I'm covering my ears like a kid.

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Dress: c/o Karma Clothing. Shoes: £76.50, Topshop. Denim jacket: £63, Hobbs. Sunglasses: £2, Primark. Bag: gift from Jazmine. Lipstick: MAC Ravishing.

It's got to the time of year when I really ought to throw my weight past Primark's selection of novelty sunglasses. Thankfully I didn't purchase the pair that would result in pink glittery flamingos adorning each of my eyeballs however much I wanted to, and instead went for trusty cateyes, after I ceremoniously sat on my last ones. RIP dotties, you served me well. To tone down the in your face nature of glittery frames, I paired them with my new dress, black accessories, and my trusty denim jacket. I love the fabric and know it'll be perfect to throw on in summer, but I'd recommend you size up as the proportions of this particular piece run a little small.

On a day when I looked distinctly less glam (I was wearing jeans, okay), I went for a wander Northwards to visit the football stadiums Liverpool is a little (okay, a lot) famous for. I'm not a football girl, I go to the odd match when I'm home (I live with an ardent Leyton Orient supporter and my dad has a season ticket for Arsenal, so I've inevitably had my fair share of half-time fish and chips), but I'm yet to write up a match review other than to ask "did you see that ludicrous display last night? What was Wenger thinking putting Walcott on that early?". Living in Scouseland may not have got me glued to telly every Saturday, but I have my allegiances and thought it was only about time to visit the grounds. I, of course, paid my respects at the Hillsborough memorial erected by the Shankly Gates, and loved all the international (and even Everton!) teams' scarves showing their support and solidarity. After our seven mile round walk, we headed back to central and treated ourselves to Shipping Forecast's two for one burger offer, which I couldn't recommend more. Why do I always find the best things at the last minute?!


My University of Liverpool experience.

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I remember moving into my room (F Block, Lady Mountford, Carnatic Halls) nearing three years ago pretty clearly: my light didn't work properly, the window had a wonky 'X' sprayed onto it, and the toilets smelt so strongly of bleach I couldn't help but wonder what they were trying to cover up. That night I went to a club so heavily promoted that I should've known it'd be awful, with people I could barely remember the names of, in a city I didn't know. And thus began Freshers: a week and a bit (I gave up towards the end) of learning the number of Delta taxis by heart, not to drink so much wine you can't make it out, and to go to the toilets in packs. This, I feel, is a pretty average university start.

Despite how much I go on about how much I adore it now, I never intended to go to Liverpool. I had my heart set on Sheffield, but a study leave of house parties and coffee shops resulted in grades worse than expected, and a few hours crying my way through clearing. That weekend I got a train up to visit the place I'd committed myself to, and hated it. This feeling persisted through the first year and a bit. The grim weather (it is colder up North), and constant niggling loneliness plagued me, and the January of first year nearly marked me dropping out. I'd had arguments with two of my closest friends over the Christmas holidays, felt like I didn't fit in with anyone else in my block (which I now realise was completely self-inflicted), became very introverted, and survived through visits from friends and going to see everyone's new hometowns. If I wasn't hosting or visiting, I was either wandering through the city centre on my own, or in my room. It got to the point where the only time I'd leave my room was for lectures, and it was rare I'd head to the canteen for dinner. The thought of Summer kept me going for the last month or so, knowing that I was going to see the Arctic Monkeys, my first ever blogger meet-up in Birmingham, Dublin, and just being in a place where I felt at home, and where people wanted me. I'd convinced myself that I didn't want to be there, and so I refused to like it.

I think it was the three months of people saying how much they loved university that made me go back. It can't have really been that bad, can it? This time round things genuinely were better. I got more involved with English society socials, Ellipsis (the university magazine), and made sure I booked train tickets home for reading week in advance, just in case. I undeniably felt lonely the majority of the time living in halls (again, this time Atlantic Point) where half the people I "lived with" were absent or just not the kind of people I felt comfortable with (sorry, third year sports scientists are not my type) and had my fair amount of emotional crises, normally over a hot chocolate. During term time, most of my home friends who were also at university didn't acknowledge their other life, and those who didn't go to university at all just thought I was in a constant hangover, and told me it'd be better tomorrow. It wasn't. I spent a lot of weekends in London visiting my friend Sabby which soon turned into my secret lifeline; seeing someone love university life so much made me push myself that little bit more, I looked at Liverpool in a different light, and slowly began to notice its beauty. It was around this time I fell in love with the city, and from that point on I knew I couldn't leave, even if I were lonely all of the time. I'd secured a few internships for the summer, I was doing well on my course, and I'd actually started to make friends. Things, basically, had started to look up.

