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Valentines Day brings romance and joy to people all over the world. For some reason, there is a whole day out of the year dedicated to couples which part of me thinks it’s cute. However, the more rational side of me believes that Valentines day is a big marketing strategy for restaurants and bars to get more money out of people (but that’s a post for another day). That being said, I can speak from experience that when it comes to this time of year, my mind begins to become blank of Valentine date ideas. This will be my second Valentines day with my partner and as we live in central Manchester, there are endless things to do. Sometimes it’s when there are too many options that my mind begins to not function. Do you live in the Manchester area and are lost for ideas of how to spend Valentines day? No worries, dating in Manchester does not need to be difficult – as there are so many things to do. I have compiled a few Valentine Date Ideas in Manchester, U.K.

An Activity of Sorts

If you and your partner consider yourself to be adventurous and love fun activities then there is plenty of things to do on Valentines day in Manchester. Fortunate enough to have the whole day to celebrate Valentines day? The perfect start to the day would be to get stuck in with something fun.

Go Karting

With two perfect locations in Manchester, Go Karting is really accessible to get to. There is a track in both Trafford Park and in Deansgate. Just recently, me and my partner visited the Team Sport Go Karting in Trafford and we had the most amazing time!

Valentines Day in Manchester

If you’re a student and you’re looking for Valentines Day Date Ideas on a budget then look no further. You can Go Kart from just £15 and if you’re not a student, then don’t worry as they also have other offers available.

When you arrive you are given a suit to wear over your clothes and you will have to purchase either a 50p disposable balaclava (to wear under your helmet) or a £3.50 cotton balaclava. Once changed and your bags are packed away in lockers you wait to be called into the briefing room. This is where you will watch a fifteen minute safety video which tells you what all the flags mean. For example, if there is a yellow flag, you need to slow down to a walking pace.

Valentines Date Ideas in Manchester

The whole aim of Go Karting is to try and get the fastest lap time and so if you and your partner are the competitive type, then Go Karting would be the perfect place to spend Valentines Day in Manchester.

Roxy Ball Room

Roxy Ball Room in Deansgate, Manchester will always have a special place in my heart. This was where me and my partner went on one of our first dates and so I just think it’s perfect for Valentines Day.

Inside this bar you can play ping pong and/or pool and I just think it’s the perfect place to go on a date to get to know someone. The music isn’t too loud and if you wanted an activity that wasn’t too expensive then this would be perfect!

Valentines Day Manchester

Inflatanation

Dating in Manchester does not have to be boring when Manchester is home to one of the biggest indoor bouncy castles in the country. That’s right I did say bouncy castle! Call me a big kid but there’s nothing more fun then jousting someone on top of a giant inflatable pillar.

In terms of whether or not this place is suitable for a Valentine’s day date then it will all depend on what you do next. If you plan on heading for a nice meal (that requires you to dress up) afterwards then I wouldn’t recommend going to this place first. You only get an hour on the inflatable park but I promise you after half an hour running around and rock climbing, you will be red in the face and sweating. Take plenty of water!

Places to Drink in Manchester

Peaky Blinders Bar

If you’re a Peaky Blinder’s fan then Manchester is the place to be on Valentine’s day! It has a bar themed around the whole t.v. show. I mean, how cool is that! Although I have never watched Peaky Blinders, I have however visited the bar out of curiosity.

My initial impressions was that it wasn’t that different to an ordinary bar. Yes, it’s beautiful outside and it does have themed drinks and characters from the show plastered on the walls, but a bar is a bar. My impression of the place changed when about fifteen lads came in dressed in waistcoats and tweed caps. This made the place feel really authentic.

So, if you are a Peaky Blinders fan then I would definitely recommend visiting. Having watched the show, you may be able to see more from the experience.

Cloud 23

If you only had one day to spend in Manchester, then I would completely recommend visiting Cloud 23 for a cocktail. With a stunning view over the whole of Manchester, It is a perfect place to sit with your loved one for Valentines day. Or, if you’re looking for date ideas in Manchester in general then I would still recommend this.

Cloud 23 - Valentines Day Date

If you fancy climbing 23 floors for the view, make sure you dress up smart as there is a dress code. Also, remember that because this is a unique bar to drink in in Manchester, the drinks come with a heavy price tag. I think I paid around £12 for a cocktail that fit inside a champagne glass. Oh well, seeing sunset over the city makes it all worth it.

Revolucion De Cuba

With regular entertainment and 2 for 1 cocktails, Revolution De Cuba is one of my favourite bars in Manchester. Having only drank in here, I can only tell you how amazing the cocktails are. However, I have heard from many people that there is a brilliant Vegan menu. So, if you eat a plant based diet I would recommend this restaurant/bar for Valentine’s Day.

