Riverdale

So if you haven’t heard of Riverdale, let alone watched it yet, then you’ve clearly been away from humanity and the internet for too long. Seriously, it’s everywhere. Everyone is watching it!

Just before the finale of The Vampire Diaries, CW introduced us to Riverdale. It’s based from the “Archie Comics” comic book. So, it follows main characters Archie Andrews, Jughead Jones, Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge. Four teenagers who go to Riverdale High. We jump straight into it after their summer vacation when the town of Riverdale is grieving after the death of Jason Blossom, we learn that Jason and his twin Cheryl were rowing on Sweetwater River when the boat capsized and Jason drowned. However all is not as it seems.

With each episode of Riverdale introducing new plots and twists for each and every character and each storyline thinkable, it can’t help but suck the watcher in. You begin to invest in the characters and each week you’re left with an intense cliff hanger which has you questioning everything you thought you knew about the Riverdale series up to that point.

Even though it’s a “high-schooly” type of show, with drama, it somehow dodges cringe-factors. It’s an easy watch and the cast’s chemistry is great, which is why I think each viewer gets invested. It also is quite a dark series. With lots of skeletons for each character and dark plot twists to the storyline. The acting is also very good, each actor or actress seems to fit each character to a T. So well done casting crew for that one!

I also want to mention the way in how this series was shot. I think that the sets, costume and design, camera shots, just overall whole production is beautifully done. You can tell that there is a very talented crew on board in the production.

Another reason to sway you, the reader, to watch this TV show,  is KJ Apa and Cole Sprouse. That’s right. Cole Sprouse. You know, the kid from Zack and Cody? Well he’s back and better than ever in Riverdale as Jughead Jones. Tune in to watch him and KJ Apa’s (the most beautiful human on earth maybe?) onscreen bromance. So if you’re missing eye-candy Damon Salvatore, fear not as Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) will fill his shoes with his sweet charm and ginger locks.

Author: Ailsa Sinclair

WANDERLUST: Tips from frequent flyers

Does the thought of airports and flying give you nightmares three months in advance? Are you that passenger who nervously grabs the armrest whenever there’s a single unexpected sound or jump? Well, this article is made just for you!

Personally, I’ve taken off and landed in a plane a good number of times in my life, I lost count. To add to the experience, I also studied aviation and how airports and planes work, although, that doesn’t stop me from having a mini heart attack every time there’s a sudden drop as the plane flew into something that’s called an ‘air pocket’ (this is absolutely normal and very common, it’s just a form of turbulence).

Me and a couple of my fellow international friends, consider ourselves frequent flyers – although only a few of us have an actual frequent flyer card – and we would like to share our recommendations and tips on how to secure a smooth and calm journey from booking a ticket all the way to landing.

 

A common tip, which you can find on the internet, is to book your flight on a Tuesday afternoon to midnight, that’s when the prices are the cheapest. Also, booking 7 weeks in advance for short-haul flights will get you a good deal as well.

Chewing gum. Always have a packet of gum with you, especially on long flights. After several hours without brushing your teeth, you will really enjoy the minty taste of a gum. If you don’t need it, you can still offer one to the person sitting next to you who forgot his and really should have one. I mean REALLY should have one. It also helps when you need your ears to pop.

– Kim Dohmen

Check multiple unbiased travel websites, e.g. skyscanner or hopper, for an overall summary of all the flights.

  • If you can, don’t look for a set date, the price differences between days can be quite significant.

Don’t instantly click on the first (and cheapest) flight, they often contain a bad combination of transfers, either an unprotected transfer when choosing a low cost airline or two different airlines from different alliances (if your first flight is delayed or cancelled and you miss your connecting flight, you won’t get a refund or get booked on a different flight), or a long, overnight transfer at the airport.

 

If your ticket doesn’t include a checked-in luggage (hold luggage) buy it online (if you need one), where it’s much cheaper than at the airport.

Check in online before you get to the airport. It doesn’t matter if you’re flying short distance with only hand luggage or long distance with checked in luggage. It guarantees that you are checked into the flight and have a boarding pass. It would even save you that extra hour at the airport that your dad insists you have to have “in case of”. 

– Emelie Pousette

  • If you don’t know which seat to choose, check out: seatguru.com

I’m not sure if this is a rule, but budget airlines allocate seats in order of check in. If you check-in as soon as you get a notification, you’re most likely to get a seat in the last row. On the other hand, if the flight isn’t fully booked, most people will pay extra just so they don’t have to sit in the last row, meaning you could get the whole row to yourself.

