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Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Life Update 2014


She's back! Finally after taking some time away from blogging for a few months whilst I worked towards my final university deadline I am back to blogging!
It's so good to be sitting behind my laptop and writing again after the rollercoaster of emotions I've endured whilst I've been away. I've been so busy that I've not had the time to really sit and take a breather up until now and I can't wait to catch you up on what has been going on recently.


After my last post I have been so busy with university work. It was my last ever project aka. "The FMP" (Final Major Project) which is the big one! And by far the most stressful and challenging project I think I have ever had to do. Not only has it taken every minute of my time in my lessons to do the work, it also required a lot of work outside of lessons too for researching, sketching, development work, basically all the back up work that is handed in alongside the final project. All of which takes so much time, effort, commitment and energy. Especially when juggling this alongside my job and family issues in the background. It has been mentally a struggle to say the least, but thankfully I've made it to the other side and got everything handed in on time. 

Although I'm not feeling very confident about my results. The reason being, which also was a big cause to my anxiety and stress the past few months was 3 weeks before my deadline was due (3 weeks!), after taking the advice of my tutor and playing at my strengths as she recommended, I was told by the same tutor that my work was not good enough to pass my degree and that I was a lost cause and she 'couldn't help me anymore' which all felt like a personal attack on me as well as an academic one. Especially as I have always been a good student during my time there, I've never once taken the piss and I was made to feel like I was some waster putting in the bare minimum when I had worked my arse off for months. At the time she said those words I kept my head held high as I'm a firm believer that people who are like that thrive off getting a negative reaction from you so I didn't rise to it, acted all cheerful and just carried on with my day. After the lesson, pretty much all the class came up to me throughout the day saying they'd overheard the 'bullshit' that went down and all agreed it was bang out of order. They asked me if I was ok and asked if there was anything they could do to help which was really sweet of them all.
I tried to keep a brave face until I got home. Then I just crumbled at the thought of all that time and work I put into the course and it could all be for nothing. Or worse, I'd fail and have to restart the year with the same awful tutor again, which I refused to let happen. I kept thinking not only would I be letting myself down but my family would be crushed. I'd never felt so down about my capabilities and it effected me to the point where I barely recognised myself anymore. 

From being young, I'd always been known among family and friends as the one who could draw and wanted to be an illustrator when I grew up. Naturally over the course of university it becomes very humbling to realise that your 'talent' that these people say you have, you are here with people who have the same talent as you and miles better than you which you acknowledge, support them and focus on staying in your own lane and developing your skills. Or at least that is what I did.
But (getting very deep in my feelings here!) my ability was always part of my identity as a person even from being very little and to be told weeks away from my deadline that no, in fact you are shit and will not achieve much made me feel so lost. The annoying part about it all was I'm one of those people who only values the opinions of those I hold close to me, so for this person to get in my head the way she had and have her opinion get to me had annoyed me even more. It might be because in this instance her opinion did matter because her grade of my work for this year would determine the overall outcome. So naturally, I was panicking.

What really got to me during all this was my Mam. Not only is she the most loveliest person ever but she has always been so supportive and encouraging of my artistic abilities my entire life and a huge part of me had felt like I had let her down when my tutor said those words to me. Telling her what happened was one of the hardest things I've had to admit to her and the fact she remained so understanding and supportive just shows how amazing she really is. She is a tutor herself and she was appalled at how things were handled. She said herself if she thought one of her own students was struggling, she'd be doing her best to make sure they got all the help they needed so that they could get the results they required, not just give up on them. This made me feel better knowing that I wasn't being unreasonable about how I was feeling.
She has been my rock my whole life but especially throughout these past few months. She picked me up when I was down, she helped dust myself off and encouraged me to carry on and prove my tutor wrong. If it wasn't for that expression of love, I would not have carried on with the work the same way and mentally I would have hit rock bottom. If she ever stumbles upon this post, I want to thank her from the bottom of my heart for everything <3

Another group of people who I am incredibly grateful for outside of all this drama, who have been so caring and supportive throughout all of this have been my boyfriend, my university friends and especially my friends from work and my managers. All have been so understanding during all this and everyone listed have blown me away by how much they were there for me. I know I'm one of the lucky ones and I'd never take that for granted. That support speaks volumes to me and I couldn't be more thankful <3

With the suggestions from my fellow classmates, I luckily spoke to my other tutor - the more reasonable one shall we say! Who told me that in fact I wasn't a lost cause but chose to actually help me (like a tutor should just fyi!) by offering advice and suggestions to further enhance my work. This gave me a small glimmer of hope and with that, I persevered. 
After working myself to the ground, enduring many late nights after work (and my first all-nighter of university) and from the support of those previously mentioned, I eventually pulled it out the bag and made the deadline! I can't exactly predict right now if my work will be good enough to pass my degree or not but I can confidently say I worked hard. I will be filing a formal complaint against the tutor once this is over. I had been advised (and debated) doing it before the deadline but knowing how petty my tutor is, she might mark my results lower/fail me out of spite which I didn't want to risk, so after I get my results (good or bad) I will be doing so. I don't think the university will do much about the issue if I'm being completely honest based on previous issues I've heard both about her and otherwise from previous students (not surprising she's been complained about before) but I know if I didn't at least try I'd regret it. In the beginning I knew what degree result I was aiming for but after all of this bullshit I'd be insanely happy to just pass the degree at this point. My ego partly does just want to prove that horrible tutor wrong and not have to endure her for another year, but the main reason I want to pass is not just for my own achievement but for my Mam, for all she has done for me. 

