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 There’s so many outdated, old-fashioned rules that have to be followed during a graduation ceremony too, so it’s really not my cup of tea.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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Taking The Plunge

Guess who’s finished university!? Four very long, very hard years of studying for my computer science degree, and it’s all over. I actually finished last month, but things have been crazy and I haven’t had time to catch you up yet. I graduate mid-July (which I’m incredibly nervous about, let me tell you now) and then I’ll officially be a graduate. For the first time in 18 years, I won’t be a student.

That seems weird to me. I’ve been studying practically my entire life, since starting school at five years old, and then it just goes away. I’m already feeling an ache to take on extra courses, but I’m way too busy at the moment. I’ll get there. I just bloody love learning new things.

Anyway, you’re probably wondering what I’ll be doing with my new, fancy, shiny computer science degree that I worked incredibly hard for? The answer is a big fat nothing, actually. In the final two years of university, I had a horrible time – my health and my mental health were in tatters and I had to take nearly 5 months off. During this time, I realised I’d lost all love and passion for the subject and the industry. I didn’t want to spend the rest of my long life sitting in an office with potentially nasty, sexist and unwelcoming colleagues (after all, that’s all I’ve ever experienced). It didn’t matter that I knew there was a very high possibility that a lot of possible work places would be a lot better than my experiences. It didn’t matter that I’d forgive and forget. I didn’t like it anymore.

If you’ve stuck around for a while on this blog of mine, you probably know of my love of photography, that story I always tell you about having to decide between photography or computer science and that choice of happiness or money. I used to go on about all of that quite often ’cause it was always on my mind.

Well, it finally happened. I took the plunge. Instead of frantically applying for jobs in the final months of university, that would ultimately make me unhappy for the foreseeable future, I began frantically working on something else. Late last year, I set up my portrait photography business, The Rose Quartz Photography, with only the unreachable dream of becoming a full-time photographer. I presumed I’d use my weekends alone to photograph all of the happy families, sleepy newborns and cheeky toddlers, whilst working a computing-based full-time job during the week. Nah, sod it.

Me and Matt discussed this a lot in my final months of university. He has been my rock during these two crappy years and I can’t even explain how incredible he’s been with me, especially when I was at my worst. He saw first-hand how unhappy the computing industry was making me and how drastically it was changing me. I was losing my hair, for god’s sake. When we decided that it would be better for my health (and probably our relationship too) to focus on happiness instead of money, he’s been nothing but supportive.

The Rose Quartz Photography is my new, full-time future. It’s my baby and I put all of my time and thoughts into it. Although I started this venture late last year, it’s only the last month that I’ve been working on it full time. When I’m not photographing wonderful people, I’ll be editing their beautiful photographs. Or I’ll be marketing my business on social media. Or I’ll be advertising my sessions all over Hull. Or I’ll be collaborating with other small businesses. Portrait photography, in all forms, is incredible. I’m constantly learning new things. I’m expressing my creativity. I’m meeting new people – regular clients who come to me with their bumps then their babies, models who love the effort I put into our creative, fashion or makeup shoots, families who leave me glowing reviews. It’s a happy place. It’s exciting.

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So, if you’re up in Hull, East Yorkshire some time soon, and you’re looking for a photographer, drop me a message! I’m always happy to help (emphasis on the happy there, cause I really bloody am).

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What have you been up to recently?

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You can read my previous post here.

 

Why Hate Valentine’s Day?

It’s that time of year again, when the entire world is split into three camps: the lovers, the haters and those who couldn’t care less. Despite the day’s focus on romance, there seems to be a huge amount of bitterness and hostility between the lovers and haters of Valentine’s Day, and I’ve never understood why. Personally, I love Valentine’s Day – I don’t go out of my way to plan something special every year, nor do I buy or expect expensive gifts and gestures. I just really like the idea of a holiday that’s sole focus is romance.

Matthew and I are both thrifty (well, you have to be when you’re a poor student) romantics at heart, so Valentine’s Day has never been a chore for us. Last year, we made a huge blanket fort, watched films and slept in the living room. It was memorable, cute as hell and it meant we could spend the whole night being totally together. Sure, we could have done that any other day of the year too, but our blanket fort felt like a great idea for Valentine’s Day. This year, we’re making our own pizzas, having a glass of wine and watching a film – for us, that’s perfect.

Valentine's Day Flowers - Why Hate Valentine's Day?

The busy parents, unhappy singletons and those who are struggling either physically or mentally, simply can’t and/or don’t want to celebrate, and of course I understand that. However, there are also some popular yet trivial problems that people tend to have with Valentine’s Day, and although I recognise them, I really do not understand them.

