Moving Out: The Truth.

You've got the grades, you've gone out and celebrated... so what next?

TIME TO MOVE OUT.

uh oh.

I thought that this would be a good topic to talk about seeing as a few people I know are moving away from home to University for the first time this September. What an exciting milestone to achieve!

Moving away from home is not as simple as it sounds. You have to pack up your life and relocate to a brand new area that you are most likely unfamiliar with. I did my big move last year in September to my chosen University and boy was that an interesting section of my life. At first, I was SO excited and then I realised that it was actually happening and I HAD to actually leave my home. Once I did the big move, I never looked back. Of course I love being home, but being that independent and living on my own for my first year of Uni really made me grow up. I mean, I'm already "grown up" in my eyes, but I learnt more life lessons from living away at home than continuing living under my mum's roof.

The fear of moving out is ALWAYS there. You're actually moving out - continue saying this to yourself until you believe that it is actually happening. When it comes to the living part of living away from home - most of us aren't usually ready for that. In my option, your best solution is Ikea. This is the best and cheapest place to get all your necessary items for your big move. 

Warning: Ikea is as fun as fun as you imagined it to be.

So after a huge shopping spree at Ikea (that's if you even decide to go) your journey now begins. Everything's packed in the car, you've said goodbye to all your friends at home - the time has come for you to leave the nest. When arriving at your chosen university, please be prepared that your room is going to be HELLA SMALL! So I hope you didn't pack your entire life, cause trust me you won't fit it all in that one space. The first thing I would advise to do is Make Friends. Don't be that person who waits for their housemates to come to them, go out and knock on their doors and see if they're going out tonight. I did just that and people wonder why I get called a social butterfly? By the end of the night you'll be telling each other that "they're the best" and that "it feels like we've been friends for ages".

The next day appears and you've finally felt it kick in that you don't live at home anymore. It takes a while for people to realise this, but once you do the Uni lifestyle starts up instantly. Everything falls into place and begins to come across as like nothing has changed. That's the one part that I treasured about moving out. It's such a huge step to take, but when you're there - you realise that you're not the only one and that it isn't as bad as you thought it would be. You know how to stand up on your own two feet, so how hard can moving out really be?

"As life goes on, it is then when you realise that you have to move on with it."

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10 Things I Wish I Knew about Blogging!

So before I even started my blog I knew that I wanted to make one. Makes sense doesn't it? What I'm trying to say is that before I made this page, I've always wanted to write a blog of my own. I wanted to talk about MY thoughts and not just have to agree to anyone else's out there.

Bearing this in mind;
I HAD NO IDEA HOW TO CREATE THIS PAGE IT WAS SUCH A STRUGGLE WOW. 

I made this blog at like 2am in the morning because I actually thought of a URL for it and it was available to use. I remember just signing up and thinking "huh?" what do I do now? Slowly, but surely I started building up my page and finally I had something decent going. When I first created my blog, I didn't really think twice about it. No pre-planning or anything. I remember tweeting a while ago saying that I wanted to make one and I'm pretty sure I blinked and thus my page was created. To this day, I still feel bad messaging Chlo at 2am asking what to do as I was completely lost oh :(

TADA.

Now I'm here to help anyone who is struggling like I did. So listen up!

1. Have a list of ideas ready beforehand!
This came as a great use to me. When you begin to design your blog, you start to have a train of thoughts collecting in your mind. WRITE THESE DOWN. This will help you so much in the future as you won't be struggling with ideas on what to post. I did this and I ended up writing like 20 titles of blog posts, which gave me a whole month of blog posts pre-prepared.

2. Take time in your blog layout!
This was a HUGE struggle for me as I just selected a default setting that blogger had and changed the colours on the theme to the colour scheme that I have now, as I thought that this would be a good colour scheme for my blog. I'm happy with the design (for now) as it's unique to me, but I advise you all to play around a lot and if you can get your blog looking like a professional made it for you, then you've done well.

3. Think of a great URL and Header!
As I have mentioned many times that my URL came to me in the middle of the night... this won't happen to everyone - just saying ;) Make ideas of what you want to call your blog! As my blog is all about my thoughts "A Little Bit of Tomi" fits perfectly with my overall genre. 'Just a Thought' connects with it well as my blog posts are all my own thoughts. Ask around for ideas or even try out a blog generator online as they come out with really good titles for the genre of your blog. Having your name is a good URL idea, I just thought my name was too short for that.

4. Have a well-thought opening blog post!
I thought that this is a good idea to summarise what your blog is going to be about and what it may include. You don't want to just call your blog anything and not narrow it down to what you aim to talk about. You can use this opening blog to just talk about yourself if you want too. Try and aim to create a strong post that will draw in readers to look forward to your future posts.

