how I manage my finances without a budget

2019, lifestyle, organisation, student

Hello!

Figuring out my finances is something I’ve had to watch very closely this month – with buying a car on finance and the end of last month and spending my wages before I got them, this month has been and will be very, very tight but in the months leading up to buying my car and this month of tight budgeting I’m so proud of how well I’ve managed them that I’ve decided to share!

I’m someone who feels inclined to spend money when they’re sad so being able to tackle that and being at a point where I know I can save reliably and buy myself a car without dipping into my savings is a big step for me.

And the biggest thing for me is not having a set budget – I’ve tried apps like Yolt and Cleo and I just found they weren’t flexible enough for real life. Saying ‘I’m only going to spend £X this month’ doesn’t allow for spontaneous plans – paying for trains for a job interview,  having to pay for more bus tickets than expected or even going for a last minute coffee with a friend you haven’t seen for a long time can effect your budget and I just found that it didn’t work for me. So this is more about tracking your finances and making sure you can hit all your goals – whether that’s saving a certain amount, not spending over a certain amount (I guess that’s having a budget) or just making sure you can pay all your bills, these are my tips and tricks for flexible financing.

*obviously I’m not an expert and I’m not claiming to be, just sharing tips from someone who using half her savings to live last year and now has bought herself a car on finance*

1. Have somewhere to track your finances

I only mention my bullet journal in basically every blog post I write but for me I have a spread in my journal for my finances each month. On the left I have notes which I will expand on and on the right page is where I write down everything I’m spending as it comes out of my bank account. I don’t track cash spending because either I will have drawn that cash from my bank which I track or it’s cash that I’ve been given for whatever reason so it doesn’t effect my bank account. I tried tracking as I spent but then it got confusing with keeping receipts and it’s better for the environment if not so now I just track my spending as it comes out of my bank account.

Either way, I recommend writing it all down! Whether it’s a note on your phone, a notebook that you have specifically for finances or in a bullet journal like me, write it down!

Normally it’s neater than this, but having somewhere to really know how much I’m spending it important to me

2. Plan your month

I like to break it down with my income at the top of the left hand page, then a list of all my bills and when I’d expect them to come out (then I can tick them off and it’s very satisfying) and then a list of any costs I know I’m going to incur.

So this month I had to pay for a tattoo (because car and tattoo timing ended up being awful), two driving lessons, my savings challenge and bus fares and having it all written out makes it much easier to track.

My savings challenge, for anyone that’s interested, came from Facebook last year – you save a pound more every week for a whole year (so £1, then £2, then £3 etc) so it was really easy in January but now I’m saving just under £150 a month and by the end of the year it’ll be a lot per month but I’ll have over £1300 saved in a year which I’m so proud of and I haven’t done it yet, but it’s important to me and I want to complete it!

So knowing what my month is going to look like is really helpful – taking my bills and planned payments into account means I know how much money I have to play with and depending on how much I want to save and what it is I want to spend my money on I can figure out my spending from there.

3. Focus on what you need and not what you want

It’s so easy when you get an email about 20% off on ASOS or you fancy some Bourneville Buttons to just go and buy them, but if you really want to make the most of your finances you have to think about what you really want from them.

If a treat every now and then is in your budget then go for it, if you’ve had your eye on a jacket that really fills a gap in your wardrobe then go for it, but if you really need to save and you’re looking at buying a new notebook for the sake of it then you really need to think about if it can wait.

Another thing I find helps with this is having a post it note or section in your journal towards a ‘big spend’ – if there’s something that you want or need to spend slightly more money on. I have a big spend post it note that I transfer to each monthly finance spread with each month and what I would like to be my ‘big spend’ if I can afford it. It’s meant that because I could plan it out, I bought myself a Nintendo Switch in May, a new car in June and I’m hoping to be able to get prescription sunglasses and pay the deposit on a rented property in August. It really is achievable if you set your mind to it!

It’s a difficult skill to master discipline and nobody’s perfect, but trying your best is the best you can do.

So there’s my top advice for helping manage your finances in a more realistic way than most of the apps will let you. I personally find them all too fiddly and they never track my bills right, but maybe I’ve just not put the time into them.

I think I’ll always be a pen and paper gal myself, but I hope this helps in some way!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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planning for moving

2019, lifestyle, organisation, student

Hello!

