Today I turn 21 and I remember a whole year ago thinking ‘Now I’m officialy no longer a teenager’. I moved out to go to university and I even lived on my own during second year. But, I just dont feel like I’m being an ‘adult’ properly still, even with my full time work placement.

Remember when you were little and you thought once you were an adult you would have your whole life sorted? Yeah… me too.

I thought I would be eating healthy meals, 3 times a day (Home cooked of course). I often skip breakfast, buy lunch out and rush together something for tea because I forgot to buy the proper ingredients needed to actually cook. Since I’m working 9-5, I will be working on doing big weekly shops with a pre-written and planned list of meals (for everyday including lunch and breakfast). But ultimately, I’m not doing what I expected an ‘adult’ to do.

My house would be immaculately clean all the time, with minimal effort because I’m just so good at tidying as I go about my day.  My room (I only have a room) is in a constant state of disarray and I lose things under other things all the time. I never have the effort to actually clean up after myself, the only positive is that I’m just messy and not dirty. I don’t leave food or rubbish out, it’s just clothes, books, makeup etc. I will need to start setting myself specific time per week to clean my room because it just gets messier and messier.

Career-wise I thought I would know exactly where I wanted to be and I’d be working towards it. I still have no idea what I actually want and even with my placement I’m still trying to figure things out. I’m going to continue taking on opportunities this year and in my final year of university so hopefully I’ll have thought more for when I graduate.

I also thought I would be completely organised in all aspects of life. I am only organised when it comes to the ‘planning’ stage of any project, I can plan a months worth of blog content but I rarely write all of it on time.  I’m going to have to plan certain times to do things when in my planning stage so I know I have the time to complete tasks. This is probably more of a ‘I need to be stricter with myself’ problem though.

I’m also going to have to start budgeting a lot more, at the moment I still end up ‘treating myself’ and it’s a really bad idea. I need to save money so I’m a bit more secure when I actually graduate.

Who else thought they would have their act together by now?

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I’ve seen a lot of posts recently about people saying they dislike writing bad reviews. I personally, write negative reviews quite often. And I enjoy writing them, I always find I have more things to say when I have a negative opinion as I justify them much more than positive opinions. But also, negative reviews are actually really good, and people should be writing more of them. My main focus for this post is books, but a lot of beauty and fashion bloggers have been doing this as well.

People have mentioned they don’t like writing bad reviews because they don’t want to sound too negative. When writing a review, as long as you’re being objective, you won’t sound ‘too negative’. You’ll sound honest and like you’re really thinking about the product. As long as you have reasons, and you’re not bashing an author or company you’ll be fine.

For Books in particular, writing a bad review is constructive criticism for the author. I read a lot of debut and indie books, and so the authors will often keep their eyes on the reviews. This means if I’m reviewing their book I can let them know what they do well, and what they don’t. Therefore, their next should be better. So for books, it’s really important to write an objective and honest review.

Bad reviews are also good to let other people avoid disappointment. I’ve read multiple books and used multiple products where I’ve only seen good reviews for them. Not writing bad reviews means any ratings are going to be skewed upwards. And when I’m reading a book that’s got 4 stars on Goodreads, I’m expecting a 4 star read.

I’ve also seen a couple of people mention that they don’t write bad reviews because they think companies wont work with them. Yes, I know that if all your posts are negative then many companies may steer away from you. But, writing an honest bad review every so often will not affect your opportunities that much. In any case, if you are working with companies you should always be writing unbiased reviews. If you don’t write negative reviews, what will happen if you get sent a product you don’t like? Will you lie or not go through with the sponsored content?

Writing bad reviews also makes you seem more honest as a blogger. I find that I don’t trust the views of some people because every single post they write is all positive, all the time. Sometimes, people write half reviews where they note all the good things but just leave out the negatives. For me anyway, this makes it sound a lot more like an advert rather than a blog post.

What are your thoughts on negative reviews? Do you write them or not?

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So it’s already been a whole month since I moved down to Guildford! Time really has flown by as I’ve moved in, started my new job and started to explore the area. As someone who’s from the North, It’s a bit different living in Surrey.

The area as a whole seems a lot safer and calmer than Newcastle. Although there’s a high street, it’s not nearly as busy living in the City Centre in Newcastle. It’s just feels safer overall, but many of my colleagues at work have said that nothing bad really happens in Guildford. The worst is mainly traffic accidents, which isn’t surprising as I’ve seen the commuting traffic every morning and afternoon.

