The Perfectionist killed her brain… (and how she began to save it)

Featured, Lifestyle, Mental Health

I lead a life that is filled with a lot of expectations. Expectations that I push on myself. My whole life my parents have always told me that my best is good enough for them, but my best seems to never be good enough for myself. While it seems unlikely to people around me, I am low key a perfectionist. A lot of the times my perfectionism is what leads me to my failure. I want every situation in my life to be perfect and when I feel like it’s not going to happen, I sometimes will quite literally RUN from situations. If I don’t run, I self-sabotage or tell others I don’t care. It’s a weird defence mechanism I’ve picked up. Where if I tell others, I don’t care enough then in turn maybe I truly won’t care enough. If I know something isn’t going to be how I pictured it, I’ll just pretend I don’t give a shit. Not only do I set bars high for myself, but I also set bars high for how I think others are going to treat me. The bar that I set for others means it makes me constantly unhappy and filled with loneliness mixed with disappointmentIMG_2467

An example is, I’ve had shitty friends in the past and so when it comes to birthdays, I always plan something big, but then when people bail, and plans go to shit I pretend I don’t give a shit about my birthday. It’s a big lie. I love birthdays! I think birthdays are a day you truly should feel so loved, but some of my recent ones have been filled with more heartbreak than love. Last year I was quite literally bricking it for my birthday. I planned different things for home and for my other friends, but it scared me how easily others will ruin the perfect birthday I’ve created in my head. Despite some hiccups, I had an incredible birth fortnight and made memories that will last forever. It leads me to wonder why I crave perfection. I know nothing in life is perfect but it’s so hard when everyone around me seems to lead these perfect lives.

I think I write about love a lot on my blog, and this is one area of my life that scares me. I don’t have love from a guy, I haven’t for a very long time, and it scares me that I may never find the perfect guy for me. What if I’ll spend the rest of my life craving guys who won’t want me and never fulfil the perfect life I’ve created in my head. I go for guys I can’t have because it hurts less when they are not the perfect person for me, it’s like I allow myself to pre-hurt, before they actually hurt me. I have an intense fear of abandonment., I have lost a lot of guys I have dated, but I’ve lost a lot more friends. This leads me to be fearful of relationship because I think that no one will stay due to me being imperfect. If I have a crush on a guy, I become obsessed with how I look because I fear if I don’t look perfect then they won’t want me. I like to push guys I care about away in fear they’ll see the perfect exterior I show to them is a lie. It scares me that all my friends are dating guys and girls that seem truly perfect for them. While I know they all have their ups and downs in relationships, it makes me feel like a failure. I can’t seem to get a guy interested in me long enough to want me, and so sometimes I’ll kill relationships before it arises in fear they won’t be perfect. Sometimes it feels like I am truly alone in the world and I’ll be perfect for no one.


I set unreal expectations on myself on how to be a perfect friend, which leads me to burn myself out quite easily. I have had many friends come and go in my life. Situations that some I couldn’t control and some I could. Which means I tried my best to do everything for everyone and then worry when I don’t succeed in the million tasks, I’ve given myself. Truth is no friend is perfect: everyone ends up saying a bitchy comment about a friend or bailing on plans. It doesn’t mean they don’t care about you. Sometimes we expect too much from our friends because we’d do everything for them, but that’s an unfair mindset for both parties. You’ll lead yourself into a lot of heartbreak if you expect everyone to have the same heart as you. I’ve learnt instead of trying to be a perfect friend, to just be me. To be there and to care but to not put pressure on me. When a friendship does end, I’ve learnt instead of being hurt, to take it as a learning curve and know that I still have many other incredible friends who love and support me.

Why am I writing this you may be wondering? Well, when I started writing this, I was sat on a plane on the way home from my first girls’ holiday. I booked this holiday about 11 months ago and during those 11 months I hyped it up into a holiday it could never have been. I thought the holiday would cure some of the sadness that has haunted me the last university year, I always feel happiest in the sun and just wanted the sun to cure me. While I had some amazing times on the holiday, the down days had been bad. I got taken into hospital after having a very bad inner ear and respiratory infection, which has now resulted in me having double hearing aids. It crushed me because the ‘perfect’ holiday had slipped away, and I felt like it was my fault. I couldn’t have factored in that I’d get sick, but it made me regret the earlier nights that I’d came home early from nights out in the week instead of staying out partying with my friends. I kept telling myself I had plenty of nights to get super drunks but putting them off lead me to miss them. I don’t know what I was expecting from this holiday and I don’t think it would’ve ever been perfect, but I can’t help the feeling of failure. That I somehow failed myself and ruined a holiday. Don’t get me wrong I’ve enjoyed some parts of the holiday but I’m also sad that the things I looked forward to most were not what I expected.

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Now you may be reading this and thinking ‘ah but if you’re a perfectionist you JUST want to do a good job at everything, so what’s the harm in the issue?’ The issue is whatever job I do will never be good enough for myself because there are always ways it could have been more perfect. Maybe I could’ve taken less time to complete it, maybe there are more aspects I could change to make it perfect. There’s always a maybe that could make the situations ‘better’. Meaning my best will never be good enough… Any feelings that come with accomplishment are sabotaged by my brain telling me that things could’ve and should’ve been done better.

So I decided to find out about how to stop letting my perfectionist habits kill my brain and this below is what I learnt:

One thing I noted was that I say ‘should’ a lot. Should is a horrible word that adds too much pressure on us. Like I should have a boyfriend now, I should be happier, I should have a better grade, I SHOULD be better. Truth is I shouldn’t be anything than who I am right now. Instead of dreaming my life away with unreal expectations I need to be accepting all that happens currently and be grateful for it. This last few months I began to remove the word should from my vocabulary, and it has allowed me to live in the moment more.

Next, quit comparing ourselves to everyone else. Nobody on this planet leads a perfect life and everyone is facing their battles. Some people I thought lived the best lives, actually were struggling just as much as I was. Stop comparing your behind the scenes to people’s edited and perfect life they show online. News flash: very few will share the bad parts of their life on the internet. I share some of mine, but I don’t share the nitty-gritty, simply because I don’t think that’s what people need to know about me. I’m a sucker for thinking that just because someone looks better than me in their no-makeup selfie means they lead a better life than me. They don’t. Your self worth is worth more than other people’s social media lives. If you’re struggling, in particular, with comparing, take a social media break. Sometimes I’ll take a week from Instagram and I have seen how much better I feel in myself. Social media has ruined some of our generations, I am telling you now the pictures on my Instagram are not how I look every day. I will take between 20 and 100 shots to get the ‘perfect’ Instagram images. The pictures I post I will scrutinise myself because I don’t think it is good enough for my followers to see. Truth be told none of you cares if I look a little chunky or if my pose is ‘awkward’, but the worry that I am not posting the perfect feed did lead me to be stressed. Now, while I’ll still take many shots, I post photos that I like of myself, even if they aren’t Instagram Perfection. Just remember as you scroll through the feed tonight that people will have spent hours on that photo, even their ‘woke up like this’ selfie.

