Friday, 21 December 2012

Happy 2nd birthday, old friend 'd'.

This January will mark two years since I was formally diagnosed with depression. It really doesn't seem that long ago, I guess time flies at Uni! I thought I'd give you a little update on how things are going health-wise with me, I suppose I owe you all an explanation to why I haven't blogged nearly as much as I'd hoped this year!

I'm sick and tired of referencing depression with it's full name, so for the sake of efficiency, it's now called 'd'.

Well, I might as well start at the beginning of this year, where I returned to my university halls after spending a few weeks recharging my batteries at home over Christmas. After saying goodbye to 2011, I was determined to have a better year. Cue exams! January exams never go as well as May exams for me, I really don't know why but oh well! I passed, which was a great relief, but it left me with a lot of stress. Starting my second semester and new modules was interesting, but I was getting a taste of just how hard my course was going to get. Again, I passed my second set of exams (this time with mitigating circumstances, which I took out regarding little d and it's effect on my concentration levels and general intelligence), but by the end of first year I just wanted to get home!

Earlier in the year, I'd stopped going to counselling, which was definitely a bad decision to make. I needed the safety net there, and of course was too stubborn to realise it. So, that won't have helped me at all, looking back. I think a lot of people suffering with d think they can get out of it alone, and 99% of the time it just isn't the case. It's so important to have a group of people close to you, to support you.

Summer was spent relaxing as much as possible, and preparing for my second year at Uni. I was so excited to move into a new house, with new people, but sadly the house I'm currently living in is in a bad area, has mould and damp in nearly every room, and is absolutely freezing.  To add to this, 2012 has brought a lot more social anxiety for myself which I'm struggling with. I find public transport, approaching strangers and walking through city centres very difficult. It sounds so strange to say, because I used to be one of the most social people around, so it's pretty frustrating.

I made the decision after coming back to uni for my second year, that I wanted to change degree programmes. I approached the geography department, and luckily they let me swap - they were extremely accommodating. I now study BSc Geography, as opposed to Oceans, Climate and Physical Geography. I'm pretty excited about starting next semester, but very anxious about the new people and places I'm going to have to come across. Fingers crossed 2013 brings me happiness in some form, I think I'm in need of it after another stressful year.

As a conclusion to this mahoosive ramble, I just want to offer anyone who is struggling with depression, anxiety, or stress some little pointers that might help you. It's important we all help each other eh?

  • Most importantly, to anyone who think they may have depression, go and see your doctor if you have been feeling low for more than a fortnight. Getting a diagnosis is the most important thing.
  • Organisation is the key to stress: if you have a large workload, separate it up into categories and tackle the hardest/largest part first, as it'll feel much better when you get that bit out of the way first!
  • If you are feeling anxious, relax. Make a cup of tea, put on a nice film and take time out. Don't fight it, it's perfectly human to feel anxious from time to time.
  • Remember that you won't feel this way forever, I know it will feel like that at the time, but it will all pass, be it in days or weeks. 
I hope people found this post helpful in some way. I really want to start blogging regularly again next year, but we'll see if I'm up to it eh. So, for now, I hope you all have a lovely, relaxing Christmas and New Year! <3

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Fallen leaves on the ground

Last weekend my sister popped to Liverpool for the weekend, and what a lovely time we had. On saturday I took her to Sefton Park, which is only a short walk from my house. It was such a beautiful day, I ended up getting some really pretty pictures of the autumnal landscape.

I had to have a go at the whole leaf-kicking action shot, and well... you can see what happened. I promise you I'm a 5"6 (ish), twenty year old, but I look like a small chubby child in this! I'm wearing my beloved Great Gatsby jumper, which I'll show you in more detail soon.

We also went for a great meal at Kasbah on Bold St - I urge all Liverpool-dwellers to go there, such good Morrocan food and excellent service!


Thursday, 25 October 2012

Figure 8

Hello...anyone out there?

Do you still remember my pretty face?

I'm still alive, promise.

Taken an extended hiatus from my blog for a few months because I needed to get used to a big change in my life. That big change was moving house, back to the lovely land of Liverpool, with a bunch of new housemates. Who are amazing, by the way:

Also I've been getting back to grips with Uni (30 hours a week is not kind to my energy levels). It's hard, very hard, but I'm enjoying being back around my coursemates.

Unfortunately depression has reared it's ugly head again - it was getting much better over the summer months, so perhaps it's exaggerated S.A.D but I don't know for sure. Hopefully not, because that's such a lousy illness, is it not?

