Reason #482 why life should be more like American teen movies: the bus would pick us up from our house. None of this walking to the bus stop shiz. We could have ten minutes longer in bed then just roll to the end of the drive like everyone’s favourite schoolgirl, Lisa Simpson.

That’s probably not going to happen, what with the government having their hands full with Brexit and all that. So we’re stuck with the everyday mare of buses as they are, whether you get on a school one or a regular public service.

If you’re lucky then you get to share at least part of the journey with your mates, so whatever other chaos is going on around you, you at least have friends there. Not that this protects you from spit balls coming from the boys at the back.

But if you find you’re on your own, here are eight ways to make the whole experience a bit more bearable aside from silently singing ‘The wheels on the bus’ to yourself. Unless you want to do that, obvs.

1. Make a bus friend

Chances are that pretty much the same people get the same bus as you day in, day out. Could you make friends with one of them? They don’t have to be your new BFF – but you never know, they might actually turn out to be a really cool person who you want to be IRL friends with too.

2. Read betty

So long as reading while travelling doesn’t make you vom, bus journeys are a great time to do some reading. Think of it as your catching-up-with-the-latest-on-betty-time.

3. Download Gojimo

Gojimo is an app containing quizzes related to the exams that you’re studying for. Use the dead time on the bus for doing some cheeky extra swotting up, then arrive at school feeling super smug. Just don’t overdo it and need a disco nap by period three!

4. Get addicted to podcasts

Literally everyone is addicted to podcasts now. Okay, so not everyone, but lots of people are obsessed with them. Get hooked on a series and soon you’ll even be looking forward to time on the bus to listen to the latest episode. Try Eliza Starting At Sixteen for a New York take on being a teenager.

5. Meditate

If the idiots on board really do your head in, how about meditating to block them out? You don’t need a special cushion or bells or windpipes. In fact, you don’t need anything but it can be helpful to use an app like Insight Timer, which has 4,000 free meditations to try. Stick your headphones on and remember that you’ll thank the muppets around you when you’re a chilled out zen master.

6. Get off sooner

This is totes obvs but if you hate the bus, how about getting off a few stops earlier? You’ll get a bit of extra exercise and you might even get to pocket the spare fare – save it towards your first car instead!

7. The actually properly serious tip

Bullying on buses is a serious issue that has even led to suicides. If this is affecting you, Bullying UK advise that ‘On the school bus, try to sit near the driver, or if it’s an ordinary bus, by other adults. If you have to walk part of the way, and you’re afraid of being ambushed, then vary your route, try to leave home and school a bit later or a bit earlier, or see if you can walk with other people who live near you, even if they’re older or younger’.

They also say that your parents or carer should complain to your school because even though this is happening off the premises, they do have the power to punish bullies if it’s taking place on the way to or from school. For more about this, see Bullying UK’s website.

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Image: The Simpsons

I guarantee you there is a neglected diary somewhere in your house. Perhaps in an old backpack or a bedside drawer, maybe in a carrier bag in the back of your wardrobe. Or, maybe, you aren’t like me. You see, every Christmas I would ask for a new diary (I am obsessed with stationery) because the prospect of filling that private little book with my thoughts and feelings seemed wildly exciting.

On the evening of Christmas I’d write all about the day – mostly about what I’d eaten, but still. ‘I ate sooo much chocolate today, not sure I’ll ever eat it again!!!!!’ (I did.) I’d do the same for the next few days. I even got as far as writing a New Year’s resolution entry one year. ‘Be nicer to my sister. Take the dogs out for walks. Learn how to do eyeliner properly.’ But then, January 1st would come and go and the diary would be forgotten about.

Because it’s hard, isn’t it? Writing about everything you’re feeling and experiencing. Trying to make your life sound interesting and exciting when, mostly, it just isn’t. Last year, I finally cracked it. Now, I write in a diary often and it’s become a part of my routine.

Research has shown that writing in a diary, or ‘journaling’, can actually be good for us. It helps us to destress and understand things better. Plus, it’s pretty cool to have something to look back over when you’re older. A diary is a piece of your own history. So, with all that fresh in your head, here are some tips on how to get started:

Try out gratitude lists first

If the thought of a blank page in front of you fills you with horror, then try writing a gratitude list. It’s nothing fancy, just a list of the things that you feel grateful for; from big monumental things to little inconsequential things. It could be anything from a sunny day, a good mark for an assignment, a kind friend, a yummy dinner, a movie or book you loved. Gratitude lists are a great way to end the day because even if you’ve had an awful or dull day, you’ve still managed to salvage some feeling of joy out of it.

Be as honest and as authentic as you can be

For a long time, whenever I would try to write in a diary I felt as if I had to write for someone besides me. I’d try my best to sound funny and witty and I’d rack my brains for something exciting to scribble down. I’d get cross with myself that I didn’t have intelligent, philosophical thoughts. One entry of an old diary simply reads, ‘Why don’t I have anything to say????’

