Is Fan Fiction Really That Bad?

Debate, Writing

As writers, we all know that there are certain genres that are generally frowned upon, whether as an actual writer (as in “there is no way I would ever write that kind of thing”) or as a reader (as in “I wouldn’t be seen dead reading that kind of fiction). Stereotypically, Mills and Boon-type novels have received a large proportion of the backlash of this kind, however, over the past few years – with the boom of the Internet – another form of fiction has received just as much scorn; that is, of course Fan Fiction.

What is Fan Fiction?

Fan Fiction is a form of fiction-based writing that involves a writer taking the works of someone else; such as characters and environment, and creating their own stories out of it. This often comes in several forms, such as just creating new adventures for the characters, or even re-shaping them – so-to-speak – into completely new characters, building different relationships and even personalities.

What is the Point of Fan Fiction?

For many fans, writing (or reading) Fan Fiction is about holding on – for dear life – to a series of books, or films, or even a TV shows that they have really enjoyed, and helping to breathe life into it, so that it isn’t forgotten, but is able to continue for longer than the author has chosen to. It is sort of a sense of not wanting to let go to something.

Other reasons for creating Fan Fiction is because the fan doesn’t feel entirely happy with the direction the author has taken the book and/or its  characters in. So, they take the opportunity to “make it right” in their own words.

Would I Ever Write Fan Fiction?

Honestly? No.

For me, personally, the idea of using someone else’s characters tears apart my love for creating them. There is something so special about creating these people, and moulding them into what they become, and for me, using someone else’s characters feels a little like treading on another writers toes – what, for example – gives me the right to say that a character they have created is somehow wrong? But, for me, it’s not a case of not changing the character, because as a writer, I just cannot do that. I have to be the one to mould them, otherwise I don’t feel that I can get in their heads well enough to truly tell their story.

I need to know the character as if they were my best friend, and I don’t think that I could do that with a character that I couldn’t twist and move around in my own personal way.

Don’t get me wrong, I have attempted Fan Fiction (I attempted – during my Uni days – to write a story bringing together various characters from the different Final Fantasy video games) and I absolutely sucked at it. I mean, really sucked. It drove me crazy, because I didn’t feel like I could get into their heads. I didn’t know them well enough, because someone else created them.

Needless to say, I didn’t get very far with that work of crap!

Does that Make Fan Fiction a Bad Thing?

Of course not. Fan Fiction might not be my cup of tea, but that’s not to say that it’s a bad thing. Admittedly, there is this growing trend out there for truly bad Fan Fiction, and I mean appallingly bad. But then again, there are works that show a great deal of imagination, as well as talent.

Personally, I think that if you are a truly talented writer then it does not matter what you write, as long as you are writing. Unfortunately, it does build-up a few bridges for yourself, which are a little sad, especially if your wok is good.

The biggest wall is that ultimately, you will never be able to earn money from your work, as the rights to those characters and worlds belong to the person who created them. They only possible way to make money is if you are somehow able to get permission from the original author. This, of course can and has happened, but it’s unlikely.

There are, however, websites that are dedicated to be spaces to share Fan Fiction, and many Fan Fiction writers take to blogs to do it, so it is not completely impossible to at least get a little recognition from it. So, if you’re not bothered about monetary gains, then who cares, right?

I do also think that Fan Fiction is capable of leading a writer towards something much bigger. For example, a story might start out as a Twilight Fan Fiction (naming no names) and it gradually evolves into a story of its own with completely different characters in a very different environment.

Film as Fan Fiction

My film buff other half, who also happens to be a writer, commented that “these days Hollywood films are becoming a form of Fan Fiction.”

It was an interesting point, because it’s something that I have never even consider, and it would be interesting to know how much creative input, for example, George Lucas has had in the writing and plotting of the upcoming Star Wars films. If he has had little input, then the new films could easily be considered as being written by fans – just fans with a bit more money and power, than the average writer of Fan Fiction. Staying with J.J. Abrams films, the latest Star Trek films could also be called Fan Fiction as the original creators of the series are no longer alive. So, are films just an “accepted” form of Fan Fiction? And also, the only financially-rewarding.

