Klarna: What's the Cost of "Interest-free"?

We all know students are pretty skint most of the time, so when I see ASOS, Pretty Little Thing and Missguided parcels constantly being delivered to my house, you can probably see why I might think “amm, where the HELL are you getting all this money from?”

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Then comes a wee envelope in the post from Klarna. *ding* And it all makes sense.

Y’all probably know what Klarna is anyway, but if you don’t, it’s basically a payment service company thing (to be exact) that lets you buy things now, and pay later. But, you don’t have to pay any fees or interest unlike most credit payment company things. I should’ve written their marketing material, I know. 

So, you can see why it’s become insanely popular recently (even though Sweden’s been using it for like 15 years). It’s obviously really handy for emergency purchases when you genuinely can’t afford to pay upfront, or if you can’t afford to pay back with interest.

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But, I don’t know, I’m not really sure I like the whole idea. Yeah, LoOk aT mE being contrary, wouldn’t be like me!!! But hear me out, read me out, whatever.

A couple of Klarna’s wee tag lines are:
“Buy what you want, when you want”
“Shopping the way it should be – effortless, safe and fun”.

See, the thing is, I know it seems like it’s for people who are short on cash and NEED something, but if you look at the major retailers who support Klarna – and if you look at their website, the whole thing’s pretty much targeted at people who want to buy clothes online. 

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I know that Klarna is obviously a hell of a lot better than those payday loan companies that charge you like 800% APR and get people into a massive cycle of debt. But, it still encourages the same behaviour. It encourages people to just go “ooh sparkly top, click click, mine” (in the very sophisticated manner that we speak in) without worrying about how much it actually costs. Or how they’re actually going to afford it.

I’m not saying that people who can’t afford clothes right now shouldn’t be able to buy them; but my guess is a lot of people that use Klarna are students and other people who aren’t exactly minted, but still want nice things. I just don’t like the whole idea of encouraging people – who mightn’t be able to afford to – to live above their means and normalising “not worrying about the price”. 
Normally, a big obstacle to you buying clothes when you really shouldn’t or can’t, is that, well, you can’t. But now, you can. 

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You won’t just use Klarna as a “one off”, let’s be real, you’ll just start using it more and more often. Then, have the dolla taken out of your account on payday or at 3 different stages sometime in the future. But, “that’s future me’s problem”, although it’s pretty much my mantra in life, isn’t a healthy attitude to have when it comes to spending.

“Buy now, pay later” things are great when you need something, or even if you just want something, like yasss treat yourself, live your best life. But, I don’t think it’s great to promote this attitude and behaviour as something we should do for all our purchases. Especially things like online clothes shopping. Just because you “want” something, doesn’t necessarily mean you should get it. 

I know there’s no debt involved, but it still normalises debt-inducing (? I’m gonna roll with it) behaviour. Having a care-free attitude to money is just dangerous for people who aren’t that good at budgeting, saving or saying no to “40% off”. It’s fine if you’re good and responsible with money, but what if you aren’t?

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Yeah, you got £200s worth of clothes and didn’t have to spend a penny. YET. What happens in 2 weeks when that £200 plus your pair-of-boots-money and your new-fluffy-jacket-money are all coming out, and oh look, the gas is running out, or, the landlord’s coming for rent. What then? The money is still coming out, and not necessarily when you’re in a better position. You know what you have right now, and you might know what you’ll have next week or after payday. But, life does this beautiful thing called “MESSIN WITH US” and throws all kinds of spanners in all of our works. 

“Oh, I forgot I bought that”. “Okay OOPS I didn’t realise I spent THAT much”. “Have I still not paid that off”. Having small bite-size payments or delayed ones just means people will get a false sense of security of what’s actually theirs and what they owe. Let’s be real, they’ll forget they’ve scheduled payments coming out until it’s too late.

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Lemme just clarify: The problem isn’t Klarna, and it’s not “buy now, pay later” (and it’s not me either before you get smart). The problem is promoting this “make it rain” attitude, when you’ve got no water.

Under Pressure

I hope you read that in the tune of the ‘Queen’ song. If you didn’t, go back and try again.

Cheers.

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You better look like this.

ANYWAY. Final year is a pretty pressure-filled year.

Exams. Assignments. Dissertations. Trying to get the most out of your student discount before it runs out. Not to mention the constant STRIKES.

Then, once you get past all that, there’s the ~small~ issue of trying to figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life and actually get a job. Agh.

