Tuesday, 18 October 2016

University: deciding to leave

I am writing this post while this decision is still very fresh. I wanted to create a slightly different post and share this, perhaps only just for me as it is a big decision and something that I might want to look back on in the future (but probably not). It is also quite long and I don't really know where I was going with some of it so be aware that this post is mainly just me putting my thoughts to paper (well, laptop). I also keep going over this post and writing and re-writing parts so to press publish at all is quite the achievement.

I think to understand me and this decision better, a bit of background history is relevant. I think it's important to note however that this isn't something which I particularly like to share about myself or my life and something which I could fill a whole other post with so i'll keep it simple.

I was home educated from birth until I was sixteen years old and went to college. This means that I have never been to pre-school, primary school or even a nursery. The decision to go to college was something that I wanted to do and I chose my subjects my self based on my interests without any input from parents or peers etc. I chose to do a Btec at college instead of three or four different subjects (a levels) as I wanted this to be really in-depth and also because I didn't want to study any other subjects, maths, english and all that don't interest me. I have always been more creative then academic and I chose subjects which I would enjoy. Alongside the Btec in photography I also decided to study one A level in textiles, this was slightly unusual as it was meant to be a lot of work but I wanted to do it anyway. As far as I was concerned, this was my time to study whatever I wanted to, subjects that I would enjoy. At this time in life, most people have an idea of what they want to do in the future so chose subjects to help them achieve that. However I didn't. So I decided to pick subjects that I thought could assist me in the future, whatever I decided to do.

After the completion of these (and achieving very good results) I decided that instead of going to university like most 18 year olds are pushed into, that I would instead complete a HND at my local college which was a two year course and would allow me to complete my degree at a university for a year (if I wanted). This is something which my college made sound like a fantastic opportunity and was clearly the better decision in their eyes.
I completed this course and again, got a good result which I was happy with. At times I hated it as I felt like a baby, still at the same college with sixteen years old around, but at other times I liked it as well as I have made some really good friends from this course that I'll probably have all my life. Just the routine of knowing what I was doing and where I was going was something which I enjoyed. I liked creating the work, I liked knowing what I was doing.

I don't know where my decision to go to university came from, like many people it was probably something that was always in the back of my mind, something that I was influenced towards by peers or that I just liked the idea of. It was talked about constantly for a little while in my life, teachers, parents and peers all wanted to hear about what I was going to do in the future. Some people were surprised that I had an interest in going and others seemed quite proud. I was the first in my family to follow the path that most people take. When I decided to go to uni, I was thinking about going with a very different course at a very different uni, something that would have been wrong for me and I am so glad that I realised that early on as I wouldn't have lasted the week. I made a change very late in the academic year and went to one which I felt would be right, however instead of having a course which was catered for me, I would be joining the third year of the BA course.

This was something which I was unsure about from the start however the university is one of the top in the country. I was unsure as joining somewhere where everyone knows everyone, everyone knows what they're doing and how things work is scary. This could be scary for anyone but it was a big step for me.

From the moment I started the course, something wasn't quite right. I always seem to know how i'm feeling about something as I'll get nervous. I have always assumed this was because I was excited and anticipating what's to come. However I did't get any of these feelings when I started, I just stopped all my overtime at my part time job and instead went to uni. No feelings of nervousness at all, nor of excitement. Throughout the few weeks I did realise that I would dread going in and put off doing research or work. The last week before I made the decision to leave was bad as I could barely leave my bed let alone my room. It wasn't right at all, I should have been motivated and happy, excited for everything to come however instead I was hiding away and trying not to think to much.

Certain feelings are easy to forget about or push away until you have to address them and this is sometimes the hardest part. I didn't want to tell anyone how I was feeling as I thought it was perhaps just me, that I was just going through a bad time in general however when I finally got enough courage to admit to my friend that I wasn't happy, it seemed that from that moment there was just a lighter feeling within me. This was one of the hardest things that i've ever had to address and admit to myself as this is just not like me. I'm just good, I do what i'm meant to do. Of all the years that I went to college, I think I had only a few days where I was sick and couldn't go in and that made me feel guilty enough. If i make a decision I stick to it. However this was just a decision I just couldn't stick to.

I think that a big part of when I came to realise that it wasn't for me was when I was thinking about the future, I couldn't imagine graduating and also I didn't want to. I was so unmotivated for anything and so unhappy all I wanted to do was be in bed and watch netflix.

The scariest part of the whole decision was that if I wasn't in uni, what was I going to do? this would be the first time that I would be out of education since I "started" at sixteen and for so many years it was all I had known and gotten used to and to a certain extent, enjoyed. I stupidly tried to research this decision, I read articles and watched youtube of people talking about their experiences, something which helped but also didn't and made me slightly mad as a lot of articles think that you have a plan B or its as simple as changing courses.