Change your stance on your expectation. This is hard because if you’re anything like me you’ll give yourself incredibly high standards for what you want from life. This leads us to kill our self-worth when we (or others) don’t get to them. Instead of having our expectations as absolute goals, make them a guide. So that means if you don’t reach it there is less disappointment. If there a goal, just because you haven’t got to it today, doesn’t mean you won’t achieve it in the future either. The only true absolute goal is to prioritise self-love and continue to grow to be the best version of yourself.

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Fight the inner voice that makes you question your achievements. Just know that what you have achieved now is the best you could have done in this state you’re in. I used to think for so long that when people said just do your best, that it meant the highest grade, but doing your best actually means do as well as you can in this situation. I got an A in my GCSE maths exam, which was my best then, if I resat it now I would 100% get a better grade, but that is because I have 5 more years of maths knowledge since then. Justify your actions to yourself by reminding yourself that whatever you’ve achieved is amazing and is one step closer to something even better. When I didn’t get the GCSE results I wanted no-one is going to ask me about them once I finish university this year. Lose the thought of you can always do better and replace it with thinking the things you have achieved currently are incredible.

Learn to say the word ‘No’. ‘No’ scares me and I’m not sure why. However, saying yes to every situation leads me to do an average job for everyone, instead of a good job for select jobs. Remember when saying no you do not need to justify yourself afterwards.

I guess this was a lot of rambling but what’s new on my blog. This next year I want to learn to accept the events of life for what they are and stop overthinking them. Which is going to be harder than I’ve made out it to be. I’m going to learn that perfection isn’t going to ever happen and that I should roll with what happens. I can’t change the way people treat me or how life treats me but what I can change is how I approach situations. I can change the craving of perfection and instead crave situations to bring me some happiness. After all, happiness is far more important than a ‘perfect’ life.

All the love always,

Queen Clo x

 

 

 

A letter to those who are strong but struggling

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The mind can be a scary place to live in, it tells us every day that we have to be strong. That we have to keep fighting. It tricks us into thinking we shouldn’t be weak. It tricks us into wanting to fight our battles alone. In reality, fighting our battles alone is a sign of weakness. Life can be tricky and it is okay not to be okay. It is okay to put up a front, so others don’t worry if that will get you through the day, but it is not okay to do this permanently and avoid our problems. Avoiding our issues makes us feel a lot worse about ourselves.

I think a big thing to remember when suffering from anxious thoughts while also being a strong person is remembering that life won’t always be this scary. Just because things are scary doesn’t mean you aren’t strong either. I remember for so long that random little things scared the crap out of me. With the right support and kind of a fake it till you make it attitude I managed to pull through. Trust me losing anxious thoughts was not an overnight process and it took a lot of work, but I got there eventually. I still have bad days and I still struggle to do the simplest things some days. But it’s fighting through the anxious thoughts and remembering you are in control. When your anxiety makes you freak out and tells you the whole world is a scary place, remember it is scary but you are capable of creating solutions. You are capable of breaking through and one day you will be free of your thoughts.

To the one who is strong but is absolutely petrified of never finding love. I feel ya. In my whole life, I have had one boyfriend and let me tell you, it was a disaster. Dating is horrid and quite frankly I am scared I’ll be alone forever. If someone asks me how dating is going I will 100% joke and say that I love being single because that’s the strong girl inside of me pretending I don’t care. While I love some areas of being single, I also hate it. I hate the feeling that I am going to die alone and that I am undesirable. In my heart, I know that when the right person comes along I’ll be everything for them, but it is still hard to pretend the setbacks don’t hurt. People will come and love you, then leave as if nothing happened. It kills you but you have to keep your strength. People nowadays don’t seem to stay around, they just flirt, let you catch feelings and then leave. You have to use your strength as power and move through every ending. I know as a strong person I wear my heart on my sleeve but it does sometimes mean I break my own heart. I break my heart by imaging what could be, and they have no idea. No idea how deeply I care for them. I guess it’s learning to let others in, no matter how strong you are it is important to communicate your feelings and not be scared of the consequences. On the same note, I went through a stage of dating people for the sake of it to try to mask the feeling of being alone, and it was the worst thing ever. In the end, I felt even more hopeless at love and felt broken. So if you’re dating for the sake of it, it’s truly not worth it. You will find the right person but it will take time. Keep your standards high and keep loving yourself while you wait.

I sometimes feel like I don’t belong. For example sometimes when at work I feel like an outsider. That everyone around me is best friends and I’m just there. I sometimes feel that I’m disliked and while I know this isn’t the case, it’s hard to let that escape my mind. If you feel like an outsider too, remember that you are placed in places for a reason. You have a purpose and while sometimes it may be hard to see why to know that there is some reason you are there. If you keep focusing on not feeling you should be there, you miss out on the enjoyment of being in the place. I find work can be hell sometimes but really there are many small giggles and friendliness that I feel along with every shift. It’s remembering that although sometimes I don’t feel like I fit in, that a lot of people in the store probably don’t either and that there are still opportunities to form friendships with others to feel like I do. For my whole life I have never ever fitted in and to be honest I always thought of it as my weakness. In reality, the fact I never fit in is my strength. Don’t force yourself to fit the social norms, you being different may feel like the worst thing in the world but really it’s what makes you loveable.

If you’re someone who does everything for everyone else and wonders why no one does anything in return. Pause what you’re doing and reevaluate. Reevaluate whether you do these task for others for your own happiness or because you feel you have to. Sometimes when you decide to be strong you put others feels before yourself. It’s time to prioritise yourself. Take a breath and remember that while it’s okay to do things for others, you shouldn’t feel you have to. Learn that it’s okay to put yourself first for a change and you deserve all the love that you willingly give to others.

I think it’s so hard to try to be strong all the time and while sometimes your strength may be an act, soon it won’t be. Soon you will realise that you don’t break as much as you used to, that you don’t cry about the small things and that life is getting on track. Eventually, you will see these issues as learning curves and not the disasters they feel like right now. The scars you have will remind you that you fought bravely and you have (and will) always be strong. But remember that showing your sadness is no form of weakness and it is always okay to ask for help.

Each and every day is a new day to bloom, we grow and we learn for all the experiences we face. While you may be struggling right now, life will get better and as cliche, as it is you just have to hang in there. You are strong and keep going! Remember my Instagram is always a place to talk if you are feeling alone.

All my love always,

Queen Clo xxx

Love Island IS NOT Reality

Lifestyle, Mental Health

I am the biggest optimist who loves LOVE. So, I immediately fell in love with love island. There are many things that I’m not too keen on though…

When I first started watching love island a few years back I was in a poor mental health state, and really disliked my body. In magazines there were nothing like me and I could get over that because magazines were full of celebrities. However, a villa full of ‘normal’ people broke my self-esteem a little because I didn’t look like the normal person ‘should’. I have stood at a size 18/20 for a long time, partly cause I’m chunky but partly because I’m very tall too. When looking at love island there is no one who is as chunky as I am, they were all very pretty petite women which I couldn’t relate to. I read recently that love island bosses said the reason there was no bigger girls is that they want people to fancy each other… I as a big girl can assure you while I am still single, I have had many people fancy me regardless of my size.

