Flipside Chester – more than just work experience

This week the sad news was revealed to the world, Flipside Radio in Chester is to close at the end of November.

For me, Flipside Radio was never about how many people were listening, it was being able to play my fave songs for an hour once a week and tell people why they were important to me.

I can’t stress enough how important Flipside has been for my work experience over the years. It was the first social media account I was ever let loose on that wasn’t my own, and now that’s a huge part of my full time Marketing role.

I was incredibly lucky to have made some amazing friendships over the two and a half years I was there. I’ll never be able to hear Slow Hands again without thinking of Matt, or see or hear ‘scallop’ without thinking of Parsley and Rama.

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Through the station I met some more incredible people who I’m so happy to call my friends, but they’re also the people who gave me some brilliant opportunities and the confidence in my creative abilities. Of course, these people are the amazing Dom from Soundsphere Magazine and the wonderful Angela from We Are Chester. Again these people I owe so much to for helping me develop my own skills for my career. This is what I will forever be grateful to Flipside for, the opportunities to meet fantastic individuals and for the invaluable experience it gave me.

Flipside was more than a hobby, more than fantastic work experience, it was a place where you could be yourself for an hour or two in the week and zone out from the outside world. I still can’t get up and stand in front of a crowd but you can get me in front of that studio microphone no bother.

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Even though I left presenting earlier in the year, when I go back to visit, whether as a guest, or just a hello, I’m always welcomed by friendly faces and a cup of tea.

It’s so heartbreaking that the next generation of Cestrians may never get to experience the wonder that is Flipside, but no doubt over the years when we’re looking back through the history of the city, you’ll spot some familiar faces who I’m so proud to call my Flipside Family.

Tori x

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‘Where will your talent take you?’ #C4PopUpLiverpool 2018

As you’re all probably aware from my social media feed, I’ve been avidly watching the new RuPaul’s Drag Race series. It’s not just the entertainment value of the show that has me hooked, but also the determination and encouragement shown by the Queens. I decided I should channel this hard work and ethic into everything I do (as much as I’d love to have the talent of making SICKENING dresses and painting works of art on my face) and seize every opportunity available to me. After all, as RuPaul says: “You better WORK.”

A few weeks ago I was scrolling through my Twitter newsfeed and saw that Channel 4’s 4Talent and MyKindaFuture were holding a Pop Up day in Liverpool. As anyone will tell you, anything Media related I tend to be all over, so I was really keen to get involved and to find out more.

I currently work as a Marketing and Sales Assistant for an Entertainment company, and I love my job as I get to shout about exciting shows and productions coming up across three different venues in Cheshire. I’m always looking for new ways I can develop and learn in my role, and I thought the Pop Up day would be a great opportunity to do so – especially as the Great British Bake Off Twitter account is actual GOALS.

I had been keeping an eye on the 4Talent and MyKindaFuture’s Twitter and Instagram feeds so I could get an idea of what the other Pop Ups had been up to, but not too much so there was still an element of surprise!

I arrived at the Royal Liver Building (almost getting stuck in a revolving door because I’d gone through the wrong entrance – but that’s another story), which is a grand building beautifully situated at the edge of the sea front – it could definitely be shown off on Grand Designs.

It’s always so daunting walking into a room full of people you don’t know, but once I got chatting to a few lovely people, it was a lot less scary and I was well set for the day!

Jodie McCallum the presenter was so full of energy and got us geared up for Human Bingo, which is actually really hard but a great way to interact with people! It was really encouraging to hear how Jodie had also been on a Channel 4 Pop Up Day a few years prior, and is now hosting them!

I always love finding out how people landed their job roles, particularly in the creative field, not because I’m nosey by any means! But it’s really inspiring to hear how individuals came to be successful in their field. I loved hearing the workshop leaders’ stories, Trai Anfield, Rad Miller and Max Green all gave us a really good insight into different areas of TV production and explained how they came into their exciting roles.

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Next we found out our challenge! We were really being worked hard on the day! We needed to create our own videos of whatever we wanted, and they had to have at least one reference to the Paralympic Games. The Paralympics are shown on Channel 4, and particularly from my Marketing job I loved seeing all the various advertising campaigns that had been put together to promote the fantastic games.

It was time to get into our groups and pick our roles. Now I didn’t spend a year and half presenting on radio for nothing! I decided that ‘On screen presence’ was what I would be best suited to for the day.

