Friday, 25 September 2015

20 Signs You're Getting Old Before Your Time

What's my age again? 

1. You worry about money 20 hours out of the day

2. You insist on wearing 'sensible shoes' when you go out

3. Large groups of teenagers terrify you *crosses road to avoid being stabbed*

4. You didn't know what 'Netflix and Chill' was until you looked it up last week on Google (and then wished to God you hadn't- MY EYES.)

5. You forget people's names even though you've spoken to them countless times before

6. You begin to think all the music ~the kids~ listen to sounds the same

7. You become concerned about your hearing so turn all the music down

8. So concerned in fact, that you say "pardon?" because you can never hear a word anyone is saying

9. You're almost certain you saw a grey hair the other day

10. You've had to put clothes back that look "too young" for you

11. You begin to detest everyone you were friends with when you were 14

12. The successful people you look up to are sometimes younger than you

13. As soon as you get into a club, you want to leave within half hour. Why is it so dark? Why is the music so loud? Why are there so many youths?

14. You can't handle your drink like you used to

15. The best part of a night out is returning to your bed ~my one true love~

16. You make excuses not to go out, and you really hit the jackpot if plans get cancelled

17. You're too old to do stupid, irresponsible things like stay out past midnight

18. But you're still too young not to

19. You begin to start sentences with: "when I was your age..."

20. But you've experienced enough to know that everything will turn out okay in the end

Monday, 14 September 2015

As Over Baes

It's a new school year, which means new start, new you, and fresh new stationary from Poundland. Because not all of us can afford Paperchase, okay? 

If you're blindly optimistic, or failing that, just plain stupid, you've probably already set yourself a goal for this year. Study harder, get involved in a sport (LOL,) make new friends, try to turn up to all your lectures instead of binge watching Game of Thrones. 

I wasn't sure what my goal was for this year; heck, I don't even know what my goal is for tomorrow apart from getting out of my bed in the morning. But scrolling through Twitter as I do 23 hours out of the day, I came across something that pretty much summed it up: 

Once you get over the brilliant word play going on here, you can actually reflect a little bit. How many times in your academic career have you put "As before Baes?" Don't lie, I know you're thinking about them when you should be studying electrolysis. 

If I could go back and give my teenage self some advice, it would be a. a full fringe is a terrible idea, and b. don't put boys before schoolwork. 

I didn't think I had, I mean, I was a pretty straight laced student who's idea of rebellion was refusing to draw margins on my pages. But thinking about it, the subjects I probably fell flat on my face in during my GCSEs were geography and IT. Not because I had poor geographical insight and even poorer technological knowledge, although yes, I'm not going to be a computer whizz anytime soon. They were the two subjects where a boy I liked was also in. Cue me staring at their face for an hour instead of looking at the whiteboard. 

I went from getting distinctions in my Year 9 geography to scraping through with a pass, all because I was on a mission to get the boy I sat next to in class to fall in love with me. Same goes for IT, but different guy, obviously. I failed one of my IT units because I spent entire lessons having "banter" with this guy and was convinced we pretended to hate each other because we were in denial about the fact we were really meant to be. They don't give GSCEs out for banter, Georgia. And this isn't a remake of 10 Things I Hate About You. 

Admittedly, I place part of the blame on Taylor Swift for putting such stupid 'Love Story' esque ideas into young people's heads. But I was just as at fault for thinking boys were the be all and end all. Newsflash, you're probably not going to walk down the aisle with that girl/guy you're sending "cheeky" snapchats to right now. 

Subconsciously, that's probably why I ended up moving to an all girls' school. Those two A Level years marked the first time I focused on myself, and what I really wanted out of life. 

I'm not saying don't get in a relationship, I mean, I wouldn't know but I hear they're pretty decent. I'm saying consider whether that girl or guy is worth missing out on a lesson for, or leaving that piece of homework to the last minute because you spent all night waiting for them to text back. Think about where you want to be in 10 years time, and then think about whether this girl/guy is going to help you get to that place. If the answer is no, keep your eyes off the arse and pay attention in class. 

I'm not advising that you go around all this academic year singing ~As Over Baes,~ although it would make a brilliant Beyonce song. If your goal for this year is going to be anything, make this the year you put yourself first. Yeah, it may sound selfish, but who cares? The one thing I've learnt in my 19 years of existence is that nothing, and nobody, lasts forever. Friends, boyfriends and girlfriends come and go, but you're the only person that has got to live with yourself for the rest of your life.   

That girl that you spent all chemistry lesson trying to impress but is still clearly not interested? Let her go, she's not worth another D on your exam paper. 

That guy that claims he only talks to you but clearly has "banter" with all the other girls? Guess what, he's probably going to get crap grades and you're going to end up going to Oxford or something, who knows? 

This year, DO YOU. Because you are brilliant, and you don't need someone on your arm to prove that. 