It’s only been a week since I found out I’ve been accepted onto a masters course at Oxford Brooke’s and I’ve already gone head first into planning to move because I’ve only got 2 months to figure it all out! Renting is all quite a quick progress so I don’t know when I’m actually going to find a property with the right time span

But regardless of the fact I don’t have anywhere to live yet, there’s lots of things I’m planning to do different than when I lived alone as an undergrad student so I thought I’d make a list for two reasons – 1) I love planning and thinking all these things through and 2) it holds me accountable so when I do move, I stick with the plan!

1. Having a cleaning/laundry day every week

I’ll be honest, I’m not very good at cleaning where I live – it’s something I never got round to teaching myself when I moved out but in the era of Mrs Hinch it’s not hard to learn! I just know what I’m like so setting a day aside to do the bathroom, the kitchen, hoover everything, do all our laundry will make sure I definitely do it and I think it’ll be a nice relief from uni work. Get some music on the Alexa, comfies on, sounds like a pretty good day actually!

2. Making proper meal plans

Doing one bulk shop at the beginning of the month then using stuff out the freezer to make it last (especially because I’ll probably be cooking for one most nights when my boyfriend’s away working!). Something I really want to focus on is making an effort not to buy as much food on the go – the occasional McDonalds as a treat is okay but popping into Tescos or Costa every day is expensive and not that healthy, so it’ll be good for my healthy eating and for my bank account to plan ahead!

3. Move in parts – not all at once

I have a lot of stuff – ornaments, books, personal stuff and I’m definitely not going to be able to move it all in one go. Being in the Oxford area (rather than in Southampton where I was for uni!) and being able to drive (hopefully) between there and home means I can go pick up more of my stuff whenever I want, rather than having to lug it all on trains. My plan is to take the bare minimum and then as we unpack and figure out storage we can take more belongings or buy new things (I’m hoping for a new TV at some point!). Doing it more gradually will just be easier for everyone, luckily my mum’s happy for us to leave stuff at home!

In terms of actually starting uni – I’ve got my conditional offer, I’ve sent off my references and proof of my degree and applied for student finance. Once my boyfriend and I have taken our next driving tests (lol) we’ll figure out more in terms of logistics and then my mum reckons renting property is a quick process so we’re not really going to start looking until nearer September and then it’s all packing and actually moving, which is stressful enough!

I’m excited though – this is the most progress I’ve made in the year since I graduated (which is exactly a year ago tomorrow, 10th July!). I’m so ready to live independently and go back to uni and hopefully make a start on the rest of my life. Any advice is more than welcome!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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July Goals

2019, fitness, goals, lifestyle, student, writing

Hello!

It’s that time again! We’re officially over halfway through 2019 and I’m not entirely sure how it’s gone that fast actually. It’ll be Christmas before we know it!

But with a new month, it means new goals! My June goals actually went relatively well – I made good progress on lots of things and I’m going to maintain that this month. So here are my achievable personal goals for July!

  1. Practice driving petrol – may sound dumb, but long story short I upgraded my car! I’ve been driving diesel since I started learning last September and this is the first time I’ve ever driven petrol and boy-o it’s different and difficult to get used to. I say ‘difficult’ – it’s only been two days and when it’s flat I’m mostly okay but I want to get lots of practice in so that when I pass my driving test (eventually) I’ll be ready to zip off here there and everywhere in my gorgeous new car! Aptly named H.R.Wheels by my creative boyfriend, plus points to anyone who watches the Flash and gets that reason.
  2. Confirm my place at uni and research where to move – literally yesterday as I was brainstorming what I wanted my goals for this month to be, I got a conditional offer email from Oxford Brookes University to study MSc Digital Media Production and I’m simultaneously nervous and excited. But what goes with that is moving – finding somewhere to live around Oxford (because I definitely can’t afford Oxford) and figuring out the finances of it all! July is a month of figuring out.
  3. Write 35,000 words – I’ve been setting myself lots of monthly writing challenges to train up for 50,000 words NaNoWriMo in November and this month is Camp NaNoWriMo. It’s just to maintain my habit for writing every day and making time for creative hobbies around work and other commitments!
  4. Run 3x a week and stop snacking – a little development on my goals for last months. In this last week is when I fell off my couch to 5k bandwagon and I needed a bit of motivation, so this morning I did the run from week 1 and I’m going to do a condensed version of the first 4 weeks, then build up on week 5 and 6 again because that’s where I started to struggle. It’s going to take me considerably longer than 9 weeks but I’m going to get there! This is the most committed to exercise I’ve been since I was dancing four times a week at school. And I need to get a hold of my eating habits again – it’s getting out of hand so step 1 for me is cutting out snacking. It’ll be tough but I want to feel better again so I’ve got to work for it!
  5. Make sure I can pay all my bills – having bought a car at the very end of June, July is going to be incredibly tight (because I may or may not have spent the majority of my wages before I got paid… haha?). It’s manageable as long as I don’t waste money on things I don’t need and am really careful with what I do spend. I’m not worried about it but I need to focus and having it as part of my monthly goals helps keep me on track!

