staying true to you.

staying true to you.

If you asked anybody to describe me with one word I’d expect something along the lines of  “crazy, gobby or funny” and maybe a few explicit terms from people who don’t like me but we will ignore those. I’ve always been the same; at every parent’s evening at school my parents would hear the same line from every single teacher “she’s very chatty”. Although at the time my parents can’t have been best pleased, nowadays I’m very proud to be called chatty because I know that I haven’t let time change me.

I’ve been in so many alien experiences in my lifetime; I moved schools, houses and across the UK when I was around 13- one of the most important times of a teenage life. In my old “life” I never really fit in, I had friends however I never really felt like I belonged to a particular group. After moving, I had the same issue- I wasn’t the “cool” kid, or the “clever” kid or any group in between. Several times I felt the need to change, maybe I needed to be a different person in order to fit in. One day pretty soon after I moved I decided to try to be “cool”, I backcombed my hair (yes that used to be the cool thing to do) pierced my own nose (I was pretty dramatic back then) and thought I was the coolest kid on the block. “Edgy” Tamsin lasted about 24 hours before I got bored and realised nobody cared- although I do still have my nose pierced- I must have become attached to it. Now at the ripe old age of 21 I can look around and admit that nobody seems to fit in these stereotypes and have the best bunch of friends.

Many times I even thought about deleting this blog because I worried people would find it cringe, boring, tacky or all of the above but I remembered it’s something I wanted to do and realised it didn’t matter what people thought. My point is, the thing I love about myself the most (and something I’d like to think people think about me) is that I am myself. I am weird, loud, chatty, just as I was back in primary school; I’m messy, disorganised and lazy (ok, probably not so good) but I am also loyal, hardworking and caring (if I do say so myself). Whenever I look back at old photos,  I can see that I have grown as a person (in personality and by about 3 stone) but I can also appreciate that I have kept all of these things about me that I could have easily given up a long time ago. These days people try so hard to be liked and sacrifice their personality to look good online or to seem a certain way but I have found when I am myself people are more receptive. I hope that I can look back in the next 21 years and think the same about myself (probably another 3 stone heavier and probably minus the nose piercing).

 

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As sassy as ever.

 

 

T x

 

university; is it worth it?

university; is it worth it?

It’s the big question, is university worth going to? Have we all wasted nearly 30K and 3/4 years of our lives? Well, my honest opinion is yes, some jobs require a degree (such as the career I want to go into) so obviously, it’s worth it but the whole university process in the UK is something I find really hard to grasp.

Since the tender age of 13 we are set into the mind frame that “university is just the place you go after you finish school”. In year 9 we pick our GCSE options and little did we know how much that would shape our future; pick the wrong options and you can’t do the following A-levels, potentially limiting your opportunities for university. If I had known the effect that my options would have on my academic life at the time I might have spent more time deliberating over them, rather than picking the ones I thought would be easiest/ the most fun. I was lucky enough to do decent enough in my GCSE’s to go on to do A-levels which I enjoyed. by the second year of uni, we’d had enough “thinking about the future’ chats to overwhelm our brain. Just because I’d chosen these A-levels, was I now prepared to pick my future career? Had I picked the right A-levels to help me get to the career or had I limited myself already? I certainly didn’t know the answer to these questions and by now it was too late to find them out. I’d had phases of wanting the be a dancer, singer, a vet – all the usual choices. I felt compelled to commit to a career out of thin air, attending open days and prospect days under the pretence that this was my passion that I had wanted to do for years- really, I didn’t have a clue. I ended up going for something that I thought sounded good without really understanding the career prospects it would lead me to; would it give me everything I needed to actually find a job? Would I require a placement? Is the degree better at some universities than others? I really was blind going to uni. Inevitably, during my first year of my degree, I realised it wouldn’t lead me on the path I would have liked and ended up transferring course to something which I do genuinely enjoy and am now excited for the career I will be going into. “Hindsight” Is something people always talk about and experiencing what I have after transferring tranferring courses, sometimes I wish at school and sixth form/ college the idea of waiting a while before going to university was something they promoted more. At the time it felt like it was either university, college or having no career prospects, obviously I am now aware of all the other options available to people; could I have done an apprenticeship to help me get to where I wanted to be, or could a year of working have prepared me to be more financially stable and sure of my choices before applying for university? I know some people who did decide to take “gap years” and, at the time I thought it may have been a wasted time following so many years of education but now I find myself jealous of things I could have experienced (let’s be honest I missed out on so many potential “finding myself in Thailand Instagram posts) whilst I threw myself into a world I wasn’t entirely ready for.  I wish schools could encourage giving yourself time to enjoy the world, understanding yourself and what you want to do with your life before committing to the world of uni.