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We have so much to be doing, and we’re stretched pretty thin as is. The last thing we need is people pressuring us to apply for jobs.

“Uni should be your main concern”, but “you need to apply for jobs while you’re still at uni.” “It’s important to look after yourself and wind down in your spare time”, but, “in your spare time you should be writing CVs, cover letters, applications, interviews, psychometric tests and assessment centres”.

Great.

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“If 1 USD = 2 GBP, how many Yen can you get with 5 EUR?”

A lot of people might want to join grad schemes, fair enough if they do. But, I think a good amount of students apply for grad schemes because they feel pressured to get a job sorted ASAP and start work like the day after graduation. Being realistic, we’re going to be working until we’re 75 at this rate (if we’re still around like, @global warming). So, what difference does it make if we start in July, or December?

Why is there so much pressure to jump straight into the job market, which is a mess anyway? Thanks again, boomers. Once you start working, it’s pretty hard to stop. It’s not as easy to take a ‘career break’ and head away off to Canada for a year, as it is to head away off BEFORE you start working. Get it out of your system and then settle down to serve capitalism for the rest of your life. Dream big.

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“3 more years til I qualify for state pension”

Apparently the average millennial has 14 jobs in their lives, and the way “careers” work is changing. It’s no longer the norm to start a job after you graduate and stay in it for 35 years. People move about. People have several jobs in several years. And that’s okay. Nothing stands still. We’re always told how “fast-paced” and “dynamic” the world is these days, so why should we be expected to stand still and stay in the same job forever?

The reason people might leave a job after like 6 months or a year might be because they haven’t a notion what they actually want to do, but this sure as hell isn’t it. Maybe if they spent a bit of time thinking about it and figuring it out after they graduated, they’d go into a job they actually wanted and liked and stay there for a bit longer. I think it’s better to wait a bit until you actually have a baldy what you want to apply for, rather than applying for the sake of being employed, and then being unemployed again pretty soon after because you hate your job.

So, being honest (my strong suit), chances are whatever job we start after graduation, we’re gonna quit eventually. I know, that’s the spirit, Niamh! Positive thinking!

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I just don’t get why university’s pressure you to get a job ASAP when you’re going to be working for like the REST OF YOUR LIFE. Can we not have a bit of fun before we do the whole 9-5 thing? What about holidays, travelling, and just having a geg in general?

I know we’re told that good jobs get snapped up pretty quickly. But, like, there’s always new jobs? Someone will quit their job (or be sacked), someone will get pregnant and go on maternity leave, someone better will go on paternity leave (like he goddamn SHOULD), and someone will retire. Someone else will take a career break and head to Benidorm for a few years, or maybe they’ll win the lotto (even though we know that’s fake). So, JOBS WILL COME UP. There will always be MORE JOBS.

It’s not like placement where you have a tiny window of when you can work, when you start a job and how many months you have to work there for. In final year, your window is like 40 YEARS BIG.

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I am Daniel, y’all are Betty

I’m personally a big believer in crossing bridges when I get to ‘em. So I think that applying for graduate jobs once you’re, well, an actual graduate makes sense. No point boasting about what you MIGHT get, why not boast about what you DID get?

Plus, spending hours and hours on applications etc instead of that time on your dissertation?  No thank YOU. What if you go travelling for a couple of months and ‘find yourself’ in Thailand (standard) or have an epiphany of what you want to do? Doesn’t taking some time to figure it out make more sense than blindly applying for jobs?

Then again, this is just a big justification for me not applying for anything. I think I’ve successfully convinced myself, even if I didn’t convince you.

Ryanair Offers Lies to Consumers – At No Extra Charge

Every now and then, Ryanair do something to melt people. There was changing the cabin bag policy so you now have to pay to be ‘priority’ to get anything bigger than a lunch bag on board. Then, they added the small text to “check-in 60 days before your flight for peace of mind” saying *if you pay extra, else, you can wait til 48 hours before. And let’s not forget the time they tried to charge for toilets. Bloons. 

But now, to put the icing on the cake – oh, that’ll be extra, sorry. They’ve been called out for Greenwashing. Honestly, like.

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You’ve probably heard or seen the ads, where Ryanair claim to have ” the lowest carbon emissions of any major airline”, and the tagline of “Europe’s lowest fares, lowest emissions airline”. Yeah, I was suspicious too. I thought, “hmm, that’s not like Ryanair to actually have something GOOD to say? but, I gave them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe all those extra charges paid for some better petrol or something.