A couple of days ago, I noticed in myself that I was feeling a bit spaced out – that I was stopping doing things that are good for me and feeling a total lack of motivation for everything but writing this post has really perked me up! If you feel a bit lost I thoroughly recommend setting a short list of achievable goals, it makes it so much easier to be productive!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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going back to uni – am I a failure?

2019, career, student

Hello!

It’s been over a year since I handed in my Final Major Project and finished working on my degree which means I’ve been applying for jobs for over a year and I’ll be honest, it’s utterly soul destroying.

I’m sure other people in my position feel the same – it starts to feel like maybe you don’t have the skills you know you have, maybe you’re not good enough for any of these jobs, or maybe you don’t actually want to go into the industry you’ve been working towards or whether your entire life so far is a lie.

Or maybe I’m being a bit melodramatic?

Maybe I am, but those are just some of the thoughts I’ve had over the hundreds of jobs I’ve read through and not applied for because it would either just be added to the pile of ones I never hear back from or I’ll get another rejection email and that won’t help anything.

So with the help of the careers team at my old university, I’ve been given the opportunity to study a Post Graduate Certificate in Professional Development Planning, which is designed to do exactly what it says on the tin – plan for my professional development (i.e. help me figure out how to get a job). And from there, depending on how the summer goes and unless I miraculously get a job, I’m hoping to start a masters degree at the end of September but I’m going to go to a couple of open days in June before I properly decide.

But is going back to uni just giving up on getting a job? Is the equivalent of saying ‘I know I can’t get a job without more training’? Obviously that’s just how I feel in my field of study – lots of courses have natural progression on to a more specified field including mine but for me there’s always that element of doubt.

So I thought I’d collate a few reasons why going back to uni definitely DOES NOT make me or you or anyone a failure and some things we can remind ourselves of whilst we’re still looking for the right job.

Getting more qualifications is never a bad thing – lots of people will do courses in the workplace, so it’s not that different to that really is it? In my unplanned year ‘off’ I’ve learnt to drive and become a qualified first aider so they’re other qualifications too, it’s just a larger scale much more expensive version of that.

It’ll make us more employable in the long run (hopefully) – having an MA to your name has to help a bit, doesn’t it?

I want to better myself and learn more and I would have done that if I got a job anyway – I love learning, developing my skills and keeping up with whatever changes in technology and I would have wanted to keep learning if I was in a career related job anyway. It’s just going about learning in a slightly different way.

I’m clutching a straws a bit I guess – it’s quite specific to be going back to uni because I can’t get a job and I’m sure most people going to do a masters are more than happy, in fact excited, to go back to studying because for them it’s not a last resort. And I suppose it’s not a ‘last resort’ – a real last resort would be giving up and deciding I’d work in retail or a job I don’t really want for the rest of my life. I probably won’t even be in this job I’m craving at the moment for the rest of my life so who knows why I’m being so dramatic about it all!

In conclusion (I’m getting back into the essay writing, can you tell?), going back to uni or studying a Masters or a PhD or whatever should never be something to consider a failure or be ashamed of. This post is as much for me as it is anyone else worrying about their future – even though it’s not quite going the way you’ve planned, it’s okay, something will happen, it’s just not our time yet.

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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so no one told ya (post-grad) life was gonna be this way…

2019, career, lifestyle, student

Hello!

I thought today I’d have a little rambly chat about what’s going on re life post graduation! It’s been nearly a year since I finished my degree and 9 months since I officially graduated and if anyone wants any reassurance that you’re not the only one in the universe that still hasn’t got a career job since then this is what this post is for.

It’s that darn social media again isn’t it – you scroll through instagram and see people talking about cool projects they’re taking on or even that they’ve been promoted to another role and it’s so isolating – to feel like you’re the only person who hasn’t been able to start their career, it starts to make you’re not good enough, maybe it’s because you can’t do the job you want and all these other thoughts start floating around.

