I’m now in my second year at university, and budgeting is still a pain. I’ve ran out of money a few times, over-spent, done my budget wrong or forgot to include things. It can be a rough ride but, I am here to hopefully help some of your budgeting woes!
First things first - write out your ‘INCOME’. This is what goes in to your bank account. So, this could be your maintenance loan/scholarship money, your weekly or monthly wages or support from your family. It’s important that you remember to include any regular money coming into your bank account, as if you forget something you’ll have to start again, which is always the worst.
Next, make a list of all of your ‘OUTGOINGS’. This is everything that comes out of your account. For example, rent (important!), travel expenses and a weekly food shop. I found that I set myself an extra £20-£30 for if I got lunch out, any outings, takeaways or nights out I went on (however I don’t drink so you may want to set yourself more money if you do drink because alcohol prices can be pretty high). This is also super super important as if you forget an outgoing then you can go over budget and leave yourself short!
Some examples of outgoings to help you remember include;
Now all you need to do is subtract outgoings from your income!
Hopefully that will leave you with some money per month left over. Personally, I like to use this money for things like Christmas presents, clothes for myself, dates with my partner and my friends and other luxuries like games or a new laptop.
If you are left with no money, unfortunately you’ll have to increase your hours at work, use your overdraft (not recommended), or start to take away unnecessary luxuries.
Some of these include sharing a Netflix subscription with a friend, going out less (or pre-drinking before going out) and not spending as much on clothes and food.
I hope this little list of how to sort a budget is helpful! Good luck! - Kaitlyn
Coronavirus has taken the whole world by storm. After originating in China a few months ago, I feel like everyone’s world has been taken over and shook upside down since.
A little context first, I already have anxiety and I have done for a few years now. I’ve spent most of that time on various waiting lists, but I have perfected the old reliable breathing techniques and I have an impressive collection of fidget cubes, stress balls and elastic bands that I fiddle with all the time.
My university closed (after a lot of protest from us students when they said they were ‘business as usual’) which has decimated my routine and day to day life. I no longer get to walk to university, grab a coffee on the way, see my friends and then sit through learning. My day now consists of waking up at around half 10-11, and doing precisely nothing until midnight, when I collapse into bed, which isn’t really that ideal.
Social media is pretty much a no-go right now. My entire timeline has been Animal Crossing, Animal Crossing, Coronavirus, pandemic, Animal Crossing, death, bad government decisions, Animal Crossing. Which is more than stressful. At least I have Animal Crossing to disappear into for a few hours every day and pretend this isn’t happening! Every post about the illness flares up my anxiety, sometimes to the point of panic attacks. I don’t even really know what I’m anxious about really. I’m healthy, I’m not alone, I can manage to get shopping in and I have an abundance of entertainment to keep me busy during the social isolation period.
If you’re anxious about this pandemic, I firstly want to say you’re not alone. The loss of routine, the constant changing circumstances, the lack of going outside, all of it can really get to you and make you feel a lot of different emotions.
My next piece of advice is to reach out to someone. Text a friend, or one of your family members, or even message us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook! We’re always happy to chat to our lovely readers, and even more so during a time of crisis. Talking to someone will remind you that you aren’t alone, the world hasn’t ended and everything will get back to normal one day.
If you’re worrying about your exams being cancelled, uni sending you home, travelling, staying with parents, talk to someone! Send an email to a teacher, message your uni, get in touch with the travel company, call your parents, everyone will be happy to help you and reassure you. Having anxiety can be incredibly tough, and situations like this can make it feel so much worse, but you're not alone. Check out some of our other articles in the anxiety section and see if anything there might help you cope!
Stay safe - Kaitlyn
Exams are rubbish. Exams are hard. They’re stressful, annoying, inconvenient, boring and ridiculous at times. They’re often just a memory test - how many bullet points about Shakespeare or how many theories about the family can you remember? Can you do long division? Do you remember the one specific scientific term for some obscure process that you were taught briefly 2 years ago? No? Then you fail, you won’t get a job, you’ll end up homeless and you’ll disappoint everyone.
