Graduation and Life After Uni

After four long years, I have finally graduated from university. It feels weird like it hasn’t even really happened. I think I felt the same way after I finished secondary school too. You know, you just spend so much time in a place doing the same things all the time and you get used to it.

Even though it still doesn’t feel like it has been four years since I started university, it feels like it wasn’t that long ago that I was going there for the first time and I was nervous. I remember making a YouTube video about it actually, I just talked about some things I was nervous about when starting uni. Not that I really had anything to worry about.

Though it did take me a while to come out of my shell at uni, I mean you’re thrown into a new place full of new people and don’t really know what to be doing. I was lucky that I still had some friends from secondary school to hang around with at the beginning so I didn’t feel totally lonely. We didn’t do the same course but it was nice to see them outside of class.

After a few months, I think I settled in pretty well though, I was living at home so I had a routine of getting up every day to go to uni and coming home. This didn’t last long though because the year after that I decided to move out.

It was a big step to move out for uni. I’d never had that independence before. Though in all honesty, I think I took to living away from home pretty well. It was nice to have my own space, though I shared it with two other people. I was lucky in the flatmates I had chosen as they were pretty chill, we respected each other’s privacy and we never really had any issues living together.

I’m glad I stuck with living with a small number of people, I don’t know how I would have dealt with living with four or five strangers. My first two flatmates were my friends when one of my friends moved out, I lived with someone I went to secondary school with. We weren’t friends but we were friendly enough that it wasn’t too weird to be living with them.

After that, it was just me and my uni friend. Our third flatmate went to study abroad for a year and we didn’t really want another flatmate. Again, this was great, I definitely couldn’t have asked for better flatmates.

Along with uni I also had a placement year, this was another thing I was nervous about because I had never had a job before then. I was new to the application and interview process but it wasn’t so bad. It was just about working hard and proving you were good enough, though it was still hard to believe I even got a job, especially when I had only been coding for two years and didn’t have other experience.

Luckily placement year went really well. Again I was thrust into a brand new environment that I had never been in before. It was actually not so bad settling into a job, it got me into a routine which was more than I had at uni, plus regular pay was pretty great.

Then came final year and it was a tough one. Suddenly I had more work than I had ever had before and deadlines every other week, it was a crazy time. I definitely felt like giving up a lot but I feel like that’s natural, in fact, I made a lot of friends in final year purely because we all bonded based on our lack of motivation and how stressed we all were.

But thankfully me and everyone else hung in there, worked hard and were able to graduate a few weeks ago.

Graduation day was a strange day for me, I mean I knew what to expect because I went to my boyfriend’s graduation ceremony the year before and mine was the same. But instead of watching him have his name called and walking across the stage it was my turn. I had the same concerns as everyone else that day, mainly just the fear of tripping on stage…

Luckily that didn’t happen and everyone made it across the stage in a timely manner. But it was still weird to actually be wearing the gown and getting all my photos taken and things like that, it just didn’t feel like it was the end. It still doesn’t feel like it now.

I mean it was still a good day and it was great to celebrate with friends and family. I guess I was just waiting to feel something super different. Sure I feel relieved now that I don’t have any more uni work to do and everything paid off. I think I felt more when I got my results to when I actually graduated. I guess because by results day I knew that I didn’t have to worry anymore, I got my degree classification and I knew it was going to be fine, so it was just plain sailing until graduation.

But now that’s university is over and I am on my way to being a ‘full adult’ it feels weird. I still feel like I’m too young or not ready or something. I’m definitely still getting used to the idea that I will now be working for the rest of my life. Something that I used to dread when I was in school. Though I guess before I thought it was because I was going to end up doing something I hated, thankfully the university choice I made was a good one and I enjoy what I do.

I think it’ll be an adjustment going into work full-time. Before, when I was on placement I knew that it wasn’t going to be forever and I was going back to uni, but now? It’s just me going to work and nothing else. I know that my whole life will not only revolve around work but it will become the next big part of it.

It’s kind of scary but at the same time, I think it’ll be good. I am looking forward to moving out into my own space, though this time without flatmates, I am looking forward to being able to spend time after work doing things I wasn’t always able to do during uni because I was too busy, and I excited to see what comes next.

So that’s where I am in life now, a university graduate, a young adult moving up in the world.

And so yeah, I guess I just wanted to make a blog post to reflect a little bit. I mean I don’t think I can really capture in one blog post how my four years at university were but I guess this gives you a little bit of insight, and if you have been following me on Twitter all this time then you probably got a good idea of what uni life was actually like for me lol.

Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed reading, and I promise I will be back with a regularly scheduled book review or TV show blog post soon 😛

~ Courtney x

2018!

It is once again time for my annual wrap up blog post of the year! These are always interesting because it gives me time to reflect on all the things I have accomplished this year and remember all the good times I’ve had. I actually just read through last year’s post and I can’t believe all those things happened only a year ago, they already feel like a lifetime away.

And I think things will probably feel that way when I reflect on this year. Especially because I really don’t remember much at all from the first half of it. And unlike previous year’s, I sadly do not have all my tweets to remind me – so I’m gonna have to use all other social media to figure it out. But we will talk about what happened to my Twitter a bit later.

I started out the year celebrating with my boyfriend again. We have now been together coming up to 3 years, and here’s hoping there are many more years to celebrate together after that.

I also started the year with a full-time job as I was still on placement as part of my university degree. This is probably the hardest thing for me to remember, working a real job. It feels like it almost didn’t happen at all. Even though I worked there for 11 months. I won’t go into full detail about my placement year as I have made several blog posts about it so if you want to know more then you can check them out.

