E Awards 2017

As most of you know, I disappeared in November to work on my event with a beautiful bunch of people from Edinburgh Napier University, that event was the Harry Potter Horcrux Hunt and you can read more about it here.

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It was a cool event to put on but I never thought anything more of it until our group received an email from our lecturer in January. Obviously, when a lecturer from your previous semester emails you, you’re naturally going to panic and assume you’ve failed – or maybe that’s just me and my crippling self-doubt. The email from our lecturer told us that she loved our event and had put us forward for the Student Event/Festival Excellence award at the Excellence in Events “E” Awards 2017.

That was in January and there are literally hundreds of student event groups in Scotland so again, we never thought much of it, until 3 weeks ago…

We received an email from our lecturer telling us we had been nominated for our event, it was nice to be nominated for an award and know your work is being appreciated. Also, I hadn’t been nominated for an award in a good few years since I knocked the music career on the head. It meant a lot for me personally, as someone who sees their career in PR and studying it. To even be nominated for something that reflects your future career, it does make you feel good knowing you’re on the right track in life.

We even found out that 2 of our competition were also from Edinburgh, including one from our very own Napier, which was quite nice knowing I made the right choice to come to this university/city. It goes to show, how important it is to choose the right university and city that will be best for your own career, rather than the most accessible. I can’t help but wonder that if I stayed in Glasgow, would this still have happened? I doubt it…

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The big day arrived and of course, anyone who has lived in Britain knows how bad the traffic is between 4pm-7pm. Now, imagine being on a motorway between the 2 biggest cities in Scotland – I lowkey think we would have been quicker walking. We arrived fashionably late and found our seats, just in time for the winner for our category to be announced…

WE LOST.

Ah well, it was fun while it lasted. There were free glasses of wine being passed about, so, every cloud and all that, eh?

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We did our obligatory post-event mingling session, a few pats on the back from individuals, shaken a few hands, congratulated winners and drank a lot