Okay, I’m firstly going to start off this post by saying how the hell are we a quarter of the way through the year?! Time really flies when you’re constantly distracted by mental breakdowns and procrastination (not a great combination, by the way).
Anyway, at the end of last yearI shared my goals for 2019 with you guys, so I thought it would be a nice little habit to get into to share how those goals are going every so often.
1. Immerse myself into blogging
I hate to gloat, but I think I’ve done pretty bloody good with this goal so far. I’ve kept to my regular blogging schedule, been to a couple of blogging events and I’m working on interacting more and more on my social media (still working on finding that perfect spot with Insta, but I’m trying). Blogging is probably my favourite thing in the world (besides The Office) and since the start of this year I’ve made some incredible friends through it, so this goal is going very well. I can’t wait to see where blogging can take me later in the year!
2. Sleep more/better
I was actually pretty worried about this one, considering my sleeping pattern literally disappeared in 2018, but I’ve been doing relatively good with my sleeping. I get up at the same time every day and I’ve set myself some ‘time targets’ for getting into bed and turning off technology etc. I do sometimes still get days where I can’t get to sleep until late, but on the whole my sleeping has definitely improved.
4. Learn to budget
My next goal of learning to budget is going about as well as you can expect it to go for a fresher. The problem is I’m a serial snacker. Everything else in my budget is fine, but I just have to go to Tesco and buy a load of snacks every so often because I’ve bloody eaten them all. I’d like to say I’m going to work on this, but let’s not kid ourselves. My snacking habits are going nowhere.
5. Stop putting things off
And finally, probably my biggest (and broadest) goal was to stop putting things off. Well, I’ve (successfully) applied to become a student mentor, applied to study abroad, been to two blogging events on my own and done a few other things that have pushed me out of my comfort zone. I can definitely give myself a pat on the back for those things, but I’ve also pulled out of a few things because of my anxiety and I do still put a lot of things off if I’m having a bad brain day. For now, I’m going to be making small steps and not focus too much on when I do put something off.
There you are, all up to date with how I'm doing with my goals for the year. I'm going to try and do these sorts of posts once every three months, so keep your eyes peeled! How are you doing with your goals for 2019?
In terms of money, being a student is shit. My student loan doesn’t even cover my rent and when I started university I found myself scrounging for pennies at the end of each month. I know it’s obviously going to be difficult to begin with because, for most people, it’s the first time you’re budgeting for your entire existence. Here’s the thing though, it doesn’t have to be so tough! Here are some nice little ways of saving money when you need it most.
Download savings apps
For this I use an app called Monzo, but I know there are lots of different apps around. With Monzo, you can set up a ‘savings’ pot where you can have a setting on that puts at least a pound into the pot every day and every time you spend the price is rounded up and the leftover change is put into savings. It sounds straightforward and that’s because it is! I haven’t really noticed the money missing and in January alone I saved around £130. Like I said, you really won’t notice the money is gone and it makes saving much easier! With Monzo you can also budget how much you want to spend on certain things (eg travel and groceries) and you get a notification on your phone every time you spend.
Doing my general, weekly shopping online (toiletries and groceries) has literally transformed the way I buy. Doing your weekly shop online means that you can search for the items you want and you have the option to buy cheaper versions or see offers, instead of being limited to whatever’s in the shop. Shopping online also prevents you from bimbling around the supermarket and picking up things you really don’t need, like a £4 mug with cats all over it (okay, how could I have left the shop without it?!). Buying fresh food from markets will also help you save cash, if you can get to one.
Okay, so I know I’m talking about saving money but hear me out. If there are things that you buy regularly, especially toiletries, and you see the item on offer…buy a load of it. I do this with toothpaste and mouthwash a lot when they’re on offer for £1 instead of something insane like £2.50 – think of how much you’re saving in the long run! As long as it won’t go off anytime soon and you definitely need it or use it regularly, then buy it in bulk when it’s cheaper.