It’s important for you to remember that a diary is a private space for your eyes only. It should be a place for you to write down whatever you feel like. No-one else is ever going to read this. What you say does not need to be profound or spectacularly beautiful. You don’t need to write pages and pages, either. A diary is a way to reflect upon your day, the things you’ve been up to and how you’re feeling. Once you get over the initial awkwardness and become less self-conscious, it’ll feel much easier. Let go of the idea that you need to perform and write for an audience besides just yourself. If you find it too difficult to write every day, write every other day. Or every week. Whatever works for you.

Read some diaries

By this, I don’t mean read your sister’s diary or anything like that. Read a fictional one! These can help you get into the mindset of writing your own. Some favourites of mine are: I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, the Adrian Mole series by Sue Townsend, the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series by Louise Rennison and Dear Nobody by Berlie Doherty.

Get creative

Draw pictures! If you don’t feel like writing pages and pages, try treating it like a scrapbook. Keep receipts and cinema or concert tickets. Stick photographs inside. Use different coloured pens. Your diary can be whatever you want it to be; it’s a space for expression after all. There are no rules!

Honestly, it gets easier once you get into the habit of it. Diaries are a great way to chronicle the ordinary and extraordinary things you experience, from the ridiculous and hilarious to the difficult and heart-breaking.

In the age of social media, getting back to basics and writing things down can help you feel less overwhelmed and you’ll get to know yourself better, too. Give it a go. Writing in a diary is one habit that you won’t regret. Promise.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: Katie Edmunds

 

It’s that time of year again when everyone and everything you follow on Facebook and Instagram seems hell-bent on transforming you into a sour Scrooge. Of course, you could just unfollow them. You know who the culprits are by now, so you’re one click away from keeping your temper. But where’s the fun in that? Christmas isn’t Christmas without hating on someone’s digital avatar. To steel your nerves, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of all the irritating posts you’ll see between now and Christmas Day…

The ‘too many parties’ post

I’ll let you in on a universal secret: nobody is going to as many Christmas parties as the magazines, adverts and internet would have you believe. No, not even Charlene. Like the Emperor’s new party outfit, we conspire in this myth that everyone is back-to-back Christmas bashes from now until Christmas Eve when in truth most of us have a handful of events, mostly with family. Charlene is the worst perpetrator of this myth, posting selfie after selfie of herself, surrounded by huge groups of people, for you to stare at over some leftover pizza. Don’t be fooled: Charlene hasn’t got any more parties than you do. She’s just maximising her social media return on the few she does have by telling Instagram about them. Endlessly.

The festive bakes post

There are very few festive treats you can bake that a bakery can’t bake better – so those peeps showing off their flawless gingerbread, giving you the impression that you’ll never ‘qualify’ in the kitchen can do one. Sure, we all like looking at food photos, and if you’ve knocked your mince pies out the park, by all means share them – but please think before you caption it with a blatant #humblebrag.

The Instathankyou

WHY. Why does ANYONE feel the need to publicly thank their boyfriend or girlfriend for their mug/necklace/bike (delete as appropriate)? It’s as close as you can get to saying LOOK HOW MUCH MY PARTNER LOVES ME without being socially unacceptable. It’s not a competition. Your partner is, I assume, either with you or a Whatsapp away if you’re opening it without them. Thank them instead.

The happy families post

Look. You might have the perfect 2.4 fam who get along like a house on fire, but some of us have a sliiiiightly more complicated home life. Delighted as we are that you’re making merry with mum and dad, a smiling set of siblings and both sets of grandparents, those of us whose Christmases involve simmering silences, outright arguments, burnt sprouts and endless car journeys between estranged relatives don’t particularly want it in our faces when we turn to our phones for some much-needed escape.

The blow-by-blow Christmas updates

You know the ones. It’s like every year Christmas is a newborn baby, and they are the proud parents remarking on every single step of the process. ‘Day one of advent calendar!’ they’ll write (interesting only if they’re in a different time zone – and even then, only very briefly) ‘Presents DONE!’ they’ll declare (from the same person, on the same early day in December, every year). ‘Feeling festive while writing Christmas cards’ they’ll ho ho ho, forcing their own mother to contemplate hitting the ‘unfollow’ tab.

Then there are the Scrooge posts (ahem)

…because despite my humbugging above, it’s the most wonderful time of year.

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Image: Mean Girls

The end of school is nigh, and all of a sudden you feel like you’ve got 100 decisions to make. What do I want to do with my life? Do I want to go to college, or uni, or do I want to get stuck straight into work? It’s easy to feel lost when you don’t know what you want to do, or how to get there.

But while you have literally your whole life to make up your mind, a little bit of good advice can go a long way. So with that in mind, in a series of interviews, we’re speaking to women who’ve ‘made it’, and asking their advice on how to follow in their footsteps.

This month, we speak to Lizzie Vines, a cattle farmer in Devon.

Describe your typical day

I get up around 7.30am to be on the farm for 8am. There are a lot of cattle and sheep to feed. I then check that none of the animals are lame or ill – you look at all the animals to see if any stand out or don’t seem right: weepy eyes or snotty noses. On farms even the children are given jobs like collecting eggs or feeding orphan lambs. You might have to drive forklift trucks to collect hay from the fields to be brought back for stacking, and then do the stacking!

