On Graduating + Where I’ve Been!

Lets Talk Real Life rounded

Hello, bloggers! I hope you’re well.
(This is the part where I hope that I’m not talking into a murky abyss of nothingness, as this blog has been somewhat neglected of late.)

So yeah, I disappeared there for a while. It was completely unintentional, but I think, much needed. Ever since I finished university, life has become a bit of a whirlwind, so much has been going on, but all of it good! I have been making it my mission to have as much fun and relaxation time as possible, and to catch up on doing things I didn’t have time to do the past 3 years, and it’s been awesome.

To put it simply, after finishing university I was burnt out. Emotionally and academically. Despite my best expectations and want to blog, every time I opened up a blank page to begin a review or general post I felt completely uninspired and couldn’t even bash out a couple of sentences. The same went for social networking and answering emails (so sorry to those who tagged me in things and didn’t get responses)! I think after spending so many intense months glaring at my laptop researching and writing essays I needed a computer detox, and I’ve now come out the other side feeling refreshed and ready to return. 🙂 But first, I thought you might want to know what I’ve been up to when I haven’t been blogging!

Graduating

I think graduation day was one of the most surreal days of my life. So much hard work and effort was put into reaching that point! It was wonderful to have my family and friends there to celebrate with me, and while the actual ceremony was long and boring, my eyes watered as we all paraded out of the cathedral in our gowns and hats, through all the parents smiling and clapping. It was the moment it hit me that I had finally made it. After exiting the church, I was also amazed to find out I had won an award for coming top in my psychology class, and in the top 10 of all graduates in my university for 2015. Safe to say, I was speechless! I can now officially say I have a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with first class honours. 😀

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My Best Friend Got Engaged!

Wow, this one was a shock to the system! I mean…we all knew it was coming at some point in the future, but she’s the first of my friends to get engaged and it seems way too grown up. Question: WHEN DID WE GET SO OLD?!?
Since I was made a bridesmaid, I have been spending a lot of time with my friend helping her with wedding-related plans, whether just talking things through, or looking up wedding dresses, and it’s been so nice to spend so much time with her after being away at uni for so long!

Dating

At my friend’s engagement party, I also happened to meet someone pretty darn awesome, and I am officially no longer a single lady! I’ve been going out with anonymous for about 3 months now which has also been taking up an extra portion of my time. A couple of months in he also treated me to a long weekend in Hay-on-Wye in Wales aka, the TOWN OF BOOKS! It boasts 25 bookshops in the small area and it seemed like everywhere you turned you were surrounded by books inside and outside. The bookshops were beautiful windy old buildings that were deceptive in their size. Often snaking round corners and up rickety stairs, holding all sorts of treasures from new books to musty old ones. I picked up a few bargains – A Dance of Dragons Part 1 by George R.R. Martin, The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury, and several Tolkien related companion books.
See, this guy already knows the key to my heart is the bookstore, clearly a keeper. 😉

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Driving Lessons

Recently, I also took the plunge and started having driving lessons. I was absolutely TERRIFIED at first, sure I was going to crash or hit something. But I’m six lessons in now and everything has gone reasonably smoothly so far, so fingers crossed that continues! I have officially mastered the basics, and soon I will be on to tackling roundabouts and manoeuvres, eep! I also need to start working on the theory side of things, so back unto the learning breach again my dear friends!

Going on Lots of General Outings

The past few months I’ve also been trying to make the most of my freedom by going to lots of different places with friends, whether shopping trips, going to the coast, bookish events like YALC, sitting by the Thames in the sun, attending a ball and visiting the animals at London Zoo!

Struggling with a Reading Slump

This is the only negative on the list! It’s also probably one of the reasons I’ve been lacking blogging motivation lately, especially in terms of writing reviews. I seem to have hit a patch of mediocre books that haven’t been bad, but haven’t blown me away either, and this includes novels I had been really looking forward to reading! At this point, I’m not sure whether it’s the books or me. It’s probably a little bit of both. But, I think I’m slowly coming out the other side as the last two books I’ve read have been really good, so keep your fingers crossed!