I love my partner every single day of the year, not just on Valentine’s Day:

Of course, me too! But, I also don’t see any harm in saying “Happy Valentine’s Day!” instead of “Morning!” when I wake up – either way, Matt still gets a kiss and a cuddle.

You can’t celebrate when you’re single:

Sure you can. Go see your mum or your grandma and, if you have some money, buy them a bunch of flowers. Celebrate with your single friends. Why not just have a night in, with your favourite food and favourite film? Valentine’s Day is about celebrating love, not just romantic love. Celebrate familial love, friendship and self-love.

It’s a day for couples to rub their relationships in other people’s faces:

Definitely not. If love, or seeing love in others, bothers you then you’re clearly going through some hardship that you need to take control of. If you’re not and simply seeing happy couples genuinely bothers you, you have issues and your hate should not be projected onto the happiness of others. That’s your problem, sort it out.

It’s just another money grabbing holiday:

Yep, probably, but who is making you spend money? Romance isn’t expensive gifts and extravagant date nights. It can be a homemade meals, or making your own Valentine’s Day cards. Self-love doesn’t have to be expensive either. No need for fancy spas: run yourself a bubble bath and paint your toe nails.

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There’s no need to hate Valentine’s Day. Even if you don’t celebrate, you have to admit, it’s a pretty cute idea. Love is in the air today, so don’t shoot it down.

What do you think of Valentine’s Day?

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Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

My Year in Review #3/3 | Photographs

They say a picture speaks a thousand words… Throughout 2016, I took over 5,000 of them.

Despite how overwhelmingly rubbish this year was, when I look back on all of these beautiful photographs, I can’t help but feel thankful that some good came out of it. I saw some wonderful things, I made a lot of life-long memories and I grew hugely as a person. Yes, a lot of these memories were made as a way to distract myself from the big black dog but that doesn’t make those memories any less important!

So, to recognise all of the good that came from this year, I’m going to focus on those best bits in my final instalment of ‘my year in review’.

Here’s my best bits of 2016, summarised in photographs!

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Happy new year to all of my lovely followers, friends and family. 

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Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

Getting Festive in the Studio

Can you believe that it’s the first of December? I still don’t have my Christmas decorations up and I don’t actually see it happening any time soon. For someone who normally has their Christmas decorations up in the first week of November, this is a bit of a big deal!

Despite the lack of festivities in my personal life, my photography studio been been regularly bringing a snippet of Christmas Day into my home.

Recently, I had the sweetest little elf visit for a Christmas photo-shoot, and once you see his little smile, you won’t blame me for wanting to share these with you. With his little pointy ears, his festive cheer and his childish wonder, he brightened up my home. I admit, I did feel a festive twinkle whilst photographing this beautiful baby in his little elf outfit. I’m only human!

The Rose Quartz Photography Christmas PhotoshootThe Rose Quartz Photography Christmas Photoshoot

Once he left and the Christmas props had been packed away, however, all signs of Christmas cheer vanished into thin air and the reminder that Christmas is almost upon us made me cringe. I promise, I’m not always this much of a Grinch. This year has been tough – really, unforgettably tough – so mustering up a bit of happiness for something that 2016 has to offer me is proving a lot harder than I thought it would!

The solution: lots of Christmas photo-shoots!

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If you’d like to have a look at my photography page on Facebook, you have find me here.

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Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

Treat Yo’ Self Sundays

If you’re now completely in the mood to watch Parks and Recreation, my job here is done. Be my friend. If not, you should really watch that show. It’s the best combination of comedy, life lessons and a giant dose of realism.

Anyway, I’m sure you’ll agree that Sundays are really wonderful. They’re either full of absolutely nothing or absolutely everything but, either way, they’re enjoyable. Yes, you’re a tiny step closer back to work on Monday but at least you spent it doing something you wanted, right?

Treat yo' Self

Sunday evenings are the perfect excuse to treat yourself.

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Eat lots of chocolate:

I don’t know about you but there’s a giant bar of Dairy Milk and a full box of Cadbury’s Heroes in my fridge, waiting for me. I don’t often eat chocolate but when I do get that sweet tooth… God help us all.

Take a bubble bath:

Melt your worries away. Don’t give me that “men don’t take bubble baths” malarkey, either. Everyone can enjoy a good soak. Whether you do that in a bright pink bath tub full of glitter, well, that’s your choice.

Read a book:

Immerse yourself in one of your favourite fictional worlds. Personally, getting tucked up in bed with a good book is practically unbeatable on the scale of relaxation.