Except that’s not true. Exams aren’t a good measure of your intelligence, in fact they’re an awful measure. You could be the fastest thinker, or really passionate about a topic, and most of the time you can’t show that in an exam. All of the ways that you are worth it can’t be shown in an exam. Whether you volunteer, whether you’ve overcome a huge mental health or personal struggle, or even whether you’re bullied, they don’t count in an exam. And I, for one, think that is ridiculous.
I’m in my second year of university and no one has even looked at my GCSE grades. My A-Level grades were looked at to get me into university yes, but that’s really it. I applied for a job recently and they didn’t want my CV, just to answer a behaviour quiz! I spent all that time working hard for no one to look at them? What?! Even my university application, my personal statement where I talked about volunteering and my hobbies seemed to have had more of an impact than my actual results. Things like volunteering with a local charity/organisation, helping out at school open days and even writing for TWE seem to matter more! Havi a part time job/volunteering show dedication and time management, as well as a good personality. All good exam results show is that you’re good at remembering things, or good at wording essays. These skills are incredibly important, especially at higher education, but not so much in the practical world.
I’m not saying grades don’t matter - they do. You should try your best for your exams no matter what. However, I will say that grades don’t matter as much as everyone says they do. The world won’t end if you drop a grade. The Earth won’t implode if you forget something on your exam. You won’t end up homeless if you don’t make the grades to get into your dream university. Many of my friends had to go through clearing because they missed their grades, and ended up happier for it!
If you’re worrying about how important grades seem, talk to someone! If you have an older friend or family member, they’ll be able to tell you all about their own experience and hopefully make you feel better. Don’t put yourself down or work yourself into a panic over results because they don’t matter as much as everyone says they do. Relax. Breathe. It’ll all work out in the end.
Feminism is something that comes up in the news and pop culture a lot and it can seem incredibly confusing. Where do we start? Why are there so many different types? What do they all believe? Hopefully, I can shed some light on some of the different branches of feminism and what they typically believe, as well as some of the more confusing words used when talking about feminism.
Patriarchy: patriarchy is the idea that society is dominated by men. In a patriarchal society, the government and businesses are completely controlled and dominated by men. Feminists believe that the patriarchy hurts women because the men in powerful positions want to keep women down and ensure women aren’t in power.
Oppression: oppression is a severe form of discrimination where a minority group or person will be treated cruelly by the majority group.
Mainstream feminism: this is the most common and widely followed branch of feminism. Mainstream feminists believe in workplace equality, pay equality, the same rights for both men and women and are against the patriarchy (male-dominated society). However many people call this type of feminism “white feminism” or “pocket feminism”, implying that mainstream feminists don’t fight for women of colour, queer women or other minorities (however many mainstream feminists do fight for women of colour and queer women etc).
Ecofeminism: ecofeminists believe that both women and the environment are oppressed (beaten down) by the patriarchy. Ecofeminists will typically fight against anything that could hurt the environment, as they believe that women and the environment are linked together. Ecofeminism is a much more spiritual type of feminism in the belief that women and nature are connected through their oppression.
Radical feminism: radical feminism thinks of men as the “enemy”, and thinks that women can only truly be free from oppression if men are removed from powerful positions and replaced with women. Radical feminists are often called “feminazis” in the media, and are also sometimes known as “radfems”. A branch of radical feminism is “trans-exclusionary radical feminists”, or TERFs. TERFs don’t believe that trans women are ‘real women’ and that trans women have no place in feminism. This is a harmful belief, which is why many TERFs are unwelcome in all safe spaces in the LGBT+ community.
So, now that you know some of the more popular branches of feminism and some of the vocabulary associated with the topic, you may want to know how you can be more involved with feminism!
If you are at university, most places will have societies representing different branches and different aims of feminism. They will be filled with like-minded people who you can learn from and have important discussions and debates with. Some societies will head up community projects, work directly with the university to help women and hold events to promote feminism.