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A selfie from a lift while on placement

Overall I did enjoy my placement though, I think I learnt a lot and it was a valuable experience for me to have. So I am glad I had the opportunity to do it as part of my degree.

So, to briefly sum up the first half of the year, I was working Monday – Friday, 9 – 5. Not much else to report about that.

Though I did have a lot of fun things that I did outside of work. For example, in January I was eager for my next annual leave bout after coming back from Christmas because I was going to London with my boyfriend for his birthday.

Back in November of 2017, I impulsively bought tickets to Hamilton for me and my boyfriend for his birthday. We hadn’t even booked flights or anything but all that was important was that we were going to see Hamilton.

And while we were going to be in London I also thought it would be a fun idea to get tickets to the Harry Potter Studios for Christmas for my boyfriend as well.

It was safe to say the first couple of weeks back at work after Christmas was torture because I was just dying to go away for my next holiday haha.

London was amazing. I won’t go into too much detail about it here because I’ve already made a video talking about it which you can check out, but I will share some of the highlights.

First off, Hamilton was amazing. It was our first ever West End show and so I wanted to get good seats, and we got the best. I was blown away by the musical when I first listened to the Broadway cast but nothing really compares to seeing it in person. When you’re there you feel those emotions and you experience it completely. It’s incredible. And I highly recommend going to see it if you haven’t already.

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On top of that, we also had the pleasure of meeting Jamie Dornan while we were there seeing Hamilton. My fangirl heart literally exploded when I saw him walk into the room. Like what were the odds? It was even crazier because the night before we had been watching him on TV and then he was just there. I was starstruck and obviously had to say hi. I would have kicked myself if I hadn’t. He was lovely and even though our exchange was a small one I’ll still always remember.

Then, of course, there was the Harry Potter Studios! Okay, I’ll admit, I’d never seen any of the Harry Potter movies until right before I left for London. This was more for my boyfriend because he was a big Harry Potter fan, but I felt I needed to at least watch the movies to have some idea of what was going on. The Studios were stunning and I was blown away. I had never gotten into Harry Potter and I guess I never really understood but being there, where they filmed and seeing everything in person, I understood. It was magical and I really enjoyed the visit.

Other things that happened on our trip to London included a visit to the Sherlock museum, a look at Buckingham Palace, and some shopping. We wanted to go to the London Eye but I think it was closed when we were visiting, so I guess that’s something I will have to do when I go back.

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Just hanging out

Another thing that I did in January was start pole dancing lessons, this is something that I never thought I would do. But my friend Victoria and I decided to go at the start of the year, and I’ve been going ever since. Not going to lie, it was definitely a bit scary going at first, you know there’s a whole stigma around it and you think people might judge you, but honestly? It’s super fun and the community that I have found in NI around it are so wonderful and supportive.

I’m really glad I decided to take the chance and take pole classes, I have made new friends from it and it is also a fun way to keep fit. It’s definitely helped me get stronger and I love sharing my spins and tricks with my friends.

In February and March, I honestly am not sure what I was doing. I guess nothing eventful if I don’t remember haha. I feel so lost without my tweets to guide me in some sort of direction. I didn’t make any YouTube videos in those months either…so I’m guessing these months were just spent working. Obviously not all working, but nothing significant either.

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Though at the end of March I did get a second tattoo. I decided to get one because my boyfriend was also getting one. We didn’t get matching ones but I thought it would be fun. Ever since I got my first tattoo I have definitely always toyed with getting another one. And so I ended up getting a small one on my arm which says xo xo. And if you’re thinking xo xo Gossip Girl then I can confirm yeah I definitely also thought that. But I love it, like I love Gossip Girl and also gossip in general so I guess there was a meaning behind it, other than I just wanted another cute tattoo.

In April I decided to start my YouTube channel up again properly and try vlogging every day in April…I didn’t vlog every day but I did keep it up for a while. I suppose the reason I didn’t end up vlogging every day in April because I wasn’t always doing something worth vlogging, which is the YouTube vlogger struggle. But that’s okay, I don’t put too much pressure on myself to do YouTube because it’s just a hobby, as long as I’m still posting every so often I feel accomplished.

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I also got to see the Nashville Farewell Tour in April which I enjoyed a lot. I originally was not going to go, but then the day of the concert I decided to buy a last minute ticket. The reason being that I worked across the road from the arena where they were performing and I was on Twitter and saw people meeting the Nashville cast around the area and I was jealous and wanted to see them perform. It was also going to be the last time I would be able to see them perform as Nashville the TV show was ending.

And I’m really glad I went. I’ve been watching Nashville since I think 2014/2015? And I love the music on the show, so I guess it naturally made sense that I enjoyed the concert. It was a great show and if you’ve never seen it, now is a perfect time because you can binge watch it. 🙂

May was another one of those months where I don’t really remember what was going on. It was the month before I left placement so I know things were starting to wind down there and the weather was beginning to pick up for the summer. I think May was also the month when I lost my Twitter account.

I have already made a blog post about what happened to my Twitter account so I won’t bore you with the details but long story short, I made my Twitter account when I was 12 and so they locked me out. I still have not been given access back to my account and it’s really annoying. I’ve had that Twitter account for 9 years and now it’s just…gone.

So I started a new one. It’s definitely not the same as it used to be. But because I use Twitter so much and it’s a big part of my life I couldn’t be without it. I had friends there that I didn’t have anywhere else and to try and find them again without remembering their Twitter handle was a struggle. It was also hard because I couldn’t really explain to anyone what happened.

