Five things I’ve learned from full-time work: I never have time to wash my hair

adult-50-s-waitress-betty-lou-3Hello to anyone reading this, I am very (x100) sorry that this blog post is so very (60,000) late. The reason is, well who I am as a person mostly.  But also, (ooo cheeky *but* to start a sentence, controversial), also, because I now have a full-time, adult as F, tax-paying, job. I  bagged a job at a popular American restaurant chain, as a waitress which is what I will be doing for the foreseeable. The job itself is pretty perfect for me at the moment, but that’s another story. However what is not perfect is the transition from the dreamy summer that never ever ended to the full-time work malarky. Let’s jump right into the list of things I’ve learned because really what I should be doing is washing my friggin’ hair.

1.) MONEY. This is, of course, the most obvious one. This isn’t the little league world of funding weekend tom-foolery and meal deals/transport to my place of education. Oh no, this is the majors, we can now buy clothes and dinners and stuff. I have learned that this is good.

2.) BEING EMERGENCY TAXED IS NOT OKAY. So I’d heard the rumours, the whispers and the ghost stories from friends who worked, but I had no idea what it felt like to be emergency taxed. There’s nothing like looking at your first pay -dreaming of ordering Chinese food and spending large quantities of money on PLT clothes even though you swear every single time you’ll never do it ever again ’cause the quality is so so bad but god-damn-it Maya Jama and the girls on insta looks so very good- ONLY TO SEE you have been robbed by the MAN. Yes, he’s stuffed his big sweaty hands and rummaged around in your pay packet and is probably using the money you earned to crush dreams and fund the production of plastic straws. You will get the money back, all you have to do is spend a sacred day off on the phone to the tax office. Hot tip: use a landline, don’t do what I did and give the MAN an extra £3 for the phone call on your mobile just to get your own money back.

3.) SAY GOODBYE TO EVERYONE YOU LOVE. Okay, this is a tad dramatic, however, it is still true. At 21, everyone is at different stages, some people have steady 9-5s and so are available in the evenings they are not tired and the weekends. Some people do shift work like me where they’re available at completely different times of the day and it changes every single week. Some people are still in education and some people (you brave, brave souls) are in education AND work. This means your schedules will never ever align, say hello to yourself, you’re about to get really really well acquainted. This means you get to watch other people make plans in group inboxes and see pics of events you missed out on, all whilst missing your significant other and hoping they recognise you. The only solace is everyone else is in the same boat at some point.

4.) TIME OFF IS PRECIOUS part 1. Welcome to time off. You finally have a day, a precious 24 hours where work isn’t a thing. Congratulations, you now get to spend some of it doing all the stuff you didn’t have time to do whilst working. This includes answering any emails, cleaning your home/room, doing laundry, shopping, and the dreaded washing of the hair. Once you’ve done all that if you’re not already exhausted, you can see any loved ones who aren’t grinding their own metaphorical stone.

5.) TIME OFF IS PRECIOUS part 2. This only applies to those of you like me, who don’t see themselves pursuing their “day jobs” for the rest of their lives. You’ll probably want to write/study/film/draw/get-better-at-gaming-before-you-enter-that-tournament-in-Sweden-and-show-everyone-gaming-is-a-real-job-suck it Uncle Steve-, in your spare time in order to pursue your dreams. Good luck motivating yourself to this stuff when all you want to do is curl up, watch Netflix and not wash your hair. The only solace in this is that you realise how much you want it. I suppose realising you don’t want it would suck a lot so I’m sorry if you just realised this. For me, I have finally decided to take writing seriously and so will be updating this blog weekly from now until I die (I promise).

That’s all for now,

Celeste x

(The picture used here is not mine, but that would be great wouldn’t it if it was shot of me in work).

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Mental Health and I. Happiness is an inside job

 

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Hello to anyone reading, sorry I haven’t posted in a while. A lot has been happening in my life, both good and bad. This post was supposed to be about tips for uni, however, in light of world mental health day and recent events in my own life I feel there are more important things to write about.

I am not qualified in any way to talk about mental health but I will say this;  from what I have seen mental health issues (and we’ve all had them in some capacity) can sometimes hang over people’s heads like little rain clouds and sometimes they are violent storms keeping people locked within the confines of their own homes and sometimes they are but a single white cloud on an otherwise perfect Summer’s day.

