Okay, so it’s been 3 months since I last did this, and throughout the time I haven’t, I kinda’ missed it. I’m not sure it’s just the human part of me that likes to talk about my feelings, or whether it’s just because I’ve wanted to write something – or anything.
In the 3 months that have passed, I’ve started University, completed my first 8 week teaching placement, been to London and done a few more things that I’m not sure I would’ve saw myself doing a few years back. I guess now, I’ll tell you a little about them. 🙂
So, by far the strangest and craziest thing I’ve done in the past 3 months, is hit the half way mark of my first year at university. Yep – you’ll be feeling me too, if you’re a first year and feeling a little ‘weirded’ out about having already lived nearly 1/3 of your uni experience. If I haven’t said before – I’m studying to be a primary school teacher with English as my specialist subject and the course and all that it has brought has been a bit of an intense whirlwind. There are good parts and there are bad parts of my whole uni experience so far – but that’s life, right? I’m so, so, so happy that I’m finally studying what I love and training to do what I love, and I can’t express that enough. The course itself is what i’ve always thought about / hoped for and has quite a lot of free time attached to it too, which I’m assuming is just a first year thing? Correct me if I’m wrong. My only complaint with that is that my £9,000 that I pay per year hasn’t exactly been maximised this year, if we’re going off time actually spent in uni, #ThanksUni but other than that, it’s been pretty fun. Within my course, I have the opportunity to spend 8 weeks in a school on teaching placement – which I’m sure a lot of us would say is the best part of the whole thing – doing what we’re trained to do! Luckily enough, I got placed at a school that I’d done 2 years of work experience at before actually going to uni, so going back was exciting, albeit scary knowing that I’d have to actually teach! Teaching has been what I’ve wanted to do since I was in primary school myself, so when I got into the school, I couldn’t wait to get into the groove of it – I was still terrified, though, teaching a class of 30 children after only 2 months of uni tuition was pretty daunting! My first lesson involved me teaching the children about how to use a compass, and as we got closer to Christmas, we even used what they’d learnt to create baubles that they could decorate! I loved it.
Over my 8 weeks, I taught a lot of lessons, but with the nature of the job – kind of to my surprise – I found that I could often finish a lesson feeling a little bit unsatisfied, or a little bit ‘meh’, as I described it then. After talking to my mentor at school and a few other teachers there, I realised that this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. It just meant that I was reflecting on what I’d done, my strengths and weaknesses, and going through the motions of thinking what I’d do differently next time. This is something I’ve found that I love about teaching – the reflective nature of it means that there’s always room for improvement and that it’s good to think about what you’ve done, not just settle. I’ve learnt that no teacher is ever perfect, we learn alongside the children and develop with them to be the best teacher we can be. I was crazy to think that you could learn everything about teaching at university.
I was also taught a lot of lessons myself, whilst I was on placement. Not only did I realise that getting the right amount of sleep was kind of really important, but I also learnt that the career I am going into can get pretty damn stressful at times. Illness – children carry a lot of germs – mixed with hormones, mixed with assignments, mixed with planning, creating, marking, seeing family, friends, loved ones in general…it can all get a little much, sometimes. Obviously, as a trainee teacher I haven’t yet felt the full effects of being a teacher, but I definitely think I’ve had a good insight. I’m proud that I didn’t let these things get the better of me. I’m not exactly the best at dealing with stress – probably not one of my greatest ideas – but I think that as a teacher I will learn to. Not one of my greatest ideas? Nah. It’s what I make of it. I found that when I got stressed out, I tended to think about the kids in the class and times when I really felt like I’d made a difference. I thought about a little boy who couldn’t sit on his chair for more than 5 seconds, and how I’d built a good relationship with him that’d helped me to keep him on his seat for more than 5 minutes. How he’d asked me to stay when I had to leave, and how it broke my heart but made me realise that I’d helped him to believe himself, something I’ve got evidence of in an amazing piece of writing he did for me about Beowulf – An Anglo-Saxon legend. I thought about a little girl in that class who reminded me of me in school – no belief in herself, absolutely no thought in her mind that she could achieve, especially not in maths! Together, we worked through it and I got through to her in the end. This was a big one for me, as no one ever did manage to get through to me – only myself – nearly – when I passed my QTS numeracy test! I also thought about a little girl who didn’t speak 2 words to me when I first came into the class – a girl who had a lot of stuff going on at home. By the end of the 8 weeks, she’d made me a card and had put her heart and soul into the drawings – which were amazing. This made me remember why I wanted to be a teacher in the first place and the memories I have from those first 8 weeks of teaching will be ones I always cherish. Although highly unprofessional – I sobbed leaving the school at the start of February and will miss the children and the school dearly. The experience, although filled with ups and downs, made me look forward to my next teaching practice and my future career.