You also have to do shearing, taking the sheeps’ coats off otherwise they’ll get fly strike and illnesses. Feet have to be checked. When we’re lambing, it means night shifts – taking it in turns to sit with the lambs and sheep all night, same at calving season. It’s a long day and a lot of work, but very varied. All these jobs can be done by young female farmers, the world is your oyster.

What’s the best part of your job?

In Devon there are small family farms, and the kids work on the farm. They follow in their parents’ footsteps—or become self-employed builders who restore farm buildings. I saw a local farming family recently who had obviously just come from the fields. They had a tractor with great bales of hay and they were talking and laughing and having such good fun. That community and family aspect of it is just lovely.

Are there any bad parts?

It can be financially difficult. In the countryside it seems old people don’t like change either—we need the younger generation to revolutionise farming. Old style farmers tend to have the attitude of well, we’ve always done it like this, but you’ve got to be prepared to change with the times.

How did you become a farmer?

I married a farmer! But I have always been an animal lover and my dad was very interested in horses, so I grew up around animals. My husband and I started with just a few cows and a small plot of land, then he was asked to manage a farm for an older man who had a stately home and farmland, so we moved up there and it just grew. We have a farm shop at Borough Market in London, and we’ve been selling meat from our own herd there for almost 20 years now!

The Big Question: uni or no uni?

You can do apprenticeships and a degree in farming or agriculture and all sorts of specialities such as equestrian care, so looking after horses, or arable farming which is a different thing altogether (farming crops rather than animals). There are big estates who employ farm hands and young farmers. If you could get an apprenticeship or a job there, that would be a good place to start—even asking locally to help out during lambing season giving the lambs milk to get some experience. Duchy farms, a huge organisation that runs a cooperative of farms, still employ people who rent the farm, go and live in a house there and farm the land. It would be ideal for young people to start there, but they are hard to get.

Big farming colleges such as the Duchy colleges teach young people a very traditional way of farming, running agriculture-related apprenticeships, so you earn a wage while you’re learning. They probably wouldn’t be organic, but those places are well connected so might be able to find a farmer to take you on, if you aren’t able to find one yourself. The big agricultural colleges are all too often filled with rich young men who are learning how to take over their father’s estates, it would be so lovely to see more young women going into farming.

Any other advice for wannabe farmers?

You’ve got to be an animal lover to go into farming—it’s more a lifestyle, than a job. A lot of people who love animals become vets, but these days a lot more girls are going into farming. They farm animals like cats, learning how to perform hysterectomies and castrations. They charge almost as much as you would for a whole cow!

It is important to think outside the box when it comes to farming. If you just sit there with your 100 sheep you won’t make money, so if it’s good to have another skill such as weaving.

You can also try your hand at hop farming (using crops to make beer) rather than traditional cattle or sheep farming. There’s money in that. You can work with a brewery or I know a local hop farmer who grows all sorts of varieties and has a tap room on his farm where he sells his own beer. There are all sorts of types of farming you can go into.

If you could give one piece of advice to your 14-year-old self, what would it be?

Go to college first, then university. Learn what you can and see what’s available. But I, and some people, are animal people—my ambition when I was young was always to live in the country and have dogs and fields. I’m not so far from that.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: Katie Edmunds

There’s one basic rule about relationships ending, and that is: it sucks. Whether the break up had been staring you in the face for months or jumped out at you from nowhere, it sucks. Whether they were your one true love or the worst thing that ever happened to you, it sucks. Whether your mates are mopping up your tears or dancing for joy, it sucks.

It sucks, sucks, sucks to suddenly be single. But that super-sad feeling doesn’t have to hang around. Sure, you’ve got to feel those feels a bit, but not forever. Now get down and give us 20, ‘cos busting those break up blues is gonna take a bit of effort.

Go with it

Break ups leave us feeling sad, angry, hurt, guilty, shocked, disappointed, lonely, relieved: basically, all the feels. Whether you’re a dumper or a dumpee, just about every emotion can be triggered by a break up and there isn’t a magical way to escape these feelings.

If you pretend nothing’s wrong and bottle it all up, it’s likely to make you feel a bit stressed out further down the line. So get ready to bed in and…

Have a big old wallow

We’re not normally fans of the mope, but when you’ve been through a stressful time, it’s OK to have a bit of quiet time to process what’s happened. Plan some cosy days full of long, deep baths, parks strolls, hot chocs and duvet snuggles.

Let yourself think about those beautiful eyelashes/freckles/lips/LOLs/whatever it is you miss about your ex and sob it out. Yep, it’s not nice to feel sad, but it is all part of the process. Accept that you’re not going to feel quite like your normal self for a little while… but just for a little while, OK?

Make some plans

While you might not feel like rushing out to meet your mates while your face is still streaked with mascara, use your post-dumping downtime to plan some fun things to do over the next few weeks.

You don’t need to hire a limo or book in a sky dive – just work out a movie night or a PSL date with your girls. Having a few things to look forward to is a good way to start turning that frown upside down. Plus, there’s nothing like a hug from your BFFs to make you feel a li’l bit better.

