Hi, I’m Ellie-Louise, a freelance writer and self-love advocate! When I’m not writing articles for my clients, you can find me writing for my blog,Ellie’s Entries, or practising yoga! Over on my Instagram (@ellie_desbaux), I talk a lot about self-love, body confidence and mental health, and what I want to talk about today ties into exactly that!
Before I dive into this article, I want to say a huge thank you to Chloe for this series and letting me tell my story! I can’t wait to read everyone else’s.
What makes you different?
Growing up I struggled a lot with my mental health and fitting in, so when my teenage years came about and everyone started drinking, I saw it as a safe haven for friendship and unity. I was finally deemed cool enough to be invited to parties. Unfortunately, a poor mental state and alcohol didn’t mix very well for me.
It’s like mixing red wine with vodka, been there, done that, I don’t recommend it!
As the years went by I was labelled the ’emotional drunk’ and really didn’t understand what limits were. I didn’t know what to do. If I got drunk people, who didn’t know me very well, would complain about me being a wreck, but if I didn’t they would call me boring. It may sound crazy, but the latter scared me the most. I have always been the boring one, the one who didn’t dance, the one who didn’t take risks, I couldn’t chance it.
So, after years of regretting every night out and torturing myself mentally for the things I did or said when I was drunk – I decided to try and cut back on drinking. It didn’t happen all at once. I found it hard to visit old friends because it was easy to fall back into old habits and trips to the pub seemed alien without alcohol.
As I have grown and began to transform my mindset, I realised saying no to alcohol was the best decision I’ve ever made. It’s still a journey and some people don’t understand but it was a big part of me starting to love myself and forgiving my past.
What is bad about why you are different?
From growing up in London and working in Soho, you quickly learn that everything revolves around booze. The drinking culture was out of control and sometimes I still crumble under the pressure. I couldn’t keep up with the drinking, as soon as the words left my mouth, ‘I don’t drink’ their faces paled and any chance of friendship was lost. I ended up leaving my dream job in London because of my anxiety and fear that I didn’t fit in.
Working there was great and I’ll always be grateful for the experience but the mainstream culture around drinking just wasn’t for me and you had to participate to survive in the industry I was in.
Soon I realised it wasn’t just London, but it was a human trait to enjoy drinking. At first, I thought maybe there’s something wrong with me, but I soon learned it’s okay to be different.
Something I’ve struggled with is that people find it hard to relate to me when they find out I don’t like getting drunk. Even though I don’t drink, I don’t hold any negative feelings towards people who do! It’s fun for many people and I hope my sobriety doesn’t make anyone feel uncomfortable. I know a lot of people who like to drink but it doesn’t alter my opinion of them, there is so much more to us than if we like a drink or not.
The other struggle I have faced is sending mixed messages. If I go to the pub or it’s a special occasion, I might choose to have one drink. However, when I choose not to have a second or third, people think there’s something wrong with me and question me throughout the evening. They ask if ‘I’m sure?’ and say ‘I’ll have more fun’ if I drink.
What is good about why you are different?
Over the process of cutting alcohol out of my life, it has helped me practice keeping my boundaries. I feel healthier, I have a better relationship with myself and the things I consume.
When I go out, I know I have a choice and saying no is okay. I can now enjoy being my true self, without the regrets, self-hatred, and 2-day hangovers.
What is one thing you want someone to take away from this article the most?
My advice would be to dowhat makes you feel good! If following the crowd is not serving you, it’s ok to do your own thing! If drinking is something you’re struggling with, my biggest piece of advice is to remember you’re worthy without the alcohol.
You’re not boring, you’re a wonderful person and if anyone tells you otherwise, they probably just don’t understand. Stay true to who you are and what you want.
I also want to say, there is so much more to people than their drinking habits – we are all fantastic the way we are, alcohol or not.
A note from Clo
After a week break we’re back with a bang! A really interesting and insightful article from Ellie-Louise Des Baux! A huge thank you for writing this piece, I have really enjoyed it and hope others can learn from it too!
Hey, I’m Meg. I am a 20-year-old theatre student and part-time Instagram blogger. (My Instagram is @megrosex). I also have a blog that I am currently in the works of reopening, you can follow it here https://megrosex.wordpress.com . I just want to thank Chloe for giving me this opportunity to be a part of this amazing series, I cannot wait to read everybody’s stories.
WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT?