So, The Game Plan…

I’m aiming to make a slow but steady return to blogging, but I am only going to blog when the want and desire are there! My blogging space is my happy space, and should never be a chore. For this reason, I’m not going to force it, even though I miss chatting to you guys!
I also intend to do several lots of mini reviews because I have gotten behind in my absence, and a lot of the books are ones I felt somewhat ‘meh’ towards, and while I want to note down my feelings for the record, I don’t want to dwell on them for too long!

So, I think we’re all caught up! Have you been up to anything interesting lately? What have you been reading? Do you ever feel the need for a computer detox?

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45 thoughts on “On Graduating + Where I’ve Been!

  1. Wow! That is a lot of stuff – I’m impressed you found the time to respond to my comments on Facebook! 😉 Congratulations on getting your bachelor’s degree!! I imagine a ton of hard work went into that and it must feel amazing to be finished. Also, I think I would have left out of my own skin with excitement to go to a town with twenty-five bookshops – awesome! As it so happens, my best friend just got engaged two weeks ago as well – let the wedding plans commence lol. This was a really fun post, and I’m glad to see so many things are going well. 🙂

    • It sure was a lot in a small amount of time! And of course, I always have time to talk fantasy books, they’re my fave. 😉
      Thank you so much! It did, a lot of tears and stress and late nights, especially with the dissertation.
      Oh Niki, you would LOVE it. You end up getting neck ache from looking around so much at all the amazing shops and books. You’re surrounded every way you turn. 😀 You should check some pics out on Google!
      Ahh no way, congrats to her! Thank you, I’m glad you liked it. 🙂

      • I never had to do a dissertation with mine, for which I am endlessly grateful (I did a few extra classes instead), and I still haven’t recovered fully even though I graduated in 2010…). I think I would probably have to take a few days to fully explore the town haha. You see, I went to this ONE bookshop in Seattle Washington and had an aching neck and strained eyeballs within the first hour – So many amazing things to look at! I don’t know that I will ever get the chance to actually visit the town, so I’m definitely going to live vicariously through Google. 🙂

      • Ohhh, wow, colour me jealous! I wish we had that option. Hahaa, that’s good to know, in that case, I will allow myself a good five years to recover. 😉
        Yeah, we were there two full days and still didn’t get around all the shops (although I did skip some e.g. the poetry ones) so you definitely need a good proportion of time to explore.
        Oooh, that shop sounds amazing!

        Good old Google, it has it’s uses. 🙂

  2. Woweeeee!!!!! I am just so damn proud of you! Top in your class and in the top 10 for graduates this year? I’m going to get up and do a dance around my desk, and I don’t care what anyone thinks :). It doesn’t surprise me at all though because your intelligence and dedication to your studies definitely came through in your blogs while you were in uni. And you found a man?!?!?!?! I’m so excited and I need details. You must email me immediately. What does he look like, what does he do, what are his interests, and most importantly of all does he love books? Even if he doesn’t, he understands your love of reading obviously and that’s awesome! By the way, I totally understand your blogging slump. I have been exactly the same way lately where I think about doing a post, the inspiration is totally missing. Plus I have been even more addicted to reading than usual :). Oh well, I will get back to it eventually.

    • Thank you, Cindy! I am proud of me too. 😀 At the start of my degree I could never have comprehended doing as well as I did, heck, half the time I still wonder if there was somehow a grade mixup, LOL. Yay for the desk dance! I definitely do think I took my degree more seriously than quite a lot of people. When I do something, I always want to do it well!
      I did indeed. It was so unexpected and the timing was weirdly perfect. 🙂 I guess we’ll have to see what happens! Phahahaa! Unfortunately, he doesn’t read books unless they’re non-fiction and useful, BUT I AM TRYING TO CONVERT HIM. I let him borrow my copy of The Hobbit because it’s one of my favourites and he liked the LOTR fims, so we’ll see. He has yet to read a single page though, LOL. But yes, even if I can’t convert him, he does understand and admire my love of books and thinks it’s awesome that I have a blog. 🙂

      Ohh no, I did wonder because I noticed you hadn’t blogged much recently either. I’m sorry to hear that! Sometimes you can’t force it, though, and your readers will be there when you come back. 🙂

