Mind The Gap…

Can we first spare a moment of silence for the man, the legend….50 Cent. The G that got rich and didn’t die trying, and recently managed to bankrupt himself in a coke storm of (borrowed) cars, gold chains and hoes.

If theres one thing that Mr Cent has taught me, its that even if you go from rags to riches on the back of successful r&b/rap songs that fetishise childhood pastimes and birthday parties, you can loose it all in a second thanks to an un-strategically placed dick.

Best give up now then.

Speaking of bankruptcy; I have recently moved to London.

I’m starting to think that when Kate Moss said “get the London look” she was actually referring to the unwashed, unshaven, fag toting, Sainsbury’s basic beer drinking mess I’m going to become if I leave the house one more time before I move out of this bloody city.

I went to use the tube the other day from Holborn to Oxford Circus and had to hand over £2.30, my firstborn child, my university degree and the clothes off my back.

Turned out it wasn’t even working, there was a tube strike on so I walked it.

I don’t know how people do it. If I stayed any longer I’d have to start letting my London Bridge down if you know what I mean.

Hint hint, nudge nudge.

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When I first got my swanky London summer job, with its decent pay at fancy establishment, I had visions of rocking up in a bedazzled black cab in head to to Chanel a la Posh Spice.

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Instead I have been reduced to hiding out on my duvet bunker and hoping for my bank to have a computer glitch and accidentally forget to “autosave” my overdraft…like those times you spend a week of all nighters at the library and and wake up to find that your essay has disappeared in a poof of smoke.

Cash donations are welcome.

Designer shoes even more so.

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HOW DO YOU PEOPLE DO IT?

P.S. London move is (thankfully) a temporary situation. T-14 days till I move to Mississippi…posts to come.

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Overpacked and Unlucky…

Today I have come to realise one very important fact: I do not have the luck of the rabbit’s foot when it comes to team games.

Having a family mostly born and raised in East London, and coming from Essex I am an avid (in not knowledgeable) supporter of West Ham United football team (come on you Irons!)…who happen to be shit. I know, I know but come on, seriously?

I have just watched a horrifically ball-breaking World Cup game supporting…you guessed it, England. Also shit. Actually even more shit…I think I just lost at least half a full head of hair and my voice. Really Gerrard, really?

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I was in S house in school (yellow) who didn’t win the school cup for the whole 7 years I was there.

And naturally I was also yellow team at primary school sports day, in which we lost many an egg and spoon and sack race. Not that kind of sack. What’s wrong with you people.

You get my drift.

Also, put me in ANY kind of organised sports team and I will bet on myself that I will lose. 100/1.

I got scratched to pieces at school netball games (I’m serious, all girls grammar school netball players are vicious…and Essex ones at that tend to have particularly long talons), I dislocated my knee playing school hockey, I near drown if i try to swim for too long and don’t even get me started on indoor sports (dodge ball and basketball are terrifying when you’re five foot one).

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So when people like job interviewers ask me, “so, do you enjoy any extracurricular sport?”

“Ooohhh…errr…oooh…well…I like dancing”.

*Hopeful face*

*Crickets*

I suck.

I cannot join any sports societies at uni…I’ve found the hard way that you don’t get medals just for the taking part at this age.

Even when you plead puppy eyes.

No; cowering in the corner and ducking when a rugby ball hurtles towards you at 60 miles an hour is not acceptable…even though its scary. Shouldn’t there be laws against these things?

Ok so it was only going 10 miles an hour. So sue me.

*Petulant face*

Can someone please invent a non competitive, non contact, ball-less sport for me to play please and thank you.

Oh and a good team for me to support that’s none of the following: Arsenal, Chelsea, Man U….actually any of the existing ones.

I need it for my CV.

It’s “character building”, “encourages participation” and “teaches teamwork”.

P.S. On the note of jobs and CV’s I will be moving to the sunny land of the South of France in July to start work at a beautiful little hotel. Look out for mischief, mayhem and disasters. On an Overpacked and Underpaid near you, July 1st, Certificate 12-18…depending on the shenanigans…not those shenanigans…other ones…ones that don’t involve that…okay. *Awkward cough*. See you there!