Going back to actually being in uni, I have made great friends with the lovely people on my course who all share my passion for teaching. The great thing is that everyone loves what we do and I like being around people who are as down for learning new things and teaching these new things to children. The girls I have got the closest to from my group are all wonderful people and I can’t wait to make memories with them as we go through our 3 years together.
Now, onto actually living at uni. I could wrap this up and say it was a wonderful experience and the best time of my life, but to tell you the truth, it wasn’t. When I applied for my university accommodation at the uni I’m currently at, I applied to be in mixed halls – girls and boys. When it came to actually getting into uni and getting the email through about my accommodation, I was so happy because it was the halls I wanted. We were linked to a facebook group that we could join to meet our new flat mates and I was really excited to meet the people i’d be sharing a flat with. Although they were lovely, it turned out that I was to share a flat with 8 girls. One of the girls, conveniently, lives very near to me in the same town and I love her to pieces. We’ve become great friends and definitely relied on each other throughout our first few weeks away from home – a lot of tears were shed. I think the thing that can be difficult about living with random people, is that you’ll all be so different and this can sometimes be a problem in itself. I think the issue with our flat, was just that we were all different, in different ways. I kind of felt like I was having a bit of identity crisis as I felt myself becoming less like me as I felt out of place amongst some of the girls I was living with. Even though I’ve made good friends with one of them in particular, and 2 girls I was living with were on my course, so we’re good friends too, it was a difficult time. Everyone around me was having an amazing uni experience with new friends who they’d have for life but I was just kind of…floating in slightly unfamiliar territory. Where my loud and ‘bubbly’ – I guess – personality was kind of overshadowed by the shyness that I resorted to because of how uncomfortable I felt in the unfamiliar situation I found myself in.
But, 5 months later, and it’s not too bad. I still live in halls with the same people and we get on with it. Admittedly, I did have my school placement close to home so have been there since November, but I know for a fact that now that horribly unfamiliar dust has settled, it’s okay. I’m actually looking forward to going back to uni, next week and having some time with both the girls from my flat and the people on my course. Can’t appreciate the good if we don’t have the bad, right?
I think I waffled on a little, there, and I hope people don’t start to dread their uni experiences after reading this. It’s different for everyone and even if i’ve made it sound bad, it wasn’t that horrible. I think it was a mix of being away from home, all of a sudden being independent and a mix of different personalities. It’s what you make of it, and that’s something I’ve realised now. Say yes and don’t be afraid to do new stuff – sign up to societies, there’ll be people there who like the same things you like, you just have to go and find them! Go out with your flat mates or stay in and eat pizza with them. Either way, you don’t have to spend your uni experience completely drunk and not remember half of it, just get to know the people you might be living with for the next 3 / however many years of your life! Enjoy it. Uni is the chance to meet new people and do what you love – do it!
