Life Experience

Dyeing a Virgin

Last night, I dyed my hair for the first time ever. I was born a ginger, suffered a little through high school with taunts of ‘ginner’ and ‘carrot top’, but as I’ve grown it’s naturally faded into a more strawberry blonde than ginger.

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So blonde..

I’ve grown up hearing the same (truthful) spiel time and time again, “Never dye your hair,
people pay good money for that colour!” Other natural redheads can relate, I’m sure. But over the last few months, the speed at which is has faded feels like it has doubled. As we approach summer every year, my hair gets lighter, but this year has been different. I have been living for a while now with a very pale blonde – and in some lights a straw-like yellow.

I’d been thinking about dyeing it for a few weeks and decided first I  needed to do my research. I read reviews and ratings online about various colours and brands, and decided on Nice n Easy Golden Auburn Blonde. 7360534

Last night I took the plunge. Standing in the tiny communal bathroom, staring at my freckled face in the tiny toothpaste-splashed mirror, I couldn’t do it. I had the full get up; old t-shirt, old towel, plastic gloves and applicator bottle, but I could not convince myself to squeeze. “You can do it,” I whispered. Still, the blonde girl in the mirror refused to move. What was her problem? The disgusting fluorescent light in the bathroom made her hair look like straw coloured in with a yellow highlighter; it only made sense to cover it and make it copper.

It took me a good few minutes before I took a deep breath and squeezed the bottle onto my roots. It felt cold, but it felt like progress. I already felt like a new woman. Change  = confidence = progress. (I’ve had a rough couple of days)

The rest is a quaint history. When I had finished drying my hair after the whole ordeal, I was a little stunned but there was a broad smile on my face. I had done it. My irrational fear of revealing a tangerine coloured head disappeared when I saw the lovely subtle copper.

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It’s possibly the biggest confidence boost that I’ve had in a while, and it’s much needed. It’s a wonder what new hair can do for a girl. One thing I’ve learnt over these last few days is that you need to put yourself first. You need to please yourself and you need to take risks. My job now is to look after number one, and I can’t wait to see what else I give myself.

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Life Experience, Travel

Reykjavik Adventure November 2015

On the 13th of November in the wee hours of the morning, Sam and I will set off on our first real adventure together. For my birthday and because I’m super spoilt, he’s taking me to Reykjavik in Iceland for a 3 night visit! I’m tres excited and so far I’ve been looking around at lots of other WordPress blogs with the tag Reykjavik to read up on other people’s experiences. So far, it’s been very informative and I’ve come up with a vague itinerary of what we should do while we’re over there.

Before all of this, though, we need to prepare for the weather. It’s going to be bloody freezin’, as Iceland averages around 4 degrees Celsius and is treated to several periods of rain and wind during November. As of yet, we haven’t bought anything, but the plan is to visit some high street outdoors shops and get a few very important supplies:

  • Coat suitable for all types of weather
  • Several thermal base layers
  • Stupidly warm gloves/mittens
  • Sturdy and waterproof hiking boots
  • Walking socks
  • Cosy hat
  • Useful rucksack
  • Heat-retaining jumpers

It doesn’t necessarily sound like your ideal relaxing winter holiday, but Iceland is somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit and just looks so pretty in everything I’ve seen it featured in.

When we get there, of course, we’re going to see the Northern Lights. It’s one of the only reasons people actually visit Iceland and I SERIOUSLY CAN’T WAIT. Hopefully they will be out in full force, but even just catching a glimpse will be enough for me. We’re also planning on doing the Golden Circle tours and seeing lots of Iceland’s natural wonders which should be incredibly interesting and beautiful. Also, we’ve found a tour that’s based around Game of Thrones and shows you any places that the show was filmed or based on. Fab-u-lous.

I doubt that we’re going to visit the Blue Lagoon. I’ve heard an awful lot of good things about it and how amazing and relaxing it is, but after I’ve done a bit of research, I’m not too sure it’s the right place for us. It sounds great and all but I’m not too keen on the idea of getting my hair destroyed just for a bit of overpriced mud that’s good for your skin. I’ve also read that it’s quite overcrowded with people – please correct me if I’m wrong though. It looks like though, with all the amazing things that we want to do and see, that we won’t be able to fit in the Blue Lagoon between all our plans.

