How To Survive Approaching People You Fancy in Nightclubs. (A What Not To Do Guide consisting of Anecdotes from One of Many Hideous Encounters.)

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Image from my Instagram @lo_cowen

Sorry to disappoint but this isn’t anecdotes about myself approaching people I fancy in clubs- although that would definitely make a highly cringe-worthy and self-deprecating post that would entertain you for hours. But no, this is a post based on experiences as a female in a nightclub on a Saturday night, just wanting to get dolled up and go out dancing.  Continue reading “How To Survive Approaching People You Fancy in Nightclubs. (A What Not To Do Guide consisting of Anecdotes from One of Many Hideous Encounters.)”

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How To Survive Feeling Like a 2/10 (When Everyone Else Seems like a 12/10)

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Instagram: @lo_cowen

One day I was trying on my favourite bikini to check it still fit for my holiday. It did. Like a glove. To be honest, I thought I looked great. I’d been working really hard in the gym and actually remembering to feed myself at regular intervals throughout the day (instead of you know, eating nothing all day then eating my entire house and the complete cast of Newsies when it got to 8pm). So yeah, overall I was feeling pretty hot. And then I saw them. These long white stripes across my bum cheeks. I have stretch marks. Continue reading “How To Survive Feeling Like a 2/10 (When Everyone Else Seems like a 12/10)”

Help Me Survive Things?

People of WordPress!

Just a quick one to ask if there’s anything you’d like me to survive for you? Since you’re following me on here,  or accidentally stumbled over here, I guess I should see if there’s anything in particular you’re interested in. I guess?

Any experiences or social situations you’ve been stuck in where you just don’t know how to react? Any news stories you’re still getting your head around? Any exercise regimes etc. you’re not so sure about? Send them to me on my social media links or comment below and I’ll see what I can do!

Thanks,

Laura

x

How To Survive Being “…Meh”

I’ve always been told I’m headed for great things. I’d like to believe that. Who knows, maybe I am? However, right now I can categorically say I am not doing great things. I am nothing out of the ordinary. I’m average. I’m a student. I drink, I write essays and hand them in on time, I maintain a good grade, I go to the gym. I know that sounds quite productive, like the usual good student having fun but remaining studious, but it’s average. Masses of twenty year olds in the country are doing the same.

Now, that thought may seem like a belittling, negative one, but bare with…

All my life, I’ve been reassured by loving parents, grandparents, sometimes even strangers that I’m the “prettiest” , the “most intelligent” , and a “very promising” girl. That could be correct, given the right circumstances, but it’s probably not. This isn’t an “oh boo hoo I’m so ugly/stupid/useless” post, it’s positive, I promise, I’m getting to it. Basically, my whole life I was conditioned to be something special, something exciting. I was going to be a performer, I was going to be something so admirable, and exciting and I’d have hilarious stories to tell quirky strangers in bars. There was this huge pressure on me, particularly through college, that being ordinary, being like everyone else just wasn’t enough. That’s probably because it was a performing arts college, leading us all into a competitive industry, however, I do believe at some point everyone feels this same pressure. This pressure that to be important and popular and unique is everything.

I used to spend ages scrolling through Instagram looking at people I thought were the most beautiful. I wanted to look like all these girls with perfect make-up and gorgeous clothes, and I wanted to be surrounded by these gorgeous, edgy male models drinking gin and flashing their watches. They were the best, the elite and I wanted to be part of it. I wanted this lifestyle that involved gorgeous people, with cool creative jobs, who seemed to just effortlessly stroll into VIP Lounges and tell people stories about the time they met such-a-body from the radio or how they partied with such-a-body from TV through their most recent acting job.

Basically, I used to spend hours convincing myself I had to be something more than what I was. I’m not the sort of person who gets into VIP just by strolling in. I don’t even like clubs that much anymore, I’d really rather be in bed by 11pm. My stories are somewhat quirky, but they’re usually at the cost of my own dignity, and don’t often involve celebrities or much more than me making a fool of myself. I like gin, but I’d really rather drink it with my friends on a weekday than with some guy in a  snobby bar who just wants to tell me how much his watch costs. I used to think I had to do all these things so I’d have something to impress everyone with, so I could be the kind of person who had a witty anecdote if ever needed. But really, how often are they needed? And who am I impressing?

The fact is, being cool, being new and exciting is nice. If you are cool and exciting and you have all these amazing stories and interesting careers, really, more power to you and keep up the good work. I admire that, and there’s still this part of me that wants all of that, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting that. But some of us aren’t there yet. And that’s okay too.

It’s okay not to be the most beautiful. It’s okay not to be the most intelligent. It’s okay to not have everything together yet in a nice Pinterest-worthy package of a life. You probably are headed for great things, but your parents will be proud of you if you’re happy. It’s equally as impressive to have what you need and not want more, to have a quiet life with  a small circle of loved ones. Your job doesn’t have to be the most exciting to strangers if it’s exciting to you. You don’t need to post a quirky picture of “the best night out everrr [insert party popper/champagne emoji]” on Instagram every week to make people think you’re interesting. Doing the ordinary isn’t settling. Doing something you’re uncomfortable with is settling. Never settle.

