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In society today, there's a constant reinforcement of "having to be positive" and to be quite honest, I'm sick of it. I'm sick of having to constantly pretend like life is perfect when I feel at my most stressed in fear that someone will think that I'm "attention seeking" or the dreaded, "you're not old enough to be stressed...you have nothing to be stressed about". STRESS DOES NOT CORRELATE WITH AGE.


What's the relevance of the photo? It's unedited and real, I'm tired of trying to make my photos bright enough or "good enough". I like this photo and I feel like it works here.

I speak about this a lot but it's as though it's taboo to talk about your emotions, like God forbid somebody doesn't pretend to be having a great Monday when in reality, they woke up late, had 5 minutes to get ready then nearly got hit by a bus as soon as they left the house.(this actually happened to me this morning)

WHY are we forced to pretend that we are ok? I believe that stress is a normal part of life but apparently, you're not allowed to be unless you're in your thirties and worrying about money because your kid wants the latest games console. As an eighteen year old in 2017, I'm tired of middle aged people telling me that I am not allowed to be stressed because "this is nothing compared to what they go through". I'm not saying you've had a straight forward life, but PLEASE, I am allowed to be stressed too. We are all allowed to be stressed because stress comes in different forms, we are not all going to feel the same amount or for the same reasons but I am not going to let you sit there and tell me that I can't be stressed just because I don't have a mortgage to pay or a bratty kid to provide for.

Recently, I started a job at McDonald's and my feelings about it so far are "I'm tired and my legs hurt" but that's OK. Let's be honest, no teenager wants to be spending their spare time working but that's just how life works nowadays, so don't tell me to stop complaining because "Oh, I work more than that" or "that's nothing compared to what I do". Basically, I don't have to pretend that I'm happy with every aspect of my life because I'm not, I'm not going to post on social media about how great life is when I spent the whole of my weekend working or revising for an exam that I now think that I failed.

Also, the forcing of body positivity makes me so angry. If you express unhappiness about your body, people will be like "oh no, LOVE yourself" which I agree, you should love yourself but equally, you don't have to pretend to be body positive when you're not happy with yourself. You can change if you want to, you don't have to #bodyposi on your latest Instagram post if that's not actually how you feel. By lying to the world, you're lying to yourself. While I used to be a big believer in "fake it till you make it", I see now that this can only fix a small number of your issues. Life is hard but you need to be real with yourself.

I'm not going fake positivity to benefit you. Quite simply, if you don't like seeing real emotions, you've got bigger problems to be worrying about than why an 18 year old is a stressed mess.

Lauryn


I've realised that I only put images in my blog posts because I feel like that's the blogger "norm" but honestly, I don't care. I can't think of any photos that would be relevant to this so let's just start.

I always say that moving to the sixth form I'm currently at was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Right now you're probably thinking "But Lauryn, all you do is complain about it and how you can't wait to leave?" and while this is true, I've realised that it has definitely helped me to grow as an individual and prepared me for life beyond Plymouth when I go to university in September and have to start from fresh all over again.

I don't know why but people never really seemed to take to me at this sixth form, maybe it's because I don't have the most up to date clothing, or I am really just quite shy or even because I'm just different. After all, it's 2017 and people are still scared of people that aren't exactly like them. Anyway, I thought that it used to bother me but now I realise that it's encouraged me to put myself first and be my own best friend(ok really, that sounded so cringe but you get me). It's definitely not easy watching everyone with their friends while you sit alone pretty much every single day counting down the minutes until the school day ends but it teaches you that you don't need other people to have fun and also, during free periods, I'm definitely getting a lot more work done than they are because I don't have anything to distract me. I'm happy that other people have friends and I'm happy that they enjoy the company of others but I admit that I am not like that.

It has taught me how to stand up for my beliefs, even if I did do that before anyway but it's definitely strengthened this, because I have nobody to worry about not being my friend anymore or bitching about me to someone else and I'm able to develop my own mind which I think is something that is incredibly important because as lovely as it was having such a close group of best friends during secondary school, it's vital that you realise what you actually like and want in the world and you're not just going along with what other people say because that's "easier".

