LSE on Ferguson

A few weeks back, The London Globalist headed out to the LSE campus to find out what students made of the grand jury decision which decided to not indict Darren Wilson of the killing of Mike Brown.

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The Un-revolutionary act of List-making.

DSC_0443Heyall! Happy mid-week.

Today I bring to you a magic formula that I have recently discovered; one so simple and obvious, yet so impactful. This formula provides the perfect antidote to feeling unmotivated.

I present to you….(it’s nothing revolutionary so don’t get too excited*)….

The art of LIST-MAKING. (*see above statement)

You see, I am the type of person that comes up with an idea, gets excited about it, plans all its intricate details… only for my initial enthusiasm and interest in it to wane a few days later. And here’s the thing: I know I am definitely not alone!

However lately, I find that I have been able to pace my zealousness over new ideas, by creating lists. Each night before I go to bed, I take out a small notebook and create a rough list of all the things I need to accomplish the following day. This has allowed me to map out my path, and forecast where I need to go and what I need to do. My newfound hobby has also prevented me from experiencing the ‘midday slump’, i.e. the point in the day at which I feel least inspired and motivated, due to the fact that I have a reminder of things to do that I am (mostly) excited to accomplish.

I used to refuse to categorise myself as a routine-orientated person, back when I used to think that ‘creativity’ and ‘routines’ were mutually exclusive. However I now know that in order for me to make the most of my free time and maximise my creativity and productivity, making a list and visualising what needs to be done, is an unmissable step in my daily routine.

Structure can be a very attractive thing. Who knew?

Which techniques help you to stay motivated? Share ‘em if you like.

Beware! Mind-blocks, breakdowns and determining your path

I think the time has come for me to join the life club. After years of feeling comfortable in the knowledge that the pressures of adult life seem far away, I was hit with the realty that ‘grown up’ duties are not so distant as I thought. Over the past two years, and more intensely in recent months, I have been trying to prepare myself for adulthood and its obligations as  best as possible by working, studying, doing internships, moving out, managing to pay rent, bills, etc. However for some reason, I was still unable to avoid the mini-breakdown  which ensued just yesterday afternoon, and I could not help feeling that there seems nothing to look forward to. I couldn’t help but question whether all this effort, ambition and dreaming would be worth it in the long run, or whether at some point I might just have to sacrifice said ambitions in order to meet the necessities of post-university life. For some reason, the transition does not seem so smooth.

Oftentimes, this feeling can be difficult to shake and when left to fester, could result in over-thinking, feeling overwhelmed and ultimately, experiencing a mind-block. On this occasion, however, my internal optimist decided to present itself just in time and remind me that this lack of motivation and discouragement should not – and will not – last for much longer.

Why did this happen?

Honestly, I believe it has something to do with knowing and accepting the things that I am motivated by. In that moment of feeling lost, overwhelmed and a bit hopeless, I felt angry at the idea that my ambitions could not be achieved. I felt resentment towards whatever it was that made me feel as though I had to rely on someone or something else to determine my destiny. I kept wondering if all this work I had put into trying to creating my own path would be in vain.

And then I realised that it did not have to be.

I think that if there has ever been a time to determine your own life path, it has to be now. There are so many platforms of expression and creation both online and in real life which can allow us to explore the multiple facets of our personality and turn them into our main jobs and/ or side hustle. Life does not have to be monotonous, it does not have to be a chore. Irrespective of one’s job or income, I believe that a self-determined career and life is possible. Opportunities abound, and while it can feel as though you are being pulled in several different directions, taking a step back and remembering what motivates you in life can help.

5 tips to help you maintain your wellbeing when starting university

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I just published my first YouTube video! If you are about to start university, college or a new school, you might find this useful. In this video, I cover 5 main tips to help you maintain your wellbeing and maximise your experience at your new institution. Take a look to find out, and leave a comment if you like :).

Live all of your (potential) years, not half of them!

A couple of nights ago I was checking out the Humans of New York site, when I came across this short story from a photographed lady:

 “I’m trying to distance myself from the idea that youth is the best time of life, because a lot of my friends are really anxious about growing older. I’m studying classical drawing, which helps. It really slows things down. We can work an entire month on a single drawing. And I don’t plan on reaching my peak before the age of fifty.” 

Immediately I thought ‘This is lifechanging.’ This short paragraph put so many things into perspective for me, and in a way it ‘unblocked’ my mind. I reacted in a similar way to this ‘Ageless Dailies’ StyleLikeU video above.

