LIFE AFTER GRADUATION

Last year I graduated with a degree in Accounting and Finance, a year later I’m working full time and I’m here to give you tips on life after graduation and share my experience.

GRADUATION

Graduation is an anti-climax, you spend years trying to get your degree, then you prep for graduation, do your hair, makeup, you walk across the stage, get handed your degree and then just like that it was over. The day after my graduation, was the weirdest morning, the sky was grey, it was cold and my graduation was everything but that. I felt so ill and panicked that morning that I went for a walk in the park and not to over exaggerate, but it dawned on me that this is it. I’m done with Uni, I’m an adult, I have a degree, I don’t have a job and I now have to carve the life I want to create for myself. No one can tell me what to do with my life and no one can do it for me. Then I was faced with confusion, how am I going to carve the life I want? What life do I even want? How am I going to achieve the things I want to do? Where will I find the time? I didn’t have the answer to most of the questions at the time, but I came to the conclusion that the only way I can make any of this happen is to live for myself because at least then if I don’t get what I want at least I can say I did the things that made me happy.

– Me at my graduation 🎓

Common things people say about university:

“Uni will be the best time of your life”

“You’ll make lifelong friends”

“You only need 40% for your first year”

“Living on campus is the best”

“You’ll meet the love of your life”

What happens when it’s all over and you graduate?

Do you go back to your student accommodation and cry?… No.

You join the world of adulting.

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The world of adulting is challenging, to say the least.

Adulting is challenging because it is nothing you have ever experienced before. For the first time in your life you are completely done with education, unless you decide to further your education. Terminado, terminé, finito, done. No lectures, no assignments, no emailing lectures at 11:59 because Turnitin wants you to fail and most importantly no group work.

So, what do you do after you graduate? Most people have three options, travel around the world because they were smart enough to save their student loan, do a masters or find a job.

If you’re like me, you chose to find a job, congrats!

For more on finding a job after graduation, click here.

YOU CAN’T MISS WORK JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE TIRED AND YOU FEEL TIRED ALL OF THE TIME.

There’s been so many days where I’ve woken up at 6:30am and wanted to stay in bed all day but couldn’t. Not being able to miss work like you missed lectures is a shock to the system, but you’ll get over it… Eventually.

Workdays are harder than Uni day because there’s much more to do in 8 hours of work than 8 hours of lectures. It’s jam packed with tasks and responsibilities which are constantly changing, so don’t be shocked that you feel tired all the time. I thought I was tired at Uni but this is much worse because work is very challenging and exhausting.

Just to make sure it wasn’t just me that felt tired sometimes, I asked my three group chats if they felt tired most of the time, everyone said yes… So be prepared. Full time work is draining, taking the tube is draining, meeting up with friends is draining so don’t be surprised when you decide a quiet night in with a movie and some pizza is more attractive than clubbing. Although some of us have felt like that since 1st year but I digress.

WORK-LIFE BALANCE

Finding a work-life balance has been quite hard for me to be honest because there’s so many things I want to do. Life before graduation was so simple, I would go to Uni, relax, then revise or chill with my housemates, now I want to perform well at work, socialize with my friends, spend some time with family, have some time to myself, work on apieceofsarah.com and keep fit/ healthy but there are only 24 hours in a day.

My ways of trying to balance life and deal with stress are:

  • Keeping my weekends free so I can stay in bed, blog, chill with the family and opt to meet up with my friends after work. I love doing nothing on a Saturday because having my ‘me’ time is very important to me, but it’s harder said than done because my friends and I have conflicting schedules.
  • I love face masks, they’re so simple to apply, but make me feel relaxed. Having clean pores and no spots makes me feel good about myself and less stressed about all the other things going on in my life.
  • I like turning off my phone, I don’t believe we should be available 24/7, so I sometimes turn off my phone on Friday/Saturday night and some evenings.
  • I love listening to classical music, and taking long walks when things are in my mind
  • I constantly try to remind myself that nothing is the end of the world, everything is a learning curve and if you die at work, you’ll still be replaced because in the corporate world, no one is indispensable.

Full time work is long hours and can be very stressful depending on what industry and company you’re in, so it’s important to find that balance.

PAYDAY IS THE BEST DAY

One of the main perks of life after graduating is you getting PAID! Instead of depending on student finance every three months you get paid monthly which helps make budgeting your finances much easier. Payday is beautiful, the sun shines, your bank account is healthy and you don’t have to worry about the state of your finances until your standing orders and direct debits come out the next day. You’re first pay day is usually the most money you receive before HMRC start taxing you, use it wisely, save a lot of it and pay off your student overdraft if possible.

DON’T MOVE OUT YET

If you live at home with your parents, you can save up for a house. Utilize this time at home to save, renting and paying for your own food isn’t cheap. I know it’s tempting to want to move out as soon as you graduate because you’re so used to having your own space, but don’t rush it, there are so many bills that come with moving out that you don’t want to make the mistake of paying prematurely e.g. council tax, etc.

LEARN HOW TO BUDGET

Life after Uni is expensive, going to work is expensive, direct debits are expensive. Not having student discount is expensive, yes, say bye to unidays and NUS extra. Gym membership, phone bills, weekly travel cards, Netflix, Apple music, Spotify, paying for your prescription, work drinks, dinners and cocktails at rooftop bars with friends are all expensive and all these expenses add up so be wise and budget.

Let’s not forget the most extortionate expense of all, food. Buying food is extortionate, if you buy breakfast, lunch and a coffee at work you’ll be spending £12 daily, that’s £60 a week just to eat at work, so bring in your own food. I buy my own cereal, which is usually £2 and store it in my locker at work, work provides milk and the cereal lasts two weeks depending on which one I buy, so that’s breakfast for two weeks at £2 compared to buying a ham and cheese toastie from Pret a Manger for £3.99 daily, £2 for two weeks compared to £39.90. A saving of just under £20 every week from bringing in cereal. I’m not a big coffee drinker so I have Nescafé Gold cappuccino sachets in my locker, the packet is £2 for 10, a small cappuccino at Starbucks is £2.25, each. A week of Starbucks is £11.25 versus a week of Nescafé is £1 (if I drink 1 cup a day). Be smart, bring in your own food and drink.

No one can prepare you for this, so I’m telling you now, budget and save where you can. You can budget by establishing your total income for the month, all vital expenses (rent, food, travel cards) then calculate how much you can save then live off what you have.

TIP FOR SAVING

It’s always nice to know that you have money in the bank if everything goes wrong. My best money saving tip is to open a bank account that does not have a debit card access and transfer money to that account every payday. That way you know you won’t be tempted to move money out of it.

I know many people use spending money as a way to make themselves happier, me included #ILOVEONLINESHOPPING, but not having savings to fall back on for a rainy day is setting yourself up for failure. So please budget how much you want to spend weekly and stick to it. It’s ok to decline work drinks if you’re trying to save, your colleagues will go out the week after.

