Thursday, 3 August 2017

Goodbye Lancaster

Well well well, the time has come to bid university farewell. For now at least. True to form, as I sit and write this with Summer supposedly in full swing, rain is lashing down and the air is fresh and cool. But this is Lancaster. The Lancaster I have come to know and love over the past three years (well, I guess technically two).

They say your university years are some the best years of your life. And, although I'd never allow myself to believe that my life has reached some kind of peak already, I won't deny that the past three years have been the best years of my life so far. I sometimes hear people say that they wish they could go back and relive their high school days but I don't feel the same way at all. University has given me one of the greatest gifts in life, my independence, and I wouldn't give that up for the world.

But there's so much more. I am not the same person I was when I started here at Lancaster university almost three years ago. I've grown so much that I don't even know where to begin. Here, I've had the space to try new things, meet new people, make mistakes, do embarrassing drunken things, gain the strength and confidence in myself and my abilities that makes me the somewhat strong person I feel I am now.

In hindsight, it's no wonder first year doesn't count towards your overall grade.  When you chuck a load of hormonal and, for the most part, sexually frustrated teenagers into a mix of newly acquired independence, alcohol and a lack of responsibility; a few mistakes are bound to happen. When I look back at that year there are definitely moments that I cringe to think about and some that I can't help but laugh at myself for.

But from that first year I truly began to learn that the world was so much bigger than I realised. There were so many people that I was suddenly meeting, from all over the country and even other countries, and it helped me to get over a recent heartbreak (or what I believed to be at the time) because I began to see that there were plenty of people I found attractive in the world, all I had to do was get myself out there and meet them. I started getting some real experience in the dating/relationship/messy romance scene and from my MANY failures; being on both the receiving and giving end of romantic rejection; having some half hearted relationships; missing out of opportunities of healthy relationships due to fear and allowing myself to waste 8 months with a guy who continually used me and disrespected me and treated me like absolute shit (I have since removed myself from my own pedestal, wondering how on earth intelligent women can be so blind, yeah, it happens, infatuation makes a fool out of the best of people unfortunately). I write this now from a place of peaceful serenity and balance when it comes to romantic relationships. I am happily single, and that is where I shall remain for the time being. But my experiences have given me the ability to be more emotionally intelligent and self aware about the people I am attracted to, and the traits in people that I should steer clear of, and that is an invaluable lesson to have learnt.

Continuing on... a similar learning experience happened with friendships and after making some poor friendship decisions in first year due to the intensity of moving out and being so alone at university, I realised what it meant to be more choosy with who you spend your time with. In actual fact, my roommate Ali in Calgary said something that will always stay with me and that I always think about when I make new friends and go to new places, or whenever I feel lonely. She said, ' I have all the friends and family that I need in my life. I don't make friends out of need anymore, I make friends out of choice. So if I don't hit it off with someone, I don't feel any particular way about it, because I already have my support system in place, I don't need to fill my life with empty friendships.' and that really opened my eyes. I am so used to moving about and being new, that I've sometimes latched onto the first person who latches onto me because I'm scared of being completely alone and this tends to bring about some difficult friendships. But I now feel so confident in my support system, and my relationship with myself, that being in a new place isn't so daunting and I can afford to be choosier with the type of people I allow into my life and spend my time on. I am definitely much happier.

I began to learn the limits of my alcohol intake, and got most of my intoxicated mistakes out of my system. I've become confident enough to be able to refuse alcohol and found a good balance in drinking I feel. I've also tried drugs properly for the first time, not many, but some. I feel like these are things I'll go into in another blog post one day.

And university has helped me to be so much more self-disciplined in soooo many aspects of my life. I have had to take responsibility for my own learning, my deadlines and my revision. This academic self discipline has spread into other areas of self-discipline such as health and exercise, trying new things, applying for jobs, volunteering, budgeting. Being able to use my time effectively to achieve things and be successful is one of the greatest skills to have.

I'm thankful for the opportunity of being able to study abroad in Canada, as that year was definitely one of the best years of my life to date. I won't go into much detail as I wrote a series of blog posts whilst I was out there, which you can start reading here.

