General, Travel, University

Marathons, Marvel, and Murder: A week in the life of a bored graduate

I am a Graduate. It has been official for a week now. Well, 8 days. I have uploaded all the photographs and shown them to various interested parties. I have written a post about it here to capture my thoughts on the day. I have ordered my official photographs. I’ve organised my certification and booklets from the day. Once that was done, which took me all of one afternoon, I have literally done nothing. A complete, huge, diddly squit. Nada.

The big things I meant to do were locate my passport and tidy/organise my bedroom. I would like to stress at this point that I don’t think my passport is lost, I have filed it in an EXTREMELY safe place, I have just forgotten where that place is. Very annoying, especially as I am travelling soon and need to begin organising visas etc. Let’s not panic yet, eh? And my room. Well I have been meaning to do that since I graduated. I did quite a bit when I first moved back in, but it’s really not as simple as that. My room is small, and I have a lot of stuff, and at the moment I have issues with actually moving in there. I find that when I try to sort stuff, the space I put it into to sort then blocks the place I am trying to sort it into, and vice versa. And with the hot weather (I really do my best not to complain too much with the weather, and just to be thankful when it is warm, but…) being so attractive at the moment, I just don’t want to lock myself away in a room that is already pretty damn stuffy and heat filled. I will get it done. At some point. Before my parents get home from their holiday.

Continue reading “Marathons, Marvel, and Murder: A week in the life of a bored graduate”

General, University

Don’t cry because it is over. Smile because it happened.

Me at graduation
Me at graduation

Graduation. I’ve been through 18 years of education, and I come out of it with a piece of paper, and a mountain of photographs. Today, well yesterday now technically, I graduated from Lancaster University with a degree in Geography. I can now have BSc Hons at the end of my name. Not that I am going to start writing my name with that on the end, but it is nice to know I could do, y’know, if I wanted to.

Real-life, and future, and careers, and ‘what are you going to do next?’ As soon as you finish one chapter, everyone starts asking about the next. Today has made me realise that it’s fine to not know what I want to do, because I reckon I was definitely in the majority with the slight feeling of being lost. I’ve decided that is a good thing now. I will hopefully just wander until I fall into something I enjoy.

After hours of wearing those robes, I was a) boiling, and b) suddenly aware of how I walk normally. De-robing made me realise how heavy the robes etc were. I was quite content in them, and even though we all looked like idiots in the sun on a warm day, robed in extra-layers, extra black layers, it was a nice feeling to be able to wear them. I don’t feel that happy with all the photos, but I am so glad we took way too many. I mean, way way way too many. We are talking hundreds. There were some candid ones that we didn’t realise we being taken, which was a nice surprise, we all look so happy.

Continue reading “Don’t cry because it is over. Smile because it happened.”

General, University

I Could Be Olympic Champion One Day…

First off, I would like to clarify my post title here. I could most definitely be Olympic Champion One Day if any of the following disciplines were made into olympic sports: ¬†”Watching the most hours of a single TV series in the shortest amount of time” or ”Excessively marathoning TV and film” or ”Spending too much time in front of the TV whilst also blogging and tweeting on the laptop” or ”Staying up way later than I planned because I only have 2 episodes of the season left”. Seriously, I am an expert at all of the above.

I would say that my special skills started to manifest themselves at school, most notably when the second season of The OC started to air in the UK and I hadn’t seen the first season yet, and to make sure I saw it all in time, I borrowed my friend’s DVD box-set, and watched all 24 episodes of season 1 in a week. Yes, it definitely went downhill from there. At the time, I was not aware that this would develop and evolve into what can only be described as a ”super-power”. I hesitate to use that word, but I think it probably qualifies as one at the moment.

During my gap year, and my less than enjoyable first year at University, I honed this skill into an art-form more closely representing my marathoning capabilities today. My ex-boyfriend and I probably spent more time than we should have locked away watching films and TV shows, a trend I continued throughout University. By the end of first year, I think I peaked, I mean, I marathoned the first season of Prison Break in about 36 hours. Ridiculous: yes. Tiring: Yes. Worth: Absolutely. From this point onwards I realised I should utilise this to watch as much as I can, even if it means watching  back to back extended edition of Lord of the Rings with my housemates whilst planning tactical naps and snack breaks, or annoying them with my latest crush, almost entirely dependant on whether the lead character in the new TV show I have started watching is attractive/funny/clever/a spy/a criminal/all of the above (*cough*Neal Caffrey*cough*Derek Morgan*cough*)

Continue reading “I Could Be Olympic Champion One Day…”

General, University

Home, Sweet Home…?

