Solo

As you get older (and no, I don’t mean old – I haven’t even hit 20 yet), you start to realize that being alone is awesome. No, it really is! Friends are nice, parties are nice, forums are nice, but all of that takes a good deal of effort. I’ve never been one to exhibit antisocial behaviour (except maybe in primary school, but I guess I just hated my school), but lately I just feel like it’s too much work. I still like people, and don’t take pride in cursing them out whilst posting “Introvert” memes on Instagram, but interacting with them takes effort. You have to think of something to say, smile when you don’t feel like smiling, ask questions and generally try not to come across as a pretentious asshole. Side note: I’m not a pretentious asshole, but my February blues may be mistaken for exactly that attitude.

You, on the other hand – you get you! Since you’re you, you’re already aware of all the thoughts and feelings (and February blues) going on inside of your head. That means you can skip the bullshit, and just spend some quality time with yourself whilst remaining as moody as you wish. And until the sun starts to show its face more often, and the temperature in my city manages to crawl its way up into the positive numbers, my number one company will be me.

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Intuition

I’m not one to preach about the existence of the supernatural. Moreover, I don’t really bother my brain with these questions concerning of late. But there’s one thing I know for sure – I have a damn strong intuition.

Now, what even IS intuition? I asked my good friend google to explain the concept for me, and it hit me with this definition: A thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning. Usually, I don’t like to discuss these topics because of their subjectivity, but it cannot be denied that my intuition is putting in a lot of good work during the past couple of years.

Whenever somebody tells me about something (especially if it’s a problem), I can usually predict – with a good deal of accuracy – the outcome of the situation. If it feels as though everything is going to be okay, I usually let the person know. And guess what? It usually turns out okay. Likewise, if I feel the opposite, I might just keep my mouth shut. Whatever the outcome, I can pride myself on my accuracy.

Ironically, my intuition only stops working properly in the case of my own issues. Shame.

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An Honest Review

One of my “New Year’s Resolutions” was to devote more time to my blog, yet it’s nearly three weeks into 2017 and I still haven’t written a single post. So I’ve decided to make up for it by writing a reasonably long one – one of those posts in which I discuss pretty much everything, including both the bad and the good. So pour yourself some tea/coffee/Jack Daniel’s, sit back and scroll through my thoughts. Enjoy.

Let’s start off by considering 2016 for one last time. I’m not really into conspiracies, but when people claim that 2016 was cursed, I can’t help but agree. Some say it’s a leap year thing, others assume that it’s somehow related to the Chinese calendar. However, my favourite one has got to be the “Satan’s Year” theory; something related to 2016 and the number 666. I don’t know about you, but the name suits the year shockingly well.

Although I consider myself a more or less rational thinker, I can’t help but lean towards these theories. Probably 99% of the people I’ve spoken to about 2016 have either mentioned that they were going through serious problems (of all sorts), or at least suffered from frequent unpleasant occurrences (also of all sorts). And don’t even get me started on the shocking number of celebrity deaths, plane crashes, natural disasters and colossal political instability across the globe. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

On a general note, I just wanted to reflect a bit on the previous year. However, instead of just complaining, I’m going to write an honest review, including both the pretty and the ugly. It cannot be denied that 2016 was eventful, and I genuinely learnt a lot – mostly how to deal with all kinds of situations. If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll probably be aware of how –pardon my French – FUCKED UP everything got towards the second half of the year. Let’s start with the main problem; unpleasant health problems, that could have been minor but ended up progressing due to a misdiagnosis by one of the “best health centers around”.  After deciding to give modern medicine a second chance, and finding a genuinely good doctor sometime in December, I finally managed to find out what’s wrong and began drinking the right type of medication (and not the wrong kind that made me throw everything up – even water!). However, because I was scared to back to the doctor for several months prior (no wonder), it may take some time for me to fully go back to normal. But at least I’m on the right track.

Other adversities include getting myself into a couple of pretty destructive relationships and remaining quite oblivious to the fact that they were destructive, falling behind on my classes and becoming the most stressed I’ve ever been in my life, arguing/falling out/losing some close friends, being ignorant and developing several unhealthy habits that I’m still trying to get rid of today.

Nonetheless, I would also like to – surprise, surprise – reflect on some of the good moments. In fact, “moments” is the ideal word to describe them, since that’s exactly what they were – fleeting fragments in a sea of catastrophe. These include trying a lot of new things, meeting some awesome people, securing a freelance job (which is both interesting and not very time-consuming), going to several great concerts, experiencing one of the most relaxing holidays of my life and a handful of genuinely good blog posts. It’s safe to say that I’m a very different person even compared to one year ago; I developed the ability to deal with difficulties, figured out who my true friends are and – most importantly – realized that negativity doesn’t stick around forever. When you feel bad, whether it’s physical or mental, the most important thing is to remember that it’s not going to stay like that forever.

