Hey guys! Yet again there has been a rather large break between my posts. It seems that I have quickly slipped from three posts a week to a measly one. I could list a whole host of reasons and/or excuses as to why I haven’t been so active on WordPress but to summarise – we all know that sometimes life gets in the way. This has meant that I have only really been reading posts I see on Twitter, as opposed to Reader. Side note: hit me up on Twitter and send me links to your posts! I have sucked. Big time. I am, obviously, planning to rectify this because Christmas is quickly coming around and I have a whole list of post ideas to share with you guys! On that Christmassy note, I hope you like the photos from the York Christmas Market that I’ll be featuring in this post alongside some of my thoughts.

Finally, yes you may have noticed that my blog took a “mature”(??) turn a while ago, and this has also resulted in less posts. I adore writing on beauty and fashion and other bits but I love more meaningful posts and this has generally meant that I prioritised quality over quantity.

So, less waffling! I wanted to talk about what being in my 20s means to me. I would love to know what you guys either plan to do in your twenties, are doing or did. Do you like your twenties? Did you travel? Study? What did you get up to!?

For me, your twenties seem to be a massive period of huge life decisions, judgement, and fear. Basically, a lot of emotion.

Right now, I am 21 and I am in my final year of university. I have some plans for the next few months and years but I am very aware that these will be trampled by some curveballs from life. I will, fingers crossed eh, graduate next summer and be moving to York officially. Hopefully, I will have a job that I am happy in and is one that provides me with some fab career options. I might be thinking about having my own family and settling down in the years after that and doing all the white picket fence crap too.

But. This is all very daunting. I often wonder if the decisions I am making now are because it is what is just expected of me. It is just presumed that you leave university with a good grade, get a job and live happily ever after in the house you buy, with your 3 kids and a labrador. In reality, there is a lot of debt, fear, and uncertainty. I have heard people mention recently in university that the pressure since being in their twenties has been astronomical. By your 30s, your parents probably had all the free-for-all, lack-of-responsibilities fun that they planned to have and became, what I deem, a fully-fledged adult. They most likely had children, married maybe and owned their home. Increasingly, people are making references to our generation having their 30s as their 20s. Education and career dictate so much of our lives that finances are strained and we don’t get the ideals of previous generations.

I could go down a whole other track about politics but that’s for another day!

I find it super interesting how more and more people want time to themselves after university and choose to travel or take a year out from studying or finalising career moves and get a low key job and essentially, just get by. There is less pressure, you can enjoy yourself and see the world and you have your whole life ahead of you. So why do we, as a society, push 20 year olds into this created norm where we study, get a successful career and have a family. Look at the people around you. The people in their 20s, 30s and 40s. Are they all doing the same thing? No. Were they all successful? No. Everyone hits bumps in the road and this ideal that we create for people to grow up in to is constraining and means that people “rebel” against it. Fuck you Brenda, maybe I won’t get a 37 hour unpaid internship just to get the job of my dreams at 21 when I can see Bali, Singapore, and Thailand and consider it after when I have a great tan and have made some questionable decisions about tattoos in foreign countries. Yanno what I mean?

I think that in your 20s you are pressured to fitting this “success” norm that doesn’t really happen for most and I find more and more hope and joy in seeing people break away from this mould. After being in education the majority of our lives, I think most of us deserve a break. A well-deserved one at that. People underestimate how draining it can be as a student (you know, not all of us are out every night and spend all of our money on alcohol and dubiously cooked chicken nuggets!) and how, nowadays, we are all pushed in to doing 101 things on top of our degree just to stand out from the crowd. I’m not saying I’m a shining example but on top of a very independent research and reading heavy degree, but in the last three years, some of the things I have done include:

  • Been elected the course rep three years in a row
  • Held down a job in a busy retail environment while writing essays and revising for exams
  • Visited China for almost 4 weeks to teach in a nursery
  • Volunteered consistently at a local hospice doing fundraising
  • Multiple positions in different societies

And you know what, it means I’m quite tired. I love all the extra stuff I do, and I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t, but sometimes the idea of escaping for a year or two after my studies is really appealing. In your 20s it seems more and more like we have to cram everything in, in a short amount of time, to be happy and successful and it’s just not true. I think people in their 20s should spend some time finding themselves, understanding what they want to gain from life and having fun. I mean, it’s going to take you at least 100 years to buy your house anyway…. might as well enjoy life!

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I love a bargain and finding one on eBay is always so rewarding, especially for under £5. I thought I would share some of the best things I have found recently with you guys. If you’re interested in posts about fetching yourself a good bargain I can throw you back to last year where I did some posts entitled “Under £20”, my favourite being the Under £20: 36 Date Ideas.