It takes time

A break up can make you feel as tender as if you’ve just walked right into a table while half the school canteen pointed and laughed. Even if you didn’t drop your whole dinner all over the floor, you’re as sore as hell. And just like that fresh table-slam bruise, that pain isn’t going to go away overnight.

But know this: five days post-break up won’t feel as bad as one day post-break up. Ten days post-break up’s gonna feel even better. And one day, you’ll barely be bothered about the whole ridiculous situation at all.

Keep talking

A lot of the time, when someone asks, “U OK hun?”, it’s simplest to just say, “Yes.” But no one feels OK all of the time, so when a good pal who knows the score asks how you’re holding up, don’t be afraid to spill your guts.

Talking it through is a great way to get your head around how you’re feeling, and once your mate understands what you’re going through, she’ll be even better at helping you sort yourself out.

Don’t get mad….OK, maybe get a little mad

Whether your ex cheated, didn’t treat you like the rainbow unicorn you are, or simply did your head in, it’s normal to feel angry. There are a couple of ways you can deal with this: rage about it to your mum/your mates’ group chat/your diary; or stand in the street outside your ex’s house and scream abuse into their window.

We don’t need to tell you which option to take.

Be your best badass self

Even in the greatest relationships of all time (Zalfie, Betts and Juggy, Hanna and Caleb – we’re talking about you), people can end up changing their plans, their hobbies, even their sense of humour to fit in with their other half.

Want some good news? You don’t have to do that anymore! Right now, it’s all about you, you, you. Do what you want, when you want. Hooray!

Mark those milestones

Have you made it through one long, tear-stained week since your big break up? High five! Has a whole month passed since you last kissed those lips? Treat yo’self! Before you know it, there’ll be a bunch of even more exciting milestones to celebrate, like your first sob-free day and your first new crush. Swit swoo girl, you’re back in the game!


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Climate change should be something on everyone’s radar. After all, it’s our responsibility as the next generation of activists, political leaders and teachers to make a change in the way we treat our planet – and no one believes in this more than this week’s betty babe Clara Nevins.

The 18 year old is the founder of two major organizations, Change Climate Change and Bridge the Divide, and is super passionate about addressing environmental issues using politics to make her point. She was recently named as one of the most influential teenagers of her generation, so girl, we are listening. Here’s why we’re obsessing over Clara this week…

We are ALL nasty, historic, powerful, united, strong, kind, fierce, iconic, determined, relentless #wmwyouth

A post shared by Clara Nevins (@claranevs) on

She’s an eco-warrior

Clara started her organisation Change Climate Change because she wanted to make waves in an “unconventional” way. She combats environmental problems from a political standpoint, contacting politicians and world leaders to explain that “climate change is the most pressing issue for our generation.” It seems like her method is working too! “We recently helped pass a Los Angeles city ordinance regarding building emission regulations” she told Teen Vogue.

Follow @changeclimatechangeorg for updates about the UN's #COP21

A post shared by Clara Nevins (@claranevs) on

The US activist also hosts discussions for teens all over the world. Via her Bridge the Divide campaign she encourages political conversations amongst young people, explaining that despite our differences we all have a responsibility to the planet. If you didn’t think she could get any cooler: she can. Clara recently worked on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Pretty impressive hey?

Who runs the world? #hillary

A post shared by Clara Nevins (@claranevs) on

She cares for the wider world

Clara is super conscious of all the people who will be affected by climate change if we don’t take action, and believes that people in privileged countries are not yet feeling the true impact. She told Affinity Magazine that she’s worried for people “in developing countries that are suffering from droughts and food shortages”.

There is no Plan(et) B. Demand climate action!!! #COP21 #earthtoparis

A post shared by Clara Nevins (@claranevs) on

“I care about having a planet for my children to grow up on and our generation to grow up on. And I think that at the rate that we’re going right now, we won’t have a planet to live in the next several hundred years. I just care about preserving life. That’s why I think climate change is so important,” she added.

Such an honor to meet Senator @timkaine !! #act4children

A post shared by Clara Nevins (@claranevs) on

She’s a food lover (like us)

Clara might be kicking ass when it comes to politics, but she still makes time to hang out with her mates and more importantly, eat baked goods. She is ALL about the awesome foodie pics. Seriously, they’ll have you drooling over your phone.

Big decisions.

A post shared by Clara Nevins (@claranevs) on

She loves to cook and share her creations with her friends and family too, which is super cute. Clara even made this amazing gingerbread house!

100% homemade.

A post shared by Clara Nevins (@claranevs) on

Talk about multi-talented. When you’re discussing the future of the rest of the world, a massive plate of gingerbread and unlimited tea is exactly what you want tbf. Every superwoman’s gotta eat.

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“Right, it’s probably best that I DO just have a look. If you just take your pants off and just lie in the foetal position for me. I’ll just get the gloves…”

‘Just’, I thought, as I stood there in my GP’s office a few weeks ago. THERE IS NO ‘JUST’ ABOUT THIS.