 

What are your thoughts on Fan Fiction?

Do you think that there is plenty of room for all varieties of writing, no matter what style or genre?

Or do you think that Fan Fiction is the spawn of the Devil?

 

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Books, Downloads and Buyer Morals

Books, Debate

It’s been a long time since I’ve read a lot of books by one author en masse so-to-speak. Okay, sometimes if an author has a series of books – like The Hunger Games, or His Dark Materials – then I might read them in succession, but it’s very rare that I’ll read the books of an author if they’re stand-alone books.

That being said, I seem to be on a John Green reading marathon, since I am now on my fourth John Green book, and third in a row. And the fun thing about this fact? Look, look:

Looking for Alaska // The Fault in our Stars

Looking for Alaska // The Fault in our Stars

I bought two real books. I didn’t download them for my Kindle!!

It was actually incredibly nice to go into a Waterstones, and browse books, because it is so long since I’ve done it. In fact, I think I got my Kindle last April, and the few times that I’ve been into Waterstones, it’s only been to jot down the names of some authors so I could look them up on my Kindle.

I picked these two John Green books up in their Buy One Get One Half Price offer, but truth be told, I still ended up paying more for them both, than if I’d bought them separately for my Kindle. It’s like the shops just cannot compete.

I had a similar incident recently with HMV. I am incredibly keen to support HMV, because I think I’d be lost without it. I’d been thinking about buying Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto album for quite some time, and I’d spotted it in HMV for a fiver, which is pretty good. I do prefer to buy hard CDs, because I always think that there is something nice about owning them. Nevertheless, a quick browse of Amazon, and I find out that I can buy it on download, for just £2.99, so now I’m feeling in a moral bind:

Do I support a struggling company, and pay more, even though money is really tight for me, at the moment? Or do I buy the cheaper version, but sacrifice owning an actual CD?

To be fair, before it went offline, I always bought my MP3 downloads from the HMV website, so I did used to support them that way, and I do think that they were a little naive to take the website down – under the circumstances, although I appreciate why they did.

So, anyway this post hasn’t really ended up about books, as I’d originally intended, but more about the debate between buying downloads cheaply, or buying hard copies and helping companies?

There is always a small part of me that wonders if we allow large companies to go under, will smaller companies be able to push back into the High Streets and reclaim that market that big corporations took away from them? But, then we also have the power struggle with the cheap supermarkets?

Whatever happens in the future, it is without doubt that the dynamics of the High Street are ultimately going to change – whether for the good, or the bad, I’m not really sure.

What are your thoughts? Are you a Download Diva or are you Faithful to the Shops?

If you prefer hard copies of books and CDs, do you shop in-store or online?

Hire Me // Portfolio

Books, Downloads and Buyer Morals

Books, Debate

It’s been a long time since I’ve read a lot of books by one author en masse so-to-speak. Okay, sometimes if an author has a series of books – like The Hunger Games, or His Dark Materials – then I might read them in succession, but it’s very rare that I’ll read the books of an author if they’re stand-alone books.

That being said, I seem to be on a John Green reading marathon, since I am now on my fourth John Green book, and third in a row. And the fun thing about this fact? Look, look:

Looking for Alaska // The Fault in our Stars

Looking for Alaska // The Fault in our Stars

I bought two real books. I didn’t download them for my Kindle!!

It was actually incredibly nice to go into a Waterstones, and browse books, because it is so long since I’ve done it. In fact, I think I got my Kindle last April, and the few times that I’ve been into Waterstones, it’s only been to jot down the names of some authors so I could look them up on my Kindle.

I picked these two John Green books up in their Buy One Get One Half Price offer, but truth be told, I still ended up paying more for them both, than if I’d bought them separately for my Kindle. It’s like the shops just cannot compete.