Revs De Cuba, Manchester - Date Night in Manchester

Places to Eat in Manchester

Chain Restaurants

Just like in every city, there will be plenty of chain restaurants to choose from and most of these will tend to be fair in price. These will include, but are not limited to: Bella Italia, Ask Italian, Bem Brazil, Nando’s, Chiquitos and many many more. Excluding Bem Brazil these meals tend to not be that expensive, especially if you have a discount code that you found online. However, if you are planning to use a discount code then make sure to check the terms and conditions of the voucher. Many promotions will not be valid on Valentine’s Day.

Gusto

My favourite Italian restaurant in Manchester has to be Gusto. It feels more classy than say Ask Italia and I wouldn’t say it is much more expensive. If you sign up to be a member of their dining club then you can often get up to 50% off your meal on certain days. Again check the terms and conditions as any promotions aren’t likely to be valid on Valentine’s Day.

Gusto Manchester - Valentines Day Date

Surrounded by fairy lights and candles, Gusto is one of the most romantic restaurant to dine at on Valentine’s Day.

Valentines Day 2019 in Manchester

Are you fully prepared for Valentine’s Day?

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading plenty of date ideas in the Manchester area. I hope you all have an amazing Valentine’s Day. However, before you go, there is something you should know. This post was a collaboration with 13 other amazing bloggers who have been preparing advice for Valentine’s day. I strongly recommend that follow their blogs so that you can read more valentine’s day advice over the next fortnight. Below is the schedule of posts for the next two weeks, with links to the blogs so you know where to find them!


Day 2 – Deanna is writing about, Valentine’s Day Makeup & Outfit inspiration
Day 3 – Lavrax is writing about, Edible and personalised gift ideas/valentines day baking
Day 4 – Megan is writing about, Valentine’s Day Ideas for Singles
Day 5 – Macey  is writing about, The Origin story of Valentine’s Day
Day 6 – Rach is writing about, Valentine’s Day ideas for the family
Day 7 – Molly has some Valentines cupcake recipes to share with you
Day 8 – Shealea is writing about, Sapphic romances that’ll make your heart soft on Valentine’s Day
Day 9 – Kerry is recommending some Valentines gifts for travellers
Day 10 – Vicky is writing all about Mindful Date Ideas
Day 11 – Divine is writing all about, The Perks of Dating a Mood Reader
Day 12 – Soph is giving advice on, Valentines Day gifts on a budget / for students
Day 13 – Koral is writing all about, Valentines Day and Mental Health
Day 14 – Lastly, Taiwo is writing a piece on, How to enjoy Valentine’s Day alone

I have been writing a blog for less than a year and somehow I feel like I have had it much longer. It has become a huge part of my life and I love everything about it. I have met so many people through the blogging community and have learnt so much about: online marketing, graphic design, web design and social media. However I am yet to figure out HOW ON EARTH people use Pinterest! To all of you people out there who are getting millions of views on your Pinterest page each day, how? Are you magic? Anyway, as I’ve decided that 2019 is the year I take blogging more seriously, I thought I’d write a post all about why I started a blog and why I love it so much.

My love for writing

Ever since I can remember I have kept a diary of some sorts. I do this for two reasons. Firstly, I find it extremely therapeutic and good for my mental health just to get everything down onto a page, whatever I’m feeling. Secondly, I love reading my diaries back and laughing at all the fun times I’ve had. If I don’t write it down, I will forget it and I have some stories that are too funny to be forgotten.

Anyway, growing up I always knew I would be a writer of some sorts but it wasn’t until I visited my university’s career adviser in second year that I decided to create a blog. I was advised to start one so that I would create a portfolio of work to show future employers if I wanted to go down the journalism route. With help from my partner who knows absolutely everything about the internet and websites, I began blogging.

My love for travel

I hope for my blog to become more travel focused as my bank account begins to grow and I travel to many more places. One of my favourite things to do is read travel blogs on the internet and so, when I was deciding what my blogs niche would be, I decided travel. Although currently I write about anything that comes to mind, I plan on going on many adventures soon and so my blog will become a lot more travel orientated.

Although my goal is to give my blog a travel niche, I cannot stress how unimportant having a niche really is. When I read blogs, I tend to invest in the person writing. I will admit to being an extremely nosy person and I love reading about what everyone is up to. So, if you’re reading this and would love to start a blog, my advice would be to stop worrying about have a niche. They are unimportant. Start writing and you might find you naturally have a niche later on. But for now, just start something. You learn things as you go along.

