Things that school doesn’t prepare you for

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Hello again,

Just a little disclaimer: this is not an attack on the school system, but a list of things that I feel would be useful for schools to teach. I don’t think that schools should babysit us, it’d just be nice to be taught about life after school and not just about quotes from Shakespeare’s plays and how to use Pythagorus. I’m sure I could have written a list twice this size, but here are some things that school doesn’t prepare you for.

Being self-employed

Luckily my family have already loaded me up with information about expenses and tax and all of the wonderful things that accompany working for yourself. My mum even had to sit with me when I applied to become self-employed online. It’s a bit embarrassing that I got to being 20 years old without knowing the first thing about self-employment. It would have been so useful if schools talked about working for yourself as an option instead of banging on about uni all of the time.

Invoices

I didn’t actually learn what an invoice was until I got my first job in social media and my boss told me to sent him an invoice at the end of the month. Even now my invoices are the most basic things I’ve ever written. If you’re ever thinking about taking on some freelance work or running your own business, I’d definitely give ‘invoices’ a little Google because I’d barely heard of the word before I got to uni.

Jobs of the future

I don’t really know what to call this but when I went to school, only a few years ago, the only careers that were really talked about was teaching and law and nursing and all those other jobs that schools think are the best options. There’s no disrespect in working in those industries, but it would’ve been really nice to talk about jobs that are quite new or just different from the norm I suppose. When I told my teachers I was going to study journalism at uni, the only thing they’d talk about would be newspapers. Anything about blogging or PR or social media was dismissed despite school supposedly ‘preparing you for jobs that don’t even exist now’. Yes, they actually said that…

Politics

I don’t know if this is the same for all schools, but my schools NEVER talked about politics. I always remember teachers being fearful of revealing with political party they support. Although I wouldn’t have wanted to anyone to force their views on me, I would have really appreciated some information about voting and what each party stands for. It worries me that people are leaving school without knowing a lot about their own country’s political system and government.

Social media

In school social media was always talked about as if it was some form of evil. All that was talked about was internet safety and not talking to strangers. Whilst this information is useful and 100% necessary, it would be good to teach people about the uses of social media too. Social media is actually the reason I earn money so I find the thought of it being portrayed in a negative way in schools stings me a bit. Without Twitter a lot of people wouldn’t access news and without Instagram a lot of people wouldn’t know what a Boomerang is. Think about it.

Money

Managing money, earning money, the value of money, rent, tax, mortgages, savings… money in general needs to be talked about openly or people are going to leave school not having a clue. I appreciate that your teacher isn’t your mum but a little guidance wouldn’t hurt.  I’m really good at managing money and consider myself to be self-sufficient but I really wish that school offered me more support in that department – I don’t even have an overdraft…

As always, thank you for reading!

I didn’t have a bad time at school and in some ways I learned things that have actually really helped me. Maybe Theresa May will read this and realise that young people need to be more well informed before they leave school…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

 

 

Soap & Glory ‘Thick & Fast’ HD Mascara | Review

Hello again,

Although this mascara is an old favourite, for some reason I stopped using it a while ago so I could try some new mascaras. I recently came back to it as I ended up getting two for Christmas – it must’ve been a sign…

This is a really good alternative if you’re looking for something that’s better than standard drugstore mascaras but not out of budget, like the luxury brand mascaras. It’s a nice in-betweener and it’s definitely worth the money.

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You can’t really tell from the photo because the difference is really subtle but the actual mascara brush has more strands on one side. One side has fewer thick strands and the other has more thin strands. So, one side better for separation and the other side better for volume. I start by using the side with less strands on as it applies the product more evenly. However, using just this side makes my eyelashes really thick so I always use the fluffier side to separate them.

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I find that mascaras are usually either volumising but clumpy or volumising but not lengthening so this is the perfect in-between for me. Whilst it gives my eyelashes a lot of volume, it does it without making them clump together. It also adds a great amount of length. I sometimes find that some mascaras can make my eyelashes look too long and false, because I have quite long lashes anyway.

I will suggest using an eyelash curler and then a primer with any mascara. I find it stops my eyelashes from clumping and separates my eyelashes evenly before I’ve even put any mascara on. This mascara works really well with my NYX Big and Loud Primer, which I featured on my blog not too long ago.