But with the way things are going, I think this is the Twitter account that I’m going to have from now on. It’s just annoying that I can’t at least get my username back…

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June started with a drag show which is how you know June was a good month for me. As you know I love RuPaul’s Drag Race and going to drag shows has become a new hobby of mine. The first big show I saw in 2018 was Werq the World. This is one of those shows where a bunch of queens from past seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race come together to perform and I love them.

June was also a big month because it’s my birth month. It also happened to be the month that I finished work placement. So it was a time for celebration, this year I turned 21 and celebrated going out with my friends. I never really feel older when I celebrate a birthday but I suppose no one really does. Either way, I still end up getting ID’d when I go out so it’s not like I’m looking any older haha.

Also for my birthday, I got to see Taylor Swift in Dublin! Taylor was amazing and I have wanted to see her perform for the last couple of years now so I’m really glad I got to do that. And she recently released her concert on Netflix, so if you missed it you can check it out there.

At the end of June my boyfriend graduated from university, so all his hard work and sleepless nights had paid off. I am so proud of him for making it through uni and getting his graduate job. It was great to see him get his degree, and hopefully next year it will be me getting mine. 🙂

As far as I remember July was spent chilling and enjoying my time off work. I also started this new blog and I plan to keep it. So far I think it’s going well, though I am still trying to find a good layout. I want something simple and clean but at the same time, all the blog layouts I’ve found have not been right. The one I am currently using is the one I liked the most out of my choices but I am hoping to find something better soon.

Aside from that, I feel like I spent a lot of July playing video games, watching TV and sleeping. Which is a great month in my opinion when you’d spent the last few working a lot.

A few fun things that happened in July were that my friend Jasmine came over for a while with her boyfriend Chris, it was his first time in Northern Ireland so we had to show him around, I also started my scrapbook which I’ve had sitting around for ages and I also started selling things on eBay for my mum. I’d never sold anything online before but I’d always thought about it because I have a lot of stuff I wanted to get rid of and I thought selling online would be a good way, though so far mostly my mum’s stuff has sold compared to mine lol.

August in comparison to July seemed to be a very busy month for me, I spent half of it with my boyfriend as I stayed with him while his parents were in Florida, I also decided to vlog/make a video every day and played a lot of Sims and Stardew Valley. Not to mention went to pride and all the drag shows as well.

After the less successful attempt at vlogging every day in April, I decided to try again in August. Only this time, it wasn’t just vlogging, I also made videos for my Sims YouTube channel. August was definitely more successful than April as I was able to create 22 videos in August, 11 for my Sims channel and 11 for my main channel. So it’s safe to say August was pretty well documented on my YouTube channel.

At the end of August, I was also super busy with moving house and preparing for my final year of university. It feels weird that I have been moving so often, and I can’t wait to finally move one last time after graduation and be settled for a little while. But for now, I’m back in student accommodation and ready for the next semester.

September I spent settling into my new flat and enjoying my last remaining weeks of freedom before university. As in, I spent a lot of time playing Sims and Stardew Valley because I knew once university started I wouldn’t be able to play as much.

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September was also an exciting month because after waiting years we FINALLY got confirmation for Animal Crossing Switch. It should be coming in 2019 and I’m going to be waiting every single day waiting for some news. We haven’t heard anything since the first announcement but I’d like to think we’d be hearing something very soon. In case you didn’t know, I’m a big fan of Animal Crossing and it’s been 5 years since we got a new main series game and I can not wait until it comes out. I already know it’s going to be amazing.

Also in September my friends and I went over to England to surprise Jasmine for her birthday. This was a really fun trip as it was a good time for all of us to spend together before we started university again. It was also the first time we’d ever organised a surprise and it was super fun. Though a bit stressful, especially when Jasmine almost saw Megan the day we arrived to surprise her but it all worked out and she was really surprised.

October was when I really started to get into university life again, classes started and things quickly settled back into a routine of student life. This year of university has been the busiest one I’ve ever had. We have so much more work to do this year than we did in previous ones so it’s been hard to adjust to the workload.

That being said, I still had a lot of fun things to do to take my mind off of university, and by that, I mean I went to 4 drag shows and a metal concert haha. They announced these drag shows over summer so I bought tickets at the time not knowing how busy I would be university wise, but I made it work.

The concert I went to was Okilly Dokilly, I had heard of the band through the internet and I couldn’t believe they were coming to Belfast. My boyfriend and I went to see what it would be like because you never really know what to expect when you go to see a heavy metal band that is all about Ned Flanders. But they were actually really good and I enjoyed it. I wouldn’t say I am their biggest fan by any means, but they do put on a good show.

November was mostly spent working hard at university, I didn’t have any drag queen shows to go to that month and so things were definitely a lot less busy than they had been the previous month. However, I did take some time out in November to play some Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee.

And finally, December was a pretty chill month. I started it off by going to Christmas Queens, which was the first drag queen show I ever went to by myself. It’s so weird to think that was a year ago, especially when I’ve been to plenty of shows this past year by myself now. I’m really glad I decided to start going on my own though, because it’s true what they say, if you wait around for other people to do things with you, then you’ll probably never do them.

Aside from that, I spent the first half of December working hard to finish the university semester on a high. And then have been spending Christmas break having a long and much-needed break.

Which brings us to now! The end of the year. Well actually, into the new year as I’m writing this. Overall 2018 was a very busy year, whether that’s because I was keeping myself busy or because I’ve had obligations. But it’s been a great year, I’ve said this many times already but I think my main plans for this new year are to continue to work to get my degree, enjoy Animal Crossing when it comes out and we will see where we go from there.

Happy New Year everyone! I hope this year is a good one for everyone!

~ Courtney x

Back to Uni!

It’s that time of year again.

I have officially started my final year of university and I can already tell it’s going to be a busy one.

