Ciao to the Chura!

Chura

I will always remember my Dad on the day of my wedding. He literally wiped my tears, leant down to me and smiled, “this is a new chapter of your life, a new beginning, how can you be sad about that?”. My Dad, the Bantasarus Rex, my bestie, transitioning me from his little girl in to a grown married woman. And that’s when shit got real.

Through these 7 weeks so much has come to light, I don’t think I ever truly understood what heartbreak was until I said goodbye to my parents. It is such an emotional situation and I don’t think I will ever be able to get over that. I went home last week for a couple of days and when I said goodbye before coming back to my new home, that’s when I realised it was real this time. You know them ones where you smile at your mum and laugh because if you start crying, then she’ll start crying then we all start crying and suddenly we’re living in the ocean of everyone’s salty tears and I can’t swim because I hate water so it’s a nightmare really, yep, story of my life folks. As much as you argue and fight, your parent’s will always be your besties, they’re always going to support you when you’re down, if you need something they are the first to offer, they provide A-Class banter and they’ve worked so hard so that you can have a roof over your head and food on your plate. Saying all of this, getting married I now have 2 sets of parents and if I’ve been blessed so much with one set already, having two gives me countless blessings for life (all of the cheese, cue the Bollywood singing and dancing with 42 outfit changes based in Switzerland).

After a beautiful 7 weeks, I have taken off my Chura (wedding bangles). Tradition says that you should wear them for 40 days and within those 40 days you can’t do any household work or cooking. Sounds like a dream, until you want a ham sandwich in the middle of the night and realise that you can’t make it, husbands are great aren’t they? These 40 days have been bliss, but it feels a million times better than I can now cook! I’m no Gordon Ramsay but it’s nice to have some freedom! I made my first dish of keema (mince) yesterday and that went down a treat, well no-ones vomited this morning so that’s a good sign. As much as I loved my Chura, I am a teeny tiny bit glad that I have my arms back. No more whacking my husband in the face through the night, no more accidentally epilating his chest hair with my bangles, no more having to wear loose armed clothes, no more catching threads in the gems of my bangles. It’s been a good run.

Even though it’s been 7 weeks since I was married, I still feel like it was yesterday. I think it half hit me when I registered at the doctors for an appointment and they called out my married surname. Even I helped in looking around for who it was, not the brightest tool in the box really. Honestly, it’s such a surreal feeling, changing your status to ‘Mrs’. I feel like ‘Mrs’ suddenly sounds sophisticated, older, mature like there are responsibilities involved. A ‘Mrs’ shan’t dutty wine to Sean Paul, a ‘Mrs’ shan’t get absolutely wasted on a Monday, a ‘Mrs’ shan’t ever have a messy room. The word itself adds 20 years on to your current age, no thanks life I like it down here in the pre-adult club where Jaeger shots are a daily occurrence.

Moving over to married life and the husband where the blessings begin to deteriorate (I joke), boys are disgusting. I recently learnt what a ‘Dutch oven’ is, just Google it and then think about having to go through it every day.

Every.

Day.

Rolling up your socks when putting them in the laundry basket (why?!), not making the bed, wet towels on the floor, these are just some of the reasons you may want to beat your husband but in all fairness I can’t really complain because he’s more tidy than me, and it’s normally him chasing me with hangers to put my clothes away. To be honest, marriage is an absolutely comical journey, with carpool karaoke, learning how to laugh quietly because I’m an absolute elephant in the house, the tickle game, dancing around the living room like complete idiots, yes even the Dutch oven. This is what marriage is about, the fun times, the pointless things you do, making a fool out of yourself, and the best thing? You start to realise that you’ve been together this long already but you’re still learning more and more about each other every day.

You always need to remember, even though you’re moving in to a new family and it may be daunting for you it’s completely the same for the other side. From my own experience, (even though it’s only 7 weeks) I think it’s important to be yourself when you move in. You’re always going to be a little nervous, a little shy but the quicker you make your presence known the easier it is for you to become comfortable and for everyone to become comfortable around you. The day of our marriage, I literally got to my husband’s house went upstairs got in to my joggers and t-shirt and that was it. It can be hard to take in that this is your new home but you have to make that first step, or you’ll always feel detached. In all honesty, I am so grateful for my in-laws (toot toot it’s the pumping your own trumpet horn). I get cuddles whenever I want them, I always have someone to talk to, there are numerous Dad Jokes at every hour of every day, I have a brother in law who can twerk faster than Rihanna, so you know it’s all of the shits and gigs really. So much effort goes in to our relationship as a family and that is what makes it work.

Maybe I’m in the honeymoon stage, maybe I’ve had too much coffee this morning but seriously, marriage is the best choice I made (or my other half made cause he was the one who proposed). Yes, it’s hard being away from my parents, and yes, I still ring my mother everyday at the age of 25 but if I never made this move, I never would have grown as a person. I wouldn’t have learnt how to make sabhji because I would’ve lived off waffles and spaghetti hoops. Change is good for the soul, and family is even better.

ALL ABOARD THE RELATIONSHIP! (HA bantz)

-n

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Time to ‘Adult’

As the wedding begins to get closer, my list seems to get longer. At any given time, I guarantee you there are still a million and one things to do. The cake is finally ordered, so that’s one thing off the list! But then there’s the cake topper… (my mind is now having anxiety).