Mesh Top

I first saw Lydia Rose from fashioninflux post about these I jumped straight over to eBay to check them out. I just found her blog post from last year that mentioned some of her other favourite finds that I definitely recommend giving a read. I have seen these tops everywhere at the moment on the likes of Pretty Little Thing, Missy Empire and other Instagram dominated brands and thought for a fraction of the price I couldn’t help but snatch it up! Just typing in “mesh top” to eBay seems to open up a world of gorgeous little bargains which are perfect dupes for high street brands.

For example, I bought this embroidered little number for under £5 which is a great dupe for the Urban Outfitter’s £34 alternative. I have honestly had so many compliments when I have worn it out and equally as many shocked looks when I tell them how much it cost! If you’re not into embroidered mesh tops, this spotty one is another great alternative for this version from Glamorous at £20.

Phone Case

eBay is a fantastic place to get phone cases that are on trend and look great. I recently got this stunning gold and marble case for just £3.95 which is an absolute steal. I also adore this grey, pink and marble case that is completely up my street at the moment in terms of colour and aesthetic and hey, if you can’t match your phone case to your bedroom.. why bother? eBay sellers always seem to be one step ahead in terms of picking up and replicating trends and I often see great dupes for Skinny Dip cases online. If you haven’t seen the peach theme that has been around forever, where have you been? On wrapping paper at Ohh Deer, on bedding at Urban Outfitters and cases with Skinny Dip – I feel like it is a trend people love. The peach phone case from Skinny Dip is a hefty £14 compared to the cool £3.49 eBay alternative.

Slogan Tshirt

Another fashion find is the good ol slogan t-shirt. Nobody is without a slogan t-shirt these days and this one is perfect for the feminist vibes that are everywhere at the moment too. This feminist top is only £4.99. Topshop is THE place to visit right now for a slogan t-shirt so comparing the eBay find to their £16 “revolution” alternative is such a steal!

Home Decor

I recently moved into my third year house at university and I was adamant about decorating it nicely and making it my home. I found that eBay is a great place to pick up little decorative pieces that really make a house a home. This is obviously perfect for university students on a budget who want to decorate their living space to feel more comfortable and welcoming. I bought a really sweet pom pom garland that was grey, white and pink and tied my colour theme together perfectly. It was shipped from China but arrived so quickly and was exactly what I was after! You can find them here for £3.89. I also find that eBay is brilliant for fairy lights. I have got so many fantastic bargains and some of the ones I am looking at right now include these cactus ones for just £3.69 and these adorable cream tulip ones for just 99p!

Brush Cleaning Pad

I have seen these advertised everywhere and after picking one up I don’t know what I would do without it. Silicone brush cleaning mats have completely taken off at the moment and I totally recommend getting yourself one as I have no idea how I was cleaning my brushes beforehand. This one is just £2.89 and is a complete steal. Just comparing that to the Sigma £20 alternative really puts it into perspective.

Have you found any gems on eBay?

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Knowing how to keep the spark in long distance relationships can be hard. I have been with my boyfriend while at university for three years now and at times, yes, this can be really difficult but ultimately I would consider us a really strong couple. It is inevitable at university that a lot of relationships are strained, both romantic and platonic, and especially when it is a new environment for both of you, it can be hard to know how to keep things good. I thought I would write up some of my top pieces of advice to keeping the spark in long distance relationships to help anybody who is either new to this situation or needs some helpful pointers!

I also spoke to a few of my friends and family in long distance relationships to get their advice which I’ll feature alongside my own tips.

If you’re interested in relationship posts I have written a 20 Date Ideas post as well as a budget date post called Under £20: 36 Date Ideas.

Have some ground rules

This may sound a bit much but trust me, it helps. A lot of distance relationships fail because you both expect very different things. This is why it is important to make sure you are both happy to have a few ground rules in place that ensure stability and happiness. For example, make sure to drop a text to your significant other when you’re in from a night out. If you both follow this, there are no arguments about limited contact throughout the night and one person being concerned that they haven’t heard from the other for hours. You can both respect the fact that you’re having your own time but they know they’ll be updated when you’re home and safe. I think if you expect to be messaged every hour when someone is on a night out you are a) expecting a lot from the relationship b) you may need to take a step back to let the other person enjoy their own time. side note: if this works for you, however, please ignore me! It is important to remember that every relationship is different and this is merely advice I have seen work for myself and other relationships around me.

Make time for phone calls

Try and make time around both your schedules where you can sit down and have a proper chat rather than fragmented and disjointed conversations throughout the day. These type of conversations often leave at least one party feeling like they’re being ignored or undervalued so sometimes sacrificing a few texts throughout the day to have an hour phone call at night makes all the difference. Quality time over quantity! I have seen both one of my best friends and my dad follow this and it works really well. Setting aside a time that works for you every day or two days to FaceTime or call makes everyone involved feel cared for and valued.

