Managing money as a university student

Are you good at handling money? Do you know when to spend and when to just…. you know…. not spend? Since becoming a university I’ve had to learn how to handle my money more. I have a part-time job since I was about 16, so I started to pay my own phone contract, buy my own bits and pieces and save since then. But it didn’t compare to the financial independence that I experienced in uni. Obviously everyone is in a different position, some have their lifestyle paid for by their parents, some work extra jobs and run businesses to earn a bit of extra money, and some are just naturally better off because they have stacks of savings from the years leading up to uni. However, most uni students are on some form of budget. Here I’m going to give you a few tips of how you can make your money stretch throughout uni – take it or leave it.

LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS – You know what this means, right? Maybe at home you were accustomed to a certain lifestyle that you just can’t afford anymore on a student budget. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having less expensive things. Maybe the things that made you feel fancy or boujee in the past have to be replaced until you are no longer on the same kind of budget. I know this can be hard for some people, but easier and more convenient for others and either is okay. Change is okay.

PRIORITIES – My priorities go like so: rent, essential shopping, direct debits, everything else. Yours may be the same, or different. What you don’t want to do is blow a ton of cash on a great night out, a new pair of Air Forces or a fancy meal and then have absolutely nothing left for milk and bread the next day. That’s not to say don’t do and have these nice things, but just make sure money for the essential things is put to the side. Maybe this doesn’t bother you, maybe you don’t mind living of 30p for a week but if it does, I suggest you make some form of priority list.

STUDENT DISCOUNTS – You’ve heard of Student Beans, UNIDAYS, TOTUM right? – Use them like your life depends on it. Thank me later.

LEARN TO SAY NO – You might have F.O.M.O or maybe you have J.O.M.O. One thing that I have found to be important in university is to be okay with saying no thank you. Believe it or not, you don’t have to go to everything people invite you to, especially if you really don’t want to go. Personally for me, I have no issue with staying cosy in my room watching a film or staying up chatting with flatmates instead of going out and spending money that I don’t have. I do love to go out and socialise, do new fun things and meet new people, don’t get me wrong, but I’m also okay with not doing that all the time. If you have the funds and the want to do it, go ahead, but if you really don’t fancy something one day, no real friends will think bad of you for hanging back. Just make sure you’re prepared for some of the negative reactions you may get for saying no.

SAVE – This one might be tough for those who are on a realllyyyy tight budget. But even if it’s £5 a week, even if it’s £2.50 a week, it all adds up eventually.

BUDGET! BUDGET! BUDGET! – Whether you get one of those fancy finance books, an app or a scrap piece of paper, lay out your budget as often as your student loan, money from parents or wages come in. I tend to budget out my rent, direct debits for the month, and other essential expenses as soon as my money comes in. An d then I can see what I’m working with.

PART-TIME JOB – You may not want to have a part-time job, especially if you have a packed schedule from a demanding degree such as medicine, vet-med or engineering. However, for those with less demanding, more independent learning degrees a part-time job is a great way to earn a bit of extra cash. Try not to take on too many hours though and remember your studies come first.

Hope this helps!

Love Always,

Shadz xo

You’ve posted a black square…. now what?

Tuesday 2nd June saw thousands of Instagram users posting a black square. Thousands of people standing up for Black Lives Matter, refraining from posting personal pictures, videos and stories, hashtags reading “#blackouttuesday” and “#theshowmustbepaused”. If you didn’t have a feed filled with loads of black squares, I’m convinced you’re living under a rock!

Although this was a powerful gesture, it is still not enough. You can’t just post a black square and say “yep my jobs done”, because it’s not. The fight for black rights must go beyond a singular day of posting a black square and a few quotes on your story. It has to be something you live out every single day.

I am flooded with joy when I see the amount of people supporting the movement, big companies and businesses, churches, schools, individuals all coming together to fight for equality.

Don’t be a person who posts something to jump on the trend – this movement is not a tiktok dance challenge, it’s people’s lives. Don’t remain silent when it’s time for you to speak up.

Keep posting, keep spreading awareness, keep defending, keep moving forward!

Love Always,

Shadz xo

Late Night Shenanigans: Rated Cringe Worthy

I’m not entirely sure who this is aimed at or why I am writing it but here it goes. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

I’ve finally found a platform that I can share what I love doing with other people. A lot of people who have known me on a surface level in real life, such as peers and acquaintances, probably see me as the girl who gets decent enough grades and is friendly to people without actually knowing too much about me. There is so much more to me and my life than my grades and my people’s persona. I have a story – a short one – but still a story, I have a life outside of education contrary to popular belief (shock horror), experiences, both good and bad, my own opinion, beliefs – strong ones and I finally have a medium to share it on.