 

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I’ve used a lot of mascaras in the same price range as this one but there hasn’t been one that volumises and lengthens as well as this one without going over the top. I usually end up using a combination of two or three mascaras to get my eyelashes how I want them and it honestly takes me forever. However, when I use this one, it literally takes five minutes.

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You can find the mascara in Boots for £10.50 if you wanted to try it. They also still stock the original version, the Thick and Fast Mascara, if you wanted to try that one first. There’s a lot of difference between the new and old ones but they both work really well. If you wanted to try both of them, Boots are also doing an offer on Soap and Glory products so you can buy one product and get another one for half the price…

As always, thank you for reading.

Let me know if you’ve got any tips for growing your online presence…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

15 Things No One Tells You About University

Hello again,

I’ve written university posts before and a lot of people found them quite helpful. This is basically a list of things that no one tells you before you go to university. All I was told is “the work will be a lot harder than A-Levels” and “don’t come home if you don’t get a first”. I’m joking, sort of.

You will be lonely 

Student halls isn’t always the party that it’s perceived to be. Of course there’ll be plenty of times where you’re out drinking hot chocolate with your friends and splashing all of your student loan in the nearest shopping centre. However, there’ll also be times where you’re sat in your room by yourself wanting to pull the bricks from your walls.

Living with girls is just as bad as living with boys 

Let me tell you this, I live on an all girls floor and some of the girls are actual creatures. If we didn’t have cleaners in everyday I’m not sure I’d cope. There’s only so many times I can clean the oven and avoid certain showers before I never want to leave my room again. I promise you I’m not exaggerating. One day I wash into the kitchen and the toaster was toasting thin air. Or maybe they were toasting invisible bread. Who knows?

You’ll end up eating the same meals most days

You work out the meals that are easy and cheap to cook. Then you stick to them.

You will get lost

No matter how many times you’re told what room or block you’re in, it will always happen. Every corridor looks the same.

You won’t have any money 

Unless you’re living off of bank of mum and dad, you’re probably going to need to get a job. Or, you could eat tinned soup for dinner every day. But even that’s expensive.

You don’t need to buy every book on your reading list

You’ll find a lot of them free on Google Books, in your uni library or significantly cheaper as an ebook. If you look at your list and buy everything single one then you’re a fool. And probably a poor fool at that. Save your pennies and don’t buy a book unless it’s absolutely imperative.

The friends you make during freshers might not be your friends by second year, or even October

After a while you’ll find people who share the same interests as you and who you get along with easily. If you don’t find those friends in the first week or even in the first year, it’s not the end of the world and you’ll find them eventually.

You’re going to question if you’re on the right course

I’m sure everyone’s had this thought. There’s going to be some part of your course that you don’t like. Maybe it’s a little part, maybe it’s a big part. Try and remember that there’ll be other parts of your course that you’ll enjoy more because one bad module doesn’t mean that your whole uni experience will be bad. If your course is unbearable, maybe consider other courses?

You’re going to question if you’re in the right uni

Sometimes your lesson will last for half an hour and you’ll think to yourself “why am I paying £9000 a year for this?”

You can wear whatever you want

If you turn up to a lesson looking like you haven’t washed or brushed your hair in 4 days, nobody seem to notice. And when they do notice, they don’t say anything.

Knowing a lecturer for 2 years doesn’t mean they’ll learn how to spell your name, or even remember what your name is

I can no longer be bothered to tell my lecturers if they’re spelling my name wrong and I’ve also been called a few names that are definitely not Courteney before.  It’s all part of the fun. Try and remember that your lecturers speaks to hundreds of students on a weekly basis and might struggle to learn them all. Or maybe they don’t care what your name is.

You need experience to get a job but you need a job to become experienced

This is something that will never make sense to you. Even the unpaid internships want people with experience. I guess it’s one of those things that will never make sense but we just accept anyway. You’ll constantly ask yourself “how am I supposed to gain experience if I can’t get a job?” Don’t worry – everyone else is thinking the same thing.

Toiletries are EXPENSIVE

I literally paid £2.20 for Colgate mouthwash the other day. I’m pretty sure I could feed myself for a day on £2.20. You never really appreciate the cost of shampoo, conditioner, body wash etc etc until you move out.

You’ve never needed student discounts more than you do now 

Whether it’s free delivery on Deliveroo or a cheap cinema ticket, you’re going to need your student discount at some point. If you sign up to UniDays, you can see all of the discounts available to you. Check this before buying ANYTHING. Food, a laptop, a new coat, anything. Chances are, there’ll be a discount code for it.