The high street is also full of more expensive shops, especially the end I live at. They do have the Friary Shopping Centre which holds my favourites such as Primark, Urban Outfitters and Topshop. There’s also so many places to eat at, and there’s a food court within the Friary. Since work is opposite the Friary, I’ve already tried many of them as well. Oops.

I updated you a bit on my new place a couple of weeks ago. It’s a really good flat, larger than my old one. It’s also in a fantastic place. Only 10 minutes walk to work, 15 to get to the main train station. It’s great for getting around as I’m also right around the corner from the high street and the secondary train station.

It’s also really close to London. There’s a fast train which can get you to Waterloo in about 40 minutes! This will be great to meet people who live in London, or who can also get into London easily. I’ve already visited one of my friends who’s also on a placement, and we visited Camden together!

I’m really loving my placement as well! It’s definitely the right role for me, and I’m still feeling really lucky I got it. I ended up having 13 assessment centres and interviews before I managed to get this Marketing Communications Internship so it was such a relief as well. I’ve been able to go to some really cool meetings and there’s so many amazing events I get to go to in the year ahead too.

 

 

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I’ve officially been blogging for one whole year. It seems like a lifetime ago that I started Uptown Oracle, but this year seems to have flown by so fast.

What have I learnt?

Over the year I’ve realised what I do and don’t enjoy writing about. I enjoy writing book reviews, my thoughts on make-up products and my time at university. I disliked trying to write about clothing and doing tag style posts. This was weird for me because I wanted to focus on clothing when I first started. I’m always buying new clothes and finding my next favourite piece. I just disliked taking photos of myself and writing about my outfits.

I’ve become a lot more confident in my writing. I find that I can write a book review fairly quickly because I now know I work better writing down thoughts as I read. This means my writing is often spur of the moment, honest but also well written because I’ve gone back to edit it.

I’ve learnt a lot about copy writing and SEO which was one of my aims of why I started blogging. I mentioned this in my Q&A post. I haven’t really learnt too much about affiliates, but I did have two months work experience in that beforehand so there wasn’t much more to learn. Book blogging has also helped me in my new job. During handover they tried to explain to me why they have special not-for-sale pre-release copies of video games and I could say yeah I get the same but for books. So I’ve been on both sides of PR requesting too.

I’ve learnt so much about community engagement. It’s not just about posting my links on social media, engaging with other bloggers really makes being a blogger. I love the fact I have regular conversations with people from all over. I was shocked when one of the girls I’ve ever spoken to online, knew me well enough to tweet back exactly what I was thinking! It’s so amazing how much having similar people in your life can help motivate you in all aspects of your life.

Another thing, I’ve improved my time management skills. Even though I wasn’t bad beforehand. I’m now meticulously organised about what posts will be posted when, months in advance. Like I have some content scheduled in November already. It’s made me think more creatively. I’ve started carrying a notebook with me just to jot down ideas. I regularly set aside time specifically to write posts.

Best posts of the year:

What’s Newcastle University Really Like

University Room Tour

Day in North Wales

 

Who Inspired Me?

I was inspired by multiple bloggers in different niches but some of my main ones were:

Isa Wonders

Eleanor Wears

Ramblings of a Blonde

No Space For Milk

Carpe Diem Emmie

Maria J

The Little Plum

Charlie Friend

 

 

From now I’m going to continue trying to better myself, better my writing and better this blog. Being more professional is a big thing for me. I want to be able to proudly show a future employer this blog as a show of what I can do. I also want to meet some people. Since I’m down south now, I think I’ll be able to reach out more since a lot of people I speak to are down here.

If there’s anything you want to see more of, please message me or comment below!

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So as many of you will know, I’ve recently moved to Guildford. My room tour last year was really popular so I decided to show you some of my new room here. My flat is now a converted top floor of a house, so it’s a bit older and you can tell from the photos. But it’s a lot bigger as I have a separate kitchen and bedroom unlike my studio last year. Plus it is super close to both work and the high street.

I finally got some Harry Potter bedsheets from Primark! I couldn’t fit my bedding into the car with the rest of my things so I had to buy all new once I got here. It was worth it though just to get this duvet set of the Marauders Map.

My room is actually big enough to fit a sofa in which is really nice. It means when I get my TV and PS4 I don’t need to sit in bed like I used to. It’s also a cute place to put the pillow I got from Fairyloot in June!

I also have a little faux fireplace. I decided to stack some of the books I brought with me here as it’s right next to my bed anyway. Plus I don’t have any bookshelves here so I’m going to need to show restraint with how many books I have.

I’m looking to make my room a little bit more homey in the coming months. So if you have any suggestions for where to buy cute home stuff let me know!

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