Tag Archives: Education

Happy Days

9 Sep

Bonjour mon amis, how is everyone? Do you ever feel wrapped up so tight in your little bubble you forget there is a world out there? I have certainly been in my own little world lately and ever so aware that i’ve my blog has been on the quiet side, so apologies for that!

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What’s happened in my world recently? Well I quit my full time job to go back to college, I wanted to study a HE Access to Art course for mature students which would bridge the gap between my last point of education and getting into university. However there is just NO help towards the cost of living if you’re a mature student doing a further education course. Cue major panic as there was not enough time left in the week to work and earn what I required to make ends meet.

I decided to try my luck and apply straight to university instead…simple right? WRONG! I sat my A Levels 7 years ago and although I was accepted into university when I was 18 the grade requirements have increased considerably since so I was nowhere near the entry level. So I waited for the clearance to open and started to enquire about a place, countless nerve racking phone calls later and after trying to send select portfolio pictures across by email I had a verbal offer!

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Literally could not believe it, I really thought I wouldn’t get into university and I had been offered a place only a few hours after enquiring about one. We should never underestimate ourselves! Then started the onslaught of filling out my UCAS application and trying to apply for my student loan. Thankfully because university is classed as higher education I qualify for a maintenance loan and grant so I can still afford to live!

There was still the issue of needing a part-time job however and I was being turned down right, left and centre as I am ‘over qualified’ for everything. This isn’t me blowing my own trumpet, this was the general theme of excuses I was getting when applying for bar work or waitressing. Lets face it i’m over 18 and you’d have to pay me minimum wage, that’s what the issue was.

So I sent my CV around to a few agencies with a cover letter and low and behold I got sent down the path of applying for Aldi’s head office. I secretly really wanted this job. It was 15 minutes in the car from where I live, it was Saturday and Sunday only and it was a massive cut above minimum wage. However I wasn’t holding out hope that i’d get it or anywhere near being offered it.

For this job I had to attend the agency to show I could spell, do simple mental arithmetic and use Microsoft Excell. If I completed all the above along with a short interview, i’d be sent to the assessment stage at Aldi. The assessment was a group of 8 of us and we had to complete several tests and activities. We could only be marked on how much we input as individuals but how well we interacted and communicated as a team. Eeeeeep.

This immediately put my out of my comfort zone, I am let’s face it a wallflower in some respects, I like to sit back and observe the lions fighting over the meat. Times like this though you have to push yourself and it paid off. Whether I got the job or not I survived the group assessment and felt that I had done better then I initially expected. The assessment consisted of; a scenario that needed to be discussed in a group, a listening exercise, an attribute test, a maths test (yes one question we had to divide 8 into 13453279 in our heads…), a spelling test, a priority test, a customer service role play with no prep time! and finally another group discussion.

I finally got offered the job after a further interview, so relieved!

Phew. Following that we got two new kittens! Awwwweh!! They’re little monkeys but so cute so they totally get away with murder. We named them Inca & Nala and they have settled in nicely.

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What else, what else let’s see… I guess also I felt like i’d lost my blogging mojo, if I ever even had it, but even if just one person reads and enjoys it then that is wonderful.

Looking forward to updating you all shortly as I start training for my new job and my first week at uni! So nervous but super excited!!!

Much Love x

 

Starting Again

14 Jun

I am very much the type of person to play it safe. The general life motto is

“Stick with what I know because that means I can’t go far wrong, right?!”

Not a great attitude I must admit…

For me I have never had much direction in life, I started off by wanting to be the lady in the shop who kept all the money – a get rich fast scheme from an early age! Of course one has no concept of business or costs and profits at 5. 

Then over the years, various phases brought various other career options into the limelight, I love animals – what girl doesn’t?! With the weekly episode of Animal Hospital I had set the heart on being a vet!…until that episode where the arm goes up the cows butt and does not even stop at the elbow, maybe being a vet wasn’t for me after all (definitely not). 

The genetic talents of my family deemed me to have an artistic flair and I flourished in GCSE and A Level Art, painting and drawing I found was expressive and exciting but I was always incredibly critical of myself and rarely did I produce anything I deemed as good. My dad was very much a influence on my choices, he always insisted that I must achieve more then he did at my age. As much as I love Art, he always enforced that painting pretty pictures would never result in a sound career with the supportive salary.

Dreams crushed. 

I just didn’t know what to do after that. Through the advice of my Art Teacher I applied for a Foundation Art Course at college, I hoped it would open my eyes to medias and skills i’d not had the chance to work with previously and possibly careers that would utilise and stimulate my creativity.

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This is me painting in Art at Sixth Form.

College turned me down, I was deemed as too narrow minded as my work showed a small skill set and again I was left with my conscious’ cruel words –

“I could have told you that wouldn’t of been accepted on that course, why did you even bother” …

I picked myself back up and pushed myself to go to uni on the first course that sounded remotely interesting. Needless to say I couldn’t hack it… I had gone to uni for the wrong reasons…lesson learnt!

I have flitted from job to job since, taking what was convenient or paid well but ultimately when it boils down to it what i’ve learnt above all else is you spend the majority of your time at work and the people you work with, if you don’t enjoy what you do then it saps your time, energy and most of all your creativity. Life is far too short to be stuck doing a job you despise with no promotional aspects at 25.

“So do something about it…” I hear you say, well that’s what my boyfriend kept saying too. It’s not as simple as that though, one can’t just wave a magic wand and life will roll over and give you everything you want. I am a responsible person, to me I can’t just quit work to head back into education…i’m not that selfish.  I have responsibilities, bills, a home, a car and lots of other things that require money to keep and make work. Surely I can’t just rely solely on my other half to support me?

“Why worry? he said. Just do something for you, we’ll be fine.”

It’s hard I know, lots to think about but worrying about all the ifs and buts and what not’s is A) going to give me a headache B) make me feel it’s unachievable and C) give me some premature wrinkles…they’re coming anyway, why invite them any earlier then needs be?

So…I did it. I took the plunge. I went for an interview for an Access to Art course and got snapped up by the lecturer!!(Insert cheesy dance here because it totally made my year!). 

I finally feel that this is my time now, time to immerse myself in things I love, reignite my passions and discover new talents. From here I intend to do things properly now, I have seen first hand what kind of industries I could venture into with the right portfolio and skills…certainly there are viable careers for artists!

To anyone who reads this thinking they can’t, believe me you can. When the time is right the opportunities will fall into place and you will find doors open to allow you to make the transition. Whether it be back to education like me, or a change in career, travelling, settling down – whatever…leave the doubt at the door.

I promise you won’t need it where we’re going.

Much Love x