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I’ve Graduated!!

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Yesterday was magical!

Grad

Photography credit: Sarah Warsaw

It is a firm belief of mine that you have to earn your cap and gown – through hard work, long hours, and questionable cooking as is customary of the university experience.  After all, it is the mark of the end of your academic education and your achievement!  So now, I can finally say that I DID IT!

“…Remain humble, be passionate, and attribute importance to what you do, not what you are.”

– Honorary Graduate, Judge Cuno Jakob Tarfusser of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

 

 

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Special Agent Academy

A month ago, in the middle of the last couple of weeks of my degree and faced with looming deadlines and the stress of writing ten thousand words on emojis (if you can believe it), the pressure of an added presence made things worse; what next?

 

It’s textbook, of course; experienced by many at the end of every era.  I’ve heard it said that after losing the structure of at least three years at university people can sink to a low point, and in those last few weeks I truly understood why.  It seemed that everywhere you turned other people had further education, graduate schemes and jobs lined up to walk in to in the coming months.  Honestly, it is disheartening.

 

However, like so many times beforehand, things tend to work themselves out.  I received to opportunity to apply for an intensive, hands-on eight-week creative and digital marketing course called Agent Academy, through the company Agent Marketing in Liverpool.

The company itself, Agent Marketing, regularly makes news for its fantastic innovative policies, such as; six-hour days; weekly yoga; and enforced ‘real breaks’ away from desks and phones.  On Thursday night, the Director, Paul Corcoran, won The Guardian’s Sustainable Business ‘Leader of the Year’! Read more here. 

Featured in The Guardian


Luckily, I was one of ten talented individuals selected to start at the Academy!

Thrown in at the deep end, we received our marketing challenge in partnership with the university, and started initial brainstorming.

 

Dream Team at Agent Academy

Two weeks down the line, each day is bringing new information, concepts to consider, and inspirational talks with interesting and successful entrepreneurial people.  Alex Worsley spoke about uncovering our passions from our eleven-year-old selves, and mastering our psychology; which, as something I strive to achieve, was right up my street.  Architects Martin Shutt and Anthony Fogg from Unit3 Design Studio gave insight into starting up their own business and marketing the range of services they provide.  Carl Wong from Living Lens told us how he cherry-picked aspects of technological services in order to provide a solution to issues faced by market research video analysts, by turning spoken recorded language in to text searchable by keywords!

 

If this goes well, perhaps I could carve a career applying my psychological knowledge to behaviour influencing marketing campaigns… ahh hopes and dreams.


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SURPRISE

Guess who’s back from an unintentionally long hiatus!!! My hotly anticipated return to blogging has arrived!!

After months of working long hours on all my final pieces of university work, including my dissertation, today is my deadline for all my work. 

…so uni has gone scarily fast…

Here’s a few pictures of what I’ve been up to… 

Trip to Chirk Castle

Easter cake 🙂

My proud face handing in my dissertation!!


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National Day Without Stigma 2015

Today is National Day Without Stigma (NDWS)
This post is inspired by my best friend, Rebecca, who for the past few years has been struggling with depression and anxiety. Read about her squashing stigmas and speaking up here!

Rebecca’s blog

A stigma is defined as:

A mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality or person. 

Stigma around mental health issues has always been in society, from the days when even those with Alzheimer’s were locked into asylums for insanity. 
Active Minds have started the NDWS in order to eliminate the shame surrounding mental health, and to promote understanding, awareness and support. 

Active Minds

There’s 3 ways to help promote today:
1. Watch your language.  We’re all guilty of it, honestly I know I am. But be mindful of saying things like “she’s crazy” or “I’m so depressed.” Chances are it’s not true, and it just dangerous a sit attached this negativity to those with real mental health concerns. People are not defined by their mental health issues.  
2. Chalk your support.  Get onto that social media, or slip it into IRL conversation: #ReasonsISpeak and get people talking.  
 

find and follow me on twitter

 

3. Reach out! If you or someone you know is struggling, getting the right help is so important. Speak up and reach out! 
 

Hello. My name is Rachel, and I’m a Stigma Fighter

 

Stigma is shame. Shame causes silence. Silence hurts us all.


