22 things I know as a 22 year Old With 4 Years of University Under the Belt …

1. The semi colon is a way of joining two clauses of equal importance to each other; it links ideas together. It’s not to be confused with a comma, a full stop or a colon. (This was the first and possibly most important lesson in my Creative Writing class). Image result for semi colon

2. Water is the essence of beauty.

3. Pasta is extremely diverse – one can survive on pasta for up to six days a week. (Well, I’m still here, aren’t I?!)

4. Procrastination has its pros. (I’m pretty much the queen of all nighters when it comes to assignments and study. Over the years I have tried to change my work and writing style, but I’ve finally accepted that my best work is produced under pressure. And that’s okay).

5. Shut up complaining! I don’t know about you, but I like to complain. I whinge about the weather, about assignments, I say I have “writers block”, about the cost of a purple snack bar… But sometimes this can take over, and become a complete distraction from the opportunities we are all surrounded by. We are so lucky. There is no excuse for needless complaining.

6. Most landlords are greedy demon spawn.

7. Four cups of coffee in a row is too many cups of coffee.

Image may contain: 1 persontry to avoid co-hosting a radio show after 4 cups

 8.Buy a bra that actually fits.

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9. It’s okay not to know what you’re going to do after college. I wasted a lot of this academic year worrying about what I’m going to do afterwards. I researched master’s degrees, loans to do the masters, graduate visas, sugar Daddy’s (lol, jk!)… But then I woke up one morning, and had a good chat with myself over a cup of coffee… “You’re only 22 years old. The years after you graduate are so open and filled with opportunity… Write, travel, learn, take risks, stop worrying”.

10. That tiny coffee shop in the IT building does the best coffee on campus.

11. “I’m a student/I’m in college” is a justification for almost anything. Drinking at 2pm on a Tuesday afternoon? Have a messy bedroom? Need to get a taxi for a few euro less? Stayed up till 6am watching Disney movies? Haven’t eaten anything but cereal in 2 days? Accidentally killed somebody? Most of these can be justified by your student status … most.

12. Leaving your teens does not mean leaving spotty skin behind. Adult acne is a thing too.

13. You don’t need to drink to have fun. Don’t get me wrong, I had my fair share of pre-drinks followed by pub drinks followed by club drinks followed by after party drinks followed by the cure drinks… But it turns out that being sober can be just as much craic. In fact, so much craic that I probably should have put this as number one on the list.

14. Two cups of green tea isn’t going to cleanse you of the pre drinks followed by pub drinks followed by pub drinks followed by after party drinks binge. Nor is two days of healthy eating going to turn you into an Instagram babe.

15. Re read 13 & 14.

16. You can iron your clothes with your hair straightener.

17. Return your library books. It’s not that hard.

18. You don’t have to read all of the books. You don’t even have to buy half of the books. But remember – you get out what you put in.

19. Don’t eat in the library, PC suite, lectures, or while you are walking. Just take 15 minutes for yourself and go eat somewhere appropriate. (This is more a plea to the masses than a lesson I have learnt. Please).

20. Save some of your cash money dolla bills. Don’t rush into Penny’s the minute you get paid. Seriously, you don’t need three candles, fluffy socks and that pair of shoes you haven’t even tried on.

21. Back up your photos/computer documents/that novel you are working on ….

22. Never reply to a message when you are angry. Or drunk (or both).

 

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What lessons have you learnt over the past few years? (or, what is your choice of pancake topping?! I’d love to hear! Tweet me here 🙂 )

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What Do You Want to be When You Grow Up?

Remember when we were six years old and the teacher would ask the class what we were going to be when we grew up?

The majority were going to have secure, mostly public service jobs. “I’m going to be a teacher/doctor/Garda” they’d announce, with a sure smile, as they dropped their colouring pencils to think of the nice pension plan that lay ahead in sixty years time.

Next, there would be a solid show of hands for fireman, singer, ballerina and vet.
Then, came the two dreamers. One would be sitting at the front of the class, shouting about how they were going to be “The President of The United States”, even though we were in a small school in a rural town in Ireland.

The other, was me.

“I am going to be a mother, or a writer… Or both” I would say, my cheeks burning as 24 pairs of eyes would turn towards me and my unpopular dream.

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(Can you spot the aspiring writer?)

The other day, I had a reflective hungover moment at The Yellow Thing on campus, where I realised I only have half a semester of college left – and my answer is still the same. Eighteen years of education, and I haven’t changed my mind.

Image result for nuig yellow thing (The Yellow Thing, NUIG)

Now, I am a Cancer, so I’m naturally stubborn – but I think the fact that I haven’t changed my mind on this one has to be talked about. Have you a couple of minutes? Could we talk about it? Thanks.

