MAKING FRIENDS AS AN ADULT: THE LOW DOWN

Sunday

Welcome to another post in my The Low Down series, where I give you the Low Down on important stuff.

I don't know about you but I feel like it seems to be harder to make friends as an adult. When you're at school or university, you kind of make friends with the people you see every day because you are all put into a situation together.


Since leaving uni, I have made a few new friends but it is a very different process. My friends from uni or childhood, I don't even remember how I made friends with them, we just have a friendship. So when I think of making new friends it's a bit more difficult.


Having said that, I feel like people as adults are way more accepting and open to new friendships, whereas school kids are kind of mean and form cliques. 


The girls having fun

Tips for making friends as an adult


1. Network online


Through blogging and Instagram, I have met some really great people. You can find people who you have a lot in common with and it is a lot easier to approach people online too.


Obviously, making friends online can be dangerous with catfishing etc, so please be careful in doing this.


In Salisbury, there is a group called the Salisbury Social on Instagram where anyone is welcome to join social events including book clubs, drinks and more. Groups like this are great if you have moved to a new area and you want to make new friends because you're all in the same boat. 


Does your city have a group like this? If not, why not start one?

Related: Friendships: The Low Down

2. Put yourself out there


This is such a cringe piece of advice that I hear all the time but it's true. In order to make new friends as an adult, you really do need to be confident enough to put yourself out there and reach out to people. This can be really daunting, but the more you do it, the easier it will become.

Ask your work colleagues if they want to meet up after work, message people online to meet (safely of course) just do it without worrying too much.

A lot of people have a fear of rejection, but the only way to get over that fear is to face it head-on and think, what is the worst that can happen if someone doesn't want to meet up with me or be friends with me?

If that does happen and you do end up being ghosted or rejected, then that is just a sign that you aren't meant to be friends with that person and they probably aren't worth your time.

3. Don't be desperate


Not trying to be savage with this one, what I really mean is evaluate the reason you are looking for friends. Be careful and selective with who you choose to be friends with because it's important to surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself, rather than making friends for the sake of it.

I guess I'm just saying make sure you make friends that make you happy and if you end up meeting people who don't that's ok. The only way to find out if you will like someone or not is to actually get to know them first.

You may find that you have tried to become friends with someone and they have completely different views to you, or maybe they don't make you feel quite as good about yourself as they should. It doesn't mean you are stuck there.

As difficult as it can be to make friends as an adult sometimes, it's definitely way easier to lose them too (if you feel you need to).

At this age, I'm definitely way more selective about who I spend my time with. Especially because I am so busy with work and everything now, my free time is very precious and I usually try to spend it wisely with people who make me feel good.
How have you found making friends as an adult?

RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE UK SEASON 2 TOUR REVIEW

Saturday

Wow, that is a long title! When I was telling people I was going it was such a mouthful too. Either way, I had such a great time that I had to tell you about it.


If you haven't watched RuPaul's Drag Race UK yet then what are you waiting for? You can watch it here on BBC IPlayer.


If you are unaware of what Drag Race is completely, then it is a group of drag queens who compete in challenges and someone goes home every week until they crown a winner. There are many seasons in many countries so if you haven't watched any, do it!


A fun fact about me is that I wrote a 10,000 word dissertation on the representations in RuPaul's Drag Race for my final year of university (and got a first which I tell anyone, any chance I get).


Ruapuls drag race uk season 2
Image from the BBC.


A bit of background information about the event


So, this was my second ever drag show. My first was seeing Lawrence Chaney perform in DYMK in Bournemouth, who is incidentally the winner of Drag Race UK Season 2, so I got to see them perform again.

The event was held at the Pavillion in Bournemouth and lasted from around 8pm until 10pm (ish). I went with my friend Kitty who asked me if I wanted to go around a month before. I didn't even realise they were touring so the tickets we got were resale ones at about £65, so they were a bit more expensive than the ones that went on sale the first time around but I was happy to pay that as I love most of the queens that were on season 2 and wanted to see them live.

The queens


Every queen that was a contestant on season 2 performed at the show except Awhora, who had injured her knee a few days prior.

The queens who performed were as follows but in no particular order: Astina Mandella, Tia Kofi, Joe Black, Ginny Lemon, Cherry Valentine, Veronica Green, Ellie Diamond, Sister Sister, Tayce, Bimini Bon Boulash and Lawrence Chaney.

At the beginning, the queens all walked out and performed a lip-sync, giving us a bit of a taster of what they were going to be doing in the show.

After that, each of the queens performed one by one. Their performances mainly consisted of lip syncs, dancing and some singing.

I have to say each performance was iconic in it's own way. The only one I wasn't too sure of was Ellie Diamond dressing up as The Cat in the Hat. It was funny and I wasn't expecting to see The Cat in the Hat, but it just wasn't overly drag for me.