There is a lot more I could say, but I am getting a little tired, and I have to leave for the gym soon, so I will leave it here. It's quite sad, to say goodbye. It's been one hell of a rollercoaster ride, and I will miss university. I'll miss the freedom, the range of people, the opportunities, the fun and the friends. But I will take the valuable lessons I've learnt here with me through the rest of my life, and those, above all else, make every moment worth it.

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Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel

I could not put this book down. As a lover of apocalyptic/ post-apocalyptic fiction, it made a nice change to read a book that wasn't about Zombies or about a far in the future dystopia/utopia. This felt like a truly realistic representation of what would happen if a pandemic were to hit the world right now, and it was gripping.

As with any book that takes the narrative voice of multiple characters, there's always certain characters whose chapters drag. This book was no exception, but I enjoyed the generational differences portrayed, the link between all of the characters and the juxtaposition of pre and post pandemic world.

A truly great, and quick, read. Would recommend to everyone.
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Saturday, 24 June 2017

Riverdale 'Chapter Two: Touch of Evil' Photo Recap

Hey guys,

Sorry it's been a while, I've had exams. And deadlines. And various other things consuming my time between now and the last photo recap. But wait no more! I am back, in true tardy fashion, with Chapter 2. If you haven't seen the first episode, maybe go and do that or go and read my previous recap here.

'Touch of Evil' begins with a very sweaty and very topless Archie tossing and turning. After rightfully getting the cold shoulder off of Betty (remember the very recent rejection?), he decides to go for a very sweaty and very topless midnight run. To whose house other than our favourite Miss Predators?! Hip hip hurray. Shall we just call Miss Grundy the culprit and all go home? Lets save ourselves the time and effort investigating elsewhere.

Archie is adamant that they heard gunshots, much to Grundys dismay. So she tries a different tact. Somehow, it seems that Miss Predator is losing her tight leash on Archie, because he doesn't seem so happy to play by her rules this time.

Yeah, that's right Archie. You fight your way out of Grundy's web. Meanwhile, in Betty's house, her mom gives her a pep talk about how she shouldn't talk to or trust anyone. A touch patronising. Not a fan of Betty's mom. Betty agrees to not talk to Archie, only to, two seconds later, talk to Archie. Rebel much?

Betty and Archie walk to school together and Betty pretends that she's okay being in the friendzone. But if there's one thing I've learnt about love, it's that, nobody is okay with being in the friendzone if they want to be out of the friendzone. I hear your words Betty, but I see through you. Don't worry gurl, we've all been there. Jug/Gossip Girl has a brief conversation with Archie about Jason (the guy who died just to remind you). Then Betty and Kevin pick up some apology flowers from Veronica for kissing Archie.

Veronica grovells hard and wins back Betty, much to Kevins dismay. I adore Kevin. And I'm kind of digging Betty with everyone. Well, by everyone I mean, BettyxArchie and BettyxVeronica. With a dash of Kevin everytime. Watch this space.

And back to the big mystery on hand. The death of Jason Blossom.

Archie is consumed with guilt and Jughead is totally onto him. Jughead doesn't seem to miss anything around here. I'm just surprised he doesn't already know who killed Jason... Or does he?

Meanwhile half of suspect number 2 hands over a wad of cash to the forensics guy doing thee autopsy on Jasons body. Totally unsuspicious behaviour right. Hmm I still stand by my red herring point I made before so imma be mad if they did actually kill Jason.

And back to teen non-murder drama, I called it - Betty is so not ready to be in the friendzone. Love guru here, whenever you need Betty.

No worries Betty. I got you. She storms off, admitting that maybe she's not okay. Which is okay. Archie is trying to help, but he's really not being much help. Sorry Archie, but you need to just back off a bit. Again, we've all been there. Sometimes you just need to give people a bit of space.

Then the principal calls out Archie on his weird lurking behaviour. Archie freaks and we all know what Archie does when he freaks by now. He runs off to Grundy. I should have known her absence on screen was too good to last.

