Changing jobs for the first time

What an absolute ball-ache. And this is just me changing from one part time job to another over the summer whilst I’m off uni – I can’t imagine what it’s like doing this on an actual full time scale when there really is a lot riding on it!

 

I’d been in my old job since near enough the second I turned 16. I was super shy and had basically no experience with the ‘real world’. 4 years later, I was confident at work, had been given lots of responsibility where I was working and has made some really good friends. But at the age of 20, I figured it was time to add something else to my CV and give myself a new challenge. Plus my new job is within walking distance to my house so it’s super convenient!

 

I was surprisingly calm on my first day (I’m usually a nervous wreck over the smallest things) but I really managed to just enjoy it. Getting to know a new group of people, be in a different environment and just try something new. Seeing as I’ve never changed jobs before there was a few challenges I hadn’t anticipated…

 

First of all? P45s. I’d only ever heard of them before, and I knew that you got them when you left a job, but I didn’t know how you got them or what to do what you do with them. Well it turns out you get them in the post, after a rather long wait, and after you’ve had to pay emergency tax because you didn’t have your P45 yet. And then you give them to your new employer, who will probably deal with it as slowly as the last one did.

 

I’d also forgotten what it is like not being totally up on who’s who at work. It’s important to suss out as soon as possible: who’s shagging who, who you can trust, and who you should avoid revealing even the smallest details of your personal life too. Even on a more professional note, learning a new chain of command and what issues are who’s problem – if that makes any sense at all.

 

But it’s only been a fortnight, and I think I’m doing alright at the role itself. Will keep you posted xxx

What to take to uni/college?

The following advice comes from someone who has lived on campus for the past 2 years. We’ll split our list into 3 sections: kitchen, bathroom & bedroom. [Context: I had a lil en suite bathroom and shared a kitchen]

 

Kitchen:

  • Plates, bowls, cutlery and mugs – enough for yourself and a guest, plus a couple spare cause you know, clumsy
  • Glasses. Some people will feel the need to take standard tumbler glasses, shot glasses, then wine glasses, and hey maybe even champagne flutes if they’re proper posh. I’m more of a ‘one glass does all’ kinda gal. (Again, a few spares is a smart move)
  • A decent frying pan
  • A decent pot
  • A decent baking tray
  • Bottle opener
  • Can opener
  • Whatever kitchen utensils you’re into eg: spatula, wooden spoon, ladle, pizza cutter
  • Dish cloths/sponges
  • Tea towels
  • Oven gloves. Though you only really need one pair per flat/house (till someone leaves them on the hob and burns them to a crisp)
  • One decent sharp knife
  • A cheese grater maybe, not for everyone
  • Chopping boards. I took 2: one for meat and one for everything else.
  • One of those plastic things you put over food so that it doesn’t explode all over the inside of the microwave (because microwaves save lives)
  • Take a bunch of your favourite ‘cupboard’ food with you to see you through the first couple of weeks whilst you’re settling in

 

Bathroom:

  • A shower caddy shelving thingy (literally a life saver for me cause idk why but I find it really annoying to have shampoo on the floor)
  • Toothbrush holder maybe (I took one of these with me but it didn’t even fit my electric toothbrush in it so really what was the point)
  • Soap dish. Unless you’re a liquid soap only kinda person. If you do opt for one, try to get one to match your toothbrush holder to fool any visitors into thinking that you’ve got this adulting thing down
  • Over the door hooks. Not essential in everyone’s eyes but I just found them super handy for hanging wet towels on as if you’re uni room does come with a towel rail it’s probably absolutely tiny
  • A bathmat to pop outside your shower on the bathroom floor. This worked great for me in my room last year, however this year my bathroom was more of a wet room so the entire floor got soaked whenever I had a shower so having a bathmat was fighting a losing battle really
  • Towels. Don’t be an absolute idiot like me and forget to buy a ‘bath sheet’. I had to go through the winter of my first year with a tiny bath towel that refused to cover my butt.
  • I’d advise stocking up on your fave toiletries. This is pretty expensive initially but it definitely did me a favour. I didn’t do this for first year I’d spent pretty much all my money buying all the other stuff but when I back for second year I took enough shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, body lotion, face cream, cleanser, toner, etc to last the year and it definitely helped. Those things can be pricey so if they run out whilst your a bit short on money one month it sucks.
  • Cleaning products! Just the obvious: cloths, mirror and glass cleaner, bleach, some kinda antibacterial spray etc