I joined a great group, bursting with bright ideas and it was decided we would focus on the theme of diversity. It was a great way to get out into the city of Liverpool and find out what diversity means to different individuals. I definitely learnt a lot from the challenge! Firstly, video editing can be complex and requires a lot of time and effort to edit! I know what it’s like to stick to writing deadlines, and I’ve edited podcasts before too, but videos can have proper technological complexities! Speaking of technological complexities, ALWAYS MAKE SURE YOU CHECK YOUR SOUND RECORDING! It was a little disheartening when no one could actually hear what I was saying in the video, but it’s all a learning curve. Thirdly, embrace it! I had to be confident to interview strangers, as well as working with a team I had never met before. I couldn’t believe the talent that was showcased in all the groups’ films, from homelessness to disability, they covered a wide range of issues and were very moving.

As well as making our videos we heard from the Channel 4 Commissioning team, and it was amazing to hear about all the various elements that goes into creating wonderful TV shows! We also learnt about the work opportunities provided by the Production Training scheme which sound fab! I didn’t realise how much goes into making a television programme, especially when we had to work on a two minute documentary! The Pop Up team were so friendly, made us all feel welcome and really embraced our ideas and helped us to expand on them.

If getting involved in television is something you’re interested in, then I definitely recommend attending a Pop Up Day or getting involved with one of the 4Talent training schemes! You can find out more here.

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Tori x

 

Redundancy doesn’t happen in your [early] twenties, right?

I was going to do my first ever “Twitter thread” on this but I thought I’d just pop it all in a post.

I had deliberated writing about this over the past year, but after events on my good-old-faithful-thanks-Timehop-for-reminding-me-of-everything I decided it was time to address the situation.

A year ago I got made redundant. *DUN DUN DUN*

When I used to think about redundancy I naively thought it was something that could only happen to you when you’re a lot older, not 23. The job I was in wasn’t a long-term career by any means, but nonetheless the team were not only my colleagues, they were my close friends, and the job was of course my source of income. Oh yeah and relocating to China wasn’t on my agenda funny enough.

I wasn’t surprised when I received the news, but I kind of had a bit of delayed shock. I remember a teary phone call to my mum on the train to a Gavin James gig crying: “WHAT DO I DO NOW?!” I quickly snapped out of it and realised this was a good opportunity to finally get into something I wanted to do.

Job applications are fun aren’t they? You trawl through Indeed pouring out your soul and dreams to people on applications only to be told a million times “Thanks, but no thanks.”

I was lucky enough to still have links with my older job so I stuck on my waitress pinny and away I went to get some money under my belt, because at the end of the day a girl has gotta fund them gigs right?

Long story short, I ended up doing a Marketing internship which turned out to be the best job in the world. I learnt so much from it and after spending a few months there I moved on to another full time paid Marketing position which I absolutely adore.

I would be lying if I said losing my job didn’t make me feel a bit worthless. But! You know what they say, ‘As one door closes, another opens.’ In the grand scheme of things I don’t have a lot of experience, but here is my advice on how to handle the situation if you’ve recently found yourself in it too:

  • Don’t panic. – Obviously that’s the first thing I’d say. Take a step back and assess your options.
  • Ask your friends and family for help. – Do they know anyone who is hiring? Even a good rant to your best pal can quickly do the trick to make you feel better.
  • Utilise the opportunity! – Maybe this could be the perfect time to do that Master’s you always wanted to study? Or have a complete career change to an alpaca farmer that you always dreamed of being?
  • IT’S OK TO HAVE A CRY. – But don’t dwell on the situation too much. Get those positive thinking vibes on!

Situations like this can happen when we least expect it, and everyone handles them differently. At the time it didn’t seem like it, but looking back now it probably was the best thing that could have happened to me. It helped me to learn how to assess and grow from moments like this, and it spurred me to get into a full-time creative job. Only my closest friends know this story so it is nice to be finally able to share it with the world, and not dwell on it EVER AGAIN!

Tori x

2018 is sounding alright so far

As the new year kicks off (a month ago), I always get really excited about new music and gigs for the forthcoming year. 2018 is already shaping up to look pretty impressive (yes I obviously bought Harry Styles tickets) and I thought I would share with you all what I’ve been listening to to kickstart my year.

1. Justin Timberlake – Filthy
I genuinely got goosebumps the first time I heard this. Yep. I said it. JT has been in the news a lot recently, new album out and of course his Super Bowl performance that received pretty mixed reviews – I thought it was pretty alright tbf. Let’s face it, SexyBack is a pretty tough pop song to follow, but Filthy is catchy enough for me.

