Preparing for University!

As I’ve said before on this blog, in September I start at UEA to study English Literature and Creative Writing. There are quite a few things I’ve been doing in preparation so I thought I’d share with you some of them in case it might be useful for others who are moving out the following year etc.Image result for packing for uni meme

  1. I took a trip to Ikea and bought a ton of stuff! As I’m moving out, I need a lot of kitchen equipment and other essentials so Ikea was a great place to stock up on these things as it is really cheap!
  2. I have started to clear out my room because there’s so much junk and old clothes I don’t need. I also thought that it’s better to start doing this early before I start packing my stuff for university and realise last minute that I need to get rid of half of it.
  3. I made a list of everything I need to buy for university and everything I already have so that when it comes to moving out I can check things off.
  4. I’ve practiced my cooking skills because although I think I’m pretty decent at it already, I’d like to familiarise myself with a few recipes before I get there.
  5. I’ve joined facebook groups for my course and flat, which is a great thing to do because knowing a few people before I’m there has made me less anxious about meeting everyone.
  6. Today I pretty much said goodbye to my childhood by deleting my account on an old writing site called Movellas. I used to spend the majority of my early teenage years writing on it but I think it’s time to let it go and start writing from now. When I start doing creative writing at uni, I’ll learn a lot of new things and I think my writing has progressed enough to not need that account anymore, no matter how sad it is to have to let it go.
  7. Packing…yeah I haven’t actually got to this part Image result for preparing for uni memeyet but it will definitely need to be done soon! Clearing out my room will be a pretty surreal experience I’m sure.
  8.  See everyone I need to before I go! Whether that’s saying goodbye to family or friends, I’m going to try and see them all before I leave.
  9. Keep myself healthy. Everyone knows there is a high chance of Fresher’s Flu, so I’m going to try and be prepared so I have less chance of feeling sick in the first week.
  10. And finally, making the most of not having any commitments. So although sitting on the sofa for most days watching TV sounds ridiculously lazy, I know I probably won’t have a chance like this for at least over a year or even ever, so I might as well make the most of it.

I’ve probably missed a few things out, but these are the main things I did in preparation for uni! I still have another week until I leave, but I know many are leaving today or even have already. So good luck to you all! I hope you have a great time and settle in well 🙂

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sunset. [flash-fiction]

As posted on Instagram, here is my most recent piece of writing!


I looked out over the sunset, at the pinks and the oranges and the yellows and I saw freedom. Most of all, I saw space. The light bounced off eyes that were ready for nighttime yet craving a bit of light to ward off the nightmares; a tree of shadows ready to protect the core of this burning heat from the blue of the sky and the blue of my eyes and the blue of this sadness. but I like these colours for a change. god, I really do like these colours. I like these colours to gently gently ease me into the dark. 

Education Manipulation

So following my post a while ago analysing a photo from Instagram, here I am to try it again! 

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This photo, in a way, embodies education. It kind of stood out to me, as a student, and I thought it might be interesting to a lot of other teen bloggers out there, or anyone really. It’s clear that the book represents Literature itself but I also think it represents the teaching of Literature and how it is expressed. The fact that there are nails along the side of it suggests some sort of limitation. Education seems to hammer nails into good literature until you’re forced to study it rather than really enjoy it. I think this is something that most of us can relate to on some level – what happened to learning because we’re simply interested in it, rather than learning just for the sake of it? Reading a book to fully understand the concepts and the depth is rare; instead the deeper meanings of the book are nailed down so we are forced to only learn the outer layer – because if it isn’t needed in an exam, then what is the point in it? Personally, I hate this attitude to learning, but I’m glad that the further up I get in education, the more nails are coming undone. Perhaps at university I will finally be able to open the book in its entirety.

Another aspect of the photo that is implied and that I also find interesting, is the book’s resemblance to a coffin. Instead of the usual cuboid shape, it instead suggests the pinning down of something that has died. Perhaps this could be the book’s characters – they are never really known by the reader because they are never really read. Or, it could be the reader. Education is somewhat fatal in the way it burdens a lot of students with unnecessary stress, but the exam methods a lot of the time limit our abilities. Particularly with English, I find that having a limited time to write about a book is ridiculous. The author didn’t sit down and write it in 2 hours, so how are we meant to completely unpick a piece of work that was created so intricately in this short space of time? The death of our imagination is somewhat enclosed in the coffin as education trains us to work in a straight line, rather than move to our own shape and ability. Education holds the hammer and we’re as passive as the nails themselves – them using us for their own gain without really understanding our point of view.