Even though I didn't like her too much in her season, I thought Veronica Green put on an outstanding performance. She can sing, dance and do it all and I want to wear her outfit on my birthday.

Another person I kind of slept on in her season was Cherry Valentine. After watching her documentary Cherry Valentine: Gypsy Queen and Proud, I felt like I got to know her way more, and when she performed it was amazing! I just don't remember seeing that on the show, I guess it just goes to show that they maybe give more air time to some queens over others. Her hips DID NOT lie.

My favourite acts


For me, the best acts of the night were Bimini Bon Boulash, Lawrence Chaney, and Tayce. Are you surprised?

First of all, let's talk about Lawrence Chaney. I had already seen them perform so was wondering if it was kind of going to be the same as that but it was so different. On her season, Lawrence admitted to not really being a dancer, but she is so good at entertaining the crowd and so creative! I love Lawrence, one of my favourite drag queens of all time.

When Tayce came out in a high fashion robot suit, I knew we were in for a treat. I did not know what to expect with Tayce, she always looks amazing but it was hard to tell what her performance would be like. 

I feel like I can't even explain it, she just came out and the whole time we were wowed and could not stop watching. But in the background, there was some sort of weird futuristic robo porn going on. Was it weird? Yes. Was it iconic? Also yes.

Finally, we have Bimini, one of the most talented drag queens out there. She really can do anything. Firstly, the visuals coming up on the screen behind her were stunning. She also had a pole that she was climbing up and doing all sorts of things on. At one point I was scared she was going to fall off.

She really is the bendiest bitch in all of East London and she was serving us kind of 90s grunge realness at the same time.

At the end


Towards the end of the show, each of the queens came out in pairs with the person they had lip-synced against in the bottom two of show and Bimini was wearing the biggest heels I've ever seen.

Then, they all performed a routine together and came out and took a bow as you do on stage.

We honestly had so much fun and I can't wait to see more drag shows. 

I also made an Instagram Reel video of some of the queens performing so please watch that here. Sometimes you have to see it for yourself.

5 TIPS TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN YOUR FIRST JOB

This is a guest post written by Chloe from chlodoeslife.com.

You did it! You finally graduated and landed your first job. Life after university can feel very overwhelming and starting your first full-time job sounds scary, but I’ve created a list of amazing tips to help you navigate through your first job and be successful. 


Hi, my name is Chloë and I blog over at chlodoeslife.com. I graduated in May 2020 and started my first (corporate) job in August of that year. In the year and a half between starting that job and writing this post, I’ve learned a lot and now I’m sharing my tips with you. Thank you, Lauren, for giving me the opportunity to guest post!


Person typing on laptop

1. First Impressions Matter


It sounds cliché, but it’s definitely true: first impressions matter. Make sure that on your first day - and every day after - you’re dressed properly and look neat. Of course, you dress according to your workplace - make sure you know beforehand what the dress code is. If there is none, you can easily wear jeans and nice jumper, but just make sure that you don’t look as if you’ve just rolled out of bed. It gives your employer the wrong impression of you.


Not only your outfit is important, there are a few other things to take into consideration as well. Make sure that you have everything you need to make your first day into a success. Take a notebook and a pen to make notes, bring some snacks and a water bottle if you’re not entirely sure your workplace will provide these. I wrote a whole post on how to rock your first day on my own blog, so make sure to check that out if you’ve finished reading here. 


2. Always Ask Questions


And you can take always quite literally. You just graduated and have only limited to no work experience, nobody expects you to know everything from the start. Even after months and after a year and longer, it’s still okay to ask questions. Nobody is perfect and even senior profiles still need help sometimes. It’s better to continue asking questions than make big mistakes that could cost you your job! 


You need to ask questions in order to be able to be successful in your first job. Finding solutions to a problem yourself is time-consuming and not efficient. Of course, you shouldn’t just bother your manager with every little inconvenience. I once read a tip online about the 20-minute rule: if you can’t find any possible solution within the first 20 minutes, ask your manager. If within the first 20 minutes you have a slight idea of how you could solve it, try that first. If that doesn’t work, speak to your manager. This way you don’t unnecessarily bother them and still find a solution in a timely manner. 

Related: 10 productive things to do on a Sunday for the best week

3. Take Additional Training


As someone who has just entered into the workforce, you naturally don’t have all of the skills you need yet to grow as a professional. Along the way, you automatically notice there are things you can’t do yet, and you should take every opportunity you can find to expand your skill-set. Not only for your current job, but any future positions you will take on in your career.


Most companies have a training budget available, so make sure you check in with your manager about how much you can spend yearly on courses. When you find a course that’s relevant to your job, talk to your manager to see if you can attend - you shouldn’t pay for these yourself. If there is no budget, there is also plenty of free training available online that will help you expand your skill-set. For example, some of the tools I work with or some of our business partners offer free online training on various subjects that I try to attend as much as I can. 


