Lessons I’ve learned in my teens 

This blog post was also published on Yoocan, which you can read here

Turning twenty, two months ago and with the new year around the corner, I thought that it would be a good time to reflect on the lessons that I have learnt in my teens.

1. You will be heard

Occasionally, it may feel like you are not being heard. However, don’t feel worried, as there is someone out there willing to listen to you, teachers or family members, so speak up and share your opinions.

2. Get involved in events

Events are a great way to socialise and meet new people, so even if it is just small events try and get involved. Start with the small parts and build up from there, as this can be a good way to expand your knowledge and learn new things.

3. Take your own time

I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t upset that certain things took longer for me to complete, but that’s okay, as over the years I have learnt that it is okay to take your time, making sure that you are doing things in a way that suits you best. Most importantly remember that you will get there.

4. Keep a record of your achievements

There are times that I feel down and think that I can’t achieve much due to my disability. However, when I look back at my achievements, for example taking part in sports events, this makes me feel happy and know that I should not give up. Therefore, use a diary or pictures to look back on your achievements. Letting you know the amazing things that you have accomplished.

5. Support networks

Support networks may take the time to find. Nonetheless, once you have found it don’t let go as they can be extremely beneficial in giving advice and help you when needed. This is where I would like to acknowledge The Advocacy Academy, Access Aspirations and HemiHelp, thank you.

I would also like to take this time to acknowledge Disability History Month UK.

Disabled Student’s Allowance

 

I wrote a guest blog post for the site  My Plus on tips for applying for disabled student allowance after going through the process myself, I wanted other disabled students to be able to get the most from the service.  You can read my guest blog post  here 

 

 

 

 

 

A day in the life of Twitter HQ

 

 

Through my role as an Alumni committee member for the charity Access Aspirations which aims to help students from a disadvantaged background improve their employment opportunities by offering a wide range of support such, as interview preparation and work experience.

I have written and delivered a speech at 10 Downing street on the benefits of work experience and spoken to employers in different sectors to increase work experience opportunities for past and present students on the programme as part of my role. I have also visited Twitter HQ which you can read about bellow.

Through Access Aspirations, I got invited to a networking event held at Twitter HQ, which I thoroughly enjoyed as it was wonderful to see and talk to many professionals within the technology industry. Despite the fact that the jobs are challenging to get, it was refreshing to hear again that there are jobs.

In addition to this. It was truly an inspiration to hear the professionals talk about women getting a job within the industry encouraging us to never let our gender get in the way of achieving, highlighting that there has been as a massive improvement in women getting jobs within this century. As a proud black disabled woman, that was so great to hear.

Whilst at Twitter HQ, I got to take part in a speed-dating style networking event giving us a chance to ask questions and hear their views on the pivotal role technology is playing in jobs today, (which gives jobs a chance to reach more customers), and where technology is heading in the future. In addition to this when I asked the question ‘what is the best way to continue to motivate young people? one of the professionals mentioned that it is important for young people to take ownership and have independence.

From a university student’s perspective, it was great to see the younger students passionate and asking questions in regards to the technology industry. An important note for students on the Access Aspirations programme is to make sure you check your emails in order to be aware of the opportunities.

 

For more on  Access Aspirations visit

 

http://access-workplacements.org/

 

 

A day at The Beaumont Hotel

 

Following my experience at The Beaumont Hotel, I wrote a review below.

Taking a break from uni, I attended a business meeting alongside Amelia Viney with Colin Gottlieb at The Beaumont Hotel. I had an amazing time there, with no tea spilling everywhere (seriously so happy about that). During this meeting, I got to add some new words to my vocabulary such as zeitgeist, whilst listening to an amazing talk on the history of advertising, and politics with Amelia and Colin sharing their views.

One of my favorite parts of the day was explaining the phenomenal work of The Advocacy Academy, as one of the questions I was asked by Colin was why did I apply to The Advocacy Academy.? To which I responded by saying that ‘I wanted to get out of my comfort zone’ (Amelia definitely accomplished her mission on that one.) On a serious note, words can’t describe how happy I am, that I grabbed that opportunity with two hands and had an open mind.

Another one of my favorite parts of the day was listening to Colin and his OMD journey. This gave me more motivation to never give up and keep focused on my dreams, and to use the people who put you down as a driving force to reach your dream, as when you prove them wrong. You can definitely wear that smile on your face.  I want to thank Colin for giving up the time to have a meeting with me and Amelia and being so down to earth. I am so grateful.

Ps: The Beaumont Hotel Chicken pot pie is great, I haven’t been able to eat another pie since.

For more on OMD and The Advocacy Academy visit

http://www.omd.com/uk/global-media-agency

http://www.theadvocacyacademy.com/

 

The mixed feelings of starting university

I was set on approaching University with a positive mindset

As the days of the summer holidays got shorter, that only meant one thing, the start date to university was slowly approaching, although I tried to put it at the back of my mind. To be honest, with you the realisation did not truly hit me until all my stuff was packed (thanks to my mum and sister) and my family were driving me up to my University.

Thoughts, such as what if people don’t like me? I can’t wait to start my course surfaced my mind during the journey, despite the fact that I was set on approaching University with a positive mindset. Nonetheless, I think the weather was agreeing with me as it was sunny or, at least, it looked sunny for London weather.

When I got there my nerves were still kicking in. If it was down to me I would have happily stayed in my room after my family helped me unpack (not to say that I am anti-social or anything, but my comfort zone is basically me sitting in my room listening to music on my laptop). However, my sister was on my case for me to go and talk to my housemates and she won (fist pump emoji). I nervously walked down to greet the rest of my housemates, one housemate had already greeted me when I was unpacking earlier. After a warm greeting agian, I set off with my sister for a walk around my university in order to try and get a little bit familiar with my university again. When I got back it was time for me to say my goodbyes, as my family were leaving me to get settled into my accommodation. I was now ‘all by myself’, yep reality kicking in.