Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Moving out and pretending to adult

On Saturday I moved 120 miles away from my hometown and now, happily I am a resident of Bath.

Exciting. Everything is so god damn exciting! 

The move was stressful although preparation was well under way weeks before (packed my clothes eagerly the week before moving day) but you know, moving your life across country is a massive life event and accomplishment.

Saturday morning, bright and early my family and I departed to travel to Bath, my entire life packed into boxes, emphasis on the fact three boxes were filled with books. Could not leave my children at home. 

I am living off campus, a 10 minute bus journey to the university. It's modern yet there's a Victorian feel to it. There's a selection of accommodations that form a courtyard in the centre, it feels homely and safe. My accommodation is a flat shared with 4 other girls, we have en-suite bathrooms and a bed that isn't a double bed but it isn't a single either, it's in between and so much space, I am in warm, comforting heaven. 

The night before leaving I made a batch of chocolate cookies to greet my flatmates because cute and friendly. If I do say so myself as a pretty mediocre baker they are delicious, rich from the excessive amounts of dark chocolate (vegan downfall is dark chocolate) and the chocolate chunks melted inside so if you ate one hot, it was a gooey chocolate mess, a bloody good one too. 

When deciding to go to university and going through the hell process that is UCAS one thing ingrained itself into my mind, I knew I wasn't going to participate in all the late night clubbing events that Freshers week at university is well known for, that's not to say I'm avoiding it completely, I made myself go to one event the first evening just because everyone seemed excited to be in a new area and to be creating new friendships.

Never having been to a silent disco before I had no idea what to expect, it was amazing!!! Everyone in the bar wore headphones, there was the option of two channels, one of them played older music - 80's and 90's etc, and the other was relatively new chart music. I went with my flatmates and honestly I had the best evening, it was hilarious, fun and different, not something I'd normally go to. Dancing to S Club 7 with my flatmates is definitely something I'll always remember. The only downfall was the stuffy heat, it was sweating and by the end of the night (although I don't remember getting home. Oops) my hair was gross and sticky and begging for a shower.  The drinks were cheap *awaits cheers for other university students* and it was surreal to take off your headphones during a song, listening to everyone singing together without any loud music blaring, also hearing the divide of channels being listened to, half of the people dancing were listening to Justin Bieber whilst the other half were dancing to Bon Jovi. Such an enjoyable, memorable and weird experience.

Being in a flat without my family there are lots of adult responsibilities that I never realised had to be done or I relied on my mum to do the washing up, so now I am an ACTUAL adult making my bed, doing my washing up, cleaning, food shopping and doing the laundry, and the responsibility of not losing my key card to get into my flat. Everything is manic yet exciting, I feel genuinely happy and motivated for the future, for beginning my creative writing course and exploring Bath city. 

Monday, 5 September 2016

Asking For It - Louise O'Neill | | book review

"She has no face. She is just a body, a life-size doll to play with."

Reserving this book from the library, I knew Asking For It would be a tough read, prior to my reading the recognition and reputation it has gathered with its themes and messages looking at society from a social perspective. 

Asking For It targets rape culture, brutally, truthfully and emotionally. 

It discusses sexual consent, a major topic spoken about everywhere from social media, to news articles to real life situations. 

The story follows 18 year old Emma O'Donovan, my first impressions of her were rude, selfish, nasty and shallow, however by the end of the book I wanted to hug her, I wanted to wrap her in a blanket and provide a safety bubble to protect her. 

Emma is beautiful, she gathers attentions from everyone, meaning she gathers a lot of male attention too and she likes it, she lives in, she is confident in herself and she knows girls are jealousy and she knows boys will do anything to get a little peak at what's underneath. 

She likes to enjoy herself, like most young adults, she likes socialising, dressing up and partying. She's the 'IT' girl. But when a night out in her small Irish town goes terribly wrong, her life is turned upside down and she is vulnerable, scared, a victim of rape. 

Asking For It made me feel too many emotions. I shook with anger. I cried. I felt nervous. I hoped for a better outcome for Emma after her ordeal. After she was violently sexually assaulted by her male friends and extremely revealing photos are uploaded to the public eye. 

It's humiliating, horrifying and unfortunately, something that happens often.

A heartbreaking book I'm considering reading again because it's so real, as it comes from personal experiences of sexual assault. These things actually happen! It is a shocking read, but one you will never forget.