What I have realised (and call me selfish, but I have to be honest) is that sometimes when in my life there is but one cloud the storm in someone else’s life will rain on my own head and I know its incredibly important to be considerate but I think we can all admit sometimes it would be easier to just keep our eyes and minds on our own clouds. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be there for one another, after all, it is nice to be important but it is important to be nice, but as individuals, this can sometimes weigh heavy. I think it should be okay to say that.

Personally, I try my best to stay positive in most situations. Maybe if you asked my boyfriend he’d say this wasn’t true as he has seen me cry sometimes over the most trivial things (like having to use excel for a uni assignment when I don’t speak computer), but in general, I do try. I am only speaking for myself here of course and I’m not saying everyone should share this opinion, but my happiness is, unfortunately, no-ones responsibility but my own. And so, here are the things I think about to keep myself ranging from “okay” to “happy” on crappy cloudy days.

1.) My time here is limited whether I am happy or not. Okay, this doesn’t sound so positive. But think about it, whether I’m sad or happy or pretending to be happy or just appreciating that whether I’m happy or not birds still sing and the sun still shines, the day is going to come and go. I try not to waste it on things I cannot change. After all, whether I have a good day or a bad day, a good life or a bad one, at the end of the day, it’s night.

2.) I understand that everything is relative, sometimes mountains are mountains and sometimes mole-hills are mountains and sometimes mountains can be made into mole-hills. (LOL what). But I do always try to consider those in worse positions than mine.

3.) People, for the most part, are good. I try to appreciate the people around me, I may not have the typical family dynamic but I do have amazing family members, my boyfriend, and friends. I try to remember this when it all seems a bit bleak.

4.) I’ve got the rest of my life ahead of me, and if something is getting me down at that moment I just think about all the brilliant things I might do and see one day (fingers crossed). Really think about it please, in a year or five you could be somewhere ten times better doing something ten times better.

5.) When you think about how ridiculous it is that we’re here on a dizzy planet spinning around a big lamp in the middle of the dark and that we use plants to breathe but then we cut them down to send Argos catalogs and council tax letters you realise nothing is that deep. You might as well just get on with it and laugh.

6.) “For billions of year since the outset of time, every single one of your ancestors survived, every single person on your mum and dad’s side successfully looked after and passed onto you life, what are the chances of that like? It comes to me once in a while” The streets, edge of a cliff. These are just lyrics lool but it is something to think about.

7.) If it gets really bad just watch funny Instagram videos. Why does this help? I don’t know but how can you be sad when you’re watching Donald Trump get about with the Mr. Bean track playing in the background.

8.) If nothing works have a big old cry. wack on the Fray and wallow for a bit. Maybe make a cup of tea when you’re done, it will be okay.

(I am not suggesting these are effective methods if you suffer from severe mental health issues, seek help if you feel it necessary, these are for the trivial every day s$*t shows.)

That is all for now, and remember, be nice to everyone including yourself. These are trying times.

Celeste x

(The picture used isn’t mine but I wish it was)

My first week of uni: Nothing like 22 jump street 2/10

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Hello! Considering this is the first week of university for a lot of people, I thought for my blog this week I would relive the first week of my own experience.

Dissilusion and disappointment. Those are the words I’d use to describe it. Maybe it’s my own fault, I had exposed myself too much to the media’s portrayal of uni life. I really thought I was going to turn up, make 27 new friends, part every night until sun-up and still ace every test. I was thinking Fresh Meat, I was thinking of that one party in 22 jumpstreet where the girl who had been up all night talking and spent her downtime drinking wine and listening to slam-poetry says “yikes its 8am I have a class to get to” and toddles off fresh as a daisy.

Living at home had placed me at a disadvantage I hadn’t really considered, I had stayed at home because I don’t like mess or when people touch my stuff which sounds crazy I know. I didn’t realize however, this meant I had no-one to go to Freshers week with, as no-one I knew well went to my uni, and so I chickened out of all the welcome tours deciding I would become a social butterfly the first week of class instead.

