Wednesday, 1 July 2015


Cairngorms National Park
I would give my left arm to be on a road trip right now but I am searching for a job because university is crazy expensive, and also I don't have a car. However, I am living vicariously through my roadtrip playlist. There's something about guitars and folky sounds that make me instantly think of the wind blowing through my hair whilst I'm looking out of the window at the most amazing view.

Besides the songs in my playlist I also recommend Bon Iver, Ben Howard, Bears Den, Mumford and Sons, Ray LaMontagne, Hillsong United and Mac Demarco.  

Tuesday, 2 June 2015


I don't go back to university until September, that means I have three months of no essays and endless free time. I'm going to use this time to read, draw and generally improve my life. I got stuck into a routine, or rut?, at university where everything revolved around studying, and my degree subjects. This means I have a mountain of books to read, multiple projects I want to start and complete, recipes to try and relaxing to do.

Although I have done a lot of reading this past year, some of which was for pleasure, I have a stack of books that I want to get through this summer. Admittedly a lot of them do relate to my degree, such as The Odyssey. Whilst others such as Amy Poehlers autobiography or Everyday Sexism are purely because I am interested in them. I also want to read some poetry this summer, be it epic in the form of Euripides or one that hits home in the form of Sylvia Plath. I also want to condense my thoughts and write about the books, good or bad.

This summer I have a kitchen that is not shared with eleven other people. Meaning I can spend as long as I want on a recipe without fear that I am interrupting someones dinner. I used to be fussy, and whilst I still don't eat a lot of things I have branched out. I have so many recipes saved away to try and this summer I'm going to try them all. I also bought a blender/pseudo nutribullet which has already been thoroughly tested with smoothies and protein shakes. 

I have a lot of stuff. Be it clothes or books or just random things, I am a hoarder. Packing up my room at university made clear how much stuff I have, too much. I want to have a capsule wardrobe type situation, although less restricted and severe. I have an idea about the sort of look and style I am aiming to have. I'm going to either sell or donate everything that I don't need or use. 

This is such a cliche goal for summer, or any time of the year. However I feel so good when I exercise regularly and I don't just mean physically. Mentally I feel better and more able to cope. I live on the east coast of Scotland which means I have access to a really great coastal path which happens to lead onto dense, hilly woods. I want to continue with yoga, with the help of Adriene and determination.  

Everything Else
I want to start drawing and creating again. I've set myself a challenge to sketch something everyday, be it a small drawing or a massive painting. I also want to properly blog. I have a lot of things to say and opinions that I want to write about.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

First Year

My beautiful university town\\ St Andrews

One more exam and I will have completed my first year of university; here are my thoughts and reflections on this amazing, stressful year. 

Don't doubt yourself

I am my own worst critic, if I don't get the best mark then I beat myself up about it. In classes I don't contribute an answer for fear of being wrong, the times I have said something I've been told it was a good contribution. Even when I know I am right there is still a nagging fear that I'm wrong and that I will make an idiot of myself. I know I am capable so I need to remind myself that I can do it. 

Find a balance

Whether this balance is between studying, partying, going back home or anything else, balance is so important. I work part-time at the weekends so for me having a balance between 'work' work and university work was essential. I'm a terrible procrastinator and it means I'm spending hours at the library and then working all weekend, with no time for a social life. Its important for me not to burn myself out.

Never compare yourself

I study Ancient History and this is the first time I am ever studying it in an academic sense, I've had an interest in it for years. There are a lot of fellow classmates who have studied it before and had amazing opportunities to work on sites abroad, something that I never had or did. Sometimes it's so hard not to compare yourself to these people who know more than you, it can be disheartening. 

Grades are important

But they're not the most important thing. I've been told multiple times that I only need a 7 to pass, but I don't want to scrape a pass, I want to do well! If I try my hardest and make an honest attempt at something then I will be happy with my grade. Sometimes I struggle with motivation and when I don't have anyone telling me to do work I put it off until the last possible moment. This is a terrible habit to have. I need to be my own biggest motivator.

It's hard
It's a lot harder than high school and you have to be prepared to do a lot of work. My first semester was hard, I was going a module I hated and considered dropping out if I couldn't change in the next semester. But I put my head down, passed the exam and then changed my module. Now I'm doing a module I love and that I'm good at. 