5. Have impacting titles for your posts!
This is one thing I work really hard on. It might not look like I spend time on my blog titles, but I really do. I always make sure that my titles stands out because if I put up something basic like "I Went Shopping!" not everyone is going to be interested in reading that post. Whereas if you titled it as "Where did all my Money go?!" I would want to read what that blog post is all about. See the difference a good title makes?

6. Upload frequently or make up a schedule!
Now this is one thing that I have changed numerous times. I find it so much easier uploading on a weekly schedule as my blog gives me constant ideas to talk about each week. I first started blogging Mon-Fri for a whole month until I realised that it got very hard to pre-write out five blog posts every week ahead of time so that I had them ready to publish on time. I then changed to twice a week, which I found a huge decrease when previously posting five days a week. Now I'm going to try out three days a week and see how that goes. All I can advise for this is if you can write a lot of blogs frequently than try and post 1-2 times a week as it will push up your page views, gains you more readers & grows your audience massively (including overseas). If you think you can't do this, then posting blogs whenever you can still works out well. One of my friends does this and this always leaves me excited to see what she plans on posting next.

7. Use personal photographs instead of images off the internet!
This is one thing that changes a mediocre blog from an amazing blog. USE YOUR OWN PICTURES. I know that some of my posts contain Google images, but this is because some of the posts that I've written about aren't about my own life. I always find it better to have my own pictures in my blog posts as it gives off a personal connection to your readers. It's useful for them as it shows whoever's reading that you know what you're talking about as you've experienced it before.

8. Promote your Blog on all your Social Medias!
By putting my blog on my Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat - you name it, it's on there - this has pushed up my pageviews to an ultimate high. I'm not saying that pageviews are everything. It's all about the amount of shares that you get. On Twitter, here and there I get retweets on a tweet that has my blog link associated with it. This allows people to see my blog and thus it gets shares and pageviews from people all over the world!

*bonus*
Sharing your blog on Facebook with all your family members really gets the ball rolling!

9. Follow other Bloggers that don't have the same content as you!
Try and branch out on whom you follow! I follow people who blog about Travel, Music, Fashion, Make-Up etc. This allows you to see what else is out there and what you can include in your own blog. For example, sometimes I feature undiscovered YouTubers on my blog as another way of branching out from just writing about my thoughts only. I don't think I'll ever go as far as doing make-up or beauty product reviews, but you never know what the future has in store! All I'm saying is look around and step out of the genre bubble that you've placed yourself in, instead of sticking to what you know.

10. Write about what YOU want too!
I cannot emphasise this enough. 
Do not look at other blogs and compare their posts to your own. You need to write about what you want and don't hesitate about what you want too say. Looking over other people's blog's makes you unrecognizable. Sometimes you need to stand out and be different. I made my blog all about my own thoughts and I haven't seen any blogs out there like mine. This makes me happy as I don't have to compare myself to anyone and because of this I can freely write about whatever I want to.

I hope that all of these tips are SUPER useful to someone out there, as when I first started blogging this would have been so handy to me. If I've helped anyone out in the slightest way then I know that this blogging life is the life for me!

"To Blog = To Share, To Connect & To Create & To Inspire."

My NCS Experience!

So I thought that I should explain where I was on my 4-week blogging break. As this experience is HEAVILY DETAILED, I thought it would be easier breaking it down into each week using pictures to explain what I did and of course I'll include a "brief" description about each week!

Before I even say anything I need to actually sum up what NCS is.
(good thinking Tomi)

National Citizen Service (NCS) is a way for 15 to 17 year olds living in England and Northern Ireland to make extraordinary friendships, learn the skills they don’t teach you in class and create unforgettable memories. It takes place outside of term time in spring, summer and autumn – each one is a little different but equally amazing. NCS aims to bring together young people from different backgrounds and helps them develop greater confidence, self-awareness and responsibility. It encourages personal and social development by working on skills like leadership, teamwork and communication. Participants develop a social action project to deal with a local issue they’re passionate about, and spend 30 hours putting the project into action in their community.

Week 1: Kingswood Activity Centre!

So our first week of NCS was all about ADVENTURE & CHALLENGE. We went to Kingwood Activity Centre where the kids had to participate in many activities such as Climbing, Team Challenge, Zip Wire, Archery and of course Smashball - which my team excelled in! I've never been much of a sporty-gal but smashball brought something out of me! My team came 3rd out of like 10 groups and we won all our matches apart from one where we drew with the other team. I guarantee if we won that match, we would have come 1st but we still placed in a great position! So much happened within this week and to write it all down will just make this blog-post really clunky so I refuse to continue hehe ;). To summarise the entire week, it was all about working together as a group and depending on each other to complete any challenges that we were presented with. I didn't expect to be given such a great group and by the end of this week, I knew that I had something special with all of my kids.