I’m so excited, it’s unreal. I’ve never been anywhere like Iceland before and it will be mine and Sam’s first real holiday together, something that we’re doing just the two of us. It will be our experience and I can’t wait to show you all the pictures and join the Reykjavik blogging club.

Life Experience

Retail Experience

I have a fairly diverse range of experience on my CV but I’ve always been lacking in retail experience. Until now.

I’ve started working at a small boutique store in the centre of York, on one of its most popular and oldy-worldy streets (not The Shambles) and that means the shop reflects the bricks on which it stands.

I seem to be doing alright. It’s pretty much exactly what I expected it to be except that working in a small shop is *kinda boring*. Even though the street it’s on is a reasonably busy street, full of tourists, crammed with shoppers – it’s a difficult one to navigate if you’re on a mission – the shop can be pretty quiet for long periods of time. And when that happens, time stands still and I suddenly feel under an awful lot of pressure to look like the best shop assistant evar. No. I don’t want to bad mouth, I don’t want to complain. I’m still in the phase of comparing it to my last job at the school and that’s a no-no. The jobs are 100% completely different to each other. I just….

I don’t feel challenged.

I don’t feel like my brain is being pushed, I don’t feel like my creativity is reaching its limit and I’m scared that I’m going to lose my drive. I’m not stimulated, I’m not motivated. You’ll notice I’ve started lacking in writing on my blog and I’m often finding myself sitting at home and staring into space when I’ve finished work or even on a day off.

I’m grateful for the extra dosh it’s giving me. And I’m grateful for the experience that I didn’t have before that I can now place on my CV. I just know more than ever now that I need to move on and kickstart my career. It’s time.

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Current feeling
Life Experience

AMA (lol I speak Internet) About Uni

I’ve been through an awful lot in the past three years – both great and horrible things – and I would consider myself to understand what university life is like more than I would have imagined. My sister has secured a place at Liverpool John Moores University and it got me thinking. She’s been asking me numerous questions about what it’s genuinely like to go to university so I thought I would put that out on here. Ask me anything uni related. Even if you think it might not be, ask it anyway and I will give you an honest answer based on my experience. Because uni is a scary time, I was scouring the internets looking for any advice on what it would be like. And yes, it does come down to just living it but if you’re a worrier, like me, it’s sometimes nice to have totally random and obscure questions answered before you embark on your historic journey.

So go ahead, ask me anything. Only disclaimer is I’m English and won’t have the foggiest about US college times, which I understand is totally different.

Three photos which more or less represent what uni life is like: library – house party – graduation.

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                Working hard or hardly working?
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        Probably cider… or wine?
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                      Graduation day
Education

Testing the Waters

Dedication.

Determination.

Persistence.

Patience.

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Buzz words that you may or may not associate with teachers. Since I’ve been at this school, I have noted how teachers constantly put students before themselves (which you would hope if you were a parent) but, I just don’t think that I would be able to do this in the long run. They sacrifice their precious free time to mark books, send emails, create lesson plans and have meetings, all the while getting more and more tired as the days are counted towards the summer holidays. But this is far from true; teachers relish in the pressure, and despite all of the hard work and stress, sleepless nights and early mornings, if a teacher can make one small difference to one child, their job is complete. They love it.

And then there’s me. Now, before you jump to any sort of conclusions, please bear in mind that I do like my job and I’m grateful for this opportunity because it has given me a taster of something that I might want to do in life. It just turns out that I don’t. I don’t fancy the idea of taking a huge stack of books home every night; I want to leave work at work and at 22 I’m still in quite a self-centered phase of wanting to progress my own intelligence rather than improve others’. Horrible aren’t I? Actually, no I don’t think so. My defense is that everybody is different, we all lead different lives and we all want to achieve different things. I am testing the waters at the minute with different opportunities, I’m trying teaching, I’ve tried film, waitressing and working in a museum. I also plan to try out writing, dressmaking and probably standard office work. I don’t want to settle just yet, I’m still young! I want to go back to uni if we’re honest, but who has the money?