I know in my heart of hearts that isn’t true, but I start getting to this point where I’m saying things like ‘I just need someone to give me a chance’ – no I don’t! I don’t need ‘a chance’ because that makes it sound like someone’s taking a risk on hiring me and I’m not a risk.

So, this ‘introductory paragraph’ I wanted to open this post with has turned into a nice little summary about the spiral of thoughts I’m having regarding my career! I’m looking into going back to uni, I’m thinking maybe I just give up and work in retail for the rest of my life but then, I’m a very ambitious person. I have life goals, I have places I want to go and see and that doesn’t make me special or different in any way, but then the insecurity fizzles into frustration – how have so many other people I graduated with managed to find jobs in the field I want to go in but I’m sat at home sending out application after application and getting nothing back?

And then we cycle round to insecurity and how they’re all better than me and so on and so on.

To be honest, I don’t know how to fix it other than getting a job. I trawl through job sites and I look at all these jobs and I start to pick out things that I can’t do. This time last year I had the approach that no, I don’t know how to do that thing but I’m a fast learner and I really want to be good at these things so hopefully that won’t be an issue but now? Those things are still true but I’ve given up on thinking that anyone will let me try. I don’t know what to do anymore.

But let’s have a look at the positives – I’m in a very fortunate position that my mum owns a business that she can give me a part time job and I’m working so it’s not like I’m literally living off nothing. I’m gaining lots of skills in office admin, being a PA and databasing that I didn’t know before and I wouldn’t have learnt if I’d gone straight into a graduate job.

I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to volunteer at my old dance school and contribute to the place that kept me sane while I was a teenager – from there I’ve also learnt more about being a receptionist (and pretty much conquered my fear of talking on the phone!) and gone back to doing a couple of dance classes (always wishing I could do more) which I definitely wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do if I’d gone straight into work.

And I definitely wouldn’t have had the time to learn to drive if I didn’t have the flexibility of part time work – I’ve been learning for 8 months now and I’m about to book my test for late June so hopefully (if I pass first time!) I will have gone from knowing literally nothing about a car to taking my test in 10 months and I’m so excited about having the freedom to go wherever I want whenever I want and not be bound by public transport for the first time in my life, I literally can’t wait.

And that’s just three things – alongside having the time to keep up with my blog and YouTube channel, working on more of my hobbies like learning to knit and playing the piano, spending so much time with my boyfriend before he starts work and getting to live at home with my mum for a little bit, these are all things I wouldn’t have been able to do if I’d got a job straight away.

It’s all swings and roundabouts – on the one hand, I feel like maybe this is just my path and my next step is yet to come. On the other hand, I’m still toying with the idea that maybe I’m completely useless and I just need to reevaluate my entire life. Who knows?!

Conclusion – right now, it’s tough, being rejected for so many jobs it’s disheartening and it’s taking it’s toll but letting it totally destroy any self confidence I may or may not have is not going to help anything. So I’ve got to keep truckin’ – get my driving license, work on expanding my skillset, self learning. There’s a career for me out there, somewhere (hopefully).

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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an unexpected year of progress | graduate life update

2019, career, student

Hello!

I feel like I will feel the need to write updates until the day I start a job or figure out a plan of what’s next!

It’s a weird balance because I want to document what’s going on in my life for me to look back on, but then I don’t want anyone who’s currently at uni to read and feel terrified that this is their future… but (how many times can I say ‘but’) there are other graduates in a similar position to me who feel reassured they’re not alone! This is what I think about every time I write or film on of these posts, if that gives any clarification.

So, disclaimer: this is my situation. I know a lot of grads who have jobs and many who don’t. It’s not to say that those who don’t have jobs haven’t worked hard and it doesn’t diminish the hard work those who have jobs also did. There’s no ‘luck’ in getting a job – those with employment put a lot of time and effort into getting their job, but there is being ‘unlucky’ as someone can put in the same effort and not be successful. Graduation can be so scary because it’s so uncertain and there’s no formula to certify anything, we can only do what we can. Disclaimer over!

Let’s go back to the beginning – I handed in my final assignment in May 2018, last year. I graduated in July. I started applying for jobs to start when I graduated in the February, so about a year ago now. I just kept applying for job after job. I had three interviews over the summer that were all unsuccessful. In September I started doing some part time work for my mum’s business but I didn’t properly commit because I was still hopeful something would work out. In November I had an interview for some freelance work which very quickly fell through. After the new year I went back to applying, I’m in conversation with my uni’s careers department who are trying to help me get a a job and I’m now doing two full days a week at my mum’s work.