2. Dua Lipa – IDGAF
My other half who thinks he’s too cool for mainstream music, absolutely loves Dua Lipa, so that’s when you know a song or an artist MUST be good. New Rules was always going to be a hard one to follow but Dua Lipa, the goddess that she is, released this absolute wonder.

3. Rex Orange Country – Best Friend
After earning an impressive 2nd place on BBC Radio 1’s Sound of 2018, the sounds of Rex Orange County has already managed to land himself on my Spotify ‘2018’ playlist. This track in particular, is so lighthearted and it even has trumpets so I’m all over it.

4. Isaac Gracie – Reverie
My ears were also blessed with Isaac Gracie through BBC Radio 1. His live set with Annie Mac a few weeks ago was so mesmerising that a few days later I booked myself onto his new tour. His track ‘Terrified’ also gave me Damien Rice vibes, which as everyone knows is my true love.

5. Holy Mattress Money – Blue Hundreds
You know when you don’t have Spotify Premium and your playlist goes off on a tangent and starts playing random stuff you don’t really want? Well I discovered this song one time it did that, but it must have been fate that brought me to this. This was released back in 2017, but I’m happy to have found it and its twinkly piano in 2018.

6. Sigrid – Strangers
Voted number 1 on BBC Radio 1’s Sound of 2018, Sigrid is set to take the music world by storm this year, and already has done so with Strangers. I just love the build up to chorus and how it makes you want to dance about a bit.

7. Kendrick Lemar and SZA – All The Stars
In my last blog I revealed that Humble was my most listened to song of 2017, and I would imagine that All The Stars is my most listened to song so far this year too. This song was the first time I had properly heard SZA’s voice and it juxtaposes perfectly with the rap on the track.

8. Bruno Mars – Finesse (Remix) [Feat. Cardi B] 
I’ll be really honest, the main reason I love this song so much is because it reminds me of me and my best friend dancing round to this at my friend’s 21st birthday. Bruno Mars certainly cleaned up at the 2018 Grammy’s, and I don’t think Uptown Funk will ever leave my heart.

9. George Ezra – Paradise
Yay he’s back! I love this so much, just as we are crying out for the weather to change to Spring, this bright, energising, please-can-it-be-festival-season-again song appears! BLESS YOU GEORGE EZRA.

10. Troye Sivan – My My My
Genuinely been stuck in my head for the past two days and I’m totally ok with that.

Tori x

2017 sounded alright

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t ridiculously excited to write this blog post, and have been for a very long time. Along with some really good tunes this year, it also brought some pretty good gigs. I finally got to see Ed Sheeran and one of my favorite teenage throwbacks, The Pigeon Detectives. I also went along again to see the wonderful Gavin James and my Queens, Little Mix. Sadly 2018 is currently gigless, but I’m seriously relying on The 1975 and Kanye to tour again.

Earlier this year I counted down my favourite songs of 2007, because let’s face it, it was the best year for music, so I decided that 2017 was equally a great year for music.

So let’s get to it. In no particular order, here are my ultimate jams of 2017.

1. Dua Lipa – New Rules

Probably the most sassiest song ever written, and generally pretty useful rules to live by.

2. Kendrick Lamar – Humble

FUN FACT: According to Spotify, this was my most listened to song this year.

  1. Sam Smith – One Last Song

    Sam Smith could have released him singing the phonebook and I would have cried at it and just LOVED it. I didn’t think it was possible for me to love his second album as much as In the Lonely Hour but The Thrill of It All is just perfection.

4. Niall Horan – Slow Hands

I said this was in no particular order but this was Slow Hands down – see what I did there (credit to my work mate for the joke), my favourite song of the year. Mainly because I literally played it every week on my Flipside Radio show (*self promo alert*).

  1. Jessie Ware – Midnight

    Her voice is just heavenly, and so is this.
  1. N.E.R.D. and Rihanna – Lemon

    That Rihanna verse though. *insert fire emoji*

  1. HAIM – Ready For You

    This was one of the tracks taken of their new album Something to Tell You which was just great.
  1. The Killers – The Man

    I’ve waited so long for a new Killers song to love.

  1. Justin Bieber and Bloodpop – Just Friends

    That song with Bieber in it this year that wasn’t Despacito.

10. Harry Styles – Sign of the Times

Just when I was heartbroken that One Direction had split up, they fixed my heartbreak by producing lovely solo material – yes even Liam Payne’s Strip That Down is a banger.

 

I hope you all party into 2018 with your favourite tunes of 2017.

