Monday 15 October 2018

Me at 19

As of today, I officially have one year left of being a teenager. WHAT?? Okay, I’m not saying that again for a while. 
So, here we are again. And this time I’m in a much different place to this time last year, in a few different ways.

I am now in university, studying English Literature and Politics at Newcastle, and have been here for about two and a half weeks. So far, I’m loving it. I love exploring a new city, meeting new people and learning something new every day. Ask me if I’m feeling the same way when I’m writing my first essay and I may give you a different answer! I have become a member of a few societies as well taking part in my subject’s netball team and booking a few yoga classes at the Sports Centre (wish me luck). 

With university came a new room. It is roughly the same size as my room at home, if not in fact bigger. The Suffragette-coloured crochet blanket I was given for my birthday now lives on my bed, lying over a couple of bright IKEA pillows, or simply hanging around my shoulders so I look like some kind of feminist superhero. Opposite my bed is my slim wooden wardrobe and a small chest of drawers, which close in my sink, mirror and mesh pop-up dirty clothes basket, which always seems to be at least half-full no matter how many loads of washing I do. By the side of my bed stands another small chest of drawers, identical to the one next to my wardrobe, which is cluttered with all sorts: a box oftissues overflowing onto a decorative blue light, a half-finished antihistamine packet, my hairbrush, deodorant, a can of dry shampoo and at the bottom of a picture of my parents and I before my Year 11 prom. 

On the wall to my left as I sit in my bed, is perhaps the most colourful rea of my room. Against the backdrop of my almost luminous turquoise wall, is my work area: my desk and bookshelves, which harbor whatever of my book collection I could fit in the car on the drive up here, folders, stationary, recipe books and cartoon prints; one of a girl wearing a yellow jumper, blue jeans and hat with a background the colour of her lipstick, and the other of an umbrella of the same yellow in front of a pattern of blue raindrops. 

To the right of my desk is another larger chest of drawers, filled with my many skirts, jumpsuits, trousers and dungarees. It is similarly scattered as my bedside table, this time with my makeup, jewelry and bits of paper I haven’t yet found a place for. Behind these, a large cork board leans against the wall, covered with volunteering and society flyers, GP and accommodation details, discount vouchers and freebie reminders, postcards and mementos.

Apart from uni, the next biggest change in my life would probably be the fact that I am now officially a vegan. This time last year I was only a relatively new veggie, and since then I’ve gradually been switching out all the other animal products, besides meat, and then one day, a few months ago, I realized I hadn’t eaten dairy in a while. I couldn’t be happier with my diet at the moment – I feel great about my body and health.

Veganism has helped me develop how I approach other areas of my life in a more ethical manner. For example, over the past year I’ve made a considerable effort to reduce my waste and consumption of fast fashion. These endeavours are going well, and I’ve learned a lot about both our societal consumption habits and my own. I all three of these areas, I am well aware that it is impossible to be perfect. You cannot live truly ethically in our current system, no matter how hard you may try, and I want to always be aware of the privilege that I have to even be able to make these decisions. Let’s keep doing our best, people – it’s all we can do.

I am now a full on stereotype, but I love it!

My favourite shows remain largely the same: Brooklyn-99 and Death in Paradise being my go-tos when I need something comforting, familiar and light-hearted. I have, however, actually ventured out and watched some new shows this year. Lovesick has joined my re-watch ranks and lately, I’ve been obsessed with a few shows: The Circle (please give me a new series!!) and The Good Place. 

As ever, my birthday has brought with it my favourite time of the TV year. Bake Off (vegan week was incredible!), Strictly and Doctor Who are all back. Doctor Who is especially significant this year, as I’m sure you’re aware, as Jodie Whittaker marks the first ever woman to play the title role. I didn’t realise quite how much her portrayal of The Doctor meant to me until I first saw her on-screen reveal. Since then I’ve been blubbing at practically every promo, trailer, picture and interview I saw prior to the first episode, and, indeed, at the first episode. I was so happy with the first episode and hope the next follow in their suit (I am writing this before the second episode was released). It’s about time, after all. 

I have worn very little makeup over the past year. Most days, I have gone bare face, while using makeup every now and again, when I have a bit more time to get ready or an occasion. In style, I’m still pretty much the same (eyeliner prominent as ever), however I feel like I have refined my makeup skills outside of eyeliner and enjoy it just as much. 

I finished my job at my local library about a month ago, and I won’t lie and say that I don’t miss it. As of yet, I haven’t got a new job, I’m waiting until I’m a bit further along in the year to find a job (once I am more used to my workload). Until then, I’m continuing a mystery shopping job I got over the summer and will hopefully be able to do some more sponsored content on this here blog.

I now have a feeling of direction in my life. I have goals which I am determined to meet and am confident in my abilities to. For now, I’m trying to hold on to that optimism. The world may seem like a sh*t place for the majority of the time, but I want to try and channel my incredible fear levels to prevent the worst nightmares of a generation from coming true (or cascading into even more chaos than the reality we are currently living in).

This is me. At 19.

If you liked this post you might like: Me at 18

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