Third Year Problems

Hello again me, what is it we are talking about today?

University, jobs, the future. I have a lot of doom and gloom in my head at the moment. If I talk things through with my favourite interviewer then I may feel more positive about life, and may find some words of wisdom.

Urgh, haven’t we had this discussion before? I’m sure we talked about your inability to even try to get a job and thhe uncertainty of what to do in the future before?

We sort of did, but not properly. So we’ll do it again. 

Pfft fine, but quickly because I’m a celebrity get me out of here is on in a bit…

Suits me

So. Why are you feeling gloomy? Or is it glum? 

It doesn’t matter what the word is, I understand what you mean. Basically, I have no future plans. I graduate next summer, I have no idea what I want to do. I have no prospects lined up. I resent the idea of leaving without a plan. And I currently lack a lot of motivation with my work. I should be getting through the pile of work I have to do for this week. Instead, I am sitting here talking to myself about the pile of work I should be doing…

Well, surely graduating with a good degree serves as some incentive?

Everyone says that. Thing is, I don’t know what I am working towards in the long run. Therefore, what good will this serve me? I don’t have an employer banging on at me saying ‘YOU MUST GET A 2:1 OR WE WON’T ACCEPT YOU AND YOU WILL BE DOOMED TO THE PITS OF HELL FOREVER’. It’s only really pride. Not that that is a bad thing I guess.

Even so, a good degree will give you a better chance in life to get…

…’a good job’. I know. But will it make me any happier than some of the people who haven’t got a good degree? Or a job that they desired? Or the ones who aren’t currently spending their time living in the library, reading book after book in the hope that at least one of the pages will say something useful that can go into an essay?

This is irrelevant. I understand. There are people who don’t do well and still live happily and manage fine financially. But we have gone well off the point. Okay, so you have no job lined up. Have you thought about a studying for a Masters?

Yes. I thought about it. Then I stopped thinking about it. No. More. Studying. I’m bored of it. I’ve been in education for the last 17 years. No more!

Alright, alright. A simple no would have sufficed. Be honest, what do you want to do when you leave university?

Nothing. Well, travel a bit, but ONLY in the break between the football seasons. And I only want to travel because I want to see some more of the world. And shamefully because it will make my Tweets and Instagram more interesting. (*I genuinely am ashamed about that reason*) But I need money. So essentially I want to earn  money. 

Doesn’t everyone?

Not helpful.

Sorry. This is a depressing conversation isn’t it? What about uni life in general, are you stressed about that?

I’m stressed that I have a lot of work and little time. Then annoyed that the little time is mainly because of my ability to waste time by doing pointless things or procrastinating. My socks are all matched and ordered neatly though…And I’m sad that it is nearly over. I’m sad I have to leave this bubble of independence, this world that is not quite school but not quite real life. It will be a wrench to leave my friends here and the lifestyle, barring the work.

That’s sweet. Although, we both know what you are saying is that it will be a wrench to see your student discount card expire and have to pay full price for things when shopping.

Brutally honest, but yes. I admit that is one of the biggest things I will miss.

So, to sum up (I said it would be a quick discussion): you don’t want to leave university. You are fed up of studying and effectively going through the motions because you have no idea what career you want, what job you would like to tide you over or even where to start because for once you are on your own. You don’t have teachers telling you what the next step is like you did at school. You have a university telling you to get a graduate scheme/ do a masters so it looks good for their statistics. 

Wait, I never said any of those last comments. They are true though. How did you know?

You and I think very alike. Funny that given we are the same person.

Oh yeah…

And that is why I cannot help you. Your problems are my problems. All I have done is written them out in a more coherent paragraph.

So this has been a waste of my time then?

No. You needed to get it off your chest. It is bad to bottle things up. Besides, somebody somewhere may read this and feel in the same boat. Your desire to spread your misery with the world may serve as reassurance to some. People may even have words of encouragement or advice.

I suppose so. Thanks. I’m a Celebrity time now?