MEETING UP WITH FRIENDS IS HARDER THAN EVER

Your friends don’t live across the hall from you, they now live halfway across London, England or even the world. So now you must plan well in advance when to meet up, but everyone is extremely busy, juggling work, creative projects, exams and family, so you must find a way to squeeze each other in. Don’t be shocked if it becomes a recurring cycle of when are we going to meet up and both of you realize you’re not free when you thought you were and the cycle continues. I use my phone calendar to keep track when I’m meeting with friends.

Even if you don’t end up meeting up when you plan to, make the effort to keep in contact with your friends or you will be alone as everyone is busying making sense of their own life. People only have time for those who make the effort.

“WHAT ARE YOU PLANNING TO DO NEXT?” BECOMES A WORSE QUESTION THAN “HOW IS UNI?”

You would think after completing your degree, all the questions would stop, but they don’t. People always want to know what you’re going to do next or they’ll tell you what to do next. “Do you have a job yet?” *five seconds later* “Have you got a job now?” and my personal favourite, “You should do a masters”.

Do what’s right for you and keep it moving because everyone may feel like they deserve an input in your life, but only you will live with the decisions you make.

YOU MAY QUESTION IF THIS WILL BE YOUR LIFE FOREVER

It’s ok, a lot of people do, more than they liked to admit. I did this 3 weeks into my placement year because I was SO over it. I didn’t like working full time and didn’t expect it to be so hard or have so much responsibility placed on me, but my placement year prepared me for full time work now and showed me what I did and didn’t want from a job and I’m grateful. My placement was very different from others, I worked two hours away from home and had to get up at 5am to get work at 8am every day. Never again, you couldn’t pay me enough to do that.

You may question if you’re doing this right and if you’re doing enough, I know I do. I don’t think I’m doing enough, however, I do think I’m doing some things right because I tick off stuff on my to-do lists.

This will be your life forever unless you, find a career you love* (then you would actually enjoy what you’re doing), marry into wealth, become a housewife/househusband, win the lottery or find a way to make your creative passion pay for your lifestyle. If you know you already hate your grad job or the industry you work in you can either find a new job or stay until the scheme ends and then find another job but this depends on if they provide study support. For me, I’m ok with working full time, I like getting paid, I like my company, it’s almost the perfect distance from my house, I just hate how tired working makes me feel a times.

*It may be the company you work at, not the career itself.

WHAT WOULD I HAVE CHANGED?

I wish I waited a few months before applying for jobs, saved more money and travelled. Those are my regrets because now when I want to travel, I use up my annual leave which makes me sad. If you have enough money to travel before you start working, then do it. Travelling is one of the best investments you can make in yourself. If you want job security after you return from your travels, apply for jobs that have a start date of September or later in the following year, then you can attend interviews before you travel and then enjoy yourself.

Additionally, don’t be scared to apply for some roles because you feel they might not accept you. If you don’t try, you won’t know whether there was an opportunity waiting for you there.

So, there you have it. Time flies when you’re working full time, the days turn into weeks and the weeks turn into months. As you can see 2018 is almost over, that’s what working full time is, you blink and suddenly it’s Monday again, this happens all year.

To combat this, I plan ahead so I don’t feel like I’m wasting my life away, I try to budget so I don’t spend my money on frivolous things and take some ‘me time’ so I don’t burn out. Life after Graduation is challenging and really hard, but you get paid and you develop as a person. Not everything is lost after you finish Uni, especially if you manage to get the job you like.

Getting a job after graduation – #SarahsJobSeries

To kick off Sarah’s Job series (#sarahsjobseries), I will give you tips on finding a job after graduation as well as giving you tips about working full time.

So, what do you do after you graduate? Most people have three options, travel around the world because they were smart enough to save their student loan, do a masters or find a job.

If you’re like me, you chose to find a job, congrats!

Before you look for a job, create a career plan and decide:

  1. What type of job do you want?
  2. What industry do you want to go into?
  3. What is your long-term career goal?
  4. What do you want to achieve?
  5. How long you want to stay in your current workplace?
  6. When you want to be promoted and if you want to do a chartered qualification?
  7. How far do you want to work from home?

Do you want to be a CFO (Chief Financial Officer), CTO (Chief Technology Officer), CEO (Chief Executive Officer) or make enough money when working full time work to become a blogger, photographer or sports coach full time?

Search for jobs that fit into your career plan, doing other roles will distract and divert you from your plan in the long term. However, there may be some great opportunities out there that don’t fit into your plan, weigh up the pros and cons then decide which is best for you. Most graduate jobs require experience, this can be from part-time jobs, summer internships and placement years. You’re more likely to get the job if you have industry experience although this is not always possible. Experience is important because you gain transferable skills such as teamwork, communication, self-motivation, analysis, diffusing conflict and organization skills. If you don’t have experience in your field, you MUST highlight the transferable skills you gained from part-time work and Uni. My favourite transferable skills to mention that are not industry related are my organization and teamwork skills gained from group work, finding time to study and working part-time whilst at university.

I’M NOT DOING A MASTERS, WHY DO I NEED ANOTHER QUALIFICATION?

Your job may require you to study for a professional qualification, these are vocational training courses that relate to a specific industry or career path, and this includes:

  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) – Accounting
  • BCS -The Chartered Institute for IT – IT
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) – Accounting
  • Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) – HR
  • Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) – Insurance
  • Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) – Civil Engineers
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) – Surveyors

After completing the course, you achieve chartered status, meaning you can demand more money, yay. In all seriousness, chartered qualifications are important because they can increase your lifetime earnings significantly, in addition, you have a qualification that others don’t have, you gain new skills which will aid in your personal development and broaden your career opportunities. My suggestion is to visit Prospects for a more extensive list of chartered qualifications visit www.prospects.ac.uk/postgraduate-study/professional-qualifications

If you plan on doing a professional qualification, then find a job that will provide study support this usually means you have to stay at the company for a few years or you’ll have to pay them back for some or all of the study support. This is called a clawback and should be stipulated in your contract. I strongly believe after paying such an extortionate amount for university, you should make sure you find a job willing to invest in you by providing study support. When I looked for my graduate job I made sure my job was providing study support for my CIMA qualification and I did not accept or apply to any jobs that were not providing it because I know my worth and career goal is to be a chartered accountant first, before anything else.

Lastly, decide how far you want to work from home. Are you willing to travel 2 hours to work? That’s 4 hours daily, is this really what you want? I did it for a year and I can tell you now, it’s not what you want.

IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO BE OR WHAT INDUSTRY YOU WANT, TRY TO FIGURE OUT:

  1. What your passions are?
  2. What you’re good at?
  3. What environment you think you’ll enjoy working in and go from there?

I recommend GE’s career test: https://gecareers.traitify.com, I completed it and thought it was very accurate with a role that suits my skills and personality.