There are some basic tips to help you save as a student, obviously if you're on a low budget this will help out too! I haven't noticed changes to my day to day living but my bank account is much happier for these changes. Do you have any other saving hacks you'd recommend? Let me know!
Waaaay back in November, when I actually had money and was spending too much time mooching around Cardiff in an attempt to avoid essays and revision, I headed into Waterstone’s and bought too many books. One of those books was Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge. As a white person who has never faced any race-related battle (and probably never will), I knew I had to pick this up. It was definitely worth the read! It's pretty fitting to chat to you about this book this week, as I've just finished writing an essay about racism in journalism so I'm allll over the subject.
The book starts off with a brief history of black people in the UK. I can remember once questioning why my GCSE history course contained one female and the rest of the course was dictated by white males, but I honestly didn’t realise how little I knew about black history in my own country. I actually didn’t know much (barely anything, in fact) about slavery in the UK…can you believe that?! So, there’s me being called out for my ignorance within the first few pages. I really appreciated the first chapter giving a briefing on black history in the UK because it makes it much easier to navigate the next few chapters.
The book discusses how corrupt the system is and I found the “Fear of a Black Planet” chapter particularly interesting. For example, a fully qualified black man (I’m talking degree level qualified) has as much chance of getting a job as an unqualified white male. I really don’t think I can explain how horrifying some of the stats were.
I also enjoyed a chapter named “The Feminism Question”, which actually reflected on something I’ve been pondering for a while. Why are feminists all for ‘women supporting women’ until it’s a black woman who needs that support? Reni chats about an interview she had with a woman in this chapter who clearly was not about supporting all women and it’s truly inspiring to read about her resilience.
I think what made Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race so impactful to me was that we are living in this moment. Reni talks about the past, definitely, but she also talks about present issues such as the case of Stephen Lawrence and the casual racism that, on the whole, British society has allowed in. I have always been aware of my own white privilege and I’ve always tried to speak up about topics that I feel strongly about and can use my voice for, equality and racism being two of them, but after reading this book I was insanely inspired to speak out about more things that I disagree with; with that said, please feel free to call me out if you ever think I’m being ignorant.
This post contains affiliate links.
Disclaimer: I have collaborated with Hunkemoller for this blog post, however all words and opinions are my own.
Okay, that title is a lie. Things do look good on me, but that thought runs through my head more times in a day than I’d like to admit. As a female who doesn’t fit the most popular beauty norms, I am definitely not as kind about my body as I should be sometimes.
I have big boobs, big hips and a big bum. Of course, I have a lil’ tum too, but I’m learning to love that. When I wear relatively fitted clothing, my body doesn’t look too bad. But the thing is, I hate wearing fitted clothes. Baggy t-shirts are my comfort dream, but looking like a shapeless marshmallow is not my ideal. It doesn’t help that I put on and lose weight extremely quickly, thanks to my PCOS. If I have a few days of bad eating, I can definitely notice it. Don’t even start me on how bad I look when I start my period. My stomach is honestly like a rock.
Finding clothes that look good on your body and also allow you to feel comfortable and confident is something that I came to terms with sometime last year. I now know that I will never step foot in a Topshop dressing room without wanting to cry, because they make their clothes for women who don’t carry a pair of DDs on their chest. Don’t even start me on buying trousers and jeans, unfortunately Fashion Nova are the only place I can buy a pair of trousers from that can get around my booty and hips and still accentuate my waist – and I really don’t want to support fast fashion.
Have I also mentioned I’m 5’8”? So just to tot everything up for you; I have to shop in tall sections, big busted ranges and sometimes plus size sections so that I can squeeze my hips and backside into a skirt. ASOS have recently created a line for those of us with bigger busts, and the incredible brand Hunkemoller have swimwear and lingerie to suit any body type. They so kindly sent me a bikini from their DD+ section, and let me tell you that it fits like a dream. No more feeling shit for having to pick up an XL bikini just to fit the girls in and then tying it ridiculously tight around my back, or grabbing a pair of bottoms in a size up so my bum isn’t on full show, but then the front of the bikini goes all wrinkled and weird (girls, you know the deal).