*record scratch. freeze frame.* Yep, that’s me. You’re probably wondering how I ended up in this situation, etc. Let’s rewind.

I’d had an itchy bum for a few weeks. I don’t just mean a shaving itch, or sweaty crack itch. I mean super-uncomfortable-can’t-sit-down-do-i-have-crabs-oh-god-I-think-I-actually-have-crabs kind of itch.

“I think I have bum cancer,” I announced.

“Wh… uh… why?” My long-suffering boyfriend asked on a cold, crisp, itchy winter’s morning.

“I think I’ve got a lump on it, I just felt it in the shower and obviously it’s bum cancer, so.”

“Are you wiping properly?”

WAS I WIPING PROPERLY? How rude. Yes. Front to back, thank you. I AM VERY THOROUGH.

I left it. I went with the very British ‘let’s see how it is in a few weeks’ tactic before doing anything about this… thing. Weeks went by. Some days I couldn’t feel it all but on the days I could feel it, I could REALLY FEEL IT. I caved. I rang my mum, she obviously told me to go to the doctor, and my nan in the background shouted, “GET SOME ANUSOL CREAM!”

They were down the high street. My nan was shouting about bum cream down the high street.

I bought this magic cream and tried it out for a few more weeks. You should have seen me, guys. Leg up on the chair, bent over, jabbing this cream on my bumhole. Beautiful. Utterly beautiful.

I couldn’t tell if it was working or not… so I did it. I booked an appointment with my GP.

The problem with seeing my GP is that the surgery is up a hill. Potential for sweat. Also, typically, obviously, my train was late, so I had to run up this hill. ALSO, typically, obviously, I hadn’t had a poo all day. WHAT IF SHE HAS TO PUT HER FINGER UP MY SWEATY BUM AND MY BUM GETS… CONFUSED???

It wasn’t going well. But I just kept thinking to myself:

1. You can’t make looking at a bumhole nice anyway. It’s a bumhole.

2. She’s probably looked at old man bumholes.

3. This is her job. She is just doing her job.

4. At least I can write about it.

I walked into my GP’s office with my head held high and bum clenched in anticipation. I felt like it already had the spotlight on it. People in the waiting room knew there was something wrong with my bum. It was glowing like a baboon’s. At least, that’s what it felt like.

But I faked confidence and just got on with telling my GP what was up. If I acted bold and frank then it would be funny, right? I can control how this goes. It doesn’t have to be excruciatingly embarrassing and awkward. PEOPLE GET BUM PROBLEMS, SO WHAT?!

And… it worked. It was fine. We laughed. My GP was totally chill, obviously, and said it was probably a little hemorrhoid caused by straining (whoops) and not drinking enough water (also whoops). Basically, I probably had piles.

I always imagined piles to be like a handful of umbilical cord sticking out your arse. Like a monkey’s bum. You know what I mean, right? Monkey bums are weird.

Anyway, I digress. Piles are not like that.

My GP put me at ease as I did as I was told and got my bum out in the foetal position. She put her glasses on, pinged her plastic glove, and had a prod around before announcing she was going to slip a finger up there to check for internal hemorrhoids. I took some deep breaths, desperately tried to relax my bum muscles, and thought about what I was having for dinner that night.

Then it was done.

Bish bash bosh.

It was either a tiny hemorrhoid or a skin tag, I should keep using the cream, not strain, and drink more water.

DONE. It was as easy as that. The worst part was the overthinking beforehand, as per usual. But always remember that your GP really is there to help you with anything, this is their job, they’re trained, they CHOSE THIS, they’ll always have seen worse. Like old man bums.

I walked out that GP office’s like John Bender in The Breakfast Club (see below). I was master of my own bum destiny. I felt great.

@louisejonesetc

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: Getty

What do you want to be ‘when you grow up’? While many of us have our careers mapped out from an early age, for others it takes years to pick a path – which is why you might want to take a peek at these truly amazing jobs.

While we’re sure there aren’t hundreds of vacancies for professional sleepers, these weird and wonderful opportunities do come up, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled if you want to give all your mates total life envy.

1. Waterslide tester


Testing fun stuff is always going to make for a great job and what could be more fun than waterslides? As a waterslide tester you travel the world, trying out new slides at hotels and theme parks, and report back to the company on everything from speed to potential safety hazards.

Probably one for stronger swimmers and adrenaline junkies.

2. Luxury bed tester

If riding waterslides every day sounds too much like hard work, you can essentially become a professional sleeper by testing luxury beds. This is one occasion when nobody will give you trouble for sleeping on the job!

Your employer will generally be a fancy mattress manufacturer or a hotel chain, and your role will involve taking naps in various beds, then reporting back on your comfort levels. Literally living the dream.

3. Netflix tagger

Fancy sitting around watching Netflix all day AND getting paid for it? It is possible, if you get a job as a Netflix Tagger, where you have to watch shows and decide what category they should fall under on the streaming site.

These taggers are also responsible for what ends up in your suggested shows, so you now know who to blame if they don’t reflect your interests at all.

