Graduation | 1 Year Later

12015242_10153531992797488_4467283861848174181_oA year ago to the date, the Creative and Professional Writing BA (Hons) Class of 2015, graduated.

We were nervous and stressed and our robes were trying to strangle us. We had rogue family members randomly popping up to take pictures, and we spent our time either losing our friends in the crowd or readjusting our gowns.

We had spent three years stuck in cupboard seminar rooms, only 11 people in our year at any one time, freezing cold and drinking copious amounts of coffee.

Lectures were nearly always followed by alcohol, in the true spirit of sticking to the writing cliches, a tipsy wobble home to do our assignments. Quick nap or dinner and you were ready for  a night out.

It is safe to say that university was one of the most turbulent, stressful, broke, enlightening and friendship-filled eras of my life. I do not regret a single second – including the time I got so drunk that I had to go to class wearing sunglasses in the middle of December… yep… pathetic is the word you are looking for, my friend!

It is the time after university, after you’ve graduated that nobody prepares you for, not really. You are of course advised to get a job in your studied profession, but that doesn’t work for most students. We end up behind bars or retail or office jobs, slugging the 9-5 with everybody else.

You tend to lose your confidence, your passion, you lose motivation for your talents. As a writer and graduate of Creative and Professional Writing, it was never going to be easy to get a job, let-a-lone a career in creative writing. So instead, I did some writing projects and got a full time retail job, thinking it wouldn’t be a distraction. Oh boy, how wrong was I!

I have barely written anything for my current novel – compared to what I planned to write anyway –  and my poetry has all but resorted to a quick Instagram post every week. I am struggling to write, read and do anything creative.

But that is my fault. I spent three years training for this year, training myself for my future career goals, and I am wasting that. It has taken me a year to realise that I am not the writer I was whilst at university, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t be.

It’s time to get back into not only my writing, but also my studies. I’m going to go back to my studies and get my Masters degree (hopefully) in Creative Writing and go from Melissa Holden, BA to Melissa Holden, BA MA. Time to pull my socks up and get back out there!

We Are Young (shape poem)

We are so very young

We do stupid things on important days

We forget the big things and cherish the little ones

We waste time when there’s no time to be had at all

We love fiercely and make bad decisions on a daily basis

We are young and happy and sad and stressed all at once

We are young and loyal and flaky and time-wasting nobodies

We are young and we are the next generation of household superstars

We are young and will forever be young in the hearts of those who love us

Life and Time Management: The Basics

I spend a lot of my time thinking about how much stuff I have to do. Then I give up and drink tea. Image

As a society, we are very good at making other people aware of how much we have to do within our busy lives, but when it comes down to it: a lot of us just panic. 

I think it’s time you and I learnt how to manage our lives better. Don’t you? 

Let’s start with the basics:

Day to day life should be easy, but things get in the way. I suggest download a Daily Planner App from your app store, to your phone.

It’s free, and is a great way to prioritize with a three-colour coded system to help you manage what’s more important: buying milk or handing in your assignment. If you have an iPhone, iTunes have loads of great apps too! 

Next up: Time Management

Now, this is a tip for students mostly. That, or anyone who has a flexible work schedule. If you know you have an assignment due for midday and you haven’t done it, and you lecture doesn’t start until 2 PM: don’t stay in bed until 11 AM and then rush it.

Set your alarm clock and get up at a sensible time. Allow yourself time for writing and editing the assignment. 

Better yet, do it when you receive the assignment to save yourself the stress! 

Time Management is crucial for those balancing different aspects of life, i.e: a job, studying, a family, etc. You need to remember that some things are more important than others, so if you have work to finish and your friends are trying to coax you into going to the pub: the work is more important. 


So there we go, just a few pointers on Time and Life Management. Hope it helps!