Here’s me in a bikini last year in Florida. For so long shows like love island made me think my body was not a bikini body. Adverts on trains even showed me I could lose weight to gain the perfect bikini body. In reality, we all have a body, and we can all wear a bikini, therefore news flash we have bikini bodies. So while mine may not be what the love island bosses find attractive to look at, I know I’m proud of it. So, you know what, fuck you love island bosses for thinking that boys on the show wouldn’t fancy me. Remember, body confidence is embracing your body and not changing it to meet other people’s standards of beauty. There is no perfect body.

I hate that the world thinks it’s okay to scrutinise people on how they look and act on the show, we forget it is edited to manipulate what we think of the people, and we fall straight into the bosses hands. It’s important to remember that these are real people and when they come out they can see all your mean comments. So just remember if it isn’t kind it’s not worth tweeting, your few favourites, and retweets are not worth destroying someone else’s self-esteem. While you may say well they put themselves up to this by signing up to the show, you’re wrong. They sign up for fun (and maybe to get a little famous), they don’t sign up to be bullied. Let’s remember the tragic deaths of previous love islanders due to depression and anxiety, we never know what is going on inside someone else’s life, so remember always be kind. Also when we are unkind about the way people on the show look, it proves the love island bosses right and will push them further away from added real bodies to the show.

Some days, I feel so single, but it’s important to remember that love is hard to find. The people on the show seem to fall in love in under a day which in the real world is very unlikely (but not impossible). In the real world we don’t spend every hour of every breathing day with a guy or a girl we think is fit. So while you may think it’s taking ages to get the one, know it’s normal for love to take time. I have been single for pretty much my whole life and sometimes there feels like there is a pressure to be in love. It’s taken me a long time to accept there is nothing wrong with me for being single. Sometimes hard to understand that it’s okay to be single, but know while you’re waiting and enjoying life the right person will come!

Let’s enjoy this season and all it has to entail. Let’s hope for more ‘bevvy’ boys and girls, and that maybe, just maybe it may become more inclusive!

All my love,

Queen Clo xx

Positivity Scrapbook

Mental Health

A few months ago I was sat in my friend Kirsty’s room, she was scrapbooking for her degree and I was lying on the floor with nothing to do. It hit me then that I did not have any real hobbies, and so thats when I decided, I take soooo many photos but never do anything with them. So I copied Kirsty’s degree coursework and started my very own scrapbook. When I spoke to my therapist she suggested that I make a ‘positivity scrapbook’ and include quotes to make the pages feel more comforting during sad times. I got my friends to pick quotes and I also picked some that I loved.

I think it is very important to capture as many moments as I can,  I enjoy photographing my friends and I enjoy looking over photos of happier times. I like to take photos on my phone and on my camera. For scrapbooking it is quite important that the photo has a high quality so it does not print blurry, sadly your phone just doesn’t get the quality that cameras do. My favourite type of cameras are Mirrorless Cameras, I am currently dreaming over this Panasonic Mirrorless Cameras.

A key section in my scrapbook is my freshers pages, a time I experienced some real highs and lows, you can read all about them here . The cutest page of this section has to be my school disco one, purely because I loved the outfit I wore and my lovely friend Meg helped make the title look super cute.

Photos are important to me because they capture moments that I want to remember forever. One of my favourite sections of my scrapbook has to be my Christmas time pages, I wrote about the photos in more detail here, but below is my favourite December double spread page! Firstly my Christmas Eve night out, we made our costumes just before the social (a hot glue gun may have been up there with the top purchase of 2018) and has to have been one of my favourite nights out of the year. Secondly, is my Edinburgh double spread. I visit Edinburgh every other year to visit family, but have never been at Christmas time. It was filled with the cutest markets and Christmas lights, which really put me into the Christmas spirit (a spirit hard to be in as a retail worker). I didn’t realise I could fall so in love with a city, but Edinburgh will forever have my heart. Who knows, maybe one day I will live there…

This scrapbook is almost finished and on bad days it is helpful to flick through and remember happier times. I can gurantee I will continue to scrapbook as it brings me a lot of joy. I even have my own little craft box now, filled with everything from lollipop sticks to tissue paper. It has been one of the greatest hobbies I have ever picked up.

Here are some more of my favourite pages or cutest pages:

I am vain so have some of my favourite photos of myself in opps😉

Was ironically very difficult to photograph the scrapbook pages!

All the love,

Queen Clo xxx

Being a warrior and less of a worrier- What happened in January?

Featured, Uncategorized

It is hard to survive when your brain is always at war with itself.

For as long as I can remember I have always tried to fit in, to be normal; to be liked by everyone and to never cause a fuss. I have this constant fear in my mind that I will never be normal. That no one ever likes me really, that I just seem to exist. It’s hard because I have some of the most incredible friends and family in the world and sometimes it STILL feels like the whole world is against me. It is hard to explain to someone who doesn’t have anxiety what it’s like to live in constant fear. It is difficult to explain that a simple walk to the canteen fills me with dread. If you ask me why it does, I know my answers are illogical, but it doesn’t stop the fear from consuming me.

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When I was in my teens at maybe 15, my school sent me to some group therapy for self esteem issues, but all it did was make things slightly worse. It was hard to sit in a room and listen to people who seemed to have real issues that were worse than mine. I dismissed myself having poor mental health after this time as I felt I had no reason. When I reached sixth form the GP put me on beta blockers to deal with exam ‘stress’. I think that was when my panic attacks became most apparent. That things in my head were not as normal as I had tried to make myself believe. For the remainder of my sixth form education I tried to dismiss things that were in my head. How could anything be wrong when I have the most amazing family who love and support me? It wasn’t till I came to university that I realised that just because my life seemed amazing, didn’t mean that things in my head were always amazing.

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My anxiety controls me some days. It will tell me that my world is falling apart and even when I know that things are okay, my brain still tricks itself. It always comes at what feels like stupid times: when I am at dinner, when I am walking to my friends or when I am watching tv. What could possibly be wrong when I am watching TV? As I write this now I know that these things should be fine but sometimes they are not. Sometimes I just have to ride the wave of the anxiety and hope I am feeling better. I find it hard to cancel plans, and when I do I will sit and overthink about what I am missing out on, making my anxiety worse. So sometimes I will force myself to do things and then regret it. It is hard to find the balance of pushing myself and breaking myself. Thanks to some therapy, I learnt some tricks to deal with the stress of life, but it can be very impossible some days to apply the logical things.

I find life very difficult to process. I hate change and regularly obsess over decisions that will impact my life. I have to discuss problems over and over again before my brain can make sense of things. It can lead people to get bored of me but it’s hard to figure things out when you don’t always trust your brain. For instance, it is incredibly hard to decide if texting a boy back is the right decision, it seems trivial but sometimes small things like this will consume me. I just want to be loved and so texting a boy back I like may seem small but also I’m scared that if I go wrong I’ll be left with rejection. For bigger problems I have rang my parents way too many times, craving for them to make the decision for me. Big decisions scare me. The pressure that the choice I will pick will be wrong consumes me and leads me to shut down. I crave other people’s opinions on decisions in hopes they will solve the problems for me. Which I know they can’t. It’s hard when you are so fearful of your mind sometimes to pick an option. I know that if the option I pick is wrong, I will beat myself up about it for ages and freak out more when making another decision. I am trying to get to grips with everything happens for a reason, but in the moment if I can’t see the reason I just assume its been the wrong decision.