Go to pride! If you feel safe, march with the LGBT+ community. As some women can make trans people and sapphic women feel uncomfortable or unwelcome, it is important to show your support to the community if that is what you feel. Trans people need our support now more than ever, and showing up at pride with a banner/placard stating your support can mean a lot.
Educate yourself. Feminism isn’t just the gender pay gap and maternity rights. Feminism includes fighting against things like female genital mutilation (FGM), rape and sexual assault, domestic violence, abortion rights being taken away or any rights being taken away.
Feminism is important, and having feminism and being able to protest and fight for what we want is a privilege and we should remember that. Not all women have that privilege. Remember to challenge harmful views wherever you go, and protect women of colour, queer women and disabled women as much as you can where they need it. If you have any other questions about feminism or my own personal opinions about feminism, please feel free to message me!
Revision sucks. It feels like you’re going over and over the same content for an exam that you know will try to screw you over somehow. In my own experience, I’ve been asked questions about things that weren’t on the specification nearly every exam I’ve sat through, GCSE and A-Levels. Questions will trip you up, and you might blank out completely, but here are my tips for revision and pre-exam prep that should help you get through these trying times.
TRIGGER WARNING - Self harm mentioned
It has officially been one year since I last self harmed. Wow. That’s something I never thought I’d be able to say. I’d been doing that for about 6 years of my life, since I was 12-13 years old and I honestly didn’t think I’d make it to nearly 20. But I don’t want to dwell on that. I’d rather talk about what I learned about this elusive thing we call ‘recovery’ and hopefully help any of you.
The first thing I learned was to ask for help. And that this is easier said than done. Asking for proper, professional help was 10 times harder than asking a friend to listen to me ramble on for the night. It was scary, and daunting as hell but it ended up being the best thing for me. I did ask for NHS help, but the waiting lists are so long, and I was fortunate enough to get help from my school and a local charity that offered free counselling. Honestly, counselling changed my life around. I was coping better, I didn’t feel like a burden for telling my friends, and I learned ways to shut down negative and intrusive thoughts more effectively. There are so many places you can go to ask for support, but school or your GP should be the first place you go. If they can’t help, they can definitely point you in the right direction.
The second thing I learned was that relapse is okay. Relapse isn’t failing, relapse isn’t months of work down the drain. Relapse for me was something to learn from and to look back on and think ‘Okay, what were the events that led up to that? Were there any signs I was spiralling and how do I notice them next time?’. I try to think about relapse in a more productive way if that makes sense? Instead of taking bad thoughts and feelings from it, learn from it so you can get even better at coping every day.
The third thing I learned was to keep busy and don’t overthink the numbers. By ‘numbers’ I mean ‘it’s been x days since I last ---’, (this thought can apply to self harm, addiction, and a number of other issues). I found that by counting the days, it was having a negative effect on how I was feeling. The higher the number got, the more scared of ‘failing’ I felt, and all it did was push me to relapse more often so that the number didn’t get that high. Counting the days may work for some people and may encourage them to see that number go higher, and that's great! Do what works for you! But for me, that certainly wasn’t the case. Instead, I try to take each day as it comes and think that every day is a new day, a new beginning, whatever cliche little saying you want to use.
The last thing I learned that I have to share is to believe in yourself! Trust yourself! You know you can get through this, even though it may be the bumpiest road you’ve been on and probably will be on, recovery is possible, and you can get there!
Thank you for reading my most personal article yet, and if you have any questions or just fancy a chat about recovery (or anything please I’m so lonely) then feel free to get in touch!
Just a little note that if you need advice you can always message our Instagram and one of our lovely admins (maybe even me!) will chat with you @teenswithexperience
lease contact the Samaritans or call 999 if you feel in any immediate danger or need emergency help
So, here I am! Finishing my first year of university and about to enjoy a nice long summer. I have definitely learned a lot from living alone for the first time and studying a much harder course, and I want to share that with everyone.
University can be difficult, especially when you’re alone. We have a lot of articles about university life here on our site and we are always happy to help if you have any questions or concerns. Don’t suffer alone!
