Category: Uncategorized

Why You Should Start a Blog in College

Okay, I know I might be a bit biased but I really believe that starting a blog is ALWAYS a good idea. Starting a blog in college is like the best idea. Here’s why:

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1) You have a record of your college experience- College is not something that is forever (honestly I wouldn’t want it to be either). A blog is a great way to keep track of your college experience. It’s been two years but I still like to read and reread the horror of my first year. I like looking back and marvelling at how things have changed.

2) You gain writing experience- You’re probably wondering why do you need writing experience. Well if you’re a student of humanities chances are that you’re going to be writing essays. Knowing how to write well is a great advantage to have in college. There have been so many occasions when I had no idea what I was saying in an essay but I managed to scrape together a pass.

3) You gain friends- blogging is a great way to make friends. You find people who are going through the same things as you. Being a college blogger allows you to meet other stressed college students who you can share your woes with.

4) You get a portfolio of writing pieces- if you’re interested in a job that involves writing, starting a blog is a good place to begin. You can gain writing clips simply by writing on your blogs. Some paying jobs actually look for blogging experience.

Do you have a college blog? What’s your favourite blog to read? I’d love to know!

Lessons Learnt from Disney Movies

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1) Just keep swimming

2) You don’t need a man to save you

3) Look beyond outward appearance

4) Don’t eat anything from strangers (how did Snow White not know this???)

5) Never sign contracts without reading (and very carefully thinking) it over. Especially if it’s a contract from an octopus-like person

6) Never trust a guy who proposes too soon. Especially if too soon happens to be one day.

7) If you don’t invite people to your party they may get upset and curse your child. Always invite people even if you don’t like them (maybe just give them the wrong date/address?)

8) Speaking of curses, never make deals with someone who can spin straw into gold (who does that??? That’s dodgy on it’s own)

9) Keep Moving Forward

What lessons have you learnt from Disney movies?

Things No One Tells You About Owning a Car

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I can think of no period of time in my life when I didn’t want a car. Now that I have one however, there’s a million responsibilities that comes with it.

1) Petrol- this doesn’t bother me that much since my mother pays for the petrol and we don’t use it that often but petrol costs an arm and a leg. I shudder to think of my petrol expenses once I start working and driving myself to work.

2) They get dirty really quickly- at most I use my car maybe twice a week. Whether I use it less or more, it still requires washing EVERY. SINGLE. WEEKEND. This sucks since a) I have no time and b) We’re currently experiencing a drought.

3) They’re costly- I always thought that one day I would save to buy a car and that would be it. After buying a car, you need new numberplates, you need a license disc (that needs to be renewed) and cars need to go for servicing. According to my uncle George (the man who was kind enough to finance the car), servicing should be done every year no matter how often or how little you use the car.

4) You have to be really careful with a car- Okay, so you’re probably thinking that this one is obvious but I miss not having to be overly cautious as a driver because the car isn’t mine.

5) Driving is tiring- Driving is fun when you don’t HAVE to do it. It’s very adult and who doesn’t love playing adult? (Um, adults?) Driving is less fun and more effort when you’re driving for errands instead of to gain driving experience.

What did you expect about having a car? How have those expectations changed?

Writing Wednesday: Running Away

Ella

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I come from a long line of women who abandoned their families and responsibilities and ran away. So it should surprise no one that I did the same. I was simply doing what my blood made me do. It was genes that propelled me out of town.
Unlike the rest of the females though, I was running away to escape family. Sort-of. The person I was escaping was my mother’s abusive husband.
“We’re here, miss,” the taxi-driver announced to me.
And sure enough there it was, the exit of Delfino.
“Thank you.”
I got out of the taxi and waited for the man to unload my bag.
“Is someone coming to pick you up?”
“He’ll be here in a second.”
“Do you need me to wait with you?”
“No, thank you. Forget we ever met. You drove around all evening but never got any passengers. Understood?”
The man’s eyes glazed off as a result of my mind control.
“Yes, miss.”
“You may leave.”
As soon as he disappeared from sight, I crossed over the line dividing Delfino from the ordinary world.
I was free at last.
My fiancé, Sinjin waited for me on the other side.
“Are you sure about this?” he asked.
“Never been surer about anything in my life.”
It was a lie. I was terrified. And angry. I wanted a home. I wanted love. I wanted family. I certainly didn’t want to run away to get it. Which eighteen-year-old runs away from home? Surely by that age people outgrow running away?
“Well then, here we go.”
We got into the car and drove away from everyone and everything I had.

