Monday 8th February 2010

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Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So, love the people who treat you right, forgive the ones who don’t and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said it would be easy – they just promised it would be worth it.

Harvey MacKay

Still in the planning stages for the trip. So far, I’ve provisionally planned which hostels to stay in. In Amsterdam the Vondelpark (stayokay) at €24 per night; the Hague at the Stayokay Den Haag at €25 per night; In Bruges the Lybeers travellers hostel at €18 per night; Paris, St Christopher’s Inn for €27 per night; Rome is the only place i’m still undiecided but have – for now – decided on the Yellow at €30 per night. Finally Naples at the Six Small Rooms for €20 per night.

Other than that, just trying to keep my money in check, not overspend and save enough. So far I’ve reached the £370 mark – which will buy my Interrail ticket! But with £1630 still to go, it’ll be interesting to see how determined I am to go on this trip!

The traumatic train travel

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So I mentioned earlier I went to Teesside university in Middlesbrough for an interview. But due to living in Fife, this was a three and a half hour journey. Fun!
Not even close.
It started with me almost missing my bus, which arrived five minutes early. So running I think as fast as I had ever moved before, I had to cut through the houses to beat the bus two bus stops down.
I actually managed to catch it although felt like my lungs were collapsing.

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Not really a travel blog anymore…?

This was the view on a particulary nice evening from the window in my hostel in Bruge
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So I’m feeling pretty nostalgic about all the travelling I used to do – including when I went backpacking almost four years ago.

Since I wasn’t really into all the blogging stuff back then, but instead kept a travel diary, I think I might re-write those posts up here. It’s good for me to remember them too, so I don’t become too comfortable at home.

Although it’s not really possible, I’ve had the worst case of itchy feet since September.

Visiting Teesside university

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So I’m at that lovely stage in my life where I’m applying for university. Teesside invited me down to Middlesbrough for an interview and to get a feel of the campus. Aside from some ridiculously stressful travelling, the campus seemed nice.

The facilities were up-to-date, the tutors all seemed lovely and had already worked many years within the industry (although they kept boasting about one having worked at the News of the World and giving the ongoing trial, not sure that was a bragging point). The SU looked nice and even had a careers centre to help you find a job to fit in around studies, which is always a plus.

But the thing about visiting universities is you soon realise where you could feel comfortable. And I’m not really sure Teesside was it for me.

Sure they have a 20 per cent above average graduate employment rate, good connections with the media industry including television and radio – but the campus? It just didn’t feel right for me.

And yes, it’s probably the worst possible way to pick a university – especially one that I’ll only be studying at for a year – but this kind of gut instinct is something I’ve sadly always worked on.

With a rejection from Kent (apparently they don’t allow entries too anything but first year) and a conditional from Sunderland, I only have two universities to hear back from: Glasgow Caledonian and Stirling.

I’m visiting Sunderland at the end of next month so hopefully things will be a little better during that visit.

The beginning of a new year?

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It feels so odd that this time of the year is the beginning. For me, as a student, it always feels like the end of summer is the beginning as it is when I progress on a year in my studies.

Never the less, a year is ending and I can honestly say 2012 was a great one for me.

For a start, there was New York. Words can not describe that city where it genuinely feels like anything could be possible. I went with some people I love even though I’ve only known them a short time.

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I went to London with a girl who has become one of my best friends – who has subsequently moved there who I miss when she’s away.

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I have flown on a plane more times than average people such as myself tend to do – sure more of it was within the UK but just look at the views.

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I have spend a blessed amount of time with friends and never been happier than when I am with them.

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So yes, I am looking forward to everything the New Year will bring – but 2012, you were one hell of a year and I’m actually quite sad to see you go.

To be yourself is all that you can do

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For the longest time growing up, we are always told “be yourself”. Now that’s all fine and well and yes, you should be comfortable in your own skin. But what happens when that is taken to the extreme? When you’re so comfortable in your own skin that you’re unwilling to change for anyone? You think to yourself, well this is who I am, love it or leave it, but then find yourself wondering why so many leave it.
Not that when it comes to friends and family I’m a terrible person. I’m just increasingly lazy. I mean, really lazy. And I give up so easily – although I’m not sure if that’s more to do with laziness or just the constant negative reinforcement that anything I do will fail.
For an outlook on life, mine is usually pretty grim. I have a bad habit of always doing the right thing. The responsible thing. Which translates to the boring thing.
I am a pretty boring person, with a lifestyle more suited to someone in their 50′s than 20′s. My mother has a much more active social life than I do. In fact, I barely see my friends. Like at all. I prefer sitting alone in my room doing my own thing because that’s more enjoyable.
And for someone rapidly approaching their 23rd birthday – ie in two days – that’s odd. Like, really odd. I am a loner, but I enjoy it. So I never feel any real effort to change it.
I have friends, but not best friends. I don’t confide anything in anyone. Not about how I used to cut myself when my parents separated. Not about how it started again over the summer. Not about how when the slightest bump in the road happens, I think about doing it again.
I haven’t told anyone how I am genuinely afraid I will spend my life alone. How I am so sick of being the friend to the one the guys want. Every. Fucking. Time. I’m sick of being single, of feeling unwanted, of constantly questioning what it is about me that makes me so attractive, people don’t even give me a second thought.
The last relationship I had was four years ago. Four. That is a crazy long time to go without feeling loved.
And yes, this may just be some sort of poor, white girl problems rant. But they’re still my problems, my emotions, and it doesn’t make them any less significant because of the content.
But for the most part, I just wish I could switch them off. Just for a day. That would be nice.

 

A New Year

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Let me start this off by saying I don’t have much ideas of what this blog will be used for. But I felt it was important – more for myself than anything – to have an outlet over the next year, at least, to be able to have somewhere to rant when the shit hits the fan.

On Monday morning I will be officially taking my first class as a journalism student. There are two things that concern me about this:

Number one: it was a choice between this and television production and I chose journalism as it seems like the more employable – albeit harder – option.

Number two: I’m absolutely terrified about it. The induction I had was quite possibly the most intimidating thing I’ve ever had, which included these two direct quotes,

If you show up to my class without a pen, you will be asked to leave.

And my favourite,

I know it’s custom nowadays do teachers not to mark corrections in red pen, invade it hurts the child’s feelings or sets back their moral. That is not the case here.

I mean, I know that journalism is a tough industry but come on! Way to terrify us in the first 5 minutes.

The worst part is the constant wonder if I have made the right choice or will I have failed out by Christmas.

I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.