Seven.

Yesterday marked the seven month anniversary of my moving to Glasgow which now means I’m well and truly in the latter half of my project and definitely starting to think seriously about what life post-Scotland holds for me. While I’m incredibly excited to be moving down to London etc., a big part of me is absolutely petrified about becoming a student once more. The thought of house-hunting seems daunting to say the least and, even once that is sorted, there already seems like so much to prepare and sort between now and September. I have a post-offer applicant day on Friday 10th May, whereby I’ll finally get a tour of the university and find out a lot more about the course itself. This is great but I’m slowly starting to realise just how much form-filling etc I’ll have to go through for my bursary,  disclosure check and medical clearance test – I’m stressed out just thinking about it all to be honest.

Financially, I’ve totally forgotten what it’s like to pay rent or bills or even a full week of food shopping to be honest so having to budget for all these different things will be a massive change. I’m very lucky at the moment as most of my small income is pretty disposable whereas next year I’ll have to learn to cut back a lot on meals out and clothes shopping and all the other things I waste my money on currently!

My biggest worry though is the thought of going back into education. I am far too used to being in the world of work now and the thought of having to write essays and revise fills me with dread – all the academic knowledge I once had has very quickly disappeared and I feel like I’m starting from scratch again. At present, I really don’t feel up to the academic challenge of a postgraduate degree but hopefully, with a bit of prior reading etc., by the time I start I’ll feel a bit more confident in my academic abilities!

However, despite what the above paragraphs suggest I am so excited to get my stuck into the course and finally start training for my dream career and, in my heart of hearts, I’m pretty sure everything will work out fine as always. Fortunately, I’m prepared to work hard to get to where I want to be so that should stand me in good stead at least (fingers crossed anyway!).

With regards to life in Glasgow, this has been my first month back since my wee visit home and it’s actually been great. I’m out and about more, meeting new people, trying new places, having friends to visit and just generally enjoying making plans for the next few months. Over the next few weeks, my friend Sazeeda is coming up for a girly weekend and then I’ll be down in London for a few days and then I’m headed to Warsaw on a wee city break with my friend Craig, which is shaping up to be pretty amazing in itself. I’ll also have chance for a few days in Nottingham at the end of May which will be lovely 🙂 All in all, I’m back to my usual busy self which is the best way for me to be really! Probably won’t be saying that after my hectic 13 hour double shift tomorrow though…

London Calling.

Last night I got some of the best news I had in a while – I’ve been an offered a place on the PGDip/ MSc Speech and Language Therapy Course at City University, which means I’ll be moving to London at the beginning of September!! AHH. I am literally so excited, although the news still hasn’t properly sunk in. I can’t actually believe that in just 7 months I’ll be living down in London of all places. I’m a little bit apprehensive because the cost of living down South is just ridiculous but it’s just such a good opportunity I just can’t say no. I’ve always wanted to live in London so the fact that I’m actually getting chance to do so is just insane!

The course itself sounds really good. It’ll take two years to achieve my postgraduate diploma and after that I’ll be a fully qualified speech and language therapist. Additionally, I can choose to stay on for another 6-12 months and complete a research project and then obtain the full MSc qualification, although I’ll have to pay additional fees so I think, for now at least, I’ll stick with just the diploma and then see if I can maybe head back to uni a few years down the line to get my masters qualification. That’s obviously a very very long way from now though so I suppose we’ll see how things develop first!

Now that I actually have a plan I just feel so much happier and a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I admit that I was actually really starting to panic about life – I received a rejection from Reading University earlier in the day so it was a welcome change to finally have some good news. I’m now free to just enjoy the rest of my time up here without having to worry about what the future holds or being in some sort of weird limbo. I think this definitely calls for a few celebratory drinks tonight 🙂

Under Pressure.