Reasons Why I Don’t Have a Boyfriend (as told by my family)

As I crawl through the torture chamber that is my third year of college, my poor family members have to make themselves content with the fact that I still don’t have a boyfriend. Now while I cannot understand why I need a boyfriend (because yes I’ve been told that I “need to get a boyfriend”- they weren’t selling any when I went grocery shopping the other day), the reasons people come up with for me not having a boyfriend is hilarious. I’ve compiled this list of the reasons (according to my family) why I don’t have a boyfriend.

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1) Because I don’t wear shorts- because legs are an important part of a relationship (are they? I really don’t know and that line put waay too much dirty thoughts in my mind)

2) I read too much- I’m sorry but I really don’t see how this is a problem. Now leave me alone, I’m on the third Harry Potter book.

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3) I don’t leave the house enough- hey if a guy wants to date me, he’s going to have to find me first. I’m not looking to date. I’m looking to finish my Harry Potter Series. In my house.

4) I don’t dress up enough- now this is just silly. I’m wearing pjs in the house and if we’re leaving the house I need to be comfy since I’m either driving or napping.

5) I’m too shy- I’m only shy if I don’t know you #sorrynotsorry
Red Riding Hood spoke to a stranger and look where that got her.

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6) I have a temper- how does any potential boyfriend know that? Also I don’t have a temper -I have a low tolerance for stupidity.

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7) I’m too arrogant- According to Google arrogant means: “having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities”. I’m sorry I think I’m amazing. I thought that loving yourself was a good thing. All the internet posts lie!

8) I’m sarcastic- again I don’t see how this is a problem.

9) I keep my feelings to myself- who am I supposed to keep them with? Also I totally share my feelings. Have you seen my social media? And if you’re a close friend then you probably know 99.9% of the time what’s going on in my mind, in my life, in my family, on my road, etc.

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Writing Wednesday: Welcome to Delfino- Second Chances

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Catalina
I awoke with a cough. And another. It continued until my throat was sore.
Am I dying? I wondered.
And then I remembered. I was supposed to be dead.
A man rushed over to me with a cup.
“Drink this,” he ordered.
His voice was deep and steady. Had he saved me? Why?
My coughing refused to stop so I sat up in bed and took a sip of the drink. It was sweet and cool. I drank it all eagerly.
“Better?”
I nodded before turning my full attention to the stranger. He had brown hair and intense brown eyes. They reflected no emotion.
“Who are you?”
“My name is Lucas.”
“You saved me.”
“Yes.”
“I didn’t want to be saved.”
Lucas shifted.
“I apologise.”
I replayed my suicide attempt in the back of my mind. My poor Stella. I needed her. She needed me. Focus. You can’t break down now.
“Thank you for your help but I need to leave. My family will be looking for me.”
Lucas grabbed my hand before I could leave the bed.
“You have no family.”
“You don’t know that.”
“I do, Catalina.”
I pulled my hand out of his grip. I felt uneasy.
“How do you know my name?”
“I asked around.”
I edged away.
“Catalina, you lost alot of blood. There was no way to save you.”
“But you did,” I said.
“Not without a price. Catalina, you’re a vampire.”
I stiffened. No. No no no no no.
My gaze fell on the cup he had given to me earlier.
“That was blood.”
“You’ve heard the stories?” Lucas sounded surprised.
“Of course I have.”
All of London was amused at the stories of monsters lurking around at night, waiting to drain us of blood. I had never thought that the stories were true.
“There has to be some way to kill me,” I begged. “I can’t live. Please, Lucas!”
I could feel the tears welling in my eyes. I hastily wiped them away.
“You hurt.”
I simply sniffed in response.
“You can turn it off. You can stop it.”
“How?”
“I’ll help you.”
That single small act of kindness from Lucas had repercussions lasting for centuries.

