Life Post-Dissertation - My New Outlook

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Remember me? Vaguely know who I am? Yes that's right, I'm that blogger who has disappeared for months on end with only a few many moany tweets to speak for. As many of you already know, final year smacks you in the face with a mountain of work that you can't seem to escape from, pretty much since January I have been working solidly on my assignments as well as my dissertation. I know many people manage to blog alongside their final year work, but I'm not one of those amazing multi-taskers, especially if I don't have enough time to do everything properly. I wanted to give myself the best possible chance to get the grades I want, so that meant cutting anything out that could distract me or take up too much time that I could better use for my assignments. It also meant I left my job, I was only on a temporary contract which ended in January - but when they offered me an extension until March, I decided to decline due to the amount of work I needed to do within those months, and looking back I think I made the right decision. 

The past three months have been non-stop, as soon as one assignment was done it was time to move onto the next one; I'm not going to lie, it's been pretty intense and stressful. All day, every day has been spent on my laptop or in the library, with uni work on my mind from the moment I wake up until I go to sleep. But last Wednesday, I finally regained my freedom as it was dissertation hand-in day! I have never been so excited and relieved to hand some work in. I now only have two exams in May standing in the way of me *finally* finishing my course, I can finally see the end of the tunnel and it is such a good feeling! 

I feel that I have really neglected myself these past few months, having devoted every spare minute to doing my work - literally I looked and felt like Penny when she was addicted to her computer game. Now I think is the best time to pull myself together and organise my life now I have the time to do so. I thought I'd create a list of the things I wanted to do and achieve over the next few months that I have been putting on hold until I had more time. Hopefully writing this list will help me stick to it as well and help to motivate me! 

1. Be healthier - The main thing I have been neglecting whilst doing my uni work is my health, as eating is banned in the library it either meant stealthily eating a meal deal or not eating all day until I leave in the evening - resulting in me only eating one meal a day or eating a load of crap. This paired with my dramatically lower activity levels due to sitting on a computer all day has left me feeling run down, lethargic and generally really unhealthy.  I not only want to start eating healthier, but I also want to re-start running and become more active, maybe go to some fitness classes or start swimming? I just know I want to lose the weight I've put on and be healthier by the summer. Final year is seriously no good for your waistline.

2. Start applying for jobs - As I'm close to completing my course, I know this is the perfect time to start applying for some jobs and internships - and I now have the time to really focus on perfecting my applications. I really hope to find a job in digital marketing or E-commerce as this is where my experience already lies, although this is spread across many aspects like social media, content and campaign creation, website management and SEO. I hope to find something that will allow me to further my experience within these fields and most of all will be something I will really enjoy doing. I know I want to stay local to Manchester so I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that I can find something!

3. Learn to code - This has been something I have wanted to do for a while and as I want to venture into digital marketing or E-commerce, I think this would be a useful skill to have considering the nature of these fields. Codecademy offers a great range of free, interactive tutorials, but as some of these can take many hours to complete I didn't want to get into it whilst I was still doing various assignments. I think this would be a great first step to learn some more technical skills, especially as it's the sort of thing that isn't covered in university. A bonus is that I will be able to apply what I learn to improve my blog as well!

4. Blog more often - This is something I have always struggled with, I never got the hang of creating a blogging schedule so when life got in the way I had no saved posts to publish when I was busy. I'm going to try to to stick to more of a schedule, nothing too drastic to start with but I want to aim for three posts a week. I will try to write several posts at once that I can save, so when my exams start creeping up I don't have to worry that I am neglecting my blog again. 

5. Read more often - Reading has been one of my favourite things to do since I was little, when I'm on holiday I have to take a lot of books to keep me going for the whole trip! I want to widen my horizons and read more books - new genres, new authors, classic books and modern bestsellers. Reading always enriched my life when I was younger and I want it to continue doing so. There are so many books on my wishlist, I want to aim to read at least one new book a week. 

6. Improve my cooking skills - Although I am not too shabby in the kitchen (if I say so myself), I think there are only a limited number of meals I can cook well and I end up making the same things over and over. My grandma has brought me a number of cookbooks in the past year and I really want to learn how to cook all these amazing dishes from scratch that I have never attempted before. My dad trained as a chef and my grandma is always hosting soirees, so I want to be able to cook food-porn worthy dishes like them. 

7. Have more adventures - Although this is not limited to the near future, I want to visit so many places, take more risks and go on adventures! There are *so* many places on my bucket list, with China, the west coast of America, Italy, Singapore, Brazil, Morocco and Japan to name a few! Although it sounds like I want to go on a gap yah, I don't think travelling for months on end is my style, but most certainly I would like to spend a couple of weeks exploring a country every now and then. I also want to go skiing around the world, I've already been to Scotland, Austria and America, but I'd love to go to Switzerland, France and Bulgaria. I also want to attend more festivals, I'm already having my first experience of festival camping this summer (eek), but if I enjoy it I'd love to attend more in the UK as well as abroad in the future.

I feel that my experience from the past few months has now given me a new lease of life, to do what I want to do and actively enrich my life with a range of different activities and goals. I wanted to write this list to capitalise on my new-found motivation and to also ensure I don't follow the same path for my exam revision (although revising of course will be important) that I took for the past few months where I did literally nothing but uni work - as it just isn't healthy or sustainable. My aim from this is to organise my life better so that I have time to do everything I want to rather than cutting everything out apart from revision.

 I'm hoping it will lead to a more active and happy me :)

Amie xx

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