May, You’ve Done Me Good

It’s May and I’ve done it. I’ve completed three years at university studying for my English degree. It feels like I’ve reached this point far quicker than I ever imagined. It’s a cliché, but the day I moved to Liverpool in September 2014 honestly feels like it was yesterday. Although saying that, I am happy these three years are drawing to their end. Not because I haven’t enjoyed my time here, it’s definitely been a fun three years, however, I feel like I’m ready to move on. Move on to what? I’m still unsure, but I’m ready for the next phase of my life.

the alchemMy last assignments were submitted a couple of weeks ago, so now it is just a waiting game to distinguish exactly what level of degree I am leaving Liverpool with. However, that is not something I am thinking about just yet. I am simply happy to have a free mind and so much free time to relax and do what I want to do, without the pressures of assignments. Luckily for me, the end of my degree has tied in with my 22nd birthday. I have not been out a lot during third year so a night out was one hundred per cent needed. Since going out is a rare occasion, I thought it was only right to go to The Alchemist for a meal and cocktails. If you have been there before then you will understand what I mean when I say it is a beautiful place. – in all areas: aesthetics, food, drinks, people.

Following that, we went to one of my favourite night time destinations in Liverpool: Mathew St. And, I am fully confident now that I have been to every pub/bar/club that is down that street. – well, that is apart from the Cavern Club. (what kind of student residing in Liverpool has not been to the most famous drinking establishment in the city? Really. I’m such a sorry excuse for a student) I’m confident, however, I will get to the Cavern Club before I leave Liverpool for good. So, Mathew St was great. I highly recommend it if you want to be away from the student populated night life. Although, a lot of the time the lack of students is replaced with tourists. So, I guess it’s all about preferences.

sister actAs well as celebrating my birthday in Liverpool I also went home for a few days. I went to see Sister Act, a musical directed and choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood, at the theatre in Stoke. Which was honestly so good. I didn’t know what to expect, when you’ve watched the original films so often it’s sometimes hard to separate the characters from the original actors (i.e Whoopi Goldberg). However, the cast behind the Sister Act musical were fab, so thankfully I didn’t find myself making comparisons between the portrayal of the characters in the film and the musical.

Following my birthday celebrations, I also had my English Graduation Ball, at the Bluecoat Chambers. I wasn’t going to attend this as it didn’t sound like something that I would enjoy. However, a few of us decided ‘I’ll go if you go’. So, naturally, I found myself attending the ball. It was an enjoyable night with course friends, prosecco, a three-course meal, dancing, moreball 1 prosecco, a photo booth…oh and more prosecco. It has been so long since we’ve had a chance to dress up nicely, that it was great to have an excuse to make a bit more an effort than the usual jeans and trainers. Though, by the end of the night, and when I found myself sat in a tequila bar, shot in hand, I was majorly regretting not wearing flat shoes. Nevertheless, it was a great night and just shows that although I may think something will be… meh, it can turn out to be enjoyable. So, mental note taken for the next time I have doubts about an event or the like.

Well, that’s been my life over the last month or so. – I’ve completed university, I’ve turned 22 and I had a couple of enjoyable nights out. I have had a great May, however, now that I have finished I am finding myself with little to do. I am currently working one day a week on an internship…which I realise I haven’t spoken too much about, so maybe that’ll be a future post. And, although I am working for that day, the rest of the weeks have been a mission to fill, which hasn’t been made easy with the terrible weather. However, I have been productive, and I have planned the best week ahead. I will not go into detail about this yet, as I will save this for a future post. So, keep your eyes peeled, and i’ll leave you with these fantastic pictures from my solo, drunken trip to the photo booth at the grad ball.

photo booth 1

Until next time…

x

General Election 2017 – Why You Should Be Registering

There are less than two days for you to register your vote in the 2017 General Election. Registering your vote is an easy act and takes no time at all, so what are you waiting for?

I’ll be honest, it is only over the last year or two that I have become more aware of the political world. It’s not that I never knew of its importance, it’s just that I wasn’t necessarily previously interested. And because of this lack of interest, and I will hold my hands up and say I did not vote in the 2015 general election. – I can’t even remember whether I registered or not. Now, as somebody who has previously ignored their right to vote, I will not judge or shame you if you have zero interest. However, since I now understand the importance of my vote I want to urge you to at least register to vote.

election 2In the past, I have had thoughts like ‘it doesn’t affect me’ or ‘what change can I make’ run through my mind. So, I completely understand that many people go through this internal struggle. However, what I feel is significant about my ‘political journey’ – if you will – is that these are no longer thoughts that cross my mind. Although I am no political expert, I have become far more informed and conscious of how my single vote could help to sway a result. Thus, I want to tackle these thoughts that I have previously had, and thoughts that I know other people have when thinking about general elections:

“It doesn’t affect me”

Wrong – The government are in control of everything in your day to day life. Health care, taxes, human rights, education, employer/employee rights, the economy, and I could go on. Therefore, you will be affected by the outcome of the general election in all areas of your life. So, the argument that the outcome of the election will not affect you has no standing, it affects everybody in one way or another. Therefore, it is important for you to distinguish what you value and what you want in these aspects of life in order to make an informed decision.

“What difference will my vote make?”

In 2010, 15.9 million people did not vote. That is far more people than any party was supported by. Just think about the difference that those people could have made. If even half of these people realised that their votes matter, and can have an impact, the results of the general election could have been significantly different. Alongside this, if everybody who could vote voted, we would have a government that is far more representative of our population. After all isn’t that the greatness of having a democratic society? That it is the people who make the choices and the people who are represented.election 1

“I’m only 18, what does it have to do with me?”