Overcoming my fears

Starting a blog can be scary to some people. It was for me, I felt so embarrassed and paranoid that people I knew would read it and laugh. However this doesn’t bother me anymore because writing on my small section of the internet makes me happy and whoever is laughing can just stay behind the screen and out of my life. Anyway, I overcame this fear just by ignoring them and worrying about them later – now that I’ve started, I never think about what I was worried about. Plus, now I have this hobby that has brought me to some amazing people. I have found new blogs to read and it’s amazing the new stuff you can learn. One second I’m reading a blog all about the gym and then the next I’m learning about what to do in Belgium for a weekend away.

This is why I started blogging and why I love it so much! If you’re a blogger, comment below all the reasons why you love having a blog. If you’re not and you would like to start a blog, then comment below all the reasons why you haven’t started yet!

Student debt. It’s something we hear about all the time but no one is really talking about it. At school we are told the financial burden of what going to university/college actually means, however, as teenagers we ignore the warning calls as that is a problem for the future to bear. That was me three years ago. Now I am in my third year of university almost working full-time hours alongside a full time degree. I am wondering is all this debt worth it? I am going to discuss what being in debt is actually like and how it can affect your experience as a student.

Different loans for different students

In the U.K. the government will pay for everyones tuition fees and then the student will pay it all back out of his/her wage once they are earning over (i think) £21,000 a year. This figure tends to bounce about – but the idea is that you start paying it back when you are in a position to be able to. To be able to afford general living cost: rent, utilities, food; the government also provides a maintenance loan. The thing with the maintenance loan is that depending on how much your parents earn is how much loan you would be entitled to. The minimum amount I believe is just over £3000 a year and the maximum amount is over £8000.

Fortunately for me, I receive the highest maintenance loan possible and so I haven’t been at a disadvantage during my studies. However, some of my friends who barely get any loan, and their parents can’t afford to pay their rent, really struggle to make ends meet. They end up having to balance an almost full time job with their degree. From the governments point of you, you can understand their logic behind giving more money to those from a disadvantaged background. However, as a result their are a lot of struggling students just because their parents just met the threshold.

Mental Health

There is a huge relationship between the amount of money you earn and the more you suffer with mental health issues. Last year I really struggled with how stressful it was to be in debt. No matter how hard I worked, it felt like I was never allowed to treat myself – because I had no money. Most students will experience this – especially because you don’t usually get paid to study. You work extremely hard – day and night- and you don’t get anything out of it for three years, at least.

That being said, this means it is increasingly more difficult for students whose loan doesn’t even cover their rent. All the money they earn through part time work goes on expenses and they really don’t have the same university experience as others. There are some students who will be able to go clubbing every night and have fun with friends and still have enough money to live comfortably. The amount of money you get can really change your university experience. It isn’t fair – but is there a solution?

Does finance scare people away?

Does the idea of having no money at university scare people from attending? Absolutely. It’s the heartbreaking truth that it’s now harder being from an average family income to attend university than it is for people from a disadvantaged background. I could image a lot of parents tell their children they wouldn’t be able to give their kids any money at university and that would be enough to scare anybody away. Now I’m not saying that any body should get less student loan. I believe that the threshold before you receive less student loan should be a lot higher. This would make attending university more accessible.

Anyway, I just felt I needed to write something on this matter because I don’t think anyone realises how hard having no money is until you’re suddenly in that situation. It is increasingly difficult when you’re a student and don’t have the time to earn money whilst focusing on studying. I don’t want to put anyone off but university is not for everyone and you should really consider whether all this stress is for you before committing three years of your life away.

Comment below your opinions on the student loan system. Is your country’s different to the U.K.? Or to read more on how to survive university you can read all about my tips here.

It’s the time of year when many university students start to panic over what they are going to do when they graduate. Some people have known what they’ve wanted to do since before they even applied to university and if this is you then great. If this isn’t you and you are feeling very lost then do not worry. You are not alone. I will hopefully be graduating in the summer and although I’m no careers counsellor, I already know what I want to do when I graduate. So, I thought I’d pose three questions to get you started in thinking about what to do after university.

Did you enjoy university?

The first question you need to ask yourself is did you enjoy university? If you did, then this could potentially open up the opportunities of diving into post-graduate study. Was there one module that you felt so passionate about that you’d love to learn more? Then maybe you should study a masters degree devoted to it? However, enjoying university does not mean you are obliged to carry on with academic study. Perhaps you enjoyed the organisational side of a degree – in that case you could look for a career which requires these skills. Maybe you took an interest and participated in a society that could propel you into a career? A good example of this is a media or creative writing additional activity. Participating in these clubs will provide you with the skills needed for a career in them, and if you enjoyed it then maybe its a good enough reason to go for it.

