Hello my loves! Welcome back to my blog, and welcome if we have not met before! It’s nice to meet you 🙂 You’re in for a chatty post today!
Today I wanted to sit down and have a nice chat and catch up with you all. I have been so busy in the past couple of months working behind the scenes and doing things that I have been meaning to get to for a looooong time. In this blog post I am going to be sharing with you all some of these milestones and little achievements that have kept me occupied!
Get comfy, get yourself a warm beverage – whatever you like , because this is going to be a really chill chat!
If you would have sat me down three years ago and told me that I would be graduating in the midsts of a pandemic that would put the whole world on pause … I don’t think I would be alone in calling your bluff.
Sitting exams and writing assignments whilst everything in the world was tipped upside down and spun round and round was not easy. I’m sure many of us knew somebody suffering with COVID, some of us may have even dealt with it ourselves. Many of us would have faced grief and anxieties, and were still expected to persevere as if nothing was happening at all.
Because of these insane factors, no matter what grade you got, I want you to know that you are inspirational and you should be oh so very proud of yourself. I could not be prouder of every individual who managed to finish their degree in such circumstances.
I studied English literature at university, and officially graduated with a first class honours on the 13th July 2020. Of course, we have not been able to have a formal graduation ceremony as large gatherings are still banned in London.
I received my diploma in the post, and had an online celebration over Zoom… yes, it is everything that it sounds like. Mispronounced names, cringey pre-recorded clips from chancellors and lagging cameras. Whilst it wasn’t perfect, it was a unique experience that I will not forget.
In case anybody is interested, my dissertation was an analysis on how intersectionality complicates Black women’s relationships, as presented in the works of Alice Walker. I looked at several of her most iconic books including: The Color Purple and Meridian, as well as looking into some of my other favourite black authored works such as The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison and Ain’t I a woman? by bell hooks. I absolutely loved what I did for my dissertation, and it remained insightful for me.
Academics aside, these are excellent books that are incredibly educational and useful for anybody attempting to educate themselves on the BLM movement. You can find some more resources to educate yourself in my blog post: #BLACKLIVESMATTER What can I do to make a difference?
If there are any second year students reading this blog post, please make sure that your dissertation is based on something that you are interested in. Believe me, you will thank yourself when you’re 9,500 words in and loosing the will to live.
Once again – congratulations to all graduates! We have been released into the big wide world in the most uncertain of times in regards to the world of employment, and I know this may have triggered a lot of anxiety for many people – I know it has triggered mine.
Do not rush your next decisions. Take your time to decide what is best for you.
The Financial Times have a great series on careers advice dedicated to the classes of 2020 which I really recommend reading. You can find it here. It is more important now than ever before to remain informed on job markets and the financial world.
Whilst I (like most people) have juggled with the idea of several different career options, from an orthodontist to a lawyer to an author, one thing that I was always certain on was my journey with education was not going to be a short one. I knew it would not end after my BA. I do intend to continue studying. I will tell you more about that closer to the time!
👓LASER EYE SURGERY?!👓
I can’t believe I did it…but I did it!
Almost a month ago I had my LASIK surgery!
I know, I know…I didn’t want to chat about it because prior to the surgery I was very nervous, and post surgery, I was obviously healing! I also just feel like sometimes, with things like this it’s just best not to talk about them until they’re done and dusted! Hence why I am ready to chat about it now!
Laser eye surgery is something I have always wanted to do, but I am just such a pussy…I never saw myself doing it anytime soon. That was until I realised I was spending £600 a year on my contact lenses, and even more on my glasses. Those figures were enough to slap me into reality and drag me to my opticians.
In my consultation, they determined I was suitable for the procedure, and within the hour I had agreed on a date and a time for my surgery. They literally had dates for the next day – but I needed a little more time than that. You know, to mentally prepare for what had signed up for.
On the day, they ran several additional tests and the surgery itself took less than five minutes. It was so fast! My surgeon was absolutely lovely, and he kept me distracted with good chat and a stress ball too!