This may come as a shock to people who know me properly but I feel like I have spent my life living in the lie of the perception that I think others have of me. Let me break it down. Anything that anyone has said to me, whether good or bad has formed the way I perceive myself. It’s been that way from ever since I could remember. From primary school when I used to be called “goody-two shoes” to secondary school when I would be called “not black enough” to sixth form where I’d simply just be called “different to the rest”. Now, the goody-two shoes thing was true, mostly in year six when I suddenly became quite shy and introverted for reasons I honestly cannot remember. I definitely lost the goody-two shoes label over the years though, not that I’m complaining. The “not black enough” label has sort have stuck in my conscience but I’m old enough now to know it’s absolute nonsense. But during secondary school it consumed me. My post titled “melanin” explains a bit more what I mean by that – so definitely check it out! What matters now is I know that my race is my race and I will never let anyone, including myself define me based solely on the colour of my skin. I’ve learnt to be me, simply because I’m me. But it still gets me down sometimes. I don’t want to be confined to the racial stereotypes that modern society has created – I wasn’t made to be put into a box. At the same time I want to embrace my race, my roots, my heritage freely and encourage others to do the same. It’s something that I’m honestly still figuring out.

The whole “different from the rest” perception is the honest reason why I’m up writing so late. I have always known I was a bit different. Not in a cool edgy, American teen rebel movie sort of way, not even in being extremely good at something or creating something incredible. I was just different. I felt distant from most of my peers in every stage of school life. As if they were experiencing a different world to them, that’s how it felt like. I wasn’t heavily restricted from doing anything, my parents were protective but I had freedom, maybe more than a lot of my peers did. But I never felt like I was in the group, nor did I feel particularly left out, but rather on the circumference of the circle (#GCSE maths). I spoke to everyone, got along with mostly everyone. Don’t get me wrong, I had great friends, no one purposefully or intentionally did anything to me but I felt this way pretty much all the time. I wasn’t happy being me because I felt people would judge the real me. I felt so pressured to conform to a standard that no one even expected of me while they were simply busy just being themselves. I put myself on the outside, I discluded myself because of fear of not being loved no matter how many compliments people showered me with. And even if I felt I wasn’t loved by the crowds I often ignored and disregarded my first love, Jesus.

I put the views and opinions of others above God’s view of me. And that is without a doubt what kept me in that dark place. If I had dwelled on my identity in Christ than on my identity in the eyes of the world my teenage years would have been different. I’ve obviously finished beating myself up about it now, and I know I have been forgiven for that 100 times over but sometimes I do look back and think what if. What if I spent my time resting in his presence than I did resting in other people’s satisfaction. What if I listened to His voice rather than the world’s voice. What if I spent my time in worship rather than drowning in sorrow. But then I remember, if it wasn’t for my mistake, I couldn’t be sitting here right now, writing this for you guys to read. I know everything I write and say won’t be relatable to everyone. After all, this is my story, not a projection of the whole world’s story. You may not believe what I believe or you may not be passionate about what I’m passionate about. But if I could ease the stress off of one area of one person’s life then I would write this blog one thousand times over (do you get the reason for my title yet?). You have to forgive me though, ahaha, it’s 3:38am on a Saturday and I am quite possibly in need of my bed right about now. So I’m going to wrap this up here with this:

I think I’m finally fine with being a bit different 🙂

Sweet Dreams and Love Always,

Shadz xo

What am I planning to do next?

Hey guys, bit of a quick one today. I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can expand my platform to reach and reflect more people. Not only this but I do a lot more than writing and it’s quite difficult to cover everything I do simply through my writing.

Expect to see:

IGTV videos on my Instagram (I’ll publish them on here too)

Recipes (I love to cook)

And….. Music covers of my favourite songs – this one might take a bit longer. I’m currently re-learning the guitar and would love to show you all what I’ve been up too.

Hope you’re all doing okay.

