Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Back to Uni with Home Bargains*

I absolutely love the back to school feeling, and I am so sad that this will be my last! I love the rush, the new timetable, the new uniform (or clothes!) and of course new stationary. 

I'm not going to lie, but when Home Bargains got in touch asking if they could send me some of their new back to school stationary range, I was pretty excited. I'm the classic blogger/student who  loves stationery and always have far too much! They have loads of basics, perfect for the money saving university student, from highlighters, post it notes, rubbers, pens, and glue - always useful things to have in your student flat. I can tell these all will come in super handy not only for myself, but for my flatmates too! 

Please tell me that I am not the only one who loves buying or getting notebooks, even though you don't always have a purpose for them?! The ones that they sent me have such a girly design. I especially love the pale pink one as I love notebooks with curved edges and it is so cute. I will probably use this for all my notes whilst I am in Edinburgh next month as I will finally have a use for it! They also sent me a 3 subject notebook and a folder which I always need as I go through paper like there is no tomorrow. I also will definitely use the diary to put in all of my deadlines, meetings and extra lectures. I can't wait to jazz it up with some colours and washi tape.

Home Bargains have some great things that won't break the bank, perfect for back to school. Everything was between 49p and £1.99 which is so good. I wouldn't have even thought to go their for the stationery, but the quality was a lot better than I was expecting. Whilst perhaps not up to Paperchase or Oxford Notebook standard, it is a much cheaper alternative, perfect for my stationary fix for this new school year. 

*This post was written in collaboration with Home Bargains who sent me some of their back to school range to try. 

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Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Moving back home

I never really had a strong group of friends growing up. I was stuck in the middle of two groups, not really in either of them. At the time, I didn't really mind. I was determined to get my grades so I could move away from university and start all over again. It's not until you move back home when you start thinking about if you should have done things differently.

I recently tweeted that all I seem to be doing is watching Netflix, reading and crocheting at the moment. Some replied, saying that that sounds perfect. From the outside it does, but from where I am sitting, having a limited amount of people to meet up with at home makes it is different than it seems. Of course I am enjoying catching up with Pretty Little liars, but when I see my friends from university out with their home friends enjoying the sun, I can't help but be jealous. I wish I had those people who I could go to back to at home.

I do have friends at home, a few good friends who I see maybe once a week if I am lucky. They too have boyfriends or friends from school who I never really fitted in with. I don't get invited to their outings, and whilst I don't know if I would actually go, I sometimes get FOMO and wish that I was.

Moving back home comes with other struggles. Losing my independence, just generally living with my family can sometimes drive me a little crazy and I guess I'm just feeling a little trapped, where at university I feel so free with my amazing new friends.

I always enjoy being in my own company (classic introvert!), being alone, but not lonely. But for the moment, I am alone, and feeling just a little bit lonely. 

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Wednesday, 15 July 2015


Someone told me yesterday that they had never seen me so confident, and I couldn't help but smile at the comment. I also did something that I never ever do, and that was to make a phone call, Without thinking, I picked up the phone. It wasn't until afterwards that I realised what I had done. I no longer felt my pulse increase and my face flush red as I dialled the number. What was happening?

Whilst shopping a few weeks ago, I saw someone who I used to work with. I didn't especially got on with them very well, but instead of pretending that I hadn't seen her, I walked straight over and said hi. It was a very brief and somewhat awkward encounter, but I wanted to show her how much I had changed in the past few years. I walked away feeling pretty happy with myself.

Looking back at even a few years ago at my 17 year old self, I can't believe how different I am. I would feel uncomfortable talking to people or doing anything by myself in fear that people were making fun of me. Yes, I still feel uncomfortable meeting new people and socialising in large groups with people who I don't know very well, but things have changed, definitely for the better.

It definitely didn't happen overnight. I used to wish that I would. I thought going to university would make me into this super confident person, who would talk to anyone and everyone and suddenly love socialising and clubbing. This pressure on myself for living up to the expectation that I had crafted hindered me, and made me feel like I was a failure, adding to my anxiety and made me feel defeated. But, you don't realise how far you have come until someone else realises. It was my mum who first told me after my first year of uni that I now stood taller, spoke with more confidence and looked a lot happier. Then I started to believe it.

 Recognising your flaws and accepting them was definitely my first step towards confidence. I started to realise that I didn't love clubbing, and that I preferred being in my own company and that this wasn't weird. Once I wasn't living the lie and accepted that the life that I wanted wasn't achievable, I felt more assured and happier with the person who I have become. Talking to people also really helped. For example, talking to shop assistants or bar staff instead of ignoring their questions or giving one word answers is so helpful. I would have a problem talking to strangers or looking people in the eye, but now, I make the effort to ask people about their day and to smile to people on the street. It's the little things that help.

I constructed this idea of the life that I wanted when I started university, now two years in, I'm so glad that didn't happen. Who knows what my life would be like. But for now, I'm just happy. I think I have finally become the person that I want to be. We get so caught up abut changing ourselves and trying to be like other people. But just be yourself, and your confidence will shine through.

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