesting too as I got to learn more about Mediterranean history and lifestyles. There’s a rooftop cafe with a bridge connecting you to Fort St. Jean, which used to guard the entrance to the port of Marseille. The Fort was full of things to explore and sadly we didn’t have enough time (or energy- it was so hot!!!) to do it all, so I’d definitely love to go back!

A’DAM Lookout, Amsterdam

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If you’ve read my Amsterdam series from back in July, you may remember me mentioning the A’DAM Lookout! It’s essentially a hotel with a restaurant and ‘lookout’ on top from which you can see across the city. It also has Europe’s highest swing which swings you over the edge of the tower!! I’m not the biggest fan of heights but I do LOVE being high enough up to see an amazing view, and the A’DAM Lookout definitely didn’t disappoint!! The whole experience of the Lookout was so fun, from getting stuck on a giant red horse, to battling the fierce wind and running for the ferry! Definitely one of the highlights of the holiday!

Porthor Beach, North Wales

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(Another beach oops!!). My family and I visited Porthor Beach on our most recent holiday to Snowdonia, North Wales. My dad is very good at planning holidays in that he picks out the less well-known places for us to visit, such as Porthor. It was very difficult to get to as we kept missing turnings, but after a longer than exepcted journey, it was definitely worth the hassle!! As far as beaches go, Porthor wsas fairly quiet which was nice because sometimes Studland Beach (which I mentioned earlier) is very busy and you don’t have much space. Porthor is also known as the Whistling Sands beach because!!! THE SAND WHISTLES WHEN YOU WALK AHHH! (I was probably way too excited by this but it was so fun!!! Although you can’t really sneak up on people haha). Due tot he type of sand at Porthor, when you walk the sand compresses and makes a sort of squeaky noise!! We spent the whole day at the beach, swimming in the sea which was clear blue and home to some jelly fish and also playing multiple matches of beach volley ball with our make-shift ‘net’ made of pebbles. It was great fun!

Aberglaslyn Gorge, North Wales

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Another memory from my holiday in Snowdonia was hiking through the Aberglaslyn Gorge. This was in the height of the heat wave in the UK so it’s safe to say we were VERY hot and possibly hiking in the heat wasn’t the BEST idea. However, the gorge was so beautiful!! The majority of the walk involved scrambling over rocks along the side of the river – some of which had metal handholds to help you across difficult sections. It reminded me of going canyoning in Austria! We had to stop halfway and cool off our feet in the river. When we reached Beddgeleret – a small village which is the river passes through – we stopped for an ice cream and looked around. It was sch a lovely little village, I could have seen myself living there, surrounded by the mountains. We sat on a wall by the river eating our ice creams and two tourists asked if they could photograph us sitting on the wall within the space of ten minutes which was STRANGE??

Snowdon Street, Porthmadog

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My final memory to share is from the same holiday again, this time of Snowdon Street in the town of Porthmadog. It may not seem the most interesting honestly it was so cool just walking through the town then at the bottom of a side street you can see Snowdon, perfectly framed between the rows of houses. I have so many memories of climbing Snowdon itself, which I shared here, and considering I couldn’t get any non-cloud covered photos whilst climbing it, I’m pretty pleased I had the opportunity to see Snowdon again, from the ground this time!!

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about some of my favourite memories from traveling and places I’ve been, I’ve certainly enjoyed reminiscing about them! There are so many beautiful and interesting places to see, whether that be in your own country or abroad. I’d love to hear your travel top picks below!

London Bucket List: Places to Explore!!

Map of London and text reading 'London Bucket List!!'

In three weeks time, I’ll be moving to the other side of the country to London for university which has come around SCARILY fast – it feels like I was taking my A Level exams just the other day! At the moment, I’m excited to go and meet new people and study subjects that I love, but I know nearer the time I’ll probably be quite nervous, so I thought writing this post would hype me up a bit and also give me some inspiration for days out whilst I’m there. I haven’t really been to London a lot – although I did go twice last summer which ultimately convinced me to go to uni there, but before that I hadn’t been since I was very small! So it’s safe to say there are a lot of London landmarks that I haven’t been to yet – some of which I will be sharing in this bucket list.

Before I start, I apologise for the lack of relevant (??) photos in this post! I wanted to include some fancy photography but as I haven’t really been to these places, I didn’t really have any. Although!! I do have a tube map and colour-in map of London (which I need to finish colouring!!) which the amazing Eve sent to me in a swap box we did a few years ago! So I did have a few London-y props. Anyway, I’ll stop rambling and get onto the bucket list!!

(Also: do any Miranda fans remember Stevie Sutton’s bucket list because I was SO TEMPTED to start this post with that haha)

Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban book next to a pot plant

I couldn’t not include Harry potter in this could I??? When I was little, my dad took us on a tour of Harry Potter filming locations that he’d put together around London and it was SO MUCH FUN although Platform 9 3/4 wasn’t there then so I HAVE to visit it!!!! ( You never know, maybe I’ll get a Hogwarts letter soon too).

Warner Bros Studio Tour

More Harry Potter stuff but AHHHH I’D LOVE TO GOOOOOO!! I know my uni does an a annual trip so hopefully I can visit it then!!

London Eye

I have never been on the eye and I feel like it’s something you have in London?? I’m not a big fan of heights but I do love photographing amazing views so hopefully that’ll distract me from how high up it is haha.

Tate Modern

I remember going to the Tate when I was really young and I probably didn’t appreciate art much back then. I love going to galleries though – I find it so relaxing so hopefully I’ll find time to visit the Tate and other galleries in London!

See a West End musical

I LOVE MUSICALSSSS. And we don’t get many big musicals touring where I live 😦 There are so many I’d like to see though so it would take me forever to decide haha.

Using the Tube

Tube map hidden behind leaves

This may seem not seem very interesting to people who are used to taking the tube, but I’ve only used it once (which was HECTIC AHH) and my goal is by the end of uni to actually be able to navigate the tube by myself and not look like a flustered tourist.

Houses of Parliament

I’m hoping as I’m studying politics that we will get to visit and watch some debates. I visited the Welsh Senedd last year and it was so interesting!! I’m low key sad that Big Ben won’t be fully functioning for the entire time I’m in London though due to it’s repair works 😦

Churchill War Rooms

We wanted to visit the War Rooms last time we were in London but the queue was so big and it was close to closing time so we had to give it a miss, but the history fanatic in me definitely needs to go back and visit.

French Film Festival

This isn’t like specific to London as such, but every year there is a French Film Festival in the UK where lots of independent cinemas around the UK show French films. I wanted to go last year because my favourite French film was showing but all the locations were too far away from home, but hopefully this year I can watch a film or two in London!

London Pride!! 🌈

I’VE NEVER BEEN TO PRIDE AHHH but I really would love to go!!! Especially London Pride as it’d be much bigger than back home! Hopefully I can find people to go with 🙂

Day trip

Various train tickets next to a cactus

Also not London specific but because London is technically better connected to the rest of the UK than Somerset, I’d love to take a day trip on the train and explore somewhere new in the UK.

Well that concludes my ‘London Bucket List’ so far! (It bothers me that there are only 11 things in this list because ODD NUMBERS AHHH). I know there are many things that I have probably missed out of this, so I’d love to hear your recommendations of places to go and things to see. I’m really looking forward to exploring London more, so hopefully this post will give me a few ideas and motivate me to go out and explore!

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.