If you did not enjoy university then it goes without saying that you definitely should not continue academia into post-graduate study. There is absolutely no point in spending your valuable time doing something that you do not enjoy. Life is too short, move on and if you do not know how to move on then literally get a job anywhere. That’s a good place to start. You never know you’ll enjoy something till you’ve tried it.

Are you a money oriented person?

The second question you should ask yourself is, are you a money oriented person? Sure everyone loves having money, but there are specific people out there that get addicted to earning money and get a buzz off earning more and more. If this is you then you should do whatever earns you the most money. If you want a steady job then apply to the jobs with the highest pay and greatest career progression. However, despite doctors and humanitarians doing more moral jobs, it tends to be business people and those who work in finance that earn the most. Perhaps you can use that as your starting point for job searching?

If you are not a money oriented person then maybe you want to help people? Working for a charity is always a good place to start your job hunt. Not only will you be earning money to pay the bills but your job will also be making a difference to peoples lives. Obviously careers such as being a doctor or a nurse are very rewarding however studying these areas at university probably means you know what you want to do after university. Therefore, why are you reading this post?

Are you travel oriented?

The last question I think you should ask yourself is are you travel oriented? I ask you this because travel and tourism is all I want to do after I graduate and it’s not particularly money oriented or an ethical career path. Unless of course you volunteer abroad doing conservation work or rebuilding homes for people, for example. If you’re like me and the idea of settling into the same career for the next twenty years terrifies you, then maybe you should pack a bag and get on a plane. Of course, it takes steps before you can go backpacking, money for example and those steps are what will determine what you do after university. Do you need to move back with your parents and get a job with lots of hours for you to be able to afford to travel? Would you rather get a job on a cruise ship or become a member of cabin crew? If you ask yourself these questions now, then you will have plenty of time to plan your next steps before you graduate.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and I hope it has brought you some what closer to figuring out what you want to do after university. If you would like to read more of mine be sure to subscribe to my blog and don’t forget to follow me on social media for updates on new content!

When another year comes around, there is always the usual people claiming, ‘New Year, New Me’ and for some reason others complain about this. They claim that each new year is the same and you don’t become a new person over night. I disagree with this. I think that the New Year is a perfect time to decide what positive changes you will make in your life. Sure, a lot of people don’t stick to them for very long. But a new year brings new opportunities and experiences and everything is so exciting in January – anything can happen. I predominantly started my blog so that in years to come, I could read back at my posts and reflect on them. So, I’ve decided to write a post explaining all what I am looking forward to in 2019. One day, I may reflect and see if any of this stuff I’m about to ramble on about actually happened.

Graduation

This year is the year that I graduate (hopefully) from university and it’s about time. If you’ve followed me for some time, you are probably aware that me and academia do not see eye to eye. I’m not going to get into all the reasons that I see university as a controlling and uncaring institution. If you would like to read more about that then you can do so in my post about why university is not for everyone.

Anyway, in May I will submit my last piece of academic work ever. This is a huge relief for me because doing something that you hate for so long can really take an impact on your mental health. You’re probably thinking: if you hated it that much, why didn’t you just quit? Well the short answer to this is I hate leaving anything half done at the best of times. Let alone something that I have spent thousands of pounds on. With the end of university brings freedom for me for many reasons…

Business

This year my partner will fully launch his web design and marketing business and I will be working on it with him. I am going to specialise in social media marketing and writing for SEO. Me and my partner are incredibly excited about this because this business will hopefully give us the freedom to work in any corner of the world. After working in retail for many years, it will be a huge relief to stop working for someone else and start working for myself. Instead of being paid by the hour, we will get to control how much money we earn by how much work we’re willing to do. I am so excited to learn a lot more about the online world in doing this. There is also another reason I am excited about this opportunity…

I am going home

After living away from Essex for three years, I will be back spending a significant amount of time back at home. Me and my partner will move there after my house contract ends and so I will get to spend some real time with my family and hopefully reconnect with some friends I lost contact with. This isn’t a permanent residence as me and my partner will be jetting off to Australia to begin our one year working holiday visa as soon as we have the funds for it. Regardless, I just cant wait to really be in a routine of seeing everyone again rather than spending a week at home every few months. This of course means I get to walk my two dogs every day, which I love more than anything.

