Showing posts with label Life Update. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Life Update. Show all posts
5 things I've learnt as a graduate

It’s hard to believe that this time last year I was working on my final project at university and revising for my last set of exams. This past year has flown by. 
I’m five months into my first graduate job as a journalist and I’m loving it. It feels really weird to think I’ve now stepped into adulthood and working life.

This is my first official 9 to 5 job and also the longest I’ve ever had. Before this, I’d done one and two week internships or had part time roles which is completely different from working full-time. I've learnt a lot about myself and wanted to share 5 things with you I've discovered as a graduate: 

01 // You’re still a newbie. Yes, to some degree you’ve been hired because of your experience and potential but don’t forget you’re still new to this. Despite knowing that this is my first proper rodeo, I still feel pressure to be the best and act as though I’m more advanced than I am. Which is great but it’s important to remember I’m still fresh out of university and I need to allow myself room to grow.

02 // Time management is bullsh*t. I think one of the hardest things I’ve had to learn is working and getting my work done between the set hours of 9 to 5:30. I’ve been told this is normal when you’re working. I've also been told that as a journalist, managing time is a regular challenge but you've got to work it out somehow.

03 // Make time for yourself. At university, we went from having all the time in the world to manage studies when we wanted and for extra curricular. As a newly working graduate, a big chunk of your day is spent working. One thing I’ve learnt is to make an effort to set aside time to work on myself and my wellbeing. I reserve Sundays as my "special" time to do whatever I want. It normally involves tidying my room, reading, watching Netflix and not really socialising. 

5 things I've learnt as a graduate

04 // Fake it ’til you make it. This is more helpful if, like me, you dip in and out of feeling confident about yourself and work. I have imposter syndrome so a lot of the time, I don’t feel like I’m good enough to be doing what I’m doing. So, I’ve learnt that sometimes you have to fake it to make it.

05 // This is just the beginning. I have a habit of stating the glaringly obvious but this is just the beginning. We have our whole world in front of us and how exciting is it to think of all the possibilities where we could end up. The first job we get isn't going to be the last and we're going to switch paths all the time. As daunting as it is settling into working life and having all these responsibilities, it's truly exciting to think about the future.

What's something you've learnt as a graduate?

Love, Aoife xo

mental health 2021 goals
Mental health 2021 goals

Hey Stranger,

Long time, no see. It’s been a while since I sat in front of my laptop and just typed. I feel a little rusty if I’m honest so bare with me. To say this year has been a roller coaster would be an understatement. Amid all the painful moments there were a handful worth celebrating. I think we can all agree it's for the best to put last year behind us.

I struggled a lot with my mental health last year and ended up cutting back on a lot of the things I loved doing. I took a long break from social media and blogging when things got too much and then felt a little out of my depth when I wanted to come back. One thing I missed the most was being creative and producing content. One of my goals for 2021 is to be consistent with my content. 

A lot has happened since I last wrote a blog post. One of those things is I’m now working as a journalist. Me! This is something I have been dreaming about since I was in year 11. It’s a completely new field for me and I’m really enjoying it. Writing about more formal topics at work has made me miss what I was writing about when I was blogging. This space has been a place for me to write about beauty, fashion, books and my favourite places in London. A lot of the things that “fed my soul”, if you will, ended up closing during the lockdowns and in the new tiered system. I wasn't very good at finding alternatives, that I could to, to all those things.

The pandemic threw more than I realised and one thing I'm focusing on this year is my mental health. Last year taught me how important a good mental health is in being able to function. After all, we’re only human and we can only take so on much.

Here’s a couple of things I’ll be doing to look after my mental health this year:
  • Be kinder to myself. Funnily enough, I wrote a blog post on this and never followed any of it. I can count on one hand how many times I have been kind to myself this year. It’s quite shocking really. As the pandemic continues, I’m going to have to rethink what things I can do to bring me happiness since what I used to do has been put on pause. Taking it easier and not putting so much pressure on myself are my two priorities. 
  • Have more ME time. For the whole year, I have felt that my time belonged to someone else. I think that’s been a big cause of my anxiety. This year, I’m focusing on taking ‘protected’ time out for just me. I started doing it last Autumn and it really helped. Essentially, Sunday will belong to me. For that day, I will do whatever I want to do whether it’s catching up on my latest read, creating content or going for a nice stroll. The most important thing is feeling as though that time belongs to me and no one else.
  • Be creative. I thrive on creativity. It’s one of the reasons why I wanted to make writing my career. I used to bake, cook, write, read, and film. I loved it all! I mentioned earlier that I stopped  doing those things when everything got a little too much. Really, I should have kept those things going. 

Love, Aoife xo



Maya Angelou’s poem ‘Still, I rise’ connects with me on many levels. There’s beauty between the lines and on the lines. It’s a poem about strength which at this moment in time is something I can wholeheartedly relate to.

I'm only going to mention this once more because quite frankly I've given it way more air time than it should. The last nine months has been one massive test. My living situation at university was just a bundle of tension and stress. And unfortunately, there's nothing we could really do about it. Or at least, felt safe enough to do something about it. I spoke to every possible person. I was so distracted over it that it had a negative impact on my work and at numerous points, I felt I had lost control over everything. Except I was so distracted over the living situation that I was less stressed about work. To give you an idea of the extent of the issues: camping out on your flatmate's floor to seek refuge from the antics of another flatmate was a low moment. So was checking up on said flatmate to see if she was okay after being shouted at to find her friend had come round (at 2AM) to make sure she was okay. But walking the streets late at night (11PM) holding a pillow on the way to a friends house was an even lower moment. We won’t mention the bottle of pinot pressed against my eye at 8:30 in the morning to reduce the massive bags under my eyes before my 9AM.