Even for those who are sure that university is the option for them, the whole process of applying is, in my opinion, less than ideal. Our teachers give us a predicted grade based on our work at school and out “potential” and when we apply to university they use these grades (alongside work experience, personal statement and references) to determine whether we can earn a place. These “made up” grades that are chosen for us determine which type of universities we can even look at applying for, if you’re predicted all B’s the chances are there’s no point in even applying for a university required all A’s, to find yourself being rejected immediately. A lucky few gain advantage from this process, those with high predicted grades can receive an unconditional offer from a university if they see potential in the student meaning even if they get an E in their exams they can still go to university, these are the students I was very jealous of. Nobody knows what you can achieve in A-levels until you’re sat in that chair filling out your exam paper, exams are stressful and people can deal with them differently. I for one was very disappointed with my A-levels results, I put all my effort in and did well with my coursework which made up most of the grade but then I did badly in the exams because I wasn’t focused enough (something which I’ll admit to now) but luckily I still managed to be accepted to my university. My point is, we are limited in our future before we even do our exams; as if somebody has already decided what we are or aren’t capable to achieve.  I know that if people do achieve higher than their predicted grades they can apply through clearing to get into another university, however personally if I had been told for a year+ that I wasn’t good enough to get into “better’ universities I would find it hard and would be totally unprepared to suddenly find myself a place in one.

Of course, all of these are just my opinions about the university process and I am sure others may disagree. Personally, despite an extra year, I am very glad I am here. I have learnt a lot more about myself by being away from home, met amazing people, made many memories and learnt a bit of science for my career along the way. If I could go back and advise little 16/17 year old Tamsin on life, it would still be to go to university and gain the degree that I’m getting because I will love it, however I would also tell myself to take more time in deciding what I want, enjoy the teenage years before the years of debt and all-nighters take over. Young Tamsin, don’t feel pressured to decide when you aren’t ready, explore the other options available to you and see the world because believe me you won’t be to afford to at/immediately after uni. PS enjoy house parties; you’ll really miss them.

Rant over

T x

Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018

Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018

So we are 5 days in, so far I haven’t cried once, have eaten at least one salad and have listened to the Greatest Showman soundtrack 138563 times. Not a bad start eh?

So 2017 was crap, I don’t know about you but I faced challenges that I never thought I’d have to and at times my strength was really tested and I began to lose myself.  I’m not going to bore you with the details of all the negative things that happened, and I’m sure many people had it much worse, but let’s just say this year could only be up from there.

I’ve never been a big “new year, new me” zombie but this year I feel a bit different, like the stars have all aligned waiting for me to make a big change, maybe it’s real and it’s this is the year I magically turn into the adult Tamsin that everyone expects me to be or maybe it’s just all the cheese I ate over Christmas repeating on me. Either way, this new found motivation to make a positive change of myself hasn’t gone amiss, it’s time to get back to a routine that I so badly fell out of towards the end of the year, get back into doing the things I love and stop putting off going to the god-damn gym.

It helps to be entering this year surrounded by supportive loved ones and friends and leaving behind the nobodies (to put it nicely) of last year. That’s probably my take-home message from the horrible experience we call 2017; live life for what really matters. I spent so much of time worrying about people and situations that I had no control of and losing focus of what really mattered.

It wasn’t all bad, in 2017 I visited the beautiful city of Galway, Ireland, landed my dream placement which will lead me to my desired career, gaining a lot of confidence in my driving and realising who I do and don’t need in my life.

SO here’s to the many drunken nights, tears and tantrums of 2017, you definitely won’t be missed but here’s also to a productive, happy new year full of love joy and (hopefully) more cheese.

T x

12 things I’ve learned​ from Love island 2017.

12 things I’ve learned​ from Love island 2017.

So this year more than ever the programme has been massively successful and appears to have sparked the interest of pretty much everyone from Stormzy to Philip Schofield. I’m sure nobody has been able to avoid the programme and if you have then you’ve really missed out. From memes to Primark t-shirts to #muggy these are the things I’ve learned from this year’s Love Island.