  3. Love this! Congratulations on your graduation such a beautiful picture. Graduating is so surreal I can’t believe I graduated a year ago where is the time going! 😦 I also recently have a friend who’s got engaged and it was so crazy – like imma still here trying to work out how to be an adult not pick one to be with forever! 🙂

    I hope the reading slump ends soon, they can be an utter bugger to shift but you will I am sure 🙂

    So lovely to catch up with everything and look forward to reading more from you :))

    • Thank you. 🙂 I love that picture too, I think it sums up the whole day really well and everyone looks so happy in it!
      Wow a year ago, how time flies. I must admit sometimes the whole day does feel like a dream, if I didn’t have the pictures, I’d question if it actually happened!
      Ahaaa, that is EXACTLY how I feel, *INTERNET HIGH FIVE*. Like adulthood is still confusing enough!

      Yeah, I very rarely suffer with reading slumps but when I do they hit hard. 😦

      Awwh, thank you. Happy reading! 🙂

  4. Congratulations to you Becky, everyone here new you would come tops!
    I think definitely YOU,more than a slump. with the excitement of your own story, surely words of someone elses could only come second 😉

    • Oh, and yes to interesting, i try to do as much as that as possible even if it’s just washing the socks 😉

      Best reads of the last few months have been: Life of pi, by yann Martel, and
      Oh pure and radiant heart, by Lydia millet.
      And also, reading at the moment: THE ILLUSTRATED MAN by Mr B, actually it’s a book with 100 of his best short fiction, and i jumped ahead to read it. Your so going to love it especially the first paragraph, enough to capture anyone’s interest i think.

      And no to detox, i spend enough time away from technology already, so maybe yes. :-B

      • Ahh, I’ve heard great things about Life of Pi. I’ve got that one on my shelf. Have you seen the movie adaptation? I thought it was absolutely amazing and beautifully done. It’s definitely worth checking out! I haven’t heard of that second book, I’ll have to look it up.
        I’m so glad to hear your reading The Illustrated Man, I’ve been really itching to read it since I bought it. I loved Fahrenheit 451 and Bradbury’s unique style and the tattoo idea sounds so intriguing! 🙂

      • No i never saw the movie, i definitely will check it out though, it will be interesting to see the carnivorous island, see how it compares to the i magi nation 😉
        THANKS

  5. If I remember correctly, you were about to finish / had just finished your A-levels when I first started following this blog and stumbled across you on Goodreads. I’d never seen anyone list rock climbing in their interests before on GR, clearly you were someone worth following. :-)

    …and now you have a degree! Becky, BSc. How time flies!

    My warmest congratulations on getting there…degrees aren’t as simple as some people think, and I’m sure there were tears and frustrations along the way. But you made it, and made it in style. Virtual High Five! I’m so glad so many things are going well for you…the world is at your feet.

    And *anyone* who took you to Hay-on-Wye to look at books has *got* to be a keeper. Best of luck to you both!

    • Gosh, A-levels really seem like an age ago now! I can’t believe you’ve been a follower for that long, wow. Thanks for sticking around to read my ramblings! Unfortunately, there’s a lot less rock climbing going on these days, but I’d love to get back to it now my studies are done. 🙂

      Thank you, Tony. 😀 Ohh there were definitely tears…and temper tantrums where the dissertation was concerned. 😉 *HIGH FIVES BACK.* I’m definitely interested to see where life takes me next!

      Haha, touche.

  6. Congratulations on graduating with flying colors and finding your love at your friend’s engagement party. Wow!! doesn’t that happen in movies. I can actually relate… there is soo much to do that I cannot focus on blogging either. I miss it here, but as you said it must not be a chore but rather something I would love to do. So I let myself at ease here. Good Luck! It was good to read from you again 🙂

  7. Congratulations on graduating Becky! I just recently started following your blog and have been impressed by your fun and interesting blogposts! Hope you will continue blogging, but you’re aboslutely right, it shouldn’t become a chore. Good luck and I’m looking forward to read more of you!

    • Cheers, Charelle! And thank you so much for following, I’ll make sure to check out your blog too. 🙂 (Normally I always do this when new people follow but as it was recently I probably missed you!)

