Hillary Clinton

 

I love Hillary Clinton. There, I said it. I love Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton and I’m not afraid to show it. Cataloguing everything Hillary has accomplished in her – almost – 69 years on this earth is too big a task for a Merseyside bird like me. So instead I’ll give you a list of all the reasons I think she’s one of the soundest women to ever grace this planet. THIS ONE’S FOR YOU HIL BABE.

First, let’s just address the issue of her rocking those bold pant suits. You go Hillz, you go.

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Now, down to business.

She was the first student ‘commencement speaker‘ at her university when her class graduated way back in 1969. Upon graduating, ‘she worked her way across Alaska, washing dishes in Mount McKinley National Park and sliming salmon in a fish processing cannery in Valdez (which fired her and shut down overnight when she complained about unhealthy conditions).’

This to me shows not only how she doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty, but also how she’s always cared about social issues and about other people. Something further proven by her organisation of a program IN HER TEENS to provide babysitting for migrant workers’ children.

God, I love her.

Maybe I love this next point so much because I LOVE THE CLINTONS UNCONDITIONALLY AND WISH I COULD BE ONE, but… she made the first move with Bill. She told ABC news the following: “He was looking at me, and I was looking at him. And I finally thought this was ridiculous, because every time I saw him on campus I just couldn’t take my eyes off of him, and he was always watching me. So I put my books down, I walked out, and I said, ‘You know, if you’re going to keep looking at me, and I’m going to keep looking back, we should know each other. I’m Hillary Rodham.’”

She’s so cool.

On the other end of this, we of course have the Lewinsky scandal. Which she rode out with grace and dignity. You can sit there all day and tell me that standing by her man makes her a hypocrite for whatever reasoning you’ve got, but I truly believe that that is the sort of tenacity that makes her great.

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She was an amazing First Lady of both Arkansas and the United State. During Bill’s tenure as Governor of Arkansas she co-founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, chaired the Arkansas Educational Standards Committee and served on the boards of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Legal Services and the Children’s Defense Fund.

I hear you asking ‘could she be any cooler?’ Yes, actually, because she believed in America having universal healthcare like 20 years before it was cool. Oh, by the way, a few years ago she was pictured having some top quality bants in Colombia. And as if she wasn’t cool enough, she also won a Grammy in 1997. YES, A GRAMMY. She won it for Best Spoken Word Album  for the audio version of “It Takes A Village”

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One of the main reasons I love Hillary, and why I have a framed photo of her on my desk,   is her incredible championing of women. From a young age, she aspired beyond the restraints of gender roles and has been resilient ever since. In fact, when she was just a little girl, she wrote to NASA to inquire into how she could go about becoming an astronaut. I read about this somewhere, and it turns out that they responded saying that they didn’t allow women on their programme. Perhaps this is where the Hillary Clinton we know and love today was born.

Did you know that she’s the 2nd most powerful woman and 16th most powerful person in the world (according to Forbes), and she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall Of Fame in 2005?

Did you know that she was the first woman elected to the Senate representing New York and also the first former First Lady to hold elected office?

Did you know that  in 2008 when she first ran for the presidency she was the first woman to win a presidential primary?

Did you know that she was the only woman on the Nixon impeachment legal team AND she was the first female partner at her law firm in Arkansas from 1977 to 1993?

Did you know that she has been Gallup’s most admired woman in America sixteen times? SIXTEEN TIMES.

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When at Yale Law School, she was one of 27 women in a class of 235. And do you know what her reasoning behind choosing Yale over Harvard was? She was at a cocktail party at Harvard…

“One of my friends said, ‘Professor So-and-So, this is Hillary Rodham, she’s trying to decide between us and our nearest competitor,’” Mrs. Clinton said. “And he looked down at me and he said, ‘Well, first, we don’t have a nearest competitor. And secondly, we don’t need any more women.”