  1. Finding a friend who is happy to be tagged in memes (and tag in return) is truly a friend you need in your life. The enjoyment of the programme doesn’t have to stop at 10 pm, you know when you get that notification that your day is about to be made.
  2. The whole of my summer has been planned around my 9 pm plans with my sofa and snacks;  chance of getting stuck in traffic at 8.50pm? Oops, can’t make it.
  3. The SUN publishes so much shit, Let’s burn it!…. Unless they have the inside scoop on whether Mike and Jess really did bang and then I’ll consider buying it.
  4. Jess and Dom have become the biggest celebs in the UK, or so they think. If you’re lucky you might catch them on their UK club tour but unfortunately, they’re so busy they have no meet and greets planned on their days off. #wearealreadyoverit
  5. Feminism isn’t dead. That infamous argument between Johhny and Camilla reminded people that women on game shows can still have strong feminist opinions and defend themselves. Cam honey, You’re doing amazing.
  6. Everyone’s remembered how much they used to love Blazin’ Squad. But definitely not just because they love Marcel, right?
  7. Every girl has had to deal with a Craig in their lifetime. For at least a week we were all cringing at his lines to win her affections, my personal favourite was “I’ve only come on this programme for you”. Luckily his stalker vibes didn’t sway her #jamillaforever
  8. The results are in and the new top names for babies born in 2018 are indeed Cash (Hughes) and Star (Sign).
  9. Shoutout to our favourite polar bear/easter egg/Brother/rapper Chris. You know you’re our real winner.
  10. The whole of the UK is still undecided if Theo was an absolute dickhead or the best joker around. Booping Camilla around the face with his wang might have made up for his joke about Tyla leaving with Johnny.
  11. Being gutted that we never got to see Chloe’s ex John entering the villa and fucking shit up.
  12. If “A little bit leave it” isn’t Christmas #1 2017 then the world is messed up.

Anyway, whoever wins tonight (my guess is Kember), we can’t deny it’s been a good few weeks of solid British entertainment and now we will all go back to aimlessly trying to fill our evenings whilst still shouting “TEXT” whenever we get a text and using the phrase  “100% my type on paper” in our daily lives.

T x

10 things you’ll know if you’ve worked in retail

10 things you’ll know if you’ve worked in retail

  1. The look you give your colleague when you’re serving a rude customer speaks a thousand words.- Just know, you’ll be the talk of the staff room later.
  2. Wanting to die inside when people STILL complain about having to buy a plastic bag- It’s 5p Sharron, I think you’ll survive.
  3. Going shopping and finding yourself wanting to tidy and pull forward in other stores. You barely do it in your own store but you can’t help yourself, we all gotta stick together right?
  4.  The long wait while your customer searches for their loyalty card. “It’s always the last place you look” *awkward laugh*.
  5. When customers ask “do you work here?”. No honey, I wear this uniform because it looks fab.
  6. Breaking down your days into smaller chunks to make it through. SO you’ve got 2 hours until your next hour break then only an hour and a half until you have to move department and then an hour until your break. Easy.
  7. Not being able to finish your story to your colleague because of all the stupid customers getting in the way.
  8. Starting to give someone’s change and panicking when they say “can I give you the spare 16 pence” and having to think back to GCSE Maths to work out the change.
  9. When you get bored you can wander round the shop and do mental shopping. You’ve got so much spare time you can work out all the best offers because let’s face it who wants to spend all their wages back in their own store?
  10. Feeling unnecessarily offended when customers put their money on the counter rather than in your hands.

Just some fun things, I’m sure we’ve all experienced working in retail.

T x

10 things I’ve learnt about going home during Easter.

10 things I’ve learnt about going home during Easter.

Hey everyone, I hope this term has treated people well and you’re all lucky enough to be able to go home for at least week for Easter. These are all the things I learned about that awkward 2 weeks you get off from uni.

 

  1. Pre drinks are so awkward…. Unless someone lucky enough to have a “free house” or just has pretty cool parents who don’t care, there’s basically nowhere to pre drink. The only option? Heading to a spoons before heading to an equally shit nightclub in your hometown, spending your night constantly asking people how uni is going even though you can’t even remember what they study.
  2. You never remember how much you hate your hometown until you go back and bump into everybody that you vowed to never see ever again.
  3. Hungover days are the worst…. Younger siblings don’t have the same level of understanding when you’re half dead, as you uni housemates. You’ve got no-one  to give you sympathy or be hungover with you, just a younger brother who makes things worse.
  4. Coming home after a night out just isn’t the same…. I love coming home after a night out and continuing the party infact some of best memories are post-nights out. I can’t exactly come home and have a chicken nugget party by myself can I? You are forced to lie down in a quiet, dark house and listening to your ear buzzing until you fall asleep.
  5. You’re not really “at home”…..  Half your stuff is in boxes or stored away for your move to your next student house, especially that one nice top you want to wear.
  6. Night times… At uni it feels perfectly normal to be wide awake at 1am watching the SAW film back to back with your flatmates, Family household’s go to sleep so early.
  7. The heartbreak of still paying bills and rent for you uni house when you moved out in May. Need I say more? RIP bank account.
  8. Student finance. The summer split’s people of my age into 2, those who have a job that they can come back to in summer… and those that don’t. So basically you either always working, or always complaining you have no money, there’s no in-between.
  9. One night stands… Personally, this isn’t an issue for me (big up the BF life) but what do people do? Do you bring them round and hide them away or just introduce them to your mum and have a cuppa to chat about your night?
  10. Friends. Even though it’s only a couple of weeks you end up missing all your university housemates/friends because your friends are too busy working or visiting their uni friends.