      I will definitely continue blogging, I love it too much to stop completely, there’s a great community here. I’m glad we’re on the same wavelength! I feel like when blogging becomes a chore it might be time to stop – or to rethink the reason you want to blog. 🙂

  8. Wow sounds like a lot has happened! But it sounds like you had a good time 🙂 Completely understandable that you needed a break from your computer after all that university work. Don’t worry about not blogging, we’ll be here waiting for you! ❤
    Congrats on graduating and it sounds like anonymous is a great boyfriend 🙂

  9. Hey, Becky, great to see you back. Congratulations on your award and the top ten spot. I can imagine how hard you worked at university the past 3 years given how much effort you put into writing all your blog posts. Sounds like life is treating you well. Enjoy every moment.

    • Thanks, Emma! I certainly did work really hard and I feel like I spent about 80% of the time stressed so it was such a relief to find that it was all worth it, LOL. If course, there was some great fun too. 🙂
      I will do. I hope life is treating you well too, Emma!

  10. Love this post, Becky! Congratulations on graduating and just being happy. I’m really happy for your unsingle status (that was just worded so weird and awkward, so sorry)! And I love your resolve with blogging. You’re right, blog when you feel inspiration. It took me some time to understand that I shouldn’t worry about when I publish a post and to blog leisurely. Exactly! Remembering that blogging isn’t a chore makes it way more fun! ^.^

    • Cheers, Summer, I’m glad you enjoyed it! ‘Just being happy’ is pretty much my motto right now. After all the hard work and stress, it’s been great to have some time just to focus on me and being happy and content with life. 🙂 Haha, that’s alright, I struggled to word it in the post as well!

      Awh, thank you! I think it can be hard to keep your blog in perspective sometimes, and as much as we love writing posts, it shouldn’t start controlling our lives! I’m glad you’ve discovered the same sort of thing after time. YAY FOR FUN BLOGGING. 😀

  11. Congratulations on graduating, Becky! And a HUGE congratulations for being in the top ten of your class- that’s a huge honor and it’s so admirable how dedicated you are! I definitely know what you mean about it being such a surreal experience, since college is something that literally consumes your lie for so many years (especially if you live on campus) and then one day it’s just suddenly OVER. And then everything seems to happen so FAST. After graduating I definitely took time to just relax and decompress and had about a year sabbatical and within the past two months when I started planning the next phase of my life, literally everything changed practically overnight (but change is good!) I can’t wait to hear more about you and “anonymous” and your experiences as a post-grad. 🙂

    • Thank you, Cristina! It was a huge honour, I’ve never been the kind of person to boast but I was so unbelievably proud when they told me that I had to share it. 😀 Yes, that’s exactly it. For three years, all your goals are so intense and set on one thing, that when it’s over you almost can’t believe it. Knowing you won’t be spending your days with the people you’ve spent three years getting to know is odd as well!
      That’s exactly what I’ve been doing (and planning to do) so I highly approve of your choice. 🙂 SO many people are in a rush to move onto the next stage after graduating, but I think sometimes it’s important to take a step back and assess where you want to be.

      Haha thank you, and best of luck with what you decide to do next as well!

  12. Congratulations on your graduation Becky! Wishing you the best for your life after college. It’s great to see that you’ve been enjoying yourself and don’t worry about your reading slump, you’ll bounce back in no time! I’m about to start taking driving lessons as well, I really want to get my license so I at least have it. Take your time and just do your best, I know learning how to drive can be scary at times. 🙂

  13. Welcome back and congratulations on graduating! I love the sound of a computer detox. We definitely need to do that every once in a while. I had no idea there was such a thing as a town of books, but now I’ll have to go there somehow, someday!

    • Thanks, Sheila! It was pretty amazing. 🙂 I spend SO much time in front of the computer. It was really refreshing to take a step back and pay more attention to the outside world. And the weird thing? I didn’t really miss using it at all!

      It was amazing, definitely worth checking out if you can!

