Reflections on University

Jeeeez. It’s been a while. The whole of May and now half of June has passed, and while I started a whole bunch of stuff here, it never really got finished. University took over my whole life for most of May, and then I was at home for the bank holiday weekend, and then I started a new summer job this month too. So now I’ve gone from university, an internship, a part-time waitressing job and very little free time to a part-time summer office job, a part-time waitressing job at a restaurant which is currently understaffed and only slightly more free time. But still not much. And most of that free time I’ve had has been spent either playing The Sims or watching Jane the Virgin. Writing has been kind of difficult – but I think I’m over the worst of it, now I’ve not had to write anything.

In between both jobs and The Sims and Jane, I’ve been thinking about my time at university – in particular, was it worth it? Did I make the right choice? How has it impacted my life? What’s changed in the last three years? When I first started thinking about it,  my knee-jerk reaction was a resounding “no.” Honestly? I don’t feel much smarter than I did at eighteen. I’m in a lot more debt, I’ve no real guarantee of a permanent job, I don’t feel any more skilled in my field than I did before and I didn’t feel I’d made all the meaningful bonds people talk about when they talk about their university experiences. Sure, I had friends, but films and television portray unversity as the time where you make so many friends who stay with you for life and, particularly in my second year, I didn’t feel like my experiences matched up to that.

I won’t lie, I was stuck in this mindset for a good few days after finishing the year. It wasn’t until after I’d been home and talked to my mother about finishing university that my mindset changed. My mum had mentioned to me that I’d never have got to spend four months in New York without going to university, which got me thinking: what else have I done that I couldn’t/wouldn’t have done without university?

Obviously, NYC is the one that stands out. But I made so many good friends on that trip, on both sides of the Atlantic, that will (hopefully) be friends for life. I first met my boyfriend when I was out there. I would have never been on a flight alone, much less a long-haul flight. I wouldn’t have had that experience of living in a different country, and everything else that comes with it, and I am grateful to my university for allowing me that experience.

Similarly, university allowed me to get out of my small, seaside hometown and live in the big city by myself. Being able to experience London and all of its offerings as a resident rather than a tourist has been life-changing, and I am forever grateful for that too. Its not common that a single person gets to live in both London and New York before they’re 21, and I’m lucky to be such a person. Big city living aside though, even mundane things like paying rent and bills was a new experience that I wouldn’t have got if I’d stayed living with my parents.

University and distance allowed me to see fully what a piece of shit my emotionally abusive and manipulative ex-boyfriend is. While ultimately I wasn’t the one to cut off contact in the end (something I’m still somewhat salty about), at the point in which all ties were cut, I was looking for any reason. In the aftermath of that, university and the indepence it has afforded me has allowed me to regain some self-esteem and confidence, and a certainty to not let any man treat me so badly again. Such awful treatment for so long as of course left its scars, but without the guilt, both self-imposed as a result of the ruined friendships, and from him for never being good enough, I find it easier to reconcile now than I think I would have in any other position. My only regret is I didn’t have a chance to do this all sooner.

And, yes, even though at first I didn’t think so, I learned a lot during the last three years, both academically and non-academically. I made two short films during my time at uni – a documentary and a comedy-drama. I successfully wrote about gender in action films and the Lego movie as a dystopian film. I researched and pitched a Black Widow film, and very well too! I’ve wrote scripts and worked in content marketing and as a result of studying, having an internship and working part-time all at once, I’m able to compartmentalise and my time management is better (professionally, at least). Even now, my summer job and my trip to Amsterdam in September is all a result of my time at university.

Everything I thought I hadn’t got out of my university experience, I definitely did get and beyond. Mia in 2013 would never have expected to achieve half of what Mia in 2016 has. To be anything other than proud and grateful would feel disingenous. I definitely did make the right choice, and the impact of my university experience is still reaping benefits, for the time being, at least.

I could still do without all that student debt, though.