I think that, overall, this is such an interesting photo because there’s so much you can pull out of it. I’d love to know what you guys think too, so please drop a comment below if you have time!

 

stones of the beach. [flash-fiction]

This is a piece I shared on my instagram account a few days ago that went alongside a photo from my recent holiday (just some casual shoes on a beach). Thought I’d share it here with you guys too! 

you hobbled across the stones of the beach and then took off your shoes. it was like you could finally breath; like you could finally feel. it was as if the stones weren’t beneath your soles but inside the shoe of your mind, poking at all the inconsistencies and trying to find a way out (but there is no way out).

until you stopped believing it. 

into the waves you ran with no care for the stones; no care for the shoe of protection that you put on just because everyone else did. who cares what everyone else does? who cares what everyone else thinks? you asked this over and over until the sun came down and the grass comforted your feet into a new home. 

Shutter Island [Film Review]

Shutter Island is a film I’ve been meaning to watch for a while, after being recommended it and heard about it countless times. However it has only recently been put on Amazon Prime meaning I could finally watch it for free (which is always the best option just in case). Nevertheless, I needn’t worry because the film was amazing.

To put it simply, Shutter Island follows a detective (played by Leonardo Di Caprio) who is sent to a mental institution on an island. Following the escape of a patient, he must search for clues in order to solve it, but no one seems to be telling the truth. It presents his journey – almost from his perspective you could say – and his fight to uncover the truth behind the lies.

Really, it’s hard to give an overview of this film without giving anything away, so to be honest I’m not going to try to! It’s a psychological thriller at its finest and if that’s your kind of genre and you haven’t seen this, literally go watch it now! Shutter Island could honestly not disappoint; it’s just so well thought out and executed and it leaves you so confused you don’t even know what’s real anymore (and in my opinion, those kinds of films are the best).

Without trying to spoil too much, here are some of my favourite quotes:

Image result for shutter island quotes

Image result for shutter island quotes

*spoilers ahead*

And this last one is my absolute favourite:

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This quote was from the ending of the film which was honestly just so great I can’t even say. I think to end a film on such a high standard is what decides whether a film really lives up to everything it has presented so far, and Shutter Island certainly did this.

My interpretation of the ending was that ‘Teddy’ faked going back to his pretend self in order to preserve his goodness. He contemplates facing up to reality as the monster that he really is, versus giving himself up for death as someone non-existent but at least someone worthy of a life. He believes his wife’s murder is his own fault for not helping her sooner and so he feels so much guilt it’s not worth facing up to. Questioning this to the psychiatrist, he allows himself to be carted off by the nurses for death. They’ve given up on him and he chooses to give up on himself too.

I loved the ending simply because it was just so subtle. With one single line, all of his feelings and intentions were summed up. I loved that he came to terms with reality, even if it was for a bit, as you could see the honesty behind all the pretense, but I think it really expressed how difficult it was for him. If he were to accept reality and move on it would have seemed unrealistic considering the elaborate story line he created to hide himself from the truth. To give himself up in that way proves that there is intelligence to him beneath his mental illness and to remind us that although we may not see it, they are still sane in their own way and are still capable of individual thought.

Overall, I have to say this is honestly one of the best films I’ve ever watched. The plot twists were insane and although I expected them at times, that’s only because I’ve watched too many psychological thrillers to count. This definitely sits beside Dead Poets Society as my favourite film and I thoroughly recommend it!

 

Awesome Blogger Award

I was nominated for the Awesome Blogger Award by lookforyourrainbow so first of all I’d like to say thank you so much!

And now, here are the rules for the award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Tag it under #awesomebloggeraward in the Reader.
  • Answer the questions your nominator gave you.
  • Nominate at least five awesome bloggers.
  • Give your nominees ten new questions to answer.
  • Let your nominees know that they’ve been nominated.

 

And here are my answers:

What kind of books do you most like to read?

To be honest, I read most kinds of books as long as they have an interesting story line. I’m not a massive fan of historical or non-fiction but my favourites are probably science-fiction/dystopian and realism. I’m also a massive fan of poetry so that’s what I read the most!

Describe your blog in one word.

Me. (I guess as the most honest form of myself; this blog is my way of opening up as a person and so I think there’s no other way of describing it than an extension of my own self).

Tell me something that made you happy last week.

Well I’ve been on holiday the past week so a lot of things have made me happy – from the little things like buying an ice cream sundae to just knowing I was spending a week with my best friend. I did find a lot of cheap vintage books though and that made me particularly happy!

What TV shows do you watch?