Alongside all of that chaos, my Granddad had to go into hospital a week before my deadline too. Even when sat in a hospital bed poorly he's always thinking of others. Encouraging me to keep going with my work and not to worry about him. Thankfully he is finally in better health now and after 3 weeks of being stuck in hospital he should be coming home very shortly. Due to the changes in his health, it will mean that there will be many changes to be made to make life at home more manageable for him. I honestly can't wait to have him back home with us, where he belongs.


Putting all that heavy stuff to one side and focusing on the positives. I had the opportunity to do some art-based work experience at a small local printing place called Impress Printing which is part of Bede College. I was allowed to visit for the day to do some work experience and use the facilities to work on my final university project. It was a really fun day, I enjoyed learning a new set of skills from using the mug press and heat press and the ladies who run it are lovely and very welcoming. It was great to see my designs printed onto physical products. 


Another fun activity I got up to was watching my friend Charlotte's Graduate Fashion Show. Unfortunately her parents were unable to go so myself and two of the girls took a road trip to Middlesborough where it was held to cheer her on. It was a fab night, all of the graduate designer's collections were gorgeous and completely different from the next which was really exciting seeing the variety of styles. The amount of time and effort each piece must take for the designers to make them is incredible. I found it so fascinating and so fun to watch the show. Well Done Charlotte! We're all so proud of you! <3

After the hand in for my final deadline was over, I felt free. Like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I felt I could breathe and be myself again. Throughout university, everyone told me that "Oooh it'll be scary in the real world you know, Kate!" or something to that extent. But honestly, I have felt the exact opposite. In fact this is possibly the most relaxed I have felt in a really long time. 
Partly the reason might be because I'm lucky I've worked in jobs since I was 16 and am coming out of university already having my current job throughout my time at university there waiting for me, so I'm fortunate I already have that to occupy my time. Compared to others I know who haven't worked at all anywhere and are coming out of university and now applying. I can imagine it being a daunting process for them. I know said job isn't in what I have studied for but I love working retail, I enjoy my job, I love the people I work with and I get plenty of hours, and now leaving university I can work more hours there. I've vowed to myself that going forward, I just want to do things that I enjoy and take a well deserved break from studying and anymore bs from this past year.

This is the first time in 3 years where I finally can do whatever I like and without the guilt! There has been so many times where I have wanted to blog or read a book or play on my Xbox or draw some Manga cartoons and there would be such guilt or that voice in my head telling me that "the time spent doing this, I could be doing more university work" that I wouldn't spend any time doing anything I usually enjoyed. Now I can finally do that and it is an amazing feeling!


And speaking of doing things I usually enjoy, after meeting my final deadline I decided to treat myself to a little something I've had my eye on for ages during university. Although the temptation to purchase this beforehand was so strong I restrained myself until now and rewarded myself for all my hard work. I bought myself the Nintendo 3DS Animal Crossing Edition console which includes the New Leaf game already installed on it!
I have LOVED this game series for soooo many years! I had the Game Cube version, I had the DS version and now I have the 3DS version and I have not put it down since I've had it! '#Obsessed' ;)
For those of you who play it, I have been working so damn hard to acquire all of the Mermaid Series, it is the cutest! I've even got my little gaming guide and made lists of all the things I want and the prices and stuff. Yes, I really am THAT into it ;) Again, it is an amazing feeling being able to sit and play on it for hours and hours on end without any guilt, Hooray!

Aside from all of the above, since finishing university I have been working so much more now due to having full availability, meaning I can spend more wages in Topshop, wahey! ;) I've been trying to get back some form of social life again by meeting up with friends who I haven't seen in ages, visiting my Granddad, spending time with family and my boyfriend. We went to see Bad Neighbours and Godzilla at the cinema. Bad Neighbours I thought was pretty average and relatively funny in places but Godzilla was fantastic! From the beginning it had me engrossed and I enjoyed every minute of it. 

To finish this post I have my Art and Design Final Degree Show coming up shortly which I'm looking forward to as I can't wait to see what my friend's final projects look like on display and friends off other courses. A few friends off my Foundation course have their Fine Art Degree Show the same day in the building close to where mine is so I'm looking forward to popping over there and having a look at those too. I'm not particularly fussed on seeing my own work on display, as sad as that is to admit after all those years of hard work but that's just how I feel at the moment. I just want to close this chapter of my life at university now and look forward to the next life chapter. To celebrate the end of university my friend's Mat and Lucy who I've mentioned before on the blog about their many awesome house parties will be having their final house party before they move back to York :'( Very sad times! I am going to miss them loads! Then in 2 weeks time I am heading off to Fethiye in Turkey for 2 weeks with my boyfriend for some sunshine and well deserved relaxation!

I know this post has become a dissertation in length so thank you if you have read this far haha! I hope to get back in to the blogging scene a bit more frequently now that I have more time to invest in it. I have a few ideas in mind that I hope to get cracking with soon, in the meantime take care of yourselves and I will speak to you all very soon! <3

Thanks for reading! <3
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