Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Job Interviews // How to Ace Them


Today I thought I would write about something that is very much an everyday occurrence, yet so many people can be struck with nerves and a case of speechlessness! Here’s a little guide on how you can conquer these fears and hopefully get the job you want first time around!

As obvious as it may seem, this can often go amiss with the mixture of emotions surrounding a job interview as well as planning an appropriate outfit! But you should really think of it as an audition, which in drama terms you would be well prepared so do your research, get prepped and of course be on time, better yet be early! There is nothing worse than an employer throwing in an odd ball question and it throwing you off, read about the company and think about the questions they might ask you; as well as what you might ask them, more on that later.

Be your own kind of confident
Of course everyone’s confidence comes in all shapes and sizes, some people beam with energy and excitement whilst others may be more reserved and take time to reach their full potential. Either way, own it! This is all part of you and that’s what your there to show, plus research shows that on average, interviewers reach final decisions about applicants in only four minutes after meeting them meaning don’t burst in and get in the interviewers face nor should you open the door and slowly quiver in! Take a deep breath, walk in, smile and be yourself.

Take pride in your experience (big or small!)
Everyone has experience in something from year 10 work experience to 2 years in an office job. There’s nothing wrong with going to an interview where you have no experience in that field of work, if you show what you do know you’ll definitely have external skills which will help you and can even make you stand out from the rest! So talk proudly of what you have done and how you’ve done it, you can’t go wrong by trying can you? If you are going into an interview with little experience, use this to your advantage and push your eagerness to use their role as a way to boost your experience and really push the benefits that their company holds.

Sell yourself
On average, every corporate job opening attracts 250 resumes and the employer has chosen to interview you so give them a valid reason to have actually picked you. Talk about your strengths and show identification of your weaknesses, how the company would benefit from having you on board, however don’t push the limit and become a self-obsessed interviewee; not a good look! There is a fine line between confidence and cockiness but you can only be one person so take that and rock it! If anything refer back to parts on your CV that you are proudest of; they have read it after all!

Ask questions
Interviews are two way streets and while this is quite a ‘state the obvious’ tip, you can often find yourself at the end of an interview thinking “They’ve covered everything, I have nothing to ask!” However, if you prepare like we’ve already gone over then you should be good. There’s some basic questions you can always throw in, such as “How can the company help me progress in ___ skills?” or “What do you enjoy about working here?” Asking questions emphasises your interest in the job role/company and further makes you a more applicable candidate for the position.
Job interviews can be daunting, especially when they are your first one but if you stay calm, rehearse prior to the date and go in prepared and rearing to go there’s nothing more you can do!  Also, don’t be beaten down if the first interview isn’t success, most job offers come in after a couple of interviews.

I hope this guide was a little handy and boosted your confidence in any areas you needed, I mean I have definitely followed these steps before and I’ve never not gotten a job after the interview, now that must be a good sign!

Until next time,

Shannon xx

Monday, 31 July 2017

Music Loves // New Releases

Hello and welcome!

Today I am back again with the somewhat monthly music update and new release reviews! I will also including a new aspect which is the metacritic rating of each album, I have included the link (here) of what this rating is in case you do not know! So shall we cut the waffling and get straight into it?

Lana Del Rey – Lust for Life 
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I think it would be pretty predictable to have this album here today seeing as I touched on the production of new music by Lana in a previous blog. Well then, Miss Del Rey has released her fifth album and it does not disappoint! This album is a mixture of her 60’s/70’s aspects sensed in all four of her older albums, having a dreamy and emotive feel to it however, this album sees Lana add-in the element of modern day RnB and rap vibes  with her collaboration with artists such as A$AP Rocky in Summer Bummer.  
"The past 4 albums have been for me, but now this one is for the fans too and where I hope we are headed." - Rolling Stone
It stills holds the key characteristics of a Del Rey song with explicative lyrics played against a mellow melody such as Cherry with her soft  yet recognisable and unique melodic voice. This album holds a much brighter perspective in comparison to previous albums such as Born to Die which revolved around her idealising dying young and various darker themes, this is also the first album cover Lana is seen smiling on and this optimism is replicated throughout the album in songs such as Love and Lust for Life. She also touches on her patriotism for America in songs such as God Bless America and has recently taken a stand to not have American flags up when she tours anymore in a protest against president Trump.  She has received a metacritic rating of 79.

