Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Home vs. Home Home

I know, I know, this blog post is (technically) 2 weeks late, sorry, I did try to write one about ending term and second-year stuff last week but it wasn't really flowing too well. Now I'm home home (deliberate repetition, I'll explain soon) and trying to revise/procrastinate my ass off I've made some time to avoid learning about Greek Law and write this little piece. 

Just to clarify, this Easter break from uni means I have gone home home (not being uni) which for me is a small corner of greenery on the Hampshire/Wiltshire border in a sleepy village in which nothing ever happens. This distinct problem of nothing to do means I really should be preparing for my 4 looming exams, and you'd think I would be, but suddenly I have the great urge to go swimming, take the dog for a walk, and basically do anything to avoid revision, just like every other university student about this time of year. I know I my last post I said I was excited to get stuck into exams... well I was wrong, I don't know what I was thinking and why I said it, so many regrets. Now, I'm just excited for the entire exam period to be over.

One of the main things I wanted to write about in this post, however, was the difficulties and differences of being at university and having to split your life between two places and two 'worlds'. 
Now I've been in Egham for nearly 2 years now I definitely consider it home, while where I am now, where my parents live, I guess, is 'home home'. It is weird because now when I'm filling out forms and job applications I put down my university address, but I can't put my finger on the time when it changed, when did I really move out? I mean I know I moved all my stuff out when I started university, but what was the point that I started considering Egham home? I think it is partly to do with the people there, actually making it feel like a home, but also, it is weird to think, but I actually do think, after each time I come back here for the holidays, it feels like a holiday coming here. This place will always be the place I grew up and as much as this place was home for me I think (and hope) I've moved out for good, just because it reminds me of being a kid. I know that sounds really sad and cringe cause I'm 21 but it is weird, for me anyway, I guess I'm getting old! 

On a more cheery note, the procrastination has allowed me to start a new series on Netflix, which will be the death of my degree, but on the plus side, by the time I finish this term, I will have completed Skins! 

Anyway, I guess I should sign off now, back to learning/revising/netflixing - Gimme a shout if anyone has any useful revision techniques, I've got to start learning quotations for my English exam next week and any help would be most appreciated.

St Mary Bourne, Hampshire
Have a great week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

University Life and Exams

Hello and Welcome to my newly designed blogging home! A big shoutout to Gabriela at The Basic Page who designed and installed my new look, and to Alice's Antics from where I got my inspiration. Alice's blog and dedication to her blog encourages me to work on mine so I would seriously recommend taking a look, also she's a pretty cool human being. 

Now I was going to write about "University Life and Exams" today as recently I have been thinking about the importance, hmmm, maybe not importance that's not the right word...maybe the ultimate use of having a degree. Don't get me wrong, I've had an amazing two years so far, and I wouldn't change it for the world... well, somethings I may change! Anyway, what I'm trying to get to that, although I knew this, it seemed to really have hit me again today, that university, a degree and results aren't everything. I know I'm writing this in reflect to probably the worst essay mark I have ever received so clearly I'm going to go on a bender and say things like 'grades don't matter' no, of course, they do, and I'm really truly disappointed and frustrated with it this time, but also sometimes it is worth taking a step back. It's funny how, for me anyway, it takes something to go wrong or not the way I wanted it to for me to appreciate some of the other things in my life more. At the end of the day I know I am here for a degree and to graduate, and I know I want a 2:1, but if it is a 2:2 is it really the end of the world? 

Simply, No. 
Will it be annoying? Yes. Will I be pissed off at myself? Of Course. But will the world stop turning? No.

Sometimes I need to realise, and I think we all do to a degree, that we can't be good at everything and we can't please everyone. I have been so caught up in theadspaceace that because I have done badly on a few essays means that I am not worth being here and that it is not worth it, but then I thought back to my exams last year which I did well on, and another essay that I smashed. I just needed to rationalise things and say okay, I fucked up this time, but what am I good at, and how can I make myself better. And in that same theme, second year exams are about to rear their ugly head again, and as much as everyone hates exams, I'm strangely looking forward to getting stuck into it again, so I have recently discovered, exams are my jam, so bring it on!

