Being 23…

I thought I’d step away from beauty products and write more of a lifestyle post today as it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Sometimes, it makes it all seem better when you write it down, but really, I just wanted to write a piece that so many people would relate to.

Anyone older than me with their own home, bills to pay and children to provide for would probably read this thinking ‘you’re 23, you just wait another ten years, then you’ll know what stress is’ but to me, getting to that point seems a lifetime away. Do you remember when you were at school and your parents and teachers used to say ‘your school years are the best years of your life, enjoy every minute’ and we’d all think ‘yeah right’? Well they actually had a point…

To be as carefree as an 11 year old would be great, but school isn’t the easiest time for a lot of people. I loved being at school and spending every day with my friends, but bullying in schools is a huge issue that people have to, unfortunately, face and for some, it can determine aspects of your life forever. I grew up having people comment on a mole I have on my face, (I now despise anything to do with Austin Powers as I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one) but them features don’t define you as a person, if anything, it defines the person saying it to you. Some are still people I would never associate with. People say things to others to make themselves feel better, it’s as simple as that. And that must always be remembered. Pity them, and move on with your own life, because everyone’s beautiful. ( Apart from them 😉 )

I would however say university was definitely the best time of my life, despite being constantly stressed with course work, essays and exams. I was looking through my university assignment folder the other day for module work on British film and television when writing an article about The Full Monty for Scottish edition of The Metro. As I flicked through each submission, memories came flooding back from each seminar and each lecture which I shared with some of the funniest, kindest and intelligent people there are. Days of meeting on the corner of Heaton Park to walk down to Northumbria University in the Geordie weather seemed like centuries ago, but really, I only graduated two years ago. I don’t feel like that chapter of my life has closed fully yet, but I would do anything to be living with my three best friends in our gorgeous four bed flat in Heaton, Newcastle again, working in Next in Eldon Square so I had enough spare money for a night in Sinners, and to order a ‘Pizza Pizza’ to eat whilst watching The X Factor after we all got home from work every Saturday.

Going to University definitely changed me as a person. I grew up a hell of a lot as I became independent, did my own washing, cooking, paid bills, made friends, the works. I would push anybody to go to university because it really is the best three years of your life, most definitely. And if you’ve just started, embrace every single second, because it will soon seem a million years ago. Make as many memories as you can, go on nights out when you have £10 to your name (there’s always the Bank of Mum and Dad to call on tomorrow), spend £5 on tins of beans for your weekly food shop, work hard to gain a degree that will determine the rest of your life, but have the most fun doing it. We used to be so poor we’d spend the evenings playing the post-it note game, watching films and playing on Just Dance, but those nights make the best memories and we still talk about them now. Go on bar crawls such as Carnage or Poly vs Posh, just try not to get your face in the Daily Mail lying in the gutter with a kebab down your front. Take trips around the area, I was lucky enough to live with three locals who all had cars at university with them, so we used to go up to Morpeth and Ashington where they lived, the Metro Centre, Gateshead, Durham etc. But above all, remember to have the most fun doing whatever you want, because despite hand ins and lectures, them three years are when you have the most freedom ever.

After moving home to Hull from Newcastle with a Media and Journalism degree life could be a lot worse. I know so many people that two years down the line, still can’t find a graduate job, and sadly that’s the way the economy is working at the minute. Although it has picked up a lot since the first job searches. When I started looking for a job, I applied EVERYWHERE. And I mean everywhere. Media jobs, journalism jobs, retails jobs, admin jobs, hospitality jobs, the list was endless. In fact, I kept a tally. I applied for 56 jobs before I got my job at The Press Association. 4 rejections, one week long stint in a call centre, one interview and acceptance and 50 complete ignores. I even applied to work at Build a Bear, which still amuses my friends to this day when we see the poor member of staff stood outside pulling a teddy around on roller skates. That could well have been my life.

Although I now have a job I love, it’s not something that I ideally want to do, but who does have a job like that? It’s all about progression and working hard. But looking at your income and lifestyle right now makes you address a lot of issues for the future:

1) When are you going to buy your own house?

When pigs can fly… I don’t know, in a few years I guess?

2) But all your friends are saving up for one?

Yes, but they’ve got boyfriends to save up with. I don’t, therefore I don’t have to think of these grown up things.

3) Well why don’t you have a boyfriend?

Because… I don’t know. I just don’t. And I’m not crying myself to sleep over that fact every night.

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Credit: Buzzfeed

4) But what if you never get a boyfriend, will you live at home forever?

Obviously not, I’ll buy a house on my own.

5) But how would you ever afford that when you have 34p left the day before payday every single month?

I don’t know… Get a second job?

6) But then if you got a second job, it would have to be a weekend, then you can’t go out with the girls?

Ok… Maybe we didn’t think this through…

7) Maybe if you stopped going out ever Saturday night and spend £50 on wine, then spend all day Sunday lying on the sofa eating £10 of McDonalds and watching X Factor, then you’d be able to save £240 per month to go towards life?

Well when I put it like that… But that probably won’t happen anytime soon.

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Credit: Buzzfeed

8) And what about kids, don’t you want kids?

Well yes eventually.

9) But the clock is ticking…

The clock is NOT ticking. I’m 23 thank you very much!

10) Have you tried online dating?

Me and my friends got Tinder to laugh at people… That would not work and I refuse to set up a Plenty of Fish account.

11) The right person will come along eventually you know…

Really? Well he hasn’t for the last 23 years, that’s for sure!

12) Why don’t you go travelling seeing as you’ve got nothing holding you back then?

If you would like to give me £5000, that would be great. I’ll send you a postcard from Australia.

Being 23 is tough… But if you look from the outside you have years to do all of these things. Right now enjoy life, go out with your friends, go on holidays, go on dates, smile a lot and always remember that planning isn’t always the best thing to do. Go with the flow, be spontaneous, take chances and do things that scare you. It just all adds to the experience of this rollercoaster ride they call life.

Maybe life will fall into place next month when I turn 24? Who knows…

Love Emily x

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