  14. Congratulations on… well, it’d be pointless to list them all again, so… EVERYTHING. You have certainly graduated more gracefully than I did; while I ended up in a slump, you’re making the absolute best of your time and I’m happy for you!
    And that guy definitely sounds like a keeper. 😉

    • Thank you, Zen! Don’t feel bad about the fact you got into a slump, I was fully prepping myself for one after I finished as well because I’m the kind of person who likes to have a plan. I guess I was just really lucky that life helped me out by throwing some pretty awesome things my way. 🙂

      Hahaa, thanks, I’ll pass that on!

  15. This is officially the best blog post I’ve read in a long time! SUCH. AMAZING. STUFF. So happy for you.

    Firstly, a massive congratulations for graduating (it’s a pretty fantastic feeling isn’t it?!) and also, A FIRST! Wow. Top in your class? Superb. I’m very proud in an internet friend kind of way. I knew you’d nail it and I knew the strain and angst would pay off. You’re fabulous.

    Secondly, a bridesmaid? I’m totally jealous. All the dress fittings and minor stresses will be worth it in the end 😉

    Thirdly, I’m ridiculously excited about Mr Anonymous. He sounds perfect. I’ve been dating somebody too and I’d forgotten how scary/exciting it can be :).

    Fourthly, learning to drive can be a real chore but it sounds like you’re doing well. The freedom that you get once you pass your test is priceless!

    Fifthly (that doesn’t look like it’s a word) your general outings sound brilliant. I’m trying to be more spontaneous and social and I must admit, I feel a lot happier because of it.

    Sixthly (definitely not a word but I’m rolling with it and continuing with my theme) I can TOTALLY RELATE to the reading slump. I don’t know what’s wrong with me but this year has been a complete wash-out in terms of reading books. I’ve also got a shitload of reviews to write so I think that’s subconsciously playing on my mind and making me procrastinate. I don’t like this slump malarkey!

    I think shorter, mini reviews are the way forward. I also need a game plan. Please become my PA. That is all.

    • Awwhh, thank you. I’M EXCITED YOU’RE EXCITED.

      It really is, so much of your life gets channeled into it that it becomes a massive achievement and huge thing. I’m still overwhelmed with how I did but so, so happy about it! Ta muchly my blogging friend. 🙂

      I have to say I am loving being a bridesmaid, it’s so much fun! Going dress shopping was just about the best thing ever. So. Much. SHINY. The driving has been really enjoyable too actually, which I wasn’t expecting. I’m pleasantly surprised!

      YOU’VE BEEN DATING SOMEBODY TOO? THIS IS THE BEST NEWS. Yay for us being all in control of our lives and rocking it. It’s so great when it’s all new, isn’t it? I hope it continues to go well. 🙂 I’ve definitely been having a social burst like you, and it’s been great.

      Hahaa, you crack me up. 😉 YES. OHH MY GOSH SAME. What is going on?! I know we can’t read great books all the time, but something has just not been clicking this year and it’s making me sad and grumpy. 😦 Me too…. *eyes pile of books by my bedside table to be reviewed… actually, it’s 3 piles now, whoops.*

      I would love to be your PA, but only if you’ll be mine. Swapsie deal?

  16. Congrats on you’re graduation!! Such great things, I’m happy for you!
    I’m just learning to drive as well. I wish I learned in high school though I wasn’t interested in it then. I’m still not interested in it now but I’d like to take myself on road trips so I must learn.

    • Thank you, Zezee!
      Ohh no way, congrats to you as well then! I wish I had learnt earlier as well because I would have had so much more freedom, but I’m not sure I was ready then, for the responsibility or the cost! Road trips wold be awesome, I’m hoping to go on a few myself. 🙂

  17. I too now blog infrequently, but I was never as good about it as you. 🙂 congrats on all your successes!!! How incredibly exciting!!! Is that place in Wales you went to the place where you can airbnb running a bookstore for two weeks? I want to visit so bad. P.S. he def sounds like a keeper 🙂

    • Haha, I think we all have our moments! I have always tried to be reasonably consistent but if I’m not, I don’t beat myself up about it. It is a hobby after all!
      Thank you. 🙂
      I don’t know, I’ve never heard of that, but it sounds AMAZING. I’ll have to look it up pronto.

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