Sunday, 19 May 2013

The Start of Something New…

So I wrote half of this post before my laptop decided to randomly turn off, which is rather annoying as I now have to start from the beginning…Which according to Julie Andrews is ‘a very good place to start…’

So I have finished University. Farewell institutionalised education. I will miss you. Not. Hello being a ‘Lady of Leisure’ – or as my friend called me early a ‘lazy slob’ – she hasn’t finished yet, she is clearly just ‘well jel.’

So I am truly a ‘Lady of Leisure’ for the first time in 17 years…I can partake in activities without that constant thought at the back of head - ‘Do I really want to do this? Will it affect my day in the Library tomorrow?’ I am FREE. I have looked forward to this day for many a time and I am glad that it is finally here. No more stress, deadlines, essays, you name it and I don’t have to do it (only educational related stuff mind).

So what does being a ‘Lady of Leisure’ entail?  Well, where do I star? Mid-morning al fresco milkshakes, sunbathing on the beach, cheeky lunch and Pimms at the pub, buying clothes, more beach times – with ice cream this time round, followed off by a lovely Sunday evening out on the town (which I should be getting ready for – the glitter is coming out. Aber are you ready for us?!). SO MUCH FUN…Despite all the fun I will be having, I know that by this time next week I will miss the routine and structured life…

So what am I going to do now? I am not the career orientated kind of girl. How do I know what I want to be doing in 20 years’ time? I am only 21. Don’t get me wrong, I am an ambitious person, it’s just that I want to be defined by my job. I want to travel, see the world, experience life, write a book, and have my own radio show. I will be happy as long as I have enough money to meet my needs. It is time to live in the present and not care about the future. I mean I will get there at some point.

Baring this in mind, I have entitled this post ‘The Start of Something New’ (inspired by High School Musical), because I feel it is reflective of the stage of my life I am at. I have finished a chapter of my life, and am about to start a new one…Hopefully, one that is just as good as the one I am closing (though I hope not as stressful!). It is the time to meet new people, see new places, and have new experiences. Embrace the present. Live my life. Love my life.

So here is my life advice I have for people who are in the same position as me, and are ending a chapter and starting a new unknown one:

‘Why think about the future when you can live in the present?’ 
– Ruchita Shah, Motivational and Life Speaker.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

A Day of Lasts…

It is 14.39 on the 16th of May 2013. I am currently sat in the Law Library of Hugh Owen Library, Aberystwyth University, having just finished my essay plans for my exam tomorrow, I have decided to blog instead of memorising them. This time tomorrow I will be 39 minutes (well 40 now) into my last ever exam. A somewhat liberating, yet depressing thought. Like I have said in a previous post, I am looking forward to leaving institutionalised education. Yet, really this is all I have known. From the age of 4 to 18, I woke up every day and went to school. From 18 to 21, I woke up most days and went to the library/lectures (NB: the use of the word ‘most’, some days in first year I was a tad to hungover to get out of bed…). My life had a structure and to be honest I liked it. Don’t get me wrong, I am very much looking forward to leaving the education system, but I know deep down a part of me (a very small part, maybe a part the size of an m&m – chocolate filled because the peanut ones are slightly bigger) wants to stay in it forever.

So, why am I blogging now instead of revising? Because I had a cheeky cry in cwtch earlier (the Student Union). I unexpectedly ran into my friend Georgia (from my last post), who was celebrating finishing her last exam. I could smell the alcohol on her. It was only about 12.30pm… I was happy to see her, but it bought back all those emotions and sentimental feelings I experienced that night on the prom. And anyway, we had an emotional farewell hug, and it made me cry. It was the second time I cried all year excluding crying whilst watching movies and reading books (the first time was on Monday when I cried on my friend Amy after getting back an essay mark – lame I know). During my Uni time, I have become less of an emotional person than what I was at school. Now I just think why cry? Just get over it, get a grip on life. And now here I am having cried twice in four days…What is wrong with me?

Well I guess all these unwanted emotions are down to the fact that I am approaching the end of an era. And I am one who does’t like change, so maybe I am just scared of what is coming next? Anyway, I made a list (because that is definitely what I seem to be doing a lot of) of the ‘lasts’ I am going to experience today.
NB: They are in different tenses, because some have already happened, some are happening right now, and some will happen before the end of the day.