My anxiety has and will sometimes kill friendships/relationships. I fixate on what others think of me, I get obsessed with situations and want to be loved by those I love. My brain needs reassurance in some form that I am loved and cared about, when I don’t get that my brain freaks out. Deep down I know that all my friends love and care for me deeply, but some nights my brain manages to convince itself that they don’t. It is incredibly difficult to explain to people that while I know they care about me, sometimes my mind clouds that and I just need them to tell me or show me they do a little more. What I have struggled with is the fear that my friends will get bored of constant reassurance. It is hard because some friends just don’t get it. Which is fine, how can they understand that my brain convinces itself that everyone hates me. I know that sometimes they get sick of having to check that everything’s okay, so I will try to shut myself away. I am incredibly fortunate that some of my friends notice and will love me a little extra. I find it hard when friendships don’t work out how I have overthought them to.

I struggle to let go of friendships that are no longer healthy because I feel like there is something wrong with me. I blame myself and worry that just because this one friendship hasn’t worked out, that all my other friendships will fail too. So, even when I am being treated poorly I will still force myself to love them and hope things change. I am aware this isn’t healthy behaviour, but it is hard to change a stance I have had on friendship for 10 years. I recently discussed with my therapist that when I was in school I didn’t have many friends, or many good friends, so sometimes having good friends worries me. I am not sure how to be a good friend back, I am not sure why I suddenly deserve friends that love me. It sounds silly that my brain worries about having good friends, but I spent so long hoping to have friends who cared and it is scary to think I could lose them. I learnt to say thank you instead of sorry and it really is a much healthier mindset. I used to think I had to apologise for the way I was feeling but my friends have taught me that some of these thoughts are normal and I shouldn’t be ashamed of them. So this paragraph is finishing with a shout out to my TFL girls, Jade, Lucy and all my other incredibly wonderful friends. I am a mess but thank you for always loving me. Thank you for knowing the right things to say and for holding me a little extra when you don’t. Thanks for understanding that sometimes I find life extra challenging, but you take me under all your wings and walk me to dinner or take me home from the clubs. Thank you for helping me answer phone calls and knowing I will never ring unless I am really struggling. Thank you for accepting that I have to be ridiculously early for events and never ever late. I truly didn’t think I deserved friends who loved me this much.

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University culture is drinking, and sometimes that is the worst thing for me. Firstly, I panic that a group of people will judge me. Secondly, alcohol controls how you think and can lead my brain to freak out over unnecessary things. The constant battle at the minute is wanting to go out in case I miss out on things but also sometimes going out and getting too overwhelmed. I don’t want to go deep into this point, simply because I don’t really understand it myself, all I know is that this February I am limiting the intake in hopes it will save some of my sanity.

I could write a hell of a lot more about my anxiety but this post is already very long. Instead I will finish this section with some small points I missed. My brain sometimes fears the silence and so some weeks I keep myself very busy. I always try to do best by myself and by others. Life is challenging and everyday is a new battle. 

I can be hard to love but I promise loving me is worth it. 

My January review, January is always a hard month. It is the start of the year and I fill myself with constant pressure to make it perfect. This January has been far from it. There has been many tears, breakdowns and heartache, but there has also been a lot of joy too. I am determine to tackle my fears head on, and as I write this, even though I was incredibly anxious I managed to go to the SU today and still have a good time. 

January’s key events.

On the 6th of January my lovely mum dropped me back to uni. We went to Bills for our favourite breakfast. I miss family a lot when away but I know they are only a phone call away.

 

When my exams were finished I went and (awfully) played bowling with my friends. I only won the second game thanks to me being the only person to use barriers opps. Without them I would’ve 100% got 0..

On the 18th of January I held a senior res quiz. I freaked out a little worried that no one would turn up, thankfully people did. I got a little too drunk in viper afterwards.

Girls nights are always the best nights. We had a wine and dance party night on a Tuesday… future wine mums? I think sooo…

On the 23rd of January I went for a girly night out with some of the lovely girls I lived with last year. Turns out like bowling, I am also awful at beer pong. Will I ever find a ‘sport’ I am good at? Probably not, I will stick to my scrapbooking.

The 25th of jan I met up with Julia an old school friend and had a catch up about life. 

We got physical on the 30th of Jan and had a 80s workout themed social. Primark has some sick neon clothes in at the minute, so managed to find myself a last minute outfit. While also finding some bargains (a £1 skirt… yes please). The dance girls have been so important to my wellbeing this university year, every Wednesday is filled with a lot of love and a lot of fun. They really have become my family away from home and I am incredibly grateful to have met them all this year.

The last day of the month I visited a restaurant called Chakra with my blogger friend Ana (https://fadedspring.co.uk ), we had the most amazing Indian food and spend the whole evening gossiping about life. The perfect end to the month? I think so.

So to end, while anxiety plagued my brain I still managed to live. I had some ups and some downs, some days the bad out weighed the good. However, just because some months bad wins, it just means the next month you have to fight a little harder to make the good win. One thing I know for sure is that anxiety will not rule my life, I will win this fight eventually.

I would love to hear any tips and tricks you have discovered to help you live a little easier, so please do message or comment them. Just remember Jan is the Monday of the year, and so if it was rubbish, its time to make February your best month yet….

As always…

All the love,

Queen Clo xx

Dating at 20 SUCKS!

dating, Lifestyle, relationships, tinder

While I am only 3 months into my 20s, I already hate dating. When I was younger I had this plan in my head that I would be married by 25, and have kids by 30. Now I reckon I will be lucky to be married by 30 and have kids by 35. It seems that a) I am incredibly awful at dating and b) no boys want to date.

This is usually how dating goes, I fall for a boy and he doesn’t like me. When I was younger this snippet of Mean Girls used to make me laugh, now its far to real to laugh…

So here is my LONG list of reasons as to why dating at 20 is rubbish

1. Online dating is the worst. I have never hated anything more with a passion. Tinder is the worst place and while Bumble seems to have better looking boys I don’t think it is much better. One of my biggest worries is that if I talk to a guy online I am going to end up on MTV show catfish. I give up with online dating, if I am going to meet someone I am going to have to try the old fashioned way of meeting them in person… however hard that may be.

 

2. When you are single you are permanently mocked for having standards ‘too high’. I am incredibly picky in what I want in a guy, but that is purely because I am sick of disappointment. I could get with any guy and date them just for the sake of it, but if I don’t fancy them or see a future with them, then I am wasting both of our times. I would much rather keep my standards high and find the right person for me. If keeping my standards high means it takes years to find the perfect match, so be it.

3. Following on from the last point. Every guy I talk to seems to be so immature. It takes a lot of effort to wade through the idiots that are not right for you, and at 20 it seems that everyone is an idiot.