I have NO idea what I want to do in life, thats the scariest part, I have no plan B.

I think that university could really help me, if I knew what I wanted to do. If I wanted to be a photography teacher for example, I could work towards that goal and university, teachers etc could help with that. However I have no clue what I want to do. Never have done in all the years that I've been in education and it leaves me so stuck when people ask me. I also have no idea how anyone just decides what to do in life.The only thing I feel good at sometimes is working in retail. I think life experienced are so important however I am only 20 years old, there is so much left for me to experience. There is also no set track. I can do whatever I want and if I decide to return to uni in a year then so be it. I think for the moment I need to figure out what I want. I have no idea how to do that but thats what I need to do.

I decided that I wanted to leave (for now) as I cannot just make myself unhappy with the wrong choice and put up with it for a year. I'm not saying that uni might not ever be the right decision for me, I just don't think I should stay and make myself complete the course and get a bad degree. The best thing to do sometimes is take a step back. sometimes this means regrouping, making decisions and changing course. Some people will probably point out the money aspect, however to me, that doesn't matter. I would much rather have to pay that money back then be unhappy.

Something that terrified me was telling people, mainly my parents. I confided in my sister very early on as she was someone that was outside of it, she could give me advice and help rather then judge. I doubt my parents would have judged me, they are the most understanding people in the world. I didn't want anyone to feel disappointed in me or for people to not understand the situation and my decision, giving unwanted opinions or trying to push me to making the wrong decision.

I have decided to take this year for me, I know I need to figure out what I want but I also need to take some time for myself and take a break from everything to regroup. This is the first time in my life that I am completely free but also quite lost and I have no idea what I'm going to do but I'm going to see what happens and hope that I figure it out along the way.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Clarins: some samples

These were some samples that I received from my sister which I think she was given for free. She's not very into skincare however I know that these are quite expensive and Clarins are obviously a very well known brand so when she offered them to me I jumped at the change of trying them out.
I have to admit that these samples are tiny however you can still get a good two or three uses from them. I know a lot of people use samples of products to travel with and these would be good for a short trip but otherwise you'd need a few of these to see you through!

On the Clarins website it describes the cleanser as
"a spa-fresh exfoliating facial cleanser that polishes-away make-up, embedded impurities and spent surface cells in one time-saving step to reveal the glowing skin beneath."

It claims to both cleanse and exfoliate, gently removing everything that makes the skin look dull, leaving the skin smooth and soft and it has orange extract which works to soften, refresh and revive the skin. I used this in the morning and one of the first things that I noticed about it was the lovely orangey scent that it has which was quite refreshing. The second thing that I noticed was that it was very light and was gentle on the skin as it claims to be while still allowing me to really cleanse my skin, it wasn't too gentle. If you were to use this at night, I would definitely suggest using another cleanser first to get rid of any make-up and then this to really work deep down. My skin felt very clean and soft after using this. It also felt like a treat for my skin but this could possibly be because I think the brand is quite high end (to me anyway).

After the cleanser, I used the HydraQuench cream as this seemed like a good combo. This is described as "Light and silky, smooth to apply and feather-light on the skin. Rapidly absorbed, this cream refreshes and hydrates." and thats literally how I would describe it. Although it is £36, I don't think that there is anything that special about it at all. It's definitely good, it's light and definitely moisturises your skin but for the price I just expected a little more from it. I wanted to be blown away by how good this was however I doubt I'll be willing to spend that much money in the future for something which didn't wow me. 

What beauty products have you been using lately?

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Tv shows worth watching

I am someone who loves to curl up in bed (preferably with a cup of tea) and get lost in a tv series. This is definitely something which is going to be happening lots more now as it's October, which means colder and darker evenings. There's just something about series which I prefer over a film as (depending on the series) the episodes can be quite short, allowing for breaks and you tend to become part of that world a little bit more.. which often makes me a tiny bit emotional when it's over. You might notice that most of these (pretty much all) can be found on netflix and thats because this is where I go for all my viewing needs. I seem to prefer this over normal tv as I have more control and can pick and choose what I watch instead of waiting for it to come on.

Gilmore girls
This is something which I have always been around and generally know the plot as it's something which my mum would watch. When the revival was announced I was never that fussed however I decided to start watching it completely from the start when all the series were put on netflix and I have to tell you, I am now OBSESSED. So much so that I'm now on series four in two weeks and I don't know what I will do with myself when I finish the series and the revival.. possibly watch them all again. There is nothing out there which is quite like Gilmore Girls, it's funny, fast paced but also has it's emotional moments. As well as the obvious favourites (Lorelei, Rory and Luke) I was always a fan of Jess and also Richard (sadly Edward Herrmann passed away, which will feature in the revival as a sort of memorial).

