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The Big Bad City

Oh hai there! SJW has gone stateside for a month of travelling, so for the next few weeks I’ll be posting about my adventures… Please try to restrain your jealousy.

Since I last posted my life has been a little bit hectic (hence why I haven’t posted), between interning, dissertation, travelling and (trying) to get prepared for Americaaaa. For a little round up, I went home home to Devon for a while, spent a week in Edinburgh with my Mum and Aunt, interned, went to my Cousin’s wedding, celebrated my friend’s 21st aaaand FINALLY FINISHED UNI!! The last stretch of dissertation felt so looong, with many days being spent in my pjs and surgically attached to my laptop. I have a ‘How to Survive Dissertation’ type post drafted out, which I’ll post once I’m back home. A week later I think it’s finally sunk in that it’s all done and I couldn’t be happier that the stress is all over with; as Papa SJW has said, all that’s left now is to pray.

However, now I’m out in America and life could not feel jazzier. I flew out on Tuesday and my first stop is a week in New York. Doing a standard SJW, I left my packing a little too late… Sorry Mum! But dragging a suitcase nearly as big as me bright and early on the tube was definitely the start of the adventure. I somehow got the job of directing a couple of Romanian women who could barely speak English off the tube to find their train… As you can imagine there were some hilarious scenes of me pointing where to go and them just looking back at me with faces of total dismay. There was definitely a point when I genuinely got worried they would just follow me onto my train to Heathrow… Fingers crossed they made it! Also, big shout out here to the man at Paddington who carried my suitcase down the massive flight of stairs, you da best!

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I somehow got to Heathrow really early, only to find out my flight was delayed by a few hours. BOOOO YOU BA. Also BOO YOU to both of the security people who told me that I look about 16 / asked if I needed my Mum to approve me being searched. Naaat cool.

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After a journey that felt like the longest day of my life, I finally got to be reunited with that friend who moved to New York and all was well in the world.

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The next day we went for brunch, then went on a cable car over to Roosevelt Island, where a woman cycled past me and made my day by telling me she loved my JuJu’s! After that we embarked on a journey to candy heaven; Dylan’s Candy Bar. As a girl who is caps lock KEEN for pick and mix, I had to restrain myself to not spend all my dollars on sweets.

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We then went for a wander to Urban Outfitters, Bloomingdales and Grand Central. Obama obviously heard I was trotting the streets of New York and decided to drive by to say hi. (Yes, that really happened… Okay, he maybe didn’t say hi but we saw his car). #WelcomeToNewYork

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Today is my second day of Americaaa adventures and I headed to MOMA, the museum of modern art, which even stretched my inner culture vulture as the place is so huge. After this I met my friend and as we were walking for lunch we got invited to be in a small audience for a TV interview. I think this makes me allowed to say I’m famous now? With Obama yesterday and TV appearances today, America clearly loves me. We then went for lunch and walked around Times Square. I can hear you’re all dying to know what I’ve been wearing for this big adventure so here’s a snap of my outfit today:

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Jelly Shoes are JuJu’s (£25 from Office), which were a dissertation hand-in day treat, they’re actually so comfy and haven’t rubbed at all (I definitely have nightmares from being a child crying about my jelly shoes destroying my feet); T-shirt is from Reason Clothing; Jeans are New Look; Socks Primark; Shirt Jacket is a freshly purchased bargain which I am so proud of! Cost me $10 in the Urban Outfitters sale yesterday!

The plan for our trip after New York is to head over to the West Coast which I’m mega excited for!

Adios x

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Life in a Feminist Frock

Guess who’s back!? Sorry it’s been a while, it’s safe to say that the final year of university is truly a mountain to climb. I’ve hopefully already had my low point, and right now I’m feeling positive, just stressed and ridiculously busy. I can barely remember anything nor plan beyond the end of a week. I feel like I’ve been living in the library to get my dissertation done, just the other day I got chucked out by the security guard because I was the last person in there. Dedication, hey.

So what’s been going on, I can’t hear you ask? Besides dissertation, I’ve managed to get myself a great internship at the moment, in a Press and Marketing department of a vintage fashion brand, which I’m really enjoying and is a great experience! The thought of getting myself an actual job is however, a slightly more daunting task. I’m in that prime time of being asked what I want to do when I finish university, and no matter when you’re asked what your life-plans are, it’s quite possibly the worst thing to answer in life. Apart from perhaps if you get asked when the baby’s due when you’ve just over-indulged in a good meal. Anyway, I’d like to be able to say I’m going to leave university and start my own business and live happily in London. Unfortunately, I’m not rolling in the dollar. In reality, I hope to go into social media / marketing, perhaps in fashion, perhaps not. See where life takes me. I want to stay in London, but that’s dependant on earning a wage! I’m excited for the change, I’m hoping it’ll be a lot more rewarding than university was.