Body positivity in the summer can be very difficult for a lot of people, myself included. This could be for any number of reasons, such as stretch marks, tummy rolls, scars, acne, body hair and anything in between. The reality is everyone struggles with at least one of these things at least once. I personally struggle with all of the above! Because of that, I get super anxious going outside in the summer with any skin showing (even though I have to because, well, it’s hot!). But there are ways to overcome this.
And finally, practice self love. Self love is an ongoing process, that some people have to do every single day. Eat that chocolate bar, take a nice bubble bath, binge your favourite show and do what makes YOU feel good.
There are many more articles about body image from our amazing writers here https://teenagerswithexperience.weebly.com/body-image-articles.html and I highly recommend checking them out!
The internet is a wonderful place. We all know we can find information, meet new people, have debates, express opinions, play games and read news on the internet, and many things in our lives wouldn’t exist without it. For example, I wouldn’t have found out information about my university course without being able to look it up on the internet. TWE also wouldn’t exist!
However, one major drawback of the internet is the idea of ‘fake news’ as President Trump likes to call it. Fake news is simply that, articles posted (mainly online) that are completely fake and fabricated, and full of lies. One more well known tidbit of fake news is rumours of celebrities dying, which is weird, I know. So to avoid promoting any kind of fake news on the internet and potentially causing a panic, here’s what to do.
First of all, check where the news is coming from. Is it a website you recognise, like The Daily Mail, the BBC or The Guardian? Or is it a site you’ve never even heard of? If you’ve never heard of the site, it’s likely to be fake. Also, how many places has it been reported in? If it has been reported across more than 2 major news broadcasters then it is definitely true (as these sites will already fact check for themselves before posting it!).
Check the internet! If the news is about someone dying, check that person’s verified Twitter or Instagram page as it is likely that a spokesperson would have posted something there to let fans know what has happened. It is also likely that someone has already debunked the fake news and is letting everyone know the truth. If it is about a crime, check that area’s police Twitter as most areas (particularly in the UK) will Tweet about any major/serious crimes.
Spreading fake news can be dangerous. While a joke about a celebrity dying can occasionally be funny, there have been numerous reports of people posting about terrorist attacks and political gaffes that never even happened. My advice to you is to always carefully read what you see on the internet, and if you can, try not to retweet/reblog/share anything to do with serious news from an account that isn’t verified.
Here is a brilliant resource with more information on how to spot fake news! https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/fake-news.htm
Job interviews can be incredibly daunting. You are under intense scrutiny and pressure to do well, and to hopefully get a job! I really struggle with job interviews personally (as I deal with anxiety) but I’ve learned some really good techniques to help you succeed!
The first one is to dress appropriately. A lot of employers look for interviewees to dress for the job they are going for. The majority of jobs require “smart casual” - think suits, shirts/blouses and “appropriate” makeup (if any). A smart appearance will make your employer think that you are a hard worker, and will do well in a work environment.
Your facial expressions are also very important in a job interview. Employers interviewing you might look for eye contact and a happy, bright vibe from you. This seems a little weird, or at least it did to me, but it shows them that you are a cheerful personality, that everyone wants working for them. It also means that they think that you will be happy around customers and make customers feel good, something incredibly important to getting a job.
Having a passion! Having a passion that you can talk about in your interview that is reflected in your CV is so useful! My passion is writing, and writing opinion and advice pieces. In addition to this, I am incredibly passionate about mental health, which is why I chose to write for TWE, as there is a focus on helping others. Being able to talk about this in job interviews, or even in a personal statement for university is something that has helped me a lot as it shows that I can really care about something important. The passion you have could be anything from making short films, running a YouTube channel or running an after-school club or society at university. Anything that you are passionate about, that you have done something with. Don’t just say ‘I’m really passionate about the environment’. Go on litter pick ups, attent climate change protests, show the interviewer that you really care.
So in conclusion, that is my advice for doing well in an interview is follow these tips, and hopefully you will do really really well in a job interview! Good luck!!
For further information, visit: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/top-interview-tips-2058577