But, nope. I was wrong. Well, I was wrong to believe it, but I was right to be suspicious. Because, well, let’s face it, I’m never wrong. Pffft. 

But, today came the news that the spoil-sports our dear friends, the ASA, banned the ads because they weren’t actually accurate or provable. Basically, they were lies. 

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Behold, propaganda an ad

The story kinda changes depending on which news source you use. Shock. The first one I read made it sound like Ryanair were actually telling the truth, because they compared their emissions to “four other large European airlines”. Whereas, the good old Guardian added a lil extra detail, that they “didn’t include some well-known airlines”.

So, I’m going to do y’all a favour and be the dependable news source that you know I am. First, let’s clarify a few things:

 1. “Lowest carbon emissions of any major airline”  means “lower than a couple”  

 2.  “Major airline” isn’t actually like a specific or agreed term. I mean, they probably ALL think they’re pretty major. And totally awesome.  

3. “Low CO2” means, “lower than average”

4. These CO2 emissions weren’t measured by the amount of CO2 emitted, but the “CO2 emissions per passenger, per kilometre“. Ryanair have less CO2 emissions per passenger than other airlines, because they have more passengers than other airlines. Hence why there’s no legroom. 

5. “Europe’s lowest fares, lowest emissions airline” AKA: “One of the EU’s Top 10 Carbon Emitters”  

6. “The single most important thing any consumer can do to halve their carbon footprint is switch to Ryanair.” Well, *flexes hands*, considering aviation (planes) account for 12% of transport CO2 emissions, while road accounts for 74%, people would be A LOT BETTER walking, cycling, scooting, using public transport, sharing lifts or just driving less. Also bearing in mind that most people drive several times a day, and don’t FLY several times a day, what do you think would make more of a difference?

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Oh look, it’s Michael O’Leary.

So, Ryanair were called out and the ads are banned now. BUT, a lot of the damage is done. To the planet, I mean. I haven’t heard those ads in a while, but if I hadn’t have checked the news and saw that they were banned for being not true,  I would’ve kept thinking they were true.

That’s the thing with Greenwashing. It doesn’t matter if the ad’s banned or changed, people will just think that the replacement ads are the latest ad campaign. Some people will always remember the claims that were made, or remember at least, that at some time, Ryanair (or any of the other companies that use people’s concern for the death of the planet and humanity to spread propaganda and increase sales) released ads telling everyone that they were green. 

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Brands spend a hell of a lot of time and money creating advertising campaigns which promote lies, which then get banned and need either changed or replaced, then spend more time and money replacing them and doing PR recovery by making a tiny change like “oh, we’re going to reduce 13% of our plastic use by 2050” (at which stage we’ll be lucky if the Earth is still here). Instead of just, I don’t know, ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY.

So yeah, to sum: Organisations are wrecking the planet and most don’t care. Of the few that actually DO make changes to be more eco-friendly, most are probably lying 🙂 GREAT. 

Happy Wednesday, folks. 

*Here’s my source for the stats, because, well, what I say actually CAN be proven. And isn’t a lie.

Diary of a Sober Student

Ask someone why they don’t eat or drink anything that they don’t, and the answer “I don’t like it” is a valid one. But, for some reason, “I don’t really like it” or, “I don’t want to” is suddenly COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE and MUST be a lie when it comes to drink.

I’m not a big drinker at all. For a 22 year old, that isn’t really the norm. Especially a student. In final year. It’s not because of religious or medical reasons, it’s because:

  1. I can’t hack it.
  2. I can’t hack hangovers.
  3. I’m just as much of a GEG sober.
  4. I saw something horrible happen to one of my bestmates when she was too drunk to function.
  5. Because I  d o n ‘ t  w a n t  t o , o k a y ?  

But, I shouldn’t need a reason (let alone 5), should I?

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I wasn’t always like this. I used to drink a lot, like. In first year of uni, we went out a hell of a lot, and I think it just ruined it for myself. Going out like 3/4 nights a week, feeling like complete crap 3/4 days a week and not actually remembering what the hell even happened 3/4  nights a week just got a bit, well, meh.