Earlier this week, I stood on Lancaster Railway station waiting for the 14:39 Virgin train to London Euston for the las time, and I had a thought: “Do I Instagram this moment? It’s probably significant.” I never bothered, can’t say (yet) that I regret that. I still haven’t had that “this is it, this is the end moment” that everyone else on my Facebook feed seems to be having. I haven’t completely moved out of Lancaster yet, a load of my stuff still sits in my house there, but I have moved back into my parents house until I travel in September, so full all intents and purposes, I no longer live there. Maybe it will hit me when I need to find places in my room for all my stuff, or when I pack the last box of kitchen utensils for the last time, or maybe it will be when I stand alongside my friends at Graduation. I just don’t see it happening. Even though I won’t be able to go back like my friends will next year, when they need a break from the real world, I just don’t really get that end moment.

There are things about being home that are just awesome: having a decent shower, the ability to have a nice relaxing bath without feeling like you’re in a cave with a cave troll jumping above you (our extractor fan was rather noisy), being able to sit downstairs without worrying about next doors cat climbing through the window, having a big TV that has sky and HD and record and shows sport how it should be watched, the dishwasher (not having to wash all the dishes is vastly underrated) a separate washer and dryer, a garden, cars to pop to the shops in, better food, bath towels (not Disney beach towels – as much as I love them, there is nothing like getting out of the bath and wrapping yourself in a fluffy bath towel), family, and Liverpool.

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General, University

Feeling Whelmed

At this exact moment, I am sitting in my friend’s living room with exactly no things to do. (Well, I need to sort the bins out, and I need to pack, but they are thankless tasks, so I’m employing all powers of delusion about that.) Operation ‘UseAllTheRemainingFoodUp’ is firmly a-go, and of course there is the World Cup and Wimbledon on the TV; none of these actually fill my time completely though. Turns out University filled more of my life than I realised – even when I was sat round doing nothing over the past 3 years, I was thinking about Uni things, which basically counted as Uni work, right? Procrastination was so much more fun, and time consuming, when I had actual stuff to do with my day.

Over the past year I have accumulated a load of random food items (rolled oats, fajita mix, tuna, vegan mince, and a kilo of dry kidney beans to name but a few) that seemed like a great buy at the time, but are now sitting unused in my cupboards and freezer (to be fair, I did ‘Live Below The Line‘ for UNICEF where I needed cheap food to fill me up – if you’ve never heard of this, check it out, it’s worth doing, or at least looking into, really opens the eyes – I’ve linked the page for you!) So far, my friend and I have cooked faji-ttos (which are our attempt at mixing the best of fajitas and burritos into one glorious Mexican food-fest) and a chocolate orange flapjack (which we naturally put with Ben&Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream – because, well, it would have been rude to the ice cream to leave it in the freezer uneaten. Obviously.) I wish I had eaten this well for the rest of the year, I mean, I cook most of my food from scratch – I would say I can sort of cook reasonably well – but I have had all these ingredients there for 12 months. Sigh, of course I learn at the end of Uni.

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General, University

The beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning?

Everything is finishing: my job, living away from home, and the biggie: University.

Most of my work experience has involved a few months here and there, or working with older colleagues, or been something to get enough money to complete my next adventure (Kenya, Iceland, University…) This bar job was a little different. To a point, I missed working, but I also wanted to make as much money to do something when I finished my degree (this was originally going to be buy a house – how exciting). Working for Lancaster Uni tourguiding, and later designated alcohol provider and hangover solver has been a really joy, I’ve met some awesome people, and even though I knew it had to end, I wasn’t expecting the slight hole that would be left when I no longer poured pints or prepared pizzas. To anyone and everyone who I’ve served this year’ it has been a pleasure; to all those I’ve worked with, you know who you are, thanks, it’s been memorable.

Considering how much leaving a job of a year has left me, I am sure you’ll understand how much the next bit is hitting me. Well, I say that, I’m slightly lying. I have watched my friends have that moment of realisation. I don’t know if it’s because I worked later than them, whether it just hasn’t hit me yet, or whether I am just cold-hearted, but I haven’t had that ”wow, it’s over moment” yet. Maybe it will come when I move out for the last time, and move back into my parents house for the tangible future. I don’t think I am too bad when I move back in (sorry if I am Mum) and I am extremely thankful I can just move back in, but it just doesn’t feel like home anymore. Once you’ve lived on your own, it really sucks to move back in with your parents, and their way of doing things.

With the end of University comes the end of 18 years of education. For along time, especially during some of my early months in Lancaster, I had been waiting eagerly for this freedom, but now that it has arrived, I don’t know what to do with myself. I have been in education since I was 4, so excluding my gap year (in which I worked for resits and looked forwards to uni) I have spent 18 years developing, learning, and living in a regimented world in which I felt comfortable, but also, in which I felt like I had a purpose and a place. Throughout these years, I have said so many times ‘I don’t want to do that’ or ‘I don’t want to go in today’ or ‘God, this is boring’. I hate to admit it, but whenever parents, or teachers, or any generic but legitimate adult says to you ‘One day you will look back and think they were the best days of your life, so don’t waste them” they were so right. Continue reading “The beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning?”