Sunday, 27 November 2016

Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone

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This week has been a very grown up one for me. I've done a lot of things that, in hindsight, really are not a big deal, but to someone who still feels about seventeen, they really are. Despite this, it's been a good week for me. I've had meetings with my dissertation tutor, who seems happy with the way my project is progressing, and I think I finally have some sort of a plan for what to do when university ends.

But for me, the best thing to happen this week are the comments that I've been getting about my blog. I've got an entire post about why I write my blog - and I write it for myself - but I had a brave moment a few weeks ago and posted the link to it on my Instagram bio. I didn't tell anyone that it was there, but nevertheless, it was. If you were looking for it, it wouldn't be that hard to find. After that, I didn't really think anything of it until I got a message from a friend, telling me that she'd stumbled upon it and really liked it. The following day, I had an old friend from home message me about it, saying the same thing. Despite knowing that people could find it if they were looking for it, I still never really thought about anyone reading it. Especially not anyone I know personally. But still, here were people, who know me in real life, telling me that they like my blog. And that has been just a massive confidence boost for me. Don't get me wrong, I'm still not going to be shouting about it from the rooftops or anything, but I feel like I really needed to hear those comments this week.

Who knows, maybe I'll have posted it on my Facebook profile by the end of the year?

On second thought, maybe not.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Why Do I Love Books?

As someone who studies an English degree, and spends at least twenty hours a day reading something of some kind, this is a question that I get asked a lot.

And to be perfectly honest, I don't know the answer. Even after almost twenty-one years, I cannot answer this question. I've always loved to read. I've done it ever since I can remember. I learned to scan read, in order to take more information in and read more quickly, before most kids learned to read normally.

For me, books are my happy place. Whenever I'm feeling down, I know that I can snuggle up in bed, with a cup of tea, and read my books, and I'll be alright again fairly soon. There is nothing that I love to do more than read, even at uni, when it's not uncommon to have to read three or four books a week just to stay on track.

I get so many people say to me, 'I wish I could just sit and read books like you do.' But I think the problem with that is if you love reading, it's because you've always loved it. It's not something you've necessarily picked up along the way, or a habit you've learned. But that doesn't mean you can't learn to love it. Go to a bookshop (side note: I would LIVE in a bookshop if I could <3) and pick out ANY book that takes your fancy. Irrelevant of genre, topic, age range, just pick it up. If it sounds good, take it home and spend fifteen minutes reading it. If you hate it, then fine, maybe that genre/topic/style of book isn't for you. Just take the time to give it a go, and who knows what you'll find out.

The trick is to make reading a fun experience - something you want to do. Whether that's cosy up in bed or on the sofa, or just sit and read. Do it because you want to. And forget everyone else.
My all-time favourite book series is Harry Potter. I'm the Potter generation, and I will fiercely defend the saga until my dying day. I love it so much that I'm writing my dissertation on it. But I'm almost twenty-one, and many people think that I'm too old for the Potter series now. To them, I say absolutely not. The first Potter book came out two years after I was born. I am LITERALLY the generation that grew up with Harry Potter and I will love it even when I'm fifty.

So why do I love books? The short answer is because I always have.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

A Reflection on Autumn

A while ago, I wrote a post about how summer was my favourite season. But now, as we've moved into autumn, with it's longer nights and chillier days, I'm tempted to change my mind. I love autumn. It's the season of change. The trees are loosing their leaves, the air is getting colder, and the nights are drawing in more and more everyday.

As much as I hate the dark, I love the colder weather. I love wearing jumpers and coats and thick socks and cosy-ing up in bed with a book and a cup of tea. It's my favourite thing to do. My stack of books I have to read is almost as tall as me, but Gilmore Girls is my new favourite TV show, and cosy autumn evenings in my bed are starting to become my new favourite thing.

Autumn is a fantastic time for reflection. Look back on the year and think about everything you've done. Everything you've achieved. Everything you've experienced. For me, it's been a great year. I can only hope that it continues this way.