Now, I hardly drink so I hardly drink. Because I don’t drink that often, when I do, I it hits me really hard (2-pints Murray makes her appearance) and I wake up feeling HORRIBLE no matter what I do. Eat dinner before you go out, drink about 10 litres of water, eat when you get home, take paracetamol and STILL feel like crap in the morning. And, you know what? It’s not worth it. It’s genuinely not. So, because I’m not RUSHING to make this a weekly feeling, I hardly drink. It’s a weird sobriety cycle.

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That’s Ms Sober Party Queen to you.

Some people think that not drinking makes you somehow “boring”. Because liver disease, regret, blackouts, hangovers and accidentally “WHOOPS I spent £80” is super exciting, of course. But, surely, you’re life is more boring if you need to be absolutely steamin to make it fun? I’m a geg and my life’s a geg, with or without Magners.

I do drink every now and then, but only when I want to and only when I feel like it. Not for the sake of it, like. I’ll go to nightclubs sober and I’ll dance sober and I’ll have an amazing time. Sober. Downside is, I have to be the ma of the group and look after the people who never seem to learn they CAN’T hack it, but at least it means that at least someone’s looking after them. Someone who isn’t creepy, drunk and predatory, that is.

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Me.

I get to go to out, dance, sing, actually remember all the words and NAIL that rap song, don’t have to worry about queuing for about an hour for a drink, having my drink spiked (been there, done that, not a fan I must say), spilling my drink or having it knocked out of my hand by that ONE PERSON WHO INSISTS ON WEARING A BACKPACK TO A CLUB. I don’t have to worry about creepy guys trying to take advantage of me (which is a really sad reality for girls) or waking up feeling like pure death.

So, why are you trying to convert me? What is wrong with any of the above? (Apart from the backpack bloon). Why wouldn’t I be happy? (Apart from the backpack bloon).

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Basically: stop peer pressuring people to wreck their livers if they don’t want to. Stop asking “why not?” when people say they’re not drinking. What if they’re pregnant or ill? It’s none of your business.  Stop judging people, buying them drinks, making them uncomfortable, calling them ‘boring’, or asking them if they’re drinking even when you know that they aren’t.

Rant over. Cheers.

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Celebrity Goss: What's the Obsession?

Okay so, this morning I went on Buzzfeed (the credible news source that it is), to see what all was going on in the world, and to see if I’d missed anything. But all I saw in the “News” section was celebrity goss and drama. I mean, it’s a lot lighter than all the absolute madness going on in the world at the minute, but like, “breaking news”? Really¿

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Basically.

But, the thing is, that is “news” to a lot of people. For some reason, people are obsessed with celebrity gossip. They know who’s going out with who, who cheated on who with who, who’s beefing with who. But like, what’s the point? Why do people care?

“Omg did you hear she’s pregnant?” No. And to be honest, I don’t really care. I don’t really need to know who’s married or divorced or expecting. I’d rather focus on my own mess of a life and people who actually know me and care about my mess of a life’s lives. But sure, called me old-fashioned !!

One of the stories was “this is why [celebrity who I can’t remember or don’t really know]  fans have been commenting snake emojis under [other celeb that I can’t remember or also don’t know]’s Instagram photos.

I FOUND IT. And I have heard of one of them. Go me.

And this happens all the time. Celebrity fans comment threats, insults, abuse, and the most severe form: emojis, under other celebrities’ photos on social media when there’s beef. I’m all for showing solidarity and having your friends’ backs, but like, friends’ backs.

One thing I hate (maybe the only thing, I’m not easily annoyed, as you know) is when girls insult, slabber about and threaten other girls on social media over some wee lad. Especially when the “girls” in question are like 30. And when the “wee lad” is Justin Bieber or someone from One Direction, or whoever else is like trending. Yes, I’m well aware that I sound like a middle-aged woman right now but my mind has gone BLANK and I literally can’t think of popular celebrities. Scundered.

Moving on.   

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Me right now

Point is (yeah, there is one), you wouldn’t want TeenQween2003 calling you fat, ugly or threatening to “hurt” you (even though she’s like a literal 12 year-old from Philadelphia and is never actually going to see you, let alone square up to you for a scrap)  under your selfie because unfollowed someone. Or started dating someone who GOD FORBID had an ex.

You (I hope) wouldn’t comment death threats under a stranger’s photo because they broke up their boyfriend and now he’s sad (😞).So why are people commenting death threats under a stranger’s photo because they broke up their boyfriend and now he’s sad (😞), just because both parties are famous? Like, why do you care? And why did you spell Queen with a ‘w’? WHY.