  1. I got the bus to campus for the last time (lazy I know!).
  2. It is my last day in the library.
  3. I have the last ever can of Red Bull I will drink next to me waiting to be opened when things get dire.
  4. I had lunch in Cwtch (the Student Union) for the last time – endless entertainment can be had when your name rhymes with Cwtch – ‘Do you want to have lunch with Ruch in Cwtch?’ – it was funny when all we lived, breathed and slept was dissertation.
  5. I bought my last meal deal from the Union shop – my favourite sandwich wasn’t there so I went for the ‘hey pesto’ sandwich. It was a mind boggling sandwich, I didn’t know if I was eating a sandwich or a pizza.
  6. I bought a Starbucks from the Union bar for the last time – they have lost their most loyal customer. I only bought one every day because it reminded me of the greater life outside of Aber, and maybe a little bit because I needed the caffeine.
  7. Today is my last day without Facebook (this is so lame). My sister Avani (author of the blog Away with the Mice – linked at the top of the page – have a read) changed my password so couldn’t go on.
  8. This is the last time I revise for an undergrad exam, as long as I don’t fail the year.
  9. Tonight will be the last time I go to bed stressing about an exam the next day.
  10. And this is the last time I blog as a method procrastination from revision. 

So, as you can see that today, is the last time I do a lot of things. And for someone who doesn’t like change, it is very hard to deal with.

If I was to give advice to someone experiencing the same emotions and sentiments I am, I would probably tell them to ‘Get a grip of yourself and embrace the future.’

So that is what I going to do, though I may have to have a little cry as I leave Hugh Owen Library for the last time. It has been like my second home. Crying is unavoidable.

Insightful Ending: I don’t have anything insightful to say today, mainly because I have just realised that I should probably get back to revision…Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Standing in the rain looking out across the sea and thinking. I am living the clich├ęd life…

I wasn’t meant to blog again until after my exam on Friday, but blogging is so much more fun than how feminist social movements strategically use public space (which is actually really interesting). 

I was walking home via the sea front after a cheeky revision risotto with my friend Georgia. I was sentimental after realising that I will not see Georgia again until grad week 2 months way. No more Fajita Fridays, no more swimming and sauna sessions and no more running dates (I think we went three times before giving up! Achievement much?).   It was raining. I was wearing my raincoat, hood up (can’t remember the last time I looked so hot). I decided it would be a good idea to stand there on the prom for 40 minutes, in the rain, in my raincoat, and look across the Irish Sea to the horizon (unfortunately, I could not see Ireland) and get lost in my own deep thoughts.

My intense thinking session and me time, led me to discover some realisations about my time left at Uni, this is what I realised:

1)    Tomorrow will be my penultimate day in the library; pretty much spent every day there over the last year.

2)      Tomorrow will also be the penultimate time I buy a Starbucks from the Union for my afternoon caffeine fix. (Red haired Starbucks guy from today this is me mentioning you, now read my blog, it will change your life).

3)      It will no longer be acceptable to go to the Spar in my pink Cheshire Cat like thermal pyjamas when I am back home.

4)      Cheesecake will no longer be an acceptable dinner.

5)      And lastly, and most sadly, I won’t see my friends nearly every day. I won’t be able to pop around their house in my pyjamas. We won’t be able to get drunk and get the groove on in the two most fabulous night clubs ever.

NB: Imagine me walking through town in my PJs looking like Cheshire Cat. Creaser. (Shropshire lingo for something that is funny – you learn so much at Uni).

I basically realised that my life at Uni is actually going to end really soon. So what had I really learnt after three years (non-geography related). After some more standing in the rain and getting wet, I decided the following are some of the valuable life lessons I have learnt during my three years:

1)     Don’t care what people think about you. If they don’t like you it is their problem not yours. I used to pretend to live by this in school, but I really didn’t due to certain individuals. But now I really don’t just care. Yeah, I am the crazy girl who talks too loudly and constantly says the wrong thing at the wrong time. Who cares? Not me.