What just happened?

If I could only use one word to sum up the past few weeks it would have to be bizarre.

To be honest, I’m surprised that I can even remember my own name…

Lets cut the crap.

*Life update klaxon*

One of my best friends from school came down from Essex for an insane night which started with a bottle of Belvedere…progressed to an out of character club snog (me), going back to another random fresher girl’s flat (it wasn’t as creepy as it sounds, she fell over in the road, we helped her up, she invited us over) and jacking a packet of smart price custard creams and a jam sandwich from the Christians (her…don’t ask)…and ended with a trip to a Catholic church (really, don’t ask).

My flatmate turned 20 so we had an amazing Mexican themed night complete with sombreros and fajitas and a whole bottle of tequila…or at least that’s what I can remember of it…turns out we went to a club afterwards…all I remember is waking up in my bed next to one of my flatmates having thrown up said bottle of alcohol and fajitas.

Note to self, medication and alcohol DO NOT mix…

I spent the majority of reading week barricaded in my room genuinely thinking I was going to die…

*Shudders*

I now have a second gold star on my flat’s chunder chart (a star being an exceptional chunder).

On that note, ever since I have been on a self imposed alcohol ban…it’s like being in the AA except I’m neither an alcoholic nor anonymous…

7 days sober…surely I deserve a prize by now?

Like maybe a bottle of champagne?

Actually scratch that…even the thought of anything stronger than orange juice sends chills down my spine…

I got the marks back for both of my first assignments (English and History). As it turns out procrastination is the key to the entirety of life, anyone that says otherwise may let themselves out…

Seriously, now.

Go.

Halloween rolled around and thanks to the general YOLO-ness and IDGAF-ness of my flat, we had no tickets to any events, and so we found ourselves queuing up for two and a half hours outside our student union club in the rain. I dressed as a flesh eating zombie and spent the whole night trying to ignore the fact that I was stone cold sober. The only guy we danced with was one who came up to us and creepily stood there “seductively” flapping the fake hand stuck to his forehead for ten minutes while we tried to escape. UV paint was blasted from canons…by the end of the evening my reflection gave me nightmares.

I somehow managed to procure my first ever job interview and then had to call to postpone it because of my flu *cough* alcohol poisoning *cough*. How I even managed to pass the online assessment is beyond me…no I can’t identify the “most likely” and “least likely” course of action if all your answers are bloody the same! It was more of a case of click one with your eyes closed and hope for the best…

I, the queen of all social awkwardness, went to a history social at a small local cocktail bar and…well…socialised. I finally managed to meet some people on my history course, all of whom were lovely and none of whom I remember their names. I have also developed a massive crush on almost every guy on my history course…and my friends said I didn’t have a “type”…

I’ve somehow found myself on the competition team for the wrong dance society, and now am going to be off to Southampton this weekend to compete. I came to practice one day to find I’d been paired up with a random guy by the captains and so I have to wake up at 4am and spend 6 hours on a coach after a late night out…

..why?

…Just why?

Bonfire night celebrations have snuck up on me and I’ve spent the last few days feeling horribly homesick…I’m almost at the point where I’m watching firework displays and bonfires on YouTube…

…ok so it’s way past that point.

I’ve even downloaded my Christmas playlist onto my iPod to console myself…

…A good old sing along to Michael Bublé’s White Christmas never fails to put me in a good mood, if you know what I mean.

No?

*Ba dooby do do do do be do, ba dooby do do do dooby do*

Don’t even try to tell my my Santa Baby dance isn’t the sexiest thing you’ve ever seen…

…I even used a tin of soup for a microphone.

Two days ago I stayed up ALL NIGHT chatting to two of my third year flat mates and then got up to go to a group meeting and dance practice the next day…

…I haven’t pulled an all-nighter since secondary school.

I didn’t choose the thug life.

The thug life chose me.