This is because lately, the topic of age and the course of life has been something I have been thinking about a lot. While it sounds simple and obvious to say, to actually understand that life is not over until you are no longer alive, is a bit of a challenge. For example, so many of us plan our lives and goals around age points i.e. ‘I would like to buy a house by the I’m 30’ or ‘I want to earn X amount of money while I’m still young’. The fundamental truth is that there is no rush! The practice of making life plans can be of great benefit however, if you put pressure on yourself to achieve all of those plans in your youth, further still, if you have limited foresight beyond your young years, then life is more likely to become a blur in which every achievement is reduced to a tick off your crammed to-do list.

Added to this, we need to rethink what we consider to be young. These self-imposed limits force us to live our lives as if there is a peak to reach, and as a result, we limit our capacity to explore and simply think. Quite literally, we have our whole lives to live – all of however many years we are given – to experience things, to accomplish goals, and to make our dreams manifest. We don’t have to prematurely retire from life’s goodness and opportunities because of age check-points we assign to everything we do.

So going back to the short story, in that moment of reading and re-reading it, I realised the value and importance of treasuring every potential day, week, month, year that life affords us. We should remember to treasure the temporality of life, and not reduce it. If there is something you dream of doing, get on with it! It will add to your richness of experience. That’s one thing that this inspiring StyleLikeU film has taught me.

P.S. Sorry I’ve been absent for some time! Now that exams are over I can breathe a bit :).

 

On the conflicting nature of work: part 2 + some advice

As you may or may not know – or care to know – I am currently an Anthropology student in my 2nd year. Of course, that inevitably means that much discussion and focus is now starting to turn to….CAREERS. Yes. The dreaded C word. As compared to some of my quantitatively-minded peers studying Economics, Finance, Accounting and the rest, many of us Anthropology students  aren’t typically inclined towards, or attracted to the prospect of working in a rigid corporate environment. I speak for some here, not all. I would say that the main reason being is that, thanks to Marx, we fear alienation. Seriously.

I’ve previously discussed my fear of losing a sense of self within my work/ future career path(s) as I’ve fairly recently come to realise just how much I value having a degree of creative freedom in my chosen job.

At this point, I think the most crucial element in job-hunting/ prospecting is to find what you’re driven by; that’s the first thing. However there is a second element to this: you must also be honest with yourself. I’ve gauged that the reason why some of my friends and I feel conflicted is because we tend to meld the abstract, ideological and faceless perception of a certain industry or job, with its practical actualities. We don’t separate the two identities, and therefore we tend to think that going for a certain job which, on the surface, seems to contradict our values, means ‘selling out’,without completely understanding what a job entails, when removed from its stereotype. I still feel this way.

I do think though, that some value lies with experimentation; trial and error. Of course, I’m not saying, nor do I believe, that you’re values should be compromised in favour o a particular job. I’m merely stating the importance of thinking outside the box, and trying new things. This is an indispensable piece of advice that my mentor has equipped me with, which will no doubt serve me well over the next few years.

For anyone currently in the same position, here’s what I’m thinking: I’ve decided to go with the mindset of ‘I can’t decide what to do’ as opposed to thinking ‘i don’t know what to do’ – the former implies choice, something which I tend to take for granted, whereas the latter alludes to a lack of awareness of the opportunities surrounding me. There are an incredible amount of options out there – not all will necessarily be open to me – but I’m curious by nature, and I intend to fully explore what is on offer.

Long story short, I attended an informative ‘Careers in Anthropology’ session on Tuesday, and I’d like to share some advice that I picked up from the panelists in case anyone out there needed it:

– If you’re still at university/ school/ college or any educational institution: take advantage of the free courses on offer! If you have interests in a particular subject you’re not studying, audit some of the lectures for a module you have an interest in. Also, check out the IT department for free courses and training in software (note to self).

– Visit your/a careers office! In most cases, they will give you better advice than you anticipate.

– Get some work experience, even if it’s in a cafe. Here’s a shameless plug: I work in retail at the weekends. It’s not all fun and games, but it helps you meet new people (obviously) and hey, most skills are transferable these days. Something that one of the panelists mentioned yesterday evening was that, it is important to pursue and concentrate on your academic ability however, so not neglect to build on your social skills as well.

– Build on your language skills: Again, if you’re at university, you can take a module in most commonly spoken languages. If not, there are numerous online courses and relatively inexpensive evening classes that will do the trick. If you’re based in London, see Birkbeck and CityLit.

– If you’re wanting to do a PhD, consider taking a break after your undergrad/ masters. (another note to self).

– If you don’t see an opportunity, dig anyway. Email, phone, do the social media stuff if that’s what you’re into, and ask people if you can talk to them! Arrange a coffee, or a meeting, and discuss your ideas. A conversation is all that’s needed to get the ball rolling.

I hope that helps! All thanks and praises should be directed to the wise, knowledgeable and anthropologically-minded panelists. It was an inspiring event with a lot of knowledge to soak up.