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

 

 

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

 

L’Oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask | Review

Hello again,

As you may have seen from my recent January Favourites post, I’ve been using a new face mask. Over the past few weeks I’ve been reaching for the L’Oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask instead of my usual Mask of Magnaminty from Lush – I just wanted to try something new. Out of the three masks in this range, I wanted to try the Clay one the most as I think it suites what my skin needs.

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As you can see, you’re supposed to leave the face mask on for 5-10 minutes to allow it to dry. I find that this isn’t really long enough so I tend to leave it on for 20 minutes at least. When it all dries you can barely move your face, which is probably because it gets right into your pores. It’s kind of disgusting but when it does dry, it highlights ALL of your pores. If you didn’t know you had dirty pores, this mask will definitely point them out to you.

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It was actually really easy to apply actually. I have another charcoal mask that I’ve been using for a while which doesn’t apply easily at all. It’s really thick, making it difficult to spread it across my face. This one, however, spreads really easy. I also find that I don’t have to use as much of the product at one time because it covers my face quite quickly. The packaging says that the pot contains 10 applications but I’ve used mine 4 or 5 times and I’ve got loads left so I think I’ll get more out of it.

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After the first time I used the mask I already noticed a difference. It reduced the size of some of the more noticeable bits of acne on my cheek. Also, the pores on my nose were so much cleaner when I washed the mask off.

I find that after using this mask, any obvious spots that I have reduce so much in size. It just seems to dry them out to the point where they’re barely there anymore. Then, by the next day, the spot disappears – a definite plus for me.

The more and more I used it, the cleaner my face looked afterwards. Now, after using it for a few weeks, I’ve noticed that I’m getting fewer blackheads and my acne scarring has massively improved too. It’s definitely worth the money.

If you wanted to try this mask, it’s still on offer at Boots for £5.99!

As always, thank you for reading.

Let me know what your favourite face mask is…

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

The Longest Walk Ever | Budapest 2017

Hello again,

On one of our days in Budapest, we worked out that we walked around 12 miles. To some people that may not be a lot but it definitely is when you’re in a country as cold as Hungary.

We set off fairly early because we knew we wanted to see a lot of things throughout the day. The mains things that I wanted to see were the Hungarian Parliament Building, St Stephen’s Basilica and the Dohány Street Synagogue. So, anything that we saw along the way was a bonus.

Our hotel was on Margaret Island on the Danube River. The Parliament Building, Országház, was the closest to where we were staying so we thought it would be the best place to start. It’s near enough impossible to get a photo of the whole building unless you’re stood at the other side of the river, as you’ll see later on in the post. I don’t know how else to describe it over than it was overwhelmingly tall and looked like something out of a fairytale.

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Across the road is the Néprajzi Múzeum, which translates as the Ethnographic Museum. We didn’t go in but I thought it was well worth taking a picture of at least. I read that the museum is the home to pieces from everyday Hungarian like pre-World War II so it would probably be worth having a look if we ever visit again.

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As you know, the thing on our list was St Stephen’s Basilica so after we wandered around the grounds of the Parliament Building, we went on our way to find it. On the way we found the Statue of Imre Nagy, which actually faces the Parliament Building. I hadn’t heard of it before we saw it but I checked online to find out what is was. Imre Nagy was the Prime Minister of Hungary on two occasions and ended up being a symbol of freedom.

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Another short walk later and we came to St Stephen’s Basilica, after walking through Szabadság tér. We had to stop for a while so Cem could watch some kids play football and I could look at the memorial.

There was a lot of work going on around St Stephen’s Basilica. It looked like people were either putting together or dismantling a stage. After we’d have a look at, we decided we needed a cake and hot chocolate break in Starbucks. I remember my fingers were freezing even though I was wearing the thickest gloves in the world.

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The final place that I desperately wanted to visit was the Dohány Street Synagogue. Before we went to Budapest, I’d read about it online and found out that it’s the largest synagogue in Europe and the second largest in the world. The building is also attached to the Jewish Museum. We went in and had a look until in started to get darker and colder and we thought it was best to head back to our hotel and to the spa.

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We probably took the longest possible route home. We walked down to Erzsébet híd, Elisabeth Bridge, to cross the river. We probably could have tackled Gellért Hill it wasn’t getting dark but we decided that it was best to leave that for another day. We started to walk back up the other side of the river and we moaned and moaned about how cold it was and how much our legs were aching. We carried on and got the see the Budavári Palota and Parliament Building light up so I’d say it was definitely worth it…

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As always, thanks for reading!

Let me know if you have any travel recommendations…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

2016 Highlights

Hello again,

Here’s a little reflection on some of my favourite moments of 2016. It was an amazing year so these aren’t all of the good things that happened, just some of the ones that stood out.

Finishing my first year of uni 

If you didn’t already know, I study Journalism at London Metropolitan University. In May I finished first year with a 2:1, which I was really pleased with. It’s a shame first year’s grades don’t count towards my final grade but it was still uplifting to finish with the grade all the same.

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A weekend in Paris

Me and Cem went to Paris for my birthday in November and, despite a bit of turbulence, it was a lovely weekend.  Our hotel was an hour’s walk from the Eiffel Tower so we got to see all the sights along the way. It was bitterly cold but I suppose it wasn’t far from London in that respect. I’d love to go back.   

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Getting back into blogging

Towards the end of this year, I started blogging again after quite a lot of time away from it. I bought my own domain name, started posting consistently, told my friends and family about it and started talking to a lot more bloggers and brands. This year was definitely a success for my blog, in my opinion. Although I want to learn more about them designs and the layout of my blog, I’m happy with how it looks for now. I also hosted my first blog chat on Twitter on The Bloggers Hub account, which was a huge step for me in my opinion.

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My first sponsored blog post

I was recently contacted by a company called Tekfirst who asked to collaborate with me. Long story short: I was paid to write a blog post. Hopefully this was the first of many blog opportunities. I really enjoyed writing the post and learning a bit more about working with brands on blog posts.

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Getting an internship

In 2016 I started my first internship in social media with Brain Füd, a startup drinks company. It’s a 3 month long internship that will come to an end at the beginning of February which feels crazy – I feel like I’ve only been doing it for a couple of weeks. I’ve learnt a lot from my time there so I’m really glad I’m doing it.

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As always, thank you for reading.

Let me know some of your highlights from this year…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x