Tori x

 

A Scrooge’s Guide to Christmas Shopping

Admittedly I’m a bit of a Scrooge when it comes to Christmas shopping. Mainly because it stresses me out BIG TIME.

Here’s the top tips I’m giving myself for 2018’s Christmas shopping trip (since I didn’t take my own advice this year):

1. Start early.
Famous last words I know. My last payday I decided would be enough to cover my Christmas shopping. I was wrong.

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2. Be a Secret Santa.
Especially handy if you’ve got a large family or friend group. Set a price limit, and voilà, less money, less presents, less stress.

3. Go on holiday instead.
Instead of buying presents with your mates or other half, put all the money into a trip away that you’d usually spend on Christmas presents.

4. Shop around.
Yes browsing online is a lot easier than running in and out of every shop on the high street.

5. Ask people what they actually need.
As much as you think you colleague needs shot roulette, ask people if there is something useful they need in their life. You never know, they desperately might need that cheeseboard.

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So there you have it. As you run around frantically on Christmas Eve desperately trying to figure out what you think your mum needs for Christmas, you can look forward to 2018’s stress free shopping trip as you’ll be armed with these top tips.

Enjoy the festivities whatever you’re up to, and try not to be too much of a Grinch.

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Tori x

 

NO DOUBT YOU’RE WONDERING WHERE I’VE BEEN

Admittedly, I’m coming with my tail between my legs and looking back cringing as I solemnly swore that this year I would religiously write regular posts. I could compile a list of excuses as to why I haven’t written in a while, but I thought why bore you with the details? Here’s a “brief” life update instead:

  1. Ok I think we can mainly attribute my lack of blogging to work. But I’ll get to the world of employment in due course. Alongside day-to-day life, there’s a bit of freelancing (because that makes me sound extra professional) and volunteering thrown into the mix as many of you will know. I’ve been on a few expeditions with the wonderful We Are Chester, naturally my Flipside Radio career has continued (sadly I haven’t made it onto Radio 1, yet) and I’ve also had a few other projects thrown into the mix. So yeah, it’s been a pretty busy few months.
  2. Excuse #2: Just kidding. In August my internship at Launch22 (aka the best job in the world) came to an end and it was time to start job-hunting. I’m sure many will agree that job-hunting is literally one of the most soul destroying parts of life, but I found a lovely Marketing job which I’ve been happily working away at.
  3. All work and no play is no fun, so naturally I’ve had to have a few trips here and there. Sadly my gig list of 2017 is half the length of 2016’s, but nonetheless The Pigeon Detectives and Little Mix (what a combo), have left 2017 feeling a lot less empty.
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Thinkin’ ’bout 2017 got me like…

It’s been all been fun, games and stress but it’s also been easy to ‘burn the candle at both ends’ as they say. No matter what you do in life, it’s important to take time out and have a break. On my first Sunday of doing absolutely nothing, ironically a tonne of blog ideas came flooding to me – shall we place a bet now if I manage to write them all?

As the party season approaches, I’m torn between wanting to dance the night away, or simply napping my way into 2018. Either way, fingers crossed there will be a few more updates before then.

Tori x

 

Central Bark Manchester: basically you need to go

If you follow me on social media, you will know that recently I’ve been spamming you all about the Nose of Tralee. This isn’t the competition where the girls get all dolled up in a nice frock, but instead the pet version – minus the dresses. Naturally I had to enter Glen, who won for County Armagh (YES YOU GO GLEN), and is now fighting to be crowned the best pet in Ireland, which let’s face it he doesn’t officially need a crown for. But! If you fancy giving him a vote you can do so here, it’s the last day to do so!
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Sadly, Glen is all the way across the water and right now in life keeping a pet is not the most practical thing in the world. This I am beyond heartbroken about.

Every day my other half has to tolerate being tagged in about 100 dog memes, and me nattering every other minute: “I just want a wee dog, when can we get one pleaseeee?” Nat being the great boyfriend he is, came up with a solution: HE FOUND A DOG CAFÉ.

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Central Bark (what a name) is based in Wynthenshawe just outside of Manchester, and if you’re dog obsessed like me this will be right up your street. You don’t need to have a pet to visit, and what’s great about here is they cater for all kinds of dogs. There are rescue dogs, dogs in for day care, and others who are just in for a bit of a holiday.

Nat and I went on a Sunday morning, so naturally brunch was a must. I went for pancakes and Nat had a full English. The food was fab, and as you can see resident dog Alfie was very interested in the food, but was very polite and just observed us eating!