Although I love being a student, it can be tough sometimes, we are somewhere between being real full-time adults and teenagers who have been thrown into this big pond called university and told to swim, but not just swim, you have 3 years to win gold in the Olympics while carrying coffee that you can't spill. It's insane, and yet we are all getting through it. As much as I would love to have taken a perma-gap year, I know I would have had to grow up at some point, even if the urge to run away and go on another adventure will never leave me, for now I'll just have to be content with planning the ultimate summer holiday!

Well, that best be it from me today, but taking inspiration from Alice once more (sorry Alice!) I am going to try and keep to some sort of blogging schedule by starting with one new post a week - aiming to be on a Wednesday. I think this sort of writing will keep me sane and hopefully you all enjoy my ramblings.. hopefully...maybe? 

Have a good week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

Welcome to Royal Holloway!

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Kate's Fav Books: A Review

Here is a rundown of some of my all-time favourite books and some of the ones I have recently read. I would highly recommend them all if you've got a few spare hours, but they are all very different from each other.
  • The Book Thief, Markus Zusak: The Book Thief has to be one of my favourite books as the first time I read it I fell in love with it. Following the story of a young girl in Nazi Germany, and told with Death as the narrator, this book is a dark tale of adventure and history that stays with you long after finishing the last page. Although not a book to read to cheer you up, it is beautifully written and leaves a lasting memory. 
  • Birdsong, Sebastien Faulks: What can I say about Birdsong, although I had to read and study this book for A-level English Literature, it made it even better. Sebastien Faulks adds a tragic beauty to the setting of WW1 (can you see a fictional history obsession going on here). I really need to read this book again but from what I remember the intertwining between love and war really sets this book apart from any others. I think it will be the next book I will tackle.
  • Room, Emma Donoghue: While this book has been just turned into a film, and unfortunately I didn't get the chance to see it, it was an amazing read. Not an uplifting or cheerful book at all, surrounding the story of Ma and her son who have been trapped in 'Room' by a man who could only be described as a psychopath. The book follows Ma and Jack, told from Jack's perspective as they escape their captor and adjust to the outside world, and how the outside world adjusts to them. This book is not for the faint-hearted, and I know many people who have read it and not liked it. Personally, although I know it covers a really tough subject matter, I find it so interesting, and would highly recommend it.
  • Elsewhere, Gabrielle Zevin: I found this book while staying at one of my oldest friend's houses and I began reading it and couldn't put it down. As a young girl who used to be terrified of death and people dying, this book brought me a lot of peace. The beautiful story of a girl who tragically dies in a car accident aged 16, Elsewhere presents the idea that when we die we to go a place like earth where all those had died are. From here you live, like you did in life but age backwards, getting to age zero, you are then born again back to earth as a newborn baby and start life again. This beautiful idea really reassured me, not that there is life after death, but that there is something and that we will see our loved ones again. Zevin writes with heartbreaking beauty making this book almost like poetry, it is one that I will always have on my bookshelf.
  • The Radical Practice of Loving Everyone, Michael J. Chase: This book was given to me by one of my best friends and I have read it twice in about 6 months and each time I have read it in about 24 hours. Unlike most of the other books on my list this book is not a work of fiction, nor does it follow a story, but is filled with many stories from Chase on how we can learn to love everyone. Chase bases his philosophy and stories on the observed practices of his dog, Mollie, and how she treats everyone, especially strangers, with equal kindness. While reading this book, both times actually, it made me consider how I live my life, and what I can do to treat everyone like Mollie does.  
  • Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling: I couldn't write a list of my favourite books and not include the Harry Potter books. Everyone knows how amazing they are so I don't really need to explain, and if you haven't read at least one of the books in this series, what have you been doing with your life and have you been living under a rock?! I was so obsessed with these books that I even queued up at midnight to get the last book. I really hope the hype around Harry Potter never fades, it was a key part of my childhood and I really hope it will be something that I can pass on to my children and grandchildren someday. 
  • Michael McIntyre: Live and Laughing, Michael McIntyre: Although this book is an autobiography, it is the book I turn to when I am feeling down or in need of a laugh. Michael McIntyre is one of my favourite comedians and having seen him live twice, I had high expectations for this book and I wasn't disappointed. He takes you through the highs and lows of his life and how he made it as a comedian, pretty much what you would expect but with funny stories along the way. This is one of the first books that has genuinely made me laugh out loud so I have to read this book alone, else my housemates will think I am crazier than I am already am.
So there you have it, a few of my top book choices if you find yourself at a spare end I would suggest digging into one of these bad boys and they should provide a few hours of entertainment. Let me know what your favourite books are of if you have any recommendations, I'm always looking for new books to add to my list.

