Dear Diary… Life’s a Happening

What a crazy few weeks we have all had! From new prime ministers to the most unbearable heatwave of 37.5 degrees, life really has been happening. However the real breaking news is that I am so excited that I now have the full domain of londonsnewgirl.blog which I cannot wait to work on and develop as I explore London life!

Whilst lots has certainly been happening on a national scale, things over here have been a little, well… odd. This really has been the first time in about five years that I haven’t had a Summer job or uni work to be doing. What on earth am I meant to be doing with all this free time? I’m catching myself feeling guilty if I sit and play on my phone for too long but at the same time I am struggling to fill each day. I hate sitting around and I am definitely not one for lounging around at the weekends, I’d much rather be out and about exploring or catching up with friends. That being said I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time on Pinterest recently, follow me here if you’re a fellow ‘pinner.’ I’ve trawled every interior store and homeware section and pinned all my favourites, which is causing some contention between myself and the boyfriend who is refusing a pink, white and grey colour scheme in the bedroom. He needn’t bother as I’m very much aware that it’ll be a combination of both of our university things for the first few months/years anyway, however that does give me plenty of time to win him over…

My main task is finding a job, closely followed by finding a flat and both are majorly overwhelming. I have been lucky enough to have an interview that I’m keeping all my fingers and toes crossed for as it would be the dream, however realistically I’m trying not to get my hopes up too much. I want to do a whole post or even a series on finding a job in London as I definitely think it’s different to any other place, the competition is unbelievably strong yet there are so many opportunities so how do you pick the right one? Who knows. Not me right now anyway!

Flat hunting is looking slightly more positive, which is rather frustrating considering I can’t pay rent without a job, however it’s the three busses coming at once scenario isn’t it. However I guess in this case its the connecting bus arriving before I even get the first one! We are actually going to view a flat tomorrow and I’m trying to compile my list of adult questions to ask the agents however it’s hard to get out the mindset of asking if I can put blue tac on the walls after so many years of boarding school and uni accommodation.

So that’s it. Life really is starting yet is seeming to take a very long time to get going. I am such an impatient person, which is something I am struggling a little with right now, so I’m going to pool all of my organisational and creative energy into the blog and see what I can come up with! What are your tips for being patient when it comes to waiting for life? I definitely don’t want to wish this down time away when the next 50 or so years are going to be pretty intense, but I guess I am just too excited to get started? Let me know in the comments!

My Two Year Bucket List

I love planning, especially long term, whether its for holidays or how I’m going to organise my work over the next few months but I feel like moving to London isn’t exactly something I can plan very well. In terms of flats and jobs that’s relatively easy to plan in the sense that I need to find both of them in order to do anything else, but what I’m going to do with my weekends? No idea.

A better idea for me however is to give myself a list of things I want to do or achieve and then get to tick them off as I do each one, sort of like a really flexible big plan that I can adapt to do whenever I want.

Exploring

One of my favourite things to do is explore and I definitely want to make the most of all the little gems that London has to offer. I really want to do some day trips, especially back down to Brighton in the Summer months (I’ve been once before for the day and I loved it!) as well as venturing further afield and exploring the south of England a little more as my knowledge is restricted pretty much to where Ed lives in Essex.

When I lived in Germany for a year one of my favourite things to do was to get on their version of the tube and get off at a random stop, walk around and find something fun to do there. Whilst this may not be the best idea in London I really want to make sure I make use of the tube network and try and visit as many neighbourhoods of the city as I can. We have both said we want to suss out exactly where we would want to live before we commit to a long term rental it’s going to be really important for us to use our weekends wisely and get out and about.

Travel

Whilst this could also be considered exploring, I definitely want to make use of London’s transport networks and I’d love to take the Eurostar across to Europe, especially Paris at some point over the next couple of years. There are also some amazing deals to be had on flights to other cities, so I’d definitely love to book us a couple of long weekends away as a little treat when we need them.

I would also love to go skiing again, something I haven’t done since my year abroad. Whilst it’s definitely going to be one of the more expensive trips, I’d love to save up and hit the slopes for a few days!

Culture

One of London’s greatest selling points for me is the abundance of museums and theatres that can be found there. I have always wanted to see a musical in the West End and I currently have my heart set on Matilda, although Wicked and Phantom remain some of my favourites. There are also so many museums I have still not visited, including the V&A and the British Museum which are top of my list!