Thankfully, I was born into a perfect family. I had a roof over my head, food at the table and the best mum, dad and brother a little girl could ask for. Growing up felt like a dream, from what I can remember anyway. But it wasn’t until I was about 6/7 that I realised things were different in my family. My mum had her own house and my dad had his. Growing up I thought this was the norm. I spent weekdays with my mum, with the acceptation of going to my dad’s on Wednesdays, and every other weekend I swapped between houses. I thought everyone did this, until I started going to friends’ houses, and seeing that their parents lived together. Then I realised, maybe that’s why I was the only kid in the class that got given two letters instead of one. I was confused, upset and uncertain about what was going on and so I started to question my parents. I found out that my parents had divorced when I was 4. I didn’t know what divorced meant at first, I thought it was something to do with me, but after my mum told me, that’s when things got different. I struggled with the idea of my parents not being in love, not being friends’ and not even wanting to talk to one another. At my mums, I would cry because I missed my dad and vice versa. I couldn’t come to terms with it. And then, the stepparents came along. It was nice seeing my parents with new people, but it didn’t feel right at first. I hated it in all honesty, I just wanted my family to be perfect like all my friends’. As the years went on, I struggled with it massively, but it was never something I brought up with my parents because they were happy in their new relationships, I wasn’t going to upset them and make them feel uncomfortable.
I was around 10/11 when the reoccurring nightmares started, it was constant, the arguments, the moving across the world, only being able to see one parent for the rest of my life. The dreams affected how I lived, I become a shy kid who didn’t want to put any feelings or emotions into the world. I hunched into myself, and although I had my friends’ I was the least enjoyable one of the friend group. As I got older and started to understand the world more, I discovered that people fall out of love. Although I know it still affects me to this day, my life wouldn’t be the way it is right now. Sometimes I do sit there and think about what life would be like if my parents were still married.
WHAT IS BAD ABOUT WHY YOU’RE DIFFERENT?
I guess the worst thing about this is seeing my friends’ parents in love and together. It’s the anniversary’s, the wedding reunions’, the one house and one house only. People often say to me “but you get two birthdays and two Christmas’s I would love that!”. Well you know it’s great if you would love that, but I would much rather my parents still like each other. They can’t even be in a room with each other without the awkward tension. Imagine how my parents’ evenings, birthday parties and performances went. I sometimes wonder whether they’re going to sit on the same table as each other at my wedding, who will hold my children first and although depressing, I do question if they would go to the funeral of whoever passes first. I constantly feel like the middleman, they talk horridly about each other all the time, I don’t think they realise it affects me. It’s hard. Especially during this pandemic.
I came home before lockdown, my mum picked me up from university, I was over the moon I hadn’t seen her since Christmas. But then again, I haven’t seen my dad since Christmas… not knowing when I’m going to see him again is painful. My mum moved out of my home city to be with her new partner. I can’t exactly pop round to see my dad. And my brother, he moved in permanently with my dad about 10 years ago now, I miss him, he is like a best friend to me. In times like this, I want to see both parents. It’s a time we all reflect on the people we have lost over the years. My stepdad and my step mum. Both my parents first love after the divorce. both passed due to medical reasons. And I know they both miss them, but they’ve moved on. They’ve found new people and are happy again. I don’t think they realise it still hurts for me, I felt like I lost my second set of parents. I grew up with them from a young age and loved them both as though they were blood-related.
I don’t want to make this question to depressing but it’s my life, it has always been and always will be.
WHAT IS GOOD ABOUT WHY YOU’RE DIFFERENT?
I am not going to lie to you all, this is probably the hardest question to answer. I grew up fortunate, I had the life some children would dream of. I got two birthdays, two Christmas’s, two holidays a year. Some would call it spoiled but that’s what happens when you live at two different houses, celebrations must go on in each. I have also learnt that everything happens for a reason, and I am thankful for the life I have been given, I have made so many memories and met some amazing people who I will cherish for life. I have stepsisters and stepbrothers, stepparents and step-grandparents. But to answer a few people’s questions, no this doesn’t mean I have two of everything. I usually take things with me from one house to the other. But that’s it. That’s really the only good things that has come out of being different for me. I am 20, knowing what love feels like, knowing what it feels like to get your heartbroken. I know how the world works. Yet there is and will always be something inside of me wishing my parents never got divorced.
WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WANT SOMEONE TO TAKE FROM THIS ARTICLE THE MOST?