This is your future, more than anybody else’s. In 2015, only 43% of 18-24 year olds voted, compared to the 78% of people aged 65 and over. This means that it is the older generations who are having the most say in your future. Where is the logic in that? No matter what you are doing with yourself, whether you’re in college, at university, on an apprenticeship, or in the workplace you will be affected by the outcome. You will not get this chance to make your voice heard about what is important for YOUR future until 2022, do not waste this opportunity.

“I wouldn’t know who to vote for, so why should I register?”

Voting registration closes on May 22nd 2017, but the general election is not until June 8th 2017. That means you have over two weeks to make an informed decision as to who you want to vote for. Each party has released election manifestos, there are websites you can use to discover which party suits your values, and there are continuous discussions over all social media platforms. Therefore, coming to a conclusion as to who you should be supporting is easier than you think. Even if you get to June 8th and still have not concluded who you want to support, then it is your right to not vote. However, you will not get to make that decision if you do not at least register.

If you have got to this point and have realised your voting potential, please do not just sit back and forget about how important this is. Personally, I do not care who you are voting for. As long as you are making an informed decision that is right for you, then that is perfect. Too often I hear of people who vote a certain party because ‘that’s who my parents vote for” or they vote for the party who is getting the better press, or they vote for who their friends are voting for. Although it’s great you’re voting, these are not informed methods of doing so. So, please, after coming to the realisation of the importance of your vote, continue that realisation with realising the importance of making an informed decision.election 4

Bringing it back to myself, and to demonstrate that I am practising what I am attempting to preach. I have registered to vote in the general election, both in my hometown and in my university city. This is because I am currently back and forth between the two locations. Therefore, I did not want to get to June 8th and discover that I was in the wrong place to cast my vote. I have also taken a couple of quizzes, watched videos and debates and I am currently making my way through the manifestos. This is all to enhance my ability to make an informed choice. So, you see I have done and I am doing exactly what I am asking you to do!

To put it simply, here are some steps you can take to make the most of this general election

  • Register your vote. (Students can register at both your uni address and your home address)
  • Determine what is important to you (health care, taxes, human rights, the environment etc)
  • Get informed on your party options: Read the party manifestos – take some online quizzes, use google
  • Measure up the pros and cons each party offers on the aspects of life you value the most
  • Turn up on June 8th 2017 and vote.

 

Useful websites

Vote registration

More registration information

Who should you vote for‘ quiz

I Side With’ quiz

2017 Party Manifestos (the ones I could find so far):

Labour

Conservative

Liberal Democrats 

Green Party

UKIP

PLAID

The Grand National: Ladies Day

grand-national

For the very few of you that do not realise, this weekend has been Randox Health’s Grand National. Admittedly, I am one of those people who only pays attention to horse racing this one weekend in the year. There’s just this hype around it, and you really get swept along…even more so living in Liverpool, just down the road from Aintree Race Course. I have wanted to go to Ladies Day for a few years now, but unfortunately it just has not happened for me yet. There’s always next year, right? I am digressing though, it not the horse racing or the events themselves that has me writing today. It is the media, and the newspapers that report on the weekend that have brought me here. One newspaper in particular has me frustrated, I will not however give them the satisfaction of naming them. Though as I go on, I’m sure many of you will figure out who that newspaper is.

Year after year I see this newspaper report on the Grand National, which is only right, it is a big event. However, the headlines that I continuously see from them revolve around Ladies Day. Their photographer takes countless photographs of the women attending the event, all looking fabulous I must say. However, rather than focus on the fact that these women have come together to enjoy a day out at the races, they put a more negative spin on the day; And that is putting it lightly. They take photographs from purposefully unflattering angles and comment on how ‘classless’, ‘inappropriate’, and ultimately how ‘unladylike’ they view the woman attending the event are. I cannot speak for their physical newspaper, as I am more of an online newsreader. However, their website is covered in photographs that they present to the world, with the idea of shaming and embarrassing these women. What infuriates me most though is that this article has been published by an unknown reporter at the newspaper…

Why, if you are proud of your work and proud of what you do, would you post anonymously?

I can give you a reason. You post anonymously because you know the backlash you are going to receive for this article. That although you attempt to shame and embarrass these women that attended the Grand National’s Ladies Day, you will be met with hundreds, if not thousands, of people who are in support of these women, and who will look at you with disdain. You know why? Because these women are having a damn good time! They are enjoying their day at the races thoroughly, and creating memories that they will look back fondly on. These are confident, independent, glammed up women, who are not afraid to have fun. They’ve spent their day in the sunshine, surrounded by their friends, enjoying a high-profile event. And what have you done with your day? You’ve wasted a whole day judging other people for having a good time. Where is the logic in that? And nobody even knows who you are, literally, because your name is not on the article.

I only hope the person responsible for this article is not female. Because I can guarantee at some point in their life they would have been subject to some form of judgement…as most women are. Therefore, as a woman, they should realise that this kind of judgmental article is just not acceptable.

Where is the girl power?

And if they are male? Well, what do you want us girls to do, spend our days indoors, catering to your every need? Ha, we are not in 1950. If a woman wants to go out and have fun, if she wants to drink until she cannot drink anymore, if she wants to take off her shoes after a long day (because heels hurt, I commend them for spending the amount of time they did in them, I’m not sure I would have been that strong myself), if she wants to wear clothes that show off her body, then who are you to stop them?

All I want to say to the women who attended Ladies Day at the Grand National is: YOU GO GIRLS; I’m only jealous I was not there to look as fabulous and have as much fun as you all did!