It’s only been a couple of weeks but I already feel like I am so behind on notes and extra reading, not to mention looming deadlines for assignments and starting my final year project.

It’s very intimidating.

As with the past years when starting uni, I guess it’s about taking it one day at a time. But also, working on your time management right out of the gate.

I always seem to struggle a little bit with time management during the year, mainly because when it comes to making plans and having a social life, these things always seem to happen last minute. Which means that studying sometimes takes a backseat so I can see my friends.

It’s not the end of the world to take a break from studying to see your friends but it’s making sure that you still keep up with the workload even when you slack off a little.

Again, something I am still working on but I think I’ll get the hang of it.

Sometimes it’s about sacrifice, and I can already see myself sacrificing a lot of things to make sure I do my best this year at university.

But it’s not all bad.

I get to spend time with my uni friends again which is nice after not seeing them for a year while we were out on placement. We aren’t the best at keeping in touch but I hope we do after we graduate.

I’m kept busy. Which I enjoy. Even though I complain about the work, it’s not the worst thing in the world. I like to be kept busy and have things to do instead of sitting around all day feeling useless.

I’ve started demonstrating which is something I’m enjoying because it helps me learn and also means I am helping others.

And obviously, the main thing is that I’m getting closer and closer to graduating. Which means that all the hard work will be worth it in the end to get the degree.

So while this year will be hard and stressful, I’m trying to remain optimistic about it. I know I’ll make it out the other side. It’ll just take a long time and commitment. But I’ve made it 3/4s of the way through so I’m sure I can tackle this last 1/4.

I just hope I can keep up blogging, YouTube and other hobbies in between!

~ Courtney x

A Year as a Software Engineer Placement

After a long 11 months, I have finally come to the end of my software engineering placement.

It’s crazy to think that this time last year I was preparing myself to start this placement. I was super nervous about it because it was going to be my first full-time job. It was also going to be the first time I was doing a job that was related to my university degree and I was worried that I was going to mess it up in some way or another.

We all hear those stories of people working in software who have been able to bring down important servers/websites/services. I was worried I was going to be one of them.

Luckily, nothing like that happened.

But it was still a concern, I was also worried that I was going to have no idea how to do any of the work that was expected of me. I had only been programming for two years, and I wasn’t sure that was enough.

So I was definitely feeling the pressure before I even walked into the place. But I suppose the hard part was already done, I had applied to a lot of places and been to a few interviews, and then I was lucky enough to be offered a placement at one of them.

Next thing I knew, I was picking out something to wear on the first day and making my way to the office.

The first few days were about learning things, health and safety talks and lots and lots of training. Not the most exciting but things that had to be done. Getting all of the training done early meant that you didn’t have to scramble to get it done before the deadlines.

After that, it was just a matter of waiting to be assigned tasks.

Thankfully the tasks I was given were not completely out of my range, I thought that the first time I was given work to do on a program I wouldn’t even be able to read it never mind understand what was going on. But none of the code that I looked at looked too different from what I was used to seeing before, it was just doing different things.

Of course, there was still a lot I had to learn while working too, things I hadn’t encountered in university or hadn’t been taught. Luckily everyone on my team was nice and was able to help me. So I didn’t feel helpless or that I couldn’t do my job. And of course, if all else failed there was Google.

For the most part, I did enjoy the work that I did, and it gave me more confidence in my abilities as a programmer. And allowed me to learn a lot about the industry as well.

I was also happy to work with a team of people that were passionate about what they were doing. The only other teamwork I had done was at university and it was always hit or miss with teammates. But it really makes a difference to your productivity when everyone else is passionate about the work and wants to see the projects you’re working on succeeding.

When I think about my team, I think I was placed in the right one for me. Everyone on the team was kind of quiet and very focused on the work that they did and I felt I fit right in. It took a while for me to really be able to talk to everyone and learn more about them but once I did I thought it was great.

At first, I thought it was a bit weird to be surrounded by so many people who were at least ten years older than me but it wasn’t at all. The fact that they respected me and treated me as an equal was great, they didn’t dismiss my ideas or opinions because of how old I was and that is something I really appreciated.

We didn’t really have any team outings or social events until towards the end of my placement, which is something I do wish we had done more because when we did all go out we had a good time. It would have been nice to spend more time outside of work as it gives you a chance to get to know people more personally. But aside from that I really enjoyed working with them and couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to help me while I was there.

The only other people that I really interacted with outside of my team were the other placement students. I was grateful that when I started working I wasn’t going to be the only one who was starting out, not having a clue what to do. We were quite a big group and it was nice to be able to meet up with them to talk about work and other things.

When we first started work, we all ate lunch together in the canteen. There was a long bench that we filled and it was comforting to not have to worry about where to sit at lunch and things like that.

After a while, we did sort of split into two different groups at lunch who did our own thing but that was to be expected. I enjoyed the company of people who were the same age as me, as we could relate to each other a lot more and were able to talk about the work we were doing and compare experiences as everyone was on a different team.

Towards the end of the year, it felt really weird to say goodbye to other placements. It kind of felt like saying goodbye to people when we were leaving secondary school. We’re all going to go our different directions but there is a chance we might come across each other again. So it wasn’t really a permanent goodbye.

Another thing I was involved in during my placement year was People Strategy. It was a group of people that met on a regular basis to organise seasonal events inside and outside of work, as well as organise things like town halls.

It was really nice to be involved in something aside from my main work, I liked organising things that got people away from their computers every once in a while.

Towards the end of the year, I put together a Mario Kart tournament on the Nintendo Switch and it was a huge success and really fun. We also did things like bake sales and floor lunches. It gave us a chance to interact with people we normally wouldn’t. Which meant we got to speak to people outside of our teams, and I think that’s great because the company is more than just your small team that sits at one end of the floor.