I hope this made some sort of sense. If you need a summary after my rambling: Ordinary is okay. Most people are ordinary and they’re perfectly happy. Just be happy, and do you, boo, do you.

Speak soon,

Laura

x

 

 

 

 

How To Survive Not Being Single.

So something totally unexpected happened. You may remember a blog post about “surviving” (quotation marks because really it’s not something to endure or survive) being single.

Well, basically… um… my male friend got a hair cut and now he’s my boyfriend. I’m so shallow. No, really, he’s lovely. All round great guy. So I have to admit, this is scary territory for me.

There was a bit of a hoo-haa about when we were becoming “public” (lol who are we, Kimye?) to our friends. We’re both part of the same friendship group and weren’t sure how it was going to go down, but to be honest, after much faffing about trying to keep things on the D.L, our friends just caught us kissing at a party a few weeks in anyway and that was that. The moral of that story being not to care. No one’s really that bothered as long as you’re happy and not PDA-ing in front of them 24/7.

I also had the super scary experiences of meeting his friends and his Dad. I can’t even explain the panic. I should specify, unnecessary panic. What do I wear? What do I say? What if they hate me? What if I choke on my drink? What if they find out about my total incompetence when it comes to public transport? The horror! Really though, the reality is nothing like this. The first time I met my boyfriend’s friends I was silent. Possibly for the first time in my life. I got so worked up every time I went to see him because I was so nervous about talking to his friends. It took me a while to realise the following… Your partner likes you, so there must be something about you the people close to them like about you too. They’re on your side. They want to like you. Just ask them questions. People love to talk about themselves. Worst comes to worst, your nerves will calm over time and people will warm to you. You can’t be that bad if there’s a significant other willing to spend their spare time with you.

Now, the most important lesson I’ve learned is that your boyfriend/ girlfriend isn’t your chaperone/alcohol monitor. Picture this scene: Me, dressed as Paris Hilton wearing a blonde wig, having to be carried out of a house party by my boyfriend whilst I cried because “someone stole my wine” (Note: My wine had been hidden from me hours ago for obvious reasons). I was a mess, and my poor boyfriend missed a whole party because I pre-drank too hard. It’s okay every now and then, accidents happen, alcohol is messy and tricky to master and it’s nice that your boyfriend is there to make sure nothing bad happens to you while you’re in a state. However, relying on your boyfriend/girlfriend for total safety and competence whenever you go on a night out together isn’t good. It ruins your night, it ruins there’s. No one has fun so just look after yourself first and foremost.

Overall though, I think I’m doing okay at the whole being a girlfriend thing. I may have been a neurotic mess the odd day, but I buy him chocolate milk and feed him occasionally, so that’s alright. Right?

Speak soon,

Laura

x

 

How To Survive Your First Year at University.

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What’s more student than a stolen traffic cone and shopping trolley? (Didn’t steal either item myself, just saying.)

Hello again. It’s been like, five-ever, I know. I don’t even have an excuse, I’m just a bad person.

 

Having just completed my first year at uni, and knowing a few people going into theirs, I thought this might be a good post to ease myself back in with. I’m hardly a beacon for social or academic graces or anything, but I did definitely learn a lot whilst at uni, particularly about people, myself, and the dangers of eating nothing but Pringles and Dairy Milk (Don’t do it, it only leads to acne and stomach aches.)

First of all, and not to scare anyone or anything, but, people are mean. Girls are mean, boys are mean, staff can be mean, everyone is mean. Even the nice ones are mean sometimes, just not necessarily mean about or towards you. The fact is, everyone can be a bit of a bitch. Even you. You’ll probably be a bitch to someone hitting on you on a night out at some point, you’ll probably accidentally be a bitch to your flat mates when you’ve had a bad day, you’ll probably even be a bitch to your boyfriend/girlfriend, and most of all, people will be a bitch to you. People get bored. People get jealous. Sometimes people are bored and jealous. So they say stupid things, and start silly rumours or tell people things you trusted them with to other people, just because there’s nothing better to do. Yes, even now, after high-school, after sixth-form, people still do that. But at the end of it all, it’s all been done or said out of boredom or jealousy, and you’ll do a lot better for yourself by staying out of it in the first place or forgiving and, either, forgetting or staying well away from whoever bitched at/about you. Some fights aren’t even worth fighting, so, as my mother would say, “riiiiise above it” (Idk why she kinda sings it. But I always hear it in my head when people cross me.)