But overall we know it’s nice to be home for a while and enjoy all time with the family. Happy Easter everyone

T x

 

 

The life cycle of a hangover

The life cycle of a hangover

It’s 12pm, you’ve reached the point of the night where you have to decide how your night is going to end. Do you stick to your one pitcher then call it a night, or do you commit your undivided attention/money/dignity and finish the night with a bang (or a tactical chunder in the spoon toilets – don’t judge me, we’ve all been there right?). Ultimately for me, there’s no real question, go hard or go home, right? All memories of previous experiences fly out the window and you focus on having a good time. Fast forward 10 hours later and your hangover is born. Nothing can prepare you for the headaches, 3 hours naps and inevitable alcohol shakes that will plague you for the whole day.

You start off waking up, convincing yourself that you’ve managed to avoid a hangover. You smugly get out of bed mid afternoon, unsure whether to make yourself breakfast or lunch or something unnaturally in-between. Looking in the mirror you realise you’re wearing last nights makeup and you’ve worn leggings to bed. To your horror you realise you spent way too much on your debit card, smashed your phone on your way home and lost you Mac lipstick, but it was a good night, right?

Come 2pm and you start to feel a nap coming on, but it’s fine, you’re not hungover, just tired right? You start to realise the thirst you’ve had, since waking up with a mouth like Ghandi’s flip flop, is not going to be solved by any amount of water or coffee. If you can muster up the strength to leave your bed to make some snacks, whether it be chicken nuggets or pizza, at least you’ve achieved that right?

By 4pm it’s time to admit it outloud, you are hungover and not just really tired. God forbid if you have to go outside and face the real world- for those who managed to do so still hanging out their arse, I salute you. 3/4 films later and you have to admit that you’ve had a wasted day and begin to question whether the 3 for £5 jager bombs were worth it (FYI they weren’t).

Surprisingly, at about 8pm you suddenly feel like a new person with lots of energy….you’ve made it through the hangover. You may actually attempt to redeem your unproductive day by doing some work but at this point you may as well just accept that you’ve sacrificed your day to the sesh. It’s been a long hard day of hangoverness but lets face it, you have to prepare for it all again the same time next week.

yours truly,

a hungover tamsin x

Spring Cleaning (In December)

Spring Cleaning (In December)

Hey all! Merry christmas everyone, hope everyone is well!

Today was officially my first day of the christmas holidays back home with my family, after  a pretty difficult term at university.

I entered my childhood room, which full to the brim of stuff and thought” I manage to survive at university without any of this stuff” so do I really need it here?. As a self-proclaimed (and noted by many) hoarder,I do keep a lot of things that I don’t need; I store away boxes of old cosmetics and toiliteries that I have had for far too long. After years of working in a cosmetic and toiletry stores I sure have a large collections of things I’ve bought/received in the past few years. I know more than anybody how stupid that is- many items shouldn’t be kept a year past being opened such as body lotions or makeup due to the ingredients turning/oxidising. I had to hold my breath and take on the mindset of “if I haven’t been using this now, will I really ever use it?”.

I have to admit I found such a variety of items- from old drunken photos that I had forgotten existed , the one sock I could never find the pair of and some fake tan that was 3 shades too dark for me. I couldn’t believe I even found some items of clothing with tags on that I had lost before getting the wear (alas, now two sizes to small).I was also shocked to find 5 yes, 5 old broken phones, which I’m now selling for spare parts, bonus!

After filling a big black bag with all the crap, I was left with one pile of things I couldn’t bare to throw away so now I am in a state of rediscovering all these things that I’d forgotten about- it almost feels as thought I’ve just been shopping. Next step will be donating some clothes to charity which I like to do now and again and definitely feel like is something a lot of people oversee at this time of year. Does this make me a new woman who is de-cluttered and stress-free?

Likelihood is, I’ll still be messy and disorganised and will replace all thrown away stuff with new stuff, with christmas around the corner, but one step at a time eh?

T x

Big Boys Don’t Cry

Big Boys Don’t Cry

Hello all, welcome back! Today’s post is a bit serious and depressing but I feel is an issue that is a bit of a taboo in society…. male depression.