The NHS provide helpline numbers and more information. Just follow this link. 


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Red My Lips

Ladies (and gentlemen), it’s time to harness your inner Taylor Swift and rock that red lip, classic look.  Dig out your faithful colour pocket rocket or even invest in the colour you’ve always shied away from.  April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Trigger warning: This post discusses sexual assault.

Red My Lips logo

Red My Lips logo

 

 Red My Lips is an international, nonprofit campaign launched in 2012 by social justice activist Danielle Tansino.  After her own assault, Tansino was told that “Jurors don’t like girls that drink.”  Red My Lips was born from rage for justice, to raise awareness of sexual violence and to speak out against victim blaming by wearing red lipstick throughout the month of April.

The mission statement is simple;

“To transform our culture of sexual violence by educating, inspiring, and mobilizing a global community to red their lips, raise their voices, and create real change.”

Victim blaming is the society created and maintained myth that the victims of sexual violence and rape are to blame for their victimisation. Instead of teaching sons and daughters to not sexually assault someone, physically or verbally, male or female, blame is misplaced on the victim. They were supposedly ‘asking for it’ by wearing ‘inappropriate’ clothing, or walking alone at night. 

 This sickens me.

“We frequently misunderstand rape and sexual assault as something provoked by uncontrollable sexual attraction or desire…instead of what it is: an act of domination, entitlement, and violence.”

Society needs to recognise that the perpetrators of sexual violence are the only ones to blame.  It is their decision to ‘overpower and violate the body and spirit of another’. Only then can the worldwide pandemic be tackled. 

You can help eradicate victim blaming and the myth of sexual violence. Donate here, and red your lips to raise awareness this April.  

Red lipstick was chosen as the ‘warpaint’ of choice for its visibility and historical links with sexuality and attraction, making it the perfect weapon to challenge myths with.  I know I feel empowered wearing red lipstick.  It is a fun and creative way to raise awareness for a great cause (think ASL Ice Bucket Challenges from last summer)!      

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.  -MLK

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. -MLK

  

If you’re interested, my colour of choice is L’Oreal’s Color Riche Julianne’s Pure Red.

  

 

Red My Lips’ WebsiteTwitter, Instagram and Facebook

All quotes are from their website. 

Further information here.     

Thank you for reading! – Rachel


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Inspiration

Inspiration 

inspiration
ɪnspɪˈreɪʃ(ə)n/
noun
  1. the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

Last week, I attended an inspirational lecture by Doctor Tanya Byron; the Chancellor or my University and clinical psychologist. She spoke so passionately and animatedly about her work, going off in great detailed tangents but always returning to her original point and captivating her audience. 

In short, she is precisely who aspire to be in thirty years!

The fickle thing about inspiration is that it can take so many variable forms. From other people and their life stories, to simply great ideas shared through social media; Pinterest is a great go-to for inspiration for everything from deep thought to hair styles. 

Yet it is always best to take your sense of inspiration from others and apply it to yourself. 

Inspired by a number of Instagram people I follow and their get-fit, couch-to-5k journeys, two months ago I signed up to a 5km race around my local village. 

I wouldn’t call myself a couch potato. More of a fair weather jogger and occasional gym user when the whim arose. But after training myself properly for two months; with a mix of road running and the gym every other day I build up my stamina and physique.

On Sunday I completed my 5km race with a Personal Best time of 34:47!

My point is this; I took my inspiration and applied it to myself. With determination and will power you can achieve whatever you want. 

It’s totally fine if what you want that day is to simply get dressed, because I know there are days when that takes a great deal of determination and will power too. Heck, every morning!

A more long term aspiration would be my career in psychology, but we will see…

Walt Disney puts it more succinctly: “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

Cheers