On a closing note, I would like to mention a couple of things concerning 2017. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m already feeling a different kind of aura; everything seems more hopeful, more positive. There hasn’t been enough time for change yet, but I definitely have the feeling that it’s just around the corner. Whether this feeling is due to external changes or a more positive outlook, I cannot really say – all I know is that it’s a good one. Oh, and one final word of advice: there are good years and there are bad years, but that doesn’t mean that we aren’t in control. Got it? Good!

PS. If you’re one of those people that actually experienced a good year in 2016, I have two things to say to you: 1) you’re basically a unicorn, 2) I’m both impressed and envious.

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You know you’ve been watching too many people on YouTube when:

  • You’re subscribed to over 20 vloggers
  • You feel like you know these people on a personal level
  • You have to remind yourself that you don’t know these people on a personal level
  • You proceed to feel incredibly lame for having to remind yourself that you don’t know these people on a personal level
  • Your personality starts to resemble a combination of several different personalities
  • You realize that these people have given you better advice that some of the tips you received in real life
  • You feel some sort of gratitude towards these people
  • You stop watching TV series because real lives become more interesting to observe
  • You come to the conclusion that you’ve learn more from watching videos (from educational material, to news, to personal things, to diet advice, to make-up and beauty tips) than you’ve learnt from real life experiences
  • You find yourself gaining inspiration from other people’s creativity

Now don’t get me wrong. I never prioritize watching videos over real-life hobbies and responsibilities (okay, almost never). But since it’s the holiday, and I’m only “required” to work part-time and go out to see friends, time has suddenly become more abundant. That means I can now find interesting YouTube channels and scroll through different videos in between other things. If you know me well, you would know how much I LOVE to search for interesting vloggers and then binge-watch all of their videos. It gives you the chance to share other people’s emotions, dreams and plans without actually changing your environment (I wouldn’t mind changing that to be honest, but it’s not something that can be done instantly).

However, there’s a difference between watching quality, interesting content and dumb prank videos. That’s why you need to make an effort to find the right type of people who can actually teach you something, instead of just showing how to pick up girls on the street (*ahem*). Lately, I’ve been more into British content creators, some of which include Lucy Moon (she is just perfection), Dodie Clark, Carrie Fletcher, Hannah Witton and Will Darbyshire. Once I grew out of my “Dan-and-Phil, Charlie McDonnell, Zoella” phase a few years ago, I ended up dumping the website for a while, so it’s great to be able to find people I love once again. Maybe I’ve been watching people for such a long time that it’s grown into a habit? I don’t know. All I know is that you can pretty much learn anything from that website. Really.

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Thoughts on Time

Time is a funny thing. Sometimes it flies by, and sometimes it feels like eternity. People say that time heals everything, yet the passing of it is what indirectly causes our problems in the first place. Time inevitably leads to death. Some people use time to motivate themselves by concentrating on their future, whilst others use it to break themselves down by constantly reflecting on the past. Time is a combination of expectations and regrets, blended together into this weird shade of grey. Time is a concept invented by mankind; very real, yet completely surreal; determined by clocks and watches and calendars. Time decides when something should come to an end, yet the concept itself is somehow infinite. Yes, time is definitely a funny thing.

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Back / I can’t believe it’s over / Personal Stuff


For those of you who know me personally, and are close enough with me to know what I’ve been going through, you’re probably aware of the fact that the last few months have been pretty hard. From academics, to health, to stress, to personal stuff; everything was going wrong. In fact, me and my friends have so many 2016 jokes we could organize a whole stand-up show just making light of how awful this year was. Personally for me, the first half was pretty good, but everything from the beginning of July up until last week was terrible.

Let’s go back to August. I’d been feeling bad for a couple of months, and finally decided to go to the doctor while there was still come time before classes. Not only did they pretty much misdiagnose me, but they also gave me some hardcore medication that poisoned me for a week. Yes, I started classes feeling worse than before this so-called “treatment”. On the bright side, I’m finally drinking the right medication, and finishing the course in the week, but it took me another three months of feeling awful before I risked going back to the doctor. It was only by the end of November that my mum pretty much made me go and get checked again because I was not getting better FOR MONTHS.