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Well, there you go. That answers my question.

I don’t know, I’ve just never really got the whole “spending time and money to stay in the loop of celebrities’ business” thing.  To be fair, I don’t follow celebs on Instagram or Twitter (still don’t have it oops) and I don’t watch celebrity shows like Keeping Up With The Kardashians (I don’t even know if they still make it) or buy those weird £1 “OMG!” magazines.  So maybe that’s why I don’t get it. Or maybe I have enough of my own STRESS AND PROBLEMS to worry about to be so involved in strangers’?? Could be it, too.

I also don’t see how trolling people online is really making a difference. I doubt Justin Bieber’s (yes, that example again) gonna be like, “Omg, Caitlin from Crumlin just commented under my ex’s photo. Maybe I should slide in her DMs and ask her to marry me?!”

Like, what are people trying to achieve apart from having the their account blocked? How much better are they than whichever celeb “did something wrong” (usually didn’t invite someone to their birthday party or side-eyed their dress at an award show) when you’re commenting knife emojis under their photo?

Answer: Not much. And a lil bit sadder, too. And a LOT less rich. Please go outside. Find a hobbie. Befriend a cat. Anything. Please.

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Note: If there is someone with the username TeenQween2003, I apologise for using you as an example. I tried to think of a ridiculous teen-girl name so had ‘TeenQween99’ and then realised that you’d actually be 21 years old, got sad that I’m old and changed it. 😞

What's the Beef with Vegan Options?

Well, unless you’ve been living under a rock (wouldn’t blame you, the world’s a scary place), you probably know that so far, 2020 has been a pretty big year for veganism. And it’s only been like a week.

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I’m a sucker for a good pun.

Greggs launched their vegan ‘steak bake’ (which people actually queued for, get a life like), KFC have added a vegan burger to their menu, and Boojum have announced a new meat-free filling with promises of more plant-based alternatives to come. Costa have also announced that their coconut, almond and soya milk options are now free of charge. Yepa. Subway and McDonald’s have also added vegan-friendly items to their menus. Maybe Burger King have too, I don’t know and can’t be bothered Googling it, to be honest.

These vegan additions have for obvious reasons, got a lot of praise, good publicity and were welcomed by most people.

Most people.

Basically, as well as all the support and positive messages for these companies and what they’re doing, some people aren’t too happy. Wouldn’t be like them!!

Anyway, one of the big criticisms was that vegan and meat-free products only ever seem to have meat types or connotations in the name. I.E – Vegan sausage roll. Vegan Steak Bake. Quorn nuggets etcetc.

To be fair, I think this is a valid point. I never really got the whole ‘fake meat’ thing, because, surely, the whole point is to not eat meat? Like if you don’t support or like the meat industry, why eat things that are designed to taste and look identical to meat? I don’t know, I just never got the whole Quorn thing, I guess.

But yeah, people were calling out Greggs and the likes for supposedly ‘catering for vegans’ by launching products which typically go against the whole principle of being vegan. Fair enough, like. Why launch fake steak bakes instead of nice sweet potato or lentil pastries instead? What if people don’t like or want to support meat in any way?

Another pointed-out issue was that if vegans were to buy products from these brands, they’re supporting the meat industry by giving money to companies who use a hell of a lot of meat. So like, if you buy from them and give them money, then they’ll get bigger, grow, open new outlets and then use more meat, so more animals will die. 

Which is also pretty fair when you think about it. Their point is, why not give your money to businesses whose policies and practices reflect veganism, rather than just sell a soya sausage roll or fake chicken burger? We’ve all seen those HORRIFYING videos about KFC and McDonald’s *shudders*.

NASTY

But, what if these meat-free additions aren’t just for vegans? Imagine that?! What if they’re for regular meat-eaters who simply want to cut down on their intake, too? What if these “steak bakes” (better name would be ‘fake bake’ but SURE) were targeted at people who eat  steak bakes? Ground-breaking, I know.

Obviously, the whole “why only make vegan options that resemble meat instead of actual vegan options?” and the “supporting companies that use an excessive amount of meat” things are valid points. As I so very well demonstrated, don’t ya think?

But, companies shouldn’t be getting grief for adding meatless alternatives to their menu. At least they’re making some difference and giving people a choice. Vegan sausage rolls are likely aimed at people who actually LIKE sausage rolls (aka: weirdos); it’s not to try to convert everyone to start eating them because they’ve got soya in them.