Brooklyn nine nine
This is another show which I first noticed on E4 (like Gilmore girls) and is now on Netflix. I've always liked the show and watched bits of series one however I have now watched all the way up to season two now. The third season has just aired however it hasn't been released on netflix yet but I am patiently waiting. I have always been a big fan of Andy Samberg and his comedy so I never doubted that I would find this funny. As well as the obvious comedy, I find the stories behind all the characters really interesting and it's one of those shows which you have to keep watching to find out what happens.

How I met your mother
I really like programmes that I can put on and not really watch or pay attention to and this (like friends) is one of them. There's something quite comforting about it and it's something that I can just put on if I don't know what to watch. This is something which I will always find myself going back to as it has it all and is slightly more "quirky" then certain comedic series. I have to admit that I am not a fan of the ending (they ruined it) but up to that, this is a wonderful series and makes for easy watching.

Amanda Knox - Netflix original documentary
Netflix know how to make good documentaries, this became apparent when "Making A Murderer" was all anyone could talk about a few months ago (even though my sister still hasn't seen it *rolls eyes*) and again now with the Amanda Knox documentary. I'm someone who likes to get involved and find out all the information and because I didn't know too much about this case, it made for a very interesting watch (and google). The only thing that I would say about this is that it only goes on for about an hour so it's not as in-depth as making a murderer however still a good watch.

How to get away with murder
I found myself hooked on this series from the start and it soon became one of those series where I just had to keep watching to see what happened. There is so many twists and turns that you really don't know what's coming. I have only seen season one as thats all that was on Netflix however I believe there is a series two and another one currently in production. I don't like starting series if I can't binge watch them but with this I am safe in the knowledge that there is more to come (just unavailable to me at the moment). I heard a lot about this series before I started watching it and Viola Davis does a stunning performance of her character, she was made for this role. It's a very clever series and seems like something my mum would be interesting in.

What are you watching at the moment?


Friday, 7 October 2016

Glossybox - September box

I am aware that it is already the 7th of October as I write this however I still wanted to get this post up, it has however just taken me slightly longer to try out all the bits and bobs included in this months box. So although I'm pretty sure my next box is on the way to me already, I thought that now would be as good as time as any to review what I got in my September box. 

This month it was a collaboration between Red magazine and Glossybox which meant that of course, the box also had to be red. These are something that I keep as I find them handy for storing things in as they keep everything together, are nice and strong and also pleasing to look at so i'm quite happy with this. Again everything came really well wrapped up, nothing broken or damaged and it also arrived really quick after I got the confirmation email. 

Hydro Face Mask 
Unless you have been living under a rock then you would have see that sheet masks are becoming a big thing lately, everyone from bloggers to magazines have been raving about them however they have been around for a while, and have always been quite popular in places like Korea especially. I was really excited to get the opportunity to try one out. This mask is aimed at people with dry skin as it offers 120 hours of hydration and although I don't particularly have dry skin, I couldn't turn this down! The mask is quite simple to use, you peel off the protective film and apply the mask to your face, this mask comes in two parts, making it easier to put on (and stay on). Although the mask didn't fall off at all, I did find that it would slip down over my top lip which was annoying and also strangely itchy but nothing too major. After you've left the mask on for 15 minutes or so, you're good to remove and then rub any of the leftover product into your skin. I applied this mask after a bath and cleanse. I think that it did make quite a different when I first took it off, my skin was really noticeably soft however I don't think I would be able to say whether I felt this lasted for 120 hours or not. I think that this was a very weird but good experience however with masks I tend to go for are purifying or brightening ones rather then moisturising.

Rodial Smokey Eye Pen
I am a big fan of having heavy eye make-up on, I love a wing for everyday and it is just me now because it is my go to look. However I have always chosen to use liquid products as I find them easier to use and work with. My first impressions of this pencil was that it felt very expensive and also like a mix between pencil and liquid as it is very soft, this would make it perfect for smokey looks (hence the name). Because I can't use this for doing a wing eyeliner look, I have found that recently I have been enjoying using a bit of both, pencil and liquid liner. So for instance I'll either apply this first and get it close to my natural eye-line, almost tight line with it before smoothing it out with liquid and adding a wing or I'll put my eyeliner on first, and they apply this over the top, again almost tight-lining. I have found that it really works well either way and gives me a perfect black line, more so then if I just use liquid.
I really cannot fault this at all, I find it gives a perfect finish whatever look you're going for (neat or smudged) and stays put all day. What more could you want.