Overall I really enjoyed my placement. I think that I learnt a lot and am more prepared for the working environment when I graduate from university.

Will I go back to work in the place that I did my placement? I don’t know yet. I think I want to see what else is out there for me. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t come back in the future.

But for now, it’s back to university for my final year. It’s going to be tough and it’s going to be stressful but I think placement has also helped me with dealing with stressful situations, so I should be okay. It’ll definitely be weird going back to university though, I feel like you don’t have the same kind of routine there as you would with a 9 to 5 job but at least you get to sleep in.

I would highly recommend getting a placement if you can while you are studying your degree. It gives you experience in the working world and helps you figure out if this is something you can really do. I also think it really helps with your confidence in your field of study and is a nice change of pace from studying.

~ Courtney x

15 Things I did in April

Well…This month I really struggled to get 30 things. Mainly because I really didn’t do much over April. It was a lot of me sitting in my room coding or watching something or sleeping or playing Another Brick in the Mall. I mean I try to update these posts as the month goes along so I can keep track of things I did but definitely not a lot of things going on. But yeah, I’m proud I was able to get at least half a list of things I did in April, so without rambling anymore, here is a list of things I did in April:

  1. Watched 13 Reasons Why. I normally don’t jump on things as soon as they are released and while everyone is talking about them but I wanted to watch this because I read the book it was based on. It broke my heart. It was really good and had a great message but I only recommend if you are in a strong state of mind because it is a really heavy show.
  2. Bought the Sims 4 Bowling Stuff pack and didn’t use it. I bought it to check out over Easter but got sucked into playing Another Brick in the Mall instead…
  3. Bought and started to play Another Brick in the Mall. I decided to buy it after watching Conflict Nerd’s Let’s Play on it and I’m obsessed. I could let it run and watch the little people running around all day.
  4. Was off for Easter for 3 weeks and it was wonderful to catch up on all the sleep.
  5. Went on a road trip with my friends to the coast for the day. Was successful as we did not get lost but at the same time it wasn’t a very nice day but at least the rain stayed away.
  6. Prepared to say goodbye to Pretty Little Liars as the second half of the final season premiered. I have dedicated a lot of time to this show and I will be sad to see it end. At the same time, I am dying to find out who A.D is.
  7. Bought a new colouring book and fell in love. I found it very relaxing. Until I coloured a tiny bit outside the lines…
  8. Went to the amusements with my family and won a lot of tickets. Too bad I couldn’t find any prizes that I wanted. But I have the tickets for another day.
  9. Regretted not getting tickets for Vidcon Europe. It looked like a blast…maybe next year!
  10. Spent a lot of time staring at code trying to get my uni assignment finished. You think it would be easy to make your own mobile application but it’s really not haha. I don’t know how people do it for a living.
  11. Watched Girl Boss on Netflix. Not my favourite thing. Took a while to get into because the main character was not my favourite. Felt like the story was missing a lot.
  12. Was a little bit disappointed by the Snatch Game on this season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. It felt shorter or maybe the characters weren’t as strong as previous years which is sad. But there’s always next season!
  13. Started watching Gossip Girl yet again. It’s become one of those shows I stick on TV when I don’t know what to watch. It’s something fun and good to tune into when you want some scandal in your life haha
  14. Attended a hackathon with my boyfriend. It was my second hackathon and we actually ended up joining up with a team sitting next to us with a similar idea. It all turned out for the best though because we came second!
  15. I won an Amazon Echo at the hackathon in the raffle. It was totally unexpected. I usually never win things like that.
And there you go. That was my April. Even though I didn’t have as many things as I usually do on the list I do think this month I was the most busy. I had a project deadline looming so I spent a lot of time coding but I also made time to see my friends while they were home from uni and on top of all that I attended a hackathon. Not too shabby if I do say so myself haha.
May brings us into exam season so I can’t imagine I will be up to anything exciting there other than you know, revising haha. But I guess we see what happens. I do have to take study breaks after all….
Anyway I hope you enjoyed reading, and as always, I will see you next month to share my adventures in May!
~ Courtney x

31 Things I Did In March

Another exciting month of things. It’s crazy how fast time passes. I feel like this month had a lot going on. 🙂