2)      Allow (urban for forget) patronising people and people who act like they are better than everyone else. If someone gets kicks out of belittling others, they are not worth your time of day/night/energy. Put them in their place. Tell them to put a sock in it.  

3)      Everyone should be nicer to each other. Banter is just being used as an excuse to get away with saying outrageous things. I am the first admit that I have fallen into this trap, and am constantly being mean to my friend Tomford, in the name of banter.  Why has this become the norm in friendship? Why can’t we just hold hands and skip? Bake cakes, play with rainbows or pretend to be fairies?

There are probably more life lessons I have learnt, I just haven’t discovered them yet. Maybe I will discover them when I am out in the big bad world.

Insightful finish: Everything is geography and geography is everything.

(The font I have used for this post is called 'Georgia' in honour of my awesome friend). 

Monday, 13 May 2013

What do I know about life?

Disclaimer: Apologies for the poor spelling, I am slightly dyslexic.

The name of this blog ‘Life According to Ruch’ came about whilst having a cheeky bevvy in an Irish pub with my lecturers in Midtown Manhattan in March 2012 (we were on a field trip). I asked a lecturer what he thought I was doing my dissertation on (what a fun game). His response, though I can’t remember the oh so wonderful title he guessed, was something along the lines of ‘Life according to Ruch’ with a bit of feminism and something else thrown in for good measure. He inspired me that day; the light bulb went off in my head, even in my somewhat intoxicated state. ‘Life according to Ruch’ stuck with me from then on. There was something about it that just caught my attention. It was a catchy title; it had success written all over it. And, now I have finally found a way to create it. Though originally (this was yesterday) I thought it would be a book, I thought a blog would be more suited for starting off with. This way, if no one reads it doesn't really matter. And anyway does anyone really care what I have to say about life? 

So, I decided to create this little idea yesterday whilst in the library as a form of procrastination. If ‘Life According to Ruch’ would be a book this would have been the first paragraph:

 ‘At this present moment in time, at 11.58pm on the 12th of May 2013, I am sat in the Law Library of Hugh Owen Library at Aberystwyth University. Me writing this is a form of procrastination from revising for my last ever exam for my undergraduate degree. The module is called Territory, Knowledge and Power, though I think it should be called ‘A Homage to Foucault’ – because that is exactly what it is. So instead of reading about US state borders, I am going to compile a list of the top five things that annoy me passionately and things that don’t, so you can gain a general understanding of the type of person I am…’

What a beautiful start to what would have been a best-selling book. Instead of stating things that annoy me and things that don’t, I am going to start by listing the things that I know about life.

What I know about life:

1)     I am 21 (22 in 6 months and 6 days).

2)      On Friday 17th May 2013, I have my last exam of my undergrad degree.

3)      I will hopefully graduate with a BA in Human Geography in July.

4)      I have no job/grad scheme/internship lined up for when I graduate.

5)      I will be moving back in with my parents, little sister and grandma.

6)      I spent three years doing a degree because I wanted to and not because it would make me more employable.

7)      I don’t know what I want to do as a career. Do I need a career?

8)      I have been in the education system since I was four, I will hopefully be leaving it in July. I am looking forward to this for two reasons:

i)                    I have had enough of institutionalised education.

ii)                   I look forward to learning through living my life.

9)      I want to travel. Now is the time as I have no one depending on me.

10)   I currently have the best life ambition ever: to travel to Fiji and stand with one foot on either side of the International Date Line, so I can be in two different days at the same time.

As you can see, I have my life all mapped at for me and will be on 40k within 5 years and own a lovely house in West London with my big shot city lawyer husband and our two children by the time I am 35.

I kid. My current life plan extends to 14th of August when I return from three weeks of inter-railing (mind I have nothing to do in June). Thus, I have decided to document my journey from university into the real world via this blog, whilst commenting on life through the perspective of a feminist urban dwelling human geographer.

Final comment, with no relevance to anything in this post: Whilst creating my blog page, Google asked me what my gender was. I refused to answer. Google refused to let me continue. This annoyed me for two reasons:

1)      Gender is a social construction.

2)      Why does Google care what my sex is? 

Geography is all around you.