After writing about a million different beginnings to this blog post, all of which I felt were incredibly cheesy, I will start with a simple HIYA. Since my last blog post, which feels like it was a million years ago, a lot has happened. I slaved away day and night writing my dissertation (from which the hard work actually paid off, and I won an award and a little bit of money for it), I did a LOT of travelling, I graduated uni, and I got a new job and moved countries. As you do.
Imagine. You wake up refreshed from a deep sleep, uninterrupted by the occasional buzz and vibration of social media notifications on your smartphone through the night. The first thing you do when you wake up in the morning isn’t scrolling through your Instagram feed to check whether you’ve missed anything important during the night, and subsequently getting a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out) – before you’ve even got out of bed. Your journey to work isn’t spent frantically attempting to get the very best Boomerang of the scenery on the way to share to your followers. You’re not surrounded by robotic commuters glued to their smartphone screens, aimlessly scrolling their lives away.
I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about this for a while, because I have pretty strong views on social media as a whole. I’ve written a couple of features about the correlation between social media use and mental health struggles, and I’ve based lots of my essays at University on social media in journalism. It’s a tricky one, this, because I’m an active user of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – the latter is primarily to promote my blog and actually get people to read it. But even so, I still feel like a hypocrite for saying how unhealthy I think social media use can be, when I’m an active participant in it.
So, it’s pretty fair to say that last week was a bloody good week. It all started when I woke up at 8am on Friday to watch Princess Eugenie’s wedding. Yes, I did do that – and no, I don’t care. She may be one of the lesser-known royals, but she is still royal, and that’s a good enough excuse for me to get my royalist hat on and cry without shame at how beautiful she looked.
She wore a classic, elegant backless number that showed her scar from a spinal operation she had aged 12, simply because she’s not ashamed of it – she’s empowered by it.
This struck a chord for me, because I have a 6-inch scar on my stomach from an emergency operation I had aged 18.
Being a Journalism Studies student at the University of Sheffield, I had the amazing opportunity of undertaking a work placement at the Press Association for a week towards the end of June. The experience itself was a whole host of things, positive and negative; liberating, scary, eye-opening, and stressful. All at the same time.
I’ve been to London countless times for sunny weekend breaks, but I’ve never had the chance to stay for longer than two or three days. So I got to see a whole different side of London during the week I stayed there – away from the bustling tourist hotspots to a vibrant, deadline-laden office next to Victoria Station. Long story short, it was pretty interesting.
Here’s a few things I learned.