I’ll leave uni in those paragraphs above now, and talk about something a little different – sorry that I ramble, I’m learning how to not do that at uni, too! :’) Last week, my boyfriend and I hopped on a train – I say hopped, but we nearly missed it, so we actually ‘dived’ on a train – to London for a few days. Throughout this time, we saw a lot of the sights of London and got to experience the life of both a Londoner and a tourist – except without the unnecessary house prices and constant photo taking. One of the things we did when we were in London, was attend the ‘Faulty Towers Wedding Experience’, tickets for which his Mum had bought us as a gift. I had no idea what Faulty Towers was but my mum and dad did, so I guess it was a little before our time. We didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into but it was certainly hilarious. I think I might do a separate post on it because it kind of deserves one. We also went to London Zoo which was fun. I love zoos but I can’t help but feel sorry for the animals, even if they are looked after – after watching Blackfish I’m skeptical. All in all, though, it was definitely a winner. I’ve been to London twice now and I think I’m falling in love with it both from afar and when I’m there. There’s just something about it that you don’t get in my little suburban town. Everyone’s got something to do, somewhere to be and seems to have a purpose – I like that. I do hope to go back to London and hopefully see some more stuff, like go up to the Shard and go to the Sky Garden at night. I’d also love to go back to Foyles – a bookshop – because I bloody loved it. I could’ve sat in there and drank tea all day and all night. I also kind of love the tube. I’m not sure if this is because I just felt so mobile…if that makes sense, or whether it’s just because it’s different to home, but I just loved navigating through London with just a map of coloured lines and words. I think I’d like to travel more this year – but I guess everyone says that. I don’t even mean necessarily out of the country, but I’d just like to go places. I know I said I wouldn’t mention uni anymore, but the independence it’s given me is something that I’m really glad I’ve got, now. I like going places on my own, it helps me to chill out and I like having the choice of what to do. Even just hopping on the train or bus to the next city would suffice. Hopefully – I say because I am feeling very pessimistic about the whole thing right now – I may have passed my driving test when I come back to reading this and I hope that doing so will bring along many more adventures.
My second to last ramble’y paragraph is about the 19th ‘celebration’ of me popping out of my Mum’s vagina (I nearly wrote ‘hooha’ or ‘Vajayjay’ but thought, why the hell can’t I refer to my vagina by calling it a vagina?) that is coming up in March. I guess I’m feeling pretty weird about it given that it means i’ll be 20 next year, meaning i’m like a certain fraction of the way through my life. Last year, the big ’18th’ celebration involved a party with all my friends and family, and without sounding ungrateful, it was pretty awkward and horrendous. I’ve never really been the centre of attention and I certainly didn’t love being exactly that on the night of my party. All my friend’s had had one and I guess I thought I’d like one too, but from experience, I think I’ll stick to small family get together’s from now on. I don’t know what it was, but it was weird and even though it was nice to have everyone together, I’ve realised that I’m kind of alright with ordering pizza and playing games in the living room. I’ve never really felt ‘older’, but when I was 18 I did kind of have this big feeling of being ‘free’, even though I never really made use of the freedom I had until I was closer to being 19. I feel like now I’m nearly 19, though, I’ve had more experience of being an adult, and even though it’s scary and I’m totally not ready for the responsibility, I kind of like the independence being older has given me. I like choosing for me and being taken seriously by people – even if I still need a Mum cuddle from
time to time always.
You’ll be glad to know that this is the last (or what I’ve intended to be) paragraph of my huge post, but I enjoyed writing it so I hope you enjoyed reading it if you did. I’ve got some favourites that I just wanted to share because you never know who’s looking for stuff to try or just new stuff to obsess over.
So, for technology / tv shows and that kind of theme, my favourites from 2016 so far are:
- My Phone – This is kind of a cringey one but I got an iPhone 6s for Christmas and I love it! I did at first think it’d be a little too big but after using it and falling in love with it, I don’t really notice anymore or think it’s oversized. The case I’ve got on my phone is also what makes me love it, even though it’s nothing fancy or expensive. It’s a topshop’s own and it’s just a hard back case covered in a leopard print pattern. I’ve all of a sudden got this strange obsession for leopard print so everytime I look at it I’m like *heart eyes emoji*. I’ll link it here if anyone fancies a look. I’ve been loving some apps too – with Yik Yak being a favourite at Uni and Snapchat coming straight back to my faves after all this time. The new filter things are what’s reeled me back in, I think. Or convenience, just because I’m lazy.