Education, Life Experience

Magic Education

Schools are a very strange place to work. Tweens and teens are abound, wondering about the world and how they are going to grow up into it which of course involves lots and lots of confused and questionable conversations about sex. They have no idea, and it’s sort of adorable but more often than not, it’s quite disturbing. Sure, they have sex education all throughout high school and, yeah that might teach them what not to do but it sure doesn’t teach them how to see it as a perfectly normal and healthy thing to do. They giggle, they blush and they say as vulgar things as possible, anything that their brains can conjure up.

Today, as I was sitting with one of my sixth form students, working on some Media assignments, a group of nerds – apologies, there is literally NO other way to describe them – entered the library and started to play a card game. Throughout this card game there were plenty of comments about sex and not wanting to be in a relationship because who needs women for that kind of commitment and the one, the only, the best comment I have ever heard leave someone’s lips: I’m a wizard, now I can have sex! Well, little boy, as far as I am happy for you, I am also questioning whether the status of a wizard – and not the Harry Potter type either – guarantees one sexual activities. Cute.

Now, I’m not claiming that I had any clue about all of the sex stuff when I was at school, because I didn’t; I did all my learning throughout university to be fair, after having the foundations laid there by the school so that I knew how to be safe and happy. Some tweens, however, need to definitely tone it down because I’m probz going to turn around to look at them with my judgey teacher eyes that I am perfecting and shame my head whilst saying, “Boys, you gotta stop, misogyny is not a good look.”

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Education, Life Experience

Children are sunrises…allow me to explain.

I get up early, there’s no two ways about it, 6am is early. It’s dark when I leave the house – I am literally up before the sun itself and often it’s raining and miserably cold. And this is all whilst I’m on my way to work when it would be much more preferable to stay in bed (wouldn’t we all just love that). So here I am, walking along to get my lift to the school when I notice something. I have some epic music in my ears (probably Taylor Swift, but she’s epic to me) so I haven’t really been paying attention to my surroundings, other than when I need to cross the road of course, but all of a sudden there is light in the atmosphere. And I can see the sun coming up into the sky in the most beautiful way I can imagine. I never used to see this, what with the earliest lecture being 9am which meant getting up at 8, but since I’ve been working at school I have had the pleasure of seeing the gorgeous golden light that tints the sky on a morning. It’s not always golden though, (but that’s my favourite) it can be pink, orange and even a lilac colour if the weather is right. And it’s just glorious; it makes the 6am start all worth it.

School is hard, there’s no two ways about it, the work is hard. It’s tiring when I enter the building or a classroom and I am confronted by a flurry of different alterations, requests or information that may or may not be relevant. All this is whilst I’m trying to do the actual job that I have when it would be much more preferable to sit with a coffee and reflect for half a second (wouldn’t we all just love that). So here I am, working with children, adults and sixth formers, all of whom I am able to help in some way (or so I hope I am!) and my brain is hurting. But then, out of the blue, whoever I am working with clicks, they get it, they understand what they are doing and have learned something. Or, I laugh at a joke with a sixth form student and we continue to improve our relationship together. I never used to see this, when I was at school – I would arrive at 8.30, do my lessons, be good with the teachers and go home at 3 o’ clock. What a life, but now I am here, I get to see all the wonderful things that happen with various kids that I had no idea would go on before. I am no longer in my own tiny little bubble where it was just me. I am a part of this school community and I am making a difference. It makes all the hard work, the headaches and the stress pretty much worth it.

And that is why children are like sunrises. They surprise you when you’ve been in the darkness for so long and they come up shining.

Aww.