4. Island caretaker

Imagine relocating to a private island where all you had to do was keep a blog and complete some tiny caretaking tasks? While these jobs are few and far between, they have been offered by tourist boards in the past, usually to generate awareness of a destination.

Tourism Queensland had a six-month position on the Great Barrier Reef, where the successful applicant was able to live rent-free, and was paid $150,000 for their blog and photo diary. Not bad work if you can get it, eh?

5. Chocolate taster


It sounds like something straight out of Willy Wonka, but chocolate brands need feedback before putting new products on the shelves, so of course somebody has to test the goods.

However, one of the downsides is that you’re tasting the chocolate before it’s been perfected, so you might have to eat some pieces that don’t exactly appeal to your palette. A small price to pay for a pretty yummy job?

6. Fortune cookie writer

What, you didn’t think those little slips of paper inside your fortune cookies wrote themselves, did you? Usually cookie companies will hire freelance writers to come up with the pearls of wisdom, but some do offer full-time positions, should you feel it’s your true calling.

7. Party planner

Love throwing a good shindig? Then perhaps you should consider planning other people’s. Officially known as event co-ordinators, party planners are involved in everything from scouting locations to finding caterers, booking entertainment and creating the overall look of the event.

While it can definitely be a fun and lucrative career, you also need to be able to stay calm under pressure, especially when the birthday girl is crying because her ice sculpture melted. Boohoo.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: The Edge of Seventeen

The end of school is nigh, and all of a sudden you feel like you’ve got 100 decisions to make. What do I want to do with my life? Do I want to go to college, or uni, or do I want to get stuck straight into work? It’s easy to feel lost when you don’t know what you want to do, or how to get there.

But while you have literally your whole life to make up your mind, a little bit of good advice can go a long way. So with that in mind, in a series of interviews, we’re speaking to women who’ve ‘made it’, and asking their advice on how to follow in their footsteps.

This month, we speak to Ashwini Gawde, a physiotherapist…

What actually *is* your job?

The fancy word for it is a ‘neuromusculoskeletal’ physiotherapist, which means I specialise in problems with muscles and bones, which are related to the brain. My job is to find out what’s wrong with a patient, provide a diagnosis and then come up with a plan to treat them. It could be as simple as lower back pain, or headaches related to pain in the arm, or it could be more serious. These sorts of problems are becoming really common—it’s because of our modern lifestyles, being in offices and not forgetting the mobile phones we all look down at!

How did you get into that type of physiotherapy?

I always wanted to be a neurosurgeon—I found it really fascinating and it seemed challenging. My specialism is a similar field. But it was by destiny, really! I always wanted to help people, so to be a doctor or something, and by chance my dad suggested I apply to do it as a backup, just in case I didn’t get into others. But it made my career. I believe you will always end up where your heart wants you to go.

Do you have to know all about the brain to do what you do?!

You don’t need specific training to go into any one field—but I did have to have some experience. You can do that in hospitals, sports clubs, or in private clinics. It means you know what to expect and will help give you a better idea what your interests are. There are loads of different fields—respiratory (breathing), cardiovascular, sports. If you would love to be a sports physio, it’s a good idea to get some experience with a football or rugby team, for example.

The big question: uni or no uni?

You do need a degree to be a physio—a BSc in physiotherapy, which is three years at university. You could also do a masters in a specialism for one or two years, which would help. It depends on the uni you want to go to, but usually you have to have A levels in biology or human biology to do physiotherapy at university.

What’s a typical day like?

I don’t start at the clinic until 1:30pm, which is nice. I work shifts. I’ll see patients with all sorts of problems—spine injuries, people who’ve had strokes, people with cerebral palsy. It’s hands-on work: I do a type of massage, teach them stretching exercises. The most important thing is patient education—explaining to them why it’s happened, what it means and how what I am doing is going to help them.

What’s the best part of your job?

Being able to help people get back to their daily lives, from a state of sometimes being in bed and unable to move on their own. When you see them smile and becoming independent, moving on with their lives, I must say it is so rewarding. Nothing gives you more of that special feeling about yourself! I also get to meet so many new people, so my job is never boring. Educating people about their health is fascinating.

Are there any bad parts?

All the documentation, and using a computer! I love my job, but I hate spending time in front of a computer, I would much rather do reports by hand. Saying that, I understand how important it is and although I dread doing it, I have to get it done as it’s important keep records up to date.

Is physiotherapy a male-dominated field?

I personally always felt it was rather female-dominated. I have never felt limited—rather, I always felt empowered by my job choice.

If you could give one piece of advice to your 14-year-old self, what would it be?

If you really want to do something for mankind, help people and see lives changing, then physiotherapy is the field for you!

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

I’ll be honest, guys – I was a little bit embarrassed about writing this. Despite the fact I’m an actual grown woman who is supposed to have proper things to worry about (like… um, mortgages? Recycling? I still don’t know), I was reluctant to actually put the words down on paper (ok, screen) in case everyone laughed and pointed and the villagers turned up at my door with pitchforks and fire.

But yes, it’s true. I was a teenage snogging celibate.