Admittedly I did sleep for 12 hours the next day…

Shhhhh

Stalk Me (No, Actually)…A Day in the Life…

Well considering today is the two month anniversary of Overpacked and Underpaid, I thought that you and I would…you know…get to know eachother a little more…intimately.

Here, I found your mind, I think you dropped it in the gutter…

Boom boom!

I’ll let myself out…

Anyway all of you lovelies that actually read my posts, (and I know some of you do…you can run but you can’t hide, I have wobbly bar charts and numbers…I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE…actually I really don’t…but…err…I KNOW WHERE YOU BLOG…occasionally…when you follow me via WordPress), will know that I am studying History and English with Spanish at university, and so I thought I’d let you in on a typical day in my life…

Ooh aren’t you lucky!

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Monday 21st October 2013

Wake up at 7:30 to the unsurpassable sounds of radio Devon; listen to news of national and international importance such as “man in Devon has been going around shooting signs, to prove this, other man in Devon has been going around taking photos of said shot signs”, “outrage as lollipop man quits after being threatened with suspension for high-fiving kids rather than watching the road” and “small village interviews for a new local witch, no experience necessary” #srsbusiness.

Roll out of bed, shower and simultaneously flood and steam up bathroom, eat breakfast (cereal in a cup, stirred not shaken) and make my way up the hill for my first 9am history seminar on “the supernatural in early modern England”. Discus white witches for two hours, stare at hot history boys.

Walk back (making conscious effort not to pencil roll down hill) and whip up lunch out of remaining ingredients in fridge (eggs and…well…eggs), frantically do Spanish homework.

Head back up the bloody hill for double Spanish, spend two hours trying to stop myself doing something inappropriate/naughty out of sheer boredom (see: I’m Bored or How To: Procrastinate) as the class is a little too easy for me and I’ve done everything before.

Hot foot it over to my English lecture and search for tall friends so as not to look like a complete loner…try not to fall asleep or do any of the aforementioned inappropriate things, take lots of notes with one hand whilst simultaneously covertly stalking Facebook and Tumblr with the other.

Head back to flat, chat to flatmates and cook some dinner out of remainder of cupboard ingredients (tacos and…well…tacos).

Change into dance wear and head down to my beginners jazz class…roll around floor for an hour trying to ignore the indigestion from the food I’ve only just eaten and not poke one of my fellow dancers in the eye with my flailing hands and feet.

Head back to flat, spend evening in the kitchen with flatmates chatting and generally avoiding doing any work.

Do blogmin.

[Insert non-existent sex life here].

Sleep.

Well wasn’t that just…thrilling?

So there you have it, a day in the life of a British university student.

P.S. THANK YOU to all you lovelies who have been reading, following and commenting on my posts over the last two months I really, really appreciate it! Please keep sharing Overpacked and Underpaid with everyone you know, too many readers don’t spoil the blog ;).

London…

As I type this I’m sat on a train at Paddington station, soon to be headed back to uni.

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I’m already missing home.

I won’t lie, I’ve considered chaining myself to the gates and refusing to go…or just hurling myself out the window with my suitcase and three bags…

…it’s all good I’ll hitch a cow back to Essex.

Out of all the places I’ve visited in the world, I still think London is my favourite…I’m almost regretting my decision to refuse to go to uni there…almost.

So jealous of all you London students, you have the world at your feet!

Actually, don’t worry I just remembered how much I spent on that bloody disgusting Pret sandwich on Friday.

All in all this week has been very strange. It’s finally sunk in that for the next three years I will be calling two places “home” and I’ll have two families to go back to, which means that I will be in a perpetual state of homesickness.

*Mindfuck*

Oh an did I mention that I may possibly be moving to America next year?

Yeah, so that happened.

Turns out I have the opportunity to go and study at the wonderful college of William and Mary in Virginia. Everyone I’ve spoken to says I have to go….so I’m going…

…all I’ve got to do is write a stunning application, get two great academic references and total 65% in my first year.

*Bangs head against pull out tray*

I only spent three months of my life and £500 applying to American universities already.

S.O.S.