4. Boys are the worst at texting back…. Or they are the worst at texting back because they don’t actually have any interest in you… I think this era is hard to date in because unlike in the past we spend so much time trying to decode boys attention from how they are online with us, if they like our social media, if they text us or how fast they respond to a text. While I think if you are not getting many responses from a guy after a while then that is a sign that they aren’t interested in you. They could also just be busy… It is hard to distinguish but if you are regularly getting ignored it is probably time to put your efforts into someone new who will give you the same amount of effort back. You deserve someone who wants to talk to you and after all it doesn’t take long to respond to a text….

5. Nice boys are scary. Some nice boys are genuinely lovely, others use their nice boy pretences to get away with murder. Sometimes it sucks to date them, because when they do wrong to you all your friends stick up for him as ‘he seems so nice’. You and everyone else make excuses for he because he is NICE. Although he may have been nice originally, it doesn’t mean he’s always nice, so fyi if he is no longer nice bin him off. If you aren’t giving him a chance because he’s nice, maybe do?

6.It feels the only other place than online dating to meet boys is in clubs or pubs, and they are not good places to get to know boys. In clubs people usually have one goal and it is not to end the night married. Clubs are loud and are incredibly difficult to talk to someone in. Leading to people just looking for people with nice faces to hook up with. Clubs make me anxious because sometimes it feels like the whole club is full of boys judging how you look.

7. It gets to the point where instead of actually trying to find people to date, you just pretend to date them in your head. I have my whole life planned out with some boys, if only they knew it…

8. When you start talking to someone new and they ghost you off, you feel awful. I am an optimist, and sometimes it is the worst quality I have. I always hope and pray that the boy is different and he will like me for me. Only to be crushed back to reality and fill myself with sadness by picking faults in myself.You wonder what’s wrong with you and why they won’t want you. Was I too much? Did I want too much? I know in my heart that for the right person I will never be too if but right now all this rejection is hard.

9. It seems the whole world revolves around hook ups. I have never had a hook up and the social pressure to have one is quite intense. It feels like just because I haven’t had one there is something wrong with me. It sometimes leads to people trying to force you to get with any random-er that gives you attention, however I would rather not.

10. While my friends get into relationships and some start talking to new boys it leads to jealousy. Some of my cousins have started to get married and every wedding I go to I feel more alone. Above is probably me after watching a romantic chick flick.

11. The whole world seems to only want people with pretty faces and not with pretty hearts. So, after a lot of rejections you start to convince yourself that you are ugly and no one will ever want you. Online dating only looks at your face. In clubs boys only look at your face. It feels like there is no chance in the 21st century to date someone because of who they are and not what they look like.

12. Each heartbreak feels worse than the last one. You promised yourself you wouldn’t get into the same situation again, you wouldn’t fall again. You’d think by 20 you’d have learnt but you haven’t. It’s hard to keep putting yourself out that and face the same rejection. Some days your heart hurts and you think you’ll never find the one.

13. Fairly tales have taught us for years that Prince Charming will come and sweep us off our feet. When you reach your 20s, you start to release this probably won’t happen. To be honest, while I do want my Prince Charming I don’t want him to come and save me, because frankly I do not need saving. However it would be nice to have someone fight battles with you instead of alone.

14. In this day and age people can find your whole life on social media, which is scary as hell. So now even your online life is a chance for someone to want you, which is so scary. My friend Megan and I watched You on Netflix and it really was quite terrifying to see how easy it is for someone to stalk you online. It really does prove that you don’t know how trustworthy people are and that just because they seem decent, they may not really be who they seem to be…. (if you haven’t watched ‘You’ yet defo recommend, we binge watched in a day)

15. Some days it feels like all the good guys are taken (already!!!!!!) and all that is left are the ones that want to sleep around. Which is fine, if all you want to do is sleep around, but absolutely horrid if you want to be in a relationship. It is the worst thing ever when you start talking to a guy and think wow he’s great. Only to find out moments late that he’s great because he’s taken.

16. At the end of the day, true friendship will beat any rubbish dates, and so while I hold out for the ‘one’, I will continue to know my friends have my back.

17. I think the biggest lie I have ever been told is that you will meet the love of your life at uni, the boys I have met at university so far, are not boys who want to settle down. It’s gotten to the point where my friend Meg has now put a ban on me talking to Uni boys, cause even if she has a uni boyf the other uni boys are no good apparently (she’s not been wrong yet).

18. Boys suck.

 

19. At the end of the day, if I don’t find a man in the next 10 years…

20. I don’t have time for boys who don’t want me or for wondering if boys want me. I only have time to live my 20s to the fullest and have as much fun as possible. And anyway, your 30s are apparently the new 20s, I’ll try dating again then…

If you have read this and thought wow she’s the one for me (how could you not), I am taking dating applications over on my Instagram xoxox. (I joke but then I’m low key being serious….)

All the love,

Queen Clo xxx

Ps. NEVER LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS, YOU DESERVE ONLY THE BEST xxx

What happened in December?

What Happened In...

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Hey! Welcome to a new year! This year is going to be slightly different for Queen Clo, instead of one post now and then I’ve managed to finally get my life together and prepare 3 posts a month… The start of every month on the 7th (so I have time to last minute edit in case anything amazing happens on the last day of every month) there will be a review of the previous month. In the middle of the month I’ve hand picked some incredibly talented writers of all different styles and vibes to write a piece. These should be up by the 14th of every month (this may be starting next month but check my Instagram or follow the blog to find out). Then at the end of each month on the 21st there will be a random post that I’ve written. If you would like to write something for Queenclo.co.uk then please do contact me! Anyway! On to what happened in December and what I’ve loved/hated!!

December, the best month of the year but my goodness, also the busiest. Here is a whistle stop tour of all the love and adventures I had in December.

 

Walking in a WinterWonderland

Some of my girl gang went for a trip to winter wonderland to get us into the Christmas spirit. We found out that we are not good at fair ground games but we are good at laughing at each other. We were desperate for this big teddy that EVERYONE seemed to have, but it turns out it is a lot harder to bounce a ball into a bucket than we thought it was. In the end it seemed that Hook a duck was our level games. Ps. Always pee before going on the waltzers.

Dance Christmas Meal

I am so so glad to have joined dance socially this semester, the friends and fun times I have had, made my semester. Here’s to more drinking and laughter next semester.

TGI Friday Present Swap

Last Viper of 2018

Kirsty had the bright idea that we should dress up as Christmas trees…. With our new found love of the hot glue gun we glued fairy lights, tinsel and baubles to our Primark tops. If you’re going to dress silly at least dress silly with your friends. Thanks for never letting me do stupid stuff alone Kirsty and Amy. When looking back at the club photos my bloody mistletoe was in wayyy too many photos. It was one of the first nights out of the semester which I managed to stay till the end of. Note to self, drink more water when I get in from nights out, the rare hangovers I get aren’t my friend.

Reunion with Friends

 
Straight home from university and straight out for food with cocktails with Jade. 
 
 Edinburgh
 

 

3 and a bit incredibly busy but wonderful days.

Tuesday consisted mainly of flying to Edinburgh from Birmingham and going to a bar to watch some live music in a local bar. The band were not sure who scouting for girls were (disappointing) but played us an acoustic version of Abba which we loved.