So, I’m essentially no further along than I was a year ago except I have a degree and a part time job.

And that’s the literal update of what has factually happened.

Looking forward, /i’m going to keep working with mum, finish learning to drive, keep applying, keep researching a masters and figure out if I want to do that. I’m keeping myself busy but I can’t do this forever.

Outside of the practicalities, in myself I’m not in the best mental state. In November, things really picked up for me emotionally even though I was facing rejection after rejection. But these last few weeks where I’ve been trying to budget and pay for driving lessons and bus fares, it’s been really rough. Thinking about why I’ve been rejected for so many jobs, obviously I start thinking about how maybe I’m really not good enough, I’ve wasted my time at uni and I should just give up completely.

But what really helped was a call from my university’s careers agency (shoutout to Aaron from Solent Futures!) for reassuring me that I’m qualified, I am good enough and it will happen.

Even though I’ve been job hunting for a year, I’ve actually learnt so much and had the time to try things I wouldn’t have if I’d gone straight into a job. I’ve started learning to drive and I absolutely adore it. I’ve gone back to the dance school I spent most of my teenage years in and I volunteer on reception which has taught me a lot of really valuable skills as well as getting to go back to tap classes, I don’t know if I can find the words for how much I love them. Doing office work for my mum has taught me lots about admin and being a PA. All this time without full time commitment has meant I can continue working on my blog and YouTube channel and have time to figure out what I actually want.

I’m trying my best to think positively – giving up isn’t going to get me a job or improve my mental health. Hard work and self belief is – I’ve got to empower myself because right now, it’s all I’ve got!

So overall, I’m struggling but I think I’ll be okay in the long run. If you have any questions about post grad stuff or job hunting please do let me know!

I have a question too – I was considering writing a post about my favourite instagram accounts at the moment? I really want to share the love but not sure whether to do a post or insta stories, so please do let me know!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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my dream job | #asktheuniverse

2018, career, lifestyle, photography, student

Hello!

I’ve always been a big advocate of if you want something, ask for it because you never know who might have that contacts to help you get to where you want to be. That’s why I made a video in 2014 about my dream job (click here for foetus Sophie) and that’s why I love that ‘#asktheuniverse’ seems to have become a thing.

So why not write my own #asktheuniverse post, right?

I thought I’d write about three jobs which I would just love to do, because there are so many things that I’d get so excited about having the opportunity to do and I think I would be really good at, so here’s me asking the universe!

  • social media in live music – being on Insta stories every night of a tour, responding to fans on twitter, making short tour vlogs for each night for Facebook and YouTube  – it would be manic busy but it’s something I would absolutely love, travelling to new parts of the world and experiencing live music every night makes my heart race just thinking about it. This has essentially been my dream job since I was about 17 but I think it would be just so much fun and the creative energy would be insane.
  • creative digital media – this one’s a little vague but being able to combine copywriting, videography and photography online or on social media is something I’ve thoroughly enjoyed doing and for a certain brand or TV channel or right creative personality, I think it would be a super exciting and engaging career to build on.
  • writing books – I’ve been creative writing since I was 12 years old in 2008 and I kind of fell out of love with it when I went to uni because I just didn’t have the time to write creatively every night like I did when I was at home. As of recent I’ve got back into it and I’ve always been passionate about the story I wrote when I was 16 and I went to develop it and make it into a full series and work on a film adaptation! I just love the idea of working on a project that’s such a dear part of your heart and sharing that with an audience and having people write fanfiction about it – imagine having an audience that cared about your characters that much? I’m aiming for the next Harry Potter, obviously.
  • Overwatch: A Netflix series – I’m aware that the only video game I play and is Overwatch and I definitely can’t call myself a gamer but I love it so much. Mostly because, the company that makes the game, Blizzard, are just so thorough with their character creation – there’s currently 28 heroes (I think?) and they’ve all got in depth back stories and connections to each other and the overarching story is really interesting and ongoing and I think it could be an actually incredible series on Netflix but it would take a lot of prep, a lot of character mapping and a whole team to make potentially 28 characters come together. Imagine the season finale it would be so incredible and I’d love to be part of the creative writing process, even the filming, editing and promotions process. Fully involved yes please.