The only way is Essex…

I’m home!

I’m in complete bliss…I’ve seen my family, I’ve had a three hour soak in an actual bath, I’ve been cooked food and bought clothes and spent the entire morning curled up by the fire doing some reading.

What’s that? You want me to address the elephant in the room? AKA the title of this post?

Yes, believe it or not, I hail from the great and infamous county that is ESSEX.

I can honestly tell you though, the reality of Essex is a lot different to what you see on TV…

Do the OAPs at my bus stop wear Ugg boots, leggings and tracksuits?

Yes.

Have I ever owned a pink velour tracksuit, a Paul’s Boutique handbag, fake eyelashes and glitter heels?

Yes.

Despite the stereotypes…and I’m sorry be the one to tell you this…but in actual fact the majority of Essex is countryside. You’re more likely to bump into a loose cow than Amy Childs or Mark Wright (sadly), and yes, this has actually happened to me before; two cows escaped from the pen on the hill and were mooching about on the main road…THIS ISN’T INDIA. I’ve also been stuck on a train on my birthday that was held up by an AWOL ‘orse…oh to be in the country.

My hometown is surrounded by fields; we have one supermarket, a few restaurants, a marina and a farm and that’s about it. I associate home more with open fields, long walks by the river and the smell of horse manure than fake tan, fake tits and hair extensions.

Disappointed?

I thought so…

The people at uni sadly don’t seem to be as educated on the geographical reality of my home county…

I’ve had numerous reactions to telling people where I’m from, from the ever-so-lovely “that’s a shame” to “how comes you don’t have an accent?” to being given ‘the eye’ because they automatically assume I’m easy.

Le sigh.

Trust me I’ve heard all the jokes.

In fact I’ll just write some now to save you the trouble:

Q. What do Essex girls use for protection during sex?
A. Bus Shelters.

Q. Why does an Essex girl wear knickers?
A. To keep her ankles warm.

Q. What’s the difference between an Essex girl and an ironing board?
A. Occasionally you have trouble getting the legs apart on an ironingboard.

Q. Why are Essex girls only allowed 30 minute lunch breaks?
A. It takes too long to retrain them if they take an hour.

Q. How do you make an Essex girl laugh on a Saturday?
A. Tell her a joke on a Wednesday.

ARE YOU SATISFIED?

As a joke I’m considering going back down south in a pink velour tracksuit, my Paul’s Boutique Barbie bag, some fake Uggs and lashings of sparkly jewellery. It would be committing social suicide; people don’t even dress up to go out clubbing at uni (pffft), but it would be so worth the looks on my flatmates’ faces.

I’m sure I could get a hold of some white stilettos.

*Rubs hands together gleefully*

He he.

P.S. My friend may be coming down from Essex to visit next week, watch this space for the mischief we get up to…

P.P.S. If you’re from another country or just have no idea what the “Essex girl” stereotype is I’m referring to go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essex_girl

IT’S NOT TRUE.

Swear.

Americanophile…

I’m not a 100% sure that this is a real word, but its on Urban Dictionary and that’s all that matters really isn’t it?

Being British is all the rage right now what with One Direction and….err…One Direction and although I’m extremely patriotic and I love my home country, I kinda have a thing for all things American.

I applied to four American colleges alongside my British ones. I love the idea of a well-rounded university experience, where extra-curriculars are just as important as academics. I love the teaching system, where it’s okay to not know exactly what you want to do, and to dabble in other subjects. I love the general grandness and beauty of the campuses…uugghhh FEELS.

Admittedly I did not put the required amount of work into my applications *couch* SATs *cough* but I still get a little stab of pain every time I think of what could have been.

Or see the Facebook photos of a girl who went to my school and is now happily settling in to NYU.

I’m not jealous.

I’M NOT!

I am.

A teensy bit.

A lot.

I can’t even pinpoint what it is exactly that draws me to it. In actual fact my trip to LA was a little disappointing…and downright terrifying at times…I’ll be writing a post about it soon…you shall see.