Hillary (yes, we’re on a first name basis) understands just how prejudiced society is towards women – even in this day and age. She has fought tooth and nail to get where she is today and by God, that woman deserves it. She is not afraid to stand up for women and for what is right. She even calls out reporters for asking sexist questions; when one reporter asked her about her choice in fashion designers, she responded with the question “would you ever ask a man that question?”

hillary clinton

 

SHE IS AMAZING.

The thing you have to love about Hillary – regardless of politics – is her unwillingness to sit on the sidelines. As First Lady she wasn’t afraid to participate in politics, with the proposal of her health plan. She kept working while her husband was the governor of Arkansas (she knows her business stuff too, might I add, with a six year tenure as a director of Wal-Mart). And when her First Lady days were over, she ran for the Senate… AND WON.

On top this this, she is resilient. Nothing keeps her down. She might have lost her bid for the Democratic nomination in 2008, but she still became Secretary of State, and is now running for the nomination and presidency again. She may well be the first woman President of the United States.

Ultimately, Hillary Clinton is one of my heroes. Not only does she make America a better place, she makes the world a better place – especially for women. She has made waves all over the world, but especially here in the UK with me. Hillary, thank you for inspiring me.

 

Being Northern at a Southern University

Before you say that Uni of Warwick is in the West Midlands: I am very aware of this, however, IT’S STILL VERY BLOODY SOUTHERN TO ME.

Moving to university can be a big upheaval, and those of you who are going to cross the north-south divide are going to witness some very real culture shocks. Never fear though, for Chloe is here! Here is a brief list of WEIRD differences in the south to prepare you:

1. The Price of a Pint

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Time to say goodbye to two quid pints of Carling and Carlsberg. Say hello to £3.50 and up. This photo on the left is my look of outrage and disgust upon hearing that a round of drinks for four of us was 20 quid.

Oh, and you can kiss goodbye to £1 shots too. I miss you, Black Rabbit. I miss you, Concert Square. I MISS YOU LIVERPOOL.

My tip: pre-drinking is your best mate on a night out. Can’t beat a cheapo bottle of wine.

 

2. Your accent is stronger than you think.jamie_carragher_2563483b

Were you called posh in school? Did you think you had an all right voice? An RP accent? WELL, YOU’RE WRONG. Once you get to uni, you’ll soon know the pain of having your posh southern mates laugh at you. I mean, for god’s sake, I’m from the Wirral – not Liverpool – and when I rang the campus hairdressers to book an appointment, they actually asked me if I was the female Jamie Carragher. Then again, a Geordie once asked me if my accent was Dutch… It’s almost as if you drop a couple of vowels and suddenly you’re speaking a foreign language.

My hint: embrace it. Take the mick out of yourself. Besides, your accent may unintentionally get you some free drinks. (Yes, this happens).

3. “Where are you from?”

Oh, the dreaded question. Southern understanding of northern geography is not up to scratch. You can say ‘up north’ and they’ll ask whereabouts. Never try. NEVER. Try explaining to a Central Londoner where Birkenhead is. Let me ask you this, reader, do you know where Birkenhead is? SHOULD I STOP WRITING? I’M NOT FROM LIVERPOOL. STOP TELLING ME I’M FROM LIVERPOOL. I KNOW WHERE I’M FROM.

My hint: Basically, just send them to your general area or county. That’s why I say ‘Merseyside’.

4. Curry and gravy

Southerners think it’s weird that we have gravy on chips. They think it’s weird that we have curry on chips. They think it’s weird that we have cheesy chips smothered in mayo. It’s not weird. THEY’RE WEIRD. Chips and gravy is a delicacy and you can’t tell me otherwise. Oh, and Greggs serves some of the finest cuisine known to mankind.

My hint: NEVER STOP LOVING CHIPS N GRAVY OR CHIPS N CURRY.

