The waiting game

As I grow fond of Olives, constantly crave a cuppa and get excited for a night in with Bubble, I wonder if maybe what I thought would never happen, may just be happening. I’m growing up.

Of course I still love a night out, but spending over half a week either drunk or hungover isn’t as appealing anymore. University has been the best years of my life and I’ve learnt so much about myself and am so happy I went but after three years of waking up to a kitchen smelling of beer, where you have to tip toe over pizza crusts from the night before isn’t all it’s cracked up to be anymore. Especially when there’s a farm house in the middle of the country side, with a fridge full of bacon, rooms filled with cats and a family full of love not far away. Possibly I’m growing up? Perhaps three years is long enough? But maybe, it’s because everything is starting to fall in place and I’m getting excited about what’s to come.

 As many people believe, Friday 13th brings bad luck, but on Friday 13th of this month, I got a very exciting e-mail. “Thank you for your application to study PGCE at the University of East Anglia. We are pleased to inform you that you have been selected to attend an interview at the University.” How exciting… I thought.

I ring mum, but she doesn’t pick up as she’s working. So I ring dad, resulting in tears of happiness. But in-between the time of speaking to dad, and mum ringing me back I had received an email to tell me when the interview would happen, only  7 days later, and what the interview entailed: A 45 minute interview with a head teacher and lecturer; a book presentation which involved me choosing a children’s book and presenting why I felt the book would be beneficial in a classroom, to the other applicants, the teacher and lecturer and completing a written task within the three hours I would be there. So by the time mum had got back to me, I was crying all sorts of tears.

So the next 7 days were full of tears and tantrums, nerves and nightmares. What will I wear?! What questions will they ask?! What if my book doesn’t arrive in time?! How do I get there?! What if the reason I got my interview on Friday 13th was because it’s going to go wrong?! What if I forget everything and just burst into tears?! What if I forget what my name is?!

7 sleepless nights later, the morning arrived and I’d never felt so nervous in my life. I think the reason I felt different this time to previous interviews was because of how much I want it. For once in my life, I was 100% sure on something and if I get a place this year I won’t have 16 months to fill before I could apply again.

I’m not going to go into the details of the interview because I’m sure that wouldn’t interest you… Well I guess I could pretend that was why. But more honestly, I’ve got a new kitten and I want to go and tickle his tummy. But oh my gosh, I think it went really well! Every question I’d prepared myself for came up and I managed to answer every one well, I think, and very naturally. I managed to present my book without any nerves popping up, and I remembered my name! And I have a lovely little feeling inside, that it may have been down to a very special flower up there who was holding my hand throughout.

So now I wait for a response, 1-3 weeks to go and I have all my fingers crossed and that’s more than you have on your hands as I’m from Norfolk. So if you wouldn’t mind, could you cross your fingers for me too please and hopefully you’ll be reading a blog very shortly, filled of excitement in caps lock.

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Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs

Unfortunately there’s a time in your life where answering, “A princess” to the question, “So what do you want to be when you’re as old as mummy and daddy?” isn’t acceptable.

Whilst I was at sixth form, at the age of 17, I had to decide on what I wanted to study at University and where I was going to pursue it. Coincidentally, at this age I also had absolutely no idea of what career path I wanted to follow. And what was worse, it seemed that everyone else around me had already decided where they were going and what they were doing.

Obviously not everyone wanted to go to University, I mean some people were happy with a job in Topshop for the rest of their life, but where’s the dream in that? For me, University has always been a plan. I felt, and still feel, that 18 was too young to end full time education, but also too young to start full time work. I mean, who wants to be working 9-5 when there’s jäger bombs out there that need drinking?

But what was I going to study at University? 3 years is a long time to stay motivated on just one subject and £9,000 is a huge amount to go in-debt to, to something that you’re unsure about. So I listened to my teachers and my family, who both suggested that as I was uncertain of the career path I wanted to follow, I should take a degree on something I enjoyed and was good at, as it would help me to stay motivated and achieve a high grade. So that’s why I took Fashion Studies.

Of course I’ve had my days, normally once I’ve handed in a deadline, where I’ve absolutely loved it and have wanted to spend the rest of my life working in the Fashion industry. But I’ve had a lot more days where, although I’ve been enjoying what I’m doing and am working hard, I just know I wouldn’t be happy doing it forever.

