Heartbeats

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Life is simply a heartbeat. Life, like heartbeats, has its up and downs. Life, like heartbeats, is over as quickly as it begun. But at this moment, we’re still alive. We might consider it an injustice that the world keeps on turning after a tragedy, but it is also our greatest blessing. As long as our heart beats, we can change, adapt, recover, grow, be freed. As long as our heart beats, we can find happiness, positivity, success, and all our desires, despite our mistakes, shortcomings and failures. As long as our heart beats, there is always a time for a new beginning, for another try, and for another chance to feel. Don’t waste it.

(Image: quoteinsta.com)

Song of the Week: ‘It’s Time’ by Imagine Dragons

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It is no wonder that Imagine Dragon’s acclaim is rooted in their leading single, ‘It’s Time’, a song packed with lyrical lessons to inspire all of us who are hanging onto anxiety or uncertainty about the future. Sometimes we find ourselves lost and confused, in an in-between state or at a fork in the road. Sometimes we are scared of losing what we leave behind or scared of what is to come. Sometimes we find ourselves on a path that isn’t the one we imagined, whether it be from pursuing a path we did not want for ourselves or pursuing the path we thought we wanted. It can be exhausting, and sometimes we haven’t even started yet.

Life is turbulent no matter where we are. Making decisions and actually following them through can be emotional. But do not let that stop you from beginning and following your heart. Try, let go, don’t hold back and don’t look back.We do not need to follow the conventional path or that which does not fulfil our ambitions. We don’t need to compromise ourselves for other people. Never give up on the life you imagine, no matter how many times it changes. We might have to journey through miles of clouded hell to reach the top, and we might get knocked down before we get there. There is always a chance to begin and begin again – it is our choice to take it. Failing once, failing twice, doesn’t reduce us to ashes. If it does, we will be reawakened. It is okay to change our minds. Turbulence is okay. Through all the trials, heartbreak, anxiety, fear, never change who you are.

Song of the Week: ‘Courageous’ by Megan Nicole

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For me, Sundays are about relaxing, re-grouping and reflecting. They are about being still and living simply. Sundays are also about getting inspired and motivated for the week ahead. For me, music and YouTube combine all these threads together. Today, I wanted to share one of my favourite singers on YouTube, Megan Nicole, who started out as a YouTuber and has written a beautiful song called ‘Courageous’ for her newly released EP, Escape. It is about overcoming adversity and hurt. It is about accepting the many emotions, the ups and downs, and the imperfections. It is about being courageous despite the words and past mistakes. In the end, we are the only ones in our own way; we can all be courageous. And that is the attitude we should not only start the week with but start every day with! So let’s begin the week with the bravery to embark on new adventures, grab the opportunities we want to take, and allow ourselves to be happy. We deserve it.

‘Courageous’ and the rest of the album is available on iTunes and Spotify!

 

Tips for Starting University and the Lessons I Learnt

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It is that time of year again (at least in England) with many going off to university for the first time or going back to university, some for the last time. I wanted to share some of my advice for starting university and even for those going back. I say ‘some’ because I realise that there is so much more I could say, and this post is already long enough! Please feel free to leave your own tips or questions in the comments below.

One of the biggest concerns is making friends; it’s probably one of the first times that you’ve been away from home and your family, so you want to find that same comfort, joy and support in a group of people nearby. Here’s are some tips for figuring this out:

  • First of all, everybody is in the same boat; everybody is looking to make friends. Just be yourself!
  • Join as many societies as you can, even just to try them out, and go to their social events. This way, you’ll not only be doing something you enjoy, trying out something new, or finding a new passion, but you’ll also meet a ton of like-minded people, who are in a similar position to you or who want to welcome you to the university.
  • Give people a chance, because everyone is in a new environment and might not quite be themselves. On the one hand, people might not turn out to be who you thought they were and that’s ok, but at the same time, don’t write people off straight away because they might just need a bit more time to adjust and to become comfortable being themselves.
  • With that said, don’t spend all your time with people who are negative or who don’t make you feel comfortable or that you feel guarded around. Take these people with a pinch of salt.
  • Don’t board yourself up in your room, but try and get out there as much as possible! If you are the one who keeps their door open or who says a friendly hello in the corridor or kitchen, people will be drawn to you and remember you as someone who has the potential to be a great friend.
  • If you are feeling homesick, don’t hide away. Give yourself time to adjust and take things slowly. But try to be around people as much as possible. My tip would be to make some plans for when you’re next going to go visit your family or something similar; by doing this, you’ll not only have something to look forward to, but you’ll also make the most of your time at university instead of focusing on your homesickness and the worry of being away from home.

Although the social life is probably one of the reasons university is called by many as the best time of your life, studying is also one of the most important parts of the experience; you are, after all, there to get a degree. Here’s some advice:

  • Study something you are passionate about and you enjoy! Some of you may be studying a subject you’ve never studied before, and not all modules, especially the compulsory ones, are always fun or interesting. Sometimes, you’ve got to stick it out because there are great parts to your degree. But if you find yourself really hating your degree, I would try and branch out as much as possible. Take a look whether you can swap into something else or whether you can pick up some modules in different subjects.
  • Take every opportunity you can and don’t dismiss anything without thinking it through properly! For example, at my university, we could take a year abroad, and I really wish I had done it looking back! Your subject area may also have lots of volunteering or extra-curricular opportunities to look out for.
  • Find a balance between your school work and your social life. I’ve seen the outcomes of both ways, but my best year by far was the one where I valued my school work, my extra-curriculars, and my friends equally. Sometimes you have to learn to sacrifice. It’s all about being responsible and learning to judge situations yourself.
  • Don’t be scared about failure and give yourself time to adjust to how the university grading system works and what they expect of you. And seek help! Get as much out of your tutors as you can.

When you go to university, you have a lot more independence and you rely on yourself much more. For me, this meant that I learnt not only to provide for myself and organise myself, but also to be self-loving, self-congratulating, and self-rewarding. I learnt to stand up for myself and to stand by what I believed in. When I left university in July, I realised that my experience was a lot more valuable and special than I’d realised at the time. If anything, please value any moment you have, even when you’re having a bad day or you’re missing home or there is something going on in the background; one day you’ll look back and either regret not having made the most of it, miss it, or smile because you did have one of the best times of your life.

Good luck to all of you who are starting university and to those of you going back! Go in there head first, make the most of it, and do your best! You can do it!

Thought of the Day: Endings and Beginnings

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When we reach the end of a chapter in our lives, particularly one that has been enjoyable, we go through a range of emotions. There’s the excitement, the anxiety, the fear, and the sadness. And there’s not much we can do about certain milestones and endings approaching. I think one of the reasons we dread change and become melancholic or nostalgic when things come to an end is that we fear the next phase in our lives; we are scared that this next phase will not be as good as the life we’ve been living. But we need to remember that the future is unwritten, and that means that the next phase will always have the potential to be as good, if not better. The future has endless possibilities and opportunities, the future holds new experiences and lessons, and depending on whether you decide to embrace the future and the moments you have, you will be rewarded. Don’t always focus on the sad feelings of the endings, but use those happy chapters in your life as an example of how you want to live your life. But at the same time, you need to ask yourself, who would want to be stuck in the same phase in their life forever? Don’t dwell in the past, but rather believe that those memories will live on with you as you take on new challenges and adventures. Don’t wallow in the endings, because that will only stop you from making new beginnings.