I started packing my suitcase this weekend for when I get married and move, I have never been so emotional about throwing clothes out. The hot pants that I am just too old to wear, the uni dress that I thought I would fit back in to one day but the one that really brings tears to my eyes is that old bobbly jumper, that no matter how old it gets, how many rips there are you can’t seem to bring yourself to throw it away. Yes, there were some serious ‘feels’ this weekend.

With 7 weeks to go, I am slowly looking back and thinking how time has flown by. The events leading up to the wedding have been non-stop and so much planning has gone in to each one. People always tell me, you’ll blink and the wedding day will be over and with everything that has happened so far, I well and truly believe it.

There is so much planning and organising entailed in a wedding but don’t forget it’s also important to take a step back and just breathe. Appreciate and consider everyone around you, yes this is your big day but never forget the people who helped in making your vision come true! You’re never going to go through this again, you’re never going to experience it this way again so always be grateful for those who have been involved and have gone that extra mile to make sure you’re happy.

My parents have supported me from day 1 in making these decisions, even when a MAJOR bridezilla tantrum occurs. They are always there first helping financially, doing whatever they can to make sure I get what I want. They provide me with life lessons so that I can make my new family proud and teach me all of the tricks of the trade so that I can stand on my own two feet for when I have to go and ‘adult’ in the next couple of months. I am nothing but grateful for everything they’ve done so far and it’s not even just for the next couple of months, they help me with thinking of the future, asking what my plans are and are always throwing suggestions in what I can do to make future me successful. They’re always on my side and even though sometimes it seems like a lecture, essentially, they’re teaching me how to ‘adult’ and you don’t get that in school folks!

My sisters are literally the wedding planners of life, they have been so on the ball and are always planning and organising the next thing on that list from favours, to colour themes, to fillers and decoration, all whilst I sit on my throne and delegate like the sass Queen I am, OBVIOUSLY! I look back at everything they do whilst this wedding is ongoing, work; children; family they have so many commitments but they still manage to prioritise me and for that I deem myself so lucky.

My friends, my meltdown heroes. They are always there without a doubt, providing me with the tips to being a bride, showing me 20 different toppers I can use for the cake and they drop literally everything just to be with me. From helping to organise my hens (yes I had more than one because I’m a Queen, she gets two birthdays so I get two hens… possibly more), to making every last experience as a ‘Miss’ with them amazing. My whatsapp groups are always firing off and honestly it brings to light how much I value my besties! They are one in a million, they have so many other priorities but no matter where they are, they’re always here when I need them and that is true friendship (soppy times). And because they love me I know they’ll share my blog, k thanks boo (wuddup self-promotion).

There are so many people who offer that helping hand through this wedding planning and even with the roller coaster of emotions that I am experiencing right now I can never forget my rock in this all. My fiancé, he deserves more than a medal. The stress I put him through because I’m stressed; the mood swings he takes because I’m stressed; the junk food I make him eat because I’m stressed. The list goes on, I joke! He has literally done so much for me, every weekend there is a new agenda from planning playlists to practising the first dance to choosing a cake topper (which still isn’t sorted hint hint). With all this ongoing he’s always there to set that next reminder and make sure he’s prepared for the next errand and honestly it’s the best experience ever.

Little things like picking your wedding bands, that look in the car when you realise that this is going to be your ‘first dance song’, all this wedding planning brings you so much closer and makes you realise not only how much you need one another but also how much you can’t live without one another. Let’s face it, you’d have no-one to piss off, no-one to eat your food (as much as I hate it, he’s my food thief not anyone else’s). The one thing that I will always be grateful for with my fiancé is his understanding and his consideration. He does everything and anything to make sure that when I move I won’t feel home sick, he even let me decorate the room how I wanted to so I could feel at home (I know I was going to make sure I did it anyway because that’s a given but you know it’s the thought that counts). He motivates me for the future in finding a career, he plans our holiday destinations so that we can conquer the world (I kid you not he brought a MASSIVE map for our wall so we can start flagging off the countries we visit!) He always makes that effort with my family and friends, he’ll come over to have a beer with my dad and even read the Indian news so there is conversation flowing! That’s some brownie points right there! He’ll visit on weekends to meet the family because he understands how important it is to me. And this is what brings everything in to perspective, it’s important to remember that although I am moving away and leaving my family, my fiancé is also making sacrifices so that he can be my family and that’s something that is so pure that it makes me feel so lucky to be with him.

From when you’ve set the date to the actual wedding day everything in between flies by so quickly and it is majorly important to appreciate those who have been by your side through it all. This experience only happens once and it’s not long before I’ll be married off and (slightly) further away from my loved ones, so I am not only grateful but MAJORLY thankful for everyone that’s been involved in their special ways.

-n

Rok (Stop) in the name of Love

This weekend I was officially ‘Roked’, which is basically my Indian engagement! I literally had the best time and danced like no one was watching, (doesn’t help when they’re filming you and taking pictures) there was no shy bride acting over here! Star plus would have been having a field day with the way I was going on! I joke, I joke. What I mean is, it’s important to have a good time at events like these, it’s the first and last time that you’re going to be able to do this so why be shy (she says on social media as opposed to her mums face, I joke!) and to be honest if you’re both happy and your parents are happy, in essence who cares?

