Whenever we visit my grandfather, there’s the potential he may be having an ‘off day’. If and when this is the case, my father may say to me, ‘I hope I’m in the ground before I ever get like that’. But what is ‘that’ exactly? For the most part, he means being diagnosed with dementia, which my paternal grandmother also suffered from for a number of years. Being unable to remember your friends, your family and even yourself the further along this disease grabs you can be totally distressing, both to experience and to witness, so I can understand his mentality.
I’m an idealist. When something goes wrong, I panic and think of the worst case scenario but I always try and see the positive. Sometimes however, so many shit things happen in quick succession that it dampens your outlook and makes you wonder if life really is as rubbish as some make it out to be. 2015 has really made me wonder.
After my first, and certainly entertaining, year studying English Literature and Spanish at the University of Birmingham (and inspired by a wonderful piece by Juliette Rowsell) I thought it might be best to impart some wisdom for apprehensive new students to take with them when they embark on their first year of undergraduate adventures this September.
My first year at university has been far busier (and far more bizarre) than I ever expected. At the start of the academic year, if you had told me I would be part of a record label and appearing on the radio, I would have laughed you out the door… so naturally the last few months have been somewhat different.
I don’t have to be the one to remind you that the world we live in nowadays is a digital one. Hell, you’re probably reading this on a phone screen or some other kind of tablet that’s yet to be invented. We were always told at school: ‘don’t talk to strangers’. It was practically drummed into us really, plastered all over walls, Powerpoint presentations and in campaign video after campaign video. However, I think our world has changed.
I love London a hell of a lot. Having not been there since December with my best friend, it was time to revisit one of my favourite places in the country. I ended up selling one of my tickets for Catfish and the Bottlemen at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, mainly due to lack of money (and lack of friends willing to travel to the capital with me). This meant that as I was desperate to see them live, I’d make the trip down by myself.