I had what could *generously* be called my ‘first kiss’ when I was 11 – from my middle school boyfriend, on the cheek, barely a moist residue left – and smugly assumed that it would be the first of many kisses. Longer, wetter ones. I thought I was firmly on the saliva highway; the long road to Snogsville, tongue population: two. Little did I know it would be a full seven years before I actually achieved mouth-on-mouth contact, and then it would be when I was old enough to drink and vote.

There are many reasons it never happened, in theory. The main one: I went to an all-girls high school, and barely knew any boys. Our bin-sack uniforms felt fugly enough to send any potential bus stop snog partners running for the hills, and all my extra-curricular hobbies – ballet, amateur dramatics, hanging round in Accessorize trying on big hats – weren’t exactly spilling over with viable straight boys. Who was I going to snog? The caretaker’s son? The boy who worked in Co-op?

Also, I was fussy. While my mates went to parties and cheerfully got off with whatever friend’s brother’s cousin they could find as long as he was adolescent and doused in enough Lynx Africa, I shied away and quietly waited for The Dream Snog Situation to present itself. If I was only patient enough, I thought, a cross between Mr Darcy and Oliver Wood from Harry Potter would turn up on my doorstep with a pot of Carmex and a string quartet.

But they didn’t. The years rolled by, and I stayed un-snogged. It started to feel as though other people’s lives were one long tongueathon, only coming up for air every so often to tell me about it during assembly.

Everything else arrived that puberty had promised – periods, boobs, pubes, chin acne – but still no kissing opportunities, except boyband posters and the back of my own hand. At this point I became less fussy. I’d settle for a spin-the-bottle kiss; a dare; a guy accidentally falling on my mouth as he walked past in a corridor. Maybe CPR, at a push. I worried that everyone could tell, which would make me even less kissable. I felt like an old sandwich, marked down with a bright yellow sticker because it was past its snog-by date.

Then at sixth-form college, finally surrounded by boys after four years of basically being a nun in a navy jumper, I got so excited I immediately fell in love with about 10 at once – but because the only type of flirting I knew how to do was gazing seductively (read: staring creepily) at them across rooms, no snogging happened then either. Boys were more likely, it turned out, to snog the girl who actually had a conversation with them than the one who appeared to be trying to put a hex on them with her scary saucer-eyes from the other side of the canteen (important life lesson, write that down).

So that’s how I ended up 18, losing my kissing virginity as a university fresher. I would never know what it’s like to have that awkward teenage first kiss – the lingering snog goodnight on your parents’ doorstep, the hour-long, messy make-out sesh in the corner of a school disco, or the kind where your mates gather outside the cupboard door, giggling.

And you know what? It turns out that’s fine. Better than fine: nobody even gives a s**t! People are generally far too obsessed with their own hang-ups to really pay attention to yours (write that down too). There may not have been a string quartet, but there wasn’t any laughing or pointing either. The guy in question didn’t pull away in horror, yelling “what are you DOING?! THAT’S NOT HOW THE TONGUE BIT GOES.” And once it was done it was done; just like that, the issue dissolved into thin air. Not once in all the years since has anyone ever even asked about it. And FYI guys – not trying to sound like a snogging superhero or anything, but I’ve more than made up for lost time.

More importantly, I’ve never regretted not snogging anyone sooner. Honest. I’m glad I didn’t leap on the caretaker’s son, or the boy who worked in Co-op, or try to instigate spin-the-bottle in the sixth-form common room. Although I also have no doubt that if I had got off with every juicy pair of lips that crossed my path, that would have been fine and fun and hilarious too; just different.

Because here’s the real secret: it all evens out, eventually. Whether you have your first kiss at 13, 18 or 33, lovely though it will eventually be, practice never really makes perfect. Just spit. All you actually need to have achieved by the end of your teen years is to have a few good people around you, and a few funny stories to tell – and you can tell yours just as well (better, even) without someone else’s tongue in your mouth.

@laurenbravo

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: Hailey Hamilton

There’s an envelope with flowers and hearts drawn all over it, and it’s addressed to me. I snatch it off of the hall table and bolt upstairs to my bedroom, hoping that, at last, this is it: the pen pal I had always dreamed of.

“Hi Caroline. How are you? It’s me, Sarah, from Spain!”

Oh-ho, Sarah, you don’t need to remind me who you are. Ever since we met on the beach that day, I’ve been casting you as my pen pal/free therapist. When I slipped you my address on the last day of holidays, when I was going back to Ireland and you were going back to Manchester, I was setting the wheels in motion for what I planned to be a 20-year postal friendship.

“How is your brother, Rob?”

Hang on, what?

“Will you ask him how he is for me? We only met for a few minutes so in case he doesn’t remember who I am, I’ve enclosed this photograph of me. Maybe you could give it to him?”

Sarah, my confidante, my free therapist, my sounding board, my great white hope at an international, lifelong friendship: she didn’t care about me at all. The only reason she had even taken my address was to send photos of herself to my brother.

If my bedroom had a mini-fridge in it, I would have stayed in there forever.