Whilst all of this was going on it really made me think about the new chapter that me and my fiancé (any excuse to use that word) are taking on. This is something exciting, it’s going to be a lot harder than choosing what to eat but at the same time it’s going to be like unlimited wings for life (can you tell I’m a chicken fiend). I mean I know there will be downfalls like having to share food and working out which side of the bed will be yours but spending your day to day life with your best friend, learning new things about each other all the time and most of all being able to start your journey together with nothing but shits and giggles is what it’s really about. I feel like relationships are so underrated and media channels them in to such a negative light but really it’s the one thing that brings out the positivity in you. It brings out you as an individual because when you have someone who motivates you and cherishes the natural and no make-up you, that’s when you realise that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks because you’re happy.

Bringing everything into perspective it began to get emotional. My Mum and Dad, my two role models from the start, now giving me away to another family. I know it’s nothing that dramatic and everyone becomes one big family, but it felt so surreal looking at my parents from across the room and thinking, I’m actually going to miss you Dad, my knight in shining armour who defends me from the spiders of the household. The man who taught me how to put up a shelf and always made us food when Mum was working nights back in the day, the man who showed me how to make a good marinade for the chicken and even still to this day shouts at me for leaving the dishes by the sink and not in the sink. I’m going to miss you Mum, my first best friend who I shared my first laughs with, who made me cucumber sandwiches after school with half a pack of fruit pastilles, who always made a special batch of mash for me without the tomatoes, the amazing woman who taught me how to cook, who still makes that glass of warm milk for everyone after roti whilst we watch the most absurd Star Plus programmes. But most of all, there’ll be no more kissing you on the forehead every night before going up to bed, there will be no more random annoying squidgy cuddles in the day when I see you, no more hearing Dad’s iPad on full blast because apparently we’re deaf in this house, no more of anything. I’m moving away to a different city where I’m not going to be able to ‘pop in’, where it will be me, my husband and my new family.

Coming from a big family, also makes it one hundred times harder when I realised I was leaving. I don’t have just one set of parents, I have two. You have your Thi Ji and Thia Ji but no not me, they brought me up just like Mum and Dad and they were never short of a chappear, also like Mum and Dad. Everyone has ‘cousins’ but that’s a forbidden word in our family, there is no such thing as ‘cousins’, you’re either a sister or a brother, any other terminology used and you won’t be sitting with us. Fool. My brothers are forever my protectors, the ones that would trial WWF (now WWE, damn I’m old!) moves on me and squash me down the side of Mum’s bed with a broom but would beat the shit out of anyone else that would touch me!! Where when I was being bullied at school would come to my defence but when Thia Ji was feeding me a tomato and I was crying, would laugh at the side of the table. Not on bro! And sisters? Oh lord, the sisters. I’ve got like a million of ‘em. I could have been 30 and they still think I’m 10, I mean yeah its nice… I get to dodge out of paying my way through every food meal we go for, I get GAZILLIONS of cool hand-me-downs (I ain’t ashamed, you have to re-mortgage your house just to shop at Topshop these days) but the best thing about it is that they’re not just my sisters, they’re my best friends. From keeping secrets to pulling each other’s hair out, to trying to suffocate one by sticking a pillow on her head and sitting on it, to not talking to one another, to possibly even whacking a spade over one’s head… It’s all love really.

Although everything is slowly becoming real and it does make me emotional even thinking about it I am grateful for the family that I’m getting married into. The laughter, the banter, the relationships and I believe that is the most important foundation of any marriage. Your marriage is always going to be between you and your husband but being welcomed in to a family (yes I’m boasting about my in-laws) where they make a home away from home gives me such a comfort in knowing that whenever I’m feeling homesick they’ll always be there. My mother-in-law always says, that it’s not just about giving away your daughter but it’s also about gaining a son and that’s the best way to look at it really. Leaving my family is the hardest thing I’m ever going to do but at the same time, I realise I’m not actually leaving, I’m just extending my family.

Things will be different and I will be a little further but home is where the heart is and that will always be with my parents.

-n

So why do you want the job?

Interviews are the bane of my life. Luckily, I applied for the job I’m currently in after graduating and I am still there now, earning money, building my empire and taking on the world but as I will be relocating I need to start considering the options available to me. Opportunities will always come and go but whilst they are still available I think it is important to challenge yourself and to motivate yourself to be better. This is where the interview prep comes in handy.

Interview preparation is something that always baffles me. Now for me, interview experience is the best experience you can get. The feedback from each one helps you in tackling the difficult questions and it only makes your answers stronger, so any experience is good experience. But the questions? They are the raisins in cookies of life.

