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

 

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

University Survival Tips

Hello again,

Now I’m in my second year of university and I’ve had a full year of uni experience, I thought I’d share some of the things that kept me sane throughout my first year away from home. If you didn’t know, I moved from Cornwall to London to study Journalism at LMU.

Personalise your room

This one is so important. When I moved in to my room the first thing I did was rearrange all the furniture to how I wanted it and changed the horrid red curtains and bed sheets for ones I bought myself. Other things that I used to decorate my room are fairy lights and LOTS of candles. If your room looks dull and boring then you’ll feel dull and boring when you’re in it.

Eat proper homemade food

Anyone that’s been to university will know how easy it is to put on weight or just become really unhealthy. Not only is it better for your diet but it’s also a lot better for your budget to stop eating so many takeaways. I’ve seen so many people run out of money really quickly because they’ve spent all of their money on takeaways and alcohol. It’s so much cheaper to just cook food yourself.

Give yourself down time

…i.e. alcohol free time. Freshers is intense and can take its toll on you. Freshers’ flu is REAL. It’s so important to give yourself time to recover from nights out or long weeks at uni. I cherish the days where I can stay in bed past 7:30am and do nothing. Giving yourself time to recharge is so important. It’s also really nice to turn up to a lecture fully awake and hangover free.

Stay organised

University can feel really overwhelming at times, especially when you’ve got deadlines coming up for all of your modules. I’m a person that likes to stay really organised. One of the ways I do this at home is having a big wall calendar above my desk so I can see how close deadlines are and I can easily remember any important dates. It just makes sure I don’t forget anything important.

Don’t clean up after other people

I used to clean my kitchen regularly even though it wasn’t me leaving food all over the over or blocking up the sink. I thought it was easier to just clean up every time I wanted to cook but eventually learned that it’s better to stop cleaning up after everyone so they realise that they have to clean up after themselves. As soon as I stopped cleaning the oven and counters every morning and night, the girls I live with seemed to make more of effort to do it themselves.

Apply for jobs like they’re going out of fashion

When I moved to university last year, I was sure that I was going to wait until I’d settled in properly to start applying for jobs. Three days into living in London, I was applying for so so many jobs. I hated the thought of not working and not having a source of income. I know a lot of people who really struggled to survive on their student loan within the first few months. If you’re bad at budgeting, I’d consider getting a part time job if I were you. That being said, don’t work so much that you can’t do your uni work because that totally beats the point of going to university in the first place…

Thanks for reading!

Let me know if you have any uni survival tips…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

My Evening Skincare Routine

Hello again,

Over the past few weeks I’ve been switching up my evening makeup routine as I’ve been investing in a lot more skincare products – what’s new? I guess this is sort of an update on the types of products that I use on my skin each evening. Each product is linked so you can see the price and description of everything mentioned.

Makeup removing

I usually wash makeup off with a cleanser, such as the Superdrug Tea Tree Foaming Face Wash. I also love the Soap & Glory Peaches and Clean Deep Cleansing Milk, which literally melts makeup off of your face. However, this is a pricier option.

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If for some reason I’m unable to remove my makeup using a sink and some warm water, I’ll use the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water. I don’t usually buy makeup wipes just in case they tempt me to become lazy with taking off my makeup. If I don’t make sure my makeup is removed properly then my pores become clogged up and my skin will definitely suffer the next day. Also, most makeup wipes tend to make my eyes really red and sore.

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My skin is quite sensitive so I always use products to suit this. I’ve found that Soap & Glory and Simple are the best brands for cleansing my face gently but thoroughly. A lot of cleansers can be harsh and irritating on my skin and eyes.

Cleansing

Just to make sure all of my makeup has been removed I use a face wash to properly clean my face. At the moment I’ve been using an old favourite – the Simple Moisturising Facial Wash. I’ve also sometimes been using a charcoal cleanser when I feel like changing my routine.

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Exfoliating

Usually I will finish washing my face with some sort of exfoliant. The scrubs I’ve been alternating are the Simple Clear Skin Oil Balancing Exfoliating Wash and the Superdrug Tea Tree Exfoliating Scrub. Both of these are really effective but affordable. I don’t usually like the smell of tea tree but this particular product smells really clean as the scent isn’t too strong.

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Moisturising

When my face is fully clean, I put put on a moisturiser. At the moment I’m using this Vitamin E Moisture Cream by The Body Shop. It smells quite floral and sinks into my skin really quickly as it has quite a light formula. I have naturally dry skin so I find using a moisturiser at night as well as in the morning really helps with this.

Sometimes, if I’m feeling like treating my skin, I’ll even use a night serum. My favourite one at the moment is the Vitamin E Overnight Serum-In-Oil, which is also from The Body Shop. I find that when I use this serum, my skin feels very hydrated when I wake up in the morning.

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Eye Cream

As well as a moisturiser, I like do apply an eye cream or serum under my eyes every morning and night. My favourite eye cream is the Soap & Glory Puffy Eye Attack but I ran out of that a few months ago. Since then, I’ve been using the No7 Overnight Revitalising Eye Balm. I just find that using a separate eye cream reduces the darkness or puffiness in my eyes.

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Maybe even a little face mask

If I’m looking for a quick face mask, I’ll use the Simple Warming Face Mask. However, my favourite masks at the moment are the Lush Cup O’ Coffee Exfoliating Mask and the Beauty Formulas Charcoal Clay Mask. I wanted to jump on the charcoal hype without spending too much money just in case it wasn’t for me. The mask is very warming and tightening and makes my skin feel really firm and smooth afterwards. I love switching up my face masks as there’s so many different ones that have different purposes.

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I do also sometimes use toners, in which case Simple, Lancome and The Body Shop are my favourites. However, I never remember to use them. I probably actually use them a lot more in the morning than I do in the evening. I usually go for alcohol free toners so they don’t irritate my skin or eyes.

Thanks for reading!

…and congratulations if you made it to the end of this post – I realise it’s quite a long one! Please leave me any skincare recommendations that you have because I’m constantly needing to change products as they seem to run out so quickly!

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x