Georgia x 

Monday, 7 September 2015

How To #23: Sexting for Total Amateurs

Once the territory of long distance couples, pervasive grown men on questionable chat rooms and the odd sexually charged teenager; now everyone’s at it. Or not at it, as the case may be.

Of course, I’m talking about sexting, the concept of which is hilarious. Obviously a word invented by the producers of This Morning to diagnose Diana’s horror when she found indecent texts on her 14 year old's Motorola Razr.

I personally blame it all on snapchat, for making sending that surprise, unwanted dick pic just that little bit easier.

And there’s rules to this game too, if you can’t stand the heat, keep your goddamn clothes on. If you want to know how to go from beginner to sexpert, ask your therapist or something because I have no fucking clue.

Gone are the days when a winky face was enough to arouse someone, now we require photographic stimulation that self-destructs in 10 seconds. Yay technology.

So yeah, I’m like the furthest thing from being an expert at this as they come. But I do have a couple of questions.

Is sexting like a planned thing, or do things just escalate and you then feel obliged to go along with it? Because god forbid you ignore a snapchat. I highly doubt you ask someone if they want to sext, mostly because it will be highly embarrassing for you if they say no. I like to think it just happens, but I don’t know, you might not be into that. We’re all just as fucking pathetic as each other though if you think about it.

How is sexting different to phone sex? I feel like phone sex could turn out to be very awkward unless you are already in a steady relationship with that person. In this situation where anything could happen, no one wants an awkward silence. Whilst acceptable if you live thousands of miles apart from each other, calling your significant other whilst they are on lunch at work is highly inappropriate, and also super awkward with a mouthful of tuna. Sexting doesn’t have that emotional attachment, so you can basically use each other for that 10 minutes of self-gratification whilst giving zero fucks.

How do you know when the time is right? I mean, right now you’re hovering in the innuendo, mildly sexy zone, but you don’t want to cross over into the *CUE RED FLASHING LIGHTS* sext zone. You can’t just go from pulling stupid facial expressions to a close up of your hooha, you’ll give the poor girl/guy a heart attack, for Christ sake. I’d say unless they explicitly tell you to take your shirt off (which, if they do, why are you giving this piece of shit the time of day?), give cues that you would like to move into the sext zone, pretty please. Start with a sneak peak of a bra strap or your chest and work your way up (or indeed, down) from there I guess.

Okay, so you’ve sent your sext-nificant other a really sexy photo, it’s probably your best one yet. Victoria Secret would be dying to hire you right now. You wait in anticipation for a gratifying response, and you keep waiting, maybe listen to a couple of Taylor Swift songs to pass the time. You check your phone and still nothing. There’s only three possible things that could be going on here. 1. They’ve fallen asleep before receiving it, which is just rude, I mean; you should be engagement enough to keep anyone awake at night. 2. They’ve opened it, but they haven’t replied, which means you’ve stepped over the mark and made them extremely uncomfortable, which you know, you kind of have to question your sanity for now. Failing this, and leading me onto point no 3, they’ve opened it, haven’t replied, but you bet they’ve screenshotted it, and are showing all their friends as they speak. You should’ve left it at bra strap, my friend.

All in all, I feel like sexting is more trouble than it’s worth. I mean, if you were that desperate, you’d just go and have sex with them. But it’s fun, and gives you something to do of a Sunday night, I suppose. Just a few general common sense rules about sexting to follow; which, if you don’t live by already, you should not have access to the internet, you amateur.

·         If you’re going to send a full body nude, for the love of God, don’t show your face. Or you know, do, if you want to be as famous as Kim Kardashian one day.
·         If they screenshot you, send out a hitman to take their phone and their life. 
·         Not to sound like an advert from the 2008, but remember that once you send a picture, you can’t get it back. Unless you work for MI5, in which case, screw all the rules.

Apart from that, let your virtual sexual appetite run wild, and just feel lucky about the fact that some of us are still petrified by Tinder.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

How To #22: How to Save Money for University

As a second year university student who is financially hapless, you couldn’t have come to a better place for advice about university finances. Or worse place, depending on your outlook.
It may seem dull. It may seem insignificant because your “student loan will cover it all.” The reality is that unless you’re extremely lucky (or have very wealthy parents,) this won’t be the case. Not only does university come with a hefty price tag, so does the cost of actually living. Because you know, you have to actually keep yourself alive somewhat for the next three years.

I was terribly bad with money in my first year at university. I chose the most expensive accommodation on campus, which my student loan did not cover. I had to rely on my parents, my part time job and my £1,500 overdraft to survive; an overdraft I’m probably still going to be paying off way after I graduate, so at least that’s something to remember university by.
If my story doesn’t scare you into being sensible with money whilst at uni, nothing will. So sit back, relax, but don’t bother with the popcorn because you can’t afford it right now.

