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#Overshare

I wrote this post ages ago, but the subject recently came up when I was chatting in work and the lols of it all reminded me to actually post it. So here goes…

I have to admit it, I love social media. I mean it goes with wanting to work in social media, right? However, I just don’t understand some people’s lack of awareness for overshare. It’s like we invented all these great communication tools and we just haven’t developed the social awareness of how to actually communicate on them.

There’s many forms of overshare; some which are forgivable and some which I genuinely have no time for:

  1. Those people who constantly give us updates of their lives
    Okay, so the stalker in all of us sometimes makes this forgivable, but please people, keep your status’ interesting! Show off, brag, be excited, sound happy and people might actually care. However, maybe refrain next time you go to tell the world that you’re tired, you’re sat in bed or even moaning about pointless things like someone cutting you up when you were driving. To be honest, that was what Whatsapp was invented for. Find a friend you can message at any time of the day so you can share your every moment from fan-girling, moaning, laughing to sending a barrage of that poo emoji. That person will either actually care about what you’re saying or actually have to right to tell you to stop talking.
  2. The purest form of overshare: Those who share their most horrific moments to the public sphere.
    I’m talking telling us every specific detail of your pregnancy, giving birth, a gaping injury or illness. A simple ‘I’m pregnant!’ will suffice; I don’t need details of where the baby is in your uterus, thanks. (Sadly a real example from my newsfeed).
  3. My biggest irk: Status’ aimed at people who can’t read them.
    It’s Mother’s Day and she doesn’t have facebook? It’s probably best if you converse with her your Happy Mother’s Day wishes. This also goes for a status about the loss of a loved one. Now, there is a fine line here, better than most I understand that everyone deals with the loss of a loved one in different ways and reaching out for a friendly voice via social media can be comforting at a tough time. However, at initially such a tough time I don’t think it should be made public for all to see. There’s a timeframe within which it’s sensible to release such details; I’ve even see someone ‘check in’ when they took a relative to hospital. Is that really needed? Those closest to you should be there no matter what, even without social media.

As much of a fan of social media I am, it’s still astonishing that people can’t grasp how public everything is on the internet. And if I’m being really boring, that’s really the problem with oversharing isn’t it? It might be funny to laugh at that serial oversharer, but you don’t really want the details of your toilet habits coming back to haunt you. So there you go, keep posting those jealousy inducing holiday photos, but please dear lord, do not do that irritating daily countdown from months before you go.

Over and out, SJW x

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That Graduate life crisis.

I’ve been reading a lot of hilarious blog posts recently on the ‘twenty-something life crisis’ and it’s inspired me into blogging about it myself. I did the official graduation jazz a couple of weeks ago now, and I’m going to put in a picture of my dress because, quite frankly, I loved it. (It’s from H&M in case you wondered, mega-bargain of the century).

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So that’s my posing over with, how’s the big dark doom of life after graduation? Well, it’s definitely a whole new rollercoaster adventure. I’m not going to lie, it’s tough out there. I’ve become a legit traveller woman, for the past 3 months I haven’t been in one place longer than a week and a half; I’ve become a pro at packing a suitcase at high speed, running for trains and sleeping where ever is possible. It’s hectic, but all that travelling is giving me time to plan how I’m going to conquer the world.

So here’s my list of all the signs of a Graduate life-crisis:

1. If one more person asks you what your plans are next, you’ll scream at them.

2. You’re so bored of writing cover letters that you just want to send ‘PLEASE EMPLOY ME, I’M AMAZING’ and hope it still gets you a job.

3. You’re amazed at how much competition there is for proper jobs. Like, where are all these people coming from? 600 applicants in 2 hours, is that even for real!?

4. You’ll be equally amazed at how many jobs there are in recruitment. Where are all the jobs these people are recruiting for? How is that actually a thing?

5. You become ridiculously savvy at knowing which job adverts are just covering up ‘sales’ (cold calling) jobs. I was never aware that cold-calling was marketing. And who even buys stuff from cold-callers these days!? Ridiculous.

6. You begin to contemplate ridiculous careers. Dog walker for the rest of my life? Yeah, I can do that. They won’t mind that I’m not an animal person, right?

7. The joy of getting good news feels better than you imagine getting married / having your first child will be.

8. Someone mentions taking a Masters and you think back to the dark, dissertation days and shudder. Never, ever am I going through that again.

