Carpri Diem!

It’s been quite some time since I wrote that last post, and I’m so sorry about not keeping this blog as updated as I ought to. A lot has happened in a little while, and I just haven’t given myself the time to write!

Anyway, summer has well and truly kicked off! All of my friends have moved off campus now, and I’ve been given the keys to my new studio flat! I’m sat in it at the moment, writing this. I started moving some bits and pieces over yesterday evening, and slept here for the first time last night. I have my own kitchen, bathroom, dining room, my bed is in the corner of the kitchen, along with my wardrobe, and my desk is in a lovely little conservatory section, which I love when it’s sunnier (the rain has kicked off today, sadly).

Update on the guy, we’re actually now together, as a proper couple! I even met his father the other week, and I’ve been given the thumbs up, apparently! Next week we’ll have been together for two months, scary how the time flies! I’ve never met someone so supportive and understanding about me and my issues, and I often have him behind me every step of the way when I embark on new projects, go off to places and generally follow my dreams. It’s lovely, I feel beautiful when I’m with him, and it’s wonderful.

All my coursework is finally complete! All I have to do now is print the last bits off, which I’ll do today, and hand them into the registrar’s office, then I can sit back, and wait for my grades, which I’ll get in September before the new academic year starts. Yikes! As long as I pass, then it’ll be ok, I’ll be aiming higher next year!

Speaking of university, my job as Careleaver Liberation Rep starts properly as of now! Clearing is happening, and young people across the country are finding out if they got into their university of choice. Careleavers are doing this too, and I remember opening my results letter telling me I got into my university, and wondering ‘how is this going to work out?’. So I’ll be on Twitter today, with the hashtag #careleaverlibrep to answer any questions about leaving care and starting up at university as a careleaver. Exciting time to be had by all!

So, on top of everything else, I’ve helped out with the development of an app for careleavers to assist with pathway plans, education/work/training and identity. It’ll be promoted during Careleaver Week, in October half term, so I’ll be promoting it to┬ámy students, as well as you guys. Just because you grew up in care, it doesn’t mean that you’re society’s offcast. You still have so much to offer! I promise!

I’ve also started work on a WWI novel for young people, so am hoping to have the first draft completed by the end of the year. In the meantime, I should really start moving some more stuff over…

So, What do You Wanna Be When You Grow Up?

Today I skipped a Creative Writing lecture (whoops) in order to attend a careers course, there to try and help you decide what you want to do for a living, and how you’ll get there. It was a great session, there were herbal teas and sandwiches (and a bowl of smoky bacon crisps conveniently on the chair next to me, wonderful!). Obviously the session itself was great too. I’m just waiting to be sent my personal link for a website to create a personality profile to help me decide which jobs I would be suited to doing. I wouldn’t be surprised if it said ‘You’re a maniac, get off the streets for good!’ I only say this because in one of the exercises I insisted that I must gallop all ala Miranda Hart to lectures, cream pie lecturers and stick whoopee cushions on the chair of my future employers for a laugh. It’;s why in my future comedy routine, I have a list of ten reasons why I should never have an office job, involving hiding in stationary cupboards and rolling around in bubble wrap amongst other things.

One of the exercises was about what I wanted to be when I grew up when I was five. To be honest, all I wanted to do was spin around in a circle all break time, to try to understand what being drunk was like (one of my friend’s dads was drunk all the time, so we were curious to find out why he was so ill all the time. It wasn’t pleasant really) or running around with a stick and pretending to slay a dragon or two. I did admit I wanted to be an archeologist or a historian, because I read Horrible Histories and watched way too much Time Team. I also wanted to be a West End actress when I was 13, after seeing Wicked on the stage, and listening to the soundtrack obsessively, I’d be the first autistic Elphaba, I swore to myself. When X Factor came to the screens, I decided I would audition, but them my dear mother reminded me that I can’t sing, so shouldn’t embarrass myself on national television, thus squishing those dreams. When I was fifteen I considered being a sailing instructor, because I was on a course with social services learning how to sail, but, to be honest, being all active isn’t really my cup of tea.

I remember being sixteen, when I was staying with my mum for a weekend, when we were sat down to dinner. My stepdad turned to me, and said, “So, what do you actually want to do with your life, after you’ve done your GCSE’s?” I replied that I wasn’t sure, although I was taking a film and television BTEC, when I got into college, so maybe I’d be a filmmaker, or work for the BBC. My mother then said that perhaps I shouldn’t aim quite so high, so I thought again. Deep down, I wanted to tell her that I wanted to be a writer, and carve a living out of that, but I knew she wouldn’t approve, she wanted me to get a ‘sensible’ career, like my older sister, then studying forensic science at undergraduate level. I remember her saying to me that she’d hoped I’d take an animal care course, and take over the kennels when she retires. But, as much as I do love animals, I couldn’t bear working with them for a living.

I also recall the film festival of 2012, when I invited my mother and sister over to watch some of my work blown up on a cinema screen. I could tell she wasn’t interested in the films, not really. She then asked me about university. I’d said to her that I was applying, but not what I would actually be doing. So I told her, “I’m applying to do a Creative Writing degree.” She was naturally, horrified, and said, “What on earth will you do with that? What career will be open to you?” So I lied, and said I wanted to go into secondary teaching. She still thinks this is the case!

In reality, I still don’t have a clue about what I want to be when I grow up. A few years ago, when I was about to sit my GCSE’s, I felt like I had all the time in the world to plan my future, my career. But now I’m an undergraduate student, I need to start thinking about the next steps. In two years time I’ll graduate, and won’t be able to afford a masters degree, not until I get a proper job. So, I need to start thinking, and fast. I’ve grown up, but I still don’t know what I want to do.

Yikes.