It sure is. This discussion must stop. I’m not letting your pessimism and misery get in the way of watching Kian.

Agreed and understood. 

(I’m a miserable blogger….get me out of here!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starting again. Again

It is only fair that to start up another blog site I actually write blog posts for it, as opposed to just lazily exporting a file from my other page. So here I conduct my first interview with me about why I am giving this blogging malarkey another attempt. 

So, yet again, you have started up another blog site.

I know what you are thinking, that this is just a fad, I’ll write a bit and then get bored and stop.

How did you guess?

Because I am and you and you are me remember. That is this blog’s entire point! And because, well, it is an honest assessment of how my previous blog experience has gone.

Well, the first way of preventing that from happening again is to figure out why it is you stopped before. Why was that?

I got a bit bored. The blogs lacked a theme and were done on the spur of the moment rather than overly planned. Nothing at all wrong with that, the approach works for some but not for me. I couldn’t keep coming up with ideas. There became fewer spur of the moments. Hang on… you are me, shouldn’t you already know this, why are you asking?

Because there is a chance that in this big, wide world, someone who isn’t you/us will read this and be curious. They may even have had the same troubles. Sharing your experience may well help so go on, continue…

Fine. I suppose I also stopped because I am a student studying a coursework based subject. I spend a lot of time reading and writing that to then find time to write posts for fun was difficult. They take a while you know, the editing, the spell checking etc. I started to write for the sake of other people too, what I thought others would want to read. It made it less fun. I kept putting it off. I turned it into a chore.

Okay, I get it. Well, let’s ask a different angle, your very first blog post. The last time, not this one. Why did you write it?

I like writing. I liked reading people’s blogs. So many different ways of writing. I wanted to have a go myself, see if I’m any good at it and see if people enjoyed it.

Do you care if people enjoy it?

Obviously. Actually, it used to be the main focus for me but now that has changed somewhat. For me it is about me enjoying writing it. Of course, I don’t want people to hate it or be bored by it, but I’m not at the level really where I have an established audience to entertain. I want people to read it, I want people to like it. If people enjoy it then that is a bonus that does really mean a lot to me. For now, however, it is about expressing myself, and writing for my personal enjoyment also, rather than for the sake of others.

Okay, so why start blogging again (again)?

In truth, I missed writing blog posts. I missed the enjoyment I get when writing for my own purpose. But the themeless nature I had before made it hard. I needed to come up with a structure. Besides, these interviews are really fun. I really enjoy them. I’ve already written in the ‘About me’ section why I enjoy them so please don’t ask me to repeat that.

But the people reading won’t…

The people reading are more than capable of clicking a hyperlink. (*Not to be rude to the readers but it isn’t hard*)

Fine, for what it is worth I enjoy them too. But I would. I am the same person. I take it I am your favourite person to do an interview with then?

Goes without saying. I can’t think of anyone in the world better to talk to. Well, I can, but Phil Neville is a busy man… so you’ll/ I’ll just have to do!

Talking to myself: Twitter tips

Yes it’s time for myself to show an interview conducted by my favourite interviewer (me), where I interview one of my favourite people (me). If people are confused by this concept, I have done this before so just bear with me.

Whilst scouring bookshops to pass time, I’ve noticed that one type of guide that seems increasingly common is ‘how to use Twitter’, or of a similar nature. Now, these guides look both massive and pricey and there are plenty of websites offering tips for free, not that I’ve bothered to use them. The point is, I have been a Twitter user for over 4 years and in that time my appreciation and feelings towards the Twitter world have changed. It got me thinking, if I had to advise my 16 year old self about Twitter, and offer my old self some tips, what would I say? Well, let’s find out (interview style)…

*Some of it is based on past experience and personal life thoughts. You’ll know which bits

So, you have just set up your Twitter account 16 year old me, how are you finding it?

Rubbish. I haven’t got a clue what I am doing, and I don’t have any followers. I can’t just tweet to myself can I?