Travel

My travel plans this year entirely depends on how much money I have in the bank. This year I begin saving for a year long trip to the other side of the world, however I always have the itchy feet to travel and so I don’t doubt there will be a holiday or city break somewhere between now and the end of the year. Me and Neil know that we will have a holiday this summer but we are still torn between places to visit. We know we want a summer holiday under the sun and close to a beach, however we don’t want the hotel to be in the middle of nowhere as we are very active people and love to be doing something all the time. I’m sure we will find something and so I will stuck at the gym till then working on my summer body

Anyway, those are the main things I am looking forward to in 2019. I’m sure new opportunities and experiences will find their way towards me but for now I am looking at the year with excitement but also nerves. Doesn’t everyone graduating university feel nervous about what life will throw their way next?

Comment below what your goals for 2019 are and what adventures you have in store – I’d love to hear them!

As an avid watcher of travel vloggers and reader of travel bloggers, it seems that nowadays everyone is picking up their passport and travelling the world. In the world of social media, pool parties are captured on Instagram and everyone on Facebook is checking into an airport somewhere. This got me thinking, why are more people travelling the world than ever before? I decided to think about why travel wasn’t as common decades ago and how this has changed. It goes without saying that more people travelling the world and broadcasting it on social media is making me extremely jealous, hence the motivation to write this post.

The economy

When I asked my family about there travel experiences growing up, it seems that they travel a lot more now than they did years ago. I got the sense that years ago people were a lot worse off financially. Growing up in a working class family, my Nan told me stories of a time where if you needed financial help from the government it was really hard. Someone would come out and if they saw you had one too many chairs for the people living in the house you were told to sell one. Times have changed since then, and even the poorest people do not get told to sell things when they are asking for help (I hope anyway).

Ultimately, the economy has gotten a lot better off and people have more money then they did a few decades ago. People are buying new pairs of socks rather than sewing them up when they got holes in. The more money you have, the more you have to spend on new adventures. At least that’s how I believe money should be spent anyway.

Super cheap flights

To this day, I continued to be amazed at how cheap flights have become. With budget airlines constantly advertising flights for as low as £9.99, it’s no wonder that more people are booking up and jetting abroad. Although there are added costs of accommodation, food etc. with more money saved on transportation, people are finding less excuses to invest in a trip of a lifetime. Let’s hope it all stays this way; between Brexit threatening life as we know it and airlines beginning to introduce carry-on bag charges, we all have to pray that our super cheap flights remain, well… cheap!

Social Media

A couple of decades ago, social media didn’t exist. How anyone knew anything about anyone is beyond me. How would you know what people were having to eat? When did you find out that someone was back with that guy that they shouldn’t be with for the millionth time? My mind is baffled. Anyway, social media does exist now and we can all spy on each others lives from the comfort of our own home, without ending up on a restraining order. That being said, we get a good glimpse into peoples lives. When they go on holiday or are drinking their first holiday cocktail at the airport we are all the first to know. There are disadvantages to this, but that’s another post in it’s self.

The point I’m trying to make is that deep down, we all become slightly envious when we see the girls we went to school with sunning it up in Ibiza or we see our work colleague head of backpacking down under. Jealousy is completely normal, no wonder seeing people jet off everywhere makes us think that maybe we should also book something up. I remember seeing people on my Facebook news feed take part in the Camp America programme years ago. Low and behold, I was soon jetting off to work as a camp counsellor on a summer camp not long after.

YouTube

A huge influence on my burning desire to drop everything and hop on a plane are all the travel vloggers I watched growing up. Yes, this can be linked to being influenced by social media, but there’s something extra tempting about watching a fellow traveller sit in front of a camera and tell you all the reasons why you should hop on a plane. Also, travel vloggers don’t just sit there explaining why their lifestyle is just the greatest in the world. They also give advise that teaches you how you can turn your travel dreams into a reality. For example, how you can save money for travel, or scam companies to avoid booking through.

FaceTime

Travelling abroad is not just about week long holidays in the sun anymore. More people than ever are embarking on backpacking trips for a year or more. But why were such long trips not common in the past? Homesickness. Back in the good old the days the only way to communicate was by telephone or pen and paper. Now with inventions like Facetime it can feel like you’re right at home from thousands of miles away. At least when I’m away I can still see my dogs whenever I call home. I try to Facetime my mum every day and I swear I tend to speak to her more now than I did when I lived with her. I can talk to her for hours about work, house chores and what I made for dinner. Without the luxury of Facetime, the thought of spending so long without seeing your loved ones would deter many people from hopping on a plane. Thank god for modern technology!