Questions like ‘So tell me a little bit about yourself’ completely throw me off. I want to say it took me a couple of hours to figure out who I was, you know the simple, ‘I’ve been living here, I went to uni in Nottingham, I like sports. I need this job because I’m currently living off the Maccys 99p saver menu.’ but let’s be honest I was sitting around for half a day trying to work out what my hobbies were other than carb loading. After this I worked out that yes, it is important to sound interesting but sometimes we focus so much on trying to sound interesting that we script our answers and that makes it difficult to have your natural self shine through. Being you is majorly important in an interview, you can always have the correct answers and put forward the correct examples but your inner soul needs to shine through. It isn’t just about what the job role can offer you but employers need to see what you can offer them! The characteristics you hold are so pure within you that only you can bring this quality to the team and that’s what you need to emphasise!! They need to see the fun, shining you as well as the hard-working and determined you. Personality is important as are first impressions.

Now, I always interview prep by Googling questions, or playing fire rounds with my boyfriend so that I can rehearse certain answers and prepare myself for specific questions, but the best method I have learnt this year is STAR. How I prepared and answered interview questions prior to this is beyond me but now that I have become familiar with STAR, it has helped me so much in my recent interviews.

STAR, Situation, Task, Action, Result.

Using this method will allow you to give a detailed response to any question fired at you and if you outline everything and focus on each section, there will be nothing preventing you from getting this job. Buzz words are also important within this method, before any interview I always look through the job description. There are certain requirements and skills for certain job roles, if you can tweak your CV to match this and further use the buzzwords within the job description the interviewer will take on board that you’re understanding the job role and your aware of the requirements (but that’s a basic given when you’re going for any job).

It’s all about detail! Every answer you give needs to be filled with information, it needs to be pouring with detail and you need to put across that from A to Z you followed everything through.

Common questions like, “Give me an example of when you have had a difficult customer?”

Now this could be the most basic answer, “I had a difficult customer, he wasn’t happy with a purchase, I spoke to the manager and we offered him a discount”.  Now in essence this is literally what may have happened but the point of STAR is to break this down, fill it with information, put forward your skills, your responsibilities and your initiative.

You need to outline the Situation that took place “I had a very frustrated customer, he had ordered a package and he had now been waiting for 3 weeks for it to arrive when we had stated it was next day delivery. He was furious and wanted to make a complaint”. You need to fluff it up, elaborate and bring forward the emotions of the customer.

Use your ownership skills put forward how you took the Task in hand, “Now normally with complaints, we have an escalations process whereby it will need to go through supervisors, managers to then be considered by the hierarchy. As an advisor I took the responsibility in contacting the customer myself as I deal with these queries on a daily basis. Knowing the escalations process, I understood that as the customer was already frustrated passing them from pillar to post would be more annoying so I took this on myself.” At this point the interviewer has already identified key skills within your response, you’ve got knowledge of the process, you’ve taken on ownership and you have the determination to resolve it yourself.

This is where the meaty, (or Tofu-y if your vegan) bit comes in. You need to breakdown every single thing you did, emphasise the bits that you succeeded in. Action “Now the customer had emailed in, rather than emailing him back straight away I looked in to his account so that I was able to understand the circumstances of this customer. I could see he was a regular buyer with our company and he had placed orders quite frequently with us. In regards to this particular order, I could see that the option for next day delivery was selected but due to the customer not being available to sign for it, it was sent back to the warehouse. So gaining that background to the series of events that had occurred I then decided to ring the customer so that we were able to resolve this issue rather than going back and forth via email. Once I rang the customer, he was still very frustrated and wanted to file a formal complaint, but rather than taking it straight to a supervisor, I reintroduced myself and ensured that I was going to resolve this matter from start to finish as I deal with these queries on a daily basis. I informed him of the circumstances that had occurred, I notified him of when we attempted to deliver and also outlined that we always send out specific notifications 2 hours before delivering any packages. Once I had explained the series of events, the customer notified me that he had been home hence why he was so frustrated. Given that I deal with these queries on a daily basis, I took ownership and apologised profusely for this. I built that rapport and provided empathy when speaking to the customer as it was understandable that given their circumstances, waiting all day at home for a package which was then not delivered would be annoying. As I could see that this customer was a regular buyer of our products and further used us quite frequently, I decided that I would be happy to ensure his product was sent out first thing after this call and further that as a loyal customer he should receive a discount on future delivery with our company. For situations such as these, our supervisor has to authorise whether discounts can be applied so rather than keeping the customer on hold, I took his details and promised that I would call him back by the close of business on that day”.

Within that paragraph, you’ve shown how you’re following things through, you’re taking on the responsibility of resolving this and how you have considered the needs of the business by outlining the procedures and keeping a loyal customer but also on how to be empathetic towards the customer’s circumstances. To wrap this up, you need to finish with how you succeeded, how you communicated throughout the whole process and bask in the glory of the Result, “I notified my manager of the events that had occurred, I mentioned that the customer was a regular buyer of ours and further had a bad experience of the delivery process. I put forward that I would be happy to process an order through for the package to be delivered the next morning, but as a loyal customer of ours I felt that he should be inclined to a discount on next day delivery for his next purchase. After getting this approved by my manager, I rang the customer back, apologised profusely again for everything that had occurred and ensured that I was sending out the package straight after the phone call and that I would keep the customer updated with the status of it so that it would be there the next morning and I also sent him through a discount slip via email for his next purchase. The customer began the call quite frustrated about the experience he had encountered but as I had tackled this problem straight away and kept him in the loop, he still orders our products to this day”. AND BLAM! You’ve sold it to them!