I had a similar incident recently with HMV. I am incredibly keen to support HMV, because I think I’d be lost without it. I’d been thinking about buying Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto album for quite some time, and I’d spotted it in HMV for a fiver, which is pretty good. I do prefer to buy hard CDs, because I always think that there is something nice about owning them. Nevertheless, a quick browse of Amazon, and I find out that I can buy it on download, for just £2.99, so now I’m feeling in a moral bind:

Do I support a struggling company, and pay more, even though money is really tight for me, at the moment? Or do I buy the cheaper version, but sacrifice owning an actual CD?

To be fair, before it went offline, I always bought my MP3 downloads from the HMV website, so I did used to support them that way, and I do think that they were a little naive to take the website down – under the circumstances, although I appreciate why they did.

So, anyway this post hasn’t really ended up about books, as I’d originally intended, but more about the debate between buying downloads cheaply, or buying hard copies and helping companies?

There is always a small part of me that wonders if we allow large companies to go under, will smaller companies be able to push back into the High Streets and reclaim that market that big corporations took away from them? But, then we also have the power struggle with the cheap supermarkets?

Whatever happens in the future, it is without doubt that the dynamics of the High Street are ultimately going to change – whether for the good, or the bad, I’m not really sure.

What are your thoughts? Are you a Download Diva or are you Faithful to the Shops?

If you prefer hard copies of books and CDs, do you shop in-store or online?

Hire Me // Portfolio

Debate: Free Blogging – WordPress or Blogger?

Blogging, Debate, Writing

I’ve been blogging, in various shapes and forms pretty much since 2004, when I was at university, and sharing the woes of my love life – or, should I say my serious lack of…! Over the past eight years, blogging has changed immensely. Blogging today is less about sharing your personal diaries, and more about sharing opinions and getting your voice heard.

For me, it has been great to see blogging grow and thrive into the crazy world that it is today. I’ve seen – and used – various forms of blogging platforms that have attempted to crack the market with varying success, many of which have clung on for dear life before eventually being kicked into the abyss either by lack of users, or when they are bought out by the Big Dogs.

However, two platforms have always been popular choices, and are definitely the two most prominent choices amongst bloggers today. They are of course Blogger and WordPress.

Personally, I’m always torn between the two. When I started my beauty blog in 2010, I actually started out using WordPress, because I couldn’t get my head around Blogger. Eventually, I moved over there because it was where all of the other Beauty Bloggers appeared to be. It took me a long time to get used to Blogger, and for a long time I had my gripes with it. In fact, to this day, I find Blogger to be glitchy and often annoying.

I currently have two blogs over there, my beauty blog: Barefoot Girl and my entertainment blog: Entertained.

However, I recently chose to move my writing blog (which you are reading right now) over here to WordPress. So, as you can tell, I have a big conflict of interests over which I consider to be the best, because they both have their pros and their cons.

Now, it’s important to point out, that when I talk about WordPress, I’m not talking about wordpress.org which is paid for. I’m concentrating on the free alternative.

Image of Blogger's Logo

User-Friendly.

Despite my early misgivings, when you get used to it, Blogger is an absolute doddle to use, and I actually find it more user-friendly than WordPress. It’s really easy to edit templates, and if you know a little basic HTML it’s easy to use other independently-made templates, to create a blog that is personal to you and what your blog is about, which leads us to my next point.

Personal.

With Blogger, you are not confined to using the templates that are offer to you, as they allow you do use your own templates if you wish, or ones that you have downloaded from elsewhere. This is great for making blog personal, especially if you run a business and can afford to pay someone to create a template that matches your company in terms of logos etc, and even your website in terms of design. This makes it easier to bring websites and blogs together.

Advertising.

In case you didn’t know, Blogger is owned by Google, making it super easy to use your blog for advertising using Google AdSense. However, until you’re getting a lot of hits, it’s unlikely that you’ll make much money this way.

Image of WordPress's Logo

Professional.

There is something so much sleeker about WordPress’s templates, which makes them look more professional. For a business, this is incredibly important, however if you’re running a personal blog, it’s probably not what you’d be looking for. However, unless you are willing to pay, you are limited to only using the templates on offer. Most templates are pretty customisable, meaning that you can alter the backgrounds and headers to how you want them, but for some people there still isn’t enough control.

