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1 September 2018

Some Thoughts for the New Academic Year

To me, September has always been the month of new beginnings. Ironically, in both of our versions of 'new beginnings', namely September and January, nature doesn't actually mirror this human feeling of change.
"My September has always symbolised change."

In academic terms, however, September is the perfect month for new beginnings, and for myself, this is often more significant than the official New Years. My September has always symbolised change, and for those few years of high school during which I completely fell out of love with the education system, it symbolised a new season of 'trying harder'.

Yet, it has taken me a couple of years, since I left high school, to realise that it is completely okay if your version of learning doesn't match up with that of the education system. Since I have been a child, I have always been a voracious reader, and around the age of ten, I was reading works way beyond that of my 'age range'. This wasn't out of some desire to conform, but instead out of a real passion for literary exploration and the desire to mentally push myself beyond the boundaries. However, by the time I was around fifteen, I was scraping my way through GCSE English and realistically touched about two books within the entire year. I am extremely grateful that, thankfully, this flunk didn't last long, as I definitely lost touch with a part of myself during this time, however, unfortunately for many this flunk doesn't pass until it's too late.

Of course, I'm not trying to suggest that everyone falls out of love with reading, some never will fall in love with it in the first place and for others, it will never leave. Whatever your intellectual curiosity is, I urge you to feed it, not just in a way that conforms with educational standards, but in a way which fuels your soul. I know that it can feel like grades are more important than anything else and yes, it is extremely important to try hard to reach your educational potential, but in reality, there are also so many more important lessons to learn in this life.

Therefore, I beg of you, instead of using this September as the signifier for another year of more educational pressure, instead of balance this with activities that you love and help you to grow. Try and create a passion for your life, rather than just living within the robotic nature of the society that we live in, and ultimately, know that you are enough, in whatever shape or size you come in. Our society will try and label us, but the only label that can truly guide us is the one that we can create for ourselves.

"Individuality is freedom lived." John Dos Passos

30 June 2018

Summer ASOS Purchases



I thought that I'd write a quick post to share some ASOS pieces that I have purchased recently. Not only are we currently experiencing a heatwave in the UK, but in three weeks I go on holiday to Italy. Therefore, recently I have been on the hunt to find some classic summer pieces to integrate into my wardrobe, and of course, my first port of call was ASOS. I'm sure many of these items will also be featured in some outfit posts once I am in Italy, but I am sure many of you will currently be also hunting for some summer items, so hopefully, this post will give you some inspiration.







14 June 2018

Self-Care


The boundary between selfishness and self-care is one that is very often blurred and misinterpreted. This is a problem that I have often encountered, being a complete and utter people pleaser I have always found it incredibly different to say no to people. However, it is important to find the balance between respecting yourself and respecting other people too. There is absolutely nothing wrong with prioritising yourself from time to time, and I think that it is sad that many people are socialised to believe that self-prioritisation is selfish.
Here are three simple actions that can help you to better yourself.

1. Find some alone time
This perhaps seems like a very simple request, but it is remarkable the number of people who simply consider themselves to be too busy to spend any time alone. Just as socialising is important, so is independence and space. It is during these moments of solitude that your brain is really allowed to reflect and contemplate, and this is essential for self-growth. Take a look at your schedule, and try and find a couple of hours a week where you can prioritise yourself- take a bath, bake, read- whatever makes you feel centred and fulfilled. If you don't have this time already, then clear an obligation that you don't feel enthused by, and instead use this time to focus on yourself.

2. Listen to your body
There is a logic behind the phrase 'your body is a temple'. Your body is your powerhouse, it needs fuel, maintenance and respect. I'm not asking you to dive straight into an intense fitness regime, but merely asking you to respect your body. There are, of course, extremely obvious things that you can do such as drinking plenty of water, getting fresh air, engaging in some exercise, but there are also simple ways too. For example, if you're tired, then go to bed or if you're hungry, then eat. Live in sync with your body and listen to its request, don't power ahead despite feeling out of sync.

3. Help others

This may seem contradictory in relation to self-care, but in reality, these actions are interlinked. The important thing is that this action is on your terms, not out of a feeling of guilt. One of the most rewarding feelings is found through volunteer work, which in turn makes you feel much more contented with yourself. By finding time to help others you are also finding time to help yourself. 

13 June 2018

An Update

I never thought that I'd be writing a post like this.  Of course, it is something that nobody ever mentally or physically prepares for, and the odds of it happening are extremely slim. Yet, in typical Amelia style, it has happened to me...
Basically, I haven't sat any of my exams.