So, there’s food and dogs. It can’t get any better can it? IT DOES. For a fiver you can have a twenty minute meet and greet session with the dogs, play a bit of fetch and generally have a great time. Bella took a shine to Nat and I was ready to take my new pal Lottie home.

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If you have a pet, or like me are a keen supporter of dogs then I definitely recommend a day out here. The staff are also lovely and I must admit that I am 100% jealous of their job. We drove here, as it was much easier than getting the train, but Central Bark is a short walk from the tram stop, so it is accessible by public transport.

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If you want to find out more all their details are on their Facebook page here.

Tori x

How the other half live

You know that scene in Friends where Monica cries to Rachel, ‘I’m going to have to live with a boy?’ That’s basically what I felt like last summer when I decided to live with my other half.

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Moving in with your significant other is undeniably a determining factor as to whether or not you can actually manage to put up with each other. Last July I moved in with Nat and it’s safe to say the past year has been an experience.

I had lived with guys in a house share before but I don’t feel that can really contribute to living alone with one. As you’ll hear later, it’s a whole new experience. I wouldn’t say I was concerned as such, but naturally I was a bit nervous and intrigued about the whole thing. Nat and I spent a lot of time together any way, and ironically now due to our work schedules we probably see each other less, but it was so exciting getting the house kitted out with all of our stuff.

I could ramble on about our whirlwind adventure over the past year but I thought it would be better hearing it straight from the horse’s mouth (as they say).

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Here’s what Nat had to say about the experience:

Obviously it’s been the best experience of your life as I am an absolute delight to live with, but were you scared?

N: Moving in with a crazy Irish lass is very scary, and I’m sure everyone here knows how opinionated Tori is, but that’s what makes it all real. We are literally like chalk and cheese, our music and film tastes couldn’t be less in sync but it’s really helped us learn about each other. We both know that our connection isn’t based on anything superficial, but based on each other’s personalities and what makes us tick. So I knew us living together would make or break us, like it does with any couple, but so far it’s made us.

I was petrified! Being scared I think is normal in that kind of situation, and as Nat said, we knew it would either make or break us. I think in terms of the personality thing, as much as I hate to admit this, Nat is definitely right. We are complete opposites when it comes to our personalities and interests, but we balance each other out pretty well.

What’s been your favourite bit? – Apart from the whole thing.

N: Well obviously having my eyes opened to RuPaul’s Drag Race has to be a huge high point. But to be fair, there hasn’t been one over arching highlight to my year living with Tori. It’s all the little things that make it worthwhile. The little voices she makes to us cooking random meals together, to us having duvet days binging on rubbish TV. It all adds up to a really stellar experience.

I love our trips to Aldi, I know that’s so random, and it’s probably because I love food so much but it always just seems to be a laugh. We also have a favourite shop assistant which adds to the experience. I think it’s because we’re best friends too, so without sounding mega cliché and cheesy we have loads of inside jokes and have a genuinely great time together. Ironically despite living together we don’t get to see each other very much so we try to make the most of the time together that we do have.

Is there any point in asking if there have been any lows?

N: ‘Spose I best not go tooooo much into the low points! As I mentioned before Tori and I are the definition of chalk and cheese, she likes trashy pop ballads, I like 14 minute conceptual prog metal pieces; and being the great boyfriend I am I never get to listen to whatever music I like! But to be honest that’s probably the only real tiff we ever have, both arguing about our rubbish music tastes!

Good answer! I would say in all honesty though our main tiffs are over our non-existent cleaning rota. If that’s the worst thing we can have a tiff over I’m sure we’ll survive – just about.

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Over the past year I’ve learnt how to score a goal (and beat Nat completely) on Fifa, and he can now name some of his favourite Queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race – it’s Adore Delano by the way. It’s all about compromise. As hard as it is to admit, I know I have my own flaws as everyone does, but how you can work through things together is what it’s all about. We’re about to hit our two year anniversary and how that’s flown round so quickly I have no idea! But from being friends in the choir to now, it’s been a wonderful two years.

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Ok the cheese is all over now.

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Tori x

University throwbacks

Timehop is getting way too smart at reminding me that every year I’m getting further away from being a teenager and a student. Over the past few weeks I’ve been hounded with old posts that show how it’s been three years since I finished university and at this point I was eagerly awaiting to find out if I had actually managed to pass or not.

I’ve spoken quite a bit on my blog about life post-uni, but what about during it?