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Life Experience, University

University Life Thus Far…

Prepare yourselves for a lengthy, yet clearly interesting, ramble. As you know, I’ve recently started university and it’s safe to say that on the very first day here, I was absolutely bricking it. I don’t think that I’ve ever been so scared of anything in my whole life, regardless of the many trips to different countries, particularly the one on my own. This experience, I knew, was going to change my life incompletely and irreversibly. However, before I continue about how terrifying the whole experience was on that first day, I’ll enlighten you to the fact that I’m now completely and utterly settled in, I couldn’t be having a better time to be honest – well maybe if we were able to party every night and day without the problem of becoming overtired or needing to feed ourselves, but that’s irrelevant.

Anyhow, the first day did not, I will admit, go smoothly. I think I was shaking the whole time and I just felt like I wanted to throw up. That is until I actually arrived at the house and started unpacking stuff. Okay, that’s a lie, I was still scared, but I felt much better after I’d met people that I’d actually been speaking to online who I was waiting to come live with. I’d met all of them on Facebook bar one, but he’s lovely anyway, so I was pretty relieved to be honest. You must know that I love my house-mates, as you’ve probably established from the wondrous video of drunken antics posted earlier this week. Not that we’re getting too drunk. Oh come on, what am I saying? Of course, we’re Freshers and it’s Freshers’ Week, so of course we’re getting a little bit more tipsy than we should be doing. Not to sound like a bad influence or anything, but a particular house-mate and myself are extreme lightweights, so not only is it relatively cheap for us to get drunk, it also seems to be a hilarious experience for the rest of the house, and therefore Limes Court (our accommodation name – isn’t it precious?).

So, aside from the fact that we’re been drinking plenty of pop, we’ve also been attending actual lectures and workshops, which, I am told, is the idea of going to university in the first place and, I must say, it’s all been wonderfully interesting and delightful to learn and to have to work again. No, I’m joking, in all seriousness, my course is genuinely very interesting…which is perhaps the reason that I chose it…and I’m really excited to get it under way and to start on some actual TV and film projects. In case you are unaware, which I’m positive that you’re not, my course is Film and Television Production (BA Hons) at York St John University. (It’s now that I’ve realised it might have been a good idea to kick off this post with that fascinating piece of information, but no matter.)

I’m sure some of you lovely people will have either been to university/started university or may be thinking of going there in the future and even though it’s been barely more than I week, I gotta say that this has been one of the best decisions of my life. Sure, I know I’ve had amazing experiences over the years, particularly this year with all the travelling, but this is something far, far different. It’s difficult to describe neatly how I actually feel about university so I’ll just leave you with these four words: Live for the moment.

Life Experience, World

TwentyEleven Thus Far

I’ve got to say that so far, this year (and the last two months of 2010) have been filled with the best experiences of my life. Since November 2010, I turned 18, visited the Czech Republic with the Comenius Project, visited Berlin with school (first ever German trip despite having been speaking German for 7 years), visited Cologne with Comenius, and visited Witzenhausen and surrounding German villages with the Garforth and Leeds District Lions Clubs. I’ve made the most amazing friends through all of these trips, I’ve gained confidence that I didn’t think I could ever had and I’d say that I’ve achieved a perspective of Europe and the world that some people refuse to accept, in the sense that any kind of stereotypes,  faint or otherwise, have been completely blown out of the window.

The point I’m trying to get across is that I’ve been able to visit these places because I’ve taken up opportunities that I’ve been given, perhaps incredibly luckily. But I’m not trying to tell you what I’ve done and how it’s benefited me; I’m telling you that throughout your life you’ve just got to take all the opportunities that you can, whether you’re scared of taking them or not. I believe very strongly that you’ve got to take risks, you’ve got to put yourself out there, out of your comfort zone because that’s the best way to meet people. Through these trips, I’ve made friends for life, people who I’m planning to meet up with again in the future – I’ve been given another outlook on life because I’ve been made to realise that I don’t have to stay with the same people in the same village in the same country for the rest of my life…there are over 6 billion people out there to meet, greet and love, but without taking risks, it won’t happen.

I know that everyone’s different, but everyone will be given different opportunities to meet people, to increase their personality, be it a small thing or something huge, something life-changing.

Dream as if you’ll life forever. Live as if you’ll die today. – James Dean