Wednesday we went for breakfast at hula cafe, I very much enjoyed my porridge and hazelnuts. This may have been up there with one of my favourite meals of the break. The afternoon consisted of a free walking tour, I have been to Edinburgh many times but it was nice to hear the history from people other than my family. We headed for a quick dinner at pizza express to make sure we had plenty of time to look at the Christmas lights at the Royal Botanic Gardens. They were absolutely beautiful and we took wayyy too many pictures. The evening I got to catch up with some relatives I have which was a nice relaxing way to finish off a busy day. 

Thursday we went for breakfast at a community cafe. If you are ever in Edinburgh you should go to Grass Market, all profits go back into the community and you can even buy a meal to pay forward for a homeless person. The day consisted of visiting Edinburghs museum, a place I have never actually been even though I have visited the city many times. We had a lot of fun in the kids section upstairs…. and played all the games. I enjoyed seeing Dolly the sheep who is on display there (defo worth checking going to the museum just to check out Dolly). We spent the morning here but could have easily spent all day there. After we popped down to new town and had a wonder around. 

We went ice skating in the evening and spoiler alert I hated it. Turns out when you have no balance walking you’ll have even less balance on ice. After two goes round I called it quits as I did not enjoy it at all. I caught up with my Scottish babe Anais after dinner and went for some cocktails. 

Meg and I had breakfast at spoons at the airport. The airport process was quite smooth due to it being early on a Friday morning. When I landed I went straight to Asda to get that dollar to pay for my next break.

 

Christmas

 
For dinner we had Nan, grandad and great nan round. I had been absolutely spoilt this Christmas and it really made me grateful for the people I have in my life. 
 

Mum’s birthday

Drinks at the Botanist and movies in the evening. Mum and I finally got round to watching Mamma Mia 2 and it did not disappoint. Mamma Mia 1 and 2 with wine night anyone?
 
New Years Eve
 

Jade and I headed to Uxbridge to visit Kirsty. Joined by Megan too this is our Zante to squad. We had such a funny night and got very drunk. As cringe as it is, it really is amazing to have friends who love and support you through everything in life. I ended up in a and e on New Years day because I’m a mess, and Jade didn’t hesitate to take me, what a gem she is.

 

What have I loved or hated?

I very kindly got sent a Winter Retreat, which is a self care handbook by Build A Life You Love. If you’re anything like me you probably lead a busy life and forget to schedule in time to look after yourself. During winter my mental health takes a slight decline, I’m not sure whether it is because of the cold weather or what, but sometimes during the month I feel very crappy. The Winter Retreat allowed me for one weekend to stop think and breathe. If you don’t have a weekend to spare that’s okay, each section in the book can be broken up into daily doses of things to do. It is filled with quotes all the way through (if you follow me on Instagram you’ll know I loveeeee my quotes haha). It really has been my saving grace this winter and has helped to keep my mind calm during the busy festive period. I have been given a discount code Chloe10 for 10% off, and you can get the book here https://buildalifeyou.love/winter-retreat/ Also! From today there is a digital version of the retreat that’s also available to buy, which is perfect if you want to take it away with you.

Another thing I’ve been loving this month is my new foundation. I struggle with very oily skin and find that most foundations come off my chin and cheeks almost instantly. I’ve tried a whole host of primers and have really been struggling. I decided to swap from my trusted urban decay one back to my teenage love benefit (thanks mum for making me obsessed with a brand I struggle to afford). Touch wood, it has been one of the best foundations. I am desperately look for a full coverage foundation that will last me on nights out, so if you have any suggestions please let me know.

I have moved away from my red eyeshadow and branched into more of a gold colour. Will see if this continues for 2019. As I write this I have done one night out in red eyeshadow again, so seems I have already slipped back into old ways.

TGI Fridays, this place is my favourite place all year round and the Jack Daniels chicken strips are forever my favourite food. We had our girly present swap meal here and it did not disappoint. Will always be obsessed with you TGI Fridays.

The one thing I hated this month was flying, I am not a frequent flyer but I normally don’t mind it. The flight there the pressure in my brain was intense and it made me feel incredibly poorly for the day. On the flight home no headache, but very cramped seats and it felt incredibly stuffy. Thank god it was only an hour flight, and I don’t have another flight booked till July.

My goals for this month are to spend more time focused on tidying my life (and most importantly my university room) and to take a weekend to relax (and probably do some sections of the winter retreat book again).

I hope this year is the year you become the person you’ve always wanted to be.

All the love,

Queen Clo xx

Struggling with Happiness

Lifestyle, Mental Health

I craved happiness just as much as the next person, but the past few weeks I realised this was making me feel more broken.

When you speak to many people about life, the vast amount of them will probably tell you the fundamental objective of their life is to find happiness… (and I was one of those people too). I think the thing that people forget most is that happiness is not a destination. It is a socially constructed mood, and like all moods, it is not going to last forever. It will come and go. It is NOT a permanent state. I honestly do understand why people crave it to be a destination, why would you not want to feel ‘happy’ all the time… but it’s not and it is incredibly hard to accept that. Until people understand this they won’t be able to truly get to grips with happiness.

We seem to spend so much time and effort forcing ourselves to find this feeling, and in the process make ourselves sadder than we started. Happiness is not a choice, and is not as easy to find as people lead themselves to believe. Having an attitude is a choice, being happy is a feeling, and people seem to get feelings and attitudes muddled up. Please remember that there isn’t ever going to be this cure and everything in your life is perfect. Happiness is simply a by-product of living, and not a state of mind you can force yourself to be in. What you can force yourself to have is a more positive ATTITUDE, which well help you find more frequent periods of happiness.

If you were to search happiness online on Amazon, I am certain you will find many books on how to transform your life in order to be happy. They all seem to miss the point that it is okay to not be happy all the time. It is okay to feel like absolute shit. BUT it is NOT okay to feel like shit because you cannot find happiness.

Some days I feel so awful and wonder what is against me. What is stopping me from finding this amazing feeling? Other days, I’ll feel on top of the world and wish I could bottle those thoughts and feelings. It’s called balance. As cheesy as it is, it is ok to have bad days in order to find good days. I can find it such a battle when I am sad for a period of time, and the pressure to be this ‘happy’ cheery person is sometimes made worse by feeling like I need to feel like this for others. Half of the battle with myself is wanting to be happy so others don’t worry about me. Lately, I have become good friends with my sadness. Sadness visits me quite regularly, some days it breaks me and some days I break it. I used to feel incredibly scared to have periods of sadness, not knowing what to do with myself and would desperately crave to feel better. It took some understanding in to why I didn’t want to be sad to change my mindset.

