I’ve now finished the first year of my MA (as long as the essays I submitted are good), which is satisfying. My job is going well and I’ve got some exciting posts and articles lined up for the next month or so. I’m confirming summer plans, but fitting in plenty of rest too.
This is my first reflections / round-up post since January because of the term-time rush. Do let me know if there’s anything you’ve been thinking about, writing on or enjoying lately.
I recently read this essay by Elisa Albert, in which she discusses the pressures of ambition and her own frustrations with it. Whilst acknowledging the benefits of hard work, Albert criticises the self-serving nature of ‘Lean In’ culture that is more concerned with achievement than with purpose or human connection. In contrast, Albert is impressed by:
‘Eye contact. Self-possession. Loyalty. Boundaries. Good posture. Moderation. Restraint. Laugh lines. Gardening. Activism. Originality. Kindness. Self-awareness. Simple food, prepared with love. Style. Hope. Lust. Grace. Aging. Humility. Nurturance. Learning from mistakes. Moving on. Letting go. Forms of practice, in other words. Constant, ongoing work. No endpoint in sight. Not goal-oriented, not gendered. Idiosyncratic and pretty much impossible to monetize.’
Today I’m happy to be sharing an interview with Ishita Ranjan, better known as Ranj. I’ve been in touch with Ranj for a few years, thanks to mutual friends and our involvement with Student Hubs. Ranj is encouraging, helpful, intelligent and ambitious. These qualities come together in her latest venture, Care Package Company. Read on to see what Ranj has to say about starting a social enterprise, self care and more.
When my copy of Daisy Buchanan’s How To Be A Grown-Up arrived, I greeted the courier with an earnest thank you and excited smile. I devoured the book in a few days, marking pages as I nodded in agreement.
I have appreciated Daisy’s writing for a long time and I regularly revisit her honest, thoughtful pieces for The Pool. HTBAGU builds on Daisy’s work as a journalist, covering topics such as career decisions, anxiety, body image, sex, financial management and relationships with friends, partners and parents.
Spring is here, marking the last term of university for many. I can recall the uncertainty of this time during my undergraduate degree and perhaps you can too. Or, maybe you’re currently at that stage, wondering what happens once graduation day is over. Either way, I hope you find the following advice interesting and helpful. Read on for words of wisdom from people working in a range of roles and sectors. Thanks to everyone who shared their thoughts with me for this post.
I’ve written a new piece for Times Higher Education’s Student section, which features advice for managing a part-time postgraduate course. You can read the piece here.
If you’ve studied part-time, I’d love to hear about your experience. If you’re thinking about starting a part-time course and have a question to ask, I’ll happily answer. Comment below or tweet me and I’ll get back to you.
Thanks for reading!
In the hallway, our childhood photos sit side by side. Occasionally we pause on the stairs, noticing the marked similarities – the full faces, full fringes. I am three, at nursery completing a puzzle, looking away as if I already know where the pieces fit. You are sitting down, tucked neatly next to your sister.
Trigger warning: eating disorders, weight, anxiety.
I recently mentioned that publishing certain blog posts makes me feel vulnerable. This is one of them. I tiptoed around this idea for a while and decided that it’s part of an important conversation that I want to contribute to.
So, imagine gaining weight. Not a few pounds, but a few stone. How does that make you feel?
My podcast habit is still going strong, so I thought now would be a good time to follow up on November’s round-up of my favourites. Here’s a short list of additions.