I’m Dying (of Stress)

Last week Friday two very important things came to my attention.
1) I had two assignments due on the same day
2) One of those assignments was actually a test for which I needed a textbook…that I did not have.
Now I’m more than willing to take responsibility for that. Since last year’s class never needed a textbook, I assumed ours was optional. It wasn’t.
So immediately I photocopied the relevant chapters (there were nine by the way) and planned to memorise them before this Thursday (ie less than a week).
I sacrificed my weekend and never went anywhere or did anything without those chapters.
I ate with them. I chilled in bed with them. I even attended a family gathering with my highlighter and notes at my side. I should have known something was wrong. The university is forever changing their mind or doing anything and everything to make my life difficult.
Right after I asked my mother to please copy down the summary of each chapter, the lecturer announced that he would only be testing us on four chapters.
I was pissed. Still am. I’m sleep-deprived, anxious, tired and stressed all because he gave us the wrong chapters initially to learn. Honestly I have no words to describe how annoyed I am.
Yes it’s less work but I could have had a freaking weekend (hello, Rihanna) if he had just spoken up sooner.
This is my last week at campus but omg it’s so damn hard. I can’t sleep at home, I can’t stop sleeping at campus. We’re behind in both of my modules and I have to stress for that upcoming test.
Someone remind me again why I wanted to come to college?

Writing Wednesday: The Beginning of the End

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Have you ever felt pain so crippling that it ate at you slowly, piece by piece? Pain that intense can make you crazy. It can make you do things you’d never think of doing before.
I stood on my balcony, looking over at the city of London.
London was beautiful at night and this night was no exception.
I felt a twinge of regret for what I was about to do. I would be spoiling the beauty of London with my act.
But it needed to be done. I could no longer live an existence of pain.
I gripped the railing tightly before climbing over.
I heard a scream from below.
“Somebody is going to jump!”
I was running out of time.
“Mummy’s coming, sweetheart,” I promised my daughter.
And with those words, I pushed myself forward, eager to reunite with my child.
The last thing I felt was the icy air as the ground rose to meet me.

A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self

Dear Old Me

I miss you. I wish you were here. You’d be so pleased. I’m in my last year of college. I’m not majoring in Media and Management like you wanted me to though. Also, I know Management was your way of making mum happy because that’s what she wanted for you. Well, I don’t make people happy. No, instead I make them very very unhappy. I fight and argue with them all the time because I’m sick and tired of everyone else making decisions about my life. It’s MY life.
I wanted to choose Media and Management. Believe me, I really did! For some reason I was unable to choose that combination so I went with Media and English instead. I thought if journalism didn’t work out I would be a teacher instead and write a novel in my spare time. (Btw, speaking of novels, your second one was rejected too. You took it pretty well though. You didn’t cry).
Anyway, Media was a total bore. I wanted to suffer through it for your sake but like I said before, I don’t do things for other people. Not even you. Besides I was the one who would have to suffer through the classes. I deserved to study something I would enjoy.
So I chose Criminology. Except I’ve recently discovered that to be a Criminologist you need a PhD. I don’t understand why no one mentioned that before. Obviously I’m not going to be a criminologist now since I can neither afford nor do I want to study beyond my three years. English is pretty boring but I love it. It’s so great looking at a piece of literature that makes no sense and then slowly unravelling it piece by piece.
I don’t write as often as you do. I stopped to focus on school. I do however have a blog. I bet that thrills you. You always wanted a blog.
I review books and talk about life as a college student in general.
There’s something you need to know -those petty people you keep complaining about? Yeah the world is full of them. Sorry. So whether you become home-schooled or not you’re still going to have to face them eventually.
But that isn’t why I wrote this letter. I’m writing this letter to tell you how incredible you are. I know you’re probably rolling your eyes but it’s true.
At sixteen you were fearless. You wrote articles and submitted them to any email address you found. I can’t even pitch an idea to anyone because the mere thought terrifies me.
You were eager to get a job and be independent. I applied to three retail positions and cried when I didn’t get any. Yes I cried.
Here’s the thing though- I’ve been through so much shit. Life was easier for you. Your biggest problem was whether you should nap or log onto your social media. You have no idea how cruel the world is. And now I’m cruel too. I’m cynical and jaded. Just thinking of your ridiculous optimistim annoys me. I want to travel back in time and smack you on the head. But that would probably hurt me. Actually no, I think it would totally be worth it.
There’s one more thing you have that I want. You have my dog. You get to see her alive daily and you don’t even appreciate it. Now I’m going to start crying so I’m stopping here (you know she’s not going to be around forever but it doesn’t hurt any less when it is time for her to go).
All this is to say that I miss you, I’m jealous of you and I hate you. You’re annoyingly happy and so very naive. I wish you would have stayed that way. I wish the world hadn’t ruined you.