Blogging

I really missed blogging during my break but starting afresh with londonsnewgirl has made me realise some of the mistakes I made the last time! Whilst I want to post regularly because it’s something I enjoy doing, I do not want to get myself into the routine where I would feel guilty if I hadn’t been working on my blog for a few days. I know I am going to be so busy, especially for the first few months of the new job and moving into the new flat but my blog will always be my creative outlet. I’d love to grow my site to the point where it becomes a place of reference for other London girls or people looking to visit the city for a few days. As I am such a traveller at heart there will always also be travel content on the blog and I can’t wait to see where the next few years take me!

I much prefer my new mental format of thinking of them as things I want to do rather than planning out exactly where and when I will do them! Do you set yourself goals/lists like these? Let me know in the comments!

I've written a bucket list of what I want to achieve/do over the next two years! From travel to blogging with bits of culture thrown in!

What I’ve Learned at University

University is certainly a whirlwind experience. There are so many ups and downs and nothing can quite prepare you for what you are faced with, from the mountain of dishes that appear in your flat overnight to actually having to make big decisions about your future.

As my time at St. Andrews is drawing to a close, I’ve found myself reflecting upon what I have actually learned at University, whether or not it was worth the five years of intense studying, terrible hangovers and the mountain of debt I am leaving with. My answer is undoubtedly yes.

Aside from leaving with a very detailed knowledge of how print has developed since the founding of the printing press and slightly more German vocab than when I started, it’s amazing how much I have grown as a person, both physically (weekly netball spin sessions combined with a newfound love for chicken dippers and mayo) and mentally.

First year can only be described as rocky. I met some of my best friends, loved my new independence, realised how much I enjoy the weekly food shop and finally got to achieve one of my main goals of studying at St. Andrews. However I also discovered alcohol, discovered people can be mean and messy, somehow managed to fail a module and had to learn to navigate the incredible tricky social sphere that appears when you have thousands of students and only three main streets in the town. First year was a learning curve.

In second year I discovered how much more fun it was to hang out with my friends in the day and attempt to fit all my work into a late night library visit, which also ended up being me hanging out with my friends. However I did work hard when I needed to, learned how to manage my time and made up the credits I needed, picking up some medieval German along the way. I solidified friendship groups and learned how to juggle them when they refused to overlap. I also made the biggest decision to spend my next year teaching abroad in Germany and then learned how hard it was to say goodbye. Crying at Ed Sheeran’s photograph in my student union hugging my friends at one of our last nights out of the year was potentially a low point…

Then only a few months later I was sitting in the Einwohnermeldeamt in Nuremberg waiting to register as a citizen. I won’t even pretend it’s possible to condense that year of experiences into one paragraph and the things I took from my year abroad are numerous.

Then I landed back with a bump. How do you fit back in to a life that has been going on without you whilst you have been experiencing other things? With great difficulty. I had learned too much and had too many new experiences to come back as exactly the same person I was when I left. Things had also changed in St. Andrews, with my friends making new friends, having had their own experiences whilst I was gone. Friendships were tested and survived, others faded away as we outgrew each other. It was also the first year my grades counted towards my final degree. I worked hard and became obsessively organised. But that didn’t mean I stopped having fun and somehow met my boyfriend in my Thursday morning 9am class who somehow fancied me when I turned up incredibly hungover from the night before. I then learned how hard it was to balance a new relationship with spending time with friends and studying. Then I had to learn how to say goodbye all over again as most of my friends graduated having not done a year abroad, knowing that next year I was going to have to do my final year without some of my biggest supporters and shoulders to cry on when things went a bit wrong.

But it hasn’t been all that bad. I still see some of my friends as regularly as we can and somehow I have made new ones. I’ve taken on more responsibility, had lower lows, but also higher highs as I got to complete some of my favourite St. Andrews traditions with my boyfriend and best friend by my side. Making decisions about the future has been hard, but now I am so excited to take what I have learned at University over the past five years and apply in it my new life in London. It’s going to be very different from the little town with three streets that I have called home over the past half decade, but I do love a challenge.

My university journey and what I learned at St Andrews outside the classroom!