Showing posts with label The Low Down. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Low Down. Show all posts

FRIENDSHIPS: THE LOW DOWN

Tuesday

This week, I just wanted to talk about friendships because I have seen a lot of people posting about friendships. As the lockdown restrictions ease in the UK and other countries, we are able to see our friends more.

Group of girls on Amsterdam canal boat

Advice on friendships

Lately, I have seen a few people on Twitter saying that they don't have friends which saddens me. I don't know these people, so I'm not sure that's actually the case, but sometimes you can feel like you have no friends, or that you have no one in your corner.

My advice for these people would be to value the people that you actually have in your life, whether that be family or colleagues that you like. I would also say it is never too late to try and make friends! It is a common misconception that you can't make friends as an adult, as it isn't as easy as when you're in school, but this is not the case! If anything, making friends later on is actually easier.

Since I have started blogging regularly, I have interacted with other bloggers online who have similar interests to me. Making online friends is also a good way to connect with people if you are shy in person. Of course, you do need to be careful when making online friends - we have all seen the TV show Catfish.

I also think it is important to remember that you different things out of friendships with different people. For example, you may have a friend that you have a good time with but you can't trust them. If you have friends like this, it's important to know where you stand. If you know they aren't the most trustworthy, then you shouldn't expect them to be trustworthy. There are also the friends that you have a good time with, and you could trust them with your life. I tend to find myself gravitating towards these people and wanting to spend less time with the people who are only fun for a short time.

Group of friends in Leicester Square

Friends getting ready for night out

My friendships

As I get older, I tend to be pickier with who I call my friend. Just because I really believe that no company is better than bad company. I have individual friends who I will meet up with as well as groups of friends and the majority of my friends now are from university. I do still have some amazing friends from home but as I left school and college, I seemed to leave friendships behind there. The same thing could happen after uni too, but I do think most of them will become my friends for life.

One of the main qualities I look for in friendships is when they are happy for my successes and when they build me up. I am always reading posts about how women should empower women and this is definitely true! I'm always looking out for those who do that for me. 

I am really grateful for the friendships I have at the moment. For the friends I see often and the friends who I don't see as much.

What sort of friendships do you have? Mainly close individual friends or do you have a friendship group? Let me know in the comments.

Friends in Dublin

Two friends at a party

Wool of the King

BEING A FUSSY EATER: THE LOW DOWN

Saturday

A while ago I started a series called, The Low Down, where I will just talk about certain topics, giving you 'The Low Down'.


Mussels in garlic sauce with caption

Since I can remember, I have always been a really fussy eater. Quite a lot of kids can be but I never seemed to grow out of it. It would probably be easier to tell you the foods I do like than listing the ones I don't. I basically don't like ANYTHING spicy, I also don't like tea or coffee (big shock alert).

People regularly laugh at my 'boring' taste in food, and I do too, but it is the bane of my life. Something that stands out to me is that I used to avoid going to Nando's because I got plain when everyone else got medium and someone always had something to say about it. "Sorry guys, I can't come tonight, um, I need to wash my hair." I don't really care about things like that anymore it just seems bizarre to me that people have such opinions on food tastes. Incidentally, I have recently graduated to lemon and herb!

I really wish I liked a lot more foods than I do because then I wouldn't have to worry about what we're having for dinner if I go to someone's house, or worry that I'm being really annoying if I say I don't like something. Luckily now, everyone I know knows that I'm a fussy eater so if I go to theirs for dinner, they will make sure it's something I like (love those kinds of people). 

It wasn't always that easy when I was growing up though. It was the absolute WORST when I would go to friends houses for dinner and their mum had made something I didn't like. Because I felt so bad, I would try my hardest to eat it even if I didn't like it. But when it's spicy food, I literally can't even force myself to eat it! Once I remember going to someone's and their parents had made a chilli con carne (one of my top WORST dishes) and I did try to eat it. In the end, I just had to say I'm so sorry, this is too spicy for me. Then, I remember the parents kind of getting slightly annoyed even though they tried not to show it.