5. Weather

The weather is a bit less gloomy down here, in all honesty. You know how us northerners are brave when it comes to weather because we’re so used to it? Southerners, not so much. They fight to the death to keep their umbrellas up in gale force winds. They wear jackets on nights out. If you aren’t warm, you haven’t had enough to drink. UP YOUR GAME, SOUTHERNERS.

My hint: go out there and FLAUNT THAT NORTHERN SPIRIT. (And also take advantage of the extra sun while you’re down south).

 

6. Slang

This is similar to my point on accents, but southerners just don’t get our slang. Just how we don’t get theirs. The only difference is that we understand theirs, we just don’t understand why they use the phrases they do. Here’s a list of common phrases/words from back home that I taught my flatmates:

  • antwacky (old)
  • arlarse (harsh)
  • bevvy/bevvied (bit obvious, don’t you think?)
  • scran (food)
  • nonce (this means paedophile, but we mostly use it ‘for bants’)
  • trabs (shoes)
  • bins (glasses)
  • skint/brassic (poor)

My hint: compare slang/phrases with your southern friends. Maybe you’ll laugh, maybe you’ll end up arguing about whether you call it a ‘batch’ or not (you know what I’m talking about, fellow Wirralians).

The Stigmatisation of Mental Health and Steps Towards Mental Well-being

“When someone is going through a storm, your silent presence is more powerful than a million empty words.” – Thema Davis

Mental Health. What do those two words mean to you? They hold different connotations for everyone. But what I want to talk about today is the stigmatisation of mental health and some steps towards mental well-being.

1 in 10 young people are affected by mental health problems.

1 in 4 people will suffer with mental health problems at some point in their lifetime.

So why don’t we talk about it more?

We all have mental health, just like we have physical health, and just as our bodies can become unwell, so can our minds. Just because you don’t have a cast or a plaster, that doesn’t mean that you’re well. However, there is still a ridiculously large stigma surrounding mental health; despite changing attitudes towards sexuality, ethnicity and other issues, attitudes towards mental health are still very poor.

When I was in Sixth Form, I took part in the ‘Time to Change’ course offered by CAMHS. It was on this course that I learned just how stigmatised mental health is (take a look for yourself here – http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/research-reports-publications/public-attitudes-mental-illness). What worries me – and I can vouch for this as someone who has struggled with their mental health over the years – is that if you share how you feel, you are often ridiculed by those around you. And that can hurt. Stigma is very damaging when it comes to school, work, relationships and staying healthy.

Why should stigma affect those things, you ask? Not only does it isolate people struggling with their mental health because they fear ridicule upon speaking up about their problems, it prevents them from seeking help which in turn impacts on their everyday lives. It’s the domino effect. If you don’t have a healthy mind, you don’t have a healthy body.

If someone comes to you with a problem, don’t laugh. Don’t ridicule them. Don’t shrug it off. Make a cuppa, sit down, listen and offer your help or advice. You could help someone just by showing that you care. If I hadn’t had understanding friends when I first started struggling, and if I didn’t have understanding friends now, who knows where I could be? Breaking the stigma surrounding mental health is a key step in improving mental health in this country.

STAND UP FOR MENTAL HEALTH AND BREAK THE STIGMA – MAKE THE PLEDGE

Some Steps Towards Mental Well-being: What You Can Do For You!

  1. Take some time out of your day for you. Find a new hobby. Paint, draw, read, go cycling or running. Even find a new Netflix show you like. Do something for you.
  2. BUT know your limits, triggers and threshold. Sometimes you need to slow down and become self aware. Know when you are mentally exhausted and it’s time to relax.
  3. Find your calming/coping mechanism. It could be a song, a book, a film, a TV show. It could be anything.
  4. Share without conviction. Know that sharing your problems with someone is not selfish or burdening.
  5. Trust others. Have faith in someone that isn’t you. It will take the pressure off of you and you will have someone to confide in, rather than sit around overthinking and letting your thoughts get the better of you.
  6. Try not to get lost in your thoughts. Believe me, I know that it’s easier said than done, but getting trapped in thoughts about the past or thoughts about the future can cause great anxieties. Go to a happy place in your mind instead.
  7. Name what you are feeling. A friend of mine finds it helpful to name whatever she is feeling. “Hello anxiety, please go away.”, “Oh, here’s the worry that I’m going to fail this exam.”
  8. Don’t let your illness define you. You have a name, a personality, a whole life of history and a whole life to come. Try not to lose sight of who you are.