Honestly, trying this method with a few questions will not only help build stonger answers but it builds your confidence too. I find that the more I explain about an example, the more comfortable I begin to get which makes it easier to let my natural personality shine through. It helps in building that rapport with the interviewer, using that eye contact, the communication between you and them allows them to get a feel for you and to work out how you can fit in with their own team. You have to remember that when starting a new job, you’re not just carrying out your role but you are also joining a team, a work family so be it and it is important for everyone to get along and to be able to merge well. So it is important to have a personality as well as being able to answer the questions right because it isn’t always about the formalities but also about the characteristics of a person and what they will be able to bring to the work place.

-n

 

 

Education is a right, not a privilege.

It has nearly been a year since I left uni and although I miss it there is the little voice at the back of my head that always utters… Was it really worth it? I loved the freedom, the independence and the lifestyle (not that I don’t have it at home, but the experience is different). I look back at 6form and think we had to make a life decision about our future career within 3 months. We were expected to have our life planned out by 18, yet we had to put our hand up to ask to go to the toilet because although we were ‘allowed’ to control our own minds apparently our bladders had to be controlled by the teachers. I’m officially an adult now at 23 and I still don’t know what’s going to happen in the next couple of years and I’ve just about mastered how to plan my future. Yet here we were teenagers too young to drink or drive but old enough to decide what we would like to do for the next 50 years of our lives.

I feel that if you are employed in a profession concerning medicine, law or even analysing numbers then a degree is definitely important (unless you watch Suits, then a photographic memory will do) but coming out of uni I’ve realised that it’s not that easy and it is definitely not that simple. We were always told that education is key and that it would open a lot of doors but to be honest I’ve walked out 3 years later £30k in debt and I’m sitting in a job that doesn’t require any of the skills I achieved in my degree. I’m not saying that because I have a degree I should be put on a pedestal 50 yards away from those who never went to university, what I am saying is that is it really worth it if we’re going to be walking out 3/4 years later £30k in debt for a piece of paper that was the ‘key to success’, when we could have applied for this job at 16 and progressed through the workplace to this position now, I’d be £30k richer to be honest and it would be with a deposit on a ‘key’ for my own house! I always thought after uni I would walk straight in to a job but it’s nothing like that, you don’t walk straight in to anything, you work your way up, you start from the bottom which brings me to the question… What was the point of getting a degree?

Since secondary school it’s always been instilled in to our brains that we must go to university, we must have more qualifications to get anywhere in life but to be honest I work alongside managers and colleagues who never went to university, who never studied further than their GCSE’s and they seem to be doing pretty great to me! I will always stand by the principle that education is important! Because it is! It opens your mind to different thought processes, it gives you a different perspective on life and it changes your attitude in the way you approach things and I would never discourage anyone to educate themselves. But what everyone fails to see is the fact that it’s happening right now. Education is a right, we all have a right to learn, we have public libraries to show that reading and educating yourself is free! It’s there to better you as a person, but if the libraries are open and available to everyone then why isn’t uni? If education is a right and is important? How can you put a price on knowledge when it should be free and available to everyone? I’ll tell you how because it’s not about bettering yourself as a person, it’s about proving yourself as an object.

Education is no longer used as an influence to trigger the mind and spark ideas, it is used as a way to divide people and claim that only the rich deserve an education. It is used to segregate people and create labels for the ‘brainy’ and ‘dumb’. It is used as an object in proving that money makes the world go round! To prove that you are educated you must pay, to prove that you are capable of learning you must meet requirements to fit the agenda that is set by each institution, this is not education, this is the filtering of people to create a divide between us all. I’ve always heard the saying ‘if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid” and this is what I believe has been burdened upon us from a young age. We all need to understand that not only do people learn differently, but there are other types of education that people can benefit from, just because it isn’t in the curriculum doesn’t mean it isn’t useful and not every educational lesson requires a pen and paper with a multiple choice test at the end. Subjects such as Sociology boggled the mind, it challenged the norm and it was the most realest shit I’d ever heard, the bourgeoisie, the proletariat and the divide that was being created between rich and poor. Does it not seem a coincidence that a subject that highlights the derogatory behaviour of an ‘upper class’ has now been shunned and claimed as a ‘no hope or future in this subject’ profession? I think not.

It needs to be outlined that university doesn’t hold the key to all doors; you do not need to conform to a society where education is deemed as a luxury. Education is there to make you question the status quo, don’t let this world swallow you up, thrive for who you are, and don’t let anybody dim your spark. Education is meant to bring out the uniqueness in you not train you in being the same as everyone else.

Always remember education is a right, not a privilege.

-n

Pep Talks

Until you sit down and assess everything you are facing you never really understand how strong you are. You can have a 5 year plan with annotations and pictures but nothing ever really goes that way. There are blips and hurdles and there will always be things that will prevent you from reaching your goals but never let this deter you. Challenges are there to be faced and battles are there to be won, just never let your emotions get the better of you.