Now, keeping this is mind, let’s consider the fact that this semester has been the hardest to date. The combination of subjects I was required to study was very challenging, and even more challenging considering the fact that I was sick. This resulted in me hardly doing any work in the first couple of months, and then desperately trying to catch up and save my grades. I remember even crying one night because I was sure I was going to fail all five courses. Thankfully, I managed to save everything, but the amount of willpower it took was immense (like I said –studying is hard when you feel like shit). Not only that, but I couldn’t exactly quit my part-time freelancing job either, so the workload became even heavier.

If that wasn’t enough, I also had some unpleasantness going on in my personal life during September. Relationship problems are definitely nothing new, yet, as I mentioned, everything is so much harder to deal with when you are sick and tired. Not only that, but all of this definitely made me somewhat bitchier, so I was constantly feeling apologetic for acting cold around people.

Although the past six months have been a challenge, the worst was definitely the last three weeks. I had so much to do, so much to catch up on; projects, assignments, homework, essays and – most importantly – finals to study for. I literally couldn’t imagine the end of the semester – I thought it was never going to come. Some people say that to be dramatic, but I literally had no idea how I was going to deal with everything. It was literally a rush between doctor’s appointments, current projects, work and revision for the dreaded finals. But you know what? I did it. I managed to sort everything out in the best way possible.

On the bright side, it’s all over. And not only is it over, but my grades are higher than I expected. In fact, they rather good – especially what concerns my finals. Yes, I am tired. Yes, I still have another week of medication to drink. But I’m done. I’m actually done. And I have a month to fix everything and just take care of myself; hobbies, friends, gym, work, parties, shopping, books, films and – most importantly – SLEEPING. Oh and writing, of course.

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Education and Influence: Why Do We “Hate” Studying?

Something that has been bugging me for a long time is our attitude towards gaining knowledge and educational institutions. It cannot be argued that many school pupils and university students alike express some degree of contempt towards the institution they are studying at. “Ugh, I hate school so much!”, “Shit, when am I finally going to graduate uni?”, “I wish we didn’t have any homework/assignments/exams/anything that requires brain power”. And it’s frightening that they majority of us (including myself) have this negative attitude, at least to a certain extent.

Before I type any further, please take into account that this is not an academic paper, or even a newspaper article – these are just my thoughts, minus any external references. The whole point of this post is to see whether anyone has shared the same experiences as me (which they probably have).

Ever since I can remember, the majority of my peers expressed their dislike (often hatred) towards school. I’m referring to very young children here; probably around five or six years old. It’s understandable that the whole concept of “going to school” interferes with a child’s desires; they would rather stay at home with their parents and watch cartoons than wake up early and go somewhere. But there’s more to it than simply inconvenience.

From an early age, many children do not want to study. Of course, there are always exceptions; some kids love to go to class, which can be a result of internal and external factors alike. However, I refuse to believe that so many people would knowingly express dislike towards gaining knowledge and understanding about how the world operates. This brings me to our educational system. There is no doubt that the heavy focus on grades as opposed to learning in a relaxed environment puts pressure on both school and university students alike. Sadly, in the 21st century, this is the most convenient system for measuring intelligence and, more so, the ability to work hard, and I don’t see this changing until our whole social structure is altered.

In spite of its validity, criticism of the educational system has already become a boring topic – yes, our school/university systems kinda suck, we know. What interests me more are individual attitudes. Aside from valid complaints such as too much pressure/standardized systems/inconvenience of school, isn’t it funny how the majority of students dislike learning? Not just going to school, but LEARNING? Here comes the role of social influence.

Let’s do a quick exercise, shall we? Think back to your earliest memories of school: remember complaining about classes? Remember other kids complaining about classes? Now imagine than no one around you ever complained about school, and spoke about how much they love to learn. Take that image, and project it into your high school memories: yes, everyone is still a moody teenager, only now they speak about how lucky they are to go to school and learn things. Be honest – you now find yourself agreeing with these kids from your past.

I know that what I’m saying can be applied to anything, yet it makes sense to apply it to something that truly matters. And no, I don’t mean test results – I mean genuine knowledge (which is likely to result in good grades, minus the “learning by heart at last minute” stress). It makes me sad how we are all influenced to hate one of the most precious gifts we are given, how we complain about going to class when we should appreciate the chance to learn. And it makes me even sadder to only be acknowledging this halfway through my university education. We are influenced to dislike the concept of studying so much, that I didn’t give it a second thought, convinced that my attitude is normal.

I’m not encouraging the sacrifice of social life and other interests for perfect grades; I’m just saying that we should look at the bigger picture and at least try to listen during class instead of complaining about “how boring it is”. Maybe if we forget that we are supposed to dislike education, and treat it as something interesting instead of just a chore, we’ll be able to enjoy studying in spite of all the setbacks of our system. Hm?

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