 

Bedroom:

  • Bedding
  • A mattress protector (very important as you don’t know who slept in that bed before you or what they did when they were in it. I took one for hygiene and a padded one to make the mattress the teensiest bit more comfortable)
  • A blanket – great for wrapping up on a cold night in bed and also for keeping warm when having deep conversations with your flatmates in the kitchen at 4am
  • Your fave teddy from home (not at all optional or negotiable)
  • Alarm clock? Of course we all have our phones but sometimes it takes a bit more than that to get me up for my 9am classes
  • A door stop. Not mega essential but very handy for when you’re moving things in and out of your room and also for when you first move in and don’t know anyone, can make it a bit less awkward if you’ve already had a few chats through your open door
  • A foldable clothes airer
  • Some kinda washing bag. I took one that took up virtually no space when it was empty rather than having a solid bin that takes up space regardless of what is in it
  • Clothes hangers, sounds obvious but you’d be surprised
  • Try and find out what the mirror situation is in your room. The room I had this year only had a mirror above the bathroom sink so I bought an over-the-door full length mirror and popped it over my bathroom door (the bedroom side if that makes sense). I also took an illuminated magnifying mirror for makeup
  • Speakers. The sound quality on my laptop is trash so I took a little pair of speakers just for listening to music, watching TV etc. No-one in either of my flatsĀ bothered bringing a TV.
  • A printer is very much optional. I used mine loads during first year but when it broke during second year I coped just fine without it. Your library will definitely have printers, it’s just handy being able to print event tickets out in your room.
  • Any pictures/knick-knacks/posters you want to make it more homey

Also don’t worry so much about your room that you forget to take actual uni stuff like notepads, pens, folders etc. Also, it sounds stupid but make sure you have enough clothes. Before I went I’d do washing at home like 3 times a week but I’d only do washing once a week at uni so at first I struggled with stupid things like having enough everyday t-shirts.

 

I hope this was mildly helpful…?

My depression treatment so far…

Hope you all enjoyed your break from me yesterday after I rambled at you for 30 days in a row! I’m going to try and keep consistent with 3 posts a week now but it could well drop down to two if I’m having a busy/lazy week.

 

I’ve touched on my mental health in many previous posts and said I’d write a detailed post about my treatment so far (which is far from over!). So here it is.

 

I guess my depression treatment kicked off 4 years ago with my first interaction with a counsellor, when I was 16. In other aspects of life I was doing really well. I had my first job, my GCSE grades were great, I had plenty of friends and a boyfriend, exercised regularly, no major struggles! I just knew that I had a lot of dark thoughts and that was when I started speaking to someone. This women was absolutely amazing and so so good at her job. In the year that followed I went through a lot of awful things and didn’t react well, I stopped the sessions with my counsellor (though I needed then more than ever). After this my treatment was on hold for a very long time.

 

I was to have no other treatment until I arrived at university, aged 18. In my first year I failed one of my January exams, and a lecturer of mine had a chat with me to ask what was going on as my coursework grades were good and I always attended class and contributed. I explained that I was feeling really anxious about the exam and had a panic attack beforehand and almost didn’t attend the exam altogether even though I had studied/revised really hard. She recommended I speak with one of the university counsellors (it wouldn’t have been appropriate for her to get too involved herself). So I made myself an appointment.