Hey, I'm just as annoyed about Archie running to you as you are. She is such a slimy piece of seaweed. Is there no depth to which she wouldn't stoop? She plays on Archies feelings for her to stop him from telling everyone about them being together and hearing the gunshots that fateful morning at the river. She even strokes Archies fingers. Excuse me while I vomit next to her.

Thank the lord that Jughead is gossip girl because now he knows. Phew. The dramatic irony was getting quite exhausting.

And this face, people, is the face that bonds me and Jughead forever. I feel your disgust, and I am here for you. I'm sure you've all heard the saying, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Well, Jughead, nice to meet you friend.

Betty and Veronica have an argument about Archie and what its like to be forever alone. Betty is still in denial about everything. Cba to screenshot. Betty gets her bitch on and goes for pedicures with Cheryl (the ginger twin to remind you) instead of Veronica. Not gonna lie, I think Veronica kind of deserved it for the whole kissing Archie shenanigans. But now equal footing has been restored, I'll be less accepting of Bitch Betty should she make another appearance.

Archie and Veronica have some alone time for the first time since they kissed. And true to form, the topic of conversation is Betty. If they end up getting together, I wonder if they'll say Betty's name during foreplay, or is that too crude? I'm not shipping them.

Over at Betty's house, Cheryl and Betty are playing a short lived game of best friends.

Archie returns home to find Jughead on his steps. Seriously, does Jughead have clones? I swear he is all seeing and all knowing. He is everywhere. No-one is safe from the eyes of Jughead.

Archie tells all. PHEW. And Jughead voices some harsh truths and opinions similar to my own. I am rapidly gaining respect for the mysterious Jug.

'COUGAR' (Jughead re: Grundy)

'I'm guessing she cares more about herself' omg yass queen. I love you already. We have seriously bonded this ep. I guess I have Grundy to thank for that. Ha, likely. But seriously, Jughead, amazing. Can we upgrade to best friends?

Betty and Veronica make peace, which makes me really happy.

In the common room or whatever, the jocks are spouting shit about jughead and teasing him about being a serial killer. As you do.

Popular jock whose name I can't remember gets all riled up because he can't handle Jugheads sass and Archie stands up for Jughead, resulting in a small fight between the the jock and Archie. Archie may be beginning to redeem himself.

And furthermore, Archie decides to do the right thing and tell Weatherbee about the gunshot. Grundy isn't happy, which means I am doubly happy. Go Archie. Then Jughead and Archie have a cute moment. Uhm, sorry but I may be shipping them just a little bit now. But I don't know if I'm just shipping jughead with anyone because he looks so damn cute.


Then Betty and Veronica go for milkshakes which was the best thing. I was feeling a distinct lack of milkshakes this ep. They toast to not letting boys get between them - I smell a slight whiff of foreshadowing? Or am I just being cynical?

But the happiness never lasts too long, because the very next day, Cheryl gets arrested for something in the autopsy results and it turns out Jason died a week after he disappeared.

I feel ya Archie, I feel ya.

Some notes:

  • wtf is going on?
  • everyone is so darn beautiful
  • I think Cheryl really grew on me this ep, I love how she owns her crazy and how she also broke down at the pep rally, also that frog dissection scene, yass queen!
  • what went on with Polly and Jason? I feel like this arc should come to light soon and its gonna be big
  • I was not expecting to fall in love with Jughead, but I think I actually did
  • Miss Grundy is, as always, the worst
  • I am so pleased about the milkshakes at the end, seriously, I think I'm actually gonna tally the milkshakes from now on #hereforthemilkshakes I want a milkshake
  • I definitely have a girl crush on Betty
  • Archie is a bit of a dweeb, buuuut I have high hopes for his character development
  • I'm unsure about Veronica
  • I want more Kevin scenes
  • Whats the deal with Bettys parents paying the forensic guy?
  • Can someone upset me so that they can buy me flowers and cupcakes and mani/pedi vouchers?
  • I am, once again, hooked

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