Demi Lovato – Sorry not Sorry
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Could this be the sassiest come back song ever released? Because I think it is definitely up there with this badass dance song paired up with Lovato’s impeccable range of vocals.  Lovato herself has said that as she grows both as an adult and an artist she is becoming more comfortable experimenting with more ‘sexy’ sounding music as seen by Cool for the Summer and now Sorry not Sorry, stating that there is a range of rappers that sing about sexuality and provocation but no female singers.
You know what I'm good now and sorry I'm not sorry that you may not be loving where your life is at the moment. - iHeartRadio
This song is described as a song to rise above those that may challenge you and become a better you because of it. Lovato makes it no secret that she receives hate and she does not shy away from it often fighting back for herself on social media Similar to Lana Del Rey, Demi is an outspoken activist for the rights of Americans, most importantly those of the LGBTQ audience, but is yet to comment on the recent Trump travesty against transgender individuals no longer joining the US military.

HAIM – Want you Back
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Four years after their last album the sister trio are back with their album Something to Tell You, continuing their pop rock descent into the charts. However, I am not focusing on the album here but one of the singles released from it, Want You Back. Having been away for four years, touring with Taylor Swift and making new music it was an anxious wait to see what they would bring and if it would be majorly different and chart chasing or still them and luckily it sounds just like their old album but with a bit more oompf as it is more upbeat.
When people call us a girl band, I take it as an insult – being a girl in a band shouldn’t be a thing. - The Daily Telegraph

The trio of sisters have always followed a pop rock route and have been compared to 70’s band Fleetwood Mac, a less desirable comparison for the band as they outspoken in their influences stemming more from more modern musicians such as Beyonce, covering her in the BBC radio 1 live lounge as well as Miley Cyrus and bands like the Strokes, whom lead vocalist Danielle work with prior to the band. Their album Something to Tell You sits with a metacritic rating of 70.

alt-J – Relaxer
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For me, this English band has always been about the music they produce rather than the lyrics embedded within it. This album for me took a little bit more time to grow than the previous two had but I got there in the end! Relaxer sees the band further experiment with orchestral and electro pop sounds producing singles such as In Cold Blood (very similar to some of their early work) and House of the Rising Sun.
We do always want our albums to be listened to as a single piece of music. - Rough Trade

Unlike their previous albums there is more influence from bands such as Radiohead with a heavier aspect of rock, where-as alt-J have always resided in the field of alternative-indie pop. This is not a negative though, I believe it shows the talent that the trio hold and I always look forward to what the next record holds when listening to new releases from this band. This album was given a metacritic rating of 65.

Foster the People – Sacred Hearts Club

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Similar to Haim, this band has been away working on new music for three years and I personally think that this album has followed a more modern approach with only minor hints of their old synth pop influences. Songs like SHC,Static Space Lover and Sit Next to Me are the main singles I relate to their prior work but like alt-J this change in direction can be viewed as an attempt to show their raw musical talent and ability to experiment with work.
Our first record was more electro pop, the second rock and this one is a bit more hip-hop with a psychedelic influence. - Billboard
This is definitely correct and some of the songs are very poppy and considered more dance tunes than their regular pop-alternative label I would usually group catagorise this band with others like Bombay Bicycle Club but their dance influences set them a bit further away now.  Although I do like this album I have to say it is not my favourite the group has produced as I was a fan of their more electro, synth vibes more prominent in albums such as Supermodel. It seems I am not the only one though as the album was given a metacritic rating of 56!

Well, I hope this review blog was a bit insightful for you and possibly a bit intriguing giving you some ideas for some new music to be listening to and toe tapping away to! I may be wrong but I believe my next post will be based around the  work environment so keep an eye out for that!

Until next time,
Shannon xx

Sunday, 16 July 2017

What Has Been Happening // An Update

Hello and yes it has been ages since my last post!!

Having finish my first year at university I became very laxed with blogging and just enjoyed my free time but I am back bring you updates and hopefully some interesting bit and bobs to light for you! 

Of course, music is a big part of both this blog and myself so the first thing I want to talk about is Community festival. This was a gig based in Finsbury Park; 1st July 2017 and was focused around both new music and those already out and about including classics such as The Wombats and Catfish and The Bottlemen. I went with my boyfriend and we met my friend from uni and her pals, whilst it is safe to say it was pricey for food and  drink it was the chilled and best day I think I have had. Whilst there were bands we did not like on we just sat on the grass area catching some rays and chilling out drinking, and then we would make our way down to the standing area to get both better views and vibes for the bands we wanted. The moments of just standing there and singing along to some of my favourite songs with some of my favourite people was the absolute bestest and this was obvious of my snapchats! 