So these are the thoughts that swim around in my head when I see so many people on adventures. Why is everyone on holiday but me?! I’m sure I’ll be on my next adventure soon, after all; good things come to those who wait.

Want to read more from me? Make sure you subscribe to my blog for all the latest posts! Want to write for me? Head over to my contact page for more information!

I have been blogging for less than a year now and so I would still say I’m relatively new to this community. Of course, I have been following other people’s blogs for a while and you get familiar with the common blog post ideas. One post I have read countless times is the ’30 things I hope to do before I’m 30′ post which I love! I think this is possibly because i’m extremely nosy! I find it incredibly fascinating that so many people want different things by the time they’re 30.  So, I decided to give it a go, here is 30 things I hope to do before I’m 30…

  1. Skydive for charity
  2. Bungee jump
  3. Working holiday visa Australia
  4. Write my own novel
  5. Rescue a dog
  6. Take my mum on holiday to wherever she likes
  7. Learn to ski
  8. Learn to surf
  9. Go back to Camp!
  10. Start my own business
  11. Graduate!
  12. Volunteer abroad
  13. Learn to drive
  14. Finally stick to a gym membership
  15. Complete a charity run
  16. Climb to the top of the O2
  17. Inter-rail round Europe
  18. Host Christmas one year
  19. Start a YouTube channel
  20. Be an Extra in a film
  21. Attend a baby shower
  22. Monetise my blog
  23. Learn to code
  24. Write a play and have it produced
  25. Begin to learn Spanish
  26. Be my own Boss!
  27. Own a property
  28. Scuba dive
  29. Write a collection of short stories
  30. See Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the West End!

Comment below some things you would love to do in future years! 

To any of you who have worked in retail before, you will probably have a good indication as to the purpose of this post. Why? Because we have all been there. Listening to the manager explain to the customer what you said five minutes previously. Reorganising a shelf after already tidying it twelve hundred times that day. Last but not least, having to hide the frustration and resentment you have towards a difficult customer with a smile. It can be hell on earth but here I am explaining why everyone should work in retail at least once in their life…

It gives you thick skin…

I got my first retail job when I was 16 years old. I work at Colchester Zoo, to anyone who has heard of it. And no, I didn’t do anything interested like feeding the Meerkats, I merely worked in a gift shop. It was slightly different to the average retail job, meaning that you would often get to wander round the zoo with a giant handful of balloons or dress up like Jigsaw at halloween. I enjoyed the unique aspect to this job. However what I didn’t enjoy was something which all retail employees get to experience – being yelled at!

I had my fair share of nightmare customers come my way. One in fact decided to call me a bitch in front of his children because the monkey enclosure was closed for refurbishment. I mean, did I – at 16 years old – look like I had any authority in the overall running of the zoo? No, I did not. Did I have any control over the fact that this man stupidly didn’t check the website for updates on the runnings of the zoo. Absolutely not. Did I deserve to be scream at like a naughty child, NOOOO!

Working in retail you learn to develop a thick skin. You can’t let customers get to you even if you have been working ten hour shifts and really don’t care to actually ‘check the back’ when they ask. I mean, we’ve all walked to the cupboard stood for a few minutes only to regain some strength and then returned to the customer apologising for the lack of stock. Anyway, the point being is you learn to handle rude people and not let it get to you. This is one of the reasons why I truly believe everyone should work in retail at least once in their life. You’ll soon realise that you no longer get treated as an individual and adapt.

Your levels of patience will be tested!

When you work in the same shop for however many shifts, your patience will get tested. It will be the same routine and you will be repeating yourself to every customer that walks into the shop. You begin to get a routine in your head of what you said to each customer. For me I used to get so tired by the end of the shift I would end up not making sense and getting my words muddled. For example, instead of saying ‘hi, can I help?’ to a new customer I mixed it up with ‘enjoy the rest of your day’. They were beyond confused.

Ultimately, working in retail can result in you becoming more patient. There will be customers that will need something explained to them a million times and you just have to bear with them. Especially when they’re not rude, you’ll be eternally grateful and happy to spend a little extra time helping them out. You will also find customers that are beyond lovely and will ask about your day, rather than just complaining about the price of something. These people honestly lift your day up and get you ready for the next demon customer you have to face.

You meet the best of people

When you work in retail, especially in a big store, you get to meet a wide range of people. Some of who you’ll remain close to for long after you leave. You bond over the simplest things. One Boxing Day I worked and we had the privilege to sit down all day counting stock rather than having to deal with people – we literally just locked ourselves in a cupboard all day and opened up a puzzle we sold. It’s the little things that make you happy.