Recovery time was really quick…your cornea typically heals in 24hours, and you only have to take antibiotics (drops) for the first week. I am still taking eye drops to help with dryness because my eyes do get dry sometimes, but they are just Blink drops that you can pick up at any Boots or Superdrug (I used to use them when my hayfever got really bad and irritated my eyes!)
Let’s chat about the questions I know you want to ask:
Before you ask – No. No pain whatsoever! It is an uncomfortable procedure because you are awake and aware of what is going on. But, the surgeon drops anaesthetic into your eyes so you literally cannot feel a thing.
Same thing with the recovery – I experienced no pain whatsoever, just discomfort from dryness and personal awareness!
Pricing. Everybody will have to pay a different amount when it comes to eye surgery. Personally, I have quite a bad prescription and also have astigmatism. This means that my surgery did cost more than the normal person. I would say you should absolutely go to your optician for a free consultation, where you can rule out whether you are eligible for the procedure or not, as well as the price of your procedure determined by your current eye health.
Overall – this was the best decision I have ever made. I am so proud of myself for finding the courage to do something that I have always wanted to do. I am also so grateful for God, my eyes, my surgeon, Optical Express (where I did the procedure) and of course my family – who supported me through the procedure: feeding me when I was half asleep, giving me good chat at 4am and buying me chocolate to make me feel better after I slept for 12 straight hours…
🖌️REDECORATING MY BEDROOM🖌️
I’m sure most people have redecorated at least one area in their homes whilst in lockdown, I mean, how else have we remained sane?
I set myself an assignment after I moved back home from university to sort out my bedroom. I had never taken the time to decorate it before and it generally just looked like a guest room. When I paid a surprise visit back home I discovered that my parents had turned it into a storage room whilst I had been away…that’s when I kick started my action plan.
Although I am still tweaking my bedroom a little bit more, I have done most of the room and I am so happy with it. It is so important to invest in your bedroom, because where else are you spending most of your time during quarantine?
Whilst I was redecorating, IKEA was closed and most of their items were out of stock online, so I resorted to other websites such as Argos and Amazon for my needs. I won’t share my entire room with you all just yet, but I want to share some of my personal highlights!
My focus wall
I have always loved the idea of a focus wall, and it was something that I really wanted to include in my bedroom. I found this dreamy wallpaper on Amazon that I feel really makes my room!
The wallpaper is sold in 52 cm (Width) x 10 Metres (Length) rolls, which was just enough for my small wall. If you have a bigger room, you will absolutely need more than one roll!
This wallpaper is so classy and beautiful. My whole bedroom follows the grey and white theme, and this just reflects it so well! To add to how great this wallpaper is, it’s only £16.99! You can pick it up here.
Another thing that I love in my new room is my headboard! (I guess this is adulting now…getting excited over chatting about headboards.)
I had a really basic black headboard prior to redecorating and I was so eager to get it changed. It’s the little things in your room that make the biggest difference, after all!
This headboard was also from Amazon and only cost me £30 – which is such a cheap price considering most headboards I found were triple the price! I love how it is grey so it ties in with the colours in my room and the crushed velvet material alongside the ‘diamonds’ make it look super luxurious and so much more expensive than it really is. You can pick it up here if you are interested!
Let’s have some book chats.
Back in 2017, just before my first year of university, I was the world biggest book worm. I was also in numerous book clubs, where we would read different books and then meet up to chat about them in coffee shops.
Obviously, as I got busier with university and I had more and more books to read for my classes, my recreational reading went down the drain. So, I made it my personal mission to revive that part of my life now that I have the time to. I spoke more about this in my recent blog post about what I’ve been doing throughout lockdown!
I burnt through so many books throughout lockdown – my list has been successfully demolished. I’ve enjoyed many, hated few…here are some brief rankings for some of the books I have read recently!
