How To Survive Being Home Alone.

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Instagram: lo_cowen. Image is my own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alright, this sounds a little silly, and no one should need a how-to guide to simply sitting at home alone, waiting for their housemates to get back, right? Wrong. The last time I was home alone my housemate came back to find me stood directly in front of the TV after literally just walking around my flat for hours, doing nothing. It was 10pm and I hadn’t even managed to make my dinner yet because I’d been aimlessly circling my flat. Why? Maybe it’s because I’m actually super needy, maybe it’s the hyperactivity-inducing spare time with no one to vent my deepest, most ridiculous thoughts to… who knows? Either way, here’s how to make better use of your empty flat/house when you’re needy af.

Continue reading “How To Survive Being Home Alone.”

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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.)”

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)”

How To Survive Being a Lazy Perfectionist.

Seriously do you have any idea how frustrating this is?

I am somehow, simultaneously, the laziest person I know and the biggest perfectionist I know. I know it sounds impossible but on one hand I’ve genuinely been referred to as “the real life Monica Geller” before but then I’m also the kind of person who leaves my dishes on the side hoping my housemates will eventually, bit by bit, wash them for me. (Sorry housemates, love ya!) But heaven forbid that pile of dishes spreads further than the designated dirty dishes section of the kitchen counter. Dear God no.

I like to do this thing where I get an essay question and plan my answer to it weeks in advance, feel really productive for one day doing loads of secondary source searching, then not look at it for weeks and leave it until the last few days to actually do any writing. I want my work to be perfect, but I’d much rather binge watch Netflix. See the internal conflict?

I also love hosting. Being a control freak and all, the role of the hostess and organiser of pre drinks, sleepovers, whatever is very appealing to me. Okay, fine. It’s nice to have someone around to organise fun things to do in a group, right? WRONG. Remember that Friends episode where Monica hosts a birthday party for Rachel but no one enjoys it? The one where the guests keep trying to sneak to Joey and Chandler’s alternative party because Monica’s getting neurotic about coasters under glasses and her awful party game? I’m the Monica there, except my neurosis is induced by trying to herd uncooperative people into taxis and not letting anyone use my family heirloom Vintage 1960’s shot glasses. (The fact that my family heirloom is a rack of shot glasses probably says a lot about my family but let’s not pry.) I love to host, but it’s my way or the high way. If you’re wondering why I don’t just let someone else host, well, I just couldn’t possibly. Where’s the control in that?

My favourite, however, is sleeping in way past my alarm and leaving it until I have twenty minutes before I have to leave the house to get ready and eat breakfast. Impossible you say? Nope. The Monica Geller in me has solved it. Gym clothes. Picture this: me in normal clothes looking tired, windswept with last night’s hair. Lazy, running late perhaps? Now picture this: me, make-up -less, windswept with last night’s scruffy bun BUT with running leggings, a sports bra and trainers on, carrying my “Drop it like a squat” water bottle. Suddenly, I no longer look lazy, just super active.

I have decided, however, to embrace my Monica Geller side more. She’s not so bad. She’s organised, she’s got great clothes and everyone still comes back to her apartment at the end of a long day. Although, I do promise never to get my hair braided like hers no matter how humid it may get.

Speak soon,

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