You’re also going to be drunk. Probably more drunk, more often, than you plan to be. Once I actually got so drunk with my friend we cried the whole way from the club, into McDonalds, all the way to my flat, into my living room eating McDonalds, and then eventually, to bed, for what we can only assume was no reason whatsoever. Full on, drunk girl-wailing for at least twenty minutes straight up and down the streets of Newcastle. All we know is Vicky wrestled a DJ for a hat and we definitely shouldn’t have had that “last tequila for the road.” It’s okay to get that drunk sometimes, but you’ll almost always regret it the next day. So get drunk. Just be prepared for the shame and guilt that’s coming the next day. And go to your lectures, even if you’re hungover and still have your party-eye make up from the night before. Just take a bottle of water with you.

You’ll probably undergo your first trauma, away from home, and actually say the words “I want my mum.” For me it was when I fractured my foot on a night out and howled in the middle of the street. For some people, it’s when they’re diabolically ill, for others it’s when they get their first essay back and their tutor’s basically told them it’s awful. Whatever it is, call home. Just ring mum, dad, sibling, cousin or whoever. Sometimes it’s nice to hear someone who loves you tell you it’s all going to be okay. I’d also advise that you make sure your home friends visit. No matter what uni you’re at, how good or bad the nightlife is, have them visit, get black out drunk, hold their hair while they projectile vomit in your favourite trebles-bar, show them the sights and go and visit them too.

I do think, undoubtedly, the most important part of uni (apart from getting a good degree and moving on with your life) is making good friends. I know I said everyone is mean, and that is kind of true, but some people’s meanness is a significantly smaller part of them than others, so find those people. Find the kind of friends that will take you to A and E instead of finishing their night out, scream Wiz Khalifa lyrics endlessly, not disown you because you threw up your pitcher of Woo Woo in Wetherspoons beore 2pm in the afternoon (… definitely haven’t done that before… eek.), make you cups of tea when you’re sad and laugh at you when you pull a minger.

Finally, always have paracetamol around, Freshers Week is overrated, learn how to “tactical chunder”, and always double check what date your deadlines are. Oh, and pasta and ketchup is definitely a suitable meal if that’s all you have in.

Laura x

How to Survive Being Single.

Okay, admittedly, this is kind of inspired by my trip to see How To Be Single this weekend,(excellent film, by the way, definitely recommend) but I’ve generally found it to be an awkward subject throughout most of my life.

We’ve all been in the family party situation where your Gran, Uncle or Great Auntie Anne turn to you and loudly question “Have you found yourself a boyfriend yet?”, often coupled with a follow up question of “You’re not one of those lesbians are you?” or “Why not? What’s wrong with you?”. In all honesty, I’m never sure what the correct answer is. “No, actually, Great Auntie Anne, I prefer noseying on Tinder and drunkenly kissing strangers in nightclubs, then regretting it when all my friends put it on their Snapchat stories the next day. Thanks for the concern though, Hun.” I imagine that wouldn’t be appreciated.

So, why is everyone constantly asking this? No word of a lie, I just got back from visiting my Grandparents and was asked by three different family members in the space of twenty minutes if I had a boyfriend yet. And when I said no, I was compared to my parents, my Auntie,  and my sibling. The word “yet” is probably what makes us feel so inadequate when we have to grit our teeth and force out a sigh and say “No, not yet.” It’s like they think you’re just lazy, like a relationship, trusting someone with your feelings and welfare, is the same as emptying the dishwasher. It appears that people think you go to university, and BAM. There’s the girl/guy of your dreams, waiting at your door, with a ring, two kids, a dog and a Volvo, when in actual fact, the only thing waiting for you is your macaroni cheese ready meal and a bottle of £5 wine. For some reason there’s some great pressure to be  in a relationship as soon as you hit your late teens-early twenties, until you actually have one. Then everyone’s telling you you’re too young to be tied down, that you should focus on “finding yourself” (whatever that means?) and that it’ll only serve as a distraction to your studies/career/social life.

As the family member everyone, I’m certain, views as “terminally single”, I’ve grown to realise you can’t win. There is no correct answer to the “do you have a boyfriend yet?” question. If you tell them you don’t care, don’t have time, or simply haven’t found anyone you like that much, you’re either boring or lying. If you just say “no” you’re met with a sympathetic “aaaaaw” and the promise you’ll “find someone one day.” Thanks, but I don’t need your sympathy. Honestly, I’m not exactly wondering round with a giant butterfly net, on the hunt, but at the same time, I’m not some bitter, old cat lady, avoiding anything with a penis. I’m just enjoying myself, and I know this is the case for so many people. Maybe that’s the correct answer? “No, I’m just enjoying myself.” It’s not like I’m isolating myself from the idea of a relationship, I’m just not forcing myself into one for the sake of it.

Being single isn’t actually something to survive. It’s just your natural state of being and it’s fine to be comfortable in it. You don’t constantly have to be searching for someone else. Sure, at some point, there’ll probably be someone that makes you no longer want to be single, but it doesn’t matter how far away, frequent or rare that is. So I suppose the “how to” part of this is answered by realising you’re not surviving or enduring being single. You’re enjoying being in your natural state, for however long that may be.

Speak soon,

Laura.