Well it’s hard to know where to start because I watch a lot of TV shows – probably too many! Lately I have been watching Hannibal, The 100 and Z: The Beginning of Everything (which is based on the life of Fitzgerald and his wife). Some others which I have watched over the years: Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl, How to Get Away with Murder, Orphan Black, Scream, Degrassi: Next Class, Life in Pieces, Please Like Me, Bad Education, Cuckoo, Casual, American Horror Story, and pretty much anything I can find on Netflix or Prime!

What was/is your favourite subject at school?

My favourite subject is English! Which isn’t surprising really because I’m going to study it at uni in September alongside creative writing. I also really like Philosophy and Ethics and Maths, which are the subjects I took at A level.

Why did you first decide to start a blog?

Well I remember at the time, I was using WordPress to create a blog for Media and my friend BambooChewer had recently created her own personal one. She tried to persuade me to get one but I wasn’t sure what I would write about. Turns out, writing a blog became a place to open up and help strengthen my self-confidence. I started it with the intention to just unload my mind and share thoughts that I might otherwise keep to myself, but it has also become a space to make new friends and support others in the community and I really love it for that.

What are the best and worst presents you ever received?

Hmm, this is quite a difficult question. I think presents can be good in different ways. One of my favourite presents was a “One Line a Day” book that my Mum got me where you write a few lines for each day. When you come to the following year, you can see what you did on that exact day a year ago. It’s really cool! However if I had to choose the best present I’ve received it would have to be the scrapbook my friends gave me for my 18th. I opened it thinking “this is such a nice book!” and wondering what I would put inside it, until I got home and realised it was full of memories and it’s honestly the nicest thing someone’s done for me.

For the worst present, it would probably have to be when someone tried to buy me clothes and I really didn’t like the style. It’s the kind of present that ends up at the bottom of your drawers and then when you find it years later, feel guilty for not wearing it, even though you wouldn’t want to be seen dead in it.

What is your favourite way to read: paperback, hardcover, or ebook?

I have tried reading ebooks and although they are easier to transport and are cheaper, I don’t think anything can beat having a physical copy in your hands! Hardcover is too expensive so I’ve got to go with paperback.

What is your favourite food?

This is such a hard question because I love food so much! I’m a massive fan of Italian (I actually had pasta every night for like 9 days straight and I still have no idea how I did it). But Chinese probably has to be my favourite! Peking Duck and pancakes is just too good for words.

What did you do for your last birthday?

My last birthday was my 18th and I didn’t actually plan anything – I guess I was busy with A levels and stressed out. However, on the weekend my friends came to my door unexpectedly to surprise me and we ended up getting a limo my Dad had booked to Westfields Shopping Centre for the day! We then played monopoly and ate our bodyweight in Chinese. I’m not a massive fan of surprises and last minute plans but this really was a great way to spend my birthday 🙂

 

And my nominations are:

BambooChewer

anewchapterweb

Elm

The walk of thoughts (even though you don’t come on here much anymore haha)

Call me Ash

 

And my questions for you:

  1. If you could go back in time and change a memory without it influencing the present, what would you change and why?
  2. If you could pick a person/pet to join your family who would you pick?
  3. What’s your favourite thing to do at night?
  4. What’s your most invaluable yet valuable possession? (something that is physically not worth much, but means a lot to you)
  5. What weather do you hate the most? Now write a short creative piece – whatever words come to mind.
  6. What’s the most thought-provoking film you’ve watched?
  7. What do you fear the most in the approaching months?
  8. What are you most proud of that you’ve accomplished within the last year?
  9. If you could only call one person before you died, who would you call and what would you say?
  10. Sit back from the computer for a second. What is your thought process? Write it down however crazy it may seem.

 

Thanks again for the nomination! I look forward to hearing everyone’s answers too 🙂

Own [poem]

 

By the edge of the world he sat;

The diluted wave of the ocean a mass of

disembodied words.

Words that flew from the horizon in speech

But buried dirt within his skin.

And the world was mocking him.

Why was it mocking him.

 

Branches like arms caved over his being –

A stone of a being –

On the edge of life’s cliff

To be thrown into the waves with the

World’s loudest wail –

And the world was hanging him.

Why was it hanging him.

 

And the sounds of the ocean that

Ran in brain waves

All through the night –

Is this right

Is this right

To fight

 

And as the words of his head

Became at one with the shore

His eyes met the

Water –

Mind drowning in water –

Becoming one with his sight.

And the world was his fight.

How could he hate what the world fought within him.

 

So on the other edge of the world he sat;

The strengthened wave of the ocean a mass of

Distinguishable words.

Words that flew from his mouth in speech

As into the water he dipped his feet.

 

And this world was his own.