In every testing situation, there’s a balancing act to be done. Picture a weighing scale. On one side is the testing factor and on the other your desire to achieve the goal. The side that holds your desire should weigh down the testing factor by far. That’s how I always find motivation and determination to push through troubling times. If the scales are close to balancing then maybe your desire is wavering and you should think back to where that desire stemmed from in the first place. Nothing should take you away from what you want to achieve. It is your life and you have the right to determine what you want to do with it. 

So, in every testing situation remember that there are more important things to think about. Such as that goal you're on track to achieve. I know that can be incredibly hard to absorb especially when all you feel is anger but turn it into determination. If you need to, go to the gym and pound it out on the treadmill. It helps! 


In the words of Maya Angelou...
“Still, I rise”.

Love, Aoife xo


I absolutely love how my bedroom has turned out! Everything about it is perfect and so much better than I was expecting. The room was completely renovated; walls re-plastered, window frame painted and the floorboards underneath were white-washed. All of which is a far cry from the navy carpet and dark green walls before.

In decorating my room, I wanted to create a light and open space. Something feminine and chic. I love that typical Parisian style and the soft palette of neutral colours and textures. I wanted to include elements of this in my room so I added a couple of black accents (curtain rail, bedside table, photo frames) to contrast the light grey and to add chic feel. To magnify the light and airy feel, I opted for linen curtains. They don’t block out any light and are more of a design feature than anything practical. I love how they let the light shine through and create a glow in the room in the morning.

My favourite part is the area around my bed. It’s the perfect place to snuggle up in the evenings especially with the Christmas tree lights wrapped around the headboard. Above the headboard are a couple of Desenio prints. I am completely in love with them! The ones I have chosen are bold, elegant and feminine. All of which complement the ambience of the room.


Love, Aoife x
Maybe, just maybe, I might finally have the time to sit down and write this little life update.

First things first; I've moved away to university! Yay!!! It's been quite an experience both positively and negatively. But I'll discuss that later in the post.



It's been two weeks now since I moved away from home and into my Uni halls. If you had asked me on the first night how I was feeling; I would have burst into tears saying I felt homesick and I'd just made the biggest mistake of my life. On the first and even second night, I had a few troubles with my room which meant that I ended up feeling massively homesick and anxiety really kicked in. The whole thing was just horrible. As the week progressed, things started to get better. I started to find my rhythm and my feet. There were things occupying my day and by night, I was busy still trying to sort my room out.

Thankfully, I can now reply to the same question with a new and much better answer, I'm feeling 100% better. I'm still full of nerves and I'm still trying to work things out. But I'm also extremely excited for this new chapter in my life.

Moving to University


I always envisioned myself moving away for university and when the time came to start packing and buying everything, it was very surreal. The moment I had been dreaming about for three years was finally coming true and it took me a while for that to sink in. I did panic pack a little.

I moved in on a Saturday so I had Sunday to finish settling and to gather my surroundings. My Mum and Brother helped me move in on Saturday and my Dad came down the following day to help me finish unboxing everything. I have to say unboxing and unpacking aren't as fun as packing.

Friends and Flatmates

On the first night and the days following, I felt really lonely and since I wasn't going out at night, I didn't know how to find friends let alone make them. I felt like I put this expectation on myself that I needed to find my new best friend in the first few days and when I hadn't done that I felt like I failed.

In uni, there are numerous ways to meet new people; there are societies, your course and lectures/ seminars, a million group chats on WhatsApp and Facebook and out and about on Campus. I've met people on my course, through Facebook and even in my halls.

I've heard all of the horror stories about flatmates and I moved in thinking the worst. Thankfully, all my flatmates are really nice and I don't want to jinx it but things are good and we get along great. Our kitchen is clean. No one's particularly noisy. It's great.

New Life


With everything in life; there are positives and negatives. This is a very exciting time in my life but it's also the scariest. I've always been surrounded by people I love, both family and friends. When I first moved in I was like a Baby Giraffe trying to walk for the first time. It was as though I had been scooped up from my wonderful life and dropped somewhere else.

I think the most exciting thing about this is I can finally study a subject that makes me really excited. But also, I can study on my own terms as opposed to being forced to sitting in school or sixth form which I found really limiting. I love to discover new things and there is so much to discover here.


I'll be back soon with a new post.

Love, Aoife x

In the world of blogging, it seems silly to move to a blogging platform more limited than the one you were originally on. There are so many bloggers out there who started out on Blogger and are now interested in moving their blog over to WordPress. So, I guess the question is why would I want to move my blog over to a platform that provided me with more restrictions.

The answer is simple.

All I wanted to do is to blog. I'm not interested in using my blog for commercial purposes. I'm not trying to turn into a business. If that option came further down the line then I might consider. But for now, when I spend more days feeling like a goldfish in the ocean, I'm only after the simple life. I want a platform that allows me to blog, express my opinion and to do that, I made the decision to move over to Blogger.

WordPress is great. It provided me with a lot of opportunities when I first started back in 2013. I'll forever be grateful and I could never hate Wordpress. But for reasons I don't think I can quite explain, moving my blog was what was good for me. It was what I needed to do to move forward. So here I am. My first post on my new site.

I've uploaded all of my old posts from aoifecaitriona.wordpress.com so your able to see them. And I'll keep that site live too. Life is like a journey and sometimes we have to make decisions and change it up a little, in order to keep moving forward. So, I hope you'll stick around.

Love, Aoife x