One thing that consumed me about not wanting to be sad, is the worry of how my friends will feel about my sadness. In my life at the minute, I have some very accepting friends, who love me even when I am sad but I also have some friends who don’t understand my sadness. I hate that when I am sad  I need constant reassurance that I am still loved, and my sadness sometimes clouds the judgement I hold. That’s what scares me with my sadness and why I used to fight to be happy, is I am not sure what’s real and what my sadness has created. The thing I learnt is true friends don’t mind reassuring you that everything’s okay, and these friends have made the sad periods I have to be slightly less scary. I worry about my friends an incredible amount, I think because I know the battle with sadness can be hard, that I want to be there for them, like I needed past friends to have been there for me. I think I’ve got to the understanding that it’s okay to tell my friends I’m sad but it’s not okay to depend on them to make me feel better. For I have learnt that in the end, I can eventually feel better and HAPPY on my own. So, in short, what I’m saying is allow sadness to visit and then allow it to leave for happiness to come back. Don’t chase or crave the happiness, just wait patiently for it to return. Breathe. Spend time alone or spend time with friends. Go for a walk…. The other early morning sadness had gripped me hard, so I took myself on a walk of my TINY university campus (its actually quite scary in the dark lol)…. just to clear my head so I could sleep. The thing is I didn’t walk in order to become happy, I went on a walk to find some peace and then the next day I woke up feeling a little brighter.

It turns out, that some super smart scientists did some research and found that as people craved to be happy, they became more unhappy. The pressure and feeling of desperation to be happy makes people less happy. How ironic. Getting these books, losing that weight to make you happier, forcing yourself to do activities because you will think they will make you happier will get in the way of you feeling good.

I recently saw an article about ‘Post-Olympic Syndrome’, it spoke about the sadness that athletes feel after the Olympics. They have trained so hard for many years with their eyes on GOLD, and then after that, it is hard for them to see what is next. They’ve ‘lost their purpose of life’. It takes some time for them to get back to normal and understand that winning was not the happiness, yes it would have been amazing, but there were milestones and events that made them happy on their journey to the Olympics which they can focus on instead. My point is, that even after an athlete has won, there’s still a feeling of emptiness and what’s next. It is okay to feel empty after you’ve been happy, accept the period of emptiness but don’t stop living, keep going on with life till it returns… We need to put more emphasis on each journey of finding happiness rather than actually finding it. The journey back and forth from happiness is truly more significant in our lives than the actual feeling. We will always face sadness, but we will also always get periods of happiness too.

If you’re sad right now, it may not feel like it, but happiness will be on its way. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but she’ll be back soon.

As usual, enjoy some of my favourite photos of the past few weeks:

BRING BACK MY PINK HAIR?????

When your little cousin is also your best friend. What more could you want on a Saturday than a pj party with a unicorn…

I was bloody freezing in this outfit, but big love to Meg for taking me to Bristol to have a day away from university issues.

Army social was sooo much fun, however don’t send any of us to war, especially not Mollie Dicks….

I look like a toe but my favourite babes to not watch football with.

Jumper weather is here and I’m loving itttttt! My current favourite is this one, which my dad picked out when we were on holiday in Florida!!! CUTE!

All the love,

Queen Clo xx

Just uploaded this while at 5sos gig, please give it a nice comment and follow my blog💗

The freshers I fell back in love with my body….

Lifestyle, Mental Health, University

Before I actually start on this post, I need to discuss something else. I have had sooo many of you message over on my Instagram and by email, so here is me making a separate note instead of writing the same thing multiple times. Fresher’s can suck. Uni can make you feel lonely and can drain you, but it can also be the best time of your life. This fresher’s I have experienced big highs and the worst lows. I have had cocktails with the girls and been to some lush places with them, but have also cried in the smoking area on them. It is one or two LONG weeks of events, where you are constantly having to put yourself out there to meet new people. I struggle to gage where I stand with new people, and it makes my anxiety go wildddd. I worry that I am not spending enough time with people, I worry that the people I am spending my time with people who do not actually like me and I worry that at the end of it I will be left lonely. If you ask some of my friends I have panicked over very trivia things because there seems to be this constant pressure that you have to make fresher’s perfect. Spoiler alert, you do not. If you check on my Facebook and Instagram, you’ll see that I say am having the time of my life (a lot). That’s not a lie. Some days I am having the best time, but other days I am really not. However, it isn’t what I write on Facebook because it isn’t what I want people to know. SO what I want you to take is that, yes I loved fresher’s but at times I really hated it too. Understand that fresher’s will not be this miracle where by the end of it you have made all the friends you need for the year and you’re done. Its normal to feel homesick and contemplate why you’re here. Eventually this place your living will feel like another home and honestly when it gets to that stage you never want to leave.

This is my second freshers, and while last year I went to some events and made new friends, I can’t say that I loved it. This year it has been totally different. I have a new group of friends, my very own girl gang, and while we have now only been friends for 3 weeks, I couldn’t quite imagine university life without them. Its thanks to them that I feel more empowered (and that my bank balance is looking slightly poorer).

I would never wear crop tops, in fact I actually used to hate them. I didn’t feel I had the stomach or belly to make them seem attractive. Thanks to some drunken antics I wore a crop top on the first viper Wednesday (student night out), and while I did look fat, I didn’t hate that. We seem to shy a way from calling others fat, I always say wow I look so chunky but funky, and my friends will always be like oh no, don’t say that youre not fat. Truth is, I am, I stand at a size 18 and have more rolls than I will ever have abs, but I am okay with that. While I will rejoin the gym at some point, it is not because I want to be skinny anymore, id just quite like to be fit enough to climb stairs without getting out of breath…. (maybe that will never happen we will see). The thing the media has implanted into our heads is that we need to be skinny to wear certain types of clothes, we don’t. Why should I not wear what I want in fear of not being attractive to guys? Confidence is more attractive than my body ever will be.!!?!?!?!

I have learned to love my body, it is my home and it has looked after me. The thing is I have had to learn to love my stretch marks and my rolls, and it took me a long time to be comfortable. That’s why it used to scare me that people in the club would look at me and judge me, for they have not seen the stories that have lead to my body looking like this.

Anyway, here is a breakdown of some of the clothes that I have worn this freshers, bare in mind these were for themed events, I am mental but I wouldn’t normally dress up as Wally for night out by choice. For those of you that haven’t had freshers yet, be confident and stand proud.

Follow @charles_hammond1 on Insta x o x 

All the love,

Queen Clo xx

How to survive FRESHERS!!!

University

Welcome to the relaunch of Queen Clo!! I am so so excited to show you all what I have been working on. First up is this post, all about my favourite week of the university calendar, fresher’s week! It is in collaboration with the wonderful UcaDO, which is the new peer-to-peer app that’s launching soon. I think it is important to only work with brands that I think will be beneficial for you, that’s why I love UcaDO, at the minute if you pre-register at ucado.co.uk/students/ , you can be in the chance to win £100 each week! If you’re about to become a fresher or are currently a university student, that £100 would be a wonderful way to start (back) at university! So, about the app, it will do more than help you find your next home and build your credit rating; it will also keep you connected to useful local knowledge, and be on hand to help you get the most out of your uni days. Do let me know in the comments if you preregister, here’s to hoping it’s one of you who wins the £100!!

Now on to the post….