 

Biggest regret. It was awful. I felt worse afterwards. I went to this counsellor unsure of how much I was going to tell her/open up. I begin by telling her I had been struggling with anxiety during exam season and it was having a big negative effect on my academic performance. She stopped me there, told me that she too struggles with exams. I thought to myself ‘ah, so she understands! Brilliant.’ Nope, she proceeded to add that she never managed to combat it, could only go on courses that were exam free as she could not cope and she was sure she’d never be able to get over it. As I’m sure you can understand, I pretty much gave up any hope that she was going to help me then.

 

My treatment went on hiatus again here until the start of 2017, with me aged 19. I went to my GP and said that I was really struggling. I’d been doing all the things that you’re meant to do to help yourself: exercise regularly, eat well, meditate, stick to a good sleep hygiene routine. I didn’t know what to do as I was still feeling very down, with suicidal thoughts, very irritable, I was isolating myself. One of my biggest issues was that I was in university and struggling with some days feeling really ambitious and other days feeling totally hopeless. I was prescribed 50mg of Sertraline/Zoloft.

 

I had many side effects initially. Cue the driest mouth in the world and the craziesttttt dreams!! Side effects aside, I didn’t actually feel any different at all so at my next check up my doc upped my dosage to 100mg daily. 6 weeks later I was still feeling so cue another dosage increase to 150mg. More of the same followed, with the added side effect of struggling to fall asleep at night (a real deal-breaker for me) so back down to 100mg I went.

 

When the summer exam season came around just a few weeks ago I realised I was starting to panic. I was putting plenty of time and effort into my revision but I was feeling really anxious and hopeless for the challenges to come. I nervously decided to reach out to my university counsellors again (there are a few and I figured I had a good chance of not getting the same counsellor again). They told me that as I had not had an appointment in the last 3 months, I would have to have an initial telephone consultation so that THEY could decide if I needed an appointment.

 

what?

 

If you’re mildly depressed do you not deserve help? Only the suicidal are worthy of help? This ended up being irrelevant as the telephone consultation they offered me was around 6 weeks away, and long after my exams were finished so I just had to tough this one out alone.

 

That’s basically where I’m at right now. On the whole, I’m not doing toooo great. I had meant to make an appointment at my doctors but I’m putting it off. My GP has left and I was not comfortable with the GP I had previously so I’m a bit nervous to see who I’ve got now. But I really shouldn’t put it off much longer and I won’t – you guys can hold me accountable!

 

But please, if any of you are needing to reach out and get help/treatment of any kind, do as I say and not as I do and do it! You got this.

 

Day 30 – Hopes For Your Blog (30 Day Blogging Challenge)

So I kinda touched on this in my intro posts but I felt I should elaborate anyway. 
I don’t really have any specific hopes for this blog. I hope that I keep it up. I hope that I can use it as a outlet for any negative thoughts and anxiety that I’m feeling rather than getting inside my head too much. I hope that I can turn my rants into mildly funny posts, as when I’m struggling with my mental health I also tend to get very irritable along with my low moods.
I hope that me being open about my mental health makes just one other human feel a little bit less alone. I know that before I came across anyone else talk about it I felt like a freak. Why is everyone else coping and I can’t? Does that make me weak/pathetic? Now I know that dealing with life’s pressures alongside dealing with depression & all the demons that brings makes me incredibly strong.
I hope that reading my drivel is fun for at least some of you. Not everyone will like it, I’ve always been an acquired taste.
So if you’re reading this, thanks very much. I’m absolutely thrilled you have to you. Xxx

Day 29 – A Confession (30 Day Blogging Challenge)

A don’t really know if I can do a ‘confession’ as such as I’m quite an honest person really – this closet is near enough skeleton free! But I will open up about something for you.

 

I’m about to go through a couple changes and I’m really quite nervous. My second year at university has come to an end and I’ll soon be moving back home with my parents and I’m looking to commute next year, so living at home again will be a big change. Sometimes I think that moving back in with them is a bit of a step backwards but I try to remind myself that I’ve only just turned 20, and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Besides, I genuinely enjoy their company (when I’m not being mega moody).