4. Learn To Say No


This probably also depends on the department you work in and on your individual skills, but as a new hire, people from different departments will ask you for your help, especially if you have one specific skill that might be useful for them as well. I, for example, speak German fluently, so the marketing and customer service departments often ask me to help with some translations. 


What’s important to remember, is that you make sure it fits in your schedule. Always do your job first and then see what you can do for other people. I know that especially in the beginning it’s very hard to say no to others, because you want to make a good impression, but you should always put the tasks you were hired for first. If a favour for someone else doesn’t fit in with your other deadlines, say no politely. Most of them will understand. This is super important to avoid any unnecessary stress and to not feel burnt out after a while. 


5. Stay In Touch With Your Friends


Nothing is more important than staying in touch with your friends. Even if you have less time now than you had before, find some space to squeeze in your friends for a drink after work every now and then. As a junior, you can feel very out of place sometimes, especially in the beginning, and being able to talk to your friends about it, can be a huge relief. 


It’s the perfect way to let out those frustrations that you can’t share with colleagues or family, because they simply won’t understand. Talking with people that are on the same level as you will make you feel understood. After all, most of them will be going through the same thing and it will help you feel less alone at times. 

Related: What now? A life after graduation

These are my tips to be successful in your first job! I hope you enjoyed them and that they’ll be useful for you in your job too. Thank you again, Lauren, for the opportunity and for letting me write a piece for your blog. 


Yours truly,

Chloë 

7 FUN THINGS TO DO IN SHOREDITCH, LONDON

As my boyfriend and some of my friends are living in London at the moment, I am finding myself visiting there a lot at weekends so I thought I'd share some of the fun things I have been up to lately.


I feel like we have been a lot more drawn to Shoreditch lately as there are just so many cool and fun things to do there. Also, it means I can split these posts up for different areas of London rather than one big London one that I would have to keep adding to. So here are some of the fun places I have been to in Shoreditch lately.


Top 7 things to do in Shoreditch


1. Ballie Ballerson


Girl in ball pit at ballieballerson london

Ballie Ballerson is a bar that has adult ball pits inside. Before going here I have to say I was dreading it a bit because I get really claustrophobic with things like that but it was actually a lot of fun. 


The balls get a bit samey after a while but you can go in and out of them as many times as you want in your time slot and they play some really good tunes at the bar.


I would definitely recommend trying here if you haven't already, it's just so different from anything I've done before and you can get some really good pictures for Insta.


2. Hijingo


Hijingo is a futuristic boozy bingo. You can win some really cool prizes there, sadly I didn't win any though. They also have cocktails and food too. Again, something a bit different than just going for food or drinks.

3. London Cocktail Club


Cravat cocktails at London Cocktail Club

They have these cocktail bars all over London, as well as in Shoreditch. There is such an extensive range of cocktails at London Cocktail Club and they have a happy hour where all cocktails are 2 for £12 every day until 7pm, even the cocktails that are £13 each! Perfect for day drinking and if you love getting a bargain.

4. Simmons Bar


Girls in front of neon sign at Simmons Bar London

Another bar that they have all over London and the drinks here are pretty reasonable. They also have good happy hour deals until around 9pm (I think) and it seems to get a bit clubby in there as the night goes on. When we went here, we went to Hijingo first and then ended the night at Simmons.

5. Swingers Mini Golf


I'm not sure if Swingers is technically in Shoreditch because it was closer to Aldgate but still within walking distance anyway. I had such an amazing time here because I actually beat Joe at mini golf for the first time at Swingers!


They also have a venue in Central London. There is a good range of cool courses and they have amazing cocktails there (for when you need to celebrate a win like I did). It seems to get booked up here pretty quick though so I would book well in advance.

6. Spitalfields Market


Humble Crumble from Spitalfields Market

I am such a fan of places like this in London. Spitalfields market has a range of stalls for retail items and soooo many food stalls to choose from. I love Camden market too but I just feel like Spitalfields is a bit classier? (sorry Camden love you).


For someone who is a bit fussy about food like me, it's great to go there with other people and we can all just choose what we want.

7. Box Park


Similar to Spitalfields, there are a lot of food stalls here but instead of being a market, it is just a place to sit, have food and drink and chill with friends. When you get there, you can scan a code on your table and order drinks to the table. When ordering food, you order at the table and they text you when it's ready to pick up to avoid queuing. 


Again, it's great to be able to all choose different things to eat and there is so much to choose from.


When I visit more fun places in London outside of Shoreditch, I will definitely write some more recommendations. Have you been to any of these places?

Related: 10 European cities you need to visit

Also, if you have any London recommendations for me, please let me know.