Have a great week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

I'm Back!

Well, I think I should start this blog post with a bit of an apology (again!). Once again I have found myself taking a little bit of an unintentional hiatus from blogging and now deadlines are over (again) I have a more time to dedicate myself to you lovely people. So what's been going on since I last wrote...

I think one of the biggest things that happened is my birthday, 21, god I'm old. My birthday weekend/week was a low key affair which was nice as it seems to be all downhill from here on the age front! haha, no I'm kidding, but now I really feel that I have to start to have a plan and get my life together and do proper adult I'll just hide again until that feeling passes I think. 

By some miracle or another, I have managed to land myself some work experience for the summer, with no help or inside contacts I might add, (can you tell I'm just a little bit proud of myself). In July I will be spending two weeks working at the London office of Scholastic, the children's publisher. Hopefully, it will give me a little peek into the world of publishing and maybe give me an idea if it would be something that I would be generally interested in... or just confirm that I should go travelling forever. 

Also on the topic of being grown up, I have got another job (yes really) as a conference assistant at uni - this will make my job total up to 4... but I couldn't not work. If I didn't have even 1 job I would be itching to get one. Ever since getting my first job at the pub aged 16 I have never been able to stop working. I have this awful compulsion to always say yes to an extra shift or overtime so juggling 4 jobs should be a piece of cake... or I'm just going to be crying into my laptop next time I write on here!

I'm still doing the odd piece for The Tab, it has got a bit of a shit reputation at our uni at least, mainly because they publish quite a lot of trashy or gimmicky articles, but like my editors say, when you stop reading them, we'll stop writing them. My last article was hilarious, it was about Elliott and Matt's fencing, and it was a work of art if I do say so myself. Check it out on the website! 

Oh, today I handed in my last essay of second year, which was really scary because that means exams and third year will be happening in the blink of an eye, and that means real stuff like dissertations... It also means I am now pretty bored with not much to do. I can't really start revision yet as we haven't learnt anything so right now our house is pretty clean and I think I will start re-organising my cupboard later. Oh dear, I need something to keep me sane. 

Along with this, my plan for my next blog post, which I hope to have out by Friday (but don't hold me to it) is a little book review of my current and all-time fav books. One of the benefits of having this time now is that I can actually read a book that is not on any reading list, I can just read for fun. Just reading a book because I want to is something that I love but rarely get the opportunity to do much anymore.
Another plan to keep the boredom at bay it to plan some travelling ideas for the summer. I can't sit still and that travelling bug has woken up again. I just got back from Copenhagen, Denmark, on Monday as I spent a long weekend there with Steph and Sabrina - lovely to have a short break from reality - but now the wanderlust is stronger than ever. While I'm waiting to hear back about the travel grant I applied for I will just have to content myself with imagining it instead! 

Anyway, the cupboard is calling so I shall end my ramblings here but it is awesome to get back into blogging my random thoughts and hopefully you lovely people enjoy reading my musings.

Have a good week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

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