So, my first tip is not to pack too much stuff to bring to university. I am the worst for being an over packer, I visited my friends for a week and took the biggest suitcase you can imagine. So, when moving into university you can only imagine the amount I bought, we have a Land Rover, which is a fairly large car and I filled it…. The worst part of it all was that I lived on the third floor of an old building with many, many, steps. On moving in day, I almost died having to do the stairs many times. In reality, I didn’t need half of the things that I had brought with me. I think in my head it was once I had moved I wouldn’t be able to bring things back again with me, and it all needed to be there NOW. When in reality, in September I didn’t need ALLLL my winter clothes and I could’ve brought them back when I visited home in October. Think practical and what you actually need. Worst comes to it you can get things you have forgotten posted to you, (thanks mum for sending me my laptop charger, opps). Also, I found shopping was an incredible way to bond with new friends, so bought more stuff, which I did not have space for in my little room. So, take this into account with how much you bring. Below is a picture of me suffocated with stuff in the car. Just know, this year only my essentials will be brought with hahaha…

Tip number two is to bring a doorstop, I actually took two… My doorstop became so handy within the first two weeks of uni. Firstly, I had it in when I was moving my stuff in which saved me the hassle of trying to hold my door open. My spare doorstep I gave to the girl opposite me (big up Sophie Mould, who I now adore. Mould, you were a dream to live opposite and I’ll miss you next year😭), and it was a great way to meet her. After moving in, I left the doorstop in to allow people to walk past and come in. Having a doorstop shows you are open to people coming in to socialise with you, I actually became friends with the people who came to visit me. When you first start out making as many friends as possible is crucial, because it allows you to see who is going to be your types of people, and after all you are with these people for potentially three years, so it is worth being sociable and meeting people at all opportunities.

When choosing what kitchenware to pick do not buy it from IKEA!!! I swear everyone buys it from them because it is cheap, but it is a nightmare to work out who’s items are who’s when they are all left on the draining board… I ended up having green glasses, pink plates and red cutlery, cause at least I knew they were mine. Another note, it might be worth investing in a mini fridge for your room! I adored the 30 girls I lived with, however annoyingly my food and drinks would sometimes go missing from the fridges…. This year, I will be taking my own mini fridge down with me, so at least I know my food is safe in my room. Plus, I am mega lazy, so if I can make breakfast in my room it may save me 10 minutes in the morning which I can have in bed…

Fresher’s flu is real and it kills you off!!! I had fresher’s flu in the second week of university, which led to a nasty throat infection! Not what you want in your first week. I had never heard of fresher’s flu, and so didn’t think to bring cold and flu tablets or Lemsip, but trust me you will need them. Even if you manage to be the lucky one who doesn’t have it, I can guarantee someone else on your floor would be very grateful for having some of your Lemsip. However, it seemed last year my WHOLE floor had fresher’s flu!! Just remember to drink plenty and to get enough sleep alongside your partying! Also get your meningitis jab, I had viral meningitis this year and it was not pretty!! Luckily because I had the jab I didn’t get bacterial meningitis, which would’ve made me a lot sicker. It does not take long to get done and could potentially save your life.

Next, do not feel like you have to go to every single fresher’s event. My university has two weeks of fresher’s, and realistically I cannot afford to go to every event. Some of the events are in central London, so although the entry is included in my wristband, the expensive drinks and commute are not. That’s why personally I will not go to them, as it will cost me way too much money and effort. Also, it is quite nice to have a night or two in just chilling out and getting used to your new surroundings. When you stay in, you can get to know the people you are living with so much better than you can in a club. In a club, usually you are trying to yell to each other to be heard, at least at your home you can talk about who you are and not worry about if they can hear you or the ringing noise in your ear from the music at the same time you’re trying to speak. Below is Hannah and I enjoying a face mask, during freshers week it is so nice to find time and chill out, plus my face very much needed replenishment.

Now, talking about fresher’s events, check the schedule and see which ones are themed nights. This year I know that there is Zoo Party, back to school disco and where’s Wally, to name a few, so I have pre-bought all my outfits. This saves me the stress of last minute buying the outfits. I am the worst for not having outfits ready, and I know if I don’t have a suitable outfit I will panic and throw a mini meltdown, leading me not to go out. So, do your research and now what you want to wear! If you’re short on cash, you can make yourself fit themes very easily. Below, we just ‘painted’ our faces to fit zoo parties theme!

My favourite thing about being a student is the student discount. Imagine just getting money off for being at uni, a win!! Now, my favourite discount is 30% off at Zizzi’s, meals out are a great way to get to know friends more, but they can be expensive. Having student discount makes you save a few £££ and leads you to be able to do more with your cash. Unidays is a perfect app to join, as is getting an NUS Card, but there are also many free websites you can join too which will send you the latest student deals. Get looking and joining.

Go to your fresher’s fair!! At my fresher’s fair, I got free domino’s pizza and what felt like hundreds of free Yazoo milkshakes… You get some great freebies, who doesn’t love freebies?! Also, it is the perfect way to speak to new people as there will be many people wondering around the stands. Sign up to any societies and clubs as they are also a good way to make friends who have similar interests in you. Sometimes there may be companies hiring for jobs, so give them some of your details so they can contact you about applying. Having a job at university can really help with allowing you to have fun and not live in your overdraft.

Next, STAY SAFE!! When on nights out it is easy to have a false sense of safeness, but please do not ever leave your drink anywhere unattended and watch when it is being made. Sadly, I became aware of a few different friends who had their drinks spiked and became very ill. This is not how you want to start your university experience, so do keep your eyes out. My new thing is to always have £10 note either in the back of my phone or in my purse, you never know when you need it, I am so used to getting Ubers that when my phone has died I panic because I have no money. At least with the £10 you have an alternative way to get home with a taxi. However, it can be used for more than taxis, but save it for when the emergency strikes and you need it. I think it is also incredibly important to save someone you trust as an emergency contact in your phone, while I have both my parents saved as A Mum and A Dad, and saved on speed dial, I also have my friend Abi saved too. If there was an emergency at university and my parents couldn’t get to me, at least Abi (who I lived with), may have been able to come help faster than my parents trying to send help. (Abs if you didn’t know you were my emergency contact, this is you now being aware, opps, don’t kill me….). It is also so important to register for a doctor’s surgery and to know where it and a hospital are. You never know when you may need them in an emergency so already become familiar as to where they are!

Now, the real key to surviving fresher’s is to remember that you may feel broke at the end of it and the homesickness may begin to kick in, but fresher’s week is not what normal university life is.  Sometimes during fresher’s, I felt a tad lonely because everyone I lived with was so busy, but once your course starts and everyone settles down that’s where you begin to have proper meaningful friends. So, while fresher’s week is happening enjoy yourself as much as possible before the work kicks in!! Good luck!

Added Tips from people on Instagram

1. From @teganpersephone : Have your own washing up bowl and keep it in your room with your dishes in so you don’t have to touch other ppls dirty dishes you can move the gross bowl out the sink and put yours in.

2. From @stephanie_may16 : Bring a box of tissues, for freshers flu, crying of laughter (and sadness). A spare towel to mop up spilt drinks? And buy toiletries when they’re on offer as they’re so expensive

3. From @lucywheeler_ make sure you turn up to your first lectures because that’s where you meet your course friends!

All the love,

Queen Clo xx