On long distance flights, you will most likely to fly on a larger airplane. These usually don’t happen to be fully booked (except for that one airline which had quite a show with overbooking recently, wink wink). As passengers get the option to check themselves in online, they most usually try to grab the first rows of the airplane. No one wants to sit in the back. Most people just want to get on and off the plane ASAP, even if it means being crammed in a middle seat. Getting yourself a seat in the back actually gives you a great chance of having the WHOLE ROW to yourself. You will always have the toilet nearby and you can always go for a chat with the crew who leave non-alcoholic drinks at the back for anyone.

– Ali Derjabina

Get a portable luggage scale, so you can keep track of how heavy your bag is before getting to baggage drop off and being told it’s overweight and having to pay a fortune (or awkwardly repacking your whole suitcase in front of a massive queue of people).

Go offline, download everything you need to use at the airport and on the flight, playlists, boarding pass and movies (you can do that on Netflix now). Use the airport Wi-Fi and go on flight mode. It will save your battery power and make things smoother.

– Emelie Pousette

 

If the flight is full, the staff may ask you if you want to check in your cabin bag free of charge (because of a high number of cabin bags, which will all not fit in the overhead bins). This will save you having to fight for the tiny bit of space in the overhead lockers. You’ll get your bag back after landing on the conveyor belt with the rest of your luggage. Just make sure you take any valuables and your laptop out beforehand.

  • In winter, swap your laptop for your massive winter jacket, so you don’t have to carry it around the airport.
  • If you’re travelling with cabin baggage only, it’s up to you if you want to wait for your bag after landing.

Queue left, somehow, I always end up choosing the wrong line, no matter how short the line is it always ends up taking the longest time. Research shows that since most people are right-handed they will naturally prefer the right line. So, go left!

– Emelie Pousette

Often, airlines put on ‘last call’ even when they’ve just started boarding to get all passengers into the gate and the plane ASAP. If there’s still a lot of time (over 40 minutes) to take off, it’s probably the case.

During the flights, long and short, the temperature in the airplane can change quite a lot. It is advisable to carry a light jacket or a scarf with you even if it is summer and 35°C outside. There is nothing worse than shivering with the crew telling you that they can’t put the temperature up (regulations, energy).

– Ali Derjabina

Depending on your seat, choose when to board. If you’re sitting right at the back, try to board first. If you’re sitting closer to the front of the plane, board with the last passengers.

  • If the plane boards from both front AND back, again, consider where you’re sitting. If you’re in seat 8C, you wouldn’t board through the rear steps.

 

Choose your socks and shoes wisely! It might not seem that important but choosing the right kind of shoes is crucial to maximize your comfort when travelling by plane! What does that mean? Well, you might know that security asks you to take off boots at the security check. On short flights, I try to avoid that by picking sneakers instead. On long flights, however, boots are my first choice as I can quickly take them off on the plane. That means I can curl up on the seat comfortably!

Bring thick woolly socks! Again, I only do that on long flights because the struggle of taking off/putting on my shoes isn’t worth it if I’m only flying for an hour. On long flights though, chilling with cosy socks is the best thing ever.

– Kim Dohmen

 

 

Carry on essentials:

  • An eye mask. There is nothing more annoying than when you want to sleep and the lights are on full blast.
  • A water bottle. Everything is so expensive at airports, and it’s stupid to have to pay more for a bottle of water than a McDonald’s meal. You can fill your bottle after security using water fountains or on tap in bathrooms (make sure it’s drinkable though!).
  • A snack. You’re allowed food through security, so you might as well take advantage of that! You’ll save money buying it beforehand, not getting disappointed by the airline’s food selection AND it’ll give you something to nibble on.

– Emelie Pousette

Authors: Gabi Kaufmanova, Emelie Pousette, Kim Dohmen, Ali Derjabina

Dear fifteen-year-old me

Dear fifteen-year-old me,

I know you think life is reaaaally hard right now, but that’s just the start. You’re literally at the start of being an actual grown-up. You’ve just got admitted to your school of choice, where you’re about to meet people that’ll change your life for the better. It’s going to be a hard four years, you’re going to want to quit, but trust me, it’s all worth it in the end. You’ll discover what you want from life and which direction you want to go.

First things first, you’re trying too hard to be the edgy emo kid, but actually, you’re quite jealous of all the girly girls around you and you desperately want to be like them. Just compromise.

Dying your hair black when you’re this pale, just makes you look ill.