So opting out of all the bar-crawls and city tours, the first actual university experience I had was the infamous “Sustainability challenge”. The aim of the challenge was to mix students from different subjects together so that they could mingle and “relax” under the guise of “creating a cleaner way to live” in small groups. I stupidly bought this premise and turned up to make my new friends. (I must say here that I did have friends besides, they just didn’t go to my uni).

Now I don’t know if everyone who did the sustainability challenge had the same experience as me but I can only share mine, these kids were ODT. (on dis ting). Most of the people in my group were doing science or business and so really did know about sustainability and really didn’t care about making friends, people were throwing numbers and doing equations whilst I sat cowered at our table with a whiteboard pen and an A3 piece of paper like “I know words guys lol plastic is bad for the planet”.  By the end of the challenge, I knew no one’s name, all I had gained was the knowledge that I did not understand the planet very well.

The rest of the week/month kind of went the same, I had made one friend in one seminar but other than that I felt that everyone else had 10,000 friends and I was on my own. In seminars, there were small groups of people and everyone else seemed completely content in being alone, hunching over their phones and laptops, not daring to look up.

I only learned in 3rd year when I was thrown into a huge group project that everyone else felt the same on our course, apparently, it wasn’t the most sociable and so the people who seemed to me like they knew everybody had probably lived with someone who knew someone who’d been at a party with someone’s cat.

I also felt like I was drowning in the work almost immediately. I remember my academic advisor asking us if we liked our topic in college and when we said yes he laughed and said: “well this will be nothing like that”. I learned the lesson here to research your chosen topic before you apply to uni for it, but there you go.

What made the whole experience stranger was I would go on nights out with my friends from high school/college and I would see all the other “freshers” who seemed to be having the best times of their lives and although I had the advantage of knowing where to eat and not get food poisoning in the city I was still, well, jealous.

This is not a bleak and pessimistic post, okay so by the end of the first week I kind of felt like Cady from mean girls when the Janitor from Scrubs asked her how school went and she cried. It got better, I did make good friends that I still speak to every day and (almost) understood my topic by the end of three years. This is just for anyone who feels like their first week did not go as amazingly Fresh meat like as they wanted it to. It can get better. I’m in the process of getting together a list of tricks and tips to help new students settle in quicker and easier than I did, so look out for my next post.

 

Thanks for reading and if you just started uni good luck! x

Celeste

(This image is not mine but it would be cool if it was).

Adulthood: An honest review

 

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Hello to anyone reading this. I am writing on a bleak and rainy Sunday and to be honest I feel as though this is pathetic fallacy of my mood. I haven’t written in a while because I was on a dream holiday in Tunisia with my boyfriend but as soon as I was home I was hit with reality.

I still do not have a job, my Uncle told me this is because I want the right one and not the first one that comes along. His optimism is encouraging but really it’s not just the job that has gotten me all cranky. Since graduation, I have been ignoring the metaphorical elephant in the room that is my head. You go to high school and then if you’re like me you blindly follow the rules you set yourself as a child and move straight onto college and University because it is the right and sensible thing to do. (This does not concern you brave and inspiring people that already have a good job at 16 or are now doing your Masters, just do you you’re smashing it).

BUT THEN WHAT.

I know what I want to do in life do not get me wrong and I know I will get there. It’s just that not having an instruction list for “the rest of your life now you’ve finished education (and you thought that was the hard part lol you big silly goose)” is actually starting to make whatever the opposite of claustrophobic is,  in that I have been allotted an approximate of 80 years on Earth and now have to organize the next 60 perfectly all by myself. When do I move out? When do I learn what a 401k means in America? When do I open up a second savings account? When do my feet magically become used to heels?

See all these questions are scary so I consulted my grandma about adulthood or as it was recently referred to as the “the abyss” in one of my fave tv shows “Atypical” (this is I believe is the perfect description). She said that you never actually feel like a grown up, that you just pretend and then one day you look in the mirror and you have aged. This all seems pretty pessimistic and so I have compiled a list of the pros and cons of adulthood to get a more balanced look.

Pro- You can eat whatever you want.

Con- You can eat whatever you want, this means you are now in charge of your weight, fitness and bank account every time you go out to eat or peruse the supermarket for snacks, good luck.

Pro- If you are that way inclined, you can now drink alcohol.

