Heartfelt advice for confused students on choosing the right career path.

Smiling brunette, holding a disposable cup.

Hello, dear readers! If you are a student just like me, you know what time of the year it is right now. An exam time. And for those of us, who are graduating this year it might be even more stressful, if we have no plans for the future. I was in the same boat just few months ago. Most of my life I thought that I will pursue music studies and there’s no way that could ever change but it did. I know, situations like these might be scary but I’m here to tell you – it’s okay. You don’t have to have it all figured out at the age of fifteen, eighteen or even soon after that. Some people get their Bachelor’s degree only in their thirties or forties and it’s fine. If you don’t want to continue your studies in current path or have no path at all, here’s what you can do.

  1. Take a risk and apply for that study programme that caught your eye, even though you might have very little or no experience with it at all. When I started looking for new opportunities, I stumbled across writing. In January I applied through several similar study programmes in different UK schools though UCAS: Creative & professional writing, Screenwriting and Creative writing. I had no idea, which one of those is the right one for me, I just knew that writing is what interests me the most. Three months later I had received offers, made my choices and now everything is in process. If you want to apply for university in UK, too, it’s not too late. There will still be a chance to do it this summer when UCAS opens “Clearing”. Read more about it here: https://www.ucas.com/ucas/undergraduate/apply-and-track/results/no-offers-learn-how-clearing-works
  2. Take a year off to gain some work experience. If you are too confused about your future right now and scared to make the wrong choice career-wise, there is also an opportunity to take a year or few off to work.
  3. Volunteer abroad. Do you want to see the world while doing something useful and gain valuable experience? If so, volunteering abroad might be the right choice for you. There are a lot of options to work with elderly people, wildlife, animals and much more. Some volunteer  programs costs nothing but some do. Find more about it here: https://www.projectsabroad.org and https://www.gooverseas.com/volunteer-abroad
  4. Travel the world for free or cheap. If you have an adventurous spirit, you might want to travel the world. “But how?” You may ask. “That is too expensive!” The truth is – it doesn’t have to be. The internet is full of resources about how to travel the world for free or cheap. You really don’t have to break the bank to see your favorite places. Here are some resources about that: https://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/the-ultimate-guide-to-traveling-when-you-have-no-money/ , https://www.skyscanner.net/news/20-money-saving-travel-tips-and-secrets

That’s all that I have to share with you today. Yes, my blog posts are kind of short because of the lack of time to spend writing but I’m still happy that I’m doing so well with being devoted to Dolls Have Hearts even with a small amount of time. I will see you next time on Dolls Have Hearts!

Love, Porcelain Doll.

5 life hacks that will make your student life better.

Three brunette schoolgirls in uniforms, in front of a blackboard

Hello, dear readers! If you’re still in high school or university, it is quite tough time. Balancing healthy lifestyle, good grades, social life and trying to stay sane meanwhile is quite a struggle, so I decided to share some life hacks that have made my life as a student easier.

  1. The “secret” sauce. Are you one of those people, who likes rich dressing on their salad and always buying high calories sauces in the store? I used to be that person until my mum shared the simplest salad dressing with me. Next time you have some salad leaves and tomatoes, add sauce that it made from oil, lemon juice, honey and mustard. I’m not going to note proportions here because some people like their sauce more sour, some more spicy, some sweeter. Just throw it in a cup, mix it up and voila! Now you have a delicious sauce. Besides – you probably already have all the ingredients needed in your house.
  2. Bullet journal – a key to being more productive. I know, you’re probably thinking that you are already productive enough or/and can remember everything that you need to get done during the day without even writing it down. I thought the same way just one year ago until I came across quite a few amazing youtubers, who have talked about productivity and bullet journaling, and that inspired me to improve my life by creating my own bullet journal. I used to hate planning it the past because planners seemed too small and boring to me but the best thing about bullet journal is – you can adjust it to your needs. You can add not only daily but also weekly, monthly and quarterly logs, habit tracker, quarterly goal section, lists of movies to watch, books to read and way more. Just go to Pinterest and look up some ideas.
  3. If you need to learn a new topic in a short amount of time, type: “*insert topic here* filetype: ppt” (for a Power Point presentation) . I’m surprised that I found about this just few days ago. Thankfully, exams are still ahead of me, so this might actually be a real life saver.
  4. Clean out your closet of the clothes that don’t fit anymore, don’t go together with anything, are worn out or simply don’t make you happy anymore. Trust me, this will decrease your chances of being late to a lecture by 85% . Yes, I am talking to you, girls, cause I used to be one of these people, who could decide what to wear in the morning because it seemed like nothing looks good on me. Invest some time and clean out your closet.
  5. If you have a laptop, stop paying for cable TV. Since I started living on my own, which was four years ago, I stopped using TV. Why pay extra, if you can save some money and choose what you want to watch and when do you want to do it?