 

Doing Things and Being and Adult

It has been a while since I’ve actually posted here. I’ve had a bunch of stuff sitting in my drafts that I’ve either really wanted to write and just haven’t had the time, or the idea has been so… meh that just looking at the title of it is kind of disheartening. But here I am! With a post that will mostly be an update on my personal life, with your (slightly irregularly) regularly scheduled rants and reviews in the coming week.

Another reason I’ve not really been around is just that I actually have a life now. I know, I’m just as shocked as you are. My final semester (eeeeek) of university started, and while I did my dissertation (albeit a shorter one) last semester, I’m still crazy busy with uni work – we have been tasked to make a ten minute short film with very little supervision from staff. In groups of three (and in one case, a group of two). So that could get interesting. Every time we think we are done editing the script (which is super cool and written by another girl who was in my screen and script class last semester), something else is pointed out to us that we should consider changing. We are *hopefully* going to look at locations next week though, so onwards and upwards!

I also have an internship now! One of my uni modules this semester is a work placement module and after a lot of applications, cover letters, emails and interviews I started one with a company based in London last week. Most of what I’ve done so far is social media and research, but I’m excited to see how the rest of the placement goes. All experience is good experience if you look at it in the right perspective.

And on top of being in university three days a week and at my internship two days a week, I also just started a new waitressing job! My previous encounter waitressing at a Thai restaurant left me (literally) shaking, crying and having panic attacks about it, and I quit very quickly. This one isn’t so bad though – being paid at least minimum wage and actually being trained has definitely helped. Also not being yelled at for not knowing exactly how that specific restaurant runs on my first day.  This Thai restaurant experience has been exponentially better. For my mental health more than anything else.

valentine's day.png
Valentine’s Day happened too. The American did well.

So that’s pretty much it. Between balancing full-time (ish) education, essentially working two part-time jobs, having a social (ish) life and being in a long-distance relationship that is happy and fulfilling (and also a lot of hard work in terms of communication, thanks time zones), time to sit down and write anything that isn’t to do with any of those things has been rare. Now that I’m finding a balance between the four (five, if you’re counting my relationship) different things happening in my life, it’ll be easier to sit and dedicate time to writing and maybe even sift through the draft titles and decide what is terrible and what is less terrible. Maybe even read a book. Oh god, being an adult is hard and tiring.

Until next time. :*

The awkwardness of first blog posts

If I had a pound for every time I’d tried to start and keep up with a blog, I wouldn’t have needed to take out a student loan. I honestly could have funded my entire university education, including the semester in the US, and I would still have change. Never mind.

I’m going to try and actually follow through this time, though. Maybe a more positive approach is necessary. It’s hard though when you have to write that initial post (well, I guess this one) and you’re not even slightly sure how to begin, Do I introduce myself first? Do I just get stuck in to the actual writing about actual things? Maybe I should Google it! Wait, what, why is this all aimed at businesses? Why does Pinterest insist on the God-awful semi-transparent black square encouraging me to create an account have to appear when I’m trying to find something aimed at my demographic? Should I reactivate Pinterest account? In case you couldn’t tell, it’s all a little overwhelming. And I’m still not entirely sure what I’m doing as I write this. Am I engaging any potential audience? Or just coming off as a scatter-brained millennial who doesn’t have a clue? I’m hoping the former, but expecting the latter.

See, here’s the thing: I’m pretty spectacularly average and I don’t really do much outside of the internet, Netflix and reading. Don’t get me wrong, I do other stuff sometimes, more often than I’m probably giving myself credit for. But I don’t do particularly exciting stuff often. What I do have to offer though, is opinions. So many of them. On a lot of stuff. And that’s probably going to make up most of what I end up writing. My opinions on stuff. And that stuff is probably going to range from current affairs to whatever small thing is slightly inconveniencing me right now. There will no doubt be the occasional life update, too, but only if it’s actually interesting enough. 

The internet is no doubt very saturated with the personal blogs of young people with opinions, but I’m going to try to not let that put me off for the millionth time.