My Kids!
(well we're supposed to call them young people but I didn't like the way that sounded)


Last Day Pictures :)



Week 2: University of Bedfordshire!

UNI UNI UNI!!
I felt like I was going back to where I belong when this week came around! This was our Residential Week, which we spent at the University of Bedfordshire. This week was to teach our kids how to be independent and to learn some life skills that they could take home with them. In the previous week, we got the kids to create a food order from Tesco's. This was for them to be able to cook meals for each other when we had breakfast, lunch & dinner at the University EVERYDAY. This was a task itself as it seemed like mission impossible. I enjoyed this task though - my kids could cook! We started off really strong and then throughout the week kinda mellowed out, but at least I ate everyday so that's all that mattered. This week was the best week by far as I led many of the sessions that we had to teach the kids when we had our classes and the other team leaders and I grew closer with one another throughout the entire week. I still love the fact that on the last day at Uni all the team leaders played run outs at like 10pm as we just needed to break away from our duties and actually have some fun! Residential week was certainly the best, but as this was coming to an end I knew that the last two weeks were going to be much harder as we had a lot of work in store for us all.






Week 3 & 4: S.A.P (Social Action Planning)

So here's to the last two weeks of NCS. For our Social Action Project we chose to raise money for Cancer Research UK by volunteering to help bag-pack at Tesco's, put on a Coffee Morning & have a Football Match that included Henna, Facepainting and many more exciting things. Each of these events went really well and in total we raised £524.95! Our target was £200 and by the end of the week we easily beat our target on the first day when we worked at Tesco's. I am INSANELY PROUD of all my kids; they did so well to raise so much money in such a short amount of time. Saying my goodbye's with all of them were so bittersweet due to the fact that I had to travel up to see them each day for work as NCS wasn't based in my area. I'm excited to see what the future holds for us all, can't wait to cross paths with them all again.


So that's my NCS experience summed up quite nicely :)

What a great, interesting & challenging experience it was working with kids for 4 weeks. I'm going to miss them all and my squad of team leaders. Link up soon come, see you all at graduation!

"Say YES to NCS!"

Define: Happiness.

"You're going to get pain and sorrow, but if the happiness is worth it, then don't give up."

My heart fully burst with multiple emotions when I received this message from one of my best friends.

How would YOU describe happiness?

I can't put it into words but I know that total happiness is the best feeling that I've ever received in my entire life. I can't even begin to explain it. It feels selfish to say but you have to experience it yourself to understand what I mean.

To be happy is a goal that everyone has subconsciously. Nobody wants to continue life having to constantly worry about facing any challenges that it might throw at you. Count your blessings. I've always heard this phrase throughout my entire life and I never really understood it until last year. Happy people choose to focus on the positive aspects of life rather than the negative. They set their minds on specific reasons to be grateful. They express it when possible and they quickly discover that there is always something to be grateful for.

Now I know this sounds super cliché but SMILE.

Our facial expression can influence our brain in just the same way our brains influence our face. In other words, you can actually program yourself to experience happiness by choosing to smile. Not to mention, all the pretty smiles you’ll receive in return for flashing yours is also guaranteed to increase your happiness level. By smiling at others, you're also giving them the treatment that you expect off of others. Everyone wants to be treated kindly so treat everyone you meet with kindness back.

Lastly, I just want to mention about pain. Sounds a bit odd when discussing happiness, but you'll understand after this next sentence. This life can be difficult. Nobody escapes without pain. At some point—in some way—we all encounter it. When you do, remind yourself again that the trials may be difficult, but they will pass. Choose to look for the benefits that can be found in your trial. At the very least, perseverance is being built and most likely, an ability to comfort others in their pain is also being developed.

Go out today. Choose joy and be happy!

"When you stop to look around at your surroundings, you realise that this life is pretty amazing."

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YASSSSS I'm Back!

HELLO AGAIN! :)

It is so good to be back and blogging for you all once again. I really thought that I would come back lost for words and have to continue having a tough time writing blog posts, but boy do I have many posts to share!

I didn't think I would miss blogging but on my weekends off whilst working (even though I was SUPER busy) I still wish I started writing up a blog post. All my friends have been posting blogs left, right & centre and I just felt like my page would slowly begin to disappear, as I wasn't posting every week as usual.

Well that stops today!

I am back and back for GOOD. No more breaks, unless something comes up but I doubt I'll stop writing for that long again. The topics that I have to discuss are going to be making a huge impact to some of my viewers. Not forgetting including some of my deep posts about my personal life. As some of my big posts that I will be writing are based solely on me, I will never stop posting about simple topics that everyone can relate too. I'm trying so hard to not reveal as much but I'm basically ready to explode you all with my blog posts ahhhh!

Happy to be back and inspiring others once again!

"There's no place like home (blogger)."