In September 2011 I carted myself off to the University of Chester and began to study English with Theology and Religious Studies. I get asked all the time why I decided to do this, but at 17 with a UCAS form it’s quite hard to decide what you’re going to do for the rest of your life so I just went with what I was good at and most importantly, what I enjoyed.

Living standards

If you’ve ever moved away for uni it’s a bit daunting but I was landed with four lovely housemates and a uni house which was thankfully didn’t live up to the stereotypical mouldy, cupboards-hanging-off type of house. Happy days! I just now had to budget my student loan to make sure I could pay the rent.

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The course

At uni I found myself weighed down quite a lot with reading. I wonder how that happened considering I chose two arts subjects? I feel though that I really had to learn to balance my time effectively to make sure I wasn’t favouring one subject over the other. By the time final year came I was majoring English and along with that came the lovely dissertation. I absolutely loved my English degree as I feel I wouldn’t have developed my writing skills without it. In second year I focused on Romanticism, and in my third year I studied Crime Fiction and Language and Gender, where I discovered some of my now favourite texts.

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When people asked me what I studied in Theology and Religious Studies I still revel in the fact that I managed to write an essay about Jay-Z and Kanye West (which I briefly mentioned here). Spirituality and Popular Culture was undoubtedly my most favourite thing I ever studied, particularly the focus on religious themes within music and the media. I felt really sorry for people studying boring degrees.

At the University of Chester you also get the opportunity to gain some work experience in your second year through ‘Work Based Learning.’ My placement saw me join the Careers and Employability team, where I got to create an e-Newsletter. This role is undoubtedly where I discovered that a creative job was something I aspired to as I had such a great time creating it, and the team there were also amazing and so friendly! To this day I still proudly carry that newsletter to job interviews as part of my work portfolio.

I also can’t forget the wonderful people I met on my course, I feel like I owe my degree to some of them, as we supported each other during library sessions; shared those library books that were impossible to borrow because annoyingly someone else had it out for the majority of the year; they were there for you when it was all getting too much, and of course shared the same passion for your subjects as you. I’m still friends with people I met on my course and we can all draw the same opinions that if we all didn’t go to Chester uni we wouldn’t have met each other which would just have been heartbreaking.

 

I’m running out of money, it’s time to get a job

Yep, that student loan doesn’t last forever. In my first year of uni I wanted to get properly settled so I decided to leave a job until my second year, luckily during the holidays I worked at home in my local shop but by the time I went back to uni after Christmas it was time to get job hunting. I ventured out of Chester and joined the most wonderful restaurant team at Cheshire Oaks. I found out that I am actually alright at working in hospitality and thankfully made some money, but most importantly I met some of my absolute best pals. I definitely recommend getting a job at uni, not only does it mean you can earn a bit of pocket money, you can pick up new skills and also get the opportunity to meet some pretty amazing people.

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Extra-curricular activities

Chester uni offered an abundance of societies, but if you’ve ever seen me run (very rare occasion – sorry if you have) you’ll understand that sports aren’t really my thing.

Throughout my school life I was an avid choir member, maybe it’s my love of High School Musical but I just love a good harmony. At my first Fresher’s Fair I was determined to find a university choir and I definitely struck gold. Mondays were no longer a day to dread but instead one to look forward to as I went along to rehersals at the university chapel in the evening. If you’ve ever been in Chester cathedral you’ll know how beautiful it is, so getting to sing in here at Christmas was mesmerising. Again, I’m so lucky to say I met some of my best friends here and got to travel to some places I had never visited before. Singing in Birmingham Symphony Hall and Chichester Cathedral are definitely up there with some of my university highlights. I also can’t fail to mention that a particular tenor is now my housemate.

Chester city

If you’ve ever visited Chester you’ll know how it just draws you in by its beauty – which is probably why I never left it. A very famous Chester Twitter account recently wrote 30 reasons to be positive about Chester which summed it up perfectly – I’m also extremely chuffed to have had a mention in this! I have a number of favourite places here in the city, Hanky Panky Pancakes, Jaunty Goat, THE RIVER and my newfound family over at the Lache at Flipside Radio, to name a few.

Graduation

Everyone has those days in their life that they’ll always remember and for me graduation is up there with meeting George Craig from One Night Only. Graduating in Chester cathedral was the perfect way to finish three years of uni, particularly after singing in there a few times. It was also great difficulty giving the graduation cloak back as I got way too comfortable feeling like I was at Hogwarts all day.

I actually feel a bit teary writing this, especially as my first year Fresher’s song just came on my iPod, but sure it was a great time! Thanks UoC, it was fab x