Love Always,

Shadz xo

The Greatest Day in History

“Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.”
Matthew 28:5‭-‬6

Happy Easter you lovely people!!! Resurrection Sunday is the most important day in the Christian calendar. This is the day that we celebrate the resurrection of our saviour Jesus Christ. I am eternally grateful for what Jesus did for me on the cross – he defeated sin and rose up up from the grave so that I can live in freedom. Tens of thousands of Christians across the UK and millions of Christians around the world use this day to remember what Jesus has done for them, not only in their personal lives but for the whole entire world!

I will never be ashamed of the gospel and I will never be ashamed to declare my faith both here, on my blog, and in my daily life. My blog, of course is not merely faith based posts, I post a bit of everything, from education to relationships to lifestyle but my faith is very central in my life and I would believe I would be hiding a huge, crucial part of myself if I did not share it.

Whatever you’re doing today or however you’re choosing to celebrate this bank holiday weekend I hope you are all keeping safe and staying happy – even in quarantine!

Love Always,

Shadz xo

A New Found Fitness?!?!

During university, I put on a load of weight. Beforehand I wasn’t necessarily a gym fanatic but I certainly did a lot more than I did once I begun my new chapter at uni. It got to the point that I hate looking at the group pictures I took on my 19th birthday. My diet changed, obviously cooking for myself and only myself I naturally ate more and without having anyone to stop me I ordered a lot more takeaways.

This affected me a lot because I have always been an active person. I danced for many years both at school and at an academy. From the age of 8 until about 14, I participated in both football and athletics competing at a borough level on school teams. I took GCSE PE in year 9 and completed it in year 10 so that was two years of intense gym and various training in various sports. Even after that was over I continued dancing until year 13. I was always quite healthy and I never really had body confidence issues regarding my weight.

After seeing the pictures on my birthday I was absolutely horrified but still didn’t feel motivated enough to anything about it. I wasn’t incredibly or overtly massive but because of how fit and active I was used to being, it was hard to look at myself and not be happy with what I saw. I spent weeks being upset about it, comparing myself to all the beautiful people around me and even shutting off opportunities of talking to people and going to social events at university because it begun to affect me mentally. One day, before I came home I decided it was time to change and I started working out in my room a couple times a week.

Coming home from university has been a blessing in disguise. I’ve established a workout routine using videos from YouTube and go on runs (only once a day maximum and maintaining social distancing) on some days. Check out Rebecca Louise’s fitness videos btw! I’m eating healthier, drinking lots of water and I’m beginning to feel stronger and a lot happier mentally.

Some people want to gain weight, and some want to lose it. Some people are bigger than me and are happy and some are smaller than me and are happy. What’s important is that you’re healthy and that you are confident in your body and how you look and more importantly how you feel. It’s a journey for me. I love working out now. I love the sensation in my muscles the next day. I love seeing the progress! You’re all beautiful the way you are but sometimes a few lifestyle changes can have you feeling that little bit more amazing!

Love Always,

Shadz xo

When the start stops

In the midst of a pandemic I’m going to write. The last two weeks have been hectic. My first year of university finishing prematurely, coming back home two weeks before easter, online studying and to top it all off, being on lockdown for at least three weeks.

I’m not going to tell you the logistics of the virus or the main points of Boris Johnson’s new orders to the public because I’m sure you’ve heard all of this. I’m not even going to tell you to stop stock piling! But what I am going to tell you is what you can do in this time of a worldwide crisis.

We’re indoors. For a long time. There’s so much you can’t do, but there’s so much you can do. For writers like me, we have no excuse not to write – I’ve been putting off blogging for two weeks because of deadlines and the changes to life because of the virus. But I can’t let these circumstances become excuses for not fulfilling what I want to fulfill. Use this time to read more, make a life plan, learn something, watch something inspiring. Although this isn’t an ideal situation and EVERYONE’S lives have been flipped upside-down – some worse than others, we can really make something positive out of it. It’s so tempting to binge watch series on Netflix all day (personal dig) but I definitely don’t want to look back after we’re all free again having done absolutely nothing.

Let’s do something great with a not so great situation.

Love Always,

Shadz xo

Sometimes it’s too much….

I think sometimes the subjects that are the hardest to talk about are the most important.

Obviously I took a week off writing this week. I got really ill, with a stomach bug and was bound to the bed until Thursday. Getting up to my laptop to write a blog was just not an option. So I didn’t.

I have battled with stress, overthinking and anxiety for as long as I can remember. It’s not something that I let define me but it takes up a lot of my day.