9. Money: You have none. You have to go back to the teenage days of begging your parents for a tenner so you can live.

10. You dream of your first pay-check. You then see the average salaries and cry at how you’ll be a penniless tramp.

11. The whole ’employment status / occupation’ box on forms brings on a whole new crisis. You can’t quite bring yourself to write unemployed. That’s only a temporary thing, right? I was actually signing up to the doctors today and they asked me on the form; so I put my occupation as ‘Graduate’, like it’s an actual thing. I look for jobs and I write letters telling people how amazing I am and how I deserve a job, whilst crying at how bad the competition is. Definite legit career.

12. There will be a lot of ladytears shed. It’s a life crisis, you have to cry. Sometimes you aren’t sure why.

13. The pure confusion of, just, life. Where will I live? Do I or do I not apply for this job? Will I be able to afford to live? What skills do I have for this job? Will I ever get a job? How do people ever go to the bother of changing jobs once they have one? WHAT IS LIFE?!

14. As you apply for a job, you begin planning your whole life if you got it. It seems like bliss. Then, application done, dream over. Next application, next dream life.

15. Your parents suggest careers for you. You wonder if they ever even listened to what you did at uni. Do you not understand my dreams!? Am I adopted? Who even are you!?

16. Moving back in with your parents. Actually I think this needs a whole blog post to itself.

17. Those over-wordy job descriptions are just hell in themselves.

18. The hatred you develop for the generic ‘Due to the large amount of applications, if you’re unsuccessful, we will not be able to let you know’. You may have put your heart and soul into that application, but nah, soz, bit busy to let you know you haven’t got it.

19. The jobs that ask for ‘Recent graduates with at least [what seems like 10 years] experience’. I was at university, how did you expect me to work full time too!? I’m not silly, I have a decent amount of experience, but equally, it sometimes feels like jobs want you to have experienced enough to be qualified for a managerial role yet it’s still entry level. Bizarre.

20. The wonder of if you’re the only one going through this. Then you look at the ridiculous numbers of applicants and laugh to yourself that you could not possibly be joined by more people, attached to their laptops, scrolling pages of potential jobs and despairing. That’s the reality of your problem.

21. The hatred for the words ‘job’ and ‘application’.

So basically, the graduate life consists of a lot of confusion, realisations of how poor you’ll be, how competitive the world is and how you need to escape moving back home. If you’re in this situation then I guess the crux of the crisis is that it will all work out. If you’re determined enough, you can make your own path and trot on down it like the superstar you are (girlpower inspiration at it’s best there). So keep your head up and enjoy having the time to catch up on all those things you missed whilst writing dissertation. The despair is real… But keep doing your thaaang.

SJW x

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The Concrete Jungle Part 2

So I haven’t been able to post as much as I’d like as it’s been a pretty jam packed adventure so far, but I’ll try and bring you up to date.

I wrote this post the the old pen and paper way, sat on the comfiest bed I’ve been in in a while, somewhere off Sunset Boulevard in LA. It still seems weird to me that I’m in America at times, but I’m nearly halfway through my adventure, a lot poorer, a little browner and dreaming of travelling the world.

I can’t really remember where I got to in my tales of the Big Bad City, but I’ll cover the rest of my highlights…

The Day I Became a TV Star!
In the morning I visited a few shops, including Uniqulo on 5th Avenue, which is well worth a visit and I have to take my hats off to the store design / VM team! After that I visited the Museum of Modern Art, which, quite frankly, is huge! There were some ‘artistically challenging’ moments (honestly, who considers blank canvases art!?) but some equally amazing sights. From here was the most exciting part of my day, I met up with a friend and whilst happily trotting the streets of New York to find somewhere to eat, we got stopped by a woman asking if we wanted to be on TV. With images of my very own Hollywood Star in my head I quickly agreed… LOL JK, we were both so hungry it took a lot of persuading. I have no idea who the woman was that was interviewed or what show she was talking about, but as you can see, I definitely rocked my 5 milliseconds of fame.

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After this came possibly my favourite moment of the entire trip. Whilst ordering my lunch, I asked for a turkey burger and the waitress turned around with the most disgusted face and just said ‘WUT!?’. … ‘A turkey burger?’. After more blank stares and another ‘WUT!?’, I was saved by the American with me who repeated my order. The turkey burger was good but who knew that was so difficult to understand!?