SEO.

WordPress is perfect for Search Engine Optimisation, and I certainly get a lot more feedback from blogs that I run through it. I’m more likely to get “likes” and comments when I post on WordPress, than I am with Blogger. I don’t know if people on WordPress are just more “chatty“, because I do still get a fair amount of readers to Blogger.

The image uploader is also better designed for optimising your images to draw in more people.

Opinion:

These days, I’m finding myself leaning more towards WordPress, purely because it is much less “glitchy” than Blogger. However, I do still love the ease at which you can make changes to blogs on Blogger, and I enjoy the fact that I’ve learnt a bit of HTML on my blogging journey, which is always helpful.

Which platform do you prefer? WordPress or Blogger?

Or perhaps they are both ideal, just for different purposes.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Hire Me // Portfolio

Debate: Does Spelling Matter?

Blogging, Debate, Marketing, Writing

As a writer, and a lover of books, I have always been a natural proofreader. I think I get it from my Mum, and neither of us are capable at looking at a menu or a sign in a street without subconsciously noticing spelling mistakes.

However, seeing things like this has opened up this big conflict inside me. On one side, I hate to see spelling errors, but then the other side of me is saying “yes, but we can still understand what it being said, so does it matter?”

Throughout history, the spelling of words has altered to fit current needs with the eventual growth of standardised spellings. So, it seems fairly logical that spellings will continue evolving. However, I don’t think any linguist could have predicted that we would revert back to such an unstandardised state.

So, here’s the question: Are there times when spelling does or doesn’t matter?

Here are my thoughts:

When it does matter:

Example: Recently we have spotted a cafe that spelt its own company name wrong, and a leading department store that had misspelt the name of a food product on a sign that was no doubt used in every single one of their shops, right across the country!

Why this is bad: It looks incredibly unprofessional, especially on a business with a strong reputation and a large collection of shops nationally. Whilst a small business could be excused for have more things to worry about, and not enough time in the sense that the signs were probably written in a rush, larger companies have no excuse.

Larger companies can typically afford to hire more staff than a small one, so surely they can expand someone’s duties to proofreading?

Example: Then there is the case of a certain series of books, that you might have heard of – or even read – called “Twilight”, which have become almost as notorious for their poor spelling, as they have for their absolute ridiculousness – I mean, c’mon sparkling vampires, where the females grow make-up?!

Why this is bad: I’ve done work experience in the Editorial Department of a Publishers, in the past, and I know how important the role of the Editor is. Most importantly, I know how important the role of the proofreader is, so the idea that a proofreader has missed these mistakes, not only once, but every single time that the books have been reprinted, is just astounding.

I think that if the mistakes were evident in the first prints, that would be acceptable, because sure mistakes are missed, especially when Editors might be a little less lenient on books that they are not sure will sell that well. However, surely reviews etc have highlighted the mistakes, so a big publishing house has no excuse but to correct them for further reprints, when they know that people are going to buy them!

When it doesn’t matter:

Example: Blogs and newspapers are rife with spelling and grammar errors, mainly because both are written at a past pace typically to a tight schedule. The problem really lies in the way that they are produced, because they are typed so quickly, meaning a slight flick of a finger towards the wrong key can alter spelling without even noticing.

Why is doesn’t matter: Blogs are typically a personal affair, as a single person shares their thoughts and opinions on something that they are passionate about. Most of the time, these people are writing for themselves, around their full-time jobs, so they don’t have the time to fret about mistakes. Plus, it isn’t the spelling or the grammar, but more what is actually being said that matters.

When it comes to newspapers, we’ve all heard the phrase “tomorrow’s chip paper” haven’t we? I personally don’t see the point of moaning about a spelling mistake in something that will be forgotten by the next day. Unlike magazines, who have longer to produce copy, a newspaper might only have an hour – or even less – to produce a crucial story, so spelling is again second best to the actual content.

Example: Social media and this need to share practically everything has led to a rise in spelling errors, either because people are attempting to shorten what they have to say, or because they are having to write things that in the past they would have predominantly used in spoken communication.