Secondly, I got a new job and thank god because being a student I think we all understand the sinking feeling of delving deeper and deeper into our overdraft. Previously I have had roles in retail in stores such as Waitrose and Superdrug but this customer servicing can become repetitive so I headed over to reception work and am now based as a front desk assistant at a swanky hotel. A very different role with a bit more responsibility but either way a job is a job, I like the people I work with and payday is a bonus I guess...

Now possibly the most exciting part; I went to Budapest, Hungary for a week with my boyfriend and his friends and it was so great and quick that I want to do it all over again and I only got back 4 days ago! The city of Budapest is very quaint and slightly old fashioned adding to the culture which is expected. Whilst we were there we of course visited the Széchenyi bath spas, natural history museum and went on some lengthy walks to some beautiful places including the park which holds the garden of light. It is safe to say that the Hungarian night life was quite a lively one and if you were going out, you needed to be up and buzzing for it, and if you weren't then you would soon be into it! A trip of 5 days away was just what I needed after finishing uni and going straight into work and I would definitely recommend going there! 

Currently? I am planning what to do next and going with the flow. Next week I will be seeing Jack Whitehall live, I have a barbeque and drinks on the weekend and hopefully a few more things will line themselves up! (Including another break away if possible) 

Hope this quick post was enough to liven this blog up again for a while and I'm currently working on a blog post on the do's and don'ts of university for prospecting students so keep and eye out for that! 

Until next time,
Shannon xx 

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Mood for Music // 5 New Releases

Hello again!

Since it has been a month since the last music post, I believed now was better time than any to review the charts and some of the newest releases, which I have summarised into my top 5 right now! So without rambling on, let’s get into it...

1. Anton Powers ft. Pixie Lott – Baby
Powers a British DJ primarily known for collaborative work with Philip George which hit the number 1 spot in the UK charts. Lott shot to fame in 2009 aged just 18 with her infamous Mama Do which mixed her husky and soulful tones with an upbeat and jazzy backing track, since then she had released three albums all comfortably familiar with chart fame. Baby was released on March 31 and first performed on The Voice. Having been familiar with much of her work in the past, I was excited to see her return with new music and I instantly loved this song as herself and Powers performed it on Mrs Browns Boys (BBC), it has a fun beat to it and I believe it will be widely played throughout the summer of 2017!

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2. Harry Styles – Sign of the Times
Sitting in at number 2 of today’s post is the now solo Harry Styles, with his debut single Sign of the Times which comes from his upcoming self-titled album released May 12. 2016 saw Styles sign a three album contract with Columbia Records which holds a promising future for him following the reaction to his debut single. Whilst many One Direction fans have criticised the style of his music, I for one was a very big fan recognising his clear inspirations from Prince, Bowie and The Rolling Stones. Whilst the lyrics and message of the song are that of quite a sensitive topic (complicated childbirth and death) the musical characteristics of it highlight a strong sense of individualism and not just any other pop song in the charts, it is clear that Styles knows what style of music he wants to produce and is not going to follow the mainstream crowd overflowing the charts, I for one and excited to see what he brings up in his upcoming album!

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3. Tine Tempah ft. Jake Bugg – Find Me
I had to include this combination of artists as a very big Bugg fan because I was really shocked to see these two artists work together, based upon the significantly different music they both produce. 2010 saw Tinie release Pass Out, the widely-known RnB dance tune that never gets old. Having worked with many chart artists such as Swedish House Mafia and Ellie Goulding, he then adds to the list with indie folk artist Jake Bugg. Coming into the limelight a little later than Tinie Tempah, Bugg released his debut album in 2012 which introduced his indie yet country vibe to the world. The collaborative track by these two male artists called Find Me sees Bugg’s dulcet tones contrast with Tinie’s upbeat RnB rapping and the juxtaposition of their two genres is quite refreshing and very different to what is in the charts currently, even if it does take some time to grow on you!