Buying your own food is actually really fun

…until you have to carry it back from Morrisons by yourself.

As always, thank you for reading.

Hopefully you found this useful! If you don’t, hopefully you’ll feel sorry for me instead…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

 

5 Tips for Finding an Internship

Hello again,

I’ve just finished doing a social media internship for uni and thought I’d write something to help people that might be interested in looking for internships or work experience. These are a few of the things I did to find mine – hopefully at least one of you find this helpful…

Set up Indeed

I always use Indeed to apply for jobs and internships because it just seems to be where most of them are listed. Your recent searches save so you don’t have to keep creating new searches. Also, there’s an option to save the an internship for later so you don’t have to apply as soon as you find one that suits you. Afterwards, you can put the internship in the ‘applied’ section and can then move it to ‘interviewing’ or ‘offered’ depending on your success!  You’ll be able to apply for a lot of internships within the site but sometimes you’ll be directed to other sites, such as Internwise, which gives you access to loads more internships. The thing I like most about Indeed is that you can save your CV to the site. This means that you can literally just click ‘apply’ more some internships which makes the process so much quicker.

Build your contacts

Make a list of companies you’d be interested in interning for and contact them. Even if they haven’t advertised an internship online, it’s worth phoning or emailing them to ask if you can do some work experience with them. Showing an interest in working for someone for free makes you look really keen to learn and gain experience so it betters your chances. If they don’t have any room for you right now, keep them in mind still. They might be taking on in the future and may remember you.

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Say yes

When I first started looking for an internship I hesitated from applying to a lot that I saw because I didn’t feel like I was experienced enough because I hadn’t had a job in the industry or finished my degree yet. This attitude will only hold you back. Internships are about gaining experiencing and learning about the industry you want to work in. You don’t have to walk into an internship as an expert.

Don’t be picky

Everyone has their dream job role or dream employer in mind but it may not be possible to walk straight into an internship with that company. Obviously if you have the chance to, apply for the internships that are perfect for your interests and abilities. However, don’t be afraid to go a little out of your comfort zone. For example, most of what I study at uni is based around writing news stories. Instead of taking an internship in a newsroom, I started one involving social media and blogging. Sometimes it’s good to do something different. Also, it you only apply for the ‘perfect’ internships, you’re limiting the amount of applications you can make which obviously limits your chances of actually getting an internship.

Be proactive

Applying for three internships and then forgetting all about your search for a few weeks won’t do you any good. When I was applying I checked my searches daily so I could save the applications that I wanted to make and then actually apply for them within a day or two. Applying regularly will increase your chances of someone getting back to you. If you keep forgetting to look for internships then you’ll miss opportunities because the vacancies will be filled. Just be aware that hundreds of other students might be applying for the same internship – you’ve got competition!

As always, thank you for reading.

Let me know if you have any tips for finding an internship/a job etc…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

Nicky Clarke Hair Therapy Straighteners | Review

Hello again,

I decided to use a Boots gift voucher I got for Christmas to buy myself some new hair straighteners. I didn’t want to get expensive ones because I do already have really good ones. Conveniently, these Nicky Clarke ones were reduced from £39.99 to £19.99 in Boots’ post-Christmas sale.

I’m really glad I found some for that price because I can now justify having straighteners in Cornwall and in London. I got these ones because they’re small and compact so they won’t take up much room in my suitcase for Budapest and won’t break my luggage weight limit.

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For the price, I’m so impressed with how well they work!

They heat up really quickly when you turn them on and also cool down quickly when you’ve turned them off. This is so useful if you’re in a rush to go out and you need to take them with you. It took mine about 15 minutes to cool down completely after I switched them off.

The heat setting comes in the form of a dial, where you can choose fine, medium, high and max. Fine to medium heat is for shorter or thinner hair and high to maximum heat is for longer or thicker hair. I used medium for mine and it was definitely hot enough – my hair is thin but still quite long. It only took me 20 minutes to straighten my hair perfectly, although someone else probably could have done it a lot quicker because I took boredom breaks.