You’ll soon pick it up, it honestly is very simple. And of course you can. Twitter is about talking to yourself. Do it for long enough, say interesting things, use the right hashtags and eventually someone will talk back to you and you won’t be a loner. 

That seems stupid. And use the right hash what?

Hashtags. Use the symbol ‘#’ and put a word after it (without a space). Then you can click on it and see what other people are saying with the same ‘#’ and then you can be friends. Or at least see what people are talking about. I’ll give you a hint. The most important # you personally will ever need on your Twitter journey is #WBA.

What good will that do?

It will lead to lots of Albion fans. It will open the door to those who share the same love as you do. People of a range of ages all connected by the Baggies. You will follow some of these people. Some of them will follow you back. You will progress through your Twitter journey together over the next few years. From those fans you will find other fans, fans of football teams from around the country. Even fans who live in other countries. 

That sounds great. I can talk about football to people a lot? Suits me.  I don’t want to have to talk to Villa fans though really.

Don’t be stupid. Believe it or not, Villa fans are people too. You will strike good conversations with some of them. Besides it is not all about football on Twitter you know. People will talk to you about the normal things that people talk about. Like when you go to university, your Twitter family (that is honestly a legitimate term) will help you hugely. When you feel a bit lonely in your first year away from home, Twitter people will be there to talk to you. When you are stuck, people on Twitter will be of help, especially those in the same boat or that have gone through the same things. That is why it is important you talk and follow many people. Talking of followers, who are the first people you are following?

Vernon Kay, Tim Lovejoy and Ben Shephard

… oh dear. Actually Ben Shephard is a decent choice- he will even tweet you back sometimes and those tweets will make you happy.  Vernon Kay is a decent choice. But you’ll unfollow Lovejoy as time goes on. Thing is, whilst the high profile people are cool to follow at first, it is the non-famous members of society that will make Twitter a better place for you. Those who will reply, those you can get to know and those with more in common than you. 

I’ll keep that in mind then. Will I ever meet these followers that I may amass?

Some of them yes. Mainly at the Albion, except your lack of ability to recognise people based on their Twitter Avatar will make things awkward as you will either not realise who they are, only remember their Twitter name, or be completely ignorant as you have no idea who they are despite them recognising you. Some however, will become good friends.

Wow. Okay, I’m feeling far more positive about this whole thing now. Is it good for anything else?

Lots. Twitter is probably the best website to be on in times of national events or when watching nationally popular television shows. Some of the sarcasm and humour that comes across in tweets will entertain you immensely. If you can, join in with such tweets, but don’t overdo it. Also, it is a great source of news. When the future heir to the throne is born to Kate and Wills you will find out via Twitter. When Bin Laden is captured (this does happen in your future) you will find out via Phil Neville on Twitter.

PHIL NEVILLE HAS TWITTER?!

Yes, he joins a few years after you. You need to be patient, but the day he sets it up you will be very happy. Gary Neville also has it. As does John Bishop, and lots of other people you like but I will keep the rest a surprise.

I’ll be honest, I am really looking forward to using it now, any final twitter advice for me?

Yes. 1) Do not be afraid to have an opinion. People do not agree all of the time. But make sure any argument you post is rational and can be supported. Basically all the debate stuff you are taught in history will help you.
2)Use the unfollow button if need be. You will not get on with everyone, nor will everyone get on with you. It is your Twitter journey, why clog it with people you don’t want to read tweets from?
3)A Retweet (when people ‘re- tweet’ what you have posted by pressing a snazzy little button to share it with their followers) will make you feel good about yourself. But do not live your life depending on getting such recognition. This is not Facebook after all.
4)It is not a competition. Sure, gaining followers will boost your ego and confidence a bit, but you will soon realise it is about the people that follow you that make Twitter fun, not the number.

Awesome. I think I’m going to enjoy this Twitter thing to be honest. One point though, I still don’t like the hashtag thing

You won’t say that when you take a role in the #BackTheBerg phenomenon.

Back the Who? Dare I ask?

Probably best not to. Time will tell.