- YouTube– I do love a good old YouTube video and I’ve got some people I’ll always hope to see a video from when I refresh my subscriptions. I love love love The Michalaks and have for a while now – the creativity that goes into their videos is crazy and each one is a work of art. I like that they are just so down to earth, as well, they’re just them and that’s comforting and relatable to watch on a sunday morning with a cup of tea (my all time favourite) and a blanket. I was also just having a scroll through the recommendations part of YouTube and found Lily Melrose, who I think is on the same wavelength as me in life. Her clothes and home ‘tastes’ are my thing too and I especially love her haul videos. Is it just me who likes looking at what other people wear? She also buys clothes that compliment her hair which is the same colour as mine so, win win, really!
- TV – Okay so, I’m totally late to the party on this one, but I’m cool with that – Gossip Girl. My sister – who’s younger than me, by the way – started watching this and every time I ever happened to walk in when she was watching it, I never really felt compelled to watch it myself. I guess when I was scrolling through tumblr one day and saw loads of gif-sets, I kind of wanted to give it a go and so tried to watch a few episodes. I wasn’t really feeling it at first, to be honest, but I tried one final time and now I’m hooked. I was in a bit of a rush to finish watching it actually, because the UK netflix said it was leaving on the 15th Feb, and I started watching it again on the 12th – I thought, this wouldn’t be a problem because I can watch a TV series in no time, I’m one of those people who finished OITNB series 3 in like a day – but it was a little struggle considering there’s 6 seasons. Luckily, they conveniently changed the ‘leaving’ date till the 1st March so I’m hopefully going to be able to finish it by then. Sadly though, I already know who Gossip Girl is because of tumblr :-(. Not sure how I feel about it – does it even make sense? I think I’ll write a post about it because I do really love it and would love to ramble on about my favourite characters like I’m doing here, haha. Another TV show I love and have loved for a while now is Game of Thrones. I bloody LOVE it. I really do. Daenerys is such a bae and Emilia Clarke is my woman crush everyday. I also love Arya because she’s a badass. I think I’ll do a post on that too because I could go on. The only thing I can’t cope with in GoT is the constant killing of my favourite characters. Prepare for an emotional rollercoaster. It’s like Skins – just slightly more death.
- Music – (I’m trying to wrap this up, I promise) Some of my favourite music or songs, I guess, of the past few months have been – Amy Winehouse’s Tears Dry on Their Own (I’m late to the party on that one too) and 2 songs from the Wicked soundtrack. I saw it in London and I am in love. You might expect this, but I love Defying Gravity because it’s cute af, basically and also What is This Feeling? My sister and I sing it in the car – terribly – and it’s just so fun and just my kinda’ thing, really.
In terms of physical things, these are a few others:
- Dressing Gowns / PJ’s – It’s been colder than it was in actual winter here in the UK, and so I’ve been spending a lot of time in my PJs and dressing gown to keep toasty. I also found that when I got home from teaching placement I would often get changed into my PJ’s and mark and plan to my heart’s content. The dressing gown I’ve been wearing is from Primark and I haven’t actually had one since I was in Primary School, I don’t think, I’m not sure why, but I love it.
- Jeans – I’ll cut to the point, here. I’m 5’3. People who are 5’3 have a hard slog when it comes to buying jeans. Too long but the right waist – too tight around the waist but the right length, it’s a struggle. BUT then, I went to the Oxford Street New Look when I was in London and I found these size waist 12, leg 28 inch jeans and I love them. Admittedly, I should’ve looked in the petite section before, but I was kind of always led to believe that ’12’ wasn’t a ‘petite’ size – #societyprobs. So yeah, if you’re looking for some jeans, New Look now have some ankle grazer ones which I haven’t seen there before, so, if you’re 5’3 and struggling for them, New Look could be the place for you. Jeans are a hard one because everyone likes a different type of jeans, I like mine to be soft and not too ‘jeany’, if you know what I mean? But yeah, everyone’s different with jeans, it’s a struggle.
And that’s it. 3,000 words later and that’s it. I really did enjoy writing this so I hope you enjoyed reading it if you did 🙂 (I know i’ve said that twice lol, sorry). Feel free to comment and we can have a chat and yeah, I guess I’ll see you next time 🙂
The header at the top is by this girl 🙂