You feel like surrounding yourself with positivity is the best thing you can do and to a certain extent it’s true. Your mood changes, you become happier and everything gradually gets better but in that one moment, when you’re sitting alone thinking about everything going on and wondering when will you get your shit together? I promise that daunting feeling won’t last long. And I promise it’s going to be okay.

You may feel like you’re carrying the world on your shoulders, like you’re trying to do everything in your power to make things work, you tolerate people’s actions because you know what it feels like to be treated that way and you would never for a minute want them to feel the same and you shrug things off because you see the bigger picture and that’s more important than irrelevant little things. But when it comes down to it and you’re lying in bed, those little thoughts at the back of your head seem to somehow creep out and decide they want to pin down your emotions and let them take over your mind. Never let them.

I’m not saying don’t be open about your feelings and put up a wall, I’m saying that it’s okay to have a moment to yourself, it’s okay not to be perfect. It’s okay to not have it together every single minute of every single day and really it is okay to be emotional and watch Bridget Jones whilst singing “All By Myself” (not cool). But the worst thing to do? Is never talk about it. It’s okay that there are days when you want to chill on your own and not talk to the world but never let those days build up.

Talk to people about your feelings, if you need to say something? Say it! Make it work with each other, tell each other how you feel, you should never have to hide that! Be honest and be comfortable! There are people out there who care so much for you and no doubt about it there are always going to be people you’ll care for too. Everyone faces obstacles but when you tackle them together it only makes you stronger! Treat others how you want to be treated and if you know that sometimes you just want to talk, rant or even moan and complain chances are your friends might want to do that too! You never realise how far a simple “Hope you’re okay,x” message can go. Don’t always wait around for people to come to you and ask how everything is, remember you never know what battles people are fighting and a simple “How you doing?” can go a long way. Sometimes you feel like you might be complaining a little too much and you might be a little too annoying but if excuses like that prevent you from texting or ringing your friend, then are they really your friend?

They say you always accept the love you think you deserve and the second you have to contemplate whether someone wants to hear about your day or even if they’re going to be interested in talking to you is the minute you need to realise you don’t deserve them. You deserve so much more.

  • Nuvs

Make It Happen

Well it is rather evident that I have not blogged in a very long time, I’m literally sitting in my pyjamas and my university hoody, looking like death whilst having Sunday blues. I must be very deluded to think that just because I am wearing my university hoody it will magically transport me back to the student life and I will not have to wake up for that 6am alarm clock tomorrow. Well, it’s worth a try!

Since I’ve started this working life I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about weekends off and lie-in’s! It’s like Christmas has definitely come early even when a lie-in consists of getting up at 7.00am sometimes even 7.30am! I definitely am living the lavish lifestyle! I couldn’t wait to work and start having an income, I even think there was a moment where I was sick and tired of being a student and actually WANTED to work. That’s right ‘WANTED’ to work, how I suddenly regret those words. I miss being a student and it hasn’t even been 3 months. I left uni this year, I’ve graduated this year and I already want to go back!

Everything costs now! There is no free money from student finance! I had to earn those wages that come in to my account, I’m working for that holiday pay and hours off work. I feel like my dad’s words resonate through my mind on a daily basis “There’s no such thing as free in this world.” and he’s right! Everything costs! The prices of simple things like Freddo’s, how is that even possible?! Freddo really did have to grow up and get a mortgage it’s the only excuse for charging an extortionate 50p for something that probably cost 10p to make! Food is my forte, food is important, food is life and food is basically where my wages are going. It’s actually quite humorous how I spend money, I will not even look twice or care for spending £20 on food and extra wings yet when I see a jumper for £20 I feel like I really have to question my lifestyle choices and weigh out the pro’s and con’s of whether I should pay this extortionate amount for a jumper. It’ll go on sale eventually anyway so why pay so much now!

Now that I am growing up and becoming more responsible I feel like there is so much I want to accomplish. There is so much I want to achieve in the next 5 years. I plan a lot, to be honest I plan a little too much, sometimes it can be a bad thing but sometimes it’s actually a good thing! I always feel frustrated that I never have enough time to achieve my aspirations, I have everything written down but I never have the time. See this is where the Pep Talk comes in. I may tell myself that I don’t have time but that’s strictly true, all of this frustration is self-inflicted therefore it deserves no sympathy. I have the same 24 hours everybody else has and I know there are plenty of people out there accomplishing amazing things and reaching goals they thought they couldn’t. Motivation is difficult to acquire and that’s where faith and self-belief comes in.

Three years ago I thought I’d never get in to uni, yet here I am Class of 2015, graduated, working and on the road to accomplish something bigger and better. Everything requires willpower and attitude changes and although now I’m still sitting here partly frustrated feeling that I cannot get anything done. The difference is I’ve still got my plan, which means I’ve got some sort of guidance and now all I need is the positive attitude and the faith! What I’m trying to say is, everybody wants to do so much and there are so many excuses that prevent you from reaching your goal, don’t let anything get in the way. This is your life, your story. Make it count. Change that attitude because it will change your life! This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo! (That’s right, I Eminem’d it!)

