Dear 2019, from 2018, with love.

2018 has been and gone and there’s just a few hours separating us from a new year!

Time is a funny old thing, isn’t it? I feel like it moves faster as you age.

On the last day of the year, I usually find myself in a reflective mood. So, I thought I would share some lessons from the year I’m leaving behind me, with some thoughts to the year ahead. Maybe you can relate to a few of these too.

You’ve got a friend in me

Friendships are wonderful. I’m grateful for all my friends and hope we will all continue to make more memories in 2019. Maybe I’ll find more friendships in 2019, that would be nice too. Next year, I hope to be there for people as best as I can. It’s important to listen. You never know what might be happening in someone else’s life and it’s always important to think beyond yourself. Having said that, it’s also key to remember that friendship should be mutual. Effort is a two-way street. Being aware is helpful. This year I’ve lost friendships with people whom I thought I’d be friends with forever. I’ve learnt to accept that over time, people can outgrow each other and that’s okay. It’s probably for the best. And they do say everything happens for a reason.

The best friend in your life can come in the form of yourself. Sometimes it’s easy to underestimate yourself and forget your place in the world. You are your own best friend. You were there for yourself when others might not have been. Sure people can tell you to keep going or to do that thing you’ve been wanting to do. But ultimately, it’s you that decides whether or not you’re going to follow through. So take credit for that. Don’t underestimate yourself. Be there for yourself just like you would be for others.

Being thankful

Any year will have bad bits. Things that didn’t go to plan. Days where you felt like the world was a little too heavy. Taking the bad with the good is something I’m still learning to do. Life is full of contrasts. But the bad bits make you appreciate the good bits even more. It’s also important not to forget the bad bits. You wouldn’t be where you are without those. You’ve conquered them, in one way or another. Maybe you’re still conquering them, that’s still progress. And progress is good.

In a world that’s increasingly fast paced, we can often gloss over the wonderful bits of life. Whether this is being thankful for loved ones or thankful for the planet (our planet is impressive). This year I’ve tried to be more thankful. Simple things like looking up at a blue sky after days and days of cloudy ones have allowed me to stop and think, to just appreciate. I’ve even found that there can be beauty in the rain as well. This year I’ve tried to love the little things. I hope I can be more present next year and appreciate these things even more. Life can be hectic and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed in all its stresses. That’s why it’s nice to stop and remember: you exist. You’re here. Remembering that you exist is a beautiful thing. The universe is massive, but here you are. You’re part of it. Part of this grandiose place. I think that’s beautiful.

Don’t forget your place in 2019. It’ll still be there. It always is here.

Love

In a world full of hatred, that seems to be growing every day, there is still love. And that is important not to forget. Because when you forget this little (but significant) detail, things can look rather cloudy. It can cloud your judgement. Social media is everywhere these days and we can lose sight of simple things, like loving and being kind. They might be the simplest, but they are the most useful of all. You never know how it can help someone or how it can even help yourself. Be kind to others and be kind to yourself.

I hope 2019 brings us love in all forms, to me and to you reading this.

Learn

Learning has been a huge part of 2018. I’ve learnt a great deal about myself. Any year presents itself with endless opportunities to learn and improve. Hopefully, 2019 will allow for more learning. You can learn about life and most importantly, you can learn about yourself.

Final notes

I hope 2019 is a beautiful year for each and every single one of you beautiful people out there. Thank you for reading, if you are.

If I’m reading this in the future, hello future Chloe. Hope you’re okay. Hope you’re writing more!

With love and best wishes for the new year,

Chloe

 

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4 tips for making the most out of your university experience

University is an exciting time but it can also seem daunting. I know I was feeling a mixture of nerves and excitement when I first started. It’s completely normal to feel slightly anxious about it, but your time at university will give you some of the most memorable experiences of your life. It’s a time you’ll want to look back on when you’re older. Here are a few tips I’ve put together on how you can make the most of your university experience.

Get involved

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Whether it’s Freshers, joining in with societies or volunteering, there are plenty of activities outside of your studies that you can get involved with.

Freshers

Get involved with Freshers’ events during the first few weeks. They’re a great way to form friendships and find fellow course mates before you get fully stuck into your studies. There’s no doubt that you’ll probably create an array of memorable experiences during your first few weeks! Freshers events usually take many forms too – from club nights, fancy dress, bowling, discounted theatre trips and much more. Pay a visit to the Freshers’ Fair to find out more about what your university offers. There’s something for everyone. During my first week at university, I watched a film on a floating cinema on the canal. I thought that was pretty cool.

Societies

Join a society. If you have hobbies or sports you enjoy, you can still keep up with these at university. They’re one of the best ways to form friendships with people who have similar interests. You could even take up something you wouldn’t see yourself doing; you might surprise yourself and enjoy it. You can also start your own society if there isn’t one that takes your fancy – and this will look great on your CV too!

Volunteering

Volunteering is a great opportunity to meet new people, gain new experiences and give back to the local community.

The future

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Yes, the future. It’s something we all dread. It sounds scary and it might seem far off from now, but there is a future for you beyond university life. Don’t leave things to the last minute and use your years at university to build skills and experience outside of your studies. See your time at university as in investment in your future.

Internships and part-time work

Internships are a good way to start. You can gain experience in a sector you might be interested in. Doing this kind of work not only gives you transferable skills, but it could also help you find out what type of career you want to go into. You’ll find out what works for you and what doesn’t work for you.

If you’re thinking of interning while studying, it’s best to research and apply early. Having experience early on your career will make you more attractive to employers and means you’re more likely to stand out when you’re applying to jobs in the future.

Part-time work is another way of gaining experience and supporting yourself financially whilst you’re working towards a degree.