  1. Made pancakes from scratch for the first time in my life. It went okay. Made them a few more times after that and am slowly getting better. I’ll be a domestic goddess in no time lol.
  2. Updated my dream suite on Animal Crossing: New Leaf for the first time in forever. When I updated my game for the amiibo update my dream address got removed. Had to create a new one and I wanted my town to look great. Come visit!
  3. Became obsessed with the Hillywood Show’s parody of Suicide Squad. I love all their parodies they are so amazing. I discovered them through their Twilight parodies. I definitely recommend you check them out.
  4. Caught a Pikachu with a party hat on Pokemon Go. I love when they have themed Pikachus. They’re really cute.
  5. Cried at the Vampire Diaries finale. Hard. The show ending was something I was just not prepared for. It was everything I wanted it to be and more. I am still really sad that it’s over but I am also really glad the ending was good. If the ending wasn’t good then I feel like the last 8 years would have been wasted.
  6. Got tickets to see Steps in November with my sisters. I used to love them when I was younger. Who didn’t love them?
  7. Had a week off from uni and spent a majority of it playing Sims and Animal Crossing. My two true loves. It was great.
  8. Talked to an old Animal Crossing friend for the first time in a long time. We’ve known each other about 3 years. So weird. But also really great.
  9. Caught up with my friend to talk about her ENGAGEMENT. I still feel too young for such a thing to happen but yes, that’s happening. I am so happy for my friend, the wedding won’t be for a few years yet there’s still no time like the present to get excited!
  10. Was surprised by my boyfriend as he came over to surprise me. It was just something simple as showing up at my house because I hadn’t seen him in a while. It was a great surprise. We cuddled and watched TV and it was wonderful.
  11. Rewatched my KCon videos for the 100th time. Sometimes I get sad or bored and I like to remember that time. It was such a fun time with one of my best friends. I hope we can go again.
  12. Cried at Nashville because they know how to pull at the heart strings. Rayna passing away was so emotional but the way the show has been handling it has been great. Though part of me will always wish it hadn’t happened.
  13. Got excited that McDonald’s Monopoly is back again. I have never won anything super fantastic from it but I still have fun. Plus, who doesn’t love an excuse to go to McDonald’s more than normal lol?
  14. Made chocolate Rice Krispie buns on a whim with my boyfriend. My flatmates were appreciative of the treats. 😛
  15. Started watching Project Runway, I like it. I love fashion things and I know RuPaul’s Drag Race was partly inspired by this show so I decided to give it a go. They only have two seasons on Netflix and I’ve watched them already so looking for something else to watch now.
  16. Was outraged when Mondo didn’t win Season 8 of Project Runway. Can you believe they chose Gretchen?
  17. Started to struggle with Korean. It’s a busy semester, I have a lot of uni work to be doing so I don’t focus on Korean as much because I am not being graded on it. Definitely a step up from level 1. Don’t know how well I will hold up as weeks go on but I am remaining hopeful.
  18. Went to see Beauty and the Beast. It was a really great movie, I enjoyed it. Although I felt like Emma Watson was lacking something as Belle.
  19. Studied a lot of one test. It was not the most fun thing in the world but I feel it took up a majority of my time this month, so there was that.
  20. Spent St Patrick’s Day sober, spent time playing Animal Crossing and Sims instead – the story of my life haha. Still a really great day though.
  21. Spent the afternoon with The Sim Supply and Conflict Nerd at their impromptu Belfast Meetup. They are really nice guys. And they are the first YouTubers I have ever met so that’s cool.
  22. Finished my first ever essay for uni. As a computing student we don’t tend to write essays, we write code. So to say it was a challenge was something else.
  23. Filmed a video to go along with my essay. It was a group thing and I have never filmed something with other people in the room so it was kind of awkward but I made it through and we made a complete video so, that’s an accomplishment.
  24. Went shopping and actually got some cute dresses for work placement. You can never have too many dresses.
  25. Enjoyed the little bit of sunny weather we had and went to play mini golf with my boyfriend. He likes to say he won but I think I did. We don’t tend to keep score so who really knows…
  26. Freaked out about who the returning drag queen would be on RuPaul’s Drag Race. My heart will always hope for Shangela to come back. But I did love Cynthia, so it’s good to see her again!
  27. Built my own house on the Sims 4 because why not? I feel like everyone tries to make their own house at least one time playing the game.
  28. Watched iJustine compete on Chopped. I discovered Chopped when flicking through channels one day, I got really into it even though cooking competitions aren’t really my thing haha. But when I found out Justine was going to be on it I was super excited. It’s sad she didn’t make it past the appetiser round but I believe she will go one to cook some great things.
  29. Decided to cancel my Glossybox subscription because I wasn’t really using the products. It had been a great treat over the past year but sometimes you can have too many beauty products and it seems like a waste. Especially when you aren’t using them.
  30. Had a weird time adjusting to the clocks going forward. I was just playing my DS, looked at the clock on my wall that said 2, but my phone said 3, I was super confused for a minute lol.
  31. Rewatched all of DaveDays old music videos about his Miley Cyrus cardboard cut out. These were some of the first videos I ever watched on YouTube and I loved them a lot. And DaveDays even got to meet Miley Cyrus because of the videos. So great.
There we have it. 31 Things I did in March. In case you haven’t noticed, sometimes I do have random little things in these lists so I actually get 31 things. I try to always keep note of the big things, but I know big eventful things don’t always happen. And if they did, they wouldn’t be a big event would they?
Anyway, that’s it for another month. We still have 9 months to go. So crazy.
But on the bright side, only a month or two left of university and then summer break, and then my venture into the real working world. Ooh. Scary yet exciting times ahead! I’m excited to share the journey with you.
~ Courtney x

2015!

Well guys, it’s the end of another year. And that means it’s time for a reflective blog post.
I used to make these blog posts all the time back when I had Bebo. I used to blog about all the big things that happened that year and talk about what I hoped for the next year. I actually think it’s a really good thing to do because I like looking back and seeing how far I’ve come.
This year in particular has been insane. So much has happened and I have no idea where to start with it.
I think I’m going to start chronologically and work my way from there because it seems like it makes the most sense.
So according to my Twitter, 2015 started off quite boring. I was pretty lazy. Which tends to happen when you are off school for Christmas. And even though you have a ton of work to do that’s due for when you go back, you always leave it to the last minute. Luckily the work didn’t seem to weigh me down too much as I still had time to tweet about it.

On top of trying to get through my a levels, I was also very distracted fandom-wise. Four words. Fifty Shades of Grey. For the first two months of the year I was busy trying to get as much information about the movie as possible. And I was freaking out at every glimpse of Jamie Dornan in a grey suit.
Unfortunately the movie was not all that I had hoped it would be. Yet I still enjoyed it for what it was. And I am still excited for the sequels, even though we will be waiting until 2017 to see Mr Grey again.