  • Nuvs

The Dating Game

The line “it’s all coming to an end” keeps running through my mind, within the blink of an eye I’ll be waving goodbye to university and starting a new chapter. Attempting to ease myself out of uni is the next step I’m taking, reflecting on my degree working out how to use it in the next five years. What jobs I should apply for, whether I should move locations to gain a little more independence. All of these ‘adult’ questions are finally making me realise I am growing up.

The one adventure that you started three years ago is becoming your journey to success, so treasure it and make it count. You start grounding yourself, understanding that there are petty little things which aren’t worth stressing over because looking at the bigger picture there’s a lot more to consider than getting annoyed over the fact that someone replied “ok” and not “okay”. I am guilty of this behaviour, lol! It’s all about employment, financial stability, saving for holidays with friends and loved ones and putting money aside for a house that will complete the picture.

And then there are relationships… (See where I’m going with this). I never really talk about dating, it’s always about uni and the good times and the memories but people date at uni… SHOCKING RIGHT?! I’m kidding, amongst the many hilarious memories of uni, dating is certainly an experience, working out whether you’re ‘dating/onit/seeing each other/checking each other/or actually together’…the lines between labels are so blurred, yet not one of those phrases above can even easily be defined! Everyone always said to me never get in to a relationship at uni, I never knew why and I still don’t to this day, but by the sounds of it, it does seem a good idea considering everyone I know in final year has virtually met their soul mate and are probably riding on the road to marriage, yet here I am riding on the road to KFC. I’m not saying cancel out all your priorities and only focus on finding a soul mate and marriage, if it happens, it will happen, and if you want to pursue it, you will. Don’t go chasing love, let the love find you! (Cheesy but true!)

I always think of the way everyone starts dating, everyone has their stories of how they caught each other’s eyes and met, the ‘look’ when you’re checking each other out in the club, the air is vibrant and sweaty, oh the romanticism! The ‘cheeky’ follow on Instagram, because even though you can only see a circle the size of a 5p coin on their profile somehow, magically, you know this person is absolutely beautiful and is going to consist of all the things on your “checklist in a guy/girl”. If it’s not a social gathering with alcohol, then it’s social media, either way Facebook, Instagram, Twitter don’t only help you stalk… but they also help you scope!

The most hilarious thing I find about dating is you begin with the “You have a good night?” message or the “Hey, you alright?” message over Facebook and you converse for a couple of months and everything goes happily, you’ve exchanged numbers, awaited a funny text from them with the random one liner where you pretend you didn’t know who it was… oh the banter! The awkward phone call that you dread hoping that they don’t sound like Darth Vader and that there’s no erm-ing and arr-ing with the uncomfortable silences… the gift of the gab is a God send here! The going for a drink and having food, ordering the least messiest thing on the menu so they don’t watch you eat as you indulge your food like you’re making love to it. The amount of times I have been nervous to eat in front of someone because I don’t think they understand my relationship with food! The paranoia is unreal! The constant phone calls and texts, it’s like a ‘honeymoon period’ of being with someone! Everything is rainbows and smiles!

But the most hilarious part about dating someone is the stalking. Okay it’s not amazing, you come across things you don’t want to see sometimes and you work yourself up about pointless and unnecessary things but it’s the craziness of the stalking that makes you realise who you really are. You go for the normal Facebook tagged pictures, uploads, maybe a couple of wall posts. Look up a couple of mutual friends, send a couple of texts to find out about whether they’re a barrel of laughs, because all you want is someone to make you laugh! You stalk through tagged pictures so you know what they actually look like because we all know profile pictures are deceiving, we look at their friends and work out if we picked the right one, I’m joking! But it’s the stalking when it’s been about 3 hours and you have somehow ended up on their best mate’s, brother’s, cousin’s, sister’s, mum’s page looking at tagged pictures from Barcelona 2012 and you have to get up and wean yourself off the laptop because this is not you! It’s not normal to know that his best mates, sister went to school at Bla Bla High School and her birthday is on the 3rd of July. (If you can relate anyone to the above sentences it is purely coincidental,lol!).

The ‘stalking’ game can last up to hours, and it can be very fun but never let it get the better of you! Always remember, you might come across a couple things you might not like, they might make your stomach turn, but they are things of the past and the only thing that is important right now is the present. You have memories to make with whoever the lucky one is, more drink dates to go on, more food to try! The bickering and arguing of insignificant things that apparently mean the world to you, when really it’s just an argument of where to eat! You’ve got all the spontaneity, the random nights you’re whisked away, the random days you spend together and the cinematic holding hands whilst you take romantic walks in the park.

Dating someone is about learning about each other, it’s understanding each other and making compromises. It’s taking variables in to consideration and realising with the right amount of effort you can make this work. You’ve got to give if you want to get and that’s the same with dating, the more you put in to it, the more you’ll get out of it.

– Nuvs

The Final Stretch

Its already May! And if only I could have published this a day earlier just to use the ‘May The Fourth Be With You’ joke! That’s right I’m not a Star Wars fan but anything to jump on the bandwagon for cool puns, I’m there!

These five months have flown by and I can’t believe that I’m actually going to be finishing uni officially in approximately three weeks! Then I have to be a real adult and find a job… and pay tax. Oh the joys awaiting me in the adult world! No more student loan, no more free money to spend lavishly on Nando’s and KFC. The struggle is real!

