March Update

March Update

Once again it’s been two months since my last post in January. That is mainly due to the fact that after I’d returned from London I got really ill and struggled with getting better over a period of almost three weeks. Turns out I had a middle ear infection, for which I then had to take antibiotics and all that jazz.

London was amazing. It was the first time I’ve ever been abroad entirely on my own and I really enjoyed it. I met a lot of people; saw, did, and experienced things I might not have had I travelled with a friend. As it’s a bit over a month now since I’ve been back, I’m not sure whether I will write an entire blog post dedicated to my trip but I might.

Regarding what I’ve been up to the past few weeks: I’ve enrolled in an MA course in Literary and Cultural Studies that started this March, so I’ve been attending classes even though I am not planning on completing the degree. I still got my eyes set on going abroad; this is mainly to bridge the gap between now and when I will be able to set sail. Other than that I’ve been applying to jobs and internships. We will see where all of that will lead.

In terms of what I’ve been planning on writing for this blog: I’ve said this before but I am hoping to finally write more on literature and books. That had always been the original intention behind this blog. Somehow I seem to have favoured blogging about other things over the years, there’d been a lot of motivational posts and updates on how I was dealing with anxiety and feeling down. These have been fairly therapeutic to write and share but I don’t want to exclusively concentrate on such kind of topics. I am working on writing for this blog more regularly, whether I’ll succeed in doing so we will find out soon enough.

This is it from me for now – hopefully, I’ll be back sooner than later!

x,

Lauren


P.S. I mentioned in my last post that I started a new blog focusing on politics and current affairs – if you want, you can check out my latest post.

An Update

These past few months have been rather difficult for me. So much while at the same time so little has happened. I am unsure what my next steps will be which is thrilling but stressful.

I started this blog in October 2013. I was in my first semester at university and was absolutely excited about the next three years entertaining high hopes and aspirations. It’s weird to think that three years have passed already. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that my time at uni just flew me by. The opposite, in fact. It has at times even felt ‘dragged out’ and I thought it would never end. Now, as I am waiting for my very last grade and about to finish my degree, I’ve come to reflect on these past six semesters. Unfortunately, not much comes to mind. I do truly value my education and am grateful that I have had the opportunity to study at all but, if I am honest, it really has not been what I’d expected it would be those three years ago. What bothers me the most is that I seem to “have done so little”. I’m not entirely sure what I should have done differently. The whole experience, or maybe rather thinking about it, simply leaves me feeling empty.

I have indeed grown these past three years, found out things about me, became more self-aware and secure, more independent, more confident. Yet, I am still as clueless as to what I really want as I was then. Being almost done with uni obviously brings with it the typical questions as to what my plans for the future are. To be honest, there are none. No definite ones that is. I know that deep down I know what I want to do/can envision my next steps but I don’t feel ready to share all of that right now. I also think I should probably take my time to gather my thoughts and consider all my options. I’m definitely trying to make the next thing I take up be something I really care about.

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2016 has truly been a weird year. I’d say my worst. Despite the fact that I am graduating from uni, I struggle to really celebrate this “achievement” and be enthusiastic. I’ve been feeling down for most of this year and actually considered dropping out as I figured I’d never be able to finish my papers. Though I obviously did in the end I still am exhausted by all the negativity that I’ve been carrying around with me. Also, not wanting to sound trite but all that “has been going on in the world lately” really had an impact on my mood and general outlook. Brexit, Trump, the amount of brutal police shootings in the U.S., many European countries’ lack of interest in taking actual measures regarding Syria (they prefer demonizing refugees instead) were amongst the main ‘current issues’ that really dampened my spirits. I know that there are people by far more affected by any of these mentioned developments and I have to say the cynical side of me was not surprised by them; however, we’ve reached such lows, it’s mind-boggling.

I guess you can tell by now that my expectations regarding what’s about to come are not particularly optimistic. I am looking forward to somewhat figuring out what I want to do next, though. I’ve got plans for this blog as well (to post more regularly first and foremost :P) and another idea that has been on my mind for some time, which I’ll reveal in the next few weeks.

x,

Lauren

Here I am again. I don’t know how many ‘blogging comebacks’ I’ve already had and quite frankly I wouldn’t want to know. I keep coming back to it though because I actually really love it. And once more I’ve told myself to be more driven and committed to my blog. Maybe I’ll keep it up this time, maybe I won’t. But for now the plan is to settle into some sort of routine and get back to posting more regularly.

Not much has happened since my last post. I’m in the midst of graduating from university – I finished my last semester in June and now I’m writing on my B.A. papers which isn’t exactly fun. Sometimes I wonder whether writing indeed is the career path I should pursue given that I do not enjoy writing papers for uni at all. As to what I want to do after graduation I have no clue whatsoever. I do have ideas of what I’d possibly like to do but still got a lot of figuring out to do.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to concentrating on blogging some more in the next few weeks. There are a lot of books I’ve recently read that I want to write about, maybe I’ll talk a bit more about what has happened with uni in the past months (*hint: lots of procrastination, one failed exam, many sleepless nights, demotivation, moments when I seriously considered dropping out*), or what my plans for the future are.

x,

Lauren

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Also, I failed to mention that this is what the typical “summer day” looked like for me this year

 

The Opposite of Loneliness [Literature 2]

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Finally back (once again) to the world of blogging, I thought long and hard what I wanted my first post since my almost six-month hiatus to be like. Definitely not one declaring that I have crawled out from under my rock another time (been there, done that). Instead, I decided to write about something that recently impressed, inspired, and awed me which is why I will talk about Marina Keegan’s book The Opposite of Loneliness.

