My Degree Results Are In!

Exciting news! I found out I’ll be graduating university with a high First Class degree in computer science. I’m so happy with myself I could scream!

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I’m so proud of myself!

Four very hard, very demanding and very tearful years of university have come to an end and at least I have something incredible to show for it. I may no longer want to pursue this industry but there’s no doubt that, if I ever wanted to find a place back into computing, I’d be welcome with this qualification.

Before the release of my results, I was actually pretty down about graduating. I don’t want to walk onto stage in front of hundreds of people – I feel sick just thinking about it. There’s so many outdated, old-fashioned rules that have to be followed during a graduation ceremony too, so it’s really not my cup of tea. But, now I have my results, it feels like it can be an actual celebration. A goodbye to two of the best and two of the worst years of my life. University has been an absolute rollercoaster of emotions!

During this time, me and Matthew built our little family together. We wouldn’t have our home if we didn’t decide to study at The University of Hull. We wouldn’t have our cats. Our life is wonderful and, despite the ups and downs we faced at university, coming home together was always happy.

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Have you had any good news lately?

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You can read my previous post here.

 

Doubts About The Future

I thought I had my career figured out.

Although a Computer Science degree does leave my options pretty wide open in a field that I absolutely love, I was sure that writing code for a living was my future and my passion. I’m sure it still is, somewhere deep down, because when you put me in front of a computer and let me code for fun I’m in my element. There’s a difference, though, between that and between doing it because you have to pay your bills. For me, being forced to do something (whether that’s for a job, coursework, or because you’re faking interest) sucks the passion out of it. This has happened to me before, as I’m sure it has to most people, and I’m sure I’ll get over it, but there has always been other things that I love more… I was too anxious and too practical to believe I’d be able to make a living from them.

It’s always something creative, too. My life-long passion for creativity and my need to do everything to the best of my ability work incredibly well together. It’s like I was born to be creative, in one way or another. I could go on for hours about all the different ideas I’ve had to allow me to be creative for a living, but they never happened so I won’t bore you.

The best example of this would be my photography. I feel naked without my cameras. If I knew I’d succeed, making enough to money to live as happily as we do right now, I would drop everything for my chance. It’s a dream, and it’s one I’m not sure I’ll ever have the guts to follow. I’ve always been obsessed with taking photographs, documenting my memories, meticulously organising and storing them away for almost a decade, but it’s not just about memories now and photography is simply part of me.

Related: How I Organise My Digital Photos

But hey, you gotta pay the bills.

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

5 Brilliant Apps Guaranteed To Boost Productivity

I recently bought a diary to help me balance my work life, home life and blog life a bit easier, knowing that words on paper would burn into my memory a lot more than keeping digital notes. My insanely over-the-top love for stationary also played a huge part in this decision, because now I can colour code all entries in the diary, and that’s just

s u p e r.

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Even though this diary will be my new best friend, I began to realise potential that digital organisation has to offer when it comes to productivity – especially for me. My diary (sadly) can’t fulfil everything I need it to, so I’ll have to fill my boots elsewhere.

Mobile phone apps are, like it or not, a big part of daily life for a lot of people. They’re not just used for posting pictures of your lunch or sharing selfies on Instagram. We have the ability to carry around our work in our pockets. We can ask our little digital friends to remind us of dates, events and even when nearing particular shops. They’re useful, without a doubt.

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Here are five widely available apps that are sure to boost your day to day productivity, helping you can get more done.

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Outlook:

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Outlook is primarily known for email, but did you know it offers some pretty powerful online calendar tools too? If your day-to-day life includes sorting, reading and organising emails alongside following a busy schedule, then Outlook is your new friend.

Wunderlist:

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I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that I’m completely list crazy. I think I mention it in every other blog post… Really though, lists are brilliant and Wunderlist (as you can tell for the name) is the queen of list apps. On top of lists, you can also set yourself reminders that will notify you when you are overdue etc.

It’s absolutely perfect for student life, speaking from experience, when you have deadlines around every corner.

Spotify:

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I’m sure this isn’t something specific to me, but I work like a dream when I’m listening to classical music. Music blocks out the irritations of the office, the noisy neighbours or the messy web of thoughts that won’t shut up. I think it’s completely necessary for productivity.

Pocket:

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Pocket allows you to save articles and videos for later, which gives you absolutely no reason to procrastinate at work, telling yourself “only one more video”.

CamScanner:

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I found CamScanner in my first year of university during a programming module. I needed to explain an algorithm I was using and drawing it seemed sensible. This was a pain to do on a computer – I couldn’t add enough detail. So, I drew it instead, but was then I was stuck with a digital report and paper diagram…

I needed a mobile scanner, and this is what I found. Absolute perfection. It works like a dream. I also used this app to digitalise my signature for online forms and submissions, which is a huge time saver.