Con- You are now in charge of your liver, finding out and sticking within whatever your “safe zone” is. I just made this zone up but I believe this is somewhere in between feeling comfortable enough to sing ABBA and/or rap the full fresh prince of Bel-Air theme tune and then being able to go home and sleep soundly after a maccies- and- rolling around on a deflated bouncy castle singing ” I am so drunk ssssh” at a family bbq before being sick several times into your bedroom bin. (Admittedly I was 17 and had just been introduced to fruit cider).

 

Pro- It’s not just food- you can buy anything you want and can afford.

Con- You can just about live if you walk to work and back and don’t interact with anyone socially for the rest of the month, but at least you have two new pairs of trainers.

Pro- You can stay out as late as you want.

Con- I must confess I think it’s the special kind of extroverted introvert like me who sees this as a con, but wow is it hard to think of an excuse to leave the party when you can’t say “(insert parent/guardian) said I have to be home by (time)”. Apparently, “I love being here but I love my bed and Netflix more and this was fun for a few hours but I genuinely don’t understand how you all make it past 3am it is both incredible and terrifying to me, plus my feet hurt” is not socially acceptable.

Pro- You have a better understanding of the world (supposedly)

Con- The state of the world makes you angry.

Pro- At least college/sixth form/ “High School” if you are American  is over.

Con- There is no con for this period in time was awful, I have only ever met one person who liked college. If you want to know what purgatory feels like go to college. (Sorry if you are about to start college).

That is all for now,

Celeste x

(The picture used is clearly not mine, it is a stock photo that appeared when I googled “stock photo of adults HAHAHAHA. Honestly, there’s one right next to it of a man in a suit doing the thumbs up, so I guess it’s up to you which kind of adult you are).

STORYTIME: The time I sassed a mature student for stealing my computer space

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I am not an idiot, I understand that computer spaces, like sun loungers, cannot actually be “dibbsed” by throwing your stuff at them and wandering off. However, I also believe if you get there to shotgun early enough and make it back quick enough it is your right to “dibbs” that thing.

Let me take you back in time, its somewhere in the 3rd year of my English Language BA(Hons) course, I am extremely stressed. I live about an hours commute from University and thus I have raced in at approximately 8:30am to bag a computer space in one of my University’s computer clusters. I work for about an hour and then strategically place my folder, planner and some random notes around the computer whilst leaving all my work tabs open before dashing off to grab a sandwich and go to one seminar which lasts around 50 minutes.

This was a routine I had gotten into and never had a problem with before, I like to think of myself as one of the good guys when it comes to computer shotgunning. I didn’t take liberties, I only left my seat to grab food or go to lecture/seminars lasting no more than 2 hours. I’m not one of those ridiculous, hate-filled, empty-brained nincompoops who shotgun a computer and then walk around for 5 hours, attend 7 classes, and only come back to complete a buzzfeed quiz and leave.

AND YET!.

When I returned to the computer cluster it had filled up, there were no empty spaces and for a second I couldn’t find where I had left my personal belongings until I noticed my folder and notes piled up on the computer tower of the computer I had been sat at. And to my horror, my absolute terror, was a woman of about 50+ sat at my desk. (My horror wasn’t about her ages, it makes more sense later). So, at first I just walk straight past my desk, I am losing my cool, the cluster is completely packed, I am embarrassed and really really angry (I LEFT MY TABS OPEN FOR GOD’S SAKE HAD THE WORLD GONE MAD?!). I felt as though I had been violated. I sit in another closed off computer bit, and text my uni groupchat. What’s going through my head at that moment? Well I am incredibly humiliated, ridiculously rageful, ready to go mental, however, I have this built-in, came-with-the-phone-cannot-be-deleted, respect for my elders and so I don’t think I have it in me to go off on this woman. Also, the ensemble of mixed emotions have brought me close to tears, I’m not really sad just incredibly overwhelmed.

I stormed back to the computer tower and grabbed my stuff, “Did you close all my tabs without saving my work?” I say as cooly as I can possibly muster, there is a hush of silence in the block of computers, the other students know it’s about to go down. I feel like I’m starting a bar brawl only it’s with Pam from Gavin and Stacey.