1. Don't bother budgeting during freshers' week 

Freshers' Week: Keeping the drinks (and the money) flowing. Photograph: The Student Channel 

Yeah, I know all the university guides say otherwise and yeah, I’m rebelling *throws TV out of the window.* Any university guide will tell you to budget during freshers’ week, but with everything that’s going on during this time, writing down your daily allowances is hardly realistic. Or fun.
Obviously, don’t go MC Hammer in every bar, but don’t beat yourself up about budgeting either. Have fun during freshers’ week, and start budgeting seriously after your eighth hangover.

2. Don't be too strict when you do budget 

Prevent major injury to your bank balance. Photograph: Redbrick. 
Budgeting is a “learn as you go along” process; you don’t know exactly how much you’ll be spending every week, so give your budget a few trial runs to see if you need to cut back or allow yourself extra leg room, so to speak.

3. Take cash on a night out 

Don't blow it all on snakebites and kebabs. Photograph: Daily Mail. 
I cannot stress this enough. If you’re anything like me, after the fifth jager bomb, all sense will disintegrate and you'll be  yelling “TAKE MY MONEY” to the bartender. The fallout comes when you wake up in the morning and have to face the sorry state of your bank balance.
Take cash out (£20 as a general guideline, depending on how expensive the bars are at your uni) before you head out and leave your card at home, to prevent you from overspending.

4. Save money (and trees), don't buy new books! 

Save money on books and have something to smile about. Photograph: Go Study UK.

Lecturers will urge you to buy the newest, brightest editions of the books you need, but used copies are just as good unless you are planning to sell yours after you’ve used it.
Used copies are sometimes half the price or less on the internet, and keep an eye out for needy second years trying to flog you their old textbooks on Facebook; take them up on their offer and negotiate a price. You’ll save yourself money in the long run, and will be just as clever. No guarantees, obviously.

5. Cook a Flatmily Meal 

Sharing is caring. Photograph: Birthday Magazine. 

After the microwave meal supply has run out, offer to cook for everyone. If all goes well, everyone will take turns to cook, saving lots of money (and time) cooking individual meals.
In the unlikely event that the communal meal plan plummets, cook a meal for yourself and freeze what’s left over so you have meals for later in the week.

6. Don't be afraid to ask for help 

The Bank of Mum and Dad, for when all else fails. Photograph: Daily Mail. 

Yes, university is the road to independence, and yes, you’ve convinced yourself that you’re a big boy/girl now; but no one is expecting you to deal with the financial strains of university on your own either.
Chances are, you’ll be needing the Royal Bank of Mum and Dad more than ever, so don’t be afraid to drop them a phone call if you need a little extra cash. Although don’t bang your fists on the table demanding money because they might disown you.
Asking Mum and Dad for money doesn’t come easily for many people, and to some it’s also not a reliable option. If you’re struggling, look out for financial schemes on offer at your university and ask your university's financial adviser if you’re having serious trouble. They’re not going to give you a free pass, but they are human beings; and will be able to advise you on the best options moving forward.

7. Look for a part time job sooner rather than later 

A part time job can calm your money worries. Photograph: bcu. 

I would personally advise not getting a job during your first year at university unless you really need one. Although I was lucky in that my hours were very flexible and close to university, if I had had a contracted job I feel like I would have missed out on a lot. The first year of university is all about settling in and establishing roots, which a job more often than not interferes with.
If you are planning to get a job during your first year, start looking sooner rather than later. The summer before university starts is the perfect time to start looking because the third years have graduated and moved back home, and the summer temps have gone back to uni come September, meaning there will be a fair amount of positions open.
Most universities also offer a lot of job opportunities around campus; usually bar work. You won’t be earning a six figure salary or anything, but the pay is usually decent and allows you to work your hours around your studies. Look out for job fairs around your campus.

8. Do not buy everything in advance

If you come back with more than two bags, you're doing it wrong. Photograph: The Guardian 

Shopping for uni supplies is a unique experience in itself- who knew one could get so excited over a set of kitchen knives? Although it’s tempting to raid Wilko of all their Home and Living supplies, RESIST THE URGE.
I know it’s tough, but we’ll get through it together. Buy the bare essentials at home and then restock when you get to uni. Otherwise, you’ll only end up buying things you don’t need. Hey you, put down that garlic crusher.

NETFLIX 4EVA. Photograph: Netflix Life.
A Netflix subscription is much cheaper, and always there for you on those cold and lonely nights. Also referred to as "Every Other Night."

10. Always ask for student discount 

Every little helps. Photograph: Study in Sweden. 
You can get up to 20% off in some outlets, and at McDonald’s you get a free cheeseburger or McFlurry when you buy a meal- there is a God after all! Some places will accept your student ID card, but others require an NUS card, which is £12 for the year.

You can thank me later when you're the only one of your uni friends not drowning in debt. Best of luck!

Georgia x