There’s been a few occasions at uni when I’ve walked past some US exchange students with American accents.

*Instant death*

Does anyone else have similar unaccountable, misplaced feelings about the states? I know that being an Anglophile is kind of a big thing in America but I’ve never heard of it in reverse.

I think we should call it “across the pond syndrome”.

Anyone have a spare ticket to New York?

Unpacked and over ‘ere…

And so finally my homecoming post arrives. It’s only two (okay three) weeks late…did I mention I was a horrific procrastinator?

You might have read my blog post “Dropping Dollar Bill$” when I talked about booking my ticket home, well I actually arrived back in the UK on the 9th of August.

A little part of me did hope for a “Love Actually” style airport reunion. I’d run off the plane to some uplifting, inspirational music (don’t you think that life in general would be much better if we had our own life soundtrack…just think of riding the school bus to Pirates of the Caribbean..da da dum dum da da dum dum da da dum dum da da do do… No? Just me then…), then I’d gracefully leap into my mum’s arms and she would proceed to swing me around, sob and rejoice at my return.

Actually make that quite a big part of me…

As per usual, the reality did not live up to the creative expanses of my mind. We landed on time at Gatwick airport, only to be told that one of the steps were broken and that we’d have to remain on the plane until they could ferry another set over. Cue bitching about the general quality of EasyJet airlines, and the air stewardesses trying to both placate and defend. I did not partake. I flew with Ryanair on the way out and it was relief enough not to hear the *we’ve arrived on time* horns at twelve o’clock at night.

An hour later when we were released from custody, I picked up my bags from the bag drop and had to face the reality of carrying my 17 kilo suitcase and 10 kilo hand luggage round the bloody airport by myself (it should be illegal for airports to have stairs, surely). Once I’d made it out of the maze of passport control desks and travelators, I met my mum and her boyfriend at the lobby where she gave me a big hug, then we walked to the car and I ate a cheese and tomato sandwich.

Well that was riveting…

Anyway here is the exciting part, where we find out whether my blog really does live up to its namesake…

I packed….

26 Tops (assorted)
8 Dresses
8 Pairs of shorts
2 Skirts
5 Pairs of leggings
3 Pairs of trousers
1 Pair of joggers
3 Jumpers
2 Cardigans
1 Swimming costume
1 Tankini
4 Bikinis
1 Pair of swim shorts
2 Beach coverups
2 Towels
8 Pairs of socks
8 Bras
27 Pairs of knickers
1 Pair of running shoes
1 Pair of tennis shoes
1 Pair of flip flops
1 Pair of pumps
2 Pairs of sandals
1  Leather jacket
1 Sunhat
2 Pairs of sunglasses
Toiletries and makeup

I think the answer is yes…

Though I did fit it all into a 15 kilo luggage allowance (10 kilo hand luggage) *pats self on back*.

P.S. I think its quite clear now where I over-did it *cough* tops *cough*, I swear it didn’t seem like that much while I was actually packing…

Dropping dolla bill$…

In case you didn’t know, that’s gangster rap talk for spending money.

And I’ve just dropped a lot of it…in fact, hang on, let me sit down a moment…I’m feeling a bit faint…

Why, oh why, are flights from Spain to London so bloody expensive? It cost me £70 quid to fly out here, including checked luggage, but it’s costing me more than double that to fly back. The flights only 2 hours long so that’s over £100 an hour! I could get…I don’t know…a full body spa treatment at Harrods for less than that!

If I ever become prime minister, or for that matter the worlds #1 villain and all around evil genius (a la Gru in Despicable Me, less the huge nose and Russian accent…don’t you just love the minions?), the first thing I’d do is price fix flights. Lets completely ignore the implications of this on the economy for just a moment, and float away into a dreamland where it costs £70 to fly to Spain and £70 to bloody fly back…look into my eyes, not around my eyes, in my eyes….and you’re drifting…

*Snaps fingers*

Wasn’t that lovely?

I’m going to go cry into my plane food…I guess I’ll avoid the freshman 15 if I can’t afford food at uni…