The thought of not writing made me anxious. The thought of not writing when incredibly sick made me anxious. That’s not normal. It may have prolonged my recovery period because I couldn’t rest properly. I felt like I was failing and that I would never be successful. I missed a whole week of lectures. 101 bad thoughts ran through my mind. And I couldn’t stop them.

So I faced my biggest fear. And stopped. Completely. Stopped worrying about missing lectures, stopped worrying about blogging and about all the other things going on. I’ve just put it all out of my mind. This is an ongoing battle and I’m only a growing human.

Love Always,

Shadz xo

Redefining Feminism

As you may know, I study English Literature. One of the modules on my course involve looking at different readings of Literature. One of them is Feminism. What does Feminism mean to you?

There have been mutilple waves of Feminism and we are currently in the fourth wave; the present. what Feminism meant in the 19th and 20th century has drastically evolved and has become redefined. Everyone has a different views and opinions regarding the topic. Some are positive, inspiring and thought crippling. Others…. are not.

Feminism from the start has been about equality. Giving women equal opportunities to men. It’s not about hating or putting men down, men are awesome too! I love being a women in the 21st century. I am confident that I can do everything that I set to achieve. I believe that I am as strong, as intelligent and as capable as my male counterparts. However, in some aspects of life women are still made to feel inferior.

Feminism to me means freedom of choice. If I want to go out to work 5 days a week when I am married with kids I will do that. If I want to stay and look after my home and children 5 days a week, guess what, I will! I feel that some people defining themselves as feminists can make other women feel like less becuase they choose a maybe more “traditional” role in life. Likewise for stay-at-home dads. Is this a gender issue or an employment issue?

This is toxic and defeats the whole point of allowing women (and men) to think and act for themselves. My mother is the strongest woman that I know and I am so blessed to have been raised by her. She spent her years working until she had my 3 siblings and I. She took years off work until we were old enough to look after ourselves after school and even when she went back to work she was still there for us after school! Many modern “feminists” may have seen my mothers decision as going against the fight and sneered and judged her for it, but it was her choice. And I’m glad she made it herself.

I can only talk about my own experiences. Not everyone has another adult figure in the household with a stable income and so have to go to work. Some work from home. Some go out to work and look after their kids. Some hire a babysitter so they can work a stable job. Some people don’t have kids. It doesn’t matter what the situation is, all that matters is everyone is valued for what they do and not looked down on for making the choice that suits their own lifestyle.

Perhaps feminism nowadays should be about equality amongst women’s choices as well as equality in comparison to men. No one is less or greater than the next. Let’s live to collaborate and not to divide.

Love Always,

Shadz xo

Change of Plan

I’m so glad that I enjoy writing on the spot. Today took an unexpected turn. I planned a blog to write on “Redefining Feminism”, I scheduled it to be written, finalised and publish by 10pm tonight and as you’ve probably noticed – it hasn’t happened.

My day just went differently, and although I could be writing something engaging and meaningful about how there have been multiple waves of feminism which have all been a refinement on the last, I am instead writing about why that hasn’t happened. I planned to be home by a certain time tonight, I had a list of things to do and suddenly me and my housemates for next year get a call from the landlord of the most ideal student property for our second year. Of course we rushed at the opportunity, put an offer for the house and sorted out our finances surrounded it. That was the first thing.

Secondly and lastly actually, I realised I had something to prepare for one of my seminars tomorrow morning. I realised halfway through that I’ve missed the point completely and had to start all over again! I can be so clumsy sometimes but I’m also incredibly particular when it comes to being thorough and correct in my work.

This blog means a lot to me, and although few at the moment, I love my readers too. I can’t promise to always be on time or to have things completely together despite my constant and endless creations of list. This blog is my life, my real life, the good and the not so good. I will always update you on my Instagram but I will be always posting something on the days I’ve planned! I can’t promise to always have it together, plans sometimes change.

Love Always,

Shadz xo

Take Time

Yesterday, I went back to my home town to visit my family. I havent’t seen them since Christmas time and had been missing them all so much. Despite having tons and tons of reading to do, having some events to squeeze in and having some jobs to run, I was determined to see my family this weekend.

I think it’s important to take time to do things that we genuinely want to do. Not because we have to, but because we want to. We get so caught up in doing the things on our list, sticking to our schedule and being productive that we forget to take time to be with the people who really matter.

As a university student, time isn’t always on my side. Whether it be completing endless reading lists, rushing between lectures or deciding which societies to go to, it’s so easy to forget where I really want to be. And that’s at home. Don’t get me wrong, I love uni, I love my course and all the wonderful friends I have made, but there really is no place like home.

