Saturday, 17 May 2014

365 Days in the ‘Real World…’

NB: Whilst studying for my undergraduate degree I enjoyed it and I liked learning in an institutionalised environment. However as my three years of Uni neared its end, I started to find myself being ‘over’ institutionalised education and itching to get out into the real world and learn by doing, experiencing and living, instead of sitting in a lecture hall and being talked at. I was entering a new stage of my life and with that came new desires and needs to fulfil my life.

Today is a glorious day! Because today marks a year since I finished my last undergraduate exam! 365.242 fabulous stress free days! 8765.81 hours in the real world! 525949 minutes of learning by living! Isn’t life just ‘bloody’ (in the words of Ron Weasley) fantastic!

So what have I learnt in those 3.156e+7 seconds outside the education system (which, dominated my life from the age of 4!). Here is a list of the top three things I have learnt about myself/life since sitting that very last exam on ‘Territory Knowledge and Power!’

1) I am only 22, I am way too young to fall into the 9-5 trap. Too much to see, too little time. This is something I already knew but working for nearly year has reinforced it greatly, especially now that I have found the light at the end of the tunnel (3.5 months in the USA!) 

2) I don’t like inefficiency – inefficiency is a waste of time and energy. Sometimes I think I should be the Minster of Efficiency for the UK. Though this dislike mainly focuses around the work environment.

3) I should also be the Minister of Initiative - and run initiative training for businesses…or maybe it should become an A-Level subject. I mean initiative will get you further in life than trigonometry. In one of my jobs, I won’t say which one, they changed all the printers. One day I overheard someone say ‘I can’t print because no one has shown me how to use the printer.’ In my head I was like ‘Dude, this isn’t school; you are not going to get spoon fed. If you don’t know, find out!’ So, yeah I am going to become the Minister for Efficiency and Initiative.

My attempt at taking an 'arty' picture last night
I feel from my year working I have learnt skills that will be more usefully in life than the likes of Pythagoras and algebra – though I do believe my education has acted as a solid foundation for this.

Last night to celebrate our anniversary of freedom from the educational system and as a leaving shindig for me, I met some Uni friends in the Lovely London Town. In my head I had a fab night planned - dinner, drinks, dancing, and then the night bus home. Unfortunately, we only managed to achieve 2/4 – dinner and drinks. It made me realise that I am not as young as I once was. Here are some key facts from last night for you:

1)      I wore heels (smallish ones) for the first time in forever. AND MY FEET HURT SO BAD.

2)      We could not bring ourselves to leave the restaurant and walk to Covent Garden to go dancing (painfully feet) instead we sat there for 5 and half hours eating, drinking and being merry.

3)      We couldn't even hold out for the last train home and got the penultimate one instead.

Despite all this, and the realisation that we are getting old and leaving our drunken Uni days behind us, I had such a good night and it was sooo nice to see my lovely friends before I jet off!

The Hangover Veggie Breaky: Veggie Sausages,
Veggie Bacon, Pancakes and Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice! 
Lesson learnt from this: As you get older, you don’t get more boring, you just redefine what you call a fine night out! 

Monday, 5 May 2014

Escaping the 9-5 trap and regaining control of MY LIFE…

In 8 days it will be a year since I started my blog. In 12 days it will be a year since I finished my very last exam for my undergrad degree. So what have I done since then?

I graduated obviously, and managed to score myself a hot shot city job with a healthy salary. I moved out of my family home and into a nice little flat in Canary Warf and holiday in the Maldives twice a year. I am living the dream of every new graduate and success is my friend.

Ha, I kid. I have graduated, and since I have had exactly 6 jobs - ranging from making spreadsheets about people who were mis-sold PPI, Grotto Host at the number one department store in the world, and PA for Social Services.  I still live with my parents – I would never live in Canary Warf, I hate the grid system! And the closest I have had to a holiday is a weekend trip Edinburgh or that time I met my Uni friends in Birmingham.

Am I successful? I would say I am on the path to success – I am saving to travel. In my eyes personal success will come when I achieve my life ambition – to travel to Fiji and stand with a foot on either side of the International Date Line. I believe success is not measured by your career, your lavish house or the amount of money in your bank – but by your happiness.

I would say the biggest fault in my life since graduating is having fallen into, what I like to call, the ‘9-5 trap.’ I work 9-5 Monday to Friday and in my spare time, I commute, eat and sleep and sometimes I go and see McBusted perform at the O2 – BEST NIGHT OF MY LIFE. This is the sole reason I have not blogging in so long. Nothing interesting happens when you work in insurance, nothing inspires you – all you learn about life is that insurance is probably the most boring career path to choose. But hey, that is just my opinion. If it is your life calling by all means go for it.

However, inspiration has found me again, in the form of a Summer Camp in an East Coast State of the USA. That is right, in four short weeks I will be crossing the pond and will spend three and a half months State-Side working at a Summer Camp (just like in Parent Trap!) and travelling around the States. Finally a chance to live, learn and have fun!

For all the Geographers out there – I am hoping to visit the Four Corners, the only point in America where four states meet, Arizona, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico! I can be in four different states at once, think of all the border fun that can be had! Professor Matt Hannah if you are reading this, I hope you are proud.

So this blog is making a comeback (NB: I have redesigned it to reflect my life at this moment in time) and over the next couple of months will be used to share my American adventures, what I have learnt about life and of course anything funny that happens.

I am going to finish this post by sharing a quote I recently came across and have fallen in love with as it so accurately defines my feelings towards life…

‘Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.’ – John Lennon. 

R x