Even after creating a career plan and completing the test you may not find the perfect job for you, you might find something you’re good enough and stick to it and that’s OK. I feel like so many of us think if a profession doesn’t match us perfectly, it’s not for us and I don’t think that’s the case.

Before I applied for my current job I prayed over it with ‘By Faith, I Receive My God-Given Job’ by Pastor Veronica Anusionwu (Founder Of The Lord’s Words On Healing Ministries: http://lwhhealingcentre.com/prayers-for-those-looking-for-a-job/ ). I thoroughly recommend this book, Pastor Veronica is a remarkable pastor and author and I’ve been blessed with my current job due to the prayers and so has one of my friends. Prayer works, invest in yourself and buy the book.

FINDING A JOB

The job market is disgustingly competitive. Unless you have previous experience in the field you want to go into don’t be upset if you don’t get handed a job once you walk off the podium at graduation.

To give yourself the best chance of securing a great graduate job you must send several applications out, which is tedious because you must rewrite information that is already in your CV into boxes, do numerical, verbal/non-verbal, logical, situational and psychometric tests, attend assessment centres and do multiple interviews for one post. Although it’s time consuming, once you get the job it will be really rewarding.

When trying to find a job you can use the below job sites, sign up to recruitment agencies and check out company careers pages:

When trying to practice for verbal, numerical psychometric tests use assessmentday.com and practiceaptitudetests.com

Many people do not get a job within the first year they graduate because the market is that competitive, when I went to assessment centres before I found my current job there were many people who finished their masters or bachelors the previous year and were still unemployed.

When I graduated, I signed up to many recruitment agencies, but the one that stood out to me is Robert Walters (robertwalters.co.uk), they sent me loads of job posts and called me to discuss posts, although I did not get my current post through them, I still recommend them because of how professional they were.

NETWORK

Go to graduate job fairs and networking events, there are so many companies to see and many people to network with. You never know what opportunities may arise.

GLASSDOOR AND PAYSCALE

When looking for a job, check Glassdoor.com for reviews on the company, I refused to apply for jobs that were less than 3 out of 5 because that means staff were miserable and I refuse to be unhappy at a place I spend most of my day at. Additionally, check the average salary for people in your field at payscale.com to make sure you’re not underselling yourself. If a company wants great talent, they should be willing to pay for it.

FRAUDULENT JOB POSTS

When looking for jobs be vigilant for fraudulent jobs advertisements and emails because fraudsters will take any opportunity to prey people. If you see a job that’s too good to be true, it might not actually be and any job that wants you to pay for a ‘qualification’ or ‘check’ before you get the job is likely to be fraudulent so be alert. Be wary of jobs that don’t even address you by your name. When I was looking for a job, I randomly received this email:

“Dear Candidate,

After careful consideration you have been selected for our Sales and Customer Service Role with XYZ Organisation. My manager would like to meet with you to discuss the role further. I know this is very last minute but unfortunately we are wrapping up the recruitment process therefore we would like to schedule you in for the following appointment:

Appointment Time/Date: Thursday 27th of July at 3.15pm OR Thursday 27th of July at 3:45pm

Location: London

Meeting with: The Apparent CEO of the company

Please reply promptly with your name to confirm your preferred appointment time and the appointment will be confirmed automatically. If you are not available for the above dates please contact our office and ask for the recruiter who couldn’t even put my name in the email.

The appointment is scheduled to last approximately 30 minutes. Please ensure that you attend in Smart casual (NO blue jeans or trainers) and bring a copy of your most updated CV if you can.”

  1. My name is not “Candidate”
  2. Who told you I wanted the job?
  3. How do you know I am free that day?
  4. How can you give me two appointment slots on the same day and tell me to choose?
  5. If I have been selected for a role, why do you need my latest CV? Shouldn’t you have this already?
  6. Why are you telling me what to wear when you don’t even know my name?

The list goes on, If a job is addressing you as “Dear Candidate” and offering you a job role without seeing your CV, block them. It’s a scam. (Unless someone you know recommended you, but you would have knowledge of that anyway)

STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF

When looking for a job, stay true to yourself. There’s no point applying for a company you don’t believe in or won’t be comfortable at. When I was looking for a graduate job, I was asked if I was interested in being put forward for a role as a Finance Analyst at The Daily Mail. I politely declined for obvious reasons. If you know in your heart that a job won’t be right for you because the company has a history of being unethical, don’t apply. You don’t need unnecessary stress in your life.

INTERVIEWS

Go into your interviews with confidence and research the company thoroughly, e.g. know what the company does, who is in their executive team, when it was formed, any major press releases they have had in the last 3 months (have they merged with another company) and what will be expected of you. Check glass door for questions they have asked in previous interviews and then prepare answers that show your experience.

Interviews are a two-way street, not only are the employer deciding if you’re suitable for the position, you get to decide if the company is suitable for you, also, if you like the people there and if you can see yourself progressing there. I had several interviews at a firm but one of the interviewers was so rude that I just couldn’t see myself working there so when I didn’t get the job I was fine about It and the job I ended up getting paid more so it was a blessing. No one should be miserable at work.

REJECTION

Rejections hurt. You may think an interview or even application went well and days/weeks, even months go past, and you receive the below responses which hurt, especially if it’s a job you wanted:

“We’re sorry to inform you”

“Unfortunately, we have decided to”

“We received a large number of applications and…”

The list goes on and you may not even receive a rejection email at all.

SELF-PITY is allowed for a short period of time, but you can’t wallow in your own sadness for days because life will keep going even when you’re not so don’t panic and keep trying. Job hunting is time consuming and rejections hurt, but every rejection leads to an opportunity. Hopefully, you won’t receive any more rejections.

TIPS AFTER FINDING A JOB

Huzzah, after fighting tooth and nail you’ve hopefully found the job for you.

Full time work is different, but you can meet some great people at work and you receive a lot of responsibility which will allow you to grow in your career and as a person. However, it can be stressful, you may have to get on the tube every day, you must meet your deadlines, targets and organizational goals and you may not actually like the people you work with. It’s sad, but it happens.

Meeting company targets is extremely important so work hard and prioritize the most important task and finish that first. If you realize you don’t like your colleagues, its ok, keep yourself to yourself and remember you get paid to work, so work hard, and then go home. You only have to deal with them at work. If you want to get to know your colleagues more, go to social events and talk to new people, I have friends in different departments at work which I like because everyone is different.
DOCUMENT EVERYTHING

Keep everything in writing, I hate to say this, but people lack accountability and will be willing to throw you under the bus to make themselves look better and absolve all responsibility from themselves, so make sure you follow up with email confirmations clarifying things that you can use as evidence in the future.

Document what you do at work, everyone thinks they will remember what they do day in day out, you won’t, so write it down, then you can use the evidence of what you’ve achieved when negotiating your salary.
SOCIAL MEDIA

Be wary of adding your colleagues on social media, if you know there’s things you’re doing online that you don’t want them to see then don’t add them on Instagram, snapchat or twitter. You may think you’re great friends with your colleagues, but are you really? If you call in sick because you went out the previous night how do you know your colleague won’t mention it, whether intentionally or non-intentionally because they have you on snapchat? Keep your business and personal life separated, it will save you a lot of headache because prevention is better than cure.