Enjoy yourself
I worked really hard to get into university and now that I'm here it's still hard to comprehend sometimes. I get stressed so easily about stupid things and it prevents me from doing things I enjoy. I'm at university for five years and I am going to enjoy my time here before I have to be a proper adult and get a full time job. 

I have my last exam and I turn twenty next week. Goodbye to teenage years and hello to second year of university!

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Revision Playlist

I'm still awake when the sun rises \\ St Andrews

Exam time is upon me and I cannot study without music to block distractions out; here are some of my favourites

Frank Ocean: Channel Orange is one of my favourite albums, and it's the perfect sound for studying. I'm also a big fan of Swim Good.

Mumford and Sons: Their new album Wilder Minds was released recently and although there aren't a lot of banjos I like it. I love their earlier albums, add a banjo and I'm hooked. 

Bon Iver: The perfect music for revising and focusing. His Stems Project album is especially good.

I listen to music predominantly through Spotify and there are some really good ready-made playlists, I listen to the ones categorised under 'focus' often. 

My favourites are Atmospheric Calm, Cinematic Chill Out and Mellow Beats. In other playlist categories I recommend; Dinnertime Acoustics, Have a Great Day! and Sunny Side Up. 

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Spring Break

I recently spent five days exploring London, here are my photos. 

ft\\ British Museum, Natural History Museum and Tate Modern 

Thursday, 15 January 2015

2015 \\ Reflections

I've decided that this year I'm not going to set myself resolutions; I last a month at most and then feel like a failure for the rest of the year. This year I am being selfish and focusing on myself.
These aren't resolutions per se, I see them more as goals for the future and becoming the best version of myself I can be. It's a change of habits, attitude and persona.

You are not a match. You are a goddamn wildfire. (Amanda Oaks, full poem)

This year I'm going to do things that make me happy and help me remember how lucky I am. I am studying something I love, I live right beside the sea and my friends are amazing; what isn't there to love? This year I turn twenty and I think I've finally realised that if someone doesn't like you then it doesn't matter, I'm not here to impress anyone. I'm going to embrace my terrible dance skills and my loud laugh. Why should I be ashamed about things that are natural and make me who I am. I'm going to be enthusiastic about Alexander the Great and Herodotus and no one can stop me.

I think it's intoxicating when someone is so unapologetically who they are. (Don Cheadle)

I'm going to stop relying on people and things for my happiness. It is so easy to depend on certain people to pull you through the dark times and difficulties but I need to learn how to do it myself. I may be young but I've done a lot in my short life. I volunteered for two months, travelled to Peru on my own, I have consistently worked for the past three years and I got into a top class university. I am proud of myself. When did having pride in yourself become a bad thing, I work hard and I deserve good things. I am capable of great things and this year I intend to become the best version of myself.

I stopped looking for the light. Decided to become it instead. (@heyfranhey) 

I'm going to write more, sing more, draw more and dance more. I'm going to wholeheartedly embrace my wonderful life and conquer anything in my way. In the simplest terms possible I'm going to punch 2015 in the face and kick its ass

Sunday, 21 December 2014

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year


Everyone is heading home for a cosy christmas with family and a relaxing month long break from university. Except me. I'll be spending the majority of the winter break staying in my university town to work, here are my plans so I don't turn into a recluse.

- Go outside -
I'm lucky that I live in a beautiful town beside the sea, and I need to take advantage of that. Whether it's a long walk or popping to the shops, I aim to go outside every day. 

- Read -
I finally have to read non-reading list books which means I'm going to tackle the huge pile of books that I've been meaning to read. Coincidently the majority of them are to do with my degree in some way!

- Exercise -
Last summer I was going on runs every week and loving it but university threw everything out of balance. I want to start running again and this break is the perfect time for that. 

- Keep in touch - 
I love writing letters and cards and want to send them to my friends, especially those in far flung places. There is nothing nicer than getting a handwritten card in the post!

- Prepare for next semester -
I want to be prepared by doing all the required reading in advance, luckily I enjoy the background reading! I also need to keep on top with my Spanish, ¡aquĆ­ voy! 

All of this will be partnered with my retail job, which should be fun in the sales.