2017 is Drawing to a Close – What I Learned in One Year of Blogging

Not gonna lie to you guys, I can’t believe I’m here, writing this post. 2017 was the year I started Word of Rachel, as a passion project, and I certainly never thought I’d keep it up, let alone take myself off of a Wordpress free plan and go Self Hosted. It’s been one hell of a year. It’s not been a smooth ride, but it has been pretty amazing. My life, however, is not all about blogging. A lot has happened this year. My life is definitely moving forward. And as I try to remember what I’ve learned here, I’m looking back with a smile!

Breaking the Mold – Why I Went to University Late

Going to university late is the best decision I’ve ever made. I know what my end goal is, and so I’m more determined to get to it. I’ve done the 18 year old party thing, so I never make excuses and go on a night out the day before a 9am lecture or a big deadline. Having already worked, I’m more organised and able to work multiple deadlines under pressure. Having lived in my own place, I knew what to look for in accommodation and had no nasty surprises about setting up bills or living costs. I already knew how to cook and do my own laundry. I knew how to exploit the experience to get the most out of it, and further my job prospects at the end.

Why I’m Taking the Beauty out of this Blog!

In recent weeks, I’ve lot my passion for beauty blogging. New products have piled up and not been used, despite me photographing them. I’ve struggled to keep up with trends and have found that most of my beauty posts get seriously low engagement. I have tried to move towards promoting small brands and seriously niching this blog, but I have barely had the drive to do it.

I Ain’t Pageant Material – Why I Gave up on Modelling

I was the youngest model out of about 30 girls and although I never felt intimidated, it was the bitchiest experience ever. The stylists were taken to one area and the models were sent backstage. We were given instructions and then left to chat amongst ourselves. Some of the girls were so lovely, but a sharp divide occurred between the girls off the streets and the professional models. One girl kept saying “this is a mess, back when I did Fashion Week…” to the extent I wanted to ask her if she’d walked the catwalk at Fashion Week. Another one brought up her very expensive boob job with a top surgeon. The pro models formed a tight clique, and loudly began picking apart the other girls.

#Worldwideadventures? There’s more to traveling than that…

When I told my ex-flatmate I’d spent my summers as a child in various French towns, and had only been to Paris once, for less than a day, she shook her head and said “But that’s not really the same, is it?”. Her implication? Traveling only counts if your go a far enough distance, do only touristy things, and post filtered shots on Instagram as you do it, leaving others exclaiming their jealousy and scrambling to get enough money to copy your trip. This is however, the same girl who got angry when I went to Edinburgh a few weeks after her and did do touristy things, rather than do as she did and eat in expensive restaurants and get drunk at expensive cocktail bars. Is it really about gaining culture? Or more about one-upping the next person who dares to travel elsewhere?

Science and Beauty: Can We Really Have the Best of Both Worlds?

Because honestly, who the hell cares that I run a beauty blog whilst studying? I am a marine biologist at heart – it’s my first passion and my favourite thing in the world. I’ve put more effort into getting my degree than I have anything else in the world. Last week, I was stood in a freezing cold rock pool, digging around for periwinkles at 8am for a practical, and yes, I was wearing makeup. The only time I won’t wear makeup is when I’m diving, because what’s the point? If I want to be wearing makeup and have cat-eye flicks on my eyelids whilst I’m doing my degree or in any future career, and I want to write about it for a hobby, is that honestly a problem?