So I don’t want to bore you with a day in / day out, here’s what time I sneezed type post, so here are my pointers of places to check out if you happen to pop by NY:

1. Dylan’s Candy Bar – Best pick n’ mix ever. Enough said.

2. The Chelsea Highline – A cool walk above the streets with a great view of the skyline!

3. The Meatball Shop – A restaurant well worth a visit! You can choose the type of meatballs you want, what side and what sauce. I tried chicken meatballs, with mash and some veg. Here is where I discovered the amazingness of ice cream sandwiches. ice cream between two cookies. Amazeballs.

4. The New York Public Library – There was a distinct lack of books in this place… but amazing interiors and a good place to work or if you want to re-live the scenes of The Day After Tomorrow. (Jake Gyllenhall not included).

5. The Rockefella Centre – An obvious one, but the view at the Top of the Rock are amazing. Just take someone to grab onto and don’t go near the edge if you’re scared of heights… Trust me.

6. Central Park – The most super obvious tip but there is so much to explore / laze in. My favourite event here as watching some newly engaged couples on photoshoots with super cringe photographers… ‘kiss her!’ ‘oh you’re so cute’. Ew, no.

7. Brooklyn – Just go there (especially if you love East London). Just don’t take Alastair as your tour guide who took me on a 10 million mile walk which only ended in rubbed feet and a well overdue toilet stop.

8. Bare Burger – I’e had my fair share of burgers in America, but these are good’uns. Check em out.

9. Reason Outpost – I know I’ve mentioned this brand before, but take a visit to the East Village and hunt this store down, it’s small but worth it. It’s a cool area and pass by Union Square on your way home. I sat people watching whilst the sun set.

10. Aaaand finally, the greatest American invention of them all… 7-11. This corner shop should come back with me to the UK, or at the very least the Slurpie machine should. Because who doesn’t want a better version of slush puppy available to them 24 hours a day!?

I wish I’d had a little longer to explore, but I guess it gives me a good reason to go back again!
Next stop… San Francisco. SJW x

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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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Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, I’ve been busy with a couple of exams, which finally came to an end on Tuesday! I’ve now completed half of my degree and only have my dissertation to write, which seems so crazy, but if I’m honest I’ve realised that the end of university couldn’t come soon enough for me, maybe I’ll do a separate post on my thoughts on that, but honestly I’m excited for the opportunity for change that graduation will bring.

Anyway, I wrote this blog post yesterday whilst sat on a bus for the third time, going back into Central London yet again. I feel like I spent most of my day sat on the top deck, moving at about 2 miles per hour through the streets of London. As I’m sure most of you are aware, yesterday was the first day of a 48 hour tube strike, which is planned to repeat itself next week. As I mentioned, my exams are over so I actually had nowhere to be, but I wanted to be a culture vulture and go to the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, held at the National Portrait Gallery. It’s one of my favourite exhibitions every year; I find it really inspiring and some of the stories behind the photos are truly incredible. Highly worth a visit, but be quick as it’s in its last weeks.

I planned my journey so I could just get a straight bus and then a small walk, and quite frankly I’m not really going to complain about it. Yeah all my journey’s yesterday took a little longer and were busier than usual, but I had a seat and I also quite like buses as you can actually see the sights of London, rather than staring at a black tunnel. Apparently I’m not the only one, check out ‘From The Upper Deck’ by photographer Przemek Wajerowicz, (http://now-here-this.timeout.com/2014/02/06/in-pictures-see-london-from-the-upper-deck/). However, having said this, I am truly grateful I wasn’t commuting as obviously it just caused chaos during this time. Below are some of my favourite, most crazy pictures of the chaos the strike caused.

Stratford Underground Station was like this.