That’s all for today’s post. One more thing that I would like to share – there is a little less than a month left until I all of my exams and I’m graduating and the second half of June. Currently it is last week before exams start, so I’m quite busy with rehearsals, lessons and homework. That is the reason why my last post are not as long as they used to be but also it kind of inspired me to write this post. Afterall, I am going to be a student at least for three more years but I love to sharing small, pleasant things along the way. Hopefully next week won’t be as busy for me, so I will try to get back to writing lengthy blog posts. Until next time on Dolls Have Hearts!

Love, Porcelain Doll.

The true reason why you might feel stuck in a rut at the job you love.

Asian girl with brown hair, smelling pink roses

Hello, dear readers! Few years I was obsessed with the idea that I really want to learn more about psychology. No, not to learn in a professional way but just to understand myself and other people more. One of the things I remember very well reading about was motivation. More specifically, what is needed to keep us going. There were two main components – inner motivation and outer motivation. Inner motivation is the kind that makes you do something because you simply love it and want to become better at it. Outer motivation is something that we get from the world or people around us. It might be a paycheck, it might appreciation etc. In order to function properly, we need both of these motivation levels around the same level. If we lack one or the other, noticeable changes start to happen. Why am I writing about all of this? Because I noticed these changes happening in my own life but I didn’t know, how to explain it properly. That was until just few days ago when I picked up a book by Dale Carnegie, called “How to win friends and influence people”. First part of the book is called “Fundamental techniques in handling people”. The second principle of this part is “Give honest and sincere appreciation”. That’s when it hit me.

A sudden realization came over me: it’s shocking, how often we either confuse appreciation with flattery or forget about appreciation at all. I bet all of you more or less are familiar with the situation in which, if you do something bad or make a mistake, you get criticized (often way more than you should be) but when you do something good, no one says a word. I have faced this situation quite often since early childhood. When I was little and did something good for my parents, I rarely received true appreciation. It was either nothing or a simple “thank you”. Of course, I didn’t expect fireworks and medals but… could they at least be proud of me, be happy about me? Once I asked my mum, why isn’t she happy that I, for example, helped around the house without anyone asking me to and did she even notice. And she simply told me: “It’s great that you did that but I really don’t know what you expected. It is self-evident when a person does a good thing.” Now let’s take a completely opposite situation. I did something bad. Maybe told my parents that I will be studying while they’re away but sneaked out of the house to visit my best friend instead and got caught later. Do you think they were as calm as when I did something good? Not at all. Such a small “sin” caused a huge argument and there were times when one of my parents or even both of them didn’t talk to me for the rest of the day. Those are just childhood events but… there definitely was something wrong with them.

Let’s take another example! Let’s fast forward about 7 years later when I had been studying in musical school for few years. When I was a little kid, I often got praised for doing something very well in my guitar lessons. However, when “the crazy teenager age” came, things started to change. I started to have my own opinion about how I should play and how I shouldn’t play, what I liked and what I didn’t. That was when the conflicts started and I got scolded when I didn’t succeed but when I finally did something well, it was barely noticed, if at all. Those were just two examples from my own life but they can be applied to a person in every age group. The point is – we all feel the need to appreciated. Don’t confused it with flatter though. Flattery is insincere but appreciation is sincere. We need appreciation to move forward and keep doing great things. Like I mentioned in the beginning of this post, there are two types of motivation – inner and outer. Let’s say you have inner motivation, you are learning, how to paint and you love it. However, no matter, how much you try to “get your work” out there, no one really seems to care. They don’t buy your paintings, they don’t compliment them, all they do is take a look and leave. How would you feel? Well, maybe you wouldn’t care for the first day or week but later… You start to feel like you are not good at what you’re doing, there is no progress… So what’s the point of continuing to do this thing at all? You are left with two options then – you can give up or you can keep struggling. What I am trying to say with all of this?

Appreciation is important for everyone. If you see that someone has done something good, don’t hesitate to let them know. Sometimes it is incredibly hard to notice the results of your work yourself and sometimes it feels like no matter how hard you try, no one will appreciate it anyways. So don’t hesitate to express honest appreciation. It could change someone’s day, maybe even week or month. American philosopher John Dewey has said the deepest urge in human nature is a desire to be important. Appreciation makes us feel that way. So, go ahead and someone’s day today!

Until next time on Dolls Have Hearts!

Love, Porcelain Doll.