I will be writing to you every week for the next few months so you will know what I’m up to and what I’ll be doing with my life. However I think it’s also important for you to get to know a little bit more about me, understand me and my motivations so there’s a more genuine feel to my posts and I hope that in some way you can relate and maybe feel closer to me (I don’t even know if that makes sense!) so let’s get started.
- As you already know I’m Portuguese and we all have huge names- mine doesn’t even fit in the student card! My full name is Maria Luis Martins Frias dos Santos and my second name (Luis) is after my grandparents as one is named Luis and another has Luis as her middle name.
- I came to university aged 17 so I missed all the fun of freshers (sad). However as soon as I turned 18 I was finally able to go to the clubs in Birmingham and believe me, Pryzm is the best. I will turn 19 on November 26th
- I have four siblings two girls (who are twins) and two boys – and only one of them is younger than me. I completely loved growing up with them and I think my childhood would have been really boring without siblings. Although my parents had to put up with a lot of arguments between us, I also feel they were my first best friends and the ones I had the best adventures with.
- Besides my siblings I have two best friends back in Portugal, Rita and Catarina. I have known Rita since the first year of kindergarten and we were always together until the end of high school. I really tried to convince them both to come with me to the UK but I was unsuccessful 🙁
- My favourite memories from my childhood include: my summer vacations in a sea town in Spain where I would build sandcastles and be the happiest person in this planet; summer vacations in my grandparents’ farm where me and my siblings would spend the whole day in the swimming pool and by the afternoon we would go eat bread with melted cheese and crackers with chocolate (it was so good!); finally, I loved to play with Rita (the girl I mentioned before) as we would imagine we were adults, the dolls were our kids and we would make “soup” with mud and water, yummy right?
- I would describe myself as positive although I overthink things a lot. I’m an outgoing and adventurous person who loves to travel. My adventurous side led me to choose to study in a different country while my love for travelling made me choose tourism!
- Besides travelling I love athletics and I used to be an athlete and competed on a national level. Being there, able to run against amazing young athletes and sometimes have really good results is definitely one of my greatest personal achievements. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go further because I decided to focus on my course. Coming to university, studying in a different language and still accomplish amazing grades is another one of my biggest achievements. I still have friends from that time and have kept the important values I’ve learnt throughout the years.
- I always knew that I wanted to be a flight attendant, until I reached my first year at uni (weird I know). I was confronted with so many opportunities like the UCBloggers where I found a love for writing, photographing and telling my experiences, together with several assignments that have made me question my true passion (for a good reason). So now I know I still want to pursue a career as a flight attendant for some years but, after that, I would love to have an opportunity in blogging and connect it with travel, adventure and cultural tourism (which was also my favourite module last year). For those who are struggling and do not know what they want for their future I would say to relax, do not stress over things. Let it happen. Think about what you love and look for courses or careers in that area. There is a place for everyone in this world, and the right place to be is where we are happy, so don’t settle for something you are not happy with or follow others opinions. Follow your own heart.
- I had my first heartbreak when I was 15, and even though I was so young I had been dating for years and felt like it was the end of the world when it ended. I believe that no matter the age, the end of a relationship is hard, it hurts, and it does feel like one of the worst feelings we can go through as we give everything to someone, trust them and they become our rock. Then, all of a sudden, its gone. But now, three years later I am more than happy with a person who lets me be myself, makes me laugh until I cry and also knows how to cheer me up when I’m sad. I don’t know if it will last (I do hope so) but if that doesn’t happen then life goes on and I hope we can continue friends. So, if you are going through a break-up or if you ever go through one just believe me when I say that if it ended it was because the person was not the right one for you – and sooner or later you will realise that. Focus on doing stuff that distracts you (for me it was doing athletics), and enjoy that process to grow as a person, to be more sensitive with others, to find a new passion in life, reconnect with old friends and make new ones. Trust me, there are things far worse in the world and do not worry if you don’t see that right now. Stay strong and you eventually will 😊
- To end this random facts article, I want to tell you what I would love to happen in this world: for people to be happy, to be strong when life throws them down. I want a world where people are not afraid to walk in the streets alone at night. A world of equality as no person is worth less just because of gender, colour, religion, sexuality… (and the list goes on). A world free of hate between people because life is so short that we must not spend it hating others but loving them. Not seeing the worst, but the best in others … and in ourselves. To accept others and us by who we are, in order to be happy.
Sorry for such a long post but besides telling you a little bit about myself I also wanted to help you with pieces of advice that I think are important. We should not be afraid to speak out about how we feel and be ashamed for feeling lost about the future either in career terms or love terms. I leave you with some photos of people that I love and who make me happy!