Queue Tube Strike

Stratford International and Bus Stop Queues; taken from http://www.buzzfeed.com/scottybryan/the-best-of-the-internets-reaction-to-the-tube-strike

I guess the strike should make people realise how reliant we are on the tube system; yeah we all complain about it (don’t even get me started on my hatred of the District Line), but really it’s an amazing transport system which needs continued investment to manage its upkeep and improvement. Usually I’m totally against Tube Strikes, as I feel the staff strike solely for improved pay, when it’s been well documented that they get well paid and get plenty of benefits. However, on this occasion the strike was in protest of the upgrade of the system leading to the closure of ticket offices. I’m unsure where I stand on my opinion on the strike, obviously I am behind them all the way if job losses are on the line; the staff are so important in the running of the tube. However, reading both sides of the argument, TFL argues that there will still be jobs for all that want to stay with London Underground; staff will be more visible instead of stuck in the offices, they just have to be willing to be ‘flexible’. So who knows how flexible, flexible is. In all honesty, it feels like the unions were quick to take action (there was a very low response rate to the strike ballot), but as with all contentious issues, communication is not great on either side. I guess it’s just going to be interesting to let the fun and games work themselves out.

Let’s just be grateful that London isn’t cut off from the world, unlike Devon. I’ve always said that the rail network into Devon is the slowest, most ridiculous thing. We still have those trains where you actually have to pull the handle to open the door; apparently electronic doors haven’t hit Devon and Cornwall yet!? Literally, the pressure to open that door in the quickest time possible is sometimes quite hard to handle (LOL, bad pun alert). However, due to bad weather Devon has literally been cut off from the world, with train tracks literally being left suspended in mid air, after the foundations have been washed away, see pictures below.

Pictures taken from: http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Minister-promises-look-alternative-rail-route-SW/story-20566246-detail/story.html?005

I swear this happens every time it rains quite heavily, you think they would actually do something to help prevent it. Like maybe not building the track directly next to the sea-front, or building a wall capable of defending a wave. Finally there has been news that there is some funding being given towards building better weather defences and the Government has said they will ‘consider’ alternative railway routes into the region. Really though, there is a desperate need to invest in the Devon / Cornwall rail network as a whole. As counties very reliant on the tourist trade, you think they might want to make it feel less like you’re travelling to the other side of the world when you decide to take a train to Devon. Easily accessible surely equals a boost to the economy, right? I literally have no clue how the people with power fail to see this.

What gets me every time on this matter is the fact that the Government has previously baulked at the £100 million price tag of improving the rail network into Devon, yet this is a fraction of the £30 billion being ploughed into the HS2 high speed link from London to the North. When they already have high speed connections to the North, this seems ridiculous. I swear it just feels more and more like the South West is falling off the edge of the Earth; in my hometown they are also closing the local airport. Don’t complain about a bad economy when people can’t even easily access the region.

If only the local paper could channel their dramatics into issues that matter, rather than posting (albeit hilarious) stories about the local shop chasing some poor lad who stole some condoms (my favourite comment on that story has to be ‘Must of been a posh date’, #stayclassyPlymouth) or a post about Wayne Rooney tuning in to Plymouth based TV channel God TV to take his mind off Manchester United’s loss.

All in all, let’s be grateful the London transport system isn’t down for the six weeks the railway into Devon is likely to be; I think Londoners would quite literally be going wild and killing eachother in rage by then.

SJW x

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Mates, Flakes and Long Distance Lols.

Recently a friend told me a little anecdote which I really agreed with, and helped inspire this post on something I’ve been meaning to write about for a while. The story went (if I remember it correctly) that there are three types of friends in life:
1. Those that you are friends with due to a situation. You’ll be friends with them within the situation but the friendship doesn’t span outside of this.
2. Friends that you make within a situation and the friendship lasts around three years.
3. Friends you have for life.

I guess when I moved away to university I was naïve about the fact I genuinely wouldn’t see some people again, I was probably too caught up in the excitement of change to realise it at the time. However, moving to university has made me really appreciate those friends who you are genuinely close to and know will always be around, whether or not you talk every day. It seems sad to lose friends in the number 2 category, but as you grow up I guess you realise everybody changes and people lead very different lives; add your own cliché here about ‘living for the moment’ ha!

I’ve always been a firm believer that distance shouldn’t ruin a true friendship and university has certainly tested this theory! In a way it sorts the friends in the second category to the ones in the third. I’ve touched upon friends from home already, but it’s great when you don’t have to necessarily talk every day, but you know when you need them they’ll be there and when you do see each other it’s the same as it always was. There’s something amazing you can’t lose when you can look back at your ‘ugly phase’ and laugh together!