Anyway, I'll try to get back into blogging soon. I've bought lots of nice nail varnish, make up bits and bobs to show you.


Thursday, 16 August 2012

University Survival Guide: Part 1 - Moving In/Freshers Week!

I've seen tonnes of these posts floating round, and I thought it was a good idea to show prospective students what uni is really like! This time last year I was wading through hundreds of these posts, very useful!

There's not much point rambling on about the application process/results day as that's just passed for everyone! However at this point last year I was still going through Clearing, I didn't get anything clear-cut until around 6pm!

I got AABB in my A-Levels, when I'd hoped to get AAAB. So I ended up at the University of Liverpool come September, which I'm still happy was a good decision to make. The Clearing team at the uni were so, so helpful and really calmed me down and worked me through the entire process. I originally applied to study BSc Geography at Leeds and Nottingham, but it worked out that I studied BSc Oceans, Climate and Physical Geography at Liverpool. I thought I'd just compile a few tips for all you freshers! This will be a long post, so I apologise in advance!

1. Moving in/Freshers Week

- Write lists! 
This is a massively important one. You will need to write lists of things to take to uni, otherwise you will definitely forget a lot of things! Split them up, for example into study materials, kitchen things, bedroom things, toiletries, clothes, electrical items etc.

- Keep your door open
Everyone says this, but it's a very good idea. Considering in my halls I was tucked away in a corner, I didn't really need to do this. Just get out into the corridors, help people unpack, make cups of tea, natter about how the journey was. Key phrase for this whole post: everyone is in the same boat. Never forget that! Unless someone's dropped out and come back again, most will be in that same confused state as you.

- Don't feel obliged to make friends with absolutely everyone
I tried my best to make lifelong friends with all the girls on my floor, and in reality we split off into groups. It was bound to happen, you can't have a group of 12 girls following each other around! I'm still in touch in with my little group of halls girls, and plan on carrying on nattering away with them for the rest of my time at uni.

- Don't run before you can walk
It's important to get involved during Freshers, but be warned: if you're not a drinker/go-er out-er, don't chuck yourself into every single stupid club night where you have to dress up like a slutty schoolgirl/nurse etc. It's not fun if you don't normally enjoy that sort of thing!

- Get a diary before you leave!
And then go on to your university website, and write all the important dates you'll need to remember for your first few weeks of term. This helped me so much, because believe me, after a week of partying, you'll not want to think about checking and double-checking dates!

I can tell you want some photos from freshers, don't you? Go on  then....


Wednesday, 15 August 2012

"Turner Monet Twombly - The Later Paintings" at the Tate (Liverpool)

A few weeks ago, me and my family wandered down to Liverpool for the day to take a look round the new exhibition at the Tate. I love going to this art gallery, it's amazing how differently each of the exhibitions are set out, along with the free galleries on the ground floors. After going to the amazing Rene Magritte exhibition (twice!), I was really looking forward to it.

I don't claim to be an art nerd, but I don't think you have to be to appreciate a good work of art. I've loved Monet since I was little, I remember an old art teacher trying to get us to make a Monet-inspired piece by painting with matchsticks! I'd heard of Turner but not seen his work, and had no idea who Cy Twombly was (I was also worrying about how to pronounce his name - turns out it's as it's spelt!).

Monet's paintings absolutely blew me away - the attention to detail in each of his pieces was mind blowing. I have no patience in stuff like this! I really wish it was just a Monet exhibition, because I really didn't see how it was all supposed to be linked together. Turner's work was just a bit blah, which of course is very ignorant of me to say - but it didn't wow me at all, I found myself missing out a lot of his paintings. Twombly's pieces were very eye catching and had interesting stories behind them, but again they weren't really my style. They included lots of garish colours (think fluorescent green with deep red), so it wasn't my cup of tea. I did like one, however, and got it in postcard form to stick up in my new room at uni.

As usual I scuttled away to the gift shop (I'm a sucker for them), and picked up some postcard sized prints to keep. Unfortunately one of these has already been given away to a boy (tsh). However these are the ones I'm left with, I love them!

Most of them are Monet, aside from the top left (Twombly), and I've forgotten who the top right one is from! That's the one that I don't have anyway.

I seem to be most attracted to the works of painters who belong to the Surrealism movement (aside from Monet), so if anymore exhibitions come up I'll be sure to check them out.

Are you a fan of art? Any surrealism artists I should have a look at? :)