My Newcastle interview is on Monday and it’s safe to say that I’m starting to feel the pressure ever so slightly. I’m not nervous for the interview as such, I’m actually more nervous about the wait afterwards and the possibility of rejection. Even though I still have four other universities to hear from, this feels like my last chance and it’s as if all my proverbial eggs are pretty much in the one basket. There are only 18 places on the Newcastle course so it’s really quite competitive and I’d love to be offered a place – the course sounds fantastic and Newcastle is a city I can most definitely see myself living in for the next two years!

Probably the most pressurising thing though is the weight of everyone else’s expectations. My friends, family and colleagues have all been absolutely lovely and said some really positive and complementary things to me which is great but also, for some reason, adds on a whole load of added pressure. People think I’ll do well or I’ll get onto the course and while that’s a massive confidence boost, it feels like everyone expects me to be successful and that for me just makes things ten times more intense. In theory, this is probably the easier bit for me – I’ve always said if I can get my foot in the door and get myself an interview, I should be alright as I’m pretty confident and I come across much better in person than I do on paper. However, that doesn’t make this any less nerve-racking.

In a strange way though, I’m a lot calmer than I thought I would be. By now, I expected myself to be fully freaking out and just generally having a bit of a panic. Instead, it’s almost as if I’ve managed to convince myself that this is a practice run for next year and I’m not actually going to get a place but I may as well just go in there and give it a shot on the off-chance. In a way it doesn’t feel quite right, not just yet, almost as if I do actually need another year of practical work  experience and then I’ll be fully ready to do the course and do it properly. Obviously, I’d love to get a place this year but I’d understand why if not and I’m slowly accepting the idea that a year back at home, in another related job could be good for me – if worst came to worst, at least I’d be able to afford a holiday next year! Fingers crossed though that it doesn’t come to that and I get to spend the next two years of my life in the North-East, being an extra on Geordie Shore!

The Third Month.

Tomorrow marks my third month in Glasgow and, rather shockingly, means I am now already a quarter of the way through my placement – literally insane how quickly the past few months have gone.

I feel like I’ve spent the majority of the month filling out numerous postgraduate applications, with varying degrees of success. Unfortunately I’ve had rejections from both UCL and Sheffield University. I’m particularly gutted about Sheffield because that was my second favourite, due to the excellent reputation of the course and the proximity to home (it’s about 45 minutes on the train). However, as always, it’s not all bad! I did manage to bag myself an interview for Newcastle University which I am so so pleased about as that was another of my top three choices. The interview is a group affair and sounds pretty gruelling, we’re there all day and have to prepare a five-minute presentation which we’ll also have to answer questions on, but I’m excited to take a trip down there and give it my all. As much as I hate rejection and as upset as I was yesterday (I was crying down the phone to my stepdad, bless him!) it has definitely been a much needed wake-up call. I’ve realised that there is a very real possibility that I may not get onto a course at all next year and I may have to have another year out to re-apply and gain some more experience. Equally, it’s also made me even more determined to work as hard as I can to do well at the opportunity I do have, as I would absolutely love to go to Newcastle!

I’m still waiting for replies from Reading, City University in London, QMU in Edinburgh and Essex so hopefully I’ll get offered another interview somewhere along the way – in fact, City actually don’t interview so I may even get offered a place outright (although I highly doubt it!) If all else fails, I can also apply to Greenwich University for entry in January 2014 so it’s definitely not over yet. As a wise person kindly told me the other day, while rejection may be discouraging it only takes one offer to change everything 🙂

Aside from all this postgraduate hassle (how can I be stressed before the course even starts?!) I’ve had a great month. The festive season is now in full swing and I’m feeling pretty smug about the fact that the majority of my shopping is done and wrapped and even delivered  or well on its way at least! We had the staff Christmas lunch at work this week where I was very very spoilt – I received a pair of festive pyjamas and a tartan scarf from my secret Santa, as well as a tin of shortbread and a tin of Miniature Heroes from work and a £50 shopping voucher from Head Office. Actually cannot believe how generous everyone is here – it really is a great placement and a fantastic charity to be involved with.Also, tomorrow night is the staff Christmas party -we’re headed to Celtic Park for a three-course dinner-dance which should be pretty good. I’m so excited to get all dressed up (I’ve treated myself to a shiny new frock for the occasion!) and let my hair down and, quite frankly, get absolutely steaming for the first time in far too long!