You need to understand, you are not special, everyone has their own problems and constantly sobbing on Facebook won’t generate people’s sympathy for you. All you need is the harsh truth being broken to you. There are better people than you out there and there are also worse people. Be proud of who you are, what you can do, but don’t expect the world to revolve around you.

You can do so much better than having to please people (boys), who don’t appreciate and respect you. You don’t need any boy, that doesn’t need you.

You’re finding yourself in your first big relationship and you’re very confused about what you want from it. That’s fine, no one expects you to know. At this age, though, you still just want to mess around, but, again, think twice about who’s worth breaking your relationship for. It may not last forever, but he’s now one of your best friends.

Don’t delete your pictures and posts off Facebook, just put them on private; it’ll give you something to look back at.

Don’t take your family, especially your mother, for granted. They’re doing their best to give you what you deserve and you’ll want to repay them one day.

Don’t rush to grow up.

Don’t try to blend in with everyone. Getting crazy drunk won’t make you interesting or make boys like you.

I know, all you think is important in your life right now are boys, popularity and having enough money from your part-time job to buy unnecessary things, but there really is more to life than this. All this is transient.

Be true to yourself. Be kind to yourself. Learn to love yourself and everything about you, because that’s who you’ll be spending the rest of your life with and it’s only you that can always truly rely on.

Take care,

Twenty-one-year-old future you.

Author: Gabi Kaufmanova

ADULTING 101: Get organised!

Get organised!

Do all the perfect pictures on Instagram make you jealous? Does the new trend of bullet journaling make you realise what a hot mess you are? Do the words ‘productivity’ and ‘waking up early’ give you nightmares? If you answered YES to all three of these questions, all I can say is, same… Also, you can join me on this mission to become more organised and productive.

As much as we all hate waking up early in the morning, it is actually proven that it makes you more productive. To be honest, when I have an appointment or a meeting quite early in the morning, I just have an irresistible urge to get things done afterwards; I might as well, I’m up. Of course, no one expects you to become a morning person overnight. The best way to get into the habit is, firstly, go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day (or at least Monday to Friday), and secondly, to prevent shock, move your alarm 15 minutes earlier every night. Except for increased productivity, there are multiple other benefits to waking up early:

  • You get extra time before everyone else gets up when it’s quiet and you get this nice sense of ‘time to myself’
  • The first hour of the day sets the tone for the whole day, you get to ‘wake up slow’ and not rush
  • Sunrise and the crisp morning air, need I say more?
  • You get more done in the morning = a head start before everyone
  • You can brag about it

Personally, I am one of the people who, simply, can’t get out of bed but what I’ve noticed lately is that just having the alarm on vibrate instead of the classic shock tone, actually wakes me up more gently, if that makes sense. On the topic of waking up,

  • Get an alarm clock app for your phone which gives you maths or logical tasks, before it actually stops ringing
  • Put your phone/alarm as far away from your bed as possible, then you HAVE to get up
  • Have a glass of water ASAP, it gets your digestive system working and wakes you up better than coffee
  • Don’t overthink getting out of bed, just do it
  • Always eat breakfast, it starts up your metabolism
  • If you wake up a reasonable amount of time before your alarm goes off, just get up. It’s your body’s internal clock saying one sleep cycle has ended
  • You’re better off reading or writing before bed rather than looking at your phone or laptop. If you are watching something though, get an app to reduce the blue light produced, the light activates the production of melatonin, making you more awake

Now that you’re up and ready to get cracking with everything you have to get done, you should summarise what it actually is that you have to do. Being at uni and having to ‘adult’ can and will get quite overwhelming, so what I, personally, like to do is write it all down, check all the deadlines and see what needs to be done first.  To-Do lists are generally the most efficient way to organise your priorities, but simply writing down To-Do: Clean room isn’t really going to help you. The better way to approach this is breaking the task down, e.g. To-Do: wipe desk, make bed etc.

Having a list of tasks, it’s now time to get them done!

  • Don’t study/work in bed! That’s supposed to be your relax zone and later on, you won’t be able to relax.
  • Study somewhere where there are fewer distractions, e.g. the library, a café. Generally, that’s where most people do their work, the atmosphere there is more concentrated and you’d feel guilty just cracking open Youtube or Netflix; so that pushes you to work.
  • Turn off all your notifications, so that nothing distracts you. Again, there’s an app for that, for example, Forest, you plant a tree and it grows for a certain amount of time. If you use your phone during that time, the tree dies.
  • Some people like to listen to music whilst studying, the best way for the music to not be distracting is if there are no lyrics. There are loads of playlists on Spotify, generally, piano, classical or ambient music does the job.
  • Have enough water handy so that you don’t have to get up all the time.
  • Do the worst and/or hardest task first

Hopefully, you’ve done everything that needed to be done by now. Generally, having a clean and tidy surroundings helps to decrease your distractions as well, so tidy that desk and put everything you don’t need away.