Or, I would like to be in Flash please. Because deep down, the performing arts part of me still loves the idea of being an actor but I have no training nor do I actually think I’d be very good at it. But I might be, who knows?

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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nothing is permanent, even unemployment

2018, lifestyle, student

Hello!

After graduating, the only thing anyone ever really wants to talk to you about is whether you’ve got a job, what’re you going to do next and what your plans are and when you don’t have a job or a plan it gets pretty boring and incredibly down-heartening.

That’s not to say I resent anyone who asks – it’s nice to know that people care enough to ask, especially my family – I’m mostly annoyed with myself for not having anything to update them on.

And it is disheartening – when you’ve spent three years working on something and you’re proud of your achievements and you’ve been told ‘you won’t struggle to get a job’ (maybe all lecturers say that to everyone) it’s hard to apply for some really exciting jobs and some jobs that you could do but wouldn’t love and some jobs just to pass the time and to get a new rejection email every day. Even my mum today used the words ‘soul destroying’ and she’s right.

This isn’t new information – I’m not the first graduate to feel like this and I most certainly won’t be the last, I’m not trying to be a voice and I’m not trying to pretend this is something new or original.

I’m just saying that if you’re feeling like this you’re not alone – being in this post-graduate unemployment slump can be incredibly isolating. After three years of living with your best mates, seeing your friends every day and living a completely independent life, for most students it’s moving back in with your parents, knowing that all your friends are scattered around the country and it takes more than just a Facebook message to see them. It’s lonely and on top of that you may start to feel like the universe is telling you that you’ll never get a job.

To be honest, I don’t know if I have any ‘tips and tricks’ to make this easier – we’re not going to be unemployed forever, no one ever is, I just don’t know what the next step is. However much I keep telling myself I’m going to be unemployed forever and I’m not good enough for the jobs I’ve applied for doesn’t mean it’s true – I’m not going to spend the rest of my life living at my mum’s house making food plans and uploading videos not many people watch and I know that not getting a job doesn’t mean I’m a failure and I’m useless.

Well, at least I hope it doesn’t.

I guess the thing I want to share (to make this a slightly less miserable post!) is this – I was chatting to a friend a few weeks ago, he’s just finished his first year and he said his biggest worry about finishing uni was ending up in a dead end job and I said words to this effect.

I mean, it’s hard to say either way – obviously I want to say ‘that won’t happen’ but I finished uni months ago and I still don’t have a job. All I can say is nothing lasts forever – I don’t think I know anyone who has been in the same job at the same company or even in the same career from when they’re in their early 20s to when they’re 60. Things change and move and you’ll change and move with them – nothing is ‘stuck’ or ‘dead end’ unless you decide to stay, so don’t worry about it too much!

Nothing is permanent, even unemployment.

Any advice (or jobs in social/digital media or along these lines) please do let me know! All my socials are linked below as always.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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being the one that doesn’t drink at uni

2018, lifestyle, student

Hello!

With A Level results day being last week, thousands of students across the country will have started their journey into their university career.

For lots of people, it’s incredibly exciting to go into freshers week or fortnight, meeting new people and going out and getting really drunk.

And for some people, that is the most anxiety inducing terrifying way to describe starting university. I fall into that category. I was so scared of starting uni – when my mum left me in my new room in halls with all my stuff I burst into tears when she had to leave because it was all so daunting and overwhelming.

I’m lucky that the people in my flat were really chilled and asked me if I wanted to go out and were so, so friendly when I said it wasn’t my cup of tea and the boy that lived across the hall from me stayed in and watched the new series of Doctor Who with fish and chips with me. So I was pretty lucky in that respect.

So I thought I’d collate a few tips and tricks for a bunch of scenarios you may come across if you’re not massively into drinking or going out.

  • saying no when all your flat are going out – it can feel awful when you’re surrounded by new people to say no when they’re getting really drunk or going out or whatever and saying no can feel like the worst option, especially with ‘fomo’ being so prominent. But it’s not worth the stress and anxiety if that’s not an environment you enjoy – staying in, watching some Netflix, doing what works for you and catching up with people in the morning will be so much better for you in the long run. Obviously there’s a lot of conditions and different scenarios but saying no is fine.
  • find a bunch of people who don’t go out a lot – my mates at uni were pretty heavy drinkers, but they weren’t that into night clubs and we really enjoyed playing card games and board games and it was so much fun because literally none of them cared that I wasn’t massively into drinking! It means you still get the fun of socialising and spending time with your friends without the pressure of feeling like you have to drink.
  • going out when you’re not drunk – if you’re okay with going to a club and being around drunk people, it’s being aware of where your limits are and knowing when to say ‘I’m good now’. I’ve found on nights out when I’ve not been drunk or I’ve not drunk anything at all, I’m usually tired and ready to go home before everyone else and it’s being confident enough to say ‘I’m going to head home now, have a good night!’. But to be honest, if you suggest getting take out on the way home most people will want to come with you.