I still love food though. Even though I'm quite fussy, I do love the foods that I will eat and I do try new foods to see if I'll like them. What kind of eater are you? Are you fussy or will you eat most things? Everyone has their own preferences, I just wish I liked more things but it's probably good that I don't because I love food too much now anyway.

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Wool of the King



STUDENT HOUSING: THE LOW DOWN


Following on from my Contraception: The Low Down post, in this post I will also be giving you The Low Down about my experience with student housing.

I must begin by saying I am not talking about all student housing, I will be talking about my experience and experiences I have heard from friends in particular. 

University image

At Bournemouth University, where I've been studying, the majority of students tend to live in halls for the first year, and then will move into a house for second year. This may no longer be the case for the majority as they are building more and more halls in and around Bournemouth for second and third years.

In September, me and five other people moved into a student house. Before moving in, we were asked to pay a booking fee in December of £250 followed by a deposit in August of £500 along with the first month's rent which was £420, equalling £920 at once each and £5,520 all together.

After paying the fees, we went to pick up our keys from the estate agents, by whom we were given an attitude that was not the most friendly. We each had individual bedroom keys but we weren't assigned our own, we were told to "work it out for yourselves". 

Arriving at the house, everyone was very eager to pick bedrooms. Before I knew it, I ended up with my bedroom choice, however, in my bedroom was a broken bed.

I called up the letting agency to ask why I was not given a functioning bed and their reply was "it is not our fault" without any apology. We had moved in on the Thursday and they said the bed wouldn't come until the following week. Their reply to me about this was "it's ok, you have a mattress". Yes, I did have a mattress but I wasn't expecting to pay the same deposit and rent money as everyone else to find a broken bed in my room.

Most of my friends have complained about mould in their houses. I've heard about leaky roofs, bedrooms being declared too small to live in by the council, slug infestations (gross). You name it.

We finally moved out of our student house in August after countless things going wrong and we got our deposit back 2 days ago, 2 months later. It's a good job I wasn't counting on that money because I got less than half of it back, and I got the most back out of everybody. Our reports back said that things were broken that hadn't been broken and "routine cleaning" that we were never made aware of.

I'd like to reiterate that not all student houses are bad and not all housing companies treat you without respect. This is more of a warning to be careful and to raise awareness of how you can be treated sometimes because of age or because you're a student.

Thank you for reading, sorry this was a bit more angry than normal, I just don't agree with how unfair it can be at times. Let me know if you have any student housing horror stories in the comments.

Over and out x

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Wool of the King Instagram: @wooloftheking1
Twitter: @_laurenken



CONTRACEPTION: THE LOW DOWN

Tuesday

I asked on Instagram and Twitter for people's experiences with different types of contraception and I got more responses than expected. The amount of responses I got shows me that it is something a lot of people, mainly women do want to talk about as it affects people so differently and these affects can often be quite negative.

The contraceptive pill

Here are some examples of the responses I received from women currently using contraception, I won't be using names:

"The implant gave me a month long period."
"Mood swings on the first pill now I have changed I feel fine."
"Rigevidon made me feel really down and angry."
"The pill made me put on sooo much weight and became so spotty until I came off it."
"The pill made me feel depressed."
"The pill made me feel like I was so down and alone, I also gained weight, skin was horrible."
"The injection f*cked me up, I got super depressed. I stopped doing things and stopped going into college. Never again"
"I've had a bad experience on so many pills including Yasmin, Microgynon, Cerelle. Problems included weight gain, nausea, the worst skin and pain. I hate the pill."
"The pill is amazing for me but I had the worst mental health and doctors wouldn't take me off it because it was 'too soon', they told me to give it a chance."

The main purpose of this post is to make people think about how important it is to find the right contraception for you or your partner because there are so many horrible side affects as you can see from the responses above.

Firstly, I need to emphasise that everyone is affected differently by different forms of contraception and by no means should anyone be scared off it by this post. I am just trying to educate people on possible side affects so that people make sure they get what is right for them. There are so many different types of contraception that I didn't even know about. Researching this has been a learning curve for me too.