Don’t worry, it’s not the end of Slapdash! I want to earn some money, plan out where it’s heading and give it my all.

In other news, you might be aware that it was International Women’s Day recently. The more I think about it, the more I realise that I grew up with some sort of feminist influences on me. I’m not talking crazy feminist here, don’t get scared. I just believe in equal rights for women and am pretty independent. I guess it’s a result of some of the women in my family; my Grandma (and previous female generations before her) ran my family’s business and my Mum always told me to be an independent lady. I went to an all-girls grammar school for secondary school and I recently read a great article which summed up how this rids any gender gap in what you’re expected to be good at. (Read it here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/24/19-signs-you-went-to-all-girls-school_n_3914785.html)
All-girls schools mean many things. There was definitely enough drama to turn Mean Girls into a TV series. Any young, male specimen that came within the school boundaries immediately became a God. Anything remotely to do with periods became okay to talk about, no shame. Quite frankly, I’m glad my ugly years were spent in an environment where men didn’t exist. It also means that you grow up with a mind-set that females can do whatever subjects they like. You want to be the president of the world? You go gurrrl. Dragging down those silly gendered stereotypes is something which I believe is really important these days. Not only for women but men too. Why should fashion be seen to be studied by women and engineering by men, for example!?

Feminism shouldn’t be seen as something which evokes images of women running around burning their bras. To me, it’s a really important value of equal rights, independence and choice. Freedom to fulfil the choice and paths you want to take. In the Western world, it shouldn’t still be so that women get paid, on average, less than men for the same role. People should be paid equally and have equal opportunities for promotion no matter their gender (or any other stereotype for that matter). Feminism isn’t about arguing over whether men should hold doors open for you or not.

I also believe that there should be more awareness of the treatment of women in other areas of the world. In so many cultures, women are mistreated and not given the right to simple things like education, solely because they are female. In another article I was reading, it brought up the violence against women. In so many cultures, violence against women, including rape, is seen as acceptable and this shouldn’t be so. Obviously no world will be perfect, but more awareness should be raised to educate and change the perception that women are inferior and that it’s okay to mistreat and violate them in such horrific ways. In particular, female genital mutilation is a subject which really irks me. It’s a horrendous practise with no known medical benefits and generally causes many complications. The thought that it happens to so many women actually disgusts me. Obviously it’s such a difficult subject as from the majority’s point of view, the issue with the practise arises from the physical force used to conduct it on children. However, within the culture, it’s seen as the norm and sadly women don’t have the independence to be able to step away from their circle and hence stop the practise of FGM.

International Women’s Day is about raising awareness of issues like these, just discussing them is important. Sorry about getting a bit deep for a blog post, but hey, equality is important, right!?

Next post is fashion related, I promise it won’t be such a long break!
SJW x

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University Woes.

So I’ve just had a freak out at how fast my deadline is approaching, and decided the best way to calm down would be to write a blog post… that works, right?

I’m in my final year, and this is the first time my work actually counts to my degree so I guess there is added pressure … and I’m trying not to plan on doing an all-nighter the night before deadline for once! I’ve gone straight into my final year of uni, there was an option to take a year out for placement / study abroad, and this time last year I was going through a lot of stress deciding what option to take. I think looking back on it all, I’ve done what’s best for me. I’ve struggled with uni if I’m honest, don’t get me wrong, I love the life and I have definitely had my fair share of fun, but I’ve had my ups and downs with the course (which I’m probably not meant to share quite so publicly), but I think finishing it in three years was the best choice and I’m probably more motivated to finish now than I’ve ever been.

I guess what frustrates me more is meeting people who think that placement is the be all and end all of university life. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great experience, and I’m not badmouthing it in any way. Quick shout out to my friends who are on the other side of the world right now, via snapchat:

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But placement, just like university, is right for some people and not for others. I can feel this turning into a bit of a rant about how there should be more support and options for those people who don’t want to go to university, but it’s also true for those who don’t want to do placement. I want to start a business and my university barely has any resources to help me out; I wasn’t even allowed to incorporate starting Slapdash as part of my placement year. Surely university should be a platform for everyone to explore the path they want to take after university, regardless what path that may be?

On the bright side, I guess I’m just grateful that the prejudice of people who think they know the ‘right’ (and only) path to take just gives me the drive to make it my own way.

Opinionated and ranty SJW, over and out x