Image result for Tinie Tempah Jake Bugg

4. Lady GaGa - The Cure
Back again with her new song The Cure which came out of nowhere right? I have to GaGa’s last album was not one of my favourites and was quite disappointing having loved the other 4 albums as well as the overpromotion of A Million Reasons, but she is back and with a bang as she performed it at the Coachella festival in LA. Since 2009 Lady Gaga has made quite the name for herself with risqué outfits, charitable nature and support of the LGBT community as well as her adventurous and powerful music. The Cure is essentially a poppy song of love and the message being that love is the cure for anything, Gaga said to her fans during the debut performance that everything she has been through, her fans have cured her with their love. It is definitely an improvement from her last releases, however is very mainstream pop from what she usually produces, nevertheless I love it!

Image result for Lady Gaga the cure

5. The Weekend ft Lana - Lust for Life
Now then, The Weekend is an artist I can listen to now and again when I am in the mood, I never really got the massive hype about him but was interested to see him and Miss Del Rey working together as they are both quite chilled and mellow artists in what they make. With me first listen I had a mixed reaction and then I listened to it whilst doing some research into the meaning behind it and I believe it to be quite a beautiful song. Contrasting Del Rey’s first few songs such as Born to Die to this being Lust for Life it is nice to see a positive uplift in the music she produces. Alongside The Weekend’s subtle voice and harmonic tones this song brings a dramatic and emotional mix up to the charts!

Image result for the weeknd lana del rey lust for life

Hope you enjoyed this blog post of today’s refresh of the charts, and could relate to some of the songs I am loving at the moment! Have a great bank holiday tomorrow and I will be back with another post in no time!

Until then,
Shannon xx

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

13 Reasons Why // The Most Important Message of Today.

Hello again. 
For this blogpost, it would be suited to play this link as you go along with it, I feel it fits well. The Night We Met - Lord Huron

Today’s post comes in the form of both a review and an expression of choice. 10 minutes ago I finished the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why; a show based around the suicide of a teenage girl and the cooperating reasons behind her tragedy. You do not have to relate to the show in order to feel the effects it aims to give you, but it became important to me to raise awareness of the issues showed and the heartbreak which particularly touched my heart.

Image result for thirteen reasons why
Based upon the book Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (2007) who had written the book in relation to a family member experiencing the same psychological dilemmas themselves, however the further story lines of the show are fictionalized and sprout from the struggles many high school students can find themselves with. Without giving away much of the story, it follows a teenage girl who has left 13 tapes explaining what brought her to her suicide, each reason being someone who affected her life whilst at high school and the release of these tapes bring their own consequences.

The topics covered in this show include depression, bullying, loneliness, and the signs of mental illnesses as whole. One thing I found was prominent in the show was how the parent’s behaviour was portrayed throughout the time Hannah was battling with herself. When someone is shutting down with their own battles it is so easy for parents to put it down to you being a ‘hormonal teenager’ due to your age and raging hormones, it can be hard to spot the hazard lights even when they are right in front of you.

Now as I previously said, you do not need to be personally relative to the issues in the show to be affected but from my point of view this enhanced the nature of the show and in a sense brought an impact of pride for the production of the show as there is not enough recognition of these topics in today’s society, although it is growing. The high school setting of this show is primary in the story as this is a time of mixed emotions and can be a struggle for many teenagers, whether it be personal issues, external such as bullying and assault or private matters such as home troubles; all highlighted in the show.

More than a quarter of students (27%) report having a mental health problem of one type or another.
As mentioned before on here, I myself suffer with anxiety and although it may be more controlled now, it was at its peak in high school and effected my experience there in the final two years extremely as I did not know how to cope with my feelings. The feelings Hannah exhibits in the final few episodes when she opens up about feeling lost and not caring anymore were largely relatable but she was unable to voice the help she needed, seeing the series end the way it did. Shows like this really echo the fact that there is no shame in asking for help when it is needed and that it is important to figure out for yourself what you need in order to better your life and move forward, which for me was talking through things with a specialist at my school and learning what was happening how to help myself, hence becoming bigger than the problem and in this case it was becoming in control of my anxiety and not vice versa.

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On a slightly different note, Harry Style’s new song has a slight element of what my point is as he talks about opening up and not locking yourself away when you need to express your feelings, which can end in misery as seen in 13 Reasons Why. As well as this Prince William, has just this week announced that he will be insistent upon his children to be open with their feelings and that he wants to rid the stigma of mental illnesses being a hidden away subject. This really enhanced the message that if you have a platform such as being in the media then you need to use it for good and to spread awareness of topics that NEED to be discussed. Speaking out is one of the most important things to do as well as it gives insight to those who need it that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and more importantly, you are not alone, even when you think you are.