Honestly, I'm unsure what people think of me there. I've only talked to a very small amount of the year in the nearly two years that I have been there. Yes, I do have a couple of friends that I talk to occasionally but it's been pleasant enough to sit back and not have to worry about drama or someone tweeting something shady or not being invited to somebody's party.

While this all seems very much positive and I knew this would happen, it was my 2017 goal to be more honest on this blog because after all, I'm supposed to be helping people in similar circumstances to myself. It's isolating having nobody to talk to, to walk into a class late because you live on the other side of Plymouth(but teachers still don't really seem to get that) and feel peoples glaring eyes on you because "didn't she wear that yesterday?" "why does she always look so miserable?". So, I said that it was good for me to experience this in order to grow into the individual that I am now but in no way has it been easy.

When I was younger, I used to get so upset wondering "why don't people like me?" "why aren't I treated the same as others" but I understand now. It all makes sense when you realise that although the world is supposed to be more open to change now, they are still scared of it. I don't blame people, there should just be more education in schools to raise awareness that not everyone is the same and THAT'S OK. I stopped wondering a long time ago and now I just accept it because I'm happy enough with the people in my life and honestly, I don't need people who are going to call me "attention seeking" or "weird" behind my back because I get too nervous about speaking in front of a class.

It's weird how much has changed in the past few years but also, it's been incredibly refreshing to see myself grow from what I was to what I am now. I mean, I'm pretty proud of myself.

Lauryn


When I sent off my UCAS application, I told myself that I would be happy with just one offer. This was because it had been drilled into me that I was being overly ambitious with my university choices and predicted grades so I would be lucky to get offers. 

Well, 5/5 offers later and I'm happy that I didn't listen to teachers that barely even know me because now I'm on track to go to a good university where I know I will be happy... 
On the 3rd of February, I received an offer which I actually didn't think that I was going to get because it had taken so long to come through and I just didn't have much faith that I would get an offer. So, when I got that heart wrenching email from UCAS to check track, I felt like crying with happiness when I saw that the University of Bristol had given me a conditional offer of BBC; lower than the typical grade. 

I visited Southampton university again last week and it's safe to say that I loved it, loved it so much that I started having a huge dilemma about where I actually wanted to go but albeit Southampton being lovely, I think I have decided on Exeter as my firm and Bristol as my insurance but I'm not setting anything in stone yet because I want to be absolutely certain(obviously). 

As for the rest of A Levels, it's not getting any easier but I booked a holiday to Berlin with Josh for the end of exams which I'm really looking forward to because it's giving me something to look forward to and pull me through the next couple of months which probably have the ability to kill me. 

How's your February going? If you've applied for uni, how's your application going?

Lauryn
I don't think there's anything more satisfying than the feeling of proving someone wrong when they were so adamant that you couldn't do something and tried to force you out of it. This is how I felt when I got my Exeter offer. However, when I saw that the entry requirements had been reduced to BBB, that's when I felt incredibly happy because that seems somewhat feasible to me, with a lot of hard work, of course.

A couple of weeks ago, I received offers from University of Exeter and Bournemouth University - two lovely places which also resulted in me having 4/5 offers thus far. In the upcoming weeks, I will start going to the applicant days to make an informed decision about where I want to spend the next few years of my life. Honestly, I'm leaning towards Exeter at the moment but that could change when I go to the applicant days so I'm yet to make up my mind completely yet. Also, I still need to wait for Bristol to get back to me.

As well as this, I've become involved in a number of group chats through Facebook of people applying to the same universities and courses as me which has been really helpful because it's good to talk to others who are aiming for the same things as you. I would definitely recommend this if you're feeling nervous about talking to new people because despite perhaps not ending up talking to everyone you have spoken to over group chats when you start university, it's a good start, in my opinion.

A levels are a lot of work at the moment, as expected but I know it'll be worth it in the end. My English literature coursework is slowly killing me, I think and I will be so happy when I've finally finished it. I've realised at the moment that the sixth form I'm in really isn't doing any favours for my overall health but I'm counting down the days until I leave and finally have a fresh start. I received my exam dates for this year a couple of weeks ago and I'm dreading it because they are all really quite close together but well, there's not much I can do about that.