Realise that it is hard for us. Whether it happened years ago or whether it happened recently. A child growing up with divorced parents is still hard. Many times I have had people say to me “at least you had both figures in the home”. Don’t compare your upbringing to mine. I had a moment where a friend who didn’t grow up with a father figure told me I was lucky; told me I am not allowed to be upset about this. It’s wrong. Life affects everyone in different ways. I don’t go telling people with non-divorced parents that they aren’t allowed to talk badly about a parent or talk about their perfect life. Like I said previously, there is a reason for everything. It’s okay to feel down about something that happened so long ago. Regardless of the issue. I just want people to know that they shouldn’t let people bring them down for their emotions. Everyone is different. no one knows your life except you.
A Note From Clo
Thank you so much to meg for this piece, it has been super insightful and I am so grateful for you!
Stay tuned next week for another Being Different article, and if you would like to be involved please do contact me!
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.
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
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!
Hello friends!!! Sorry for not posting in three months, oppss… Exams were rubbish but at least they’re over. After writing a letter style in an old blog post, I decided to do another one. I found it really enjoyable to write, I hope you enjoy reading it. A lot of family around me have just had children (by the way, they are soo fricken cute!!!!) and it’s exciting to think that one day (at least 10 years away haha) that I will have mini me’s around too!
Dear Future Daughter,
I want you to never ever beg ANYONE for love. You are worth all the love in the world. If no man or woman loves you at a certain time, remember I love you and I always will. There’s so much more to life than seeking the love of a significant other, you are whole and amazing on your own. Most importantly, I want you to love yourself. It can be so difficult but you will get there. If you love you and I love you, then it does not matter if no one else does.
Stand up for what you believe in. When everyone else sits by and allows things they don’t agree with to carry on, I hope you stand strong. I hope you put them right. One thing I am passionate about is educating others and helping others to see my points of view. I want you to educate me on what you care about but be prepared to hear other peoples views. Just because they are not the same as yours does not mean they are wrong. But, if you feel someone is being unjust call them out and even call me on things I say. I promise I will always support you and I cannot wait to one day learn from you.
Body image is hard, and I know you will face body issues like I have. It has taken me so many years to learn that my body is mine. I struggled with what to wear and how others looked at it. My body has stretch marks and is fat, but I will continue to dress how I please. I promise you are perfect and are a masterpiece. Your worth cannot be determined by your looks or weight, so continue to be nice. Your weight and your looks are merely nothing if you have a nice personality. It seems rubbish but I promise it is truly what is inside that counts. No one whats a beautiful person with a nasty mind…
Your mental health always comes before school. If you are struggling, talk to me. We can work together on strengthening you. If you don’t want to talk to me, I get it, but please talk to someone. There is no need to battle your demons alone, there will be someone that can help you.
People suck! They will break your heart into a million little pieces and pretend they’re not the one to blame. They will leave with a flimsy excuse and I know you will blame yourself but it is not you, baby girl, it will never have been you. They will be a coward and you just have to be strong. Do not let them question who you are. You have the ability to love and your love was never too much. They just were not capable enough to have all of you. While you struggle with a heartbreak you will learn so much about yourself, much more than you ever do when you’re at a high. I want you to cry about this person, I want you to cry until there are no tears left. As you stop crying learn from whats happened and begin to grow again. Your heart will heal itself and eventually, you’ll meet someone who is perfect for you.
Sometimes it is okay to disregard the opinions of others if they are not positive in helping you grow. This world is full of people that feel the need to judge the actions of others. You do not know what is happening with others so try to judge as little as possible love. The ones who truly love you will not stir up trouble in your life. Learn the difference between those who are trying to help you and those who are just trying to cause drama in your life. You do not need people who want to cause inconvenience in your life.
One comment I always have hated is how I am un-lady like. What the hell is a lady supposed to be like? If I or anyone else makes that comment ignore them… You are a lady and that does not define the actions you should take.
It takes less than 5 minutes to message someone to check if they’re ok. Text that person you’ve not spoken to in weeks but know is having a rubbish time. Your support could be important to them and if it isn’t, what loss was 5 minutes of your time for texting them…
Work your little butt off but remember to party harder. Whatever you want to do or be in life I will support you but you need to work for it. You get nowhere in life for free, you need to work for it all.
My most memorable moments have come from volunteering. Time is valuable and you don’t want to waste it, but volunteering is never a waste. Always help others where you can. I love working with the children I work with. I have learnt and grew from the children and adults I volunteer with. The skills you learn from volunteering are skills I could not have got from anywhere else.