If you've been following my blog over the months then you'll know that I have been working myself up to my exams for two years, since beginning college in 2016. Yet, the day before my first A-Level exam I was taken to the hospital for query appendicitis- having been ill for the previous few days. That same Thursday I was taken into surgery for an emergency appendectomy. It is now Wednesday, and I have officially missed all of my exams.

Everything is very up in the air at the moment, I don't know if I will still have my University place. I don't know if I'm reapplying, or deferring. I'm returning to college full-time in February 2019 to sit my exams next summer- so I am still going to gain my qualifications, I just have an 8-month hiatus. It is going to be incredibly difficult going back, I'd closed that chapter in my head, and everyone I've ever known will be at University by then, so I'm literally going to be friendless and completely alone.

However, I'm trying to view this situation from a fatalistic perspective. Ultimately, someone somewhere is trying to tell me something- I'm just trying to figure out what. In a strange way, I feel a sense of relief, I wasn't completely ready to move to University in September,  I was getting a lot of anxiety and for the past month or so I just couldn't mentally process the fact that I was leaving home, it's almost like my gut was telling me that it wasn't going to happen this year.

I need to work out what I'm going to do during this hiatus. Of course, I have things that I'd love to do, but because this situation was really sudden, I hadn't saved or prepared for any of them.  Obviously, I'm going to need to keep the academics ticking over, but ultimately I have no daily routine anymore. My first port of call is going to be getting a job, but who knows when or in what form, but I'm actively looking, although right now, my focus is on recovery.

Other than that, I really want to get involved in some work experience or internships. Thankfully, my dad has a lot of contacts so this has never been something that is in short supply, I've just never had the time to get involved before.

Finally, I want to pour myself into this blog. I have the time, energy and mental capacity now to really put some thought into my posts, so I want to know what you all want to read, please comment or message me and let me know as I am in need of some inspiration.

If you've sat exams this year, I hope that they've gone well for you! If you are or have been in a situation like mine, I would love to hear from you.

I'll be sure to update you all on what my plan is for the foreseeable future, once I know, but for the meantime, I'm focusing on recovery and getting my head around what has happened. I'm going to Italy at the end of July, so until then I'm probably going to get myself back on my feet, hopefully with a job lined up for when I get back.

The unknown is scary, and this is probably the most intimidating situation that I have ever been in, but the unknown can also be liberating. The unknown brings opportunity, so grasp it, and make the most of any situation regardless of how scary it is, as you have no idea of the good that can come from something that appears bad.

26 May 2018

Closing this Chapter

It's one of the most contradictory emotions when you find yourself held between two chapters of your life. You're on the last few pages of your current chapter, yet you still have to wait before the next chapter begins, so you are held in some sort of momentary suspension until your life decides that it is continuing.

That is exactly the position that I am in at the moment, as yesterday I left college. For those of you who aren't from the UK, this is the end of compulsory education at eighteen, and afterwards, you progress into the big, scary world of adulthood in the form of university, an apprenticeship or a job. This is the point in life where you really have to figure out what you want out of your life, and most importantly how you are going to get it. I'd be lying if I said that it wasn't a lot of pressure. I have one week of study leave, two weeks of exams and then I am completely finished. How strange.

Perhaps the strangest feeling of all is that it is two years since I left high school. On the one hand, I feel like a completely different person, yet I still feel as vulnerable as I did when I was sixteen. This has me wondering whether you ever get to the point where you feel completely secure in yourself, or whether you are always going to feel slightly insecure and in need of your parents.

The irony is that by the time that I leave university in three years, at the age of twenty-one, I'll probably again feel completely different to how I do now. This is even scarier to think of as I can't fathom in my innocent, little brain how I could possibly have much more growing to do, but I do, we all do. I guess growing is consistently continuous until we reach the end of our lives and we suddenly don't grow anymore.

It's going to be a long summer, trying to figure out what I want to do with my life whilst soaking up the last few months of living at home full-time. I'd be lying if I said that the future didn't terrify me, but embracing the fear feels like a necessary evil to progress to the type of person that I want to be. Essentially, I know that if I don't leave home now then I never will.

However, I'm very excited to resurrect this blog over the summer. I have so much built up creative energy that essay writing simply can't unleash, thus it is extremely cathartic for me to be able to express my emotions in the form of a blog post. I'm also hoping to explore some different interests of mine within this blog, as I am fully aware that as of now it is simply a relaying of my random thoughts with a few random photographs. I am determined to build this platform into something helpful for all of you.

Let's see where this crazy journey of life takes us.
Amelia Hope © . Design by FCD.