After witnessing first hand the effects of depression, one thing I can’t get my head around is the social concept that man can’t appear to be “depressed”. Daily, I see blogs (predominately by females as that’s just who I tend to follow) about people’s journey through depression, anxiety etc and I find it incredible, seeing the support that is shared amongst the blogging community (and in fact society as whole) as people start to realise the true impact of mental health. Finally, it starts to become a more approachable subject, people no longer mind talking about their medication or their recovery -however this has it’s limits.

I won’t go into too much detail but a few years ago a family friend lost their life to depression, it was pretty devastating and shook my family, particularly the males. I’d never seen my dad cry before until the day we found out and to me this was pretty weird, having been brought up to be expressive of my own emotions. Had he not been sad before or had society just taught him that to cry was to show weakness?

Every day we here the casual phrases “man up” etc. but when it comes down to it people are not as accepting of mental health issues among men as they are women and therefore they don’t seek help. According to the Good Samaritans  in 2014, the highest category for suicide was among males ages 45-49. How many of these men felt that they couldn’t ask for help even within their own family?

Above is a video  (Source: WHO) my friend used to describe depression and I think it hits all the main points head on about depression, it’s symptoms and coping mechanisms. The more we talk about this subject the less of a stigma it has.

T x

My African Adventure

My African Adventure

Hey all,

SO, after after months of posting about my fundraising and the potential China trip, I reached my deadline. Unfortunately, for the China trip I had been preparing for, I didn’t hit the fundraising target that was set by the charity I was working for. However I was offered a place on another life-changing trip, working with the charity  ChildReach International to help build a school in one of the Berber Villages of Morocco. At first I was so sceptical, how could pale old me deal with going to Africa??? But I took on the challenge, booked my flights and off I went, not knowing any other volunteers going or what to prepare myself for.

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Last month I returned back to England after being in Morocco for just under 3 weeks and I can’t even begin to list everything I saw and learnt on my trip but here I am attempting anyway.

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One week was spent within the village, living amongst the locals, learning their way of life whilst working with other construction worker to help build walls. The money that each volunteer raised ( I managed to raise £1,800 roughly if you were wondering *proud face*) helped pay for the wages of the other builders, the construction materials, towards other project around the world and a few personal expenses. Obviously this was a daunting task- imagine little old me carrying bricks and doing manual labour. However with my team of 8 other volunteers we worked together every day making cement, moving bricks, and painting the walls, even painting a beach scene on one wall.

Life in the Berber village was a pretty big culture shock, the community live literally just on a mountain so everything requires clinging for dear life climbing. The lack of toilets or showers was probably the biggest shock: although my squat game has improved recently, going for a poo in a hole in the middle of the night to me was pretty unforgettable but to them it’s pretty normal (sorry for TMI). Another thing that surprised me was the sheer sense of belonging we felt within their community, random villagers would welcome us and our guides into their home for tea and food without a second thought, they even threw a party to thank us for our helping 20160914_125108hand at the school. The lack of internet up in the mountains probably did me good, me and the other volunteers had so much time to hang out and get to know each other- luckily we all got along so well even after 3 weeks stuck together.I have to thank ChildReach International for letting us join this amazing project and Rare Adventures for looking after us so well.

For the rest of our time we were given the opportunity to travel freely and visit the rest of the country. As someone who hasn’t done “the travelling” thing before I was pretty anxious but as group we travelled around Marrakesh and explored the Markets, visited it’s famous Ouzoud Waterfall (talk about some amazing insta photos) and then to a city called Essouria, which was more coast based, for beach days and camel rides. I tried many new things in this time; haggling in markets, cocktails on a rooftop bar and even arabic McDonalds (Exotic, I know). Whilst travelling around, I learnt a lot, mainly that I probably wouldn’t be very good at backpacking (too much walking around soz not soz , but also a lot about myself … the classic stereotype of “finding myself” whilst travelling springs to mind.

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I am now back in the swing of normal life back at university and working, I didn’t even get a tan to remind me of my trip (pale people problems). There are some times when  I look outside the bus at the rainy weather outside and miss the beautiful country. I’ve taken home so many memories and (hopefully) 8 new friends. Certain westernised traditions were sorely missed; cups of tea and flushing toilets mainly. This whole fundraising experience, which I started all the way back in October last year, has been stressful to say the least but overall I am so glad I took this challenge as I never would have imagined myself doing some of the things I’ve done had I not. Who knows what this new adventurous side of me will lead to, but I know for sure now I’ve had a taste of travelling I am eager to explore more….

T x