Don’t do something because everyone else is doing it. It does not make you cool.
What ever happens in your life I will love you and always be there for you!
Your future loving mum xo
Hopefully, I will be back to posting monthly as I have many drafts, but they all need editing so we will see! Hope you enjoyed this post. If you want to know what I am up to when I haven’t posted in a while please check my Instagram Queen.Clo !
Recently, I reached the age of 18! Scary! During my 18 years on this planet, I’ve learnt so many lessons; below are some of the most important ones. Along with a picture of me over the last 18 years😂
Why don’t you leave something important you’ve learnt in the comments? Or any feedback?☺️
1. No matter what happens in life, someone in your family will still love you.
I am extremely fortunate to have a large family. There’s so much love around me and I’m so lucky for it. I know that whatever I do, they will all still support and love me. They’ve helped me grow into the person I am and if I do a bad thing I can gurantee they’re not going to hold it against me. This means that whenever there is drama, because we’re a family, we deal with it together. Therefore, if I have a personal problem or drama, I know I can rely on them to help me deal with it. So, whether you have a small family or a large family, they are always going to love and forgive you in the end. Send a text to a family member tonight to show you that you appreciate them!💗
(Big shout out to all my family, I love you all so much, even those of you I don’t see as much as I’d like!)
2. It’s okay to cry. There seems to be this stigma with crying (especially with men, boo!) that it apparently shows weakness. This is not the case. Cry as often as you need. Cry everyday if it makes your day a bit easier. I personally cry very frequently, and if you ask my dad I cry over ridiculous things, like burning cheese on toast, I know, what a loser. However, I believe you should not worry about what others think of your tears, if it helps you to cleanse yourself and your mind then it’s okay. Lets all become cry babies and keep on crying!
3. Its okay to make mistakes… In fact, make as many mistakes as you possibly can. Mistakes are not a bad thing if you learn and grow from them. I frequently mess up, I know I will make many mistakes every single day. This does not make me feel bad or scare me; I know I am learning from them. Instead of letting the fear of being wrong and making mistakes hold you back, embrace every chance of making a mistake.
4. Embrace change, it can be good. Personally, I always struggle with change. I like things to be the same. I get comfortable with a routine. The fear of change used to be a massive thing for me and whenever I knew change was going to occur, I would become nervous and panic. However, I began to understand that life always has change. Therefore, do not go in life being scared of it, but accept it when it happens.Whether this is something small like changing cereal, or whether it be leaving something behind that is hurting you. Whatever the change is, it may hurt or upset you at first, but in the long run it will help you to grow.
5. Tell other people what you are thinking and how you are feeling. People cannot read your mind. If someone has upset you or done you wrong, don’t just assume they know they’ve done wrong. Instead talk to them about it. Someone cannot change what they are doing if they do not know they’ve affected you. I am rubbish at telling people when they’ve upset me, and it can lead people to walk all over me! I need to start standing up for myself and to let others know about how I think and feel. Whether you think it is insignificant, if someone has upset you talk to them!! Not only could it improve the situation between you and said person, it will free your mind. Keeping things bottled up does nothing for you. So, learn to have strong communication skills and be able to talk to anyone about your problems, these skills will get you anywhere you need.
6. Have a strong opinion of yourself, and leave behind the worries of what others think of you.
I used to be very worried about how others saw me. I craved to be liked by everyone, and whenever someone thought something negative of me I would be upset. I realise now, not everybody is going to like me. That does not mean there is anything wrong with me. If someone does not like me, it shouldn’t bother me. I’m not everyone’s fan, so clearly not everyone’s going to be a fan of me. I have begun to developed a strong opinion; this is who I am and I like who I am. So, it doesn’t really matter if no one else likes me.
7. Learn to say no! I’m a yes person, I always have been and I thought I always would be. I get so nervous of the thought of letting people down that I say yes. Lately, I’ve been learning it’s okay to say no. As much as I’d like to do every good deed and help as many people, I simply do not have the time. So instead of trying (and failing) to be wonder women, I learnt to use the word no. It’s much less of a let down to originally say no, than to do a half hearted job. No one is going to hate you for not doing something, and if they do, you don’t need them in your life. Simple?