If you know someone who struggles with their mental health, please be kind. Please be considerate. Please be understanding.

If you are struggling with your mental health, please be kind to yourself. Never forget that your illness does not define you; your strength, courage and resilience defines you. You are not fighting a losing battle. You can and will win. Don’t give up.

Samaritans: 116 123 (24/7 service)

Depression Alliance

Childline: 0800 1111

Students Against Depression

“Listen to the people who love you. Believe that they are worth living for even when you don’t believe it. Seek out the memories depression takes away and project them into the future. Be brave; be strong; take your pills. Exercise because it’s good for you even if every step weighs a thousand pounds. Eat when food itself disgusts you. Reason with yourself when you have lost your reason.” – Andrew Soloman

Is studying History all that important?

I’m often asked by friends and relatives whether studying history is really all that important. ‘The past is the past, right?’, they’ll ask. My answer is absolutely not. Shakespeare’s Antonio in his play The Tempest said ‘what’s past is prologue.’ Essentially, the past is a preface to the future. History divulges to us not only how we have developed, but how we must move forward. While one may think I’m biased on the matter of history’s importance as a history student, I’m here to tell you why history is – and always will be – important.

  1. We can understand society.

All people and societies are history with their own personal histories. In studying history, you are studying the human condition. We are only where we are today because of our ancestors. It is important that we understand how our society came to be, and how we can further develop.

  1. We can understand change

History is basically one huge continuous documentation of our past: the successes and the follies. We can examine a chain of events and pin point where everything went wrong (or right). Take the First World War as an example. Imperialist ambitions and tensions were rife, but what sparked this conflict was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Why was it this event that triggered total war? It causes one to consider the nature of change and how one good or bad deed could essentially change the course of history.

  1. We are provided with a sense of identity.

There has been a recent surge in what is known as ‘identity politics’, and this shift itself shows us just how important history is. Our history grounds us in our roots. National, ethnic and cultural identity are important to many people and studying those identities – tracing your ancestry – can help you feel as though you belong as you have a better understanding of where you come from and, if you choose to embrace your identity, then a sense of belonging comes along too with those who share your philosophies and traditions.

  1. We can be inspired.

History can inspire us. It can inspire us to learn more about our past, or another culture’s past. It can be meaningful to a plethora of people in a plethora of ways. History can also inspire us to do some good in the world. In understanding how social standards or laws came to be, the effects they’ve had on people and how painstakingly hard people fought for them, we can tackle ongoing and current reform that we want. Knowledge is power.

  1. We can learn the warning signs.

As the saying goes, history repeats itself. However, by understanding the human nature and politics behind historical events, we are able to draw parallels between past and present and do whatever we can to prevent the previous bad event occurring again. I hate to whip out the old Hitler argument here as I firmly believe that if you resort to calling someone ‘Hitler’ you have just lost your argument and made your argument irrelevant, however, we can now detect public figures who draw parallels to him and trace the rise to power etc, leaving us with the power – not those who exploit circumstances to rise to power.

  1. We can think independently.

In a world where mass media affects our everyday lives, pushing their individual agendas onto the unsuspecting public, history provides us with the opportunity to think independently about things. Take the Middle East as an example. Do you ever read anything positive in the Daily Mail – for example – about the Middle East? Iraq, Syria etc is nothing but slandered by the press, but we as historians know better than to start name calling and throwing accusations. We know their history and are therefore more empathetic towards issues like the refugee crisis.

History opens the doors of perception. Use your knowledge to develop and do good in the world. And remember:

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