There’s also something amazing you can’t lose with your friends at uni, in a totally different way, you somehow end up becoming each other’s second family; particularly those who you live with. Or you may just become their carer, as with me and AJP:

Alastair Leaving

I was blissfully unaware that at the end of second year these rocks in my life would be ripped away. The demon of the dreaded placement year or study abroad or whatever other name you would like to call it. Many of my friends were now set to be flying off to various parts of the world, leaving the rest of us back here to continue to cry at how frigging depressing uni (and third year) is. The end of summer felt like one long emotional goodbye. In particular, my non-boyfriend whom I’ve mentioned before, AJP, was leaving for America. I’m not even ashamed to admit that on his official leaving night we both cried, no sorry bawled, in a club when I had to leave. Hilariously, we were actually going to see each other again the next day. Obviously I was just so sad that I was losing the best cockblock I’ve ever had? Upon the actual departing of AJP, we decided the best way to go was a chest bump in the middle of Liverpool Street Station.

Considering how big a part of my life AJP is, I was slightly scared of what London would hold for me without him. There have obviously been times when I’ve missed him a lot, but at the same time it’s made me appreciate the lols when we do speak. It’s that great time where you don’t have to put up with his smelly socks everyday but you still get to share many a lol. The internet is a wonderful thing, and Skype, Whatsapp, Facebook and obviously Snapchat have all been amazing to stay in touch with everyone. I am also a fan of good old snail mail and send out postcards when I actually remember to pass a postbox. My flatmate said that this sounded like a ‘Dear John…’ idea, but it is definitely less romantic than she was imagining, considering some of the funny postcards I’ve sent, the meaning of the lovely sentiments on them have had to be explained to the Americans! When I turned up to a pastoral type tutorial the other day, my tutor hilariously bluntly asked me ‘How are you coping without your other half?’. I’ve said this to lots of people who ask if I miss AJP, I feel like he’s still here but without actually seeing him.

Obviously life is different in London without AJP around, but it definitely isn’t all bad. I’m not crying in a cave all day, every day. I need to put a shout out in here to everyone at uni who make the times I do actually turn up to the depressing hell hole (yeah, I’m loving uni right now) actually bearable, my lovely flatmate and, of course, I don’t know where I’d be without my main galdem, who get me through life with some hilarious snapchats!

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To round off this rambling post, if you have long distance friends of any kind, then I guess my thoughts are that it makes you appreciate the time you have with them more, look how happy I am on Skype ha! On an even brighter note, think of all the amazing holidays where you don’t have to pay for a hotel!

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Thoughtful SJW, over and out x

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Le Weekend: Ikea Lols

I’m not quite sure where to begin with my weekend, I guess it all started on Thursday and there was a sign it was going to be a good one when on Thursday evening whilst changing my bedsheets, my flatmate commented ‘SJW, do you like having blue sheets?’, I replied ‘Nah, they aren’t my favourite’, to which my flatmate replied ‘Yeah, I think I’d get a bit seasick with blue sheets.’
What a loveable nutter she is. #flatmatequoteoftheweek

Friday, I survived my uni lectures, had lunch with my brother and met my building neighbours for shisha in the evening.

Saturday was the big event. Ikea. Whilst there we encountered a man who exclaimed to the hordes of people: ‘Do people just come here for a day trip!?’. Yes sir, yes they do. I have no shame. And to anyone who turns their nose up at that I’d just like to say ‘Oh Hell No!’ to you.

I set off with my co-pilot at about 1ish, already 2 hours later than the over optimistic 11am plan. 2 hours later, we’d moved the equivalent of about 2 tube stops. No frickin joke. We’d been through the lols, and I think the only thing that can sum up our boredom was when I looked to my right at the car next to me and the woman was quite literally banging her head on her steering wheel. That’s the level of the traffic jam.

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Eventually, we successfully navigated out of the traffic jam, off a sneaky side road (wahay for women drivers), and the road trip lols began again; WE MADE IT. 3 WHOLE HOURS LATER. (It was meant to take 40 mins).

No Ikea trip is complete without meatballs, I went a bit hard on the meatballs and had to deal with horrendous food coma round the actual Ikea adventure. Doh.

Anyway, Ikea lols all round, I made a friend, found my crown and bought a pretty nice plate I don’t wanna eat off.
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We also made it home in about an hour, praise the lord.

SJW x