Something that could motivate you is pretty stationary. Honestly, just walking into WHSmith or Paperchase immediately makes me want to plan out every second of my day.

Image source: paperchase.co.uk

Whenever you feel really unproductive; you’ve been lying on your bed, staring at the ceiling and you can’t get up, just roll out on the floor, do a couple of sit-ups or squats, just something to get your heart rate up, that should make you feel more active. Also, try doing a tiny task, make your bed, open your window to air the room out, email your lecturer, that should get you started. And don’t think about it too much, overthinking only causes harm. Now that’s some life advice right there.

Speaking of life advice, a couple of good habits you should take up to start being more productive and organised,

  • Get some sunlight and fresh air
  • Surround yourself with inspirational people and avoid the toxic ones (this relates to who you follow on social media as well)
  • Organise your priorities. What do you want to do and where do you want to be this time next year? What’s your current goal? Would you rather spend two days binge watching Netflix or spend two days reading a book in a language you’re trying to learn?
  • Have a set routine, e.g. clean your room every Sunday, wash all your dishes before going to bed etc.
  • Make some time for yourself, relax

And one useful tip at the end: the power nap. Trying to nap in the afternoon can be a tricky task. You want to nap for twenty minutes, but suddenly it’s two hours and you have no idea what century it is and what planet you’re on. There’s a solution for that. Make a strong coffee and let it cool down to a drinkable temperature. Drink it all at once, set an alarm for 15 – 20 minutes on and nap. When you wake up twenty minutes later, that’s when the caffeine actually kicks in, et voilá – zero grogginess.

Author: Gabi Kaufmanova

About this project

I started this project in early 2016 as my Year 1 college/university Graded Unit. I created the Metamorphosis magazine (linked in sidebar) and thoroughly enjoyed the process. A year later I was faced with the question – ‘What shall I do for my Year 2 Graded Unit?’. Why not transform Metamorphosis into a Morphweb blog? Similar content but a website. And that’s how this website was created.

The authors

Head

Gabriela (Gabi) Kaufmanova

I’m a 21-year-old, who enjoys writing, especially blog and magazine features. I have had some form of a personal blog since I discovered the internet when I was around 10 years old. One of my ongoing projects is also my personal online portfolio, which I created (coded) from scratch and you can access it here:

gkportfolio.000webhostapp.com

Contributors

Kim Dohmen

This walking sunshine is aspiring to take over the world of media using her inspirational motivation, persistence and reliability.

Emelie Pousette

Emelie’s positive attitude to everything is the secret behind all her successful creative work.

Ailsa Sinclair

Although sometimes being all over the place, Ailsa is one of those energetic people in one’s life, everyone needs.

Ali Derjabina

One of the most driven people I know (and have known for a good 6 years) and am in no doubt she is going to use that to get exactly what she wants.

 

All four of these young ladies have a couple of things in common, but what stands out is, how inspiring they all are and they make me want to be a better person.

Author: Gabi Kaufmanova

 

 

Leyah Shanks: “Being unique is not a bad thing”

When you type her name into Google, more than 7300 results pop up. You may have not heard about her yet, but she’s definitely a face you should remember as she may as well be the one, who once and for all breaks all those unrealistic beauty standards.

Leyah Shanks is a positive body image and mental health activist. She is also the founder of The Body Confidence Revolution, a freelance blogger for Huffington Post UK, she appeared on Channel 4’s ‘Naked and Invisible’ and, on top of that, she’s a full-time university student.

The words “plus-size” and “body confidence” have lately been discussed all around the internet in various different contexts, what do you think caused this sudden interest?

I think it’s partly to do with the huge growth of social media, the online world is massive now, we’ve never known anything like it and the capacity it has to affect the way people think is pretty scary but if it’s harnessed in the right way it could be really powerful, I think it’s just people are becoming, people aren’t afraid to use their voice anymore because they have this outlet that’s accessible to everyone, people aren’t afraid to put their opinion out there. I think it’s really because we have this opportunity now which we didn’t have 10 years ago.

On the topic of social media, you are actually promoting your campaign The Body Positivity Revolution through it. What do you want to achieve by that campaign?