It can be daunting, but I’d recommend making sure you talk to people about it – let them know you don’t drink, be confident in yourself and don’t ever feel like you have to drink and if you’re with a group of people who force you to drink, get yourself out of there as safely as you can! Uni is meant to be fun and can be the best time of your life, whether you drink or not!

Final thought – don’t judge people and find people that won’t judge you.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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my uncertain life right now (Diary 1)

2018, lifestyle, student, travel

Hello!

A couple of months ago I wrote a post all about how I was writing this blog for myself – how I didn’t really want to spend masses of time scheduling tweets or making promo for Instagram stories that I didn’t get much engagement on so I’d rather this blog was a little spot on the internet that I can scroll through in 50 years and look back on what was important to me when I was 21.

I don’t think I’m the right kind of person to get brand deals and really make a living from doing this, maybe writing in other capacities but not like this (not that I wouldn’t want to if the opportunity came along? I could get caught up in ‘if’s and ‘but’s for ages, but you get the gist).

So where I may have held off writing diary like blog posts in the past (‘because it doesn’t help anyone’ or ‘no one cares’) – I want to start documenting little capsules of my life! Here and now – 17th August 2018, these are the things I’m thinking, what makes me happy, what I’m worried about. I hope that’s okay.

Right this second, I’m sat in a Cafe Nero in Peterborough – my boyfriend is at his (hopefully) last driving lesson before he gets put forward for his test and I’m killing time until we get the bus home together later. I love working in cafes – for some reason, being out the house and in public makes me feel like I have to get work done but it doesn’t feel like a chore. It inspired me to write this post, to be honest.

This week was one of those busy but quiet weeks – the beginning of the week was a trial shift at a job that I had to turn down because my back is in really bad shape and standing for whole shifts would do more bad than good, then I was on a train back to Southampton for a job interview at the university I didn’t attend.

I think it went well – I’ve tried not to post too much about it online because I know for a fact that if everyone else is as nosy as me, people will be judging and keeping an eye on how the job hunt is going (that sounds malicious – I’m kinda nosy but because it’s exciting seeing where everyone’s going next!). But also I don’t want to post about it and then not get it because then people might ask me how it went and I’d have to say I didn’t get it. I’m waiting on an email or some form of contact today so I might update this post? I feel like I have to now!

edit: I didn’t get the job, back to applying I guess!

It was a very quick one night stay in Southampton and by Tuesday evening we were home and continuing to watch CW’s Arrow Season 1 – we started watching Legends of Tomorrow with the fam and it was a bit confusing because I’ve watched Flash but I hadn’t seen Arrow or Supergirl so we decided to go right back to the beginning and watch them in order. I’m loving it so much – I’ve always been a massive fan of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (none of the TV shows ever grabbed me) but DC’s films never blew me away, DC TV however is edging it’s way to be equal to Marvel to be honest. Flash is my DC boy and Spider-Man is my Marvel boy, they could never be more than each other.

I take superheroes very seriously, I don’t know if you can tell!

The middle of this week has been very slow – I’ve had a lot of headaches and I can’t tell if they’re dehydration or stress but I’m already looking forward to a new week and a fresh start.

In the least melodramatic way, my life right now is very uncertain – I might get this job or that job (I’ve applied for too many to count at this point), I might be living at home for a while, should I start driving lessons? Will I be home for my birthday? Do I book to go down to Bournemouth for my sister’s birthday because I don’t know where I’ll be? I feel like I’m waiting on a lot of conditions before I can settled and plan properly and we all know that planning and knowing where I am and what I’m doing is my specialty – I feel a bit like I’m floating, so I’m very much looking forward to having my feet planted firmly on the ground again.

I’ve really enjoyed writing this – I might make it a more regular thing or keep it just to when I feel like something significant is worth documenting? Either way, I found it very therapeutic so I hope you enjoyed it too!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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