GOSH Long lasting lip marker 
Lipstick is something that I cannot get to suit me and this is something which I have had to come to terms with. If its a light pink (natural looking) or nude, this tends to work but anything too dark (red for example) I hate, doesn't suit me and (to me anyway) tends to make my face look fat. Although I would love to be someone with a massive lipstick collection and could wear a different colour every day of the week, this is never going to happen so I tend to spend my money on eye make-up, foundations or bases rather than lip products. 
When I received this, I did give it a good try however lip stains are something which I have experimented with in the past, I hate having dry lips and I think this is something which is unavoidable if you wear a lip marker. Although it seemed to go on well and was a nice colour (just not on me), lipsticks, markers and stains are just something that I doubt I'll ever be able to get on with. 
However they are something which my sister really likes so this will not go to waste, but will go to her instead. 

Too Faced Better than sex Mascara
This mascara is AMAZING and by far one of my favourite things from this box. And I have to say, I am someone who doesn't like even spending £10 on mascara let alone £19 however I will definitely be repurchasing this in the future as I love it so much. It does everything, its black, lengthens, lifts and also holds in place, I don't find that it runs or rubs off easily either. When I wash it off, it makes quite a mess however this is something that I will be able to live with. I think the only thing that I would possibly change about this mascara is the name as it makes it quite embarrassing having to explain when someone asks.. 

Revlon Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat 
I have mentioned in another post that I get my nails done so I don't paint them myself or own that many nail polishes, however I do paint my toenails every so often so this will be something that I can use on them. I tend to find that nail polish on my toes seems to last quite a long time anyway as toes are always hidden by socks etc. However long lasting polish is never a bad thing. I don't have too much of an impression of this yet but it seems to be a good, shiny top coat and after more use I think I would be able to have more of an opinion. 

As well as the five products above, I was also given a free sample of one of the new Bodyshop face masks. I've seen these a lot over Instagram and they seem to have a lot to offer, there is five new masks I believe and two or three of them are also vegan, this one included. This is basically (to me) a mud mask, it smelt nice, there was a good amount in the sample and I also liked that there was bits in the mask, which make it easy to exfoliate with when washing it off. The only thing that I will say is that it was SO messy so I suggest having this on in the bath. It seemed to leave my skin a lot brighter after having it on and is basically everything that I look for in a mask while being natural and also vegan (did i mention that?) which is very important when it comes to cosmetics. 

I really enjoyed this box, I felt that there was a good selection, a nice range of products (full size and everything) and things which I could try and perhaps give away. Thats what I like about this box and Glossybox in general. I liked the collaboration as well, this could be a good way for them to go in the future. 

In the October box I'm hoping for more of the same, a good selection of products with a theme, preferably halloween and hopefully some haircare products as it has been mainly focused on make-up.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Pai Skincare | First impression

I was one of the people lucky enough to manage to grab a sample of Pai Skincare when Kate was offering them on their collaboration. I haven't heard much about this brand before however after reading her post I was surprised that such a skincare staple as it seems to be could offer so much and only be around £20 (which is fairly cheap considering most skincare brands).

Some of the benefits of Rosehip oil are the improvements of:
Fine lines
Marks (left by blemishes)
Dryness and rough patches
Sun damage and age spots
Stretch marks and scarring

This is a product that apparently conditions the skin and evens out skin tone and your complexion to leave your skin feeling and looking its best. You don't just have to use this product on your face either, but any area of skin in need of a little improvement.

When my sample arrived I was a little bit surprised by how small the amount given was, I know samples are meant to be small but this seemed seriously tiny AND it claimed it was a two week sample. However after using this product I have found that you really only need a small amount as it goes a long way, especially as you're meant to mix it with the dampness left on your skin after cleansing or a small amount of moisturiser.

Something that really stood out to me about this product is the small amount ingredients (only five), how natural and organic they are and also the fact that it's vegan. Something which was not the main focus of the product but is incredibly important when it comes to cosmetics.

I like how natural this product is and how it felt good for my skin when using it. I think the main thing is to make sure that you don't put this on dry skin, but make sure its slightly damp, this made the product work more effectively as it seemed to sink in better. I like to use this when I have time to treat my skin a little and do a slightly longer evening routine (exfoliate, mask etc). I have to admit that this isn't something that I have used every evening (with such a small sample its hard to) but I think you could definitely see the benefit from doing so.

Their website is lovely, neat and friendly to use, they offer free delivery and also free samples with their orders, so what's not to love? I will definitely be ordering from them in the future.

What's a recent skincare discovery of yours?
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