Ideally I would like to get to a place where I can go into schools, colleges, unis, that kind of thing and help to develop a mandatory education programme because there isn’t anything like sex education, in the UK there isn’t a mandatory part of that that talks about self esteem or the way people perceive themselves and anything to do with the media, it’s really important. If I’d had something like that when I was a kid then I really wouldn’t have felt bad for most of my life. I’d hope to get to a stage when I could do that, my main goal is to end up founding a new magazine though, I want to edit it and basically create something for women that isn’t toxic to read. Things are starting to change, there are a lot of people that want to speak about how bad the world is in general and I just want to be a part of that and help to change the stereotypes of beauty and to preach a more diverse and accepted message to what’s out there right now.

I’ve seen that you’ve featured in Channel 4’s Naked & Invisible (nearly) naked, how was that for you and what was the purpose of your appearance there?

It was really fun, so many people have asked me, did you think you could not do it, did you find it scary, and I said, no, I never thought about it like that, I just thought, this is what I have to do, there was never a doubt in my mind but it was so fun. We were such a lovely crew, we had guys, girls all ages in the crew, everyone was really supportive. Also, we didn’t get any bad feedback from the public as well because we were in such a public space that, we were there all day, we were there for like eight or ten hours and I was standing there all day naked basically. A lot of people walked past us in that time and the only kind of negative feedback we got was from these guys wolf whistling and that happened twice throughout the whole day. I was expecting a lot worse than that, I was expecting people to come up like, what are you doing, have some respect for yourself and stuff, but there was none of that! It was really positive. We filmed the pilot of the series, mine was the first one that got shot and it kind of determined whether the series would go ahead. The director approached me and said he wanted it to have an overall theme of positivity run through it, so there were other people, there was a transgender person I think, there was an amputee girl; he really wanted it to be a positive thing. For me, personally, I wanted to show my young self well… I used to want to be invisible all the time, when you’re being bullied you just want to disappear, whereas now I don’t want to disappear so that was kind of why I wanted to do it.

You’ve talked a lot about body positivity activism, but what is it that you want to do as mental health activist?

I’m really passionate about getting the link between self-esteem and mental health out there because it’s not talked about and I know personally, first hand and I know other people who have been through periods of low self-esteem and they have developed depression or another form of mental illness as a direct result and that’s why I think education is so important because you need to be educated about what’s real and what’s not otherwise your head’s going to be totally fried. I work with Talk Life as an ambassador for them, they are a youth mental health charity, and they’ve recently released an app that’s like an online community, it’s like a social platform media. Basically members go on to it and they have a timeline where they can post stuff and they can support others. It’s just a really safe space. I want to get involved in more things like that; helping young people to talk about mental health is so important because if you don’t it just gets worse. Also the stigma that surrounds this topic is something that really makes me angry because if you see someone who has cancer you automatically feel empathy, you don’t feel scared of that person but if someone was to come up to you and say they have depression or anxiety or schizophrenia, you would treat them completely differently and it is an illness. I would really like to address that, because it’s completely wrong.

Why do you think that lately more and more young people are getting diagnosed with depression and/or anxiety?

I don’t know, it’s not really something that you can be like “that’s why”. There are so many different things to take into account when it comes to mental health like personal circumstances, where they are in the world, there so many things that can trigger it, sometimes there isn’t a trigger, sometimes it’s just in your DNA. To be honest, though, I definitely think that the state of the mainstream media industry is not helping at all. A lot of girls have emailed me and told me, I developed anorexia, which is a mental disorder as well because of all that. Sometimes anorexia isn’t triggered by stuff like that, sometimes it is purely by control but a lot of the times girls will tell me that it is actually to do with body image and developing it. I think it’s maybe not the fact that people get diagnosed more it’s more that people aren’t afraid to talk about it as much now because, you know, you go online and there are so many different movements and people that are really vocal about it. So maybe it’s not the case that we’re not as afraid to come out and talk about it anymore as we were a few years ago.

Is there anything you’d like to say to your thirteen-year-old self?

A lot of things… It’s so hard… I’d basically just say, don’t take what’s put in front of you as gospel. Don’t just accept everything, don’t just take something and think, that’s the way it is, I’m not going to question that. Question everything. Keep your mind open. For me as a kid, things like Vogue really affected me and that’s kind of what stemmed my issues so much, so just keep in mind that the media is just trying to sell you something and they don’t care about how they get the money, they’re just going to do what they want to get their cash. They don’t take people’s mental wellbeing into account, they don’t take children’s wellbeing into account so just always be aware of bad things like that and remember that being unique is not a bad thing.

Follow Leyah:

@IAmLeyahShanks on Instagram

LEYAH SHANKS on YouTube

TBCR on Tumblr