Hello lovelies, sorry for not blogging for a couple of months. Not that many of you will have noticed, I imagine. Maybe you’ve missed my blogs, maybe you’ve not thought twice about them, I don’t know, but I’m sorry anyway and… well hi again :-) I haven’t blogged because quite honestly I’ve not really done much that would interest you. Nor have I really found anything I felt inspired to write about. The operation went well, my recovery also went well, I look human again you’ll be pleased to know. And I have a lovely set of straight, aligned teeth and jaws, yippee!

Here's a before and after shot if you want to see what a difference my braces & operation made (excuse the crazy face):

ANYWAY… back to the present.

I received my A Level results in August and was lucky enough to be accepted into my first choice higher education institution- Bournemouth University. I moved from Guernsey to Bournemouth in the UK just 10 days ago and my life has changed significantly.

Not everyone likes change, but I do. I think it’s healthy, inspiring, exciting and liberating. So although I am a real island girl at heart and found it difficult to leave behind the tranquility of the country lanes and the sparkling blue it-can-only-be-guernsey sea, I embraced this move to the mainland completely. Many things have changed since I have become a UK resident and I thought I would reflect on these changes that have happened in the past ten days and note negatives, but more importantly, positives gained from them… fun little exercise for my little brain right?

Change number 1: Housemates

In my 18 years of life, I’ve lived with different combinations of my immediate family, but they’ve always been family. Now I live with four people my own age. Last week, strangers, but now people I consider to be my friends, as opposed to family.

Negatives ☹ - Our rooms are all next to each other, so sometimes, like tonight, I feel like I lack my own space. We are all the same age (or thereabouts), so there’s a lot of teenage energy going on which sometimes becomes a bit much.

Positives ☺ - They already feel like a new little family to me. We eat meals together, discuss this crazy experience that we’re going through. We’re all in the same boat, we’re all willing to help each other and help do the flat chores, and most importantly, there’s always someone to talk to and even more importantly than that, they’re great human beings.

Change number 2: Other new people

Although I’ve been thrown a few times into a pool of people I don’t know through the transition from pre-school to primary school, primary school to secondary school and secondary school to sixth form, the sixth form to university transition has chucked in several thousand new faces into my life. There are a lot of them.

Negatives ☹ - Firstly, I cannot remember everyones names who I’ve been introduced to so far. Slight problem. Also, it’s difficult to know whether I’ll be accepted, find a new group of friends as close as my group of friends at home.

Positives ☺ - Everyone is different and uniqueness is always brilliant. I will gain a wider understanding for different types of people from different places. It is likely that I will meet my future bridesmaids, husband, godparents to my children here. Friends for life, people say, are who I’ll meet at university. The vast number of people at the university means that there will always be someone I can talk to, be inspired by and, hopefully, inspire in some way.

Change number 3: Leaving people behind

I am blessed enough to have lots of family members in Guernsey- my parents and their partners, my sister, my grandparents. I also have some very close friends there too, some who I known since I was young and others I met just two years ago.

Negatives ☹ I miss them. Very much. I feel guilty not being there for my poppy who is unwell in hospital and for my granny who has so much to cope with. I feel guilty not being there for my little sister who is embarking on her A Levels. I miss having duvet and chocolate nights with my closest friend Sara and laughing until we can’t breathe.

Positives ☺ Skype and FaceTime exist, so we can still see each other… through the magic of the interweb. Not to mention texting and Whatsapp and phone calls and Facebook and Twitter and Instagram. Another positive is that I guess I’ll appreciate them all more when I do see them again.

Change number 3: Living

As I said, I’ve always lived with my family, as most people my age will have done throughout their life so far. I’ve lived in many different houses, from box-sized to big. I’ve had my meals cooked for me, my clothes washed for me, my bathroom cleaned for me. I also made my bedroom at home into my little area- it’s been my sad place and my happy place and everything in between. Now, that’s all dramatically different.

Negatives ☹ - I have to do the horrible job of cleaning out the sink, I have to be bothered to sort my laundry into lights and darks, trudge down to the laundrette and set a timer to go and collect it from the washing machine. I no longer get to enjoy my mum’s wonderful cooking, and I’ve had to say goodbye to my sad/happy place- my room at home. Also, my bathroom is barely a room. And it doesn’t have a bath. So, actually, the word ‘bathroom’ is entirely the wrong word to use for it.

