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Thursday, 31 May 2018

Packing up and shipping out

'He shut the suitcase and produced a letter.'
Packing up, unpacking, repacking. And checking I've repacked the items that were packed in the original haul of items that I unpacked to repack again. Mental as it may seem, this has been my routine for the last couple of weeks. With my second year of Uni over and my summer in America commencing in just a few days, it seems as though the clocks are stealing minutes away from me.

Despite the seemingly never-ending essays, the sun and my fab friends have lightened the last few months of University life. Although this has made saying goodbye to them even harder... Hugging goodbye to my soul sista who is studying abroad next year was tough, as was bidding farewell to my German flatmate who has become one of my close friends. With all these departures, I should be a strong independent woman waving bye to my parents on Saturday - but watch me shed a few tears as I scoot off for three months! 

In keeping with this clinical routine, I feel as though I've been working my way through checklist after checklist recently. VISA appointment in London? Done. Work experience organised with ESQUIRE magazine? Done. 10,000 words worth of essays? Done. Phew. 

Whilst it may appear I have my act together, don't be fooled by appearances. In avid response to my blonde highlights, my mind too has had its share of 'blonde' moments (I blame the bleach). Of course, my blog wouldn't be complete without a few conundrums in the mix, so here's the breakdown of my blonde highlights from the last few months:

Firstly, our fancy dress failures:

1). The Iconic Trio house party:
Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach. Who saved Princess Peach from the Koopaling Clan I hear you say? Well, my fellow readers, we had a bigger challenge on our hands. Princess Peach had kindly cooked up her fellow bros a feast before their quest (the party) but had forgotten that she had to squeeze into a child's size dress later that evening.
Many attempts were made to zip it up. Rubber gloves were involved and a naked excursion outside was made (cold air makes your body shrink right?), before we opted for a more extreme solution: to unpick the stitching. As the pictures reveal, we outsmarted our obstacles. 
I'd say it was not game over for this trio... 

2). That 'cobbled together' outfit that, yes, is just a downright shambles:
Budgeting gets tighter, student attitudes get stronger. 'Yeah, yeah, I'm pretty sure I've got a few bits and bobs for an outfit'. 
(To anyone wondering, that is Minnie Mouse x2 and Pocahontas. Try to guess the theme.) 

3). Oh, shit. No-one else is in fancy dress...
As if I needed it confirming any more, our appearance at a Peaky Blinders themed Fight Night in fancy dress was a true Bridget Jones Tarts and Vicars moment.
My friend DRESSED AS A MALE. No going back - a marker pen moustache and machismo could not be undone.
My other friend and I - we had got the era entirely wrong. Oops.
Amongst other mishaps, I also decided to try out Newcastle's sunbeds. Feeling pale and pasty for the intense heat in North Carolina this summer, I thought a couple of sessions would acclimatise my skin. Now, before anyone says anything, I know. Terrible damage to your skin and just not worth it. Perhaps, then, it was fate's intervention that was trying to ward me off.
Confusion erupted when I stuck the protective sticker goggles over my eyes. How on earth are you supposed to find the blooming door to the sunbed when your eyes are closed?! This must be a health and safety hazard, fumbling your way blinded into this. I did however endure the full 6 minutes - eyes closed, hand firmly on the door handle - cursing under my breath.
As I yapped my friend's ear off about how stupid the goggles were, she only then informed me you're meant to wear them like sunglasses... with your eyes open. Think I'll stick to fake tan.

In typical exam season style, the sun greeted us as deadlines loomed ever closer. It seemed as though the student population in Newcastle gravitated towards the beach. Tynemouth was given a continental vibe as young people cracked open the tinnies, cranked up the speakers and basked in the day's last hues. One of my friends even fooled people she was in Ibiza! Of course, essay writing was squeezed in between these 'breaks' - but sometimes you've just gotta seas the day.

I've also had celebrations such as our annual English Ball, leaving my job and a few fun dates. 
Fortunately, the sun held out a while longer and I've been able to enjoy lunches, cocktails and family time al fresco (thank you Mr Sol). My brother's girlfriend and I hit up Belgrave Music Hall in Leeds, whilst Dad treated my family and I to a celebratory meal and Mum even treated me to lunch at The Ivy in Harrogate... I'm piling on the pounds before I even begin the hotdog diet! 
I've perfected my plaits, packed my case and now all that's left to do is prepare for an emotional goodbye to my precious parents. My nerves may be kicking in, but meeting people from all across the world sounds kind of enticing. 
Sure, we could all do with a few more hours in the day to prepare us for whatever we're working towards, but isn't spontaneity the epitome of what our generation stands for?
After all, 'if we wait until we're ready, we'll be waiting for the rest of our lives' - Lemony Snicket.