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Now as much as I believe the production of this show was greatly important to give the message which it did, there were some flaws I found in this show for example to poor representation of some of the issues and the careless portrayal of Hannah's death. In episode 13 you very visibly see Hannah do the deed and as real and hard as it is to watch, this scene has caused uproars all over social media due to the triggering nature of it, I believe there were many other ways to depict her death in a subtle and caring way rather that the black and white, in your face ending we were given. Whilst much of the acting was up to scratch, I do not feel as though the screenplay or scripting was. Much of the dialogue in many of the episodes felt quite robotic and forced, takng away the emotion and empathy the audience should initially feel, although this does slowly improve around the last fourish episodes. This post is not made to focus of the errors of making but more the message, so that is all I will say for now, but I do believe that this show was not perfect in the making.

I hope you enjoyed today's slightly deeper post and take away the message I found from 13 Reasons Why, which is to speak out and increase awareness of what is unfortunately a taboo topic. As my first university year comes to an end, I will be coming back to frequent blogs so stay tuned, and once again thank you for reading! 

Until next time,
Shannon xx

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Right Here, Right Now // Music Loves


Finally, I return to what I started this blog for, to write about music! So recently, there has been quite a refreshment of music in the charts and well apart from what currently is 25% Ed Sheeran it’s quite varied, which I love! So, today I thought I’d run through some of the artists and songs I am loving at the moment!

Album Mania
Well of course, can we start a music post without talking about the big ass elephant in the charts right now? DIVIDE. I mean I would expect nothing less from Mr Sheeran but in the build-up of this album I have to say I was not extremely excited and buzzing about it and boy was I wrong. In my opinion this is maybe the best album Ed has produced, partly due to the rawness of some of the songs as well as the variety within them. Whilst there are the conventional love songs, they still have strings of originality as they are written on behalf of different family members followed by one or two post-break up songs because I guess everyone needs to be hit in the feels now and again!

Now then, Bruno, Bruno, Bruno. I cannot fault any part of Bruno Mars’ musical history in any way. I have loved both of his previous albums and 24K Magic just adds to my love for this Hawaiian singer. To no surprise this album is heavily sprinkled with 80’s vibes and funk soul. He brightens up the charts with retro sounds with a modern twist. You cannot listen to this album without at least toe tapping your way through it, come on! 24K Magic is the definition of a feel-good album and is guaranteed to liven up any party or normal night in actually...

Divine Duos
I am definitely stuck choosing a favourite between Dive, How Would You Feel and Galway Girl but I have to say I am also loving the mix up with Stormzy! When they debuted this mashup at the Brits I was ecstatic because this is fresh, this is new and it is fun which I think music should be, having one of the UK’s bestselling grime artists collaborate with the man with the fastest selling pop album in history is a vibrant change up in the charts and probably the best collab we have seen this year so far! 

This one is quite a surprise for me as I first heard of Machiene Gun Kelly back in 2013 when he featured on American rock band Sleeping with Sirens song Alone a song very different to what he is in the charts for now. Bad Things with ex-Fifth Harmony singer Camilla Cabello shows the contrast between these two artists which is a great idea as Camilla is seen as the innocent pretty face of the music industry whilst MGK brings about a sense of intimidation, put them together and you have quite the riot on your hands. Moving from a song entirely about love and sex, he is then featured with the UK’s sweethearts Little Mix called No More Sad Songs a song which is basically another break up song but really is perfect! It tells you to not sit around moping along to sad songs and to get up, have fun and listen to loud and happy music. Quite the ‘get ready for a night out’ song if you ask me! 

All music allows you to feel a certain way, and at the moment there are a few songs floating about which are ‘chill out’ songs. Starting off with Issues by singer/songwriter Julia Michaels. The American artist has aided her writing skills to such a handful of artists ranging from Demi Lovato to Linkin Park but in 2016 decided to keep a song to herself saying she could not picture anyone else singing it. Personally, I do not think there is a song like issues in the charts currently, although it is similar in its style to many songs, in the aspects of a quiet build up leading to a heavy beat chorus but the delicacy Michael’s brings to the song highlights a personal stamp mark in the charts, and I am excited to see what else we see from her.

Similarly, The Chainsmokers are my go to sometimes, I must admit. The DJ duo consistently put out chilled dance songs that are soon being repeated 100 times a day on every radio station, I mean how many times do you think you have heard Closer on average. Although I am not all over Something Like This purely due to the feature of Coldplay who I have slowly gone off over the recent years, tracks like Paris and All We Know make a recurrent appearance in my playlists!

