The Trials and Tribulations of Third Year #4

Trying not to look homeless, unfriending racists, and panicking about the future: it’s been an interesting week for third year Natalie. Recognise how she is feeling? Comment below and let us know! 

My week began with being locked out of my house and huddling on the doorstep, trying to communicate, “I’m not homeless, I swear” to passers-by. However, rather than wallow in my own self-pity, I decided that this would be the perfect time to reflect on all my accomplishments in life… Exactly thirty seconds later I realised that I had only one accomplishment: I once finished an entire bucket of KFC by myself. So, instead, I focused on all the things that make me angry — after all, that’s pretty much what these columns are.

Although the list went on and on and on and on (you get the picture) I summarised my present anger to be directed at:

  1. My keys. They should be in my bag, but they’re not. They had one job. What a liability.
  1. The Christian holiday that has the power to make me skint, fat, and permanently drunk. Basically Freshers’ Week all over again.
  1. Turning 21. I’ve now reached the age where it’s no longer acceptable to buy a child’s ticket at the cinema, and if you stand outside Claire’s Accessories people ask you if your child’s inside.

Anyway, everyone tells me that as a writer you need a niche, so I spent the evening scratching my head (I hate that saying – no-one scratches their head whilst thinking, unless that thought is “how do I get rid of these nits?”) trying to discover my ‘thing’.  I realised that most great writers of yore had an addiction of some kind. For Robert Louis Stevenson it was cocaine, for Charles Dickens it was opium, and for Jack Kerouac it was speed. So, I decided that perhaps my addiction to mochas would be beneficial after all… (However, later, after pounding my fifth coffee of the evening, I made the heart-breaking discovery that I had finished the last of my hot chocolate, and for a moment, considered robbing next door… So, I think it’s time I switched to decaf.)


“I realised that most great writers of yore had an addiction of some kind”

The rest of my week has been spent angrily deleting the ‘surprise bigots’ from my Facebook. This is a REAL post someone actually wrote on their timeline after the Paris attacks: “If you’re a Muslim and you’re not in tears then fuck off to the Middle East!” I mean seriously?! TERRORISM HAS NO RELIGION. Blaming people who follow Islam for the actions of a select radical few is like blaming all Caucasian Americans for the actions of the KKK… Or to use a lighter example, like blaming all takeaway restaurants for a dodgy kebab you ate on the way back from Ocean.  So now I have the most PC friends list in existence!

“The rest of my week has been spent angrily deleting the ‘surprise bigots’ from my Facebook”

Reality then bitch slapped me across the face after I attended the Media Conference. The biggest message I took away from it was that if you think life’s hard now, it’s about to get a hell of a lot harder if you pursue a career in the media. As I’ve already established, internships are like alien spaceships; you hear about them all the time yet there is only a mere handful of people who’ve actually ‘been there’. So, unpaid work experience making coffee at a local newspaper seems like the only way I’ll gain experience in journalism… Unless I kidnap a foreign correspondent, put on their trench-coat, and pray no-one notices the difference. (So if you’re a 5’3 slightly Asian looking reporter, drop me an email and we can… ‘Meet up’.)

Natalie Mallory

Embedded image: Caleb Roenigk via Flickr. Featured image: Benjamin Watson via Flickr

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