 

I’m also about to start a new job. I’ve only ever had one job before and I had it from literally the moment I turned 16 (I interviewed at 15 and they told me I could start right after my birthday) up until last week. It would’ve been easy to stay just because I’m so comfortable there but I’m also looking forward to the challenge, learning some new skills and being in a different pool of people (as socially awkward as I am).

 

I’m restarting driving lessons after my last disastrous lot. My instructor was not a very nice man but that’s another story for another post. Driving makes me really nervous but I’m hoping that as I get better at it I’ll also get more confident. I’m starting again with an instructor that a friend recommended to me so hopefully I’ll get on better this time round!

 

I’m also just starting to feel a bit anxious about the upcoming final year of my degree. There’s just so much riding on this year. I’m trying to minimise my anxiety by getting some ideas flowing about my dissertation now so I don’t waste too much of third year planning something that could’ve already been planned if that makes sense.

 

So there we go, I’m very scared. I know that trying my best to keep my mental health up these coming months is going to be absolutely vital but I got this, and so do you.

Day 28 – Most Embarrassing Moment (30 Day Blogging Challenge)

We’re gonna throw it waaaaaaay back for this embarrassing confession. Now anyone that knows me knows that I embarrass myself on pretty much a daily basis, it’s basically a part of my personality. So I thought take you back to my childhood for this standout moment.

 

Picture the scene, I was really young, just 4 years old, on a family holiday to Butlins. So as is common at Butlins there were some characters on stage and they invited a bunch of children, including myself, on stage. So we did whatever, I’m guessing we like sung a song together or something, is there they sent us all back down to sit with our families again. Now to get off the stage you had to go down these steps and all the other kids were bigger than me. So the host lady offered to just lift me down. Now 4-year old me wasn’t very trusting and took a while to take the plunge. However, unfortunately just as I took the plunge and walked into her arms, she thought I wasn’t having any of it and walked away. Instead, I plunged to the floor.

 

Cue a very public concussion for myself. 16 years on its a story that still haunts me and regularly gets laughs from my family.

Day 27 – What’s In Your Closet? (30 Day Blogging Challenge)

I’m British so I’m going to assume this post is inviting me to detail what it in my wardrobe rather than being a coming out space? Anyways this is going to seem like a bit of a mixed bag but that’s because it’s my university closet/wardrobe and space is limited! If there is no picture at the end of this post, then that means I had a look at my wardrobe after writing it and decided it was not fit for public viewing!

 

Okay so my wardrobe has stuff on top of the wardrobe itself so I’ll start there. Up there (and I have to stand on my desk chair to get it down) I have my duvet (because the UK is experiencing a rare heatwave), my laptop bag and a box with my spare bedding and towels.

 

Then inside the wardrobe itself we have the top shelf (that I also need to assistance of a chair to access) and on there are all my hoodies (stashed away due to the aforementioned heatwave), all my jeans, pyjamas (at the very front of the shelf to make them more easily accessible) and a few random clothing items that stay better off of hangers.

 

Then down the right hand side we have to two shelves so that makes 3 spaces if that makes sense. The top one contains gym leggings, tops, gym underwear (thick ankle socks and big, 100% cotton knickers – I’m not about pulling a thong out of my butt mid-workout). The second one is the rest of my bras and knickers, tights, anything like that. The bottom one is larger and that’s where I throw all my shoes and bags. I also have my little heater here, and in winter my fan was there instead.

 

Then to the left is the actual clothes rail featuring a whole variety of items (of which I tend to rotate the same 5-6). As this is so high up there’s a big space underneath it so I kinda just store random food there. Like cereal I haven’t opened yet, new cartridges for my water filter, unopened crisp bags (that’s ‘chips’ for any American folk out there!), porridge sachets, unopened alcohol that doesn’t fit in the fridge, emergency tea bags (could I be more British?) and unopened whey protein. Kitchen cupboard space is very limited here at university.

 

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Guess I was feeling brave enough to let you all have peek (I promise that’s not my idea of ‘tidy’).