And about a week ago, a light bulb switched on in my brain, a bulb that had flickered similar thoughts many years ago. I’d decided, well re-decided, that I wanted to be a primary school teacher. I love children, helping others and I’m a little bossy. The hours are perfect, the pay is good and the holidays are very generous. I don’t know what it was that made me suddenly decide or what it was that really put a full stop to any more ideas, but I’m so glad it happened.

Once I’ve finished my third year in Lincoln, I plan to pursue a Postgraduate Certificate in Education Primary Level (PGCE), at the UEA, in September 2014. It is an 8.30am-5.30pm course, 5 days a week, which lasts 38 weeks and includes at least 120 days work based in schools.

After a little research, I discovered that if I continue to get the grades I’ve been getting, (I got a 2:1 for second year, yay), I should still have a chance to get on the course. My degree is just as beneficial for the course as one would be in any other subject, so I have absolutely no regrets. I know that if I were to have done a more academic degree, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much, therefore would not have been as motivated.

Life is too hard to do something because it’s the ‘easy option’, and I know this is the perfect job for me. There’s no problem with a well-dressed teacher. I mean, just as Oscar Wilde stated, “You can never be too overdressed or overeducated”.

Honey, What happened to the kids?

When I was in Primary School wearing pink would make me a “Townie”, all boys smelt and I never ever wanted to grow boobs. Today I’m walking down the aisle’s in supermarkets seeing padded bras for age 6+, scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed to see 15 year olds flaunting their baby scans and teenage girls wearing more makeup that your average Geordie on a night out.

Call me traditional, but I want my daughter to be dressed in cute, pretty clothing, appropriate for the weather, occasion, and more importantly, their age. But maybe I’m wrong in thinking that will be easy in the world we live in today.

“It’s funny how a man only thinks about the… You got a real big heart, but I’m looking at your… You got real big brains, but I’m looking at your… Girl, there ain’t no pain in me looking at your…”

These degrading, provocative lyrics were teamed with raunchy dance moves, a lack of clothing and a far from natural amount of make-up on the Pussy Cat dolls track, Beep. But as a single that reached 2nd in the UK chart and was part of the track list on two of the most popular CD’s sold to teenage girls, ‘Pop Party’ and ‘Now that’s what I call music 63’, was there any way of getting away from it with technology dependent generation?

Nicole Shirt-slinger, the lead singer of the Pussycat dolls, is just one of too many wrongly idolized women. The extent of editing and makeup that is pursued on her appearance, and most other female celebrities in the spot light, is so idealized that most girls can’t attain it. And call me crazy, but I feel Nicole looks so much better without make up on. Why is it that I had to go out of my way to find a picture of her ‘au’naturale’, but her fictitious face is flaunted everywhere I look.

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In the past month I’ve seen 3 girls on my Facebook, younger than 18, uploading photographs of their “modeling shoot”. These weren’t the kind of photo’s you’d frame and give to your grandparents to display on their mantle-piece. They were the kind you’d see in those top-shelf magazines, that would please the lovely gentleman you see, that drive the white vans.

Young girls shouldn’t be posed up against poles, enhancing their pre-pubescent chests, caked in collection 2000 makeup, wearing revealing garments which display deceitful slogans. But if it’s available and publicized everywhere, how do we stop it?

The problem with the fashion available for young girls today is that it’s allowing them to advertise themselves without even realising it. Promoting the idea that women and girls are being viewed, treated, portrayed and groomed as sexual objects.

I’ve seen t-shirts for girls aged 4+ bearing the slogan “Future WAG” and 3.5 inch high heels being sold in New Look, starting at size one- the size of an average 8 year old. Not only is this dressing young girls like sexually available women, it isn’t ideal for growing feet.

In addition I noticed that the shorts were getting shorter, the shirts were getting tighter and the slogans were getting more suggestive. It seems that today’s young girl doesn’t want to own a plastic Barbie doll, instead she wants to be one.

So in a generation where teenage girls are hidden behind a mask of make up, an armor of Paul’s Boutique and are the mother to a child instead of a furby, is there any chance of getting our little angels back?

Let me leave you with this genuine photograph of just one of the 100,000 American children, under the age of 12, which take part in U.S child beauty patents.

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