I’ve got a lot to look forward to over the next few weeks – I’ve finally finished  all my applications so I can fully concentrate on getting into the festive spirit! Next week I’m finishing off my Christmas shopping and then I’m headed to Edinburgh to meet up with my friend Hannah, which I am so excited for. We’re planning to spend an afternoon round the Christmas markets, drinking mulled wine, which will be absolutely lovely! Then it’s Christmas which I’m excited for (although I’ll miss home a ridiculous amount), followed by a day round the January Sales to spend my gift vouchers, before making yet another trip to Edinburgh for Hogmanay! Cannot actually wait!

The Second Month

Today marks my two-month anniversary of starting the Glasgow adventure – it seems like only yesterday I was writing about the end of my first month, let alone my second! I definitely feel very settled into a routine now and, consequently, I suppose I’ve lost that initial sense of excitement. While I still love the city (and work in general) everything has become quite static, not boring but not necessarily that exciting either. I feel like I’ve established a life for myself up here and it does in a weird sense feel like home, for now at least.

I’ve been feeling really homesick this past week (although thankfully it’s finally starting to pass now) and I did even consider packing it all in and going back to Nottingham permanently. I would never actually do that, I’m enjoying myself too much, but being so far away from home and suddenly finding myself in a full-time job and having to be a grown-up has actually been really difficult for me. For the last three years I’ve had very little routine, no real sense of responsibility and, basically, I’ve just been doing pretty much whatever I want whenever. I mean don’t get me wrong, I worked very hard for my degree but, equally, I played even harder. Suddenly my whole student lifestyle has gone and now I’m very much living in the real,adult world and its just crazy. I miss being a student so much it is actually ridiculous and I think it’s only started to dawn on me this month that I’ll never have quite the same sense of freedom again and it’s a weird transition in my life. It doesn’t help that the last couple of weeks have seem to be all work and no play as I’m currently trying to juggle applying for my masters while also working full-time.

However, the last month hasn’t been all bad, far from it in fact! I had a lovely visit from one of my closest friends from uni and this kicked started an excellent week of birthday celebrations –  I was spoilt rotten by all my lovely friends and family and everyone at work as well which was a lovely surprise! Then I had all the fun of bonfire night, started to get fully in the festive spirit and generally just had a great time with everyone up here, seeing more and more of the city.

The next week, while very busy, is going to be fab – the Glasgow Christmas market opens this weekend and I am SO excited to have my first mulled wine and go shopping for some cute presents for the friends and just generally be even more festive! Plus I have not one but two visitors joining me over the next week  – a friend of mine Emily happens to be in the Glasgow area on Monday and then next weekend my friend Nicole is coming up to visit which will be great. So excited to show them both the delights of Glasgow! I predict lots of cake and cocktails. On top of this I obviously have work and I need to finally get round to finishing my application for Newcastle uni before then starting my application for Reading. However, once December hits I have a ridiculous amount to look forward to – my parents are coming to visit, there are lots of Christmas celebrations at work, actual Christmas and then Hogmanay in Edinburgh!! Maybe adult life isn’t so bad after all 🙂

It’s oh so quiet.

I realise that I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog front this past week and it’s mainly been because, after all the excitement of my birthday, the past few days have been fairly uneventful. I’ve been spending most of this week working on my postgrad application and I’m pleased to finally announce that I have indeed sent off my first of seven (!) applications, this one being for a Speech and Language Sciences MSc at UCL in London. I don’t particularly want to move to London, well not just yet anyway, but I figured that I should at least apply to all the universities that offer my particular postgraduate  – competition for places is so high that I really cannot afford to be picky at all. I have two weeks until my next application deadline which is for Newcastle University. This is one of my top choices, mainly because I absolutely love the city (and the accent!) so the pressure is on to make this application and personal statement even better. Luckily, I’ve gotten into the swing of things a bit more now and the idea of writing a personal statement etc. doesn’t seem quite so daunting any more!