Published in 2014, the book came out two years after Marina’s tragic death only days after her graduation from Yale. As sad that it is and as shocked I was when I learned of the circumstances, that is not what I want to focus on in this post but rather cherish the amazing work she has left behind.

I’ve got to be honest, reading this collection of both fictional & non-fictional essays written by someone who, unfortunately, did not even turn 23 (!!!), I couldn’t help but be a bit envious. I’ve already mentioned on this little blog that it is one of my biggest dreams to be able to work in writing – in whichever shape or form. Whether for a newspaper or magazine, books, or for TV/film. The only problem: I’m not really convinced that I’ve got what it takes. Or can actually write (well) for that matter. That’s the reason why I picked up The Opposite of Loneliness in the first place; I wanted to see (and compare) what someone my age was capable of producing. Needless to say, I was impressed. Not only is her style fresh, witty, and just simply really good but Keegan also had an incredible knack for assessing what’s going on around her. As a student about to graduate from university this summer I could relate to the stories, plots, and characters she so vividly created. At times, when I marvelled at her ease and confidence, I thought to myself: You’re definitely not as good. Far from it. Though I am not giving up on my dream as of yet I know I’ve got a loooong way to go.

What probably stood out the most for me is Marina’s optimism. Especially the essay which gave the collection its title and was in fact her graduation essay urges to keep a postive outlook on life. Me being the total opposite, a person who tends to concentrate on the negative a little too much, I felt encouraged to read a person my age’s thoughts on exactly the things that worry me. While I’ve come to realise already that I’m definitely not too old for pretty much anthing (in terms of what I can achieve in life), Marina’s heartfelt address to her fellow students was exactly what I needed to give me that last assurance(see quote below).

My advice to all budding writers, students, and lovers of books and literature: go out and get that book. Maybe you won’t connect with it as much as I did but I believe there is something to draw from it for everyone.

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End of Summer

End of Summer

So, here we go again: Summer’s over. This means, among other things, going back to school. For me at least. This year will be intense as I’m going to be finished by the end of next term (if everything goes as planned). While I’ve been sort of looking forward to it over the break now that the new semester’s actually ringing in I’m not that motivated, to be honest. Still got some courses and exams to take but all in all the end is drawing near.

The past few weeks I’ve been mainly working and trying to enjoy the last few days of summer. On the weekend I’ve been to Bad Gastein (Austria), a once well-known and highly frequented health resort/spa town which could now be described as deteriorating with its closed-down shops, hotels, and casino. Situated quite removed at a pretty high altitude and scattered with semi-ruins of old grand houses, it has the romantic touch of an other-worldly place, or ghost town.

Next destination on that same daytrip was Zell am See, a lake town I’d never actually been to despite the fact that it’s in the same state as my hometown. I’ll just let the pics speak for themselves:

Enjoying one of the last pretty days of the year at the lake
Enjoying one of the last pretty days of the year at the lake

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As you might have guessed, this is just a quick rambling update of what’s going on with me at the moment. Lately I’ve been suffering from lack of inspiration – what to write and post about. I am working on it, though, so hopefully there’ll be new content soon!

Until then, have a good first week of October,

x Lauren

What I’ve been up to…

Right now I am quite busy with school work, partly because there actually is a lot to do but also because I am a procrastinator. I am not proud of it but it’s true. At the moment there are several things that need to get done: I’m writing a paper (and then have to hold a presentation) on the Scottish Independence Referendum particularly focusing on its representation in the media using CDA (Critical Discourse Analysis). The course I am doing this research for is Media Communication. So far we have been looking at the different ways certain facts and information can be presented in the news and which “tricks” there are to steer the readers or audience and influence their views (without them noticing). CDA is useful to uncover these tactics, which range from highlighting or omitting information to using particular word groups and families to refer to people and events (and of course many, many more). Having once gotten into understanding its concept properly, it really is fascinating. I realized that I was quite unaware of the various methods used to twist facts, views, and also truths, so it definitely made me more observant when reading.

I am also preparing a 5 minute “academic” presentation on Tennessee Williams whom I’ve already written a blog post on. I find it quite difficult to squeeze everything (or anything) into that short time, I’ve got to admit but I will figure it out.

Apart from that, I have just started reading John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. I’ve recently finished The Crucible (Arthur Miller), which I had to read for Uni and Posh (Laura Wade), which I decided to read after having missed seeing the movie adaption at the cinema. I am excited about Grapes of Wrath as I’ve never read anything by Steinbeck even though I always wanted to.

Yesterday I watched Atonement (2007) again. We are currently analysing it in Understanding Film but I won’t get into it now as I will dedicate an entire post to it.

That’s pretty much all from me for now.

As I think posts without any pictures can look "empty" I thought of sharing this pic I took last Friday :) It's my hometown, Salzburg, and no, it is not this sunny anymore :(
As I think posts without any pictures can look “empty” I thought of sharing this pic I took last Friday :) It’s my hometown, Salzburg, and no, it is not this sunny anymore :(

Random Ramblings

I’ve got to admit: I haven’t posted anything for over a week. I am really happy that I have not broken my promise to post once a week yet (my last entry was last week!); however, apart from the last two weeks I’ve actually managed to write more than once since I started blogging again. The reason for my “unproductiveness” is that I have a big work load still in need to get done for Uni – and as I am a procrastinator, I often find myself STRESSED because I left everything until the very last minute. I think I might be somewhat back on track again (luckily I have found some will power this week to just sit down and get it over with).

There are sooo many things I would like to write about and blog post ideas are always floating around in my head, so I am positive that I will get back into my routine soon.

Today was a sad day for me as well as today marks my grandmother’s first death anniversary. It seems crazy that it has already been one year since she’s gone and I do miss her a lot.

This is a rather short, random rambling post, but oh well…