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Turning 21

When I was about eleven, twenty one seemed like such a grown up age. I thought that by the time I reached it, I'd be in the first few years of what was sure to be a glittering career, I'd have met the man of my dreams, and I'd be living in a small but beautifully-furnished flat that I could call my own. Ha! There's something so adorable and yet so infuriating about my naivety back then. I want to go back in time and shake some sense into eleven-year-old Beth.


Here's the reality: I'm living in a freezing rented house that's literally falling apart. I'm single (although I think that's a good thing; I'm happy the way things are and I'm way too busy to throw myself into a relationship). And I'm desperately trying to figure out how the hell I'll be able to work as a writer when I leave university, and actually earn enough from it to be able to afford food and shelter. Last month, it all got so much that I ended up ordering an enormous Dominos and eating it all in a duvet fort I'd made myself, while watching old episodes of Dance Moms (I love you, Chloe Lukasiak!)

So, the reality of twenty one is not as glamorous as I once hoped it would be. But there are perks. I'm in my second year of university, and enjoying the student bubble. Because my degree is creative, Creative & Professional Writing to be precise, I don't have many contact hours. I know some people would hate that, but I like that my time is my own. I've made myself a routine that I try to stick to, and I just want my writing skills to keep improving  I've already learned more than I ever imagined I would.

I've also been making a conscious effort to stay in touch with my friends, which has led to a couple of weekends away in cities I probably wouldn't have visited otherwise. Last year I went to Manchester and spent the whole time eating and drinking cocktails (they're £2 in The Font — I love the Mudslide  or you can splash a bit more cash and visit The Alchemist. So good) and at the end of January I went to Bristol. Beautiful architecture, cheesy dance music, and an excellent food market, not to mention the company of one of my close friends, made for a lovely day and night away. Would I have the freedom to do that if I was working 9-5 at the moment? I doubt it.

And you know, it's okay that everything isn't always okay. Things happen, life happens, and sometimes the best thing to do is just take a break from it all. Everyone needs time in the duvet fort occasionally.

Did you ever have unrealistic expectations about what your life would be like when you were a child? How do you feel about birthdays? Let me know in the comments!

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Beth, 23, South East England. I'm a writer with a love of books, lipstick, and the Oxford comma. I love beauty and I also love animals, so I only buy, use, and feature products from cruelty-free brands. (Seriously though, I am the person who stops to fuss over every dog she sees.) You can also expect posts about vegan/vegetarian food, and plenty of musings about life as a 20-something. Want to get in touch? Email me at

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