For me, this last point sparks the biggest problem for a lot of people, especially on Facebook. As they are used to speaking, more than writing, many tend to type as they speak, which has led to a rise in the rise of the word “of”, when the correct word is actually “have”.

Why this doesn’t matter: Despite often having to get out a translator to figure out what some people are saying, it is usually possible. And surely that was all the person was ever intending to do right? Share a thought or an opinion.

Conclusion:

Spelling matters when you are a company selling a product. Spelling does not matter when what you have to say far overpowers the spelling of it

What do you think? Do you think spelling still matters, or are we all just moaning about nothing? Do you think that it depends on the circumstances, and should there be different rules for different types of writing?

Hire Me // Portfolio

Debate: Forgiving and Forgetting

Debate, life, life choices

I’ve always tried to go through life with no regrets, because life is too short for regretting what you have or haven’t done. However, sometimes life throws something at you that completely knocks you for six, something that is completely out of your control and you deal with it in a way that is probably undignified, but at the time, it’s the best way you can cope with it.

But that crap brings with it a lot of anger and hurt towards someone who had been in your life, and who has promptly walked straight back out of it without so much as an “adios”. When that happens it’s easy to feel like you can’t possibly forgive and you most definitely won’t forget, but the the problem is that small things remind you of that person, and it starts to eat you inside. So, what I want to know is: is forgiving and forgetting the most crucial part of recovering from being hurt?

My Other Half honestly believes that it’s not possible to truly forgive and forget, and for a long time, I wasn’t sure that I thought it was easily, but then something happened that changed my mind.

Remembering the Past

I’m not going to use names, because it’s not fair on them to “name and shame”, but I met this particular male whilst I was at University, through a friend from home, and we started going out. To be honest, we were rubbish together. We had nothing in common, we didn’t have any kind of “spark” and his idea of fun really wasn’t my idea of fun. In fact, I’d found his kind of fun incredibly boring, I’m not going to lie.

Nevertheless, we went out for roughly two and a half months over the summer holidays. Then I went back to Uni, and he became distant. He didn’t reply to my texts and I should have followed my gut instinct and dumped him at the first sniff of things not being right.

I ended up travelling home to try and find out what was going on, and he chose the moment that I arrived at my parents’ house to text me and tell me that he’d met someone else. Yeah, thanks for that. Remembering it, I’d had my suspicions that he’d met someone else, because of something that I’d joked about and how he hadn’t responded as I’d expected him to about it, but what had made me so angry was the fact that I had given him plenty of opportunity to just tell me, and he’d let me travel all the way home, only to dump me by text. He couldn’t even do it in person, or stop me the trouble of wasting my time coming home by at least calling me. Ultimately, he was a coward and the fact he treated me the way he did just built up this huge level of anger that festered inside me for around five years.

It sounds crazy to let something like that bother me for five years, but I can’t even explain why it made me feel like that for so long. Every time that I saw a van for the national company that he worked for, it made me so mad. And the various occasions that I’d see him in the street when I was home, I honestly wanted to go up to him and punch him. Thankfully, that didn’t happen very often.

Forgiving

Then, about a year and a half ago, he randomly added me on Facebook. At the time I was a little bit surprised. I knew that he had gotten married, and I was happily in a relationship myself but I will admit that I was curious. I don’t entirely remember the conversations that were had back then, because they’re really not important, and I’m pretty certain that it was just the typical “how are you” and “what are you up to” type crap, but all that mattered was that he had made the first move. He might not have apologised outright (then again, he might have, I honestly can’t remember), but whether he did or not, it wasn’t the point. It was the fact that he had made the effort to get in touch and find out how I was that meant a lot to me.

From that moment, I found that I was able to finally forgive him for how he treated me and properly move on from it.

Forgetting

It sounds ridiculous, but I realised as I was writing this that I no longer walk around worrying that I’m going to bump into him, because even if I did, it would no longer be a big deal. I think that his metaphorical olive branch gave me a huge sense of closure over something that had hurt me deeper than it ever should have. I honestly don’t think that he was a bad person. Yeah, he did a horrible thing, he was a coward and he should have handled things differently, but we really were bad together, and people make mistakes.