Summer was a haze of early morning walks to the station followed by late nights keeping up with my friends' social lives in various Essex nightclubs. It was a kind of complacency of not-quite-adult-ness that I was happy with, but at the end I made a few mistakes and actually found myself wanting to return to the North to try and escape the intricacies of the South's social politics. Things felt so much more comfortable this time around, and I honestly put it down to both living in my own flat rather than halls (I think Liv and Jaz can vouch for how homely it is!) and feeling like you'd be missed if you weren't there. Simple things like being in the same seminar group as some of the people I'd made friends with made a massive difference, and it meant I didn't end up spending half of my time in Essex. I went through a bit of a down phase (understatement) during December and January as a result of feeling like I'd lost all my friends at home, leaving the vast majority of my dissertation work till the last week (don't do it, kids, it's not worth the gaunt look you get from the average two hours sleep a night) and general hatin' life attitude I appear to have developed and can't get rid of. But throwing myself into Cuthbert's and Heebie's has certainly helped to cheer me up recently, and, despite a few things that have really upset me over the past couple of months, I've been able to cope and not fall into dark thoughts every day with the reassurance of having people living a ten minute walk away. With my final deadline hitting last Tuesday, the time since hand-in has been a cocktail (literally) of tequila, wronged body-clocks, and getting quite emotional at Miles Kane gigs. I'll be back in Essex by this time next week, but it's Real Life and not Summer that I'm returning to, things will have to get serious pretty soon.

What I'm really trying to put across here is that university is not what you see through your facebook timeline. I can assure you that, despite what I've written above, my profile during first and second year was a continual stream of photos of me holding bottles of tesco value vodka with a deceptive grin, events I've attended (emergency services theme? Really?), and all the new friends I've added. For me, university was something I had to do: I know I'm not thick, I genuinely enjoy education, and, on a less "go me" note, my school expected me to (that's grammars for you, eh?). When I say that university was the best three years of my life I don't necessarily mean that it was easy and I was smiling the whole way through it, but that it's made me so much more aware that life is something you have to be prepared to work for, rather than something you can cruise through. That genuinely sounds like the most cliché bull that google can offer, but I really would not have had the experiences and the memories created were it not for the perseverance and conscientious effort to make the most of it. This is not to belittle anyone that does not go to university, it's not for everyone and I know a lot of people who have achieved so much without having a couple of letters after their name, but for me this was the best thing that could ever have happened. I've lived in one of the most amazing cities in the world for three years, and my only regret is not realising this earlier. Hopefully I'll be able to live here in the future, but for now I'm just going to make the most of the week I have left and cry a lot when I wave goodbye to the Liver building.

If I ever had a real chance to travel in a time machine where would I go?

Probably wouldn't want to see the past, 'cause all the memories are enough.

university of liverpool experience


Been watching cowboy films on gloomy afternoons.

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Ava Dress: c/o Dahlia. Denim jacket: £63, Hobbs. Chelsea boots: Topshop (old). Fedora: £15, Missguided. Bag: gift from Jazmine. Watch: gift, Rotary. Rings: H Samuels, Rock n Rose and vintage. Earrings: gift, vintage. Lipstick: MAC Ravishing.

This time last week I had just handed in my last ever university essays and was singing in the shower getting ready for a night of celebrations. Since, I've tackled my university's Guild Awards, tried not to cry through an acoustic Miles Kane gig (harder than you'd think, folks - thanks to Bido Lito for hosting the JD Roots competition I won!), and this weekend Jazmine and Olivia came to stay, to send me off in style and take a few outfit photos at the same time.

I've been meaning to photograph this Dahlia dress for a while, having ideas of running through fields of gold in the warm evening sunshine... so we went to the Bluecoat, and took the best alternative Liverpool could come up with. I love the lace overlay and mesh details on the sleeves, making it dressy enough to leave accessorising to a bare minimum (although I couldn't resist adding my Rock n Rose ring which I thought I'd lost over a year ago, weird things turn up inside your stationery containers!). I do have a habit of wearing party dresses during the day, particularly when high-street brands like BANK Fashion offer such pretty ones that you can eye up on the way to Tesco, but when you consider how much fun they are to swish in I reckon it's perfectly acceptable.

I'm not really sure what my plans are for the rest of my time here, but as I've only got a week and a half I better make some quick! Reckon I can coerce my mum into helping me tick the "scouse night out" off of my bucket list?

Hello, I'm Rebecca: social media exec, new-ish coffee drinker and loafer-wearer.
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