What goes hand in hand with this is just making sure you listen. If your partner has a busy day ahead or something exciting going on, wish them luck, ask how it was.. Basically, just take an interest in their life! Forgetting these types of little things can have more of a detrimental impact than you think. Which nicely leads me on to the next point I think!

Surprise one another and show you’re thinking about them

This doesn’t have to be huge grand gestures where you turn up on the doorstep (although I did do this for Adam’s birthday one year) but rather little things here and there to brighten their day and let them know you’re thinking of them. Adam and I always send tweets and Instagram posts to each other as well as tagging one another in Facebook posts all the time. Sometimes when you’re having a bad day and you see 20 tags in cute puppies and kittens videos, you can’t help but smile! You also can’t go wrong with a few little surprise gifts here and there…

Keep it honest

Don’t pretend to be okay with each other when you’re not. If you are feeling sad, underappreciated, angry – let the other person know. It doesn’t necessarily have to be negativity towards the relationship but just any feelings in general. You’re both there to help each other work through things and it’s important to be as open as possible when it comes to discussing how you feel. Remember not to bottle things up and make sure you support one another when you can.

Enjoy your time together

Honestly, make the most of the time you do have together. Put those phones away and just enjoy each other’s company when you can. I think this is probably one of the most important points to mention. Even if that time together is just a TESCO food shop – enjoy it.

Do you have any advice for long distance relationships?

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I think we have all had several nights, or days, in our life where we have been out alone and have been worried or scared. Honestly, if you haven’t heard of it already – I have found the only personal safety app you will ever need when living on campus or in general life.

If you are interested in student posts I would recommend checking out my category of posts which is here and includes tips on revision, handling a bad mark, relationships and motivation.

I have been using this app for months now and unfortunately, as an ever growing issue, I felt that I must tell you about it to help benefit as many people as possible. I tried to do some research on it before I started this post and was alarmed that a quick google only pulled a handful of results. More people need to know about this app and this only compelled me more to write this post.

What is Companion and how does it work?


When you are walking from A to B or even just need a breath of fresh air, Companion allows you to ask a friend or family member to keep an eye on you throughout your journey. The best bit is that they don’t have to have the app too – they are merely sent a text saying that you would like them to keep an eye on you. The text also gives the person an interactive map so that they know whereabouts you are as you go.


If at any moment in your journey you feel worried, you have two buttons at the bottom the screen that allows you to alert your companion or the police, if necessary. Having such safety features so close to hand is brilliant and exactly how we should be using technology to protect ourselves. (Obviously, it is a terrible shame we feel the need to use such apps but I’m sure you understand my point). The creators of the app explained that when it launched in the US, the app recorded 500 incidents where the user felt unsafe in one week. 500. 500 people felt unsafe on their university campus.

The app was originally designed as a university safety tool but there is no restriction to anybody downloading and using it for their own safety too. For example, I always use it when I get the late train home into York and have to walk quite from the bus stop alone at 2 am.

What happens in an emergency?

Something I didn’t know about the app that my little bit of research pulled up is the following:

“If the user strays off their path, falls, is pushed, starts running, or has their headphones yanked out of their phone, the app detects these changes in movement and asks the user if they’re OK. If the user is fine, they press a button on the app to confirm within 15 seconds. If they do not press the button, or a real emergency is occurring, the Companion app transforms the user’s phone into a personal alarm system that projects loud noises to scare criminals from the scene, and gives you the option to instantly call the police.” – businessinsider.com

I found this video that shows you the basics of the app that might be useful to some of you too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guHZpt-PdKs

I completely swear by this app and I can’t imagine going without it when I am out alone. The best bit? The app is free to download for both Apple and Android users.

If you’re not convinced, I have no idea why! Personal safety is paramount and something like this helps instill confidence in the user when they’re alone and those that care for them (as well as fending off attackers in a real emergency).

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Time for some mid-week motivation! If you like these and want to see a few more, I have linked my previous ones below:

Mental Health
Female Empowerment
General Motivational Quotes
Fitness

This week  is focused on university and ties into my Student Diaries posts:

Experience with Clearing
How to Handle a Bad Mark
Revision Tips

Now that we are in the month of returning back to university, school, and college I thought it was perfect timing to have some study inspiration quotes to get everyone through the week. Although many of these are still applicable to day to day life and work so everyone can take something from them, which is great.5e5c4bb8e2ed59f70f6ee3aa1dc41836.jpg

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For more fitness motivation: In-Pursuit-of-FitnessFor healthy...

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Check out my Pinterest quotes board:

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