Remember to take time out form your busy schedule to do the things that really matter this weekend!

Love Always,

Shadz xo

Unmotivated?

Yeah me too. I’ve been sitting in bed for the past two hours following my lectures this morning. Granted, I was tired, and had some shows I wanted to catch up on also but in all honesty I feel extremely unmotivated.

It gets like that sometimes. Sometimes, like this morning, I wake up and want to just go back to sleep. If it wasn’t for my 10am lectures I may have. As soon as I got back to my accommodation, I collapsed into bed and haven’t left since. I could be reading, researching, exercising, changing the world. But no. I’m writing this very blog from between my insanely cosy bed sheets.

I’m sure you all experience days like this sometimes. It’s okay to not feel 110% motivated all the time. I know some people do (or pretend that they do), and they are inspirations, but my reality is that some days I don’t want to face the day to day happenings of life, people or productivity.

So long as the unmotivated and withdrawn mindset doesn’t become a habit, doesn’t override your dreams and aspirations or distract you from the things you need to do, it’s okay to sit and do nothing sometimes, healthy even.

I will get up, just give me 10 more minutes…

Love Always,

Shadz xo

Don’t be so hasty

This is a blog for me. And maybe you can relate.

The meaning of hasty in the English dictionary is ‘[something] done with excessive speed or urgency; hurried’. Are you being too hasty with the things in your life?

I know I certainly can be. We all like results, we all like the finished product, but when it comes to enduring the process, I am sure that many of you would rather not. Me included. Sometimes we can think something is for us – and maybe it is – but we jump too quickly at it and forget all about the right timing. The whole point I’m trying to make is that if you jump on every opportunity with extreme haste, you can end up being counter-productive and maybe even slightly destructive. So many good ideas, good intentions and even good relationships have been completely and utterly destroyed simply because of haste.

Not everything is a matter of urgency, not everything needs to be finished right here and right now. Let things unfold, learn more, trust that one day you will see the manifestation of the time and effort you put in and stop trying to rush the process. Sometimes a clear picture of growth and progression can be just as satistfying as the finished product.

And remember, not every opportunity that presents itself to you is for you. Not every battle is yours to fight. Not every available person is yours to pursue. And not every life is yours to live.

Stay calm, you will succeed in everything that has been set out for you to succeed in. You’re doing well!

Love Always,

Shadz xo

A Few Words…

You are you.

No one will ever be you.

No one can ever replace you.

And THAT is your STRENGTH.

Love Always,

Shadz xo

My University Experience: Semester 1

Today I started semester 2 of university! I thought why not write about my experience during semester 1 on my blog today! So here we go…

Driving to university on the first day was nerve wracking, as expected. All of my things were jam packed in the back of my dad’s car and it was time to say goodbye to my sheltered London life and embark on new adventures elsewhere. Arriving in Guildford at the University of Surrey was… interesting. We arrived within the wrong time slot (my bad for not double checking) but it turned out alright in the end. I knew I was staying in some temporary accomodation on campus for the first four weeks while they finished building the new accomodation in the student village, but I had no clue what it looked like or what was going to happen. It turned out sharing 3 showers amongst 14 people wasn’t as bad as expected, but yet, I am so glad to now have an ensuite!

I feared Freshers’ Week more than actually starting my course – in fact I almost forgot that I came here to study because I was worrying so much! However, I had no reason at all to worry! I met some lovely people, tried new things and finally begun living life as a student away from home.

Lectures, seminars and pre-reading was a different story. I think it’s such a student-y thing to be so passionate about a subjuct but lack the drive and motivation to actually want to do the diffcult part! I study English Literature, so I am nearly as passionate about reading as I am about writing. I made quite a few friends on my course which has honestly made the whole experience 100 times more worth it – shoutout to them and I would totally recommend making some course mates!

I thought exams and coursework submissions would be so much different to what I was used to at GCSE and A-Level, but honestly, once you get your head around the websites/processes they use, it is pretty straight-forward. Exams, however, are still exams, and like at GCSE and A-Level, I was glad for exam season to be over!

The social side of university is, as many people say, what you make it. I live in a smaller town to what I am used to but there is still so much to see and do. Being so close to a lot my flatmates makes arranging days and nights out so much easier – I’ve been so blessed to be placed with people who I can call friends!