The start of 2015 is also when I started this blog! I have had many a blog in my life and I decided that this would be the one that I stuck with, for better or for worse. This would be the one I stuck with. I have taken many different directions with blogs before but I feel good about this one.
The only other blogs that I have had for more than a year are my Tumblr blogs, and while they are great I wanted a more serious blog to post to. One that I could look back on and read like a journal. And so this fabulous blog was born. Here’s hoping we make it through another year here and I don’t randomly change my mind and start a new one. *Fingers crossed*

2015 also saw the start of my love for Tanner Patrick. His cover of Love Me Like You Do was a related video on my YouTube and I clicked on it on a whim. Best decision I ever made. Since then I have been loving Tanner’s music and have been an active part of his fandom since around March maybe the end of February. He’s a talented musician and I would definitely recommend that everyone check him out.

In April, I was introduced to the show RuPaul’s Drag Race and that opened me up to the world of drag queens. I have to say that I love it. I find it so fascinating and I enjoy the show a lot. Everything about it is just fabulous. From the drag queens themselves, to their amazing costumes, to the challenges, to the shady drama. It’s all very entertaining and so much fun to watch. I also think it’s interesting to learn about drag culture and how much people give up to do something that they love like drag. It’s an amazing commitment, and I commend anyone who does it because it’s amazing.
After that, school was stressful as we headed towards exam time and the end of an era. Officially leaving secondary school was a huge accomplishment this year. I didn’t think I would make it haha. It’s crazy to think I left school seven months ago. I don’t even feel as if I really left. It just felt like the natural next step which was good.
If I had to say anything about my time at school I would say it was good. I know that it wasn’t always that great. There were always stressful times and you didn’t always get along with everybody in your class but overall I had a good school experience. I worked hard, got the grades I needed and made some amazing friends I know I’ll have for life. And some really great memories but also some not so great ones. Like I said, it wasn’t perfect but I had a good time there.

Once exams were over and I hung up uniform for good summer had officially started.
Over summer, I decided to put my focus on YouTube and begin posting videos on a regular basis. I aimed to post five videos a week, one for every weekday. It was a challenge, but I did enjoy posting regular content to my channel. I felt like I was being productive with my time rather than just sitting around playing Animal Crossing.

During the summer I also started watching two new TV shows, Orange is the New Black and Young and Hungry. Both really enjoyable shows. Both completely different. I’m really excited to see where they go with the new seasons.
Another big event that happened in June was that marriage equality was brought to the US as gay marriage was legalised in all fifty states. That was a really big step for the world and I couldn’t be happier about it.

June was also the month where I turned 18. However, I don’t feel any different than I did when I was any other age haha. Are we supposed to feel really different when we hit a big milestone age? I never have. I just feel the same, it’s just that now I say I’m 18 when people ask me my age hahaha.

I also went on holiday with my friends in the summer. We rented a house for the week in Portrush and it was a lot of fun. I did manage to vlog a little bit when I was there and I got to spend some quality time with all of my friends before we went to university. It was very memorable and I’m sure we will be planning many more group holidays in the future.

The rest of the summer was spent playing Sims or working on YouTube. I still made the occasional plans with friends to keep in touch too. All of this was just a distraction from the approach of results day.
Results day was pretty nerve wracking. It’s the moment when you find out if you are going to university or not. I tried to remain pretty calm about the whole thing but there was a tiny part of me that was worried that I didn’t do as well as I thought I did.

Luckily I didn’t have to worry much because I was able to get the results I needed to go to university.
That’s when the real nerves started to kick in.
I was about to start the next chapter in my life. I was going to be in a new place with new people…I didn’t even know if I would like my course.
Something else I knew that would really suck would be my friends leaving to go to university. I had went from spending everyday with them to never seeing them. It was an adjustment to say the least.
I was so happy that my transition from school to university was pretty smooth. Like I said, it felt like the next natural step for my life to go in. And I am so grateful for that. I know a lot of people that go to university because they were told to rather than that they wanted to and it doesn’t always end up going so well. So if you are thinking about further education then it has to be your choice, someone else shouldn’t be making the decision for you.

So for the past few months my life has been all about getting used to university and trying to make sure that I balance everything in my life again. Since starting university, my everyday life has changed dramatically and so I need to establish a new routine.
I have really enjoyed everything that university has been able to offer me so far. I have made some new friends, while still being able to keep in touch with my old ones. I find my course interesting and I am enjoying what I am learning. And I have been enjoying university nightlife.

Also during this time I was also trying to keep up with my TV shows. Most of them return after summer break in the autumn and so I always had to make time for them. In particular I have really been enjoying Nashville and The Vampire Diaries. I also decided to start watching Scream Queens this year as there is no more Glee to look forward to.
This year, my TV shows have really been on point. They have been so good lately that I really can’t get enough of them. And I haven’t even mentioned Pretty Little Liars in this post yet. Y’all know about how much I have been freaking out about Pretty Little Liars this year. It’s been insane.

The latest TV show that I have gotten hooked on is 90210. I started to watch it just before Christmas and am almost finished with season 2. I wasn’t sure what to think of it at the start but I have really gotten into it and am really enjoying it so I’m excited to see where that goes. I know the show is over now but I prefer to watch shows like that so I can binge-watch it all in one go. Waiting for new episodes of TV shows sucks.

And finally, the last big thing I can really think of that I have done this year is Vlogmas. If you don’t know what Vlogmas is, it is when YouTubers vlog for 24 days leading up to Christmas from the 1st of December to Christmas Eve. It’s actually not as easy as it looks to produce daily content like that. I was always staying up ridiculously late at night to make sure my vlogs were edited and uploaded for the appropriate times.
But I have to say it was definitely worth it. I really like vlogs because it’s just another way to capture memories and look back on them. So I felt really accomplished about that because I thought that I was going to get through the first few days of Vlogmas and then quit.