I didn't really have sex education at my school after the age of 12, and then it was about periods and stuff rather than being safe with sex. When we did learn about it at school we just learnt about condoms which are obviously a good form of contraception as they also protect against STI's but they are not the only form of contraception out there.

If you are like me and the thought of an injection, implant or coil really cringes you out then there are lots of different types of pills that do different things to your hormones and have different amounts of hormones in them.

Due to the amount of negative responses about contraception side affects, it seems to me like women have to go through a trial and error process before they find a good contraceptive that suits them. In my opinion, doctors should be doing more to make sure pills and other contraceptives aren't harming people.

In my experience, they gave me 3 months worth of pills to start with before checking my blood pressure again and prescribing me another 3 months worth of pills at the end. Now, they give me 6 months worth at a time and will only give me a pill check every 12 months where they will check my blood pressure again. They have never once asked me about my mental health and the pill and other contraceptives have seemed to have affected the mental health of a number of women.

One of the responses above, refers to the implant and mental health. She said she had told the doctors she didn't want the implant anymore as she knew it affected her mental health in a negative way. The doctors thought it was too soon, seemingly ignoring her request and disregarding the severity of the effect it was having on her mental health.

People using words such as "depression" when it comes to contraception just goes to show the severity of the effect it can have on mental health. In extreme cases, it could possibly make girls and women feel suicidal. If there is a chance that this could happen, isn't asking how your mental health is in on a pill check the least doctors could do? I am not saying no doctors ask, I am just basing this on my own experience and those of my followers.

It is also important that men understand the possible side affects women could be facing just to sleep with them. It's important to spot differences in women's mental health and attitudes in case they are being affected by contraception. It's also important to support them through the decisions they make about contraception as these decisions often concern men too.

My advice would be make sure you research contraception before you decide what would be best for you. If you do hear bad things about certain types, remember that it might not be the same for you as all types of contraception affects people differently. It is all about what suits you. Finally, don't put sex before your mental health.

TERROR ATTACK ON ARIANA GRANDE CONCERT

Wednesday


After hearing about Monday night's terror attack on an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, I was truly devastated. A venue holding around 21,000 people including many children and teenagers was thought to be the "perfect" place to commit an act of pure evil. Among the 22 people that have passed away so far, approximately 12 of them were children. An 8 year old girl was killed, ruining the lives of people close to her and for what? An 18 year old girl, the same age as me, doing A levels, just as I am, was killed in this brutal terror attack; and what had these innocent people done except go and see one of their favourite artists in concert? For a lot of people, this was their first concert and many had been looking forward to it for months. A concert should be remembered for the music and pleasure you feel from watching and listening to your artists, not for fear and tragedy. 

Ariana Grande singing live

Despite the horrendous actions of Monday night in Manchester, there are a handful of people who are not showing sympathy for the people affected by the incident. For example, The Daily Mail has attempted to blame Ariana's choice of clothing for the terrorism. Other than being the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard, it is also disrespectful to the 23 year old artist who is traumatised by the terror attack upon her concert on Monday. The star tweeted "broken. from the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don't have words", apologising for what had happened even though none of it was her fault, it was the fault of an extremist, sadistic group motivated by evil and ignorance. No one deserves to go to a concert to not come back, end up severely injured or fear for their lives. This was nothing other than a brutal attack on innocent people. Ariana Grande has offered to pay for the funerals of those who lost their lives to this tragic incident. How can anyone blame somebody who is willing to show this generosity?

However, this radical attempt at dividing Britain has failed because Manchester, and the United Kingdom are stronger than ever and there is so much support being spread through the communities. Support has been shown not just by the British people but from people all over the world. Unfortunately, I have never been to Manchester but the sense of community there that I have seen on the news is unreal, especially at yesterday's vigil. This just goes to show that nothing is going to break Britain no matter how many attempts of terror there are and the support in Manchester recently such as taxi drivers taking people home, hotels giving those targeted a place to stay and even homeless people helping the wounded makes me amongst many others, proud to be British.

Thank you so much for reading. RIP to the beautiful 22 whose lives were taken from them too soon. 

Manchester vigil for Ariana Grande terrorist attack