- The Loneliest girl in the Universe by Lauren James 5/5
- Has anyone seen my sex life by Kristen Bailey 3/5
- The worst best man by Mia Sosa 5/5
- Grown Ups by Marian Keyes 3/5
- The Hunger games trilogy by Suzanne Collins 5/5
- Letter to my daughter by Maya Angelou 5/5 (amazing!)
- The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood 2/5
- The Wall by John Lancaster 5/5
- Sorry not sorry by Sophie Ranald 5/5
- It’s not you it’s him by Sophia Ranald 5/5
- Take a hint Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert 2/5
- Lord of the flies 3/5
I am currently reading The Shelf by Helly Acton, which I am loving so far! The synopsis is:
“A funny, feminist and all-too-relatable novel about our obsession with coupling up, settling down and the battle we all have with accepting ourselves, The Shelf introduces the freshest new voice in women’s fiction.“
Have you been reading anything new?
Let me know because as I said I’ve ran right through my reading list (this is quite the accomplishment for me – I had been day dreaming about ticking off books from my list all through my uni lectures!) and I definitely need some new reads!
During my third year at university I developed a lot of anxiety that stemmed from emotions relating towards my assignments and grades. I did originally think that the anxiety that I had developed would be short-term, but this is something that I do still deal with post-graduation.
I have made it a personal goal of mine to do at least one thing every day to relieve my mind and to help deliver some tranquility. I know that many people are also struggling with Corona-related anxieties, so I hope that sharing some of these tips may be helpful to you as well.
I mentioned in my #LOCKDOWN: What I’ve been up to and what I’ve learnt blog post that I was, for the very first time, getting into fitness. Largely due to my Fitbit, I have been doing daily exercises for the past couple of months as soon as I wake up in the morning. I don’t know what it is, but after you have produced enough sweat to fill the River Thames, that shower just hits different. I just want to highlight – I HATE WORKING OUT…but it sure does feel really amazing afterwards.
If you are somebody who just cannot work out, I recommend yoga! These are some of my favourite videos to do whenever I am taking a rest day but still want to fish out those endorphins:
Otherwise, Fitbit’s personal training programme has been working a treat for me as well as (please don’t hate me) Chloe Ting’s video’s, which have absolutely been helping me to break a sweat! I don’t know how that tiny girl has so much energy!
Do not underestimate the power of a nice walk outside ft. deep breaths, too. The weather has been so lovely lately, so I have been really enjoying just taking my AirPods, phone and keys, and going for an hours walk. It is incredibly relaxing and so good for clearing the head! Just don’t forget your mask! Stay safe.
👭Keeping up with friends👭
Keeping up with friends has been so helpful in keeping my anxieties at bay. Reconnecting with friends and reaching out to people you have not spoken to in a long time (who are good for you and your energy) could very well provide the uplifting you need.
Having a lovely chat with some friends on a regular basis can be a great distraction from pressing anxieties, but you may also be able to find comfort in confining in people you trust, who may be able to offer varying perspective and some reassurance.
We live in an age of technology, so you do not need to see people to keep up with them! There are so many other ways to speak to people: voice notes, text messages, phone calls, FaceTimes…and that’s not even the tip of the ice berg, is it?
Self-care is totally subjective. Self-care is whatever makes you happy. I know that for me, having a luxurious and steamy shower, face-masking and having smooth legs is what makes me feel calm. You can read more about my full self-care orientated shower routine in my last blog post!
If we do not have the same self-care visions, don’t worry!
Below is a guide that I found on Pintrest, which may be helpful to reference when you are attempting to determine what form of self-care you need to put in to practice to elevate stress.
Here are some more ideas!
That’s pretty much all I have for this instalment of my quarantine chats! I have really enjoyed this chat and I hope you have too! It’s something different. I love that I’ve been able to document some personal achievements that are special to me with you all!
I hope you are finding little ways here and there for your own accomplishments… regardless of their size! Especially since even the smallest tasks seem impossible these days, until you do them that is!
See you soon!