New Music
Gabrielle Aplin has always been a slightly shadowed artist in the charts I believe but soared to the top back in 2012 when she sang The Power of Love for the John Lewis Christmas advert. Prior to this I had enjoyed her acoustic and raw music to have as background music whilst doing work or just for a bit of a time out from heavier, upbeat music. However, 2016 sees her return with Miss You which is considerately more upbeat and electronic compared to her previous guitar coated songs, and it is great. Aplin has quite a unique voice I believe as she is just a bit nasally but it works, I’ve even had the opportunity to see her live when she went on stage at a Hudson Taylor concert, brilliant.

Speaking of new music, can we please talk about Lorde?! The artist that brought us Royals and Tennis Court remains in her electropop genre but brings something fresh and reviving in Green Light a much more upbeat dance track; something unknown for the New Zealand artist. Lorde has been known to be a very marmite type singer where you either love her or not, but her originality and individualistic style reaches out to a number of people and I believe this is something that uplifts the music industry alongside her indietronica music taste.

Who Runs The World?
There are two female artists I absolutely love everything they do at the moment. One being Anne-Marie, who I found a couple of years ago, featuring on the work of Rudimental as a backing singer. Soon after she released Do It Right and since then her success has soared. Alarm saw her first significant appearance in the charts which I loved but it has to be said that Ciao Adios is my favourite of her mainstream songs however Do It Right is the best for the chilled vibes previously mentioned. Whilst a running theme of her songs have been cheating and highlight the fact that she herself has had to deal with her own issues, I think this is the best way for her to right because it makes her music more heart felt and powerful.

Dua Lipa. This Albanian singer is another Hotter Than Hell artist I am expecting big things from, since her first single she has become more and more wanted as a feature artist as well as working on her own debut album due June 2017. Her indie-pop style incorporates synthpop with aspects of dance and R&B alongside her deep voice, she has featured with Sean Paul on No Lie and built quite the following. I love having these female artists growing in the charts and music industry and Dua is the youngest I have spoken of being only 21, she embraces her musical life after attending the Syvia Young Theatre school, and I hope she carries on for years to come! 

I hope you enjoy this jam packed post! It have been forever since I wrote a music post so it all came flowing out in one because it is all I want to write about! Hopefully I will be back next week with another post!

Until next time,
Shannon xx

Monday, 6 March 2017

What’s it really like? // University

Hello all!

Today’s post I bring you all of the wondering questions you may have as prospecting university students or for those just generally interested! The thought of university can be daunting, exciting, promising, a range of emotions and I think there are a few key things people think about before going so I hope this post answers some of these mysteries!

Now then, I have been at The University of Hertfordshire for 6 months now and I have to say time has FLOWN by shockingly fast…my first year is almost finished! When the university application process started, I was not applying and for years I had always believed that I would not hold a degree under my belt or say that I have done the whole ‘uni experience’ but halfway through this marathon of everyone doing their personal statements and making their 5 vital choices I had a moment of madness…I have to go. Personally, I have known the career I want for a few years now and after extensive research and asking around I found out that university was the easiest way forward for me so that is what I chose…and boy was I scared!

Living away from home / Home sickness

This was not one of the major things I worried about shockingly, as I felt ready to move out of my family home for a bit of independence and adventure alongside the reassurance that I could get back to London within half an hour! I live in halls and it has to be said, there are pros and cons:

However, I am glad I have moved into halls as it does give you some more independence and responsibility although it is clear some people do not deal with that well…(There have been 3 fires this year), apart from this though, a lot of flats in my block socialise with each other and a lot of the time people from your course will live around you, so you will always be surrounded by familiar faces.
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A lot of people though, found this more troubling and alongside this of course is home sickness. I know a few people who have found it harder being away from home and it is not something you can comfort exactly…all they want is to go home! But it passes with time, distractions and uni itself. For me, I speak to my mum everyday so homesickness was not a massive issue for me, of course there was the one or two blue days but you have to remember that you are in the same position as about 19,000 other students! This is what brings me onto my next point…

“What if I make no friends?!” The big worry…also the most inaccurate worry to have because come on, you are living in a flat of new people; I live with 11 other people and there’s always going to be someone in the kitchen, just getting in or sitting in the corridor to get a better Wi-Fi connection! So chances are, you are forced to make friends!
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Of course, not everyone will choose to live on campus and in halls so will commute but you are on a brand-new course with a range of different people! Chances are you will probably sit next to someone a couple of times in a lecture, form a mutual bond for each other, maybe even classify as friends…but never learn their name. Yeah this does happen. Even so, I have a few flatmates who are friends with commuters and they come to our flat all the time for pre-drinks (highlight of the week no?) and they still love it! So whoever you are, whatever you study, chances are, you will be stuck with someone somehow!