Careers advice

Use the careers service at your university – they can give you advice on your career path as well as help you with your CV and interview preparation.

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Take care of yourself

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University isn’t easy and it can sometimes take a toll on your mental health. If things are getting a bit too much, take some time out for yourself. Many students often face mental health difficulties because of a wide range of reasons. It’s not uncommon. If you’re struggling, it might help to talk to a friend or family member you trust. There are also plenty of services to support you like your university’s advice and counselling service, and you can talk to your personal tutor too.

Practice self-care whilst you’re at university as your health comes first – it’s important to maintain a balance between work and play, so try not to overwork yourself.

Have fun and have faith

As cliché as it may sound, don’t forget to have fun! University is supposed bring out some of the best times of your life. You’ll make amazing friends and take part in unforgettable experiences. It’ll be over in the blink of an eye so enjoy every second while you can.

Finally, in the words of Ms Elle Woods, you must always have faith in yourself.

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Have you got any tips for making the most out of university?

Share your thoughts and experiences with me in the comments below.

Love,

Chloe

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Useful links:

AbeBooks

Samaritans

Students Against Depression

 

A nice time in Nice, France

Hello friends.

A couple of weeks ago, my sister and I decided to book a last minute trip to Nice, France. We were there for about 6 days and we had the loveliest time, so I wanted to write about it.

During our time in France, we were based in Nice, in the South of France. We took several day trips from Nice which I’ll combine in another blog post for later. The main focus of this post will be sharing some of my favourite spots in the city.

One of the places that stood out to me in Nice was the Place Masséna, a historic square located about 10 minutes away from where we were staying. Each time we’d come back from the day’s adventures, we’d pass through here to get back to our hotel, and it was an absolute pleasure. The Galeries Lafayette are located in this part of the city, their outside painted in beautiful shades of pink (my favourite colour) and orange. The floor is tiled black and white, contrasting the pink and orange of the buildings. It is a wondrous sight, especially beneath blue skies.

Within the Place Masséna, we also found the Apollo statue, made from white marble, which stands tall over the fountain.  This was a favourite spot for both locals and tourists. It was nice to sit here and watch the city go by.

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Located next to this part of the city, is the Promenade du Paillon, one of Nice’s public gardens, with an array of palm trees, roses and other plants. In the middle, runs a massive lawn with fun water fountains that everyone loves to run through (no matter how old you are).

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A visit to Nice would not be complete without trips to the old town (Vielle Ville). The old town is filled with narrow cobbled streets and the buildings are pastel-coloured with people selling an array of items from textiles, perfumes, meat and cheese and it is a haven for restaurants (beware they can be a bit pricey here as it’s one of the main tourist areas).

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We ventured here on our first night in the city, where we ate our first meal too. I’d heard great reviews about a pizza placed called Pizza Pili on sites like TripAdvisor, so I thought I’d give it a go. It’s nestled in one of the side roads of the old town, that we almost missed it! We decided to order the ‘bayonnaise’ pizza (yes you guessed it, it has bacon) from the little window where one of the chefs was working. It was a delight and satisfied our hunger. How could something so simple taste so good? To top it off, it was only 7 euros for a whole pizza so it was a complete bargain (and it fed both of us)! It’s perfect if you’re on a budget. We sat at the little table by the shop and ate as the evening drew to a close. It was a nice way to spend the first night in Nice. Pizza is always a good idea.

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Now onto one of my favourite things when exploring a new place: markets. Anyone that knows me, knows I love a good flower market (flowers AND markets, what a dreamy combination?). So when I heard that Nice had one of the country’s special markets, I had to put it on our list of things to see. We visited it on our last day in the city and it was so busy, packed full of tourists. The smells and colours were all wonderful though. If you’re someone that loves your flowers, definitely put it on your list. Stallholders were also selling other products ranging from fruit and vegetables, lavender, cheese, and socca (a local delicacy).

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Other places in Nice we visited were the Matisse museum, which is located in Cimiez. If you love your museums, you can buy a ticket here that also gives you free entry to several other museums in the city for a 24 hour period. We also trekked up Colline du Chateau and got some amazing views of Nice from above (be aware of your surroundings if you visit this – it’s an area popular with tourists so pickpockets operate this area).

Finally, I’d like to talk about the seaside in Nice (Promenade des Anglais). It was beautiful. My favourite time by the seaside was on our last night, when I took a walk along the promenade to the port and back, whilst the sun was setting. The pink from the sunset and the blue from the skies blended together as the evening set in, leaving lovely pale pink tones over the seascape. I sat on the beach and watched a group of people play some instruments with the waves lulling back and forth in the background. It was probably one of my favourite sunsets I’ve ever experienced in my lifetime, and I felt extremely grateful. It was a perfect ending to a wonderful trip.

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Have you ever been to Nice or are you thinking of going? Share your thoughts with me below. I’d love to hear them.

Love, Chloe

 

Links:

Pizza Pili

Introductions

Hello blogging world!

My name’s Chloe. It’s nice to (virtually) meet you.

I’m a 22 year old geography graduate living in London who is interested in places, art, photography, words and travel.

This will be a space for me to share my adventures with you, from those abroad to explorations at home in London. I’ll also be sharing some photography, perhaps some writing, as well as thoughts and advice.

Writing has always been a passion of mine from ever since I can remember so I have decided to create a blog.  I have previously written a blog but things weren’t working out. So, I’ve decided to start afresh with a brand new site. It feels like now is the right time to do that. This new start also falls nicely in sync with the fact Spring has recently begun and as I’m currently writing this, it’s Easter Sunday. It makes sense in my mind.

Here’s to new beginnings.

Love, Chloe.

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