If you decide to add your colleagues on social media do a social media purge e.g. on twitter, search your @ with offensive and disrespectful key words and delete those tweets. We live in a ‘cancel’ culture where people will dig up your old tweets to find what they can use against you sometimes because you deserved it, other times because they don’t want to see you do well or they hate that you’ve changed from the person you once were. That’s the consequence of having a digital footprint, it’s there for everyone to see. Maybe your views have changed since then, maybe they haven’t, regardless delete what could be used against you or make your personal account private and create a professional account to have your colleagues on.

To conclude, getting a job after graduation can be hard work, but persevere and hopefully you find the right job for you with a great salary too.

apieceofsarah.COM, PURPLE (1)

Picking yourself up after heartbreak.

Breaking up with someone you thought you would be with forever is devastatingly painful. After the break up you feel like your life is in autopilot mode, the days go slower and although you try to keep yourself busy, your new-found loneliness gets to you at night.
Here are some tips to keep you going:

  1. Delete their number and previous conversations: Keeping numbers and WhatsApp conversations will make things much worse than they already are. You’ll be tempted to talk to them because that’s what you’re used to and that doesn’t help anyone in the situation.
  2. Delete them off social media: Stalking your ex on socials will make you upset, so why do it? Focus on you and forget about them, you don’t need to know what they’re doing.
  3. Remember why you broke up: After a break up we tend to look at the relationship with rose-tinted glasses and everything looks good when reminiscing but in reality the relationship wasn’t. That’s what loneliness does to you, it makes you forget all the pain suffered and crave comfort and company because that’s what you’re used to. But then you have to ask yourself, “did that person give me the comfort and company I needed or did I constantly have to beg for it?” If you have something that can remind you why you broke up keep it hidden somewhere on your phone, e.g. A break up text, a screenshot or write yourself a letter in your notes.
    Don’t let loneliness drive you into the arms of someone who doesn’t deserve you.
  4. Surround yourself with friends and family who love you:Don’t lock yourself away from the world for extended periods of time, it will make you feel like you have no one that cares for you, but you do.
  5. Let your emotions out: Cry, scream, go for a jog, write your feelings down in your journal and close the page, watch your favourite movies, cry some more. You’re allowed to be upset.
  6. It’s better to be alone, than staying in bad company:
    Self-explanatory, it’s better to be sad and single than being unhappy and in a bad relationship where your needs and feelings are constantly ignored making you feel sad all the time. You’ll get over your initial sadness of being single over time and be grateful that things ended.
  7. Being single gives you the chance to be 100% invested in yourself🥂: There are so many benefits to being single, you literally have all the time in the world to get to know yourself better. How is that not a blessing?
    • Being single allows you to take opportunities without consulting others and their feelings e.g. Travelling. You could travel the world and not think how would my partner feel?
    • You can take the time to figure out what’s important to you and what qualities you want in your next partner.
    • You have the time to start things you have been procrastinating about e.g. a blog, a business venture, reading your bible more, taking care of your health (although this should always be important, but it’s easy to forget about yourself in a relationship).
    • You learn to appreciate your amazing qualities: your beauty, kindness to others, your ability to turn bad situations around.
    • Most importantly, you can find peace in solitude. You learn how to enjoy your own company, do stuff on your own and not depend on anyone else.
  8. Don’t take things to the extreme:
    Don’t put yourself in dangerous situations because you’re sad. Binge-drinking and taking drugs will bring you pain, not peace.
  9. There’s someone out there for everyone:
    If someone isn’t treating you well, giving you the love and comfort you deserve or meeting your standards, dump them because someone else surely will. I’m a strong believer that there is someone out there for everyone so don’t settle because life is too short.
  10. Lastly, don’t rush the process:
    Break ups are hard and you can’t rush getting over someone. So take each day as it goes, don’t hide your emotions and learn how to find peace in being single, it’s worth it.

Why Men Love Bitches – the Review 🚹🚺

Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl-A Woman’s Guide to Holding Her Own in a Relationship by Sherry Argov is a guide for all the ‘nice’ girls out there that bend over backwards for the men in their lives but always get left high and dry.

It’s for the women that helped ‘build’ a man up and when he’s fully constructed he leaves her with bricks, cement and a huge bill of emotional distress and wasted time.

It’s for the women that are too nice in their nature and are never fully appreciated for it because the people around them assume that they will always be there for them, regardless of how they are treated.

What I liked about the book?

I like how straightforward Sherry’s advice was and how she backed up her points with examples which made the book more relatable. Hence why it gripped my friends and I from the beginning.

There are two types of girls in the book and their actions define who they are.

The Nice Girl™:

  • Does everything for the man she is dating/wants to date / in a relationship with
  • Is always changing her schedule for him
  • Her world revolves around him
  • Takes disrespect

The Bitch :

  • Maintains her independence
  • Doesn’t pursue him
  • Remains in control of her time.
  • Places a high value on herself.

The Nice Girl and the Bitch treat the four main themes of the book differently:

  1. Overcompensating and self-worth
  2. Disrespect
  3. Availability
  4. Self-assurance

Overcompensating and self worth

Attraction Principle number #1

“Anything a person chases in life runs away”

The Nice Girl goes over and above for the guy she’s dating by cooking gourmet meals when they met last week and looking after his dog when he goes on a lads weekend.

The Bitch will do nothing for him and sets boundaries from the beginning which is why she ends up getting chased, because she is so nonchalant about his existence.

Sherry has illustrated why overcompensating always puts you at a disadvantage because it reeks desperation. Overcompensating can also show that you’re not comfortable with being on your own because you’re so concerned about the person you’re dating to see your worth through how much you can do for them. This backfires because the guy you’re dating will think you’re trying too hard, which will push him away, or he will leech off you (whether it’s asking you for money and cooking for him because you’ve now taken up the role of his second mum) and that’s all because he knows you’re willing to give without receiving anything in return. That’s why so many guys praise a girl for being nice but barely ever treat her right because she’s too nice or even see her as the marrying type. When things end with the Nice girl he’ll go for the Bitch who is nonchalant about his existence, who he’ll end up treating well because she doesn’t care about keeping him.

“A man will always want what he can’t have. When a man meets a woman and she seems nonchalant, it becomes a challenge for him to win her affections.”