But let us not depress ourselves just yet, dissertations and exams are here to do that for now! This is the final stretch and it has truly been the longest. The highs and lows, the breakdown phone calls to my parents have suddenly become the norm. The amount of all nighter’s that have taken place, well that have been organised to take place but result in watching Netflix and scuttling to bed at 2am. It’s okay, you’re allowed the odd day off after all the hard working days spent in the library. Let’s face it, they are the most dreadful days. Having to arrive at the library before 9.30am because if you don’t there won’t be a space to sit let alone a computer, surviving on Tesco £3 meal deals all day because you know if you leave to go home for a proper meal you won’t return for several weeks… leaving all your books and paper all over the keyboard so that you can claim your territory in the library because you know some vulture is preying over you to log off and leave… not on my watch mate! I came here at 9.30am and I plan to stay here all day till the library shuts… BUT IT’S A 24 HOUR LIBRARY, so the jokes on you! Muaahaha!

The library has pretty much drove me in to hysterical mode, the stress has become at least one emotional breakdown every three days while listening to How To Save A Life by The Fray because you know you won’t be able to save yours anymore. Yes, you should have gone to that lecture, okay maybe you should have attended the whole module but you can do this… that’s what pro plus was made for, to learn a whole module within a week!

Remember those student nights on a Tuesday that everyone would be at? Forget that! The library is the place to be not only on a Tuesday night, but every night! The smell of Red Bull and Relentless in the air, the missions to the 24 hour McDonald’s down the road for a cheeky cheeseburger, it’s practically a night out!! The extortionate spending in the SU shop, which are supposed to provide cheaper prices by the way, being conned in to buying millions of bags of crisps just because they were all £1…bargain!! Food becomes the new way to lure people to the library, snacks become your bribes and you have to constantly sit rows and rows away from your friends because you know if you don’t, there is no work getting done tonight. That doesn’t stop the WhatsApp groups though! You all meet every hour and it feels like you have life stories to discuss when you saw each other an hour ago and that’s how procrastination begins… the Facebook stalking begins, the Instagram uploading and what’s worst is the Snapchat videos at stupid AM! But they’re not all that bad…your friends become your motivators, it becomes a team activity, everyone goes to the library and everyone’s going to get through this, the library becomes your home and you stare out anyone who tries to walk in to your territorial space of booked tables or booths. That’s right April and May is a student version of Alien V Predator.

It’s not all that bad though, the stress is unreal and the amount of breakdowns are too but when you look back at it, it’s hilarious. The motivation everyone gives each other, the support and faith everyone has in each other to do well is the key motivator… it helps us, it motivates us and reminds us that we will get through this final stretch and it is going to be difficult… but it is definitely going to be worth it! Now back to revision…

– Nuvs

The Long Run

End of term is finally here and BOY HAS IT BEEN STRESSFUL AND LONG!!, University is closed, all the ‘6 wings for 2.99’ places are closed, everyone went home as soon as the first Saturday came, so you can say it is officially Christmas and a month off sounds like heaven!! Except that it’s not!! They tell you to have happy holidays but would someone tell me what is so happy about having to stay at uni for an extra 2 weeks to get more work done? Reading sources, and then re-reading sources, honestly, the highlighter has become my best friend! The workload is never ending, the printing credit is never enough and as soon as I’ve ticked something off my list and deemed it completed, that frown that’s about to turn upside down…doesn’t. It’s like there is always something to do, feeling like I’m far behind has become a consistent emotion lately, and when stress is surrounding me everything seems impossible! … But that’s what drives me to want to achieve this degree!! Graduate with that hat and prove everyone wrong because I made it!

What I’m trying to say is, it probably feels like the end of the world right now facing all these final end of term deadlines, exams, dissertation proposal/chapters all due for the next couple of weeks but all this work and these deadlines are just hurdles you need to overcome! There are always going to be obstacles, you’ve just got to work your way around them! Everyone has a breakdown where they think they can’t manage anymore, believe me! I was going through it last week and my poor sister had to be at the other end of it, consoling me and proving that I could do it!! It’s not a bad thing to have a helping hand, to have someone there for motivation, to talk to someone, or just for reassurance, always remember, everyone is in the same boat, if it isn’t work they’re trying to tackle it’s something else and the only way to get through it is by following the rule ‘a problem shared, is a problem halved’, because we are all in this together, we’re not competing, we’re side by side and I hope we all make it!!

My sister gave me some useful advice (during my breakdown), she said to put everything into perspective at this stage was simply to think of the future. The journey is tiresome, difficult and emotional, but in the long run it will all pay off, right now you may regret going out, missing an epic night out but there are going to be more nights to come! At the moment, focus is key, your friends aren’t going to leave you for wanting to do well, if anything they shall be supportive! Nobody is saying that you need to chain yourself to a room and never leave, it’s healthy to have a social and work balance but what I’m trying to put in to perspective is that if you want that empire, that independent luxurious living, something you’ve earned and that you can call your own, then don’t worry about these late nights, long hours, stressful weeks working because in the long run what is coming ahead is what counts, and that my friend is success.

Have a lovely Christmas, ya filthy animals! It’ll all be worth it in the long run!!

– Nuvs