You also gossip about all the eventful things that happen at work. One summer Ed Sheeran paid a visit to the zoo with his family and it was so exciting. When he came into store, we all laughed at our managers who were bothering him more than the customers.

You grow a new respect for employees wherever you are…

To sum up, why everyone should work in retail at least once in their life is so that they grow a new respect for employees wherever they shop/eat at. Since I started working in retail I will never put something back in the wrong place, because I know how frustrating it can be to the employer. I have also grown to always be polite to the employee and never treat them as if they are not an individual. Sometimes big companies don’t pass down information to the lower-level employers so it is just unreasonable to be rude or belittling because they do not know something.

What I hate most in the world is watching a customer be incredibly rude to an employee and the staff member not knowing what to do. As much as we would like to put you in your place, we are always told to polite to customers I just wished it worked the same way!

 

Anyway, there are my reasons as to why everyone should work in retail at least once in their life. I would love to think that this post has inspired you to apply for a new job, but lets face it, it probably hasn’t. Working in retail sucks but at least I have done it and can take lessons learned onto my next occupations.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Comment below your worst experiences working in retail or the worse things you have seen whilst shopping!

 

As I approach the end of university, I am surprised as to how I have managed to see the final days of my degree. For some people university is the best years of their life, but for others it can be soul-destroying. I sit firmly in between the two. So, I thought I’d give my top advice on how to survive university. Some of my advice may sound like the most obvious thing you’ve read today, but believe me, when you’re thousands of words behind on an assignment it can be easy to loose sight of the simple ideas.

Gain Perspective

My first piece of advice, to anyone who is wondering how anyone ever survived this nightmare of a degree before you, is to gain perspective. If you fail your degree, get a third, or drop out – you will still have air in your lungs and a life to be lived. I know university can be stressful and everyone wants to do well, however I find that having the perspective that you don’t have to have a degree makes it suddenly less stressful. It’s easy for me to say I guess, I was the first person out of family to attend university and so I’ve never had any academic pressure from my family. But, I do know that if you do have a family that expect you to get a first, there can be a lot of pressure put on you. Just remember that it’s your life – not theirs and being proud of yourself is the only thing that matters anyway.

Most of the time, when I’ve done bad on an assignment, I can almost always put it down to overthinking and stressing before the deadline. This just proves that stressing about something is pretty pointless. I read a quote the other day and it said that if you stress about something you essentially go through it twice. This enlightened me and from now on, I’m going to try and live by this. Although I always find it difficult to follow my own advice.

Get involved

I’m a strong believer that you only get one life and so there is absolutely no point in sitting around doing nothing. Yes, university is hard work. But – if we’re being honest at times it’s not that time consuming and so you can get up and do something productive. Volunteering? Part-time job? Gym? A benefit to all of this is that it will make you stand out on your C.V. after university. There are plenty of people who have a degree, but even less who have a degree and ran a society, for example.

In my experience, I also find that having a job has helped me with my studies. Before, I would procrastinate so much because I was worried about the assignment. Now, I have no time to procrastinate and it just makes me get on with it. I’m also earning money too, which is never a bad thing.

Just do it and worry later

If you’re like me, and you’re a complete stress head who will defend their procrastinating until the day they die, you may struggle the most with starting the essay you’ve been dreading. Once I have a flow of words going on a page I tend to just get on with it, however I always worry that It will not be perfect and so I delay starting the work. Sound like you? The biggest thing I’ve learnt is to just get anything onto the page – even if it’s just a few words. You can always come back to editing it later!

Another thing to remember is that just because you are a poor university student, it doesn’t mean you should put a pause on your personal life. If there’s a big party coming up and you’re worried about getting your work done, just go to the party and worry later. Chances are you would only be procrastinating doing the work anyway. Honestly, when you’re old and you’re looking back on your life I think you’d much prefer having memories than a first class degree.

Anyway, that’s just my advice. I’ve never been the perfect student and so I’ve always struggled. Now, I just do what I can to get by and thats all what matters to me now – seeing the end of it. But if you are struggling with university and it’s all getting a bit too much or you, please contact someone. I did, and it did me the world of good. Contact your university counselling service, your academic advisor or (if you’re in the U.K.) contact the Samaritans. From my own experience, they are brilliant at making me feel a lot better in myself!

 

 

Despite what society screams at you, you do not need to attend university to become successful in life. If you’re like me, a student who is in doubt about whether University is for her, you can still drop out and… EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY! Of course, before you drop out, you should plan what you want to do when you sign your degree away. Perhaps the reason I haven’t dropped out yet is because I am indecisive about what I wish to do with a degree or without a degree. If I could be paid 40k to lounge on a tropical island, where my only care in the world would be which cocktail to drink at dinner that would be fabulous.