I’ve had this past weekend off and, aside from stressing a bit about the application yesterday, I had a great couple of days off. On Saturday, me and Eujin walked into Glasgow to grab some lunch and do some serious retail therapy. We went to Costa to try out the new Christmas menu – I had a honeycomb hot chocolate and a honeycomb crunch brownie and they were both absolutely delicious, plus we left feeling in a very christmassy mood! After that we had a good look round all the shops, trying to stock up our winter wardrobes. My parents had very kindly given me some money for a new winter coat and, after a lot of deliberation, I finally opted for a cheeky wine-coloured number from Miss Selfridge. It’s not my usual style at all as it has a slightly crazy fur collar and I usually stick to just plain black or grey coats, so its a little bit out there for me! Everyone else seems to really like it though so that’s good I suppose!

Saturday evening, my friends Mark & Chris held a little dinner party and I celebrated my birthday with more people from work. I had a great evening – the food was lovely, the company was good and the wine was flowing. After getting in at 4am I naturally spent all of Sunday in bed, in my pyjamas. It’s been a long time since I’ve done that so it felt really good to just have a completely lazy day. Plus I got invited to dinner downstairs so I had a lovely roast cooked for me – perfect!

This week is again looking like it could be fairly quiet. Today I have yet another day off (lucky me!) and I’m planning to spend it working on my next uni application. As it’s bonfire night though, me and Eujin are heading into town for dinner and then onto Glasgow Green for the big bonfire and firework display. I’m really excited as I absolutely love fireworks and I missed out on seeing them last year so I have high hopes for these ones. Also, this is Eujin’s first ever bonfire night so I’m excited for her to try toffee apples and other such things! The rest of the week will pretty much revolve around work, applications and finally getting round to doing this equality and diversity coursework that I need to hand it next week. Oops. I also plan on starting my Christmas shopping this week – but that’s a whole other blog post!

Postgraduate Woes.

Today I finally got my act together and started the process of applying for my postgraduate course. Although I knew it wouldn’t be particularly easy, I’d conveniently forgotten just how difficult it is to write a decent personal statement. Actually I haven’t even got that far.  I spent most of the day researching the course for UCL, researching the application process, desperately emailing my tutors for academic references and then collating all my notes from the little bits of shadowing experience I have and also from this brilliant study day I went to at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. Obviously all this experience will look great for my application and for interviews (if I even get to that stage!) and it was actually really useful to go back over my notes and re-write then out in such a way that will help me explain what I’ve learnt from observation – but it didn’t half take longer than expected! I think I’d forgotten just how thoroughly I like to do things and how prepared I like to be before I actually sit down and write anything, even just a rough first draft. I was the same at uni and while I always did quite well at coursework (so it’s a tried and tested method!)  it also meant I could never get away with starting an essay just two days before the deadline or whatever. It also means I often end up making more work for myself than is probably necessary but I suppose if it works, it’ll all be worth it. My first deadline is now just 13 days away and I have a LOT to do before then – aka the whole application including the personal statement – but I’m sure once I get into it I’ll be fine. Rather ironically, after spending most my last 6 months of uni desperately trying to get out of the library, today I voluntarily spent the whole afternoon there and actually quite enjoyed being sat in the silent reading room, pretending to be a student once more!

This week is looking ridiculously busy. I have my application to complete, I’m in work Monday-Friday and it’s also my birthday on Tuesday 🙂 One of my closest friends from uni is up visiting me tomorrow and Monday which will be simply wonderful and then, on my actual birthday, I’m just going out for a nice meal with my flatmate which should be good. I’m actually starting to get quite excited for the big two-two, mainly because all my friends have been absolute sweethearts and sent me lots of exciting cards and packages which I cannot wait to open. Unfortunately though, I also have my six week review with my line manager and the regional CSV manager that morning and the outcome of this meeting decides whether my placement want me for the whole year or not. No pressure then.

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