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This might seem stupid but another thing I like about these straighteners is that they actually have an on/off switch. My other hair straighteners don’t have a switch so I have to turn them off by the plug, which I always forget to do. It’s definitely the little things in life…

I don’t use hairspray but my hair still stayed in tact all day which is definitely a good sign. I feel like I don’t have to use these straighteners a lot to get the straightness that I want, which is obviously better for the condition of my hair. I wash my hair every other day so even when I’m on ‘second day hair’, my hair is still really straight and I only have to quickly go over it to get it how I like it.

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As always, thank you for reading.

Let me know which hair straighteners and curlers you use…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

Monthly Favourites | January 2017

Hello again,

January has been a pretty relaxed month for me so I haven’t been trying many new products. However, there are four products that were real game changers for me this month…

Soap & Glory Thick and Fast HD Mascara

This is an old favourite of mine but I haven’t used it since about 2015. I always loved it but never bought it again because I had other mascaras to use up. However, I got two for Christmas so started using it again and I don’t want to go back to using anything else. The applicator is really good at separating your lashes but adding volume making them clumpy. 10/10. Definitely buy it – unless you’re looking for a waterproof mascara – I’d stay away if that’s the case…

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L’Oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask

I’m really late to the bandwagon on this one. I didn’t buy this face mask before because I already own too many. However, Superdrug have been offering students 20% off recently so I thought it wouldn’t hurt to buy it. It worked out at less than £5 which is cheaper than my favourite Lush face mask. I won’t say much about it because I’m going to do a full review of it once I’ve used it a bit more. However, I will say that it basically rips the dirt out of your pores. As disgusting as that sounds, my face feels a lot cleaner after I use this.

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Garnier Moisture Restore Night Care

I’ve been using this for a couple of months now and I really really love it. If I apply this after I’ve cleaned my face just before I go to bed, I wake up with hydrated skin. Because my skin is naturally really dry, not using a night cream makes my skin much worse. This has been a bit of a winter skin saviour for me. I think it cost just over £2 from Superdrug too which is really affordable for the how well it works.

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The Original Beauty Blender

I’ve tried beauty blenders before but never actually tried the proper Original Beauty Blender. I’d heard that it was better than other brands of sponges so thought I’d give it a go, even though I usually prefer used brushes for my concealer and foundation. I was really surprised at how well it works! If you wet it a little before applying your foundation, it applies really evenly and doesn’t let the product dry out. I have really dry skin and I was finding it difficult to apply makeup with a brush. It wouldn’t blend easily on my skin even though I was using I really good moisturiser and primer before my foundation. This is a much better alternative to brushes. *Thumbs up*.

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As always, thanks for reading!

Let me know if you’ve tried any of these and how you got on with them…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

The Original Beauty Blender | Review

Hello again,

I have used makeup sponges before but they’ve always left me feeling a little disappointed. In the past, I found that they absorbed more foundation than they were actually putting onto my face. After a while I decided that they weren’t worth buying anyone and stuck to stippling and buffing brushes – mainly the Real Techniques ones.

I don’t live under a rock so I’m quite aware that the Original Beauty Blender has a reputation for being the best. Most people actually claim that no brush or sponge can be compared to this one. I’m a sucker for anything a) pink or b) that will make my life easier, so I decided to give it a go.

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I ran the sponge under the tap a little and then rinsed it out so it was damp enough to blend my makeup but not so wet that the product would drip down my face.

Although I’d say I had to use more product than I would with a brush, it wasn’t enough to put me off. I started off by using really small amounts of foundation and built it up slightly just in case it started to look cakey.

I found that because the sponge was damp, it spread the makeup across my face a lot easier than a makeup brush usually does. My skin is naturally really dry and I’ve found over the past couple of months it’s been a lot harder to use foundation brushes on to blend in my foundation and concealer. I feel like the brush has just been drying out my skin even more.

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Although I wouldn’t say that the Beauty Blender made my makeup last any longer, it definitely made it look a lot better throughout the day. My skin feels a lot more hydrated and my makeup looks a lot dewier. Because it covers my face so easily and blends so well, I end up using less makeup than I did with a makeup brush that took a long time to blend properly. I feel like my makeup doesn’t dry out my skin as much as it usually would when I use a brush. Believe me, my skin needs all the moisture it can get.

Overall, I’m really impressed with this. It’s true: the Original Beauty Blender is a lot better than other makeup sponges.

As always, thanks for reading!

Let me know which sponges and brushes you use to apply your makeup, and how well they work…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x