Disrespect

The nice girl takes disrespect by trying to reason with him and giving multiple chances, whereas the Bitch doesn’t. The Bitch responds to disrespect by leaving the situation completely, she respects herself and won’t be treated badly by anyone.
Availability

The nice girl will drop everything to be with him and is happy to be with him every second of the day. Cancelling previous plans just to cater to him and work around his schedule is a big no! Women are more likely to cancel plans for men, but this effort barely ever gets reciprocated. When was the last time you heard a guy say ‘guys I’m gonna cancel our gym session today / night out later to bond with my girl’ if anything they will say they’re busy and she will work around it never the other way round. The nice girl makes the mistake of being available all the time, so he doesn’t value her time. Whereas the Bitch keeps her life going. If she’s unavailable, she won’t see you, if she’s meeting up with friends, she’ll stick to her plans and he’ll want her because she isn’t running after him, she keeps herself busy, sometimes she accommodates his availability, only sometimes.

Self-assurance

The Nice girl needs to be with the guy to feel better about herself and is very needy and she may rely on him financially.  When someone knows you need them, you give them a free pass to start treating you badly. E.G. if you rely on a man financially he could treat you like dirt because he knows you won’t leave because you need his money. When you have your own finances, you can leave whenever because you are self-reliant. Hence why I’m always an advocate of women having their own financial security so that they don’t have to depend on anyone but themselves and have a contingency plan if things go wrong.

The Bitch is self-assured and self-reliant. She is who she is, she will not take disrespect, she is confident within herself and her abilities and has her own finances. When you compliment her, she takes it because she knows who she is with or without you. She has her own finances, but likes to be wined and dined because she’s worth it and she’s seen as an equal partner because she’s nonchalant about his existence. The Bitch gets treated well because she loves herself and doesn’t let her standards slip and if you don’t reach her standards, the door is to the left. She isn’t scared to be single and being without him isn’t the end of the world.

Attraction Principle #20

“He must feel that you choose to be with him, not that you need to be with him. Only then will he perceive you as an equal partner”

Things I didn’t like about the book

I disliked chapter 4, The Dumb like a Fox section because it felt childish, it was all about playing to a man’s ego which I thought was code for lie to him. Advice like if he brings you flowers and you want them to continue tell him they’re the’ prettiest flowers’ you’ve ever seen, what if the flowers are not the prettiest flowers you’ve ever seen, what if you like white roses instead of white lillies? Also driving, “let him parallel park your car or back it out of a tight spot. If you tell him he’s a “much better driver” than you are, he’ll really be eating out of your hand. He’ll probably wash your car or fill your tank” He may wash my car, but what if he’s a terrible driver? I’d be lying. This part felt a bit childish and gave me damsel in distress type vibes, I understand being a damsel when bugs are around but everything else I didn’t approve. It felt like it was contradicting Sherry’s point of not being needy, childish and acting like his little sister.

Do I recommend this book?

YES! A million times over, it’s great for women who have found no luck dating and have been wondering where they went wrong. It’s also great for those feeling neglected in relationships. The book constantly reminds women that you need to put yourself first, not the person you are dating. You can buy it HERE

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Click here for the original image

TOP THINGS TO DO FOR VALENTINES DAY IN LONDON

Now that winter wonderland is shut and the cold weather settles in even more, let’s talk about ways to spend time together and keep each other warm for everyone’s favourite commercial holiday, Valentines day. Below I list the top things to do on valentines day and thoughtful presents/experiences you can buy.

Make a photo book with Snapfish

Snapfish is one of the world’s largest companies for Online Photo Printing & personalised Photo Gifts. I’ve made a photobook with Snapfish and I was impressed with the pristine quality. What better way is there to say I love you or at least I’m thinking about you than making a personalised gift. Check out their reviews here.

For promo-codes up to 70% off click here

Spa day/Weekend

Why not leave the stresses of London behind you and spend a few hours of even nights at a spa hotel. For spa weekends and spa days I would check lastminute.com, spabreaks.com, the hotel website and TripAdvisor to ensure you’re getting the best deal. To ensure you don’t limit yourself, there are spas, all around the country so look far and wide, but don’t forget to incorporate travel costs and use promo codes.Last min.png

Go to a food/drink festival and explore new food options with your favourite person.

  • Craft Beer Rising – the UK’s biggest craft beer at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane 22-24 February 2018: https://www.craftbeerrising.co.uk/
  • Vegan Life Live – Where you can embrace plant-based living and discover delicious vegan-friendly foods to eat. Hosted at Alexandra Palace, London on 10-11 February 2018: https://london.veganlifelive.com/

Bowl the night away at All Star Lanes

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Photo by Matthias Zomer

Have a few laughs at a Comedy Club:

May the course be with you:

Junkyard Golf, Manchester

  1. Crazy Golf
  2. JunkYard Golf

There’s always time for tea:

  • If they’re a tea lover why not buy them a giftset fromTwiningsTwinings Gift Collection - Tea Tray with Tea for Two (Image 1)

Cooking classes anyone?

  • If you or your partner have a sweet tooth why not spend an afternoon at SpunCandy and learn how to make lollipops, candy faces and edible flowers.
  • If you like spicy foods and consider yourself a curry connoisseur spend time at Spice Monkey
  • Have your own tea party at home with Caroline Hope
  • Make authentic Japanese food in Yuki’s Kitchen without paying for flights to go there.

Want Breathtaking views of London?

  • The Shard – The Shard is the tallest building in the UK and you can see most of London. It has three restaurants and one hotel: Aqua Shard, Oblix and Hutong and the Shangri- La
    1. I had cuttlefish for the first time at Hutong— it was delicious but very expensive though (as expected) £51 for a set menu with several different items that we couldn’t finish, bottled water and non-alcoholic cocktails.
  • Stay at the Novotel London Canary Wharf.
    1. I loved this hotel. I stayed in the first week of November 2017 and it was amazing, the views were stunning, I could see the shard, the cheesegrater building, the gherkin and all the canary wharf banks from my room and while eating at their 37th floor restaurant Bokan — London is magical at night.
      Word of warning, they charge a £50 deposit per person, per night, so be prepared. The hotel has several meeting rooms, a pool, sauna and fitness centre.
  • Sky Garden
  • Oxo Tower
  • Vertigo 42, A stylish resevations only bar in the city of London
  • Madison Rooftop Bar
  • Coppa Club, Tower Bridge
    • Stunning views of tower bridge and the shardigloos-3

New year, new me?

Monday 1st of January, 2018.

New year = 365 opportunities.

Happy new year everyone, hope you’re all well and excited for 2018. Just like most people, I have many goals for this year some personal, others not so personal.

MY GOALS:

  • Increase my engagement on apieceofsarah and discover more blogs specifically, travel, skin care, food and fashion related ones. I love discovering new blogs so please leave your blog pages below. travel bloggers
  • Travel more! The aim is to visit 4 countries this year, three of which I haven’t been to before. I love going on holiday so I’m more determined than ever to travel in 2018.
  • Step out of my comfort zone more e.g. not letting opportunities pass me by because I don’t feel ready.
  • Become healthier: exercise more, eat less processed foods, less pasta, cut out most dairy products and stop being so lazy.
  • Stick to my saving goal.
  • Take more pictures.