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Have you used any of these apps before? If not, I hope you’ve found this useful!

-Morgan

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Mince Pies and Pokémon

With today being my last day of work before Christmas, and with the company preparing to shut down for Christmas break, today was a strange and speedy day.

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I was, of course, bursting at the seams with excitement and relief that this was my final day for a whole two weeks! I’m definitely in need of a good sleep, and I just knew that the Christmas ‘feel’ would arrive once work was out of the way. I just kept counting down the hours…

“In 8/7/6/5/4/3/2/1 hours time, I’ll be on my Christmas holiday and then it’s officially Christmas” -Me, every single hour, all day.

Everybody else in the office didn’t book next week of work and will still be working until the 23rd, but not me! I doubt my little body and mind could have managed. You know when you’re just ready for a break?

I could feel my blood fizzing with anticipation. There wasn’t any work for me to complete, apart from my own personal, scholarship project. That, though, can be done any time, anywhere so after an hour or so adding a few more features to the program, I just left it for the day.

Instead, the whole office joined together in a festive flurry of Christmas jumpers, music, food and several games of Pokémon (the trading card game, of course)… yep, us Computer Science folk are definitely living up to the reputation right now.

 

So what am I so excited about?

Over the Christmas holiday, I will be spending every waking second I can in the company of my ridiculously wonderful, handsome and caring Matt. We’ll be spending time with family, eating food, lots of drink, blowing the dust of my camera and taking it for a spin, going to museums and parks and playing games. Everything we can’t do whilst we’re ‘adulting’ in the every day 9-5 fiasco people like to call life. And I’m so, so excited.

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Are you breaking off for Christmas this year, or are you working over the holidays? 

Merry Christmas, lovelies! 

-Morgan

 

 

Making Assumptions

“And if you insist on continuing to make assumptions about my character, I’ll advise you only this: assume you will always be wrong.”
Tahereh Mafi

Many people make assumptions all the time, and it’s crap. We’re taught early in our lives “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”, yet so many people take no notice. Your age, your hair colour, your gender, your race, your home town, your choice of clothing, your favorite colour… None of that should matter. If you’re into pink dresses and Harry Potter pyjamas, fine. If you enjoy romantic comedies and Star Wars, fine. If you like both books and movies, fine. You like new music, classical music and country music, fine. It’s absolutely nobody’s business, and nobody should make the assumption that just because you like this you’re unable to like that. I’m a very emotional person, and when people presume things about me, it really does hurt my feelings.

Today at work, somebody was making absolutely ridiculous assumptions that anybody who plays the Sims (the super addictive, super fun simulation game), is the type of person who “uses Internet Explorer” and is the type of person who “wouldn’t know how to install a different browser”. They may not seem offensive, but they’re regularly used as a derogative meme in computing, and to openly assume a fan of a particular game has little computing knowledge is stupid and completely immature.

The day before this I was chatting to a colleague about a game I was currently playing at home, which was Spyro the Dragon, my lovely attempt to throwback to my awesome childhood. An hour or so later, he made a belittling comment to someone else “wow, I can’t believe she would like this game. She plays Spyro” as if my current nostalgic game play has absolutely anything to do with my regular choice of game… Again, it makes absolutely no difference and people shouldn’t make such obscure assumptions.

On Tuesday I went to a graduate fair, hoping to speak to some companies about graduate software development jobs next year. Instead, I was completely ignored by all the male representatives as they spoke happily to the guys I attended the event with. The only representative who  spoke to me was a lady who questioned whether or not I was finding it hard being a woman in a male-dominated industry.

Hmm

I’ve had this my entire life and it’s not getting any easier to deal with. I have a huge variety of hobbies, and people seem to be confused on how I can like Doctor Who and pretty dresses and nerdy t-shirts and games and lipstick all at the same time. Then, tiny, 5’3″, girly, geeky Morgan decides to head down the brilliant path of computer science, and the assumptions continue. “Girls can’t code” – shut your sexist mouth, and leave.

My point is, when you make assumptions about people especially to their face, chances are you are going to hurt their feelings.

-Morgan

“When I Grow Up…”

When you’re growing up, adults always ask you “what do you want to be when you grow up?” as if at 4 or 5 years old we have any clue at all. You want to be unicorns or dragons or wizards or mermaids – at that age the importance isn’t quite understood, but it’s a question that continues all the way into higher education. I’ve only recently finally managed to answer the question myself.

Throughout my life, I’ve been adamant that I will be this or will be that, but in fact, my life took a huge turn (for the better, thankfully) and I ended up on the path to computer science and software engineering. I’m glad, of course, that I’m now settled with the idea that this is what my future holds, but I’ve had so many aspirations and dreams that it’s hard not to look back on them fondly.