Try to stop worrying:

Now, I say try because, understandably, we all have our own shit going on. But, if there’s any chance of you treating yourself (mentally or materialistically) then you should probably just breath and let it go – even if that’s only for the evening.

Get yourself some fresh air:

As tempting as it is to stay indoors all day, with the curtains closed as if the outside world doesn’t exist (or is that just me?), it’s well worth taking a stroll outdoors on a Sunday. This is even more of a cause in the autumn, when those Sunday afternoons are just perfectly crisp.

 

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Treat yo’ self, everyone.

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-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

An A – Z of Me

Animals | If I could spend my life rescuing and caring for abandoned animals, I would be a very happy lady. Animals > humans.  That’s my ultimate life goal.

Blogging | Starting my blog was one of the best decisions of my life. I’ve created myself a bubble of creativity, where I’m capable of sharing whatever tickles my fancy. I’ve met lots of wonderful people. I’ve had so much fun and it’s only been a year!

Cats | If you’ve been around long enough, this one makes complete sense. My cats are my world. They are everything to me! I’ll never understand people who think cats are evil and manipulative. I get daily cuddles and I can even sing one of them to sleep.

Disney | The Aristocats, Mulan and Alice in Wonderland are my three favourite Disney movies. Ah, I love Disney.

Empress | On my birthday, or other special occasions, I have a very particular nickname – I can’t believe I’m actually going to admit this to the world. “Empress Namrog the Third, Mother of Kittens, Queen of Francis Court and Ruler of Matthew’s Attention.” I’m channelling Daenerys Targaryen here.

Feminist | “The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.” Those who prefer not to call themselves a feminist confuse me. Do you seriously think woman are lesser simply because of their gender?

Gaming | Matt was actually the one who sparked my love for gaming. Some of my favourites now include the Fable series, Skyrim, Child of Light and practically any indie you can throw at me.

Honesty | I’m incredibly honest – for the good and for the bad. It’s one of those personality traits that I’m so grateful for.

Interests | Photography, books, crafts, programming, cooking, beauty, art, writing, film…

Jokes | I’m the worst at telling jokes. I’m sure people generally laugh at my reaction to the joke rather than the actual joke itself. I think I’m hilarious.

Kindness | I try my absolute hardest to be kind every single day.

Lists | I’m not one for spontaneity because I love to be prepared. I’ll always find something to write a list about. I also have a tendency to write lists of the lists I need to write, seriously.

Matthew | The love of my life.

An A-Z of Me

Nature | Plop me outdoors, surrounded by nature, and I’ll be one happy bunny. Spring and autumn are my favourite months to be out and about.

Organised | You know, organising things is actually a hobby of mine. When I have free time, let’s say a really quiet Sunday, I love taking out my drawers and reorganising them all over again.

Photography | My camera is my third eye. I document my entire life through photographs. It started out as a way to avoid being scared of losing my memory – I don’t want to forget the wonderful things I’ve done. After that, it just developed into a full-on love for the photography process in general.

Quiet | I’m as quiet as a mouse when I’m away from the comfort of home.

Reading | I love reading. At this point, I think it’d be pretty much impossible to get through all of the books I’d like to during my lifetime!

Sleep | I could sleep for years and still wake up tired. Falling asleep is a massive struggle for me so, when I do finally get there, I like to soak up every second I can. Every single cosy second.

Tidy | My tidy home makes me happy – it’s my special sanctuary. So, when ‘Facebook mums’ share quotes such as “a clean home is the sign of a wasted life”, I get really irritated and offended. Just because I make time to tidy my house (even when I don’t have the time, I might add), it doesn’t make my life any more boring than yours.

University | I’m now in my fourth and final year of university. I’m studying computer science at The University of Hull. I have a good feeling this year is going to be the best year of university so far.

Vintage | I always feel far prettier and more put together when I’m in a vintage-inspired outfit with a bit of red lippy. I feel like myself!

Wedding | I’m obsessed with anything to do with weddings. I’m constantly picking up inspiration for my own wedding, and you bet I started a Pinterest account solely to stalk amazing weddings.

X Factor | A big, fat, giant guilty pleasure. I haven’t watched it for a couple of years but this year I’m loving it. There’s a lot of acts that I’m full-on excited about. I’d buy their albums, for sure.

YouTube | I think it’s incredible that YouTube actually rivals television for me, nowadays. There are so many YouTube stars that I enjoy watching. When I was young, I just used it for funny fails or cute cat videos.

Zombies | The only fictional ‘monster’ that I just cannot deal with. They terrify me!

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-Morgan