If you're applying to university this year, how is it going for you?

Lauryn


January 3rd 2017 marked the first birthday of this blog. I can't believe that it's been a year since I decided to write that one blog post just for the fun of it, not realising that blogging would soon become a huge part of my life.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm aware that this blog is tiny compared to others however, success isn't something that can exactly be measured on a scale and everyone achieves different things at different times (Does that even make sense?). Honestly, I'm just proud of what I've been able to achieve in this short space of time. Especially as I've been juggling part time jobs, a levels and applying to university at the same time.

There's a lot of things that I enjoy about blogging but one of the main aspects that is most important to me are the friends I have made. This is particularly important because I feel as though a lot of people still don't really understand blogging and therefore it's great to be able to communicate with others who have the same interests and struggles as myself. 2016 also saw a number of writing opportunities that were available to me such as becoming a writer for Daily News Service and Blasting News while partaking in collaborations with fellow bloggers. As well as this, I also attended my first launch event which was super exciting and I hope that I will be able to attend more events this year and meet more lovely bloggers.

2017 is already full of lots of exciting plans including a YouTube collaboration channel with a group of great blogging/youtube girls which I am excited to explain more in the very near future. I also plan on creating lots more content this year and just seeing where this takes me.

Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read JustALittleBitOfLauryn. It amazes me that even one person wants to read about my pointless ramblings, let alone thousands of you...

Happy New Year and best wishes for 2017 x
There's nothing more worrying than getting an email saying there's been a change in your UCAS application... Luckily, this was a good change.

Today, I received a conditional offer from the University of Southampton to study Criminology and Psychology which I am very happy about as it is one of my top choices. It also means that I have received 2/5 offers in less than two weeks which for me, is an accomplishment.

I feel especially happy about this offer because it is from a Russell Group university and I was advised not to apply to these due to the fact that "I won't get in". However, I decided to go against these comments because let's be honest, I don't let people tell me what to do. I am so looking forward to seeing certain people's faces when they see that I've proved them wrong. 

Another really great thing about this is that the usual offer given is AAB for my course which I was predicted but it would have been A LOT of pressure. Although, the offer they have given me is BBB which I think is definitely a feasible goal and something that, despite having to work hard, I will be able to achieve in the long run.

Overall, I'm happy with this especially considering I really liked the university when I visited in July and this makes me feel a lot less nervous about the whole application.

Do you have any changes in your future plans?

I always find it so much harder to buy for male relatives and oh my goodness, my boyfriend is the hardest to buy for... why can't they just like make up and Lush bath bombs?! So, I thought I would put together a Christmas gift guide for all of you last minute shoppers... if you haven't read my Christmas gift guide for girls, you can check it out here.

Ted Baker Islington bathroom basket

Coming in at £30, this set is on the slightly more expensive side but I think that this would make a great gift for a boyfriend or brother! Also, the copper basket is incredibly aesthetically pleasing. This is also in the Boots 3 for 2 deal which I spoke about in my last post; a great way to save money!

For the price, you are getting a good amount of product and I think that it is definitely worth the money.





Mini table tennis set

I always think that if something is "mini", it is 10x more fun... just me? Ok. Well, this John Lewis set is only £15 and would make a really good gift for someone who enjoys sports as a little novelty present. On the topic of sports, experience days are also a fun way to treat somebody at Christmas time.


Jumpers and knitwear

This is perfect for anyone really but if you're stuck on what to buy a male relative, how about a warm knitted jumper? It's season appropriate and well who doesn't like jumpers? This burgundy jumper from Topman is £30 however, you can get a jumper at any price so if that's out of your budget, go to Primark because they have great knitwear in the winter months!





Micro drone

We all know that one person who is gadget obsessed... I spotted this pocket drone in M&S for £39.50 and thought that it would make a great gift for a brother or boyfriend or anyone really!

Like I said before... things being "mini"/"micro" makes them much more exciting and I just don't know why.

What do you usually buy guys for Christmas? It's impossible.