If you don’t like the meat version and eat them on a regular basis, chances are, you won’t like the vegan one either. Because they are literally designed to taste the same. Do you see the point here?

These companies that use A LOT of meat, are producing more products that are meat-free, so the companies are in theory using less meat. So, isn’t that a good thing? The whole “vegan” label puts people off actually eating less or no meat/dairy. This way, people aren’t too committed and can enjoy the stodgy food even more knowing that animals weren’t harmed in the making of it. Commitment-phobes, REJOICE.

Anyway, that’s this week’s rant over. Moral of the story: ADD MORE SWEET POTATO AND LENTIL OPTIONS, THANKU BYE. 

What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

Easy. be rich. live in a united Ireland. be happy. Why is that not an acceptable answer?

I’m a final year student, so one thing I always get asked is, “so what are your plans for after uni?” Let me tell you now, I don’t even know what I’m having for dinner tonight, let alone what I’ll be doing for the rest of my life.

There’s this expectation that people should know exactly what they want to do and where they want to work, but no one really knows, do they? Some people figure it out when they’re 10. Others figure it out when they’re 40. Some never do.
Not even the people who ask the question know what they want to do.

How can someone who has work experience in 4 different roles possibly know which one job out of a million out there, they want to do? Maybe I’ll get a job related to my degree, maybe I won’t. I don’t have a BALDY. And that’s okay.

Final years and graduates don’t HAVE to go straight into a job that they’ll be in for the next 30 years. We are under enough pressure without being made to feel that we have to have it out figured it out, as if trying to figure out how to Harvard reference isn’t hard enough.

We hear “What do you want to be when you grow up?” from primary school. Don’t you think it’s a bit weird that one of the first things you ask a 5 year old, is what their desired employment is? Like, of course they don’t know what they want to be besides a “princess”, “astronaut” or “Shakira”. I’ve wanted to be famous, an author (attempted to write MANY novels but could never make the plot last longer than 1 page), a musician (can’t sing), a model (HA imagine), a lawyer (realised it was gonna be a LOT of work) and here I am full circle back to Shakira. She has a lovely life, wouldn’t mind being her. Or J Lo. She’s the dream.

Anyway, if that’s all the phases and notions we go through when we’re growing up, why would that stop? I’m still getting older, still figuring out what I like and what I’m good at (I will find something yet, just you wait). And I don’t expect that to stop. What’s all the fuss about wanting to know what you want to do? Sure isn’t life more exciting when you haven’t a CLUE what you’re doing?

You might want to be an accountant (God knows why), but you might get a job as one and actually hate it. Maybe it’s the job, maybe it’s the city, maybe it’s your boss (probably the job though). The same job isn’t actually the same job. You don’t know anything til you’ve tried it, even when you have, come a different set of circumstances like a different company, you could be miserable. Back to the “I don’t know” stage. Welcome, have a seat x

I’m not doing a degree where there’s a clear-cut path at the end of it. IT, go into IT. Law, go into law. Medicine, be a doctor (after like 20 years of uni). I do communication, advertising and marketing. So I have a whole load of choice and variety, which seems like a good idea but I’m hella indecisive so it would’ve been nice to have a narrower idea. But the thing is, I didn’t choose this degree for a job. I chose it because it sounded interesting and I fancied actually ENJOYING the next 4 years. So, if I don’t get a job related to it but that I still love, that’s okay. I don’t care that I don’t know what I want to do, so why should anyone else?

“What do you want to be?” Happy is a valid answer. Healthy is a valid answer. “I don’t know” is a valid answer. And Shakira sure as hell is a valid answer.

Boris’s Poli-tea-cal Blunder

I was having a wee jook at the news to see what the general craic was with the world, because I normally live in a nice wee bubble where I don’t really know what’s going on. Call me “uninformed” if you want, but ignorance is bliss and all that? Don’t need any negative energy, thank YOU.

Anyway, on my voyage to wisdom, I stumbled across some ‘breaking’ political news story about the general election. Exciting times.

Boris Johnson has caused uproar and disgust across the water (wouldn’t be like him), not for his extreme political views and this whole ‘Brexit’ shenanigans. No. For putting milk in his tea while the teabag’s still in the cup. You can imagine the outcry.

What sort of person have you got as Prime Minister? You let a man who puts milk in his tea with the teabag STILL IN THE CUP lead you? Wild.

So like, we all know this isn’t “news” at all, so why did Sky feel the need to write an article about it? And why did people care so much?