When I Grow Up

“When I grow up” I wanted to be a:

  • Vet: Most animal lovers adore the idea of looking after animals all day, especially as a child. I imagined people bringing their cats and dogs in with little coughs, I’d give them medicine and play with them, and then they’re go home. Like a game. When you’re a child, the reality of being a vet hasn’t yet ruined the dream for you. It’s not all baby bunnies and kittens, sadly. This dream left me when I understood that animals died there (sob), and I’m a little squeamish of other’s blood.
  • Teacher: From primary school all the way up until the last year of college, I was sure I wanted to teach. I’ve wanted to teach lots of subjects, but always magnetised back to teaching English. I changed my mind ultra last minute when I choose the course I wanted to study at university. It was a coin throw between English (be a teacher) and Computer Science (be anything I want, or so it felt). I made my choice, and I’m happy with it.
  • Farmer: This pops up quite regularly still to this day. The idea of living in the countryside, with my animals and my crops and my pets has always appealed to me. I know farming isn’t an easy job, but it’s something I’d have loved to be born into. If I ever happened across a lot of money in my life, I’d love to buy a smallholding or a ‘hobby farm’. Not for profit, but for the freedom of ‘grow your own’. Fruit and veg from your back garden, eggs from your chickens, milk from your cows. That’s the life.
  • Author: Writing is a huge passion of mine. I’m that one person in a group project who would love to sit and write all the reports. I’m the one who doesn’t mind writing up all those notes from this mornings meeting. It doesn’t matter what I’m writing – a blog post, a poem, a story, a report, test scripts, code – I’m happy to see the words come together. Being an author appealed to me hugely in school but now I have my blog, and that’s enough for me right now!
  • Lawyer (specifically for the forces, for no particular reason): In my final year of school I attended an opening evening for college, and the entire evening I spent lingering around the colleges that offered law. Then it clicked in my head (very randomly) that the armed forces stall in the corner could tell me some information about joining them as a law student. For weeks I was sure this is what I wanted to do. Looking back, it baffles me. Law, sure, but why I suddenly had an interest in the army is a mystery to me.
  • Photographer: I studied photography at college and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I found a bone deep passion, and I doubt it will ever leave me. I studied my ‘proper’ subjects alongside too, but photography was my escape. I could step into the red room or the studio and all my troubles would be lifted. Because I’m a workaholic, I’d stay up for hours and hours taking, editing, printing, cutting, backing all of my photographs before writing about each of them aiming to achieve the highest possible mark I could (which I did). If you care enough, it’s a very time consuming and mentally exhausting course, and of course I cared. My photography sketch books were pristine, and I was proud of every single piece of work I produced. I also met Matt in my first ever photography class, so it will always hold a special place in my heart. I would have loved to be a photographer, but I was always too worried about job prospects.

I’m still passionate for a lot of the dreams I had as a child and throughout my education, but for now they can all wait in the sideline as hobbies. Even though I seem to have my future and my career figured out, nobody knows what the future holds! We can only wait and see!

HIYMY Barney


🙂

-Morgan

First Day @ Work | Seed Software

Today was a super exciting day – I can now officially call myself a software developer, because today was my first day at work! I’m working for Seed Software, who provide dependable front line, mission critical software solutions for the fire department in the UK. How exciting is that?! Because I already knew all of the other guys (and girl) after spending a team building day with them, I wasn’t slightly as nervous as I thought I would be.

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I have to take a second to say this though… I’m adulting in the real world. That’s scary! I’ve been thrown into the deep end of a company, and left to fend for myself. It’s such a great opportunity, and I can’t wait to get my brain stuck in, but there’s always the slither of doubt: can you do this?anigif_enhanced-22726-1442759712-2
If I wasn’t capable, they wouldn’t have hired me so shut your face negativity.

I’ll finally be on a regular 9 to 5 schedule, which means my blog will benefit hugely too! My posts will be far more regular, and presumably will be a lot more planned as I won’t have the luxury of time to sit around thinking about which blog post I’d like to do tonight! I presume there will also be much more variety arriving to my blog. With Monday to Friday consumed wholly by technology, I can only imagine that this will seep into my blog world too.

Not including how happy I am to be working with this company, I’m most happy to be gaining routine again! It makes the evenings and the weekends so special. Like tonight, for example, after a long day at Seed, when I arrived home me and Matt instantly got into pyjamas, closed the curtains, lit the candles and dimmed the lights. It’s timed perfectly with the coming Winter months!


Short and sweet update from me! I just wanted to let you guys know the good news!

I hope you’re all well!
Thanks for reading, lovelies.

-Morgan