Financial situation
Too much term you mean!
Loans, rent, food, life. It is all money yes but worry not. There are lots of services universities can offer to help with money troubles! For example, our uni has a programme in which you can borrow a set loan if you cannot afford your rent or daily living so long as it is paid within a specific time frame! Also, do your research! You might be entitled to a certain governmental loan or bursary…there is an annual bursary for being veggie! So, do your research, check what you are meant to get…as well as that though try not to shop to high end, Aldi is quite the life saver for most of us! (Alcohol and pizza is cheap)

Social life
Of course, everyone thinks of university as a year of going out, going to lectures a bit worse for wear and being poor (but not too poor than you cannot afford a night out). This is somewhat true but it all depends where you go! For example, our university is in a small town in Hertfordshire and our only club is the SU called The Forum, a very decent night out yes…but the only one. 
This also depends on who you hang out with too actually, I have flatmates that are always up for a night out, some who come if they finish all of their work and some who do not go out at all, you just gotta find your match! Our university has their main student night on Wednesday (as well as Monday, Friday and Saturday) which is called Cheeky Wednesday, Always themed, £1.50 jagerbombs and 2 dance floors. This is the real highlight of the week.
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I hope this stretch of a post was relatable for some and enlightening for most! I’ll be bringing back more music based and review type posts soon so keep an eye out for those! Thanks for reading!

Until next time,
Shannon xx

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

In or Out // Comfort Zones


This week I come back with a blog based on the concept of remaining in or leaving your comfort zones. One thing I have been experiencing within the last few months due to moving to university.

Comfort zones are an internal concept. I believe they are what you mentally allow yourself to be comfortable with, you may see a crowd and think it looks busy, claustrophobic and scary thus not allowing yourself to be a part of it, when in reality, it may just be an adoring audience to a street performer full of people enjoying a show. I think the main stage of stepping out of your comfort zone is overcoming mental restraints and allowing yourself to push yourself, where would you get in life otherwise?

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Now of course it is seen as a good thing to step out of your comfort zone now and again in order to grow both as a person and in confidence but this is not easy for some, especially when you may have moved to a new area without having your mum there to speak to everyone for you because come on we still all look to our mum when the doctor asks what the problem seems to be right?

Firstly, I moved away from home into halls for university and this was never something I believed to be daunting but it dawns on you once you are sat in your room that you are, in fact on your own, starting what can be seen as a new life. Some people would consider moving out of your family home to be one of the hardest things but if anything, it is one of the most independent and maturing things you can do, even if it takes you out of your comfort zone.
One of the bigger things for me was travelling to Birmingham by myself. Having only moved to Hertfordshire for university I can easily travel back home within an hour or so, therefore there are no issues with that but Birmingham? Well that is a bit of a bigger step and one thing I realised I would never have been able to this time last year. Having done it though has to be one of the best feelings purely because I knew it was a challenge for myself and I conquered the fear of travelling a long-distance journey to somewhere I had never been before, on my own! Of course, stepping out of your comfort zone is not going to be a walk in the park and in fairness this journey was no exception. I had lingering feelings of anxiety as I travelled from station to station and tried to find the right train within timed conditions, but once on the train I was halfway there, I had almost done it.
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I had a smashing impression of Mr Nervous going on...

In all honesty, university and surrounding myself with the right people has probably been the one factor affecting how much more outgoing I am now. Since moving away, I’ve traveled to Birmingham, gone for a night out in Central London (usually a big no), I have even taken the task upon myself of touring a friend around London who had never been before, and for those who know London, it can be very push and shove and intimidating, but if you ignore what may be going on around you and focus on where you are going and where you want to be, it is easy and it is a way of branching out.
Here we are, loving London.
I hope this blog was a helpful insight as to why it is important that we take risks and discover new comfort zones from time to time! I'll be back next week with another lengthy blog!

Until next time,
Shannon xx