I am actually looking forward to Semester 2 and all the excitement and adventure that may come with it! University has been one of the best choices that I have made in my life and honestly wouldn’t want to change where I am right now.

Love Always,

Shadz xo

The Art of Pursuit

First things first, I am incredibly sorry for the extremely late post. I was meant to post yesterday but life took over – you know how it is.

What I want to talk about today is pursuit, the beauty of it, the art of it. Throughout my life I have pursued so many things. People, business ideas and new experiences. Some of them succeeded, some didn’t – but that’s because I gave up. The beauty of pursuit is that it never has to stop. There’s always more to learn, more to find, more to build.

Whether it’s a new business venture, a new career or a new friendship/relationship, the trick is to never stop pursuing, never stop striving and never stop growing.

Love Always,

Shadz xo

Know Your Worth

In many aspects of our everyday life, we do not give ourselves enough credit for who we are; a lot of us do not know our worth or sometimes fail to recognise it. If we treat ourselves as if we are worth less than we are, we leave room for self-doubt and a lack of self-confidence which can lead us down some tricky paths.

You were created for a purpose, regardless of what others believe about why we as humans are here. You are not an accident and your life isn’t just happening for no particulat reason. You find your purpose within your worth, so to know your purpose, you have to first know your worth.

No matter how much your friends, family and loved ones tell you how much your worth, in the end you have to know it for yourself. I personally find my worth accoring to who God says I am. I am chosen, loved, cared for, free, wonderfully made, saved, rescued, ransomed and redeemed.

In what or whom do you find your worth?

Love Always,

Shadz xo

Girl, those red flags…

I know first hand that it is so easy to ignore such explicit red flags when it comes to guys and dating. Sometimes it’s easy to not see red flags, but 9/10 times, we see a red flag…. and then ignore it. This is down to a number of reasons. We might reallyyyyyy want a guy to chat to, we might really like him, we might think we can ‘change’ him or we may just being ignorant.

I have been all four of those, many times over and it’s left me in the same position every time. Although people may say otherwise, I don’t think it’s bad to set high and strict standards when it comes to dating. I personally have a physical list, full of personal requirements that I would want a potential romantic interest to have. Some have a mental list, some just go with the flow.

However, there is a list of questions to ask yourself to notice red flags as early as possible.:

Do you trust him?

Do you feel safe with him?

Does he respect you?

Can you tell him the truth?

Obviously there are many, many more things you should look for in a relationship, but a lot of them are relative to each person. Don’t compromis your standards for anyone, date smart.

Love Always,

Shadz xo

Self-Image

Everyday many of us tend to maginify the parts of ourselves that we don’t like. We sometimes become so obsessed with the parts of ourselves that we don’t like and subsequently let these parts define us.

I think that we all need to develop a positive self-image. In an world that is so revolved around aesthetics it is almost ineviatble that we as a result let these pressures impact on how we see ourselves.

But what society thinks matters, doesn’t really matter. Look yourself in the mirror, write it down, it doesn’t matter how you do it, what matters is you remind yourself everyday that you are beautiful.

Love Always,

Shadz xo

Choose your company

As the cliche goes, you are who your friends are. As much as we like to believe that nothing or no-one can influence us, this is simply not true. Who do you want to be? What are you aspiring to do? Where are you going? Ask yourself those questions when choosing your friends. Chances are, if the people you surround yourself are striving for the same thing as you, you are more likely to get to where you intend to get to.

I have had a lot of friends in my life and I have lost a lot of friends in my life. I like to think of my friendships as a circle within a circle. Who is on the inner circle? Who do you trust with your deepest and darkest secrets? For me, there may only be two or three people within that inner circle, and that’s okay, you can’t share your life with everyone. My middle circle is wider, these people sometimes are the biggest influences as they are usually your social group or close peers at school or work. Be careful with who you let in to this middle section of your life. There were some points where I had to leave these friends at the school gates (not literally, but metaphorically) because their behaviours and opinions would influence me so much due to spending countless hours with them. The outer cirlce, while still important, has more room for casual friendships. Your friends of friends, the guy or girl you pop up to on snap once a year on their birthday and perhaps even people in your class or on your university course are some of the people that might fall into this category.

It is inevitable that the amount of people decrease as you get deeper into the centre circle but that is also where the deeper, truer and more meaningful friendships lay. Choose wisely, because who you surround yourself with has a big impact on your mood and character. Friendships are so beautiful, so let’s make them worthwhile.

Love Always,

Shadz xo