So overall, it has been a successful and productive year for me. It’s probably been one of the years in my life where I have experienced the most change. It hasn’t always been plain sailing though, like everyone I have my ups and downs, good days and bad days. But I would say that the good definitely outweighed the bad this year.
I am definitely looking forward to next year and all that it will bring. I have no expectations at all other than I just need to keep doing my best and see what happens. And of course I will keep you all filled in on anything big that happens.
So thank you so much for reading, I hope you all had a wonderful 2015 and that 2016 will be equally as wonderful. Or if your 2015 wasn’t so great that 2016 is your year and that it is so much better to you than last year. At the end of the day, I think the year is only as good as you can make it. Things might not always go your way but I think if you keep trying and don’t give up then life can be amazing.
Happy New Year guys! Make it count!

~ Courtney x

Student Life…So Far

Hey guys,
So today I thought I would give you an insight into my student life so far. I wouldn’t say it’s the most exciting thing in the world, but it’s definitely a huge change from school.
After the whirlwind that was Fresher’s Week, classes began and I had to develop a new routine for myself. Which I have to say, was harder than expected.
With university, the timetabling for classes can be very awkward. Especially for me. My timetable goes something like this:

Monday 9-6
Tuesday 11-6
Wednesday 9-11
Thursday 3-4
Friday 1-4

Doesn’t sound like the nicest timetable in the world does it? One thing I will say though is that even though I am in all day on Monday and Tuesday, I am not constantly in class. I get breaks!
Even though my timetable sounds horrible it’s not as bad as it seems. I mean over the past month I have been adjusting quite well and have established some sort of routine for myself.
Mainly for me, if I’m not in class I am in the Student’s Union. If you don’t know what that is, it is a place with shops and areas for students and extracurricular clubs to meet. It is also a source of information for student’s and holds events from time to time. I spend a lot of time there because I don’t live on campus and can’t go home between classes. But the Student’s Union has quickly become a second home. I know some people prefer to go to the library between classes to work but for me, I can’t work in that silence. And the Student’s Union has just the right level of noise that is enough you can still work there.
Other than that, I do spend a lot of time in classes. Which was to be expected for my course. I knew going into it that I was going to have to work hard and so far I have. Overall the course hasn’t been so bad. I find the pace easy enough to keep up with and I haven’t been having too many difficulties.
I have had a few problems with programming (which if you follow me on Twitter, you know all about) but I have been working on it a lot and I understand things better now. Considering I have never coded before in my life, I think I’m doing well. Which is a great because I wouldn’t want to be failing out of uni in the first year.
We are also learning about databases right now and since I studied that at a level it’s nothing to worry about. We are also doing another module which is also new to me but is easy to understand.
As for homework…I don’t get any.
I know, it sounds great, but we always have work to do even if it’s not set homework. If, like me, you have never programmed before it is best to practice programming at home and do the recommended reading. Otherwise, it can be hard to keep up with class. So I always have something to do even when it seems like I have nothing to do.
 Even though we don’t have set homework, we do have assessments. These are things that count towards are final grades so we have to work for those. But like I said, so far everything is fine. No major problems so far.
Moving away from school and talking about the other half of student life….socializing!
If you guys read my Fresher’s Week blog post then you know I met a lot of new people on the first week of university and luckily for me, I have made friends with them. I am so glad that we had to do team building on the first day because otherwise I would find it so hard to talk to people. Especially because I am staying at home for university, I don’t have the advantage of meeting new people in university accommodation.
So I now have a small group of people in my lectures that I know and we all sit in our little area in the lecture hall which is fab. It also means that I have friends that understand the ups and downs of my course and that I can talk to about it. Which I appreciate because my other friends don’t understand anything I say about computing haha.
It is so great to be around new people. Especially when you have been going to school with the same people for seven years. It is also amazing to find new friends who have similar interests to you. One of the first people that I became friends with also loves RuPaul’s Drag Race and that’s when I knew we were going to be great friends.
It’s things like that that make me really happy.
As for going out and partying…I haven’t been out much since Fresher’s Week. I mean I am not one for going out a lot anyway but as a student it’s a rite of passage to go out and party. Which isn’t for everyone. But for the vast majority of student’s it is.
For me, I feel I am somewhere in the middle. I can appreciate a good night out, but I can also appreciate a night in a whole lot more. So I have enjoyed the occasional night out since Fresher’s and it’s been a well-needed break from class and coming home every night.
When I am not at university I do prefer to stay home rather than go out most of the time anyway. Mainly because after spending so much time at university I just want to sleep! Haha. One of the downsides to being a student is that sleep can sometimes be lacking. And I know it’s no one else’s fault but my own. Especially when I don’t live with noisy roommates and I’m in my quiet house haha. But oh well…you can’t be a student without sacrificing something.
On a whole, university so far has been amazing. At first I was a little bit unsure about the choice of studying Software Engineering in case I didn’t like it but honestly, I don’t regret it at all. We have been getting so many talks and emails about the opportunities that are available to us and it makes me super excited for the future. Which is something I thought I would never say.
So if I’ve learnt anything from being at university so far, it’s that you need to follow your passion. Because if you don’t you won’t enjoy it. You study what you want and it will motivate you to do the rest. It sounds really cheesy, but it’s true. If you make choices for you and not for others you will be happier. Because I don’t think I would be fine with studying anything else and I don’t think I’ve made a huge mistake either.
I’m content with how things are going and I’m just excited to see where they go next. 🙂 Thanks so much for reading, and I will keep you updated as the school year progresses.
~ Courtney x