Because, when people don’t like you, they look for any excuse to justify disliking you. “Why do you hate him so much?” “He’s causing everyone severe bother with this Brexit fiasco and potentially disrupting the lives and futures of like, everyone. ” Hmm, seems a bit unreasonable. “He makes tea wrong.” Fair enough. Say no more.

If he was caught on camera making tea normally, would anyone care? Nah. Because when you’ve a bad public image, bad publicity has more of an effect than good does. When people love you, every wee thing you do just makes people love you more. Do something bad, well sure look at all the good you’ve done to cancel it out.

People don’t like you? Every little thing you do is scrutinised, with people just WAITING for you to do something weird or wrong. Do something good? Doesn’t really matter, look at all the other stuff you’ve done. One good deed doesn’t make you a saint. Probably a PR stunt to make people like you anyway.

Boris’s reputation made something as trivial, sorry, majorly important as making tea, become, like, a thing. Like people actually care about it. If Beyoncé made tea weirdly, would you notice? Would you care? Youse would probably all start making tea the way she does.

But, Boris is pretty controversial (to put it as nicely as I can), and some people just love to have a reason to not like him, or support his credibility as a leader of anything. I mean, if you wouldn’t trust him to make you a cup of tea, why would you trust him to make important decisions and run your country?

“The teabag was STILL IN THE CUP”

I can just PICTURE Labour’s next campaign, “We make proper tea, vote for us”. Would be more effective than any political agenda, I reckon.

Why Students Should Skip Uni

Not that you need a reason, do you?

Well lads, big day on the 12th of December – yes it marks a week since the glorious day that is my birthday, but less more importantly, it’s vote day. Yes “vote day” is the political term, I believe. But aye, they called a general election for some reason, which is really random because they’re never normally this time of year. “General election” doesn’t normally fall into my countdown to Christmas.

The 12th of December is also the second last day of uni – yepa.

What have the two got to do with each other? Well, you can’t vote in Armagh if you’re sitting in the Holylands, can you? Most people (hopefully) are registered to vote back in their local area (or “constituency” if you want to be fancy). But chances are, a lot of students won’t be back home on the 12th because they’re living elsewhere for uni.

I know, it’s tempting to just give it a miss and stay in your nice freezing student house rather than go back home to vote, but you really should consider it.

Yeah, you could always register to vote in your student house area but let’s be real, chances of that happening aren’t great, are they? “While lot of effort la.”

Cheesy cliché but you have a voice, so make it count. What other chance do you have to actually make a difference and help decide something? It’s like the one thing normal people can actually play a part in. We’re not trusted to make decisions and and have our thoughts and ideas listened to normally, so this is our yearly shot.

Before you say, “It doesn’t make a difference, it’s only one vote”. Well yes, but one vote times the thousands of people saying that slightly adds up now, doesn’t it?

Let’s not forget the lil 3-year nightmare we’ve been living in. If only more people had’ve voted, maybe things would’ve turned out differently, eh? Eh?

No harm, but you can’t complain about the results of the elections or about decisions that are made if you didn’t vote. True, we can’t do anything about what politicians decide, but we can do something about who gets to make those decisions.

Voting is especially important for students, because we’re the youngest. We have the longest to live with decisions that are made. There isn’t much representation for us young ‘uns, and what we want doesn’t always get much attention. Not voting gives the impression you don’t really care what happens and you trust those bloons in parliament to make the right choices. But if we vote, we can have our chance to show that we actually are important and do care what happens about our future.

Why do I vote?
Because it’s literally the one thing I can do to try to make a difference (apart from recycle). It’s the only control I have. I sign petitions, yes. I go to rallies, yes. But I mightn’t need to if the right people are making the best decisions for me.

I vote because I’m a girl. Because I can. Women couldn’t always vote. Women fought for years for the right to something men got granted onto them simply for having a Y chromosome. People protested, fought and worked for years, not so they could vote, but so we could. I don’t want that to be in vain.

So go home, be warm, number a few wee boxes and be satisfied that hey, you might have actually made a wee difference to the future, how rewarding.

“Please explain your absence in today’s lecture and tutorial.” “Sorry miss, was too busy changing the future.” Sounds kinda badass, doesn’t it?

I mean you could always go to uni then go home and vote because they’re open until like 10pm, but ure don’t pretend you weren’t looking an excuse to miss that lecture anyway.