Linking back to my first goal, on new years day I was tagged by the wonderful Taiwo from stuffedshelvesite to answer the below questions and I was so excited and grateful because this is the first time I’ve been tagged to join anything by a fellow blogger.

Read the original post here.

RULES

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their post.
  2. Answer the 11 questions they asked you.
  3. Nominate 11 other bloggers with your own set of questions.
  4. Tag your chosen 11 bloggers and don’t forget to tell them as well!

The questions given to me:

1) What’s your best colour?
I love Black and Charcoal Grey.

2) Where do you see your blog in a year’s time?
I really don’t know, hopefully with more followers who engage with it.

3) If you had $1000, what would you do with it?
Put some in my holiday fund and put 100 in stocks.

4) Who’s your best person in the entire world?
My mother, she is my rock.

5) Do you like flowers? If you do, what’s your best flower?
I’m not really a flower girl but I would say lavender (if that counts) or pink roses.

6) What’s a piece of advice you like (it may not have to do with your blog)
“Life keeps going even when you’re sad” “You’re the most important person in your life”
Also, my accountability post also kicks me into shape.

7) What country are you from? If you could change one thing about it, what would it be?
Nigeria! Igbo Kwenu. I’d love to change the infrastructure and the politicians.

8) Which do you prefer; novels or movies?
Action movies!

9) What’s your best piece of clothing/ accessory/ footwear?
Knee high boots, I love them.

10) What’s your best physical feature?
My smile, exhibit a below ☺

11) If you could be a well-known activist for a cause, what would it be?
Really hard question but an activist for people with special needs.

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Questions for my fellow bloggers:

  1. What’s your blog about and why did you start blogging?
  2. Who’s your style icon? Or maybe a fashion blogger/celebrity you really like?
  3. What’s your favourite skin care product?
  4. Where’s the best place you’ve visited and why?
  5. What’s your favourite cuisine?
  6. What’s your favourite restaurant?
  7. What type of person are you?
  8. With artificial intelligence on the rise would you buy a robot like Sophia?
  9. What’s your favourite book/movie/tv show?
  10. How do you like to relax?
  11. What would you suggest to someone who’s thinking about starting a blog or has one but is feeling discouraged?

Bloggers tagged:

@travelstreatsandeverythingsweet
@Josephine Grant
@sintimspeaks
@PopularIsWrong
@jaimeelolivia
@For The Wxnderers
@Its Kelle’s Space
@Melanie Jessica
@sarahjuneblog
@PAE Reviews
@LifeinRhymesandLines
@ladylikelaura
@kimberlyj.com

2017

Well, where do I start? 2017 hasn’t been all roses and daffodils, and running through fields of wheat because that’s the naughtiest thing I’ve ever done but 2017 still been a great year. I’ve gone from strength to strength and I achieved things that earlier in the year I didn’t think I could.

BAD Bs GET FIRSTS 

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I’ve done so well this year in terms of personal goals, I graduated with first class honours in Accounting and Finance. This has been my goal since the first day I stepped into my university in 2013 and achieving it has given me enough confidence to last a lifetime.

Getting a first was not easy! University it’s self is not easy, but getting a first or trying to get one pushes you beyond your limits and will have you questioning your sanity and ability.  I questioned my ability allllll the time, hence my self-doubt post. The stress I was under I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy and I’m still recovering from my final year now lol. There were laughs, there were plenty of tears, late night trips to Co-op because our house needed  sweets and Monster to get us through the night,  late night chats in our kitchen cooking pasta bake, salmon and sweet potatoes because going to sleep meant having to face your degree the next day and the all day library sessions. This year I learnt the key to doing well in uni is starting assignments and revision early, prioritizing Uni over fun (but still take breaks, don’t let Uni break you),  sending drafts to teachers/asking for pointers, finishing your assignment the day before and staying up all night to do your Harvard referencing (or you could reference as you go along, but I never did that). After referencing until 9 am you sleep, wake up at 1 p.m to proofread your work and cut down if needed and then submit. I remember texting Kim and Swin to knock on my door if I was not up by a certain time because missing a deadline was my worst nightmare.

Me finishing my last exam:

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The joy I felt from finishing my last exam is a joy I want to feel all the time.  I spent so much time in the library throughout my university life that it became my second home but I’m grateful because it all worked out. Glory be to God.

Kim, Swin, Nino, thank you all for being such wonderful housemates and making me laugh because home to an antisocial house would have been upsetting.

WORK WORK WORK WORK WORK

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I told my mum I wanted a job by September and I got one in August, less than a month after graduating. Look at God. Plus, I actually like my job, which is a huge bonus, I’ve worked in places where I would dread going to work in the morning, not anymore!

HOLIDAYS

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I went to Tenerife for my birthday and although I did not travel as much as I did last year I’m grateful to have travelled at all because travelling is a luxury even though I like to treat it as a necessity.

BOOK SORIEE

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I got back into reading this year! This is a big thing for me because I’ve been complaining for years that I don’t read enough.

In the last 3 months I’ve read:

  1. Panther in the Hive by Olivia Cole
  2. We should all be feminist by Chimamanda Adichie
  3. Things fall apart by Chinua Achebe

If you want to read more too, join our book club “The Book Soiree”  and follow what we’re reading this month here.

Part-time Blogger, Full-time Babe 

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Lastly apieceofsarah.com turned 1! My baby! My everything! The love of my life! Writing gives me so much joy and starting this blog has bought out creativity that I didn’t even know I had. Blogging also helped me with my assignments. I had 8 assignments this year, achieved 6As, 4 of them being A+ including my final project. blogging has allowed me to help people far and wide and has given me guidance when I felt like giving up. My accountability, self-doubt, goals, procrastination and consistency  posts all acted as reminders as to why I have to keep on going, so I’m forever grateful that God gave me the idea to start this blog.

If you follow me on twitter you probably would have noticed my “65 days of happiness” thread. I did this for three reasons, to count down the days until 2018,  to cheer myself up and to make myself become more grateful for the big and small things that happen in everyday life. I think finding happiness in each day has made me more grateful than ever and reminded me of how blessed I am.

I’m so thankful for the love and support I’ve received and I can’t wait to show you what I have planned for 2018.

My overall goal for 2018 is to step out of my comfort zone, even more and give myself more credit because I love myself and it’s what I deserve, I hope you do the same too.

apieceofsarah.COM, PURPLE (1)

Empathy 

T/W: I talk about victims of sexual assault in this article.

So back in May I had one of the most humbling experiences in my life and it really made me want to talk about empathy.

empathy

ˈɛmpəθi

noun
“the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.”

I’ve always thought that I was empathetic towards others, but there’s always room for improvement, hence this post. We live in a society where people lack empathy for others because the other person’s situation does not impact on their life and it’s wrong. A lot of people lack empathy and respond to the misfortune of others with their cold and callous opinions which usually consists of victim-blaming. Or the person is pompous and starts speaking of how they would have done things differently and how the victim is “stupid, silly, entitled, lazy, should not have been out late at night” etc. the list goes on. I’ve seen this narrative used against rape victims (since the beginning of time), more recently Grenfell tower victims and even more recently the Hollywood sexual assault victims.

