October Reflections

Bright Flowers in Three Glass Jars

October brought grey skies that turned pink at dinner time. Crunching leaves. Meals shared with family.

It meant catching up with friends over mugs of tea after too many months, and smiling at thoughtful cards. Enjoying the scent of candles and the sweetness of the last bite of birthday cake. Anticipating what’s next.

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What’s the Point of an Arts Degree?

Minimal work space - Creative flat lay photo of workspace desk with sketchbook and wooden pencil on copy space green and blue pastel background. Top view , flat lay photography.

Five years ago I was an uncertain fresher studying English and History at the University of Southampton. Now I’m halfway through a part-time MA in Cultural Management at King’s College. I’ve gone from the Brontës to business plans.

Would I make the same choices again?

Yes, absolutely. Arts education can be incredibly interesting and rewarding.

During the summer I asked a few friends and contacts to share their perspectives on the value of studying for an arts or humanities degree.

Here are four key benefits:

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24 More Things I’ve Learned by 24

Pastel pink and floral notebooks

Last September I shared 23 Things I’ve Learned by 23. Now approaching my 24th birthday, I’ve put together another list. I’m all for lifelong learning.

Here we go:

1. You can’t and don’t need to do everything. Prioritise your commitments.

2. Qualities can be more important than qualifications.

3. Social contact can help you live longer. Make sure to ‘build your village’.

4. What a stranger at a train station thinks of you really doesn’t matter.

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September Reflections

View from Cissbury Ring, West Sussex

If Richard Curtis adapted my experience of this month into a romantic comedy, it could be called One Wedding and a Funeral. It would feature plenty of love, laughter and tears, without puffy dresses or patterned waistcoats.

September has brought another milestone – going back to school. I recently started the second year of my MA. This looks set to be the last autumn I spend balancing professional work and academic work (and blogging and…). I’m keen to get stuck in and appreciate the experience. Please remind me of that when I’m in the library two hours from home and it’s dark outside.

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August Reflections

Purple Flowers

“Things are both fine and not. Beginnings and endings are happening side by side. Life is messy and important and joyous and heartbreaking.”

These words from Meg Fee sum up August for me. This month, grey days stretched into sunny evenings with people I love. I worked, rested, then became ill and played less than I would have liked to. I visited the Peak District with work friends, appreciating slow, shared meals and a break from screens.

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My Favourite Podcasts: Part Three

iPhone and Earphones

This is my third podcast recommendations post (click to read part one and part two). I keep finding new series to listen to when I’m travelling, washing dishes, in the bath or wherever else. If you think of any others I might like, please let me know in a comment or tweet!

18. The Debrief Podcast

With humour and good advice, Stevie and Tessa tackle topics faced by many people in their 20s. If you’re in Edinburgh this month, I’ve heard Tessa’s show is great too.

Recommended episode: How To Do Things That Scare You.

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