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Oh, you want me to lie down on that red velvet couch and talk about my childhood? Don’t mind if I do…

Okay, well I think I can blame Mammy Tull-Meister for a lot of this. (What kind of Irish Mammy would she be if she didn’t get the blame for almost everything?). Mammy Tull-Meister is a beautiful, all knowing being, you see. She is goodness and grace incarnate. So, I suppose it’s only normal that when I was a little girl, I wanted to be “Mammy Tull-Meister, new and improved millennial version, with real live baby instead of sticky baby born” when I grew up.

But I’m not entirely sure what the writer dream was created from. Perhaps it came from a muddle of Roald Dahl books, a fascination with people, and the fact I received fancy stationary for every birthday or Christmas present, ever (I still do). Perhaps Mammy Tull-Meister read too many Maeve Binchy books when she was expecting me.

Look, I don’t know. We could be here all day trying to figure it out, and I know you don’t have that kind of time. I know you’re busy studying to be/being a teacher, nurse, computer engineer … maybe you really did become the President of the USA (Obama, Trump – I know you read my articles… )

Image result for donald trump reading

(Donald Trump reading from my blog)

Anyway, the point is, I haven’t changed my mind. And I don’t need to. What needs to change, is the question.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” is a future orientated question – and the future can be a magically dazzling place of possibilities. Or it can be a frighteningly uncertain place, for those of us whose career choices mightn’t be as straightforward as others.

So, instead of asking ourselves what we want to be, maybe it’s time start to asking how we want to be.

I want to be happy, and writing makes me happy. How about you? 

Valentines Guide: What To Do When You’ve Got No Boo

Ever since the great philosopher Rihanna claimed she “found love in a hopeless place”, I’ve been wondering where that was. And after four years here, I think I am qualified to say that no – it was not NUIG. Of course, we’ve all gained a plethora of knowledge since our first days here at NUIG, from how to reference in APA format, to how to buy three weeks worth of groceries with 20 euro. Some of us might even say we’ve “found ourselves” here, but very few of us have found love…

Until today! So fasten your seat belts, put your pants on, drink five espressos .. just pay attention, okay? Tull-Meister is here to tell you how to find love, just on time for V-day.

1. Get Swiping

Mammys are always right. Some of you may recall that mine encouraged me to “get on the tinder” way back in October, and I haven’t looked back since. Apart from that accidental date I ended up having with my second cousin (Galway is a small place), Tinder has been a pretty good time for me. Some of you may have even matched me yourselves, and you will agree with me when I say that I am at least 45% better looking, 56% more interesting, and 80% more pleasant on my profile. In the world of tinder, you can be the best fake version of yourself – and swipe through other fake versions of people to your hearts content. A sure way to happiness, and perhaps even to find the one.. So get swiping.

Image result for tinder symbols

 

2. Start Striving

If you’re reading this, you are more than likely a millenial, like myself. You were probably born some time between the 80’s and late 90’s, not giving a feck what you looked like. For the first few years of your life you were a screaming snotty mess, wearing bright coloured puffy clothes and eating a stable diet of delicious liga biscuits. Bliss!

You weren’t born caring about your diet, what size you were, what clothes you owned, how big your lips were, how shiny your hair was… but the thing is, you were born into a world that told you that you should care about these things.

That’s right kids, drop those liga biscuits – its time to learn how to measure your self worth. In order to be better, to be happier, to find love … you need to take a good long look at yourself. Then look at a Kardashian. Then look back at yourself. Then sit down. Reflect… Think: how could I look more like this? Slimmer, bigger boobs, bigger lips, shinier hair, a nicer ass, defined cheeks.. the list goes on. So get striving.

 

Image result for kardashian family

 

3. Pay Attention

It’s Thursday night in Galway. I’m sitting in a bar, flicking my perfectly long and shiny blonde hair. There’s a man oppisite me. A nice one. This is the closest I’ve gotten to a real life date – the fourteen year old girl within me is skipping around with her stupid mullet hair cut.
How did I get here? Simple. I paid attention.

In November, I picked my suitor. November was perfect for me, because the pubs of Galway were a little quieter and my suitor happened to be a happy go lucky bar tender. He also happened to have a penchant for hunky dory crisps and the foo fighters. (Information such as this was gathered on those quiet November evenings, when I saw him eating the buffolo flavour ones, and heard him tell a customer he was going to a foo fighters concert with his girlfriend).
I then proceeded to buy a foo fighters tshirt on ebay, and a years supply of hunky dorys to always have in my handbag.