I think that that olive branch was exactly what I had needed emotionally to be able to detach from the anger that had built up in me for so long, and I feel so much happier for it. As I said, the Other Half doesn’t entirely understand it, and he doesn’t understand why I felt that I needed to make peace with my Ex and how important it has been for me to be able to consider us “friends”, but it was something that I needed to do for myself, and I really do feel better for being able to move forward.

I think that it really helped that it was him (who caused the hurt) who was the one to step forward and make the friend request, because I don’t think that I could ever have done it the other way around.

What do you think? 

Do you think that you can forgive and forget something hurtful that someone has done to you? 

Is it easier if they hand an olive branch, or are you not interested in their need for forgiveness?

Do you agree that forgiveness is the easiest way to move on in life?
 Or do you think that something are not deserving of your forgiveness?

The Great Lip Debate

Debate

I have to confess that over the past few months, this blog has become less about “beauty” and more about body image and positivity, which has made me question my blogs name, so I sort of wanted to apologise to you all for that. I think I’ve just grown up a lot since I started blogging, which has taken my blog down a different path. Nevertheless, I have so many products waiting to be reviewed, and I know I’ve said this before, but I really need to get my act together and concentrate a little more on beauty, whilst still including the positive side of things, because that is all still incredibly important to me.

But, I though that I would get back into the groove with a little debate, which I’d love to hear your thoughts on, so here you go::

Whether you’re at School/Work, going shopping with your mum, or a Saturday night out, the chances are that you’ll have fab eyes, because let’s face it, our eyes tend to be the number one thing that we all think about first, when it comes to make up. But, what about your lips? Personally, I don’t really think much about what I put on my lips. It just isn’t a priority. But, as I’m learning more about such things, I’ve found myself trying new things when it comes to make up, and lipstick and lip gloss are just one area of neglect that I’ve been looking at.

So, I wanted to start up a little debate! Which is best?


To get us started, I thought I’d share some of my thoughts and opinions:

Arguments For and Against Lipstick:

  • For: Colour. I’ve always found that the colour on lipstick tends to last longer than lipglosses, when you’re actually wearing it
  • Against: Fading. Whilst the colour does tend to last longer, it tends to gradually fade, and personally, I find this to be a real pain, mainly because, if you’ve applied lip liner, generally that’s all you end up left with, and you start to look a little like Jacqui McQueen!
  • For: Lipliner. Despite the fact that lipliner can potentially be all your left with, it’s also important to note that there are ways of applying lipliner to ensure you don’t look ridiculous. I also appreciate the fact that lipliners can complement lipsticks quite nicely.
  • Against: Taste. Although formulas are vastly changing, I find that a lot of lipsticks tend to taste quite nasty. I know you’re not supposed to eat them, but when it’s applied to your lips, you’re going to taste it, whether you like it or not.
  • For: Colour. Going back to the topic of colour, I think that lipstick colour tends to be quite vivid and brighter than lipglosses.
  • Against: Colour. Back on colour, I also think that it is very easy to put too much lipstick on, not only by being heavy handed, but also because the colours are quite bold. 
  • Against: Longevity. Maybe it’s just me, but my lipsticks never seem to last very long. I know that you’re advised to apply lipstick using a lip brush, but I really hate lip brushes for a variety of reasons, but most predominantly they tend to 1. Tickle my lips, which I find irritating. 2. Take so long to apply, that I just can’t be bothered, and 3. I just find it easier to apply it straight from the tube.
  • Against: Application. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I find applying lipstick to be an absolute nightmare, because I have to really pay attention to not get it on the skin above my lips, especially with a red or dark shade.
  • Comment: This isn’t a good thing, or a bad, but it highlights a point in way. I think that many (of course not all) lipsticks tend to have more of a “matte” look to them, which makes them perfect for professional occassions, but personally, I don’t think that a “matte” look is what I would be looking for on a light out.

