Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Changing Personalities...

I saw this image on Tumblr earlier today and it got me thinking. I'm the kind of person who thinks quite a bit about how other people see me and worry about the impression I make. Since coming to uni, I've found that whilst I'm confident around my friends that I've known for years, I find it a lot harder to be that same person around new people. I definitely don't like to be the centre of attention and will happily fade into the background. It's not that I change who I am around new people, more that my full personality doesn't come out straight away. A lot of it is to do with me over-thinking how people see me and my innate shyness seems to have been exaggerated since leaving home. 

I've found that because I do this, I sometimes end up saying no and turning things down. Essentially I am a worrier. I worry about fitting in. I worry about joining in conversations and what people will think about what I say. I worry about how I'll get home after a night out. They're not overpowering, more nagging feelings that I think have held me back slightly at uni. Seeing this quote has just reaffirmed for me that I'm going to make the most of my last term at uni.

No matter what you do, how nice or likeable you are, there is always going to be someone who doesn't like you that much. And that's ok. Just because some people don't think you're the bees knees doesn't actually matter. That doesn't have to affect you and how you live your life. At the end of the day as long as you've got those people you know you can rely on, that's all you need :)

I'm going to try and stick by this mantra from now and just get on with life. I'm going to say yes to more things and not worry so much about what others think. As long as I'm happy, then that's the main thing :) 


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Death By Dissertation...

Today along with the rest of the week has been dedicated to dissertation research and writing. Uni starts again on Monday and I have a hand-in due on Thursday so it's all pretty go go go at the moment! I really enjoy writing and surprisingly am loving doing dissertation work but I do find that at times it's so easy to become unmotivated. I keep looking at the final hand in date and it seems so far away. I get into the bad habit of thinking, "oh it's fine, I've got ages to finish it," but I know it'll come round quickly. It's such a scary though that once this chunk of work is done, that's it, I'm practically finished with my uni life. I think the thing I'm most scarred of is not knowing what's going to happen next. I've been in education since the age of 5, which has meant I've gone straight from school, to Sixth Form, to uni. I've never experienced "the real world" and it's a very daunting feeling knowing come May I'll be flung into it. This year will be scary but I'm hoping it will also be a new adventure :)

As today is my Dad's birthday (and as a cheeky break from dissertation), my sister and I donned our baking hats and made some celebratory cupcakes. I absolutely love cakes and what's better than eating delicious sponges that you've made yourself?! We stick to a pretty simple recipe of equal quantities of butter, caster sugar and self raising flour combined with two eggs and a tablespoon of milk. We put them in the oven and a short while later (about 20mins) they're done! The best part of baking is definitely the decoration. As these ones were for my Dad, we decided to add a drop of blue food colouring to give the butter icing that little extra zing.

I've found that baking is also a good stress relief mechanism - think I'll be baking a lot more as April/May draws closer!! Anyone else found anything that helps them cope when work seems like it's going to tumble over and crush you?


Monday, January 14, 2013

Concrete Jungle Adventure...

If you read my posts from October, you may have seen that Ben and I were supposed to go to New York for our birthdays but Hurricane Sandy hit America. Luckily, we were able to rearrange and have just got back from an incredible trip! :)

We flew with Delta Airways from Heathrow on Monday morning meaning we arrived in New York at around 2pm. We spent the afternoon getting our bearings and met up with a relative of Ben's Aunt who lives in the city. Since being little, I've always wanted to go to New York and first impressions didn't disappoint. I mean, how can you not be impressed by the dazzling lights of Times Square?!

On Tuesday morning we visited the 9/11 Memorial Site; it's hard to describe how I felt as we walked around the two fountains. All I could think about was the sheer size the buildings had been and the huge hole that now takes their place. Around the edge of the fountains are bronze plaques with the names of those who lost their lives. The thing I will always remember from the site is the name of one particular woman followed by the words 'and her unborn child'.
We spent the afternoon walking further Downtown towards Battery Park and got a 20 minute helicopter ride from just past The Staten Island Ferry dock. Although 20 minutes may not seem that long, it is incredible how much of the city you get to see! It was brilliant flying past The Statue of Liberty, over Central Park and down The Hudson River. If you get the chance to see New York in this way, definitely do!

We kicked off Wednesday in Ellen's Stardust Diner - a recommendation from two of my housemates. It's a typical American Diner with breakfast bagels and giant chocolate chip pancakes on the menu. It also has a unique selling point... singing waiters and waitresses! :) They are all aspiring Broadway stars meaning, as we were munching away on the tastiest breakfast, we were treated to the staff belting out brilliant  Broadway tunes. We spent the rest of the day wandering through Central Park, ice skating, exploring The American Museum of Natural History and getting tickets for Mamma Mia. 

Day four and five of the trip were dedicated to finishing off the 'touristy bits' and shopping :) As Thursday morning was bright and sunny, we decided it would be the perfect time to head up The Empire State Building. We went up to the 86th floor and spent about half an hour taking in the amazing views! 

I'm going to do a separate post on the goodies I got but oh wow, shopping in New York is so much fun! I think Bloomingdale's was my favourite shop. It's an incredible department store, although I did get slightly envious of all the beautifully dressed people wandering around the designer departments. My other favourite place was The Beats Audio shop we stumbled upon that happens to be the only one in the world. From the minute I stepped through the door, I was in love! The staff were really friendly, gave excellent information about all of the products and didn't pressure you into buying anything. We were free to roam the store and try out all of the headphones they had on display. They even had a soundproof room you could go in and test out their bigger sound systems. 

New York lived up to everything that I had imagined. I definitely want to go back!! I'm not sure that I would ever be able to live there as there isn't enough greenery for my liking but it is an incredible place.


Sunday, January 06, 2013

New Country, New Year...

I know I'm a little behind, but Happy New Year :) I've spent the last few days getting back into the swing of things after the brilliant festivities. This year my family and I went away for New Year to Dubai. Having never been to the Middle East before, it was extra exciting getting on the plane and adventuring into something new :) It was a first time to the city for all of us and it definitely won't be the last! 

Dubai is the most incredible place. It is the shiniest, cleanest, tallest city I have ever been in! Everything is spotless. The roads, the streets, the trains, the shopping centres... One of the best things though was getting to experience a different culture. I know that I stayed in a hotel and didn't get to experience 'proper' life but I feel like I got a glimpse of it when we went to the traditional gold, spice and textile souks. It's so interesting to see how different cultures work and how societies define behaviours as acceptable or not. 

I don't usually make New Year's resolutions but seeing as this year is a big year in terms of finishing my degree and entering 'the real world,' I've decided that I need to take every opportunity that I can. I have a bit of a habit of saying no to things, or hanging back and not putting myself forward but this year I'm going to make more of an effort to do more things. 
This also links to my other resolution of exploring the world more. As much as I love the traditional package holiday to the sun, I think this summer would be a perfect time to save up and go to one of the places that I've only ever dreamed of going. There's so much out there that I'd love to adventure to and I think this is the year I should take the opportunity to do so :)

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