Positives ☺ - It feels great to be independent, to eat what I like when I like, to have more responsibilities. I’ve discovered washing up can be therapeutic. I’ve been able to decorate a whole new bedroom (I’m a creator, I love creating, so this was a really enjoyable thing to do). I’ve realised I don’t need every item of clothing, or every hair or face product. It’s nice reducing the clutter.

Change number 4: Teaching and learning styles

I had the choice whether I wanted to move forward into higher education, or whether I was sick of education after 14 years. But I’m a learner, I believe in education and I don’t think we should ever stop learning. So I’ll be sticking with teaching and learning for another three years. However, the styles of teaching and learning are very different to secondary school/sixth form. I have to attend lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials, rather than lessons. I am taught by adults who treat me like an adult, adults whom I address by their first name. My attendance is not carefully tracked and I will not be followed up for not handing in a piece of work.

Negatives ☹ - Firstly, I miss my secondary school/sixth form teachers a lot- it’s irrelevant to this point I suppose, but it’s still a negative thing about leaving that school. Other than that, the downside of this new style of education is that I have to be responsible for my own learning and I can’t rely on reminders from my educators. But hey guess what…

Positives ☺ - A positive is that I have to be responsible for my own learning and I can’t rely on reminders from my educators. It’s a good thing too. Crucial skills for just about everything in life - responsibility, independence, time management, you name it. I wasn’t irresponsible, reliant or unorganised at secondary school but at university I don’t even have the option to be. This is a good thing though. Having different types of classes is also a good- I feel like it’ll be more engaging, and variety is always welcome in my life as well.

Change number 5: Town life, not country

Living on Guernsey, and in the out-of-town parishes, it was never really noisy or busy near my house. I was surrounded by peaceful country lanes and plenty of brilliantly green trees, wild flowers and clear, starry skies. Not anymore. Nah-uh. I now live opposite a train station (another significant change I will address shortly) and on a main, constantly busy road. There are street lights out my window so plenty of lovely light pollution (note the sarcasm). There are few trees, no wild flowers and hundreds of cars constantly zooming past. There are five roundabouts along the road I live on (at home there was one on the whole island).

Negatives ☹ - Yes the light pollution, noise pollution, all that jazz… not cool. My windows are supposedly soundproof but realistically are not, and the curtains don’t block out the light very well. I miss the flowers and the trees and being able to see the stars because nature is magical.

Positives ☺ - I like being able to see and hear the trains from my bedroom most of the time- it makes me feel more connected with the outside world. Though in most ways, Guernsey is a safer place to live, having more people around also has its benefits in terms of safety. I’m just a short walk from the town centre (and yes, I am only thinking about all those beautiful high street clothes shops right now. It’s me, come on, why else would I like living so close?). There’s an ASDA and a Co-op on the other side of the road to my halls. I told you life was exciting.

Change number 6: Transport

At home, I only ever travelled by car really. I used to get the occasional bus in my early teens, when mum was busy doing errands and I was stranded (poor me) in town or at school. But most of the time I was ferried around by car until I learned to drive and then I ferried myself around by car. I rode my bicycle sometimes, but more just as something to do rather than as a method of transportation. And trains? Non-existent.

Negatives ☹ - I miss driving, a lot. I found it relaxing (that’s probably not a good thing is it really?!) and it was so convenient and easy and fun. I only had to rely on myself to get somewhere. Now I have to get the bus at least twice a day which, honestly, I don’t mind too much, but yesterday morning three buses didn’t turn up and I was late for an induction lecture which I was not too pleased about.

Positives ☺ - Double decker buses are a thing over here (!!!) which I find absolutely thrilling. What else is good… erm… well it’s cool being able to hop on a train and see my best friend who was, before, a plane journey away. Same with my aunties and uncles and cousins and other friends. So seeing them will now be much easier thanks to the railway. London is also just a two hour train ride away. I love that city.

So, now you’ve got an idea about some of the ways my life has changed. It’s been good for me being able to reflect on the pros and cons of these changes, and hopefully interesting (a little bit? maybe?) for you reading this to watch this little island girl face the big wide world (or just slightly bigger England). I’m getting used to it, maybe even more quickly than I expected to. What I’m most certainly doing, though is embracing it.

I like my quotes, I really do, so I’ll leave you with this from philosopher Alan W. Watts:

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”

Namaste friends x