Sometime in late 2016, I was lucky enough to get an interview with a local newspaper. Granted, I only found out about the opportunity through my uncle who was a radio journalist but I was thrilled to have my foot in the door.
Walking into the building I had always dreamed of working at, I felt like things were finally coming together. 7 years of hard work were finally paying off.
At this point, I would like draw attention to the fact that I was still technically a college student. I was finishing up my final semester which was delayed by UKZN protest action. But I was tired of waiting for a job in my field (it’s been two years and I’m still waiting so yes the irony is not lost on me).
My interview went great and I was given a position to write for the cultural/lifestyle section of the newspaper. I instantly secured an interview with an author I knew. I conducted the interview, wrote my article and submitted it the day before deadline.
Three days later, I had the pleasure of seeing my writing in print. Above the fold.
I was overjoyed. And then came the payment. Or lack thereof. Here’s the thing though, I was more than willing to work for free. But apparently freelancers take a while to pay.
The next few months were brutal. I chased down the Payroll lady weekly for updates on my payments, completed university and started interviewing for regular 9-5 jobs. I was ghosted by my editor. No calls went through. Neither did my emails or SMS’es. And this was not for payment. No this was for my pitches. Radio silence.
My payment finally came through 4 months later in February 2017. I still tried (albeit unsuccessfully) to get interviewees but it was kind of hard when I didn’t know if I was even still a freelancer (SPOILER ALERT: I still was. I received a letter a year later confirming that they were releasing me from my contract as they no longer required my services. My co-workers and I laughed non-stop at the idea that I had been dismissed from a job I didn’t even know I had).
That was how my short-lived journalism career ended, leaving me with two very important lessons. 1) I didn’t want to be a freelancer and 2) I needed some sort of support structure in a working environment.
For a first job and especially for a first freelancing gig, this experience was absolutely awful and I would not like to go back. Though I supposed if I went back now, things would be different.
For one thing, I am no longer the same quiet girl. If I had been ignored for pitches now, I would probably get in my car and drive straight to the editor’s office to query if I could get started or not.
What I didn’t know at the time was that these experiences were going to shape and define me and help with a very important life choice that was coming up.
So I’ve had this idea in my head for a while now but just never got around to sharing it. I feel like it is REALLY important for me to share my horror stories, making the transition from college graduate to responsible working adult. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t fun but it was almost always hilarious looking back.
Also there are tons of things I wish I had known but just didn’t. So to save you from making my mistakes, I’m starting this mini-series following me from my ambitions of being a journalist to finally settling down in a career.
I hope you enjoy! Or at the very least, feel free to share some horror stories of your own.
All Wrapped Up by Holly Smale
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“All Wrapped Up” follows Harriet Manners after her first kiss with Lion Boy. Harriet is over the moon. It’s Christmas, she’s jolly and floating on Cloud 9. Sure Nick hasn’t texted in four days but that doesn’t mean anything right?
Harriet is a firm believer that there are no rules to dating. Just guidelines that you may or may not follow.
This was a fun and quick Christmas read that I adored immensely (so much so that after finishing this book on Scribd, I went straight to the bookstore to buy myself a print copy). I loved going back into this world and seeing Annabelle pregnant, Harriet’s loopy dad and stalker Toby (this boy is unusually great at his job).
This book was funny and entertaining and I strongly recommend this series (note that I said series and not book) to anyone who needs a few laughs.
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If you ever told me I would have to go on a diet for health reasons, I would have accepted it. I knew my eating habits were bad and I would probably have to go on a meal plan at some stage. However I expected that to atleast be in my thirties.
So imagine my shock when my dermatologist suggested that I might be insulin-resistant. And the even bigger shock when I found out that yep, my insulin levels were high and I needed to cut out sugar and carbs.
You know how they say you don’t know how strong you really are? Yeah, well it’s been four weeks exactly and I’ve been doing relatively well. I have been having carbs now and again (maybe once or twice a week) but for the most part, I have been sticking to the meal plan.
I’m pretty excited to actually see some (really small) changes.
I cannot wait to see what the results look like in another 4 weeks.
If you cannot tell by the title above, I was a seriously Twi-hard back in the day. So much so that for most of my teen years, I read nothing but vampire novels. So if you are also a fan of fangs, here are a few of my recommendations for you:
- Twilight by Stephanie Meyer- An oldie but a goodie.
- Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead- High school drama with a vampire princess and her spunky bodyguard. There is romance, action and lots of witty banter.
- Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz- Vampire A-listers in New York. Think Gossip Girl but with vampires. This series has incredible writing and great world-building.
- Vampire Diaries by L.J Smith- Not my favourite vampire series as it seemed to go on forever and ever but I loved the original books (stopping at “Shadow Souls” because after that things just got weird).
- Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey- A gorgeous vampire lands on Jessica’s door claiming to be her fiance. I do not remember much of this book beyond being in love with the main character.
- Boys That Bite by Mari Mancusi- This series follows two sisters and their vampire boyfriends as they battle slayers, fae and even Hell at one point.
Are there any vampire books you think I may have missed? Were you a Twi-hard too? I’d love to know below.
So to most people, giving up shopping for a month is not a big deal. But to someone whose social calendar is defined by visiting certain malls at certain times of the month it was a HUGE deal. I gave up shopping for a month and this is what I’ve learnt.
- I have a SERIOUS spending problem- For the first week and a half, it felt like I was going to go crazy. It was like I had an itch that I could not scratch. I needed to shop and I needed to do it NOW! Eventually I got used to not treating myself but it was sobering how much I felt like I NEEDED to spend money.
- I found other ways to “treat” myself- Instead of spending money as a treat, I had home spa days or movie nights. I found a way to enjoy myself without involving my wallet.
- SO MANY CLOTHES- One of the reasons why I felt like I was going crazy during that first week was because we had family functions to attend and I had nothing to wear. No pretty dress. No pretty bag and nothing in my closet fit! I don’t even remember what I ended up wearing but I do remember that the night was amazing. Also, when I felt frustrated and went shopping in my own cupboard, I found so many great items that I had never worn before. In fact my co-workers thought that I had gone shopping when I had simply just gone through my cupboard.
- I found extra cash- I was very surprised when at the end of the month, I found that I still had R300. Well done, Me
Have you ever gone on a shopping ban? Would you ever consider it? Let me know below.