Sincerely
Me

Advice for Teen Writers

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As a teen I always wanted to share with others what I’ve learnt about writing. Now at twenty (excuse me a minute while I have a small freak-out about my age), I feel I’ve gain enough experience and maturity to offer advice to teen writers. So here I go:

1) A Writer is Someone Who Writes- For the past three years I haven’t written any complete novels. I have however written mediocre and excellent essays, blog posts and online articles. My point is this- you’re not a writer unless you write. You don’t even have to be published. As long as you write you are a writer. (Sorta like how if you kill someone you’re a murderer).

2) Write everything and anything- write whatever you can. Above all, write what makes you happy. This allows you to see what kind of writing you’re good at and what you enjoy. Maybe you’ve got the skills to be the next Enid Blyton. Maybe you’re the next horror movie director. Perhaps you’re just an ordinary teen who hates high school. Bam! You have a novel ready and waiting. Everyone hates high school.

3) Be prepared for rejection- this is very very important. Writers face rejection every day. We have our work rejected by publishers, magazines, etc. I’ve had two of my novels turned down. And while the first novel was horrible, both weren’t turned down because of my writing. They were turned down because there was no market for what I was writing.

4) Haters gonna hate- *sighs* there is no way I can say this without sounding like a conceited ass but I will try. People will discourage you. Be it because of the belief that “writers don’t make much money” (true but I’m assuming you’re writing because you enjoy it) or simply because of jealousy, you’re going to have to deal with people trying to stomp your dreams into pieces. Don’t let them. You do you! (Also if this happens and you need someone to talk to, email me! This is not a joke. I’ve had to put up with this for years. Sadly it doesn’t get better).

5) Write Online- The internet is your friend. It makes publishing super-easy. You can submit work to websites, publish ebooks or fanfiction and start a blog to display all your work. Starting a blog also allows you to have a collection of pieces to show off. Ta-da you’re a writer with published pieces. Good for you!

6) Write Often- I’m not going to say everyday because that’s going to be difficult. However it is incredibly important that you write regularly. I stopped writing during eleventh grade to focus on school. It took me two years to start again. So write. Write on napkins, on your phone, on the cover of your Maths book. Just write.

7) Live- this is very very important. Do not lock yourself up in your room to write 24/7. Yes it’s fun to escape into another world but you NEED the real world. How else would you gain experience and ideas for your stories? While I regret my two year hiatus from writing, some of my greatest memories and plotlines were drawn from that time.

Lastly and most importantly- okay equally important as living- be sure to have fun. Writing doesn’t have to be serious. In fact it’s better if it’s not. Trust me, college has enough serious writing waiting for you. Have fun with your writing. It’s an entire world that you created. It’s almost magical.

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