September, For Me
- 👩🏻💻 I completed two tech placements this month – one with TechDept and one with Appt.
- 🗣 I took part in my first ever podcast during my placement at Appt.
- ⚡ I attended my first hackathon-focused conference, HackCon EU in Birmingham for a weekend!
- 💻 With a push from Hiro, I started #100DaysofCode. I have been slacking recently because of University work and other priorities but I hope to continue every few days at least!
- 💪🏼 I completed Grace Fit Guide Weeks 1 – 8 and started Guide 2 Weeks 9 – 16!
- 🏋🏻♀️ I finally met up with Cherry and although we didn’t work out together, we convinced a personal trainer at the gym to take cute photos of us. 😂 I first saw Cherry at the gym when I started going regularly, I then found her on Instagram and since then we’ve been quite close since! I can confirm she’s strong, #bodygoals and the most motivating gal ever.
- ✏ I wrote a collab post on ScienceBrainwaves with Elysium Health
- 🎤 I’m working on my first talk at a conference in November where I’ll be talking about communicating through blogging and building an online presence.
- 📹 You asked us questioned, we answered them. #AskPawDah happened.
- 💖 Chynna came up to visit Sheffield with her sister for an Open Day. Hamdah and I were kickass tour guides (I think)
- 👭 Enyiiee and I met up! That’s another blogger meet-up this year! We went to Edale and had awesome food. She motivated me to create a vlog during Freshers Week which you can watch here.
- 👩🏻💼Caught up with some of my ex-colleagues from my placement!
- 💼 I started my part-time job as an Enterprise Intern for the next academic year!
- 💙 I went to the Activites Fair and had a great time talking about MedTech (the society I’m part of), hackathons, coding (with Code First: Girls) as well as welcoming with freshers to Sheffield!
- 🎓 I’m a student again with nine months left until I finish and graduate! Biomedical Sciences – come at me!!
- I got my dissertation title and it’s not that bad: “What are the achievements and remaining challenges associated with early detection of cancer?”
- I’m enjoying my module on Membrane Receptors a lot 🤓
— Matt Burman @ 🇬🇧 (@_mattburman) September 21, 2017
3 things I’m happy about
1) Positive reminders
The past month has been a challenging one.
My anxiety flared up, and I suffered from some horrible panic attacks. Reasons for feeling like this never seem to be one thing, but I’ve realised that it has all come down to my constant worry of the next academic year. I’ve returned to the University as a student; I miss working full time and feeling like I’m making an impact and providing real value to someone and myself (in contrast to being in a lecture and studying.) I think this in addition to the pressure I’ve given myself in performing well (actually, better than “well“) in other aspects of my life including my part-time job, student groups I’m part of, personal projects and goals. Will I have time to workout? Will I have a chance to blog every week? How do I make time for a social life too? Will I have time??
After meeting up with a former colleague, she advised me to write down my worries as they crop up and then after calming down, look back at them. I tried this a few times and realised that some of my worries were silly. I became mindful of the patterns of negative thoughts, accepted that it was happening and slowly replaced them with how Pauline would usually act. For instance:
Worried about time and workload from different things? OK, breathe. Organise yourself. What’s the most important? You are in complete control of YOUR own time.
I made a schedule. I re-organised my messy todo list. I also told myself that it’s okay if I miss a week of blogging, it’s okay if I miss a workout, it’s okay if I need to walk away from all my work and noise to focus on myself – whether that’s blogging, working out or going out to the Peak District. Stopping the hustle for a bit is OKAY. It’s OKAY if I take a break towards a goal.
Once I started practising this, I felt so much better. Oh, and of course, meditation has been amazing during these times.
Not to mention the supportive circle I have around me. Sometimes I’m overwhelmed by the patience shown by my family, friends and boyfriend when I’m not at my best health. Matt reminded me that I’m loved no matter what state my mental health is at because it isn’t what defines me.
2) Kicking imposter syndrome
Completing two tech placements this month has given me a rich amount of experience working in development. I’m super thankful for the time and effort both organisations dedicated to giving me the chance to learn and use my skills in the real world.
Another big shoutout to the wonderful Joe who gave me the opportunity to go to HackCon EU this year and Matt for pushing me to go despite being worried that “I wouldn’t fit in”. I met so many great people from around the world, learnt so much about the hackathon scene which I am excited to apply to organising HackMed in Spring next year.
These opportunities have helped kick my imposter syndrome out of my system (for now)
3) Inspiring others
- School friends who have told me that they’ve started to learn how to code – you go gals!
- My friend’s colleague who said that I “write and share inspiring stuff on the internet.” 💖
- Some people at HackCon EU who mentioned that they read my blog frequently and like my writing style 😊
- People at University who I’ve been interacting with online mostly (because of placement year) telling me that they read my blog and subscribe to the emails! 😱
- The talk invitation from university to a conference; giving me a chance to present my favourite hobby to attendees.
- A shoutout from a University nomination!
September in photos
HAIM’s whole album is 🔥 but my favourite has to be this one:
Watch the video here too!
- Snapseed – another photo editor but I primarily use this for discolouration in some pictures! Especially white photos.
- Kirakira+ – Hamdah showed me this, it’s just an app that adds sparkles everywhere. Is there any point? YES. YOU CAN BE EXTRA AND SPARKLY OK?
- Stay on top of University work!
- Always prioritise your health, take a break if you need it, don’t overdo it. 💖
- Code First: Girls community course starts again for A/W!
- Attending HackSheffield 😊
- Monster Confidence Conference
Quote of the month
I saw this on Instagram and immediately resonated with me. It reminded me of this hater question left on #AskPawDah.
I have a blog post coming up on the subject of comparing yourself to others online and jealousy; it was a common topic that cropped up recently. Keep an eye out! But overall, please remember:
“Another woman’s beauty is not the absence of your own.”
… it’s not just beauty of course, but success and achievements. Live your life, focus on yourself, you should only be competing with that pretty lil’ reflection. 💕