When someone is talking about their painful experience(s), the best thing to do is shut-up and listen with the intent of understanding. Not listening with the intent of responding or with judgement. This is where people fail, they don’t care about what the other person has to say, they just want to talk over them. People also lack the ability to perspective take e.g. putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. For example:

Benefit Seekers:

Benefit seekers are judged as lazy, entitled people who are living a lavish life provided by the taxpayer. This warped view is created by Channel 4 shows like Benefits Street and every tabloid that like to post a “Single mum with 6 kids by 7 different dads lives in an £2.5 million 8 bedroom Kensington town house that YOU pay for” on their front page.

People should be more outraged by wealthy individuals and corporations avoiding paying billions in tax, but, hey! focus on the poor who need the welfare system to survive. The UK is in serious need of a tax system reform, though, but I’ll save that topic for another day.

Now, yes, there are a small number of people who exploit the benefit system and commit fraud because they don’t want to work or because they’re greedy but you can’t tar everyone with the same brush. Most benefit-seekers are those in need, in low paid jobs, have dependents or disabilities, they need the welfare provided to them (which is usually just enough to survive btw).

Imagine your quality of life if you didn’t have a support system, you did not come from a loving home, you’ve unexpectedly lost your low paid job which did not allow you to save because your pay is minuscule, the family breadwinner has died or is extremely ill, your landlord has decided to raise your rent and now you’re homeless because you can’t afford it. Now, imagine there was no system to help you out and you were left to fend for yourself. I read a story this week about a mum who died as a result of her benefits being cut. She missed her benefits meeting because she was in A&E, when she, died she was found in her home wearing a coat and scarf leaving her 4 children behind. Her death could have been avoided, which is why it broke my heart. Hence why the benefit system is needed, to protect the most vulnerable in society.

Grenfell Tower:

I still find it crazy that this atrocity even happened. 6 months on and most of the former residents are still living in hotels. I’ve seen people complain that former residents should “not be picky, they should settle for whatever the council gives them.” which is ridiculous, they shouldn’t settle for anything, their homes were destroyed and they lost family members and friends in a fire that was completely preventable. It’s Rydon and Kensington and Chelsea council’s fault and they have blood on their hands.

T/W: Victims of Sexual Assault:

Rape is always the rapist’s fault. Victims are judged and condemned in many ways, thus perpetuating rape culture, it could be done in the following ways:

  • “Why did she wait so long?” The sad truth is reporting rape is not an easy or simple process and women are barely believed when they report rape or sexual assault. Instead of being listened to these women are condemned. Just because a woman didn’t report an assault, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
  • “What did you drink?” Someone could down a bottle of Rosé and rape will still be the rapist’s fault because he/she has exploited the victim’s vulnerability. Which will always be wrong.

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  • “What were you wearing?” whether you go out naked or dress like the Michelin man, rape is still the rapist’s fault. No one is entitled to your body, regardless of the clothes you wear.

The list of condemnation is exhausting, but not limited to the above. Men are not called out on their disgusting behaviour E.g. grabbing a girl’s butt, then turning around acting like you didn’t in a club, getting a girl drunk to sleep with her because you know it will be harder to sleep with her if she’s sober. This behaviour is predatory, it needs to stop, men must be called out by the men around them. I’m also tired of women only getting empathy because of their proximity to someone else, e.g when something bad happens, someone usually says imagine if this was your “mother, daughter, sister” etc. Women should receive empathy for being human, not because they are connected to you in some way.

Rape culture will continue to exist because victims are blamed, shamed and then silenced. All accountability is placed on the victims, not the men who rape and it is so frustrating. It’s frustrating to see disproportionate media coverage on false rape accusations, it’s frustrating to see how entitled men feel to women’s bodies, it’s frustrating to see victims vilified and not receive the empathy and justice they deserve because men are still viewed as animals who lack self-control. Men are not animals, nor are they babies to not know what they’re doing, they should be held accountable for their actions and ostracized or they will continue to rape. It’s that simple.

Discrimination against people with special needs:

If there is anything that grinds my gears, it’s this.

Too many people are vile and abusive to those with special needs and it drives me insane. If it’s not abuse on nights out when someone is minding their business, it’s abuse on public transport. Public transport is an important one, earlier this year I saw this video:

First thing first, the wheelchair space is meant for wheelchair users first then buggies. If your buggy can fold, then fold it and let a wheelchair user use the space. They need it more than you. If a wheelchair user is “taking too long” to get on the bus do not tut or sigh for once imagine if you were in their position, have some compassion and use your common sense.

How can you be so horrible and have such disregard for human life? Also I hate when people make jokes about people with special needs. No one asks to be born with special needs. I can’t respect you if you don’t respect them.

White Privilege and Racism:

White privilege is real, please click here.

Racism still exists and will continue to exist if people deny its existence. Whether it’s institutional, systemic, police brutality, etc. It still exists. Just because you:

  • “Don’t see colour”,
  • Interracial relationships are on the rise,
  • America had a mixed race president,
  • You have a black bf,
  • Some countries have it “worse” than others,
  • Rappers say “nigga” in their songs.
  • You’re a person of colour (POC) and like being seen as “compliant/good POC.” So you hate when black people speak up,

Doesn’t mean people should refrain from protesting the injustice they face. You should empathise with people and see how you can help combat the injustice they face instead of telling them to “get over it” or start victim blaming.

Last but definitely not least fat-shaming:

People go out of their way to be horrible to fat people and say/do nasty things for no reason. Whether it’s saying horrible things while they’re minding their business in the street, at a club or on public transport. Even on twitter, people decide to tear people’s appearance apart and it’s insidious.

This comic illustrates my point perfectly:

People become big through different reasons, the main reason not burning as many calories as their intake, they’ve had a baby, they have a medical condition, food tastes really good (duh) or they have been using food as a coping mechanism. This could be from when you’re young, being overweight when you’re young can set you up for obesity for the rest of your life and ruin your self-esteem. All the foods you were given are now bad for you and it’s hard to give them up. Coupled with a low esteem because of how you look, clothes not fitting well enough, your size not being catered to and fear that someone will say or do something, it’s not a fun life, sometimes you can feel trapped in your own body.

If you’re overweight and reading this, your weight does not define you as a person.

Those who are overweight already know what they look like, some are happy and comfortable kudos to them. I can only imagine how it feels to be 100% comfortable in the skin you’re in. Others are not happy and look at themselves daily and want to make a change but feel like they can’t. Losing weight is hard and they don’t need your unnecessary comments which are usually born out of spite, not because you care about their health. Again a fat person could post a pic of themselves and get hateful comments for being confident within themselves and people will hide it under the guise of caring about their health. When really they don’t like it when overweight people are confident because they think fat people don’t deserve confidence and should be hidden. Same thing happens to confident women who others don’t deem attractive, people love to shut them down relentlessly.