8. Move away from anything that causes you negativity.
Whether this be people, an activity or anything, if it makes you sad what is the point in doing it?!?! It truly baffles me when someone says ‘I do … to please … but I hate it’. What is the point in putting yourself through the stress and upset to please someone else. You must focus on your own happiness and not everyone else’s. Furthermore, leave people that cause you pain in some way. It is far better to leave them in your past than continue to be friends with them and hurt yourself.
9. Frequently ask questions, it’ll help you grow and learn.
Got a question? Ask it. Its literally that simple. Asking questions develops your knowledge and understanding of the world. By doing so you are not pondering over something that someone could answer for you if you just ask them. Stop accepting what you read online and begin questioning them. Enable yourself to become more involved in the world around you!
10. Be kind. Not only to others, but yourself too.
I would much rather spread kindness to other people, than hate. I think in a world so filled with hate, it’s time that we start being nicer to those who are around us. Whether its just giving a stranger a smile, or asking someone how their day is? Kindness will help the world stay a positive place.
I looked back and realised that I’m nice to everyone else, but why am I not to myself? Ask yourself the question, if someone spoke to me the way I speak to myself would I still be friends with them? If the answers no, then its time you start speaking kinder to yourself. At the end of the day, you’re the person that’s there for yourself and if you’re not being kind to yourself then why will anyone else be?
11. Laugh often.Laughter is my favourite thing. I have the loudest laugh ever, and it can be irritating to others. (sorry not sorry). However, my laughter brings me joy. Laughing (even over tiny things) will brighten my whole mood. I aim to laugh as many times a day. After all, laughter is the best medicine.
12. Apologise when you’re in the wrong.
I have dealt with a lot of people who struggle with apologising. I have also met a lot of people who apologise too much!! Thetrick is to get the right balance. I think it is important to apologise. If I have done something wrong, then I feel obliged to apologise. If it was the other way round then I would probably like the other person to apologise. Its important to swallow any pride you have and apologise when it is appropriate.
13. Some days you’ll find it slightly harder to love yourself, but look past your ‘flaws’, and find something to love.
The title says it all in this one. We’re all great in our own ways, look a little harder if you cannot find something to love. I PROMISE THERE WILL BE SOMETHING!!!!
14. Stand up for yourself and what you believe in.
I am feisty when I want to be. If I believe in something strongly, I’ll argue with anyone and everyone about it. Even if I’m the only one that believes my view. I’m not intimidated when others have a different view to myself. I think of it as a mini challenge to show others why I think that way.
It’s important to be you, and if you believe in your view that’s all that matters. Stand strong.
It’s also important to stand up for yourself. You can’t go your whole life being walked over like a door mat. Be confident and proud of who you are. Don’t let anyone knock you down.
15. Don’t take life or your self too serious.
Its easy to get caught up in your own problems, and we forget that the problems we face are only made large when we let them mess with us. Instead of being caught up in how rubbish things are, we should all take a step back. When taking a step back it puts into perceptive that we should not take life too seriously. When taking life too seriously you limit the happiness you can get. So breathe, you are doing great, but stop taking everything too seriously.
Nobody gets out alive anyway…
16. FLIRT ! FLIRT! FLIRT!
I am a young, single, sassy women and I shall flirt and do as I please.
While I am young, I want to live my life. There is nothing wrong with flirting.
17. People will break your heart, but learn from the mistakes!
After a heartbreak it can be hard to pick yourself back up again. But the key thing to remember is onces someone’s broke your heart let them go. Or you will continue to hurt yourself the longer you cling to the past. Stop texting them, or trying to be in their life. Delete the texts. Delete the pictures. Delete them off social media. You do not need a constant reminder of them, leave them to do them and you to do you. If they’ve hurt you, they no longer deserve a place in your life. If they wanted to be in your life they would be, so don’t be fooled.
Oh boys, what strange creatures you are… Will I ever understand your brains? (probs not but I will live haha).
18. Stop being so hard on yourself. You’re doing better than you think!
In life, we focus on our own flaws and where we think we’ve not done well. We forgot to focus on all the great things we do every single day. All the amazing things we do without thinking. I’ve learnt that I need to be easier on myself and not beat myself up over silly little errors. I’m doing so well juggling a job, voluntary work and sixth form. I should just keep being me.
BONUS ONE: Get drunk and be the party animal you’ve always dreamed to be.
Don’t let anyone stop you from getting a little drunk!😉 If you need that glass of wine this evening, this is me saying go and have it! Also, partying with the right people at the right place can be so much fun and you can make memories (some you may not remember). Live your life and don’t let others judge you for partying. Keep being awesome!x