What I Wish I'd Been Taught In School

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

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In a few weeks, I'm twenty-three.

A fully fledged adult now? Or do I have two more years because usually, when you tick a box on any survey/assessment, the range is 18-25. Maybe I have two more years as a young adult, yes?

Anyway, it got me thinking about things adults are supposed to know how to do, or at least, the things I think I'm supposed to know how to do. School didn't exactly prepare me for adulthood, and perhaps I'd have benefitted more from learning these things instead of trigonometry...


I was lucky. My Mum has done an amazing job with both me and my brother when it comes to working our finances but when it comes to things like taxes, credit cards, insurance etc, I'm making it up as I go. I think we all are actually which is sort of nice to know.

Mental Health

Thinking back, I don't think I had one lesson which focused on how to look after your mental health. It was only when I reached A-Level and opted to study psychology that I even looked at what mental illness was. 1 in 4 develop a mental illness at some point apparently, but I actually think it's probably 4 in 4 will experience bad mental health - whether it's grief, depression, stress, abusive relationships, abortion - we will probably experience something in life which puts a strain on our mental health. It should be discussed.

How to cook

And I mean actually cook. Not a fruit salad or lemon drizzle cake during food technology. I mean weekday meals that don't come from a packet or by simply putting something into an oven from the freezer. I mean, wholesome meals that come from chopping fresh vegetables.

You don't have to do well in school to be successful

I'm academic so I get some will roll their eyes right now. But if I'd have known that I didn't have to achieve straight A's to be successful in life, maybe I'd have pursued a career in music. The arts, sports, manual labour can all see individuals do well in life. In fact, having a degree isn't enough any more anyway. It's all about experience; which is arguably just as or if not more valuable.

Being 'popular' and well liked means nothing when school finishes

When you leave school, friendships become much harder to maintain. Lives fly by and before you know it, you haven't spoken in months. I think adulthood is about working with quality rather than focusing on quality. Not everyone will like you and not every friendship will succeed - it's about sticking with those who matter.

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Warsaw, Poland

Saturday, 18 March 2017

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Last night I returned home on what was a rickety flight back from Poland. I've spent the last six days in Warsaw, both sight seeing and also spending time on a University exchange, discovering the polish social work values and their practices.

I'm pretty exhausted to be honest. It's been a full on week, with long days and not much relaxation time but I have seen and learned so much.

Warsaw is not my favourite place in the world, and I wouldn't go again I don't think, however it is full of beautiful sights, culture and history. I'm glad I've been to see how Poland has managed to rebuild itself following the wars, and also have a little insight into how life is like as a Polish social work student.

Some of my favourite places to see were the Old town, Lazienki Palace and the Palace of Polish History and Culture, but I also visited Warsaw Stadium, the Royal Castle, the fort, Warsaw Museum of Polish Jew History and The Warsaw Uprising Museum. But what I also want to mention was that I really loved engaging in topics such as Brexit, female equality, homophobia and human trafficking. In fact, the whole experience is one that has made me realise how passionate I am about becoming a social worker.

I won't write much else as I'm conscious that writing too much about work on here isn't perhaps the best thing but these pictures capture how Warsaw is made up from truly amazing, diverse elements.

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I am..

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

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I don't know how I feel about international women's day. I mean, sure, it empowers women. But yesterday was our day. Today is our day. Tomorrow is our day. Men too. Everyday is our day.

However, there's no denying that women still face oppression for purely being women. We still face inequality. And it's a shame because I know some pretty amazing women. Some who have achieved some incredible things but lack the confidence to share their glory. As women, we need to empower one another, encourage each other to strive and thrive. To be proud of who we are and know we are enough. 

The following is a list I've felt empowered to write as a result of watching a video on #IWD2017. I hope it empowers you to write or think of your own.

I am a woman.

I am a first class psychology graduate.

I am social work masters student.

I am a sister.

I am a friend.

I am a traveller.

I am a listener.

I am a sassy, red head.

I am a hard worker (so that I fund my shopping addiction).

I am fiercely independent.

I am an anorexia survivor.

I am a blogger.

I am a theatre performer.

Did I mention that I am a woman?

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March Wishlist

Sunday, 5 March 2017

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Another month, another wishlist.

And, I won't lie, I already own two of the things on here - the Zara dress and Topshop bag. I'd bargained with myself that if I don't buy shit all month, I can treat myself and I think I treated myself a bit too much. Oh well.

I actually walked 6 miles around London trying to track down the Zara shirt in my size but it was definitely worth it!

It's also my birthday next month, so I'm now not buying anything else (as instructed by my best friend) and just thinking of ideas. I don't think I'm hard to buy for though!

And lastly, I've added the pencils and scrapbook because a) I'm off to Poland next weekend and want to scrapbook this years adventures, and b) I've started drawing again! I've not picked up a pencil in about 6 years but I've been loving it. It's actually quite relaxing!

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Books // Sister, Sister

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

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When it comes to books, I'm usually pretty tight. I have wishlist as long as my arm but I'll only buy something from there if it's a reasonable price, and that's because I read a lot so it can pretty expensive. I've actually read everything I own now, which is a nice feeling to have, but everything I 'want' to read is a bit pricey on kindle so I went in search of something new and found this. 99p. That'll do thanks!

This book is starts by explaining that Clare and her mother, Marion, lost touch with Clare's younger sister, Alice, when she was taken by her Father at a young age. Clare and her family have spent years trying to find her but when their Father dies, Alice is given her families' address and she writes to them. She asks if she can meet, and of course the family are ecstatic, so she flies over and starts her new life in the UK.

However, Clare doesn't seem to be able to bond with her. She feels that Alice is flirting with her husband, taking over her family life, and manipulating and patronising Clare. But, when Clare confronts Alice and her husband, she's told she's blowing it all out of proportion. She's jealous. She just needs to let Alice adjust to living with her new family.

Clare begins to forget where her work files are, she ruins her husbands paintings and she forgets about her daughter and her friend, which results in a broken bone. She's become the enemy of the family because she's bitter, angry and aggressive. 

Clare is forced to take a break away from her family and secretly flies to America to where Alice lived. 

And I guess you'll have to read it to find out what happens...

I read this entire book in two sittings. It's no masterpiece but it's a great storyline and it'll keep you hooked. A great book to read sitting by a pool this summer, I'd say!

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