During first year, although I didn’t realise it at the time, I knew there was other stuff I would rather be doing with my younger years than binge-watching a Netflix series whilst my shared kitchen slowly became a home for disease and mice. The only difference between 1st year and 2nd year was that my mental health became a lot worse and that’s when I came to the realisation that academia is not worth risking your health over.

Luckily for me, I was prescribed anti-depressants for my anxiety; have had amazing support from my boyfriend and I am now less stressed about getting a degree than last exam season. It is because of this reassurance that academia is not the only thing that matters in life, I’ve found that I’ve been working better with keeping up with my uni work; it was the stress and the panicking before that wasted my energy and concentration.

Below is some advice about deciding whether or not University is for you which I’ve learnt from two years of not feeling fulfilled from University and two years of absolutely hating A levels.

(PS. If you’re more interested in my advice on how to take care of your mental health whilst studying at university then check out my post on Taking care of your mental health whilst at University)

Careers

Okay, I am going to sound slightly like a careers adviser here, but, does the degree, or doing a degree full-stop, benefit you in your career aims? Years ago, a degree was something that few people got, but now, so many more people are going to University and plenty of people find themselves unemployed for longer than 6 months after they graduate; I have spoken to many Uber drivers who had degrees in a wide range of subjects, and when graduating just could not find a job in the area they were after. Of course this shouldn’t be the only reason to base your decision on attending uni upon, in fact, a lot of graduate jobs start on high salaries and if your CV is great and you have that element of luck associated with employment then you could be one of those fortunate souls.

However, there are different routes into many careers which do not require a degree. Sometimes it can be easier to start in a lower paid job and work your way up. This can be extremely beneficial because by the time the graduates finish their degrees and are looking for work, they will be up against you who will have 3/4 years work experience in the industry you’ve applied for. However, please bear in mind the obvious… some careers require a specific degree, for example, if you wish to be a brain surgeon, I expect you must know that a degree in medicine is essential.

Location

One of the main reasons I came to  university was to move out and become independent.   I chose to study in  Manchester for two reasons: to live in a city, because there are a lot more opportunities for me than in my home town; and I wanted to live far enough away from home that the distance would prevent my home-sickness from taking me home every weekend. When I applied, I didn’t know what a Russel-group university was. I looked at where I wanted  to live and I assumed that high entry requirements equalled a good University. In terms of choosing the right course, I would advise  choosing the course > the location, because after all, you are paying for the course and need to be able to put that first. If you can’t enjoy your course, how do you expect to enjoy University?

University?

I attend a Russel-group university and that doesn’t make me feel any more intelligent than someone who does not attend a Russel-group university. In-fact, I didn’t even know what a Russel-group university was until I arrived at one and some pretentious students were mocking a near-by university for not being one.  After studying in a ‘prestigious’ university for two years, I’ve came to the conclusion that I wish I were on a more practical course; I study Drama and envy my friend who is studying television production. If you take one thing from this article, take this piece of advice… do not just look at a university league table and then aim to attend the one at the top. It is not always the one most ideal for you, this is especially true for the students who do not wish to continue their academic career into postgraduate education.

 

Money

One thing you will be warned about when you come to university is… you will have no money! Even if you receive the highest of loans, one thing I’ve learned in life is that unexpected finance issues pop up and you may not be ready for them. My advice here would be to SAVE YOUR PENNYS before you arrive at University. Keep that money in a separate account until you really need it. To those who have their parents to get them out of sticky situations this still applies to you. What harm could having extra money really do? Do you want to have to turn down nights outs because you weren’t prepared, no? Then follow this advice and SAVE YOUR PENNYS! As my grandma always says, “look after your pennies and your pounds will take care of themselves!”

DISCLOSURE: The most annoying expense you will have when living in University accommodation is the outrageous amount those circuit washing machines charge! You’ll be paying around £5 a wash and dry!

Enjoyment

From what I’ve learned in my lifetime is that doing stuff you do not enjoy is just not worth it. If you know you hate academia then is investing more time and energy into something you don’t enjoy worth it? The only thing keeping me through this experience is I do enjoy what I am learning about. My issue is I suffer from anxiety. The stress I get from bad grades makes me feel like its not worth putting my mental health in harms way. I am currently still trying to figure out what’s best for me. No matter what I hear from anyone, I have to figure out what works in my best interest and if you’re struggling to make your mind up like me, know that you can listen to people’s advice and turn it away. Only you know what’s best for you!