Next step: stalking his girlfriend on Facebook. She was blonde with genuine eyes. My conclusion: he likes blonde girls with genuine eyes.

Naturally, I dyed my hair blonde. I’m a red head, so there was a transition period where I wore a lot of hats, but I’m almost perfect now – I just need to look into those lip fillers, and be a little slimmer…

It’s Thursday night in Galway, if the barman was single and on the opposite side of this bar, this might be considered a date. If I was given a chance to actually love myself, maybe it’d be easier to find love.

Is it time we stop swiping and striving?

 

 

The Three Steps to Becoming an Adult … (and what happened to me when I took them)

Here’s the thing: I’ve never really accepted the transition to adulthood.

If you ask me what the most important book I’ve ever read is, I will probably describe the Enid Blyton and Jaqueline Wilson collection that is stacked in order of size on the lilac shelf in my bedroom. If you happen to know that particular lilac shelf, you will know that it matches everything in my room, including the lilac “groovy chick” cushion on my bed. If you know me well enough to have seen my cushion collection, you will know that it excites me almost as much as a pair of fluffy socks.

Image result for jacqueline wilson books
But, in the spirit of it being my final semester of college, I decided to give this adult craic a weeks’ trial. Here’s what happened…

 

 

1. Yoga                                                                    Image result for yoga

The first great thing about going to yoga class was that I hadn’t been to my gym for so long that nobody recognised me, so I got a “free trial” and saved myself a tenner. The second great thing came in the form of an important adult style lesson about being riddled with notions. You see, being so full of preconceptions, I had expected the class to be full of outré characters. But, to my surprise, there were very few people who seemed to come from long haired green organic goat chakra farms.

In fact, the majority of the class were very healthy, toned and trendy looking individuals. Well, if that isn’t an advertisement for hot yoga, I don’t know what is – I thought, as I watched Mister Muscle in front of me stretch his calves. Then, our instructor walked in, and I swear I’ve never seen somebody so comfortable in their body. She lit some incense and started to float around the room, rhyming off mystical language about energies … and before I knew it, we were all united as sweaty elastic bands, bowing to each other and half whispering “Namaste”.
I left the class enlightened and slightly floating (although, I’m not sure if that had as much to do with the yoga, as it did the fact that Mister Muscle definitely winked at me when he said “Namaste”…).
Anyway, the greatest lesson was learned in the dressing room afterwards: It is obligatory to take a full length mirror gym selfie to post to social media (there are filters to edit out your sweat patches and red face). Because, as Buddha himself said: “If nobody on Instagram knows you have done yoga, hast thou really even done yoga?”

 
2. Regrets
Entering the adult realm, for me, was kind of a big deal. So, it was only fair that I decided to leave all my regrets at the door as I walked through. The fact that I spent the tenner I saved at free yoga trial on McDonalds? Left at the door. That mullet style haircut in 2014? No entry. Your man I shifted on the fifth floor of the nightclub in Prague? Sorry, not tonight pal… Je ne regret Rien, and all that.

Image result for je ne regrette rien tattoo

 
For a couple of days, I even considered getting a tattoo of “Je ne regret Rien”, and decided I wouldn’t regret that either. Namaste, to that – I thought, as I sat back imagining all the things I’d done that weren’t on my list of regrets anymore.

 

But, then it struck me….                                .
What about the things I hadn’t done?
The unfinished novel. That rejected tinder date. (What if he was the one? Or one of the ones?) That unpurchased green embroidered shirt in Penny’s. (What if she was one of the ones?).
So actually, je regret a few things. And that doesn’t have the same ring to it for a tattoo, but it’s still okay.

 

3. Conversation
Back in my prime (Prime….ary school, that is) I was known as a master of conversation.
“Good at spelling, very chatty – needs to be moved often”. Was the standard comment on my end of year report. And now, I decided, was time to let my gift shine through – in an adult way.                                    Image result for school report

 

 
“We seem to be … getting a lot of weather” I found myself saying to Mister Muscle at yoga class attempt number two.
Step Two was to replace sarcastic jokes with polite comments. The idea was that in order to be a true adult, I would use the phrase “Okay, great, no problem”, with a huge smile, whenever I felt the urge to be sarcastic or rude.
At my part time job in a café at the weekend, I found myself reflecting on what a brilliant adjustment I had made into adulthood – I felt free, liberated … Namaste, regret free – when who walks in, only my yoga instructor.

Image result for coconut soy latte
“A tall, non foam, goats milk, half caff, organic latte in a recycled cup” She requested.
“Okay, great, no problem….” I smiled through gritted teeth….

 

 

 

 

Displaying Snapchat-939541105.jpg   Here’s a picture of me all smiles, being an adult. Talk soon x