It was the first time something like this had happened to me, but it wouldn’t be the last. There was 18 months between me and my older brother Rob, and while there had always been differences between us – he was athletic, I was bookish – it never seemed to matter until we started secondary school. He shot up eight inches overnight, started wearing gel in his hair, and began disappearing into bushes with girls from my class. If puberty is a train that you can board, Rob was given a first class seat with extra leg room. I was clinging to the side of it, trying not to be killed.

The differences between us suddenly seemed enormous. He was funny, and had an amazing knack for impersonating people that won him a ton of friends. He was also the rare kind of teenager who could talk to adults properly, and was always the favourite whenever aunts or uncles came around for dinner.

I, meanwhile, became more and more withdrawn, and seemed to find everything – school, friends, home, LIFE ITSELF – difficult. I was gangly and strange and did things that I knew would alienate me from having friends, but couldn’t seem to stop doing them anyway. I drew hieroglyphics on myself in magic marker, I bought books on Wicca, I cast spells while sitting in my wardrobe. I spent Friday nights in my bedroom while my brother smoked in the back garden with girls from my French class.

And it was painful. Of course it was. I stuck to the three or four friends I had, and seemed to be a puzzle to the other people in my year.

“Did you know they’re brother and SISTER?” I overheard someone say. “I don’t know,” the other girl said. “I suppose they kinda look the same.”

By 15, I knew what that “kinda” meant. “Kinda” meant: they’re cut from the same cloth, but her cloth is a napkin, and his is a three-piece suit. The year after that, Rob was sent to boarding school. His popularity had led to him falling in with what my mother would call “a sketchy lot”, which, of course, only made him more popular. After that, his status became legendary. Every Friday, girls would come up to my desk to ask me if Rob was coming home that weekend, and whether he was going to so-and-so’s party if he was.

But something was happening to me during the years I spent in my bedroom, nursing those weird little eccentricities and interests that I knew made me a bit of a loser. I started the early groundwork on what would eventually become my adult personality.

I read constantly, and pretty soon, I was writing constantly too. I taught myself the guitar, and formed a band with two people who had never even heard of my brother. Who, as far as I was concerned, thought that I was the only O’Donoghue kid worth hearing about.

Toward my late teens, my friendship group started to mushroom outside of my school. And now, when people said I was “different’ to my brother, it didn’t necessarily mean “worse than”. It just meant different.

@Czaroline

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: Hailey Hamilton

Your identity is a complicated and multilayered thing. Some people place importance on things like nationality, while for others their identity might be wrapped up in a sport they play, or a genre of music that means the world to them. And for many of us, sexuality is a really important aspect of what makes us feel most comfortably ourselves – but the way we’re talking about it is changing in an amazing way.

For lots of young people, the rigid and restrictive conditions around sexuality are looking more and more old-fashioned. You might be a cisgender girl who’s always dated boys but suddenly you catch yourself with feelings for another girl at school. In previous generations this would have caused far much more anxiety and confusion, whereas now it’s something most young people have no real qualms about. With a wealth of knowledge and thousands of different perspectives to absorb online, we’re less likely to define ourselves in such strict terms – officially.

A recent study of over 1000 people aged 13-26 from the UK and US found that a massive 57% of participants don’t identify as strictly heterosexual. As a society, we’re going beyond those black and white binary definitions.

Representation is a really important factor here. It’s so important to see people who reflect who you are in the media, because seeing people like you makes you feel less alone. As a young teen struggling with my own sexuality, to have had something like the San Junipero episode of Black Mirror, or the wonderfully queer Steven Universe, would have meant the world to me (it still does tbh).

Online communities are another way this generation is dismantling sex and gender stereotypes. Back 20 years ago, someone grappling with new and confusing feelings might not have had someone to confide in – but these days, tight-knit groups of online friends and kindred spirits from every corner of the globe can be a total lifeline. The value and legitimacy of online relationships was emphasised by the study results, with 55% of respondents having been in a virtual relationship with someone they had never met before, particularly trans or nonbinary people and those with disabilities.

The study, which was commissioned by anti-bullying organisation Ditch The Label, showed that 34% of people feel as though the label-based definition of sexuality is obsolete. Now more than ever, young people feel like they can be themselves and navigate their sexuality at their own pace, without fear of negative repercussions. A whopping 93% of participants said they saw nothing wrong with exploring your sexuality, and I think they’re totally right. As long as you’re not hurting others and taking care of yourself, just… live your life.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that if you do end up identifying exclusively under a certain label, that’s totally ok too. So many people find community and kinship in embracing a label, and it helps them make sense of their place in the world. On the other hand, it’s not cool to be disparaging of someone if they don’t fit in one category or another. The beauty of us lies in our difference and diversity, and that kind of attitude can leave someone feeling ostracised and inauthentic (speaking from personal experience on this one).

As young people create a more accepting and open-minded view of human sexuality and gender, here’s hoping the progress continues. And if you’re struggling with your sexuality, that there are so many supports out there for you to help navigate through what can be an intense time.

If you remember one thing, it’s that your feelings are always valid regardless of whether you fit into any box or stereotype. You’re never on your own.

@incogellen

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: Hailey Hamilton