Arguments For and Against LipGloss:

  • For: Easy Application. I find lipgloss wands are more more easy to use than using a lipstick, personally.
  • Against: Icky Stick. This has to be my biggest grievance with lipglosses, and I get sick and tired of how sticky lipglosses are.
  • Against: Taste. I tend to find that a large amount of lipglosses have very overpowering and sickly tastes, that I really detest.
  • For: Taste. Fortunately, brands appear to be tackling this issue, and since starting my blog I’ve really fallen in love with a couple of lipglosses from well known brands such as Rimmel that aren’t too bad in that department.
  • For: Appearance. I love how glossy lipgloss is (hence the name), and how this glossiness leaves the lips looking fuller.
  • Against: Re-Applying. My second biggest grievance is that most lipglosses don’t tend to last very long, so re-application needs to be done quite regularly.
  • Comment: Lipgloss is great at vamping up a lipstick look, adding shine if nothing else.
  • Against: Lipliner. You don’t really have the option of wearing lipliner with lipgloss alone, because personally I think that it look a tad silly.
  • For: Colour. Perfect for my tastes, the colour of lipglosses tend to be quite subtle which I absolutely love.
  • Against: Hair. How many of us have been out wearing lipgloss on a windy day and found our hair sticking to our lips?? Yeah, do I really need to say anymore?

I have to admit that whilst I’ve found myself leaning more towards wearing lipglosses, I’ve begun gaining the confidence to wear lipstick more. However, I think that I’d have to say that lipglosses are still my favoured option, providing that they’re not sickly and sticky. I’ll just have to deal with the windy day scenario though 😉

What are your thoughts? Are you a lipstick or a lipgloss kinda gal?

Up For Hire: Is University a Waste of Time?

Debate

With the number of young people finding themselves unemployed drastically on the rise, the BBC has launched “Up For Hire”, aimed at looking at the employment issues facing todays young people on their route to finding work.

The debate on yesterday’s (Tuesday 18th October) debate, was whether University is a waste of time, and being a subject that really cuts at the  bone, I felt that this was something that I wanted to share my opinion on.

I’d known that I would go to University from the age of nine, when my older brother headed off to Uni himself. However, when it came to leaving School, the choice really came down to the fact that I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I didn’t know what kind of career I wanted to get into, and I just felt like University was the perfect opportunity to give me time to figure that out, whilst gaining some valuable life experience.

During yesterday’s debate, a lot of the consensus against going to Uni was that “mickey mouse courses”, such as media-based ones were a “waste of time” and should be scrapped so that University is reserved for the people who should “really” be there. But, in my honest opinion, I think that these people completely missed one of the fundamental points of going to University.

Going to University, for me at least, was not solely about gaining a degree, although this was an important factor. Other key factors included:

  • Gaining valuable life experience
  • Learning to take care of myself in a financial sense, as well as cooking, cleaning etc.
  • Gaining a sense of maturity and independence, allowing me to grow as a person, in to a responsible young adult
  • Allowed me to learn beside other people who shared my passion for writing
  • Gave me the time to figure out what I wanted out of my life, without forcing me into specialising in an area that in however many years time, I might decide isn’t for me.

Yes, it’s true that my degree didn’t exactly get me a job, but I honestly don’t think that I would be following a career path that I love, if I hadn’t gone to University. So, in a sense, I was keeping doors of opportunity open, whilst hopefully opening others.

Working World.

I definitely agree that University is not suitable for everyone, and many careers can be gained minus a degree. However, my biggest grievance with my time at University, is the fact that whilst I may be qualified to do a job, I have often been overlooked, because I don’t have enough relevant experience. And, this is where I feel that University needs to change.

I believe that it should be compulsory for all University Students to undertake work experience, as part of their course. That could be for a whole year, a semester, or on a once-a-week basis, like a backwards Apprenticeship.

However, instead of doing what I understand some University’s do, whereby they encourage students to undertake work placements, but offer no real help, I think that each course should include an organised programme to help place each student into a suitable placement for what they are looking to gain at the end of their degree.

Have you all been following the Up For Hire debates? What do you think of the series? Do you think that University is a waste of time?