Fat Shaming v Thin Shaming:

I’ve seen a lot off fat vs thin shaming tweets and thought I might as well address it here:

“Thin Person: How come if a fat person posts a pic, society says “woo body positivity, slay girl etc.” But if I (a thin person) post a pic I’m told to go and eat something, stop showing of etc.” — Let’s be real, there maybe some body-positivity for fat people but usually its Ashley Graham in a buzzfeed article. Ashley Graham is like the poster girl for the body positive movement, she’s a plus size women with hour-glass figure and a relatively flat stomach, to me she’s a conventional fat. She’s not like other women (and this is no dig at Ashley) who have saggy bellies, several love handles, stretch marks everywhere and rolls. Those women are usually told to put some clothes on, hide, or even die if they share pictures of themselves online. If people are telling you to eat something because you’re thin, tell them you’re fine, you have a fast metabolism and to mind their business.

Or

“How comes if a fat person can ask me if I’ve eaten but If I call them fat it’s an issue”

—Whenever I see this type of tweet I have two thoughts.

  1. Is it only fat people that shame you? I’ve seen people get thin-shamed by people of various sizes but only choose to call out fat people because they’re fat. Unless the person is asking you out of concern e.g your mum, best friend or partner tell them to mind their business.
  2. Is it a family member who said this? From first hand experience I know how annoying family members can be with their fake concern and irrelevant comments about your body/why aren’t you married yet/why don’t you study more etc. If it is a family member (especially a distant one) tell them to mind their business or change the subject.

With the Fat vs. Thin shaming stuff it’s best if everyone just minded their business. It’s not hard.

From looking at the responses to the tweets above, you can probably tell that I don’t believe thin-shaming and fat shaming are the same, because I don’t.

“Thinness is not only the beauty standard but also a false gauge of health, wellness, energy, cleanliness, ambition, intelligence, and morality. A study from the University of Albert showed that “when a thin person is seen lying down watching television, people assume they’re resting. But when people see an overweight person relaxing, it’s automatically assumed they’re lazy and unmotivated.” Yet, clearly, this is not the case.”

-Taken from The Body is Not An Apology, very interesting article if you want to read more.

However, I do think both are damaging because no one should feel that their body is not good enough. I understand how statements like “Real Women have curves” and “How can you be a girl and have no boobs/bum you might as well be a man?” because it can make you feel horrible about your body because they are horrible especially the latter. The size of your bum or chest should not define if you’re a woman or not and not having curves is OK. I know it’s easier said than done but don’t let society dictate how you feel about yourself.

To conclude, society would be a better place if people empathized with others, showed some compassion when people are in a rough place and remembered that they could end up in a rough place too if their life goes down hill (God forbid). Society would also improve immensely if people thought about people’s feelings and how their actions affect others on a daily basis— not only when someone commits suicide. Remember your words have power and can have a negative or positive effect on people, hence why it would also be great if people remembered that not everything you think needs to be said. Therefore, before you say something negative about someone else ask yourself “is this really needed?” if it’s not then don’t say it. There’s enough negativity and pain in the world that you should not be adding to.

If you struggle with empathizing with others below are some tips:

  • https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/EmpathyatWork.htm
  • https://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/empathy.html
  • https://www.wikihow.com/Show-Empathy
  • http://time.com/3562863/5-ways-to-be-more-empathetic/
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Evwgu369Jw

The pain of feeling unappreciated. 

Unappreciated and overburdened. 


There is nothing worse than going out of your way for someone and when a similar situation arises, they don’t do the same for you or they don’t say thank you.  While you shouldn’t do things for others in expectation of receiving something in return; it’s still painful to know that,  that person wouldn’t and doesn’t appreciate you or your time. There are so many people who do not have the same heart as you and do not have good intentions for you, which sets you up for many disappointments along the road. Don’t get me wrong, there are good appreciative people in the world and if you find them, keep them close but there are plenty of users too. The person reading this may or may not be a user too, but only on self-reflection can you answer this question. When this happens to me, I try to remind myself that God will reward me for doing things out of the kindness of my heart, but sometimes that isn’t enough.

When you feel unappreciated you have three options:


  1. Say how you feel 

  1. Distance yourself

  1. Don’t go out of your way for them again

Speaking about your feelings –  If you’re like me, you probably hate speaking about your feelings out of fear of overreacting or saying something offensive because you’re undiplomatic, or you expect everyone to have a certain level of respect/common sense/unselfishness and most importantly to avoid conflict. You have to stop biting your tongue to avoid hurting someone who is hurting you, I mean, how else would they know how you feel? Depending on the situation is and how angry I am, I get my point across by writing down how I feel then speaking to the person later so I don’t forget the important points and to make sure I’m not over-reacting and to avoid saying something hurtful.


Distancing yourself – Self-explanatory. I avoid that person and situations where I would feel inclined to go out of my way for them, this could be late replies to texts and decreasing my availability.  If you feel unappreciated by everyone around you, take some timeout to enjoy your own company, but don’t overdo this as it can be unhealthy.


Don’t go out of your way for them again – This is hard when you have a giving spirit and you like helping others but you can’t let people exploit you and your kindness. Remember you’re not a doormat, so put your foot down. If I feel like I’m going out of my way for someone (based on our level of friendship and our past) I will stop and ask myself would they do the same for me and if that answer is “no” I don’t do stuff for them because I have boundaries to set. Setting up boundaries around unappreciative people takes some time, but it’s worth it and you won’t regret it because when people get comfortable they think they are entitled to your time and resources when they’re not. You have the strength to say no or refer them to other people when you’re asked for things, as there’s no point doing things for people who will just take and take and take until you’re left empty, you need to look after yourself.


See my previous post: “The Power of Saying “No” 


To conclude, being unappreciated hurts but remember that you always have options when it happens. 

The Power of Saying “No”

No one is entitled to your space.

No one is entitled to your time.

No one is entitled to you.

Repeat those three sentences until it’s ingrained into your mind and you start putting it into practice.

It’s okay to say no when you feel like it.

This two letter word can bring you so much happiness and can stop you from being exploited by those who use up your valuable time and resources while demanding things that you would never ask someone else for. Do not feel inclined to do things for people because you fear you’ll be viewed as a ‘bad person’, if what you’ve been asked for goes against your values or will put you at a disadvantage, say ‘no. ‘

If you don’t want to say no out of the fear of being blunt and uncaring you can say the following:

  • ‘I’m busy’
  • ‘I’d rather not’
  • ‘I won’t be able to because xyz’
  • ‘I’d love to help but can’t because I’ve committed to xyz’
  • ‘I can’t because it goes against my views and it makes me feel uncomfortable.’
  • ‘I don’t want to’
  • ‘No thanks’
  • ‘I can’t’

Remember, time is your most valuable asset because it is the only thing you can’t get back, so say no when you feel like it.