“Oh I’m so sorry, I asked the girl next to me and she said no one had been here for ages” The woman says in a lovely little lady voice, but I am not fooled, I know her type, her age comes with a sense of entitlement that allows her to shout at retail staff when she’s had to wait longer than 72 seconds. AND yet the respect dulls my anger.

“I was gone for one hour, I just can’t believe you closed my tabs, I could have had lots of work saved, do you know how stressful it is when you’ve got 10 things due and then someone does that and doesn’t even save your work?! How rude” I’ve got her here.

” Oh my gosh I’m so sorry. Had you done a lot of work?” She quips. Well this woman had obviously noted when she was crossing off my tabs and thus spitting all over my dreams, that I had only drawn up a plan for an essay so far. What a c*w.

“I could have done. Do you know there’s another cluster right round there you didn’t need to move my stuff at all?”

She’s not looking at me now, she’s dropped the act, I can see her savagery shining through her M&S cashmere sweater. It’s a dog-eat-dog world in this computer room and she’s the Rottweiler to my Shih Tzu.

“Oh okay well sorry” She says typing away on MY computer.

What was my comeback?

“Well, well done, I hope you’re very proud of yourself”. I have never felt such equal embarrassment and pride in my entire life, I was both sophisticatedly graceful and ridiculously mortified. I would pay £399 to see the faces of the people around us in the cluster, I had however already stormed away clutching my work with as much dignity as I could muster.

And that is the story of how I (tried to) sass a mature student. There about a million more equally embarrassing stories from the very same cluster. My other favourite was when it was particularly busy and just as I was about to make it to the last empty slot, a guy ran in front of me, jumped into the seat and turned around smiling sweetly, before saying sorry. I only hope his deadline was due before mine.

That’s all for today though folks,

Celeste  x

Disclaimer: The picture used in this post is not mine

The day I had a job for 2 whole hours

Okay so, picture the scene, its Friday the 17th, Piccadilly station, I have just legged it for five whole minutes through the middle of town. I’m hot, sweaty, about to miss my train, a minute from bumping into the person who interviewed me for a job I didn’t get and I am completely unaware that two of the buttons of my blouse popped open during my panic.

I don’t know why these ridiculous things seem to happen to me, all I know if ever a real person has gone through half the shenanigans Bridget Jones went through, it’s me. I am Bridget Jones only without the apartment and the cool job.

What had me in this state? A job interview of course. Usually, I love being early but of course, that wasn’t to be. A while ago I applied for a job working for a children’s charity (the job would be mostly canvasing at events). I got the call about the interview, was, of course, elated and didn’t even mind about having to travel to Warrington to take the actual interview. After I lived through one of the most embarrassing experiences of my life in the train station I  rang the interviewer and begged to move my interview back half an hour. I calmed myself down on the train (It was here a whole half an hour after my little run that I realised I was missing buttons, good thing I was wearing a bra, can you imagine the relief the guy who didn’t give me a job felt when he saw me in that state?).

Once I got to the interview everything ran quite smoothly, I answered all the questions well, got on with the interviewer and she even told me at the end of the interview that I had the job. Brilliant. There was, of course, a catch.

The job I had applied for was close to my house, however, I was told that the job was not open yet and that for now, I would be moving around venues hours from my home. At first, I didn’t really hear this, I was happy everything was going well and the money was great, so what if I would be taking 2 trams and a bus there and back through the winter months?! I could easily stick it through that and soon have enough money for my own car right?! Easy-peasy-employment-squeezy.

I came home in a happy trance realising I’d finally made it as an adult. It took about 5 minutes after I sat down and made a cuppa for my grandma to remind me of my last job traveling around (as an English tutor) and how that winter I spent every evening trudging around soaking wet with my frozen hand stuck out in front of me displaying google maps, jumping from bus to tram to submarine just to make an honest buck.

And so that is how I had a job for 2 whole hours last Friday. My advice to anyone in similar positions?. Do not do what I did and be sucked in at a job interview, remember to think about how the job would work in your actual life. Also, and this is a big one, learn how to drive early. This is becoming a nuisance with job applications, some of the best jobs are far away and in theory, I could possibly afford a car now, however I have still yet to learn and now it has become something I am afraid of (along with a multitude of other things including dirty cutlery at Nandos).

The current situation is I am waiting for closing dates for some jobs I applied for in schools however they are the holy grail within the pre-PGCE, just-graduated community and so my hopes are not UP.

Wish me luck as per, and if you ever see a girl running through town and her blouse is a bit open, maybe tell her, because it’s the right thing to do and I can’t believe no one (including the girl who helped me print my train tickets on the new machines and the guy from the other interview who said hello and asked how I was) told me.

Celeste x

 

 

Do Fishes in ponds equate their size and living space to success? Why not getting my dream job might be character building.

Okay so, somewhere in second year it became apparent to me that I needed some time away from education before I took the plunge and started the teaching course I want to do. This decision was due to (amongst other reasons)  the fact that uni kept making me cry and I realised if I didn’t have a break I may soon lose it altogether and you’d see me wandering into the sunset with a knapsack,  a dollar, and a dream.

The amazing idea was to finish uni (somehow), get my degree, take some time out and then return to the world of Student loans, get my teaching qualifications, become a teacher, write a book, save inner-city children from being undervalued in society and eventually become a millionaire before buying a huge house, having  a million children with the love of my life. Bosting.

I did not realise that this “break” would bring about it’s own world of anxiety. Of course, I knew I had to get a job, it is inevitable. Having worked before as a kitchen porter, a sandwich artiste (yes really) and an English tutor I am no stranger to hard work. I have applied for numerous jobs, waitressing, teaching assistant and a countless number of retail jobs. So far I have had no luck. (Contrary to what I’ve just said- one day I decided I would go full adult and work in an office and so I applied for lots of recruitment jobs and I learned that they bloody love new graduates. I then decided I can’t go full adult after all just yet and so now I am awkwardly dodging about a million calls of companies that want to interview me, so if you feel like going full adult, google recruitment jobs!).

There was one job however that I really really wanted, I won’t specify companies however the job role would be to go around schools and try to sell the school trip of a lifetime for only £50 to a room full of bored teenagers during their assembly. It was my dream, I would get to practice my presentation skills, build my confidence and work in the sort-of field I wanted to without the stress. I spent ages on my application, was shortlisted, and finally made it to stage two of the interview process. I would like to interject here that stage one was a group assessment something I had never encountered before and if you haven’t yet either good luck because I have never encountered such excruciatingly socially awkward situations in my life. The aim is to group you up and let you discuss a task together whilst the assessor walks around and tries to hear your ideas.

So, of course, you awkwardly try to master the art of being assertive and co-operative and polite and professional and enthusiastic and bubbly and the bloody best they’d ever seen whilst also assessing your competition and smiling in their faces whilst you pray to God and Santa that they don’t get the job. I only survived the whole ordeal by pretending I was on the apprentice.

After that was an individual interview made up of a presentation and interview questions. Long story short I stumbled on one of the questions and as we were all “strong candidates” they had to be pedantic and I did not get the job.

Well that was a shock to the system like I have never known before. When I was in high school our head of year would say that we might be big fish in a small pond now however one day we will be out in the ocean. I never really knew what he meant and it’s not that I haven’t failed in things before (because believe me I have) but I felt as if I had been dumped. The rejection. The embarrassment. The excruciating moment when they ask you over the phone if you would like feedback on the interview and you want to shout “NO GO AWAY YOU’RE TACKY AND I HATE YOU!” but you have to politely say “yes please, that would be great”. Just wow. I’m not ashamed to say I cried after I found out I didn’t get the job. I didn’t know why I was crying, but it felt like I had lost something and that I was useless and that basically, I was the most futile being on the planet.

It eventually dawned on me that I had to get over it and find another job and that my life isn’t actually a Bridget Jones style movie where I put on make-up and nod at myself in the mirror whilst an empowering girl-band plays in the background before I ace the interview, get the job and basically be brilliant. This is real and going up against other real people is hard, they might be older than you, or younger and yet still better or more clever or they’ve worked for longer or can present themselves better. Ouch.

I have learned however that it is not okay to cry-eat a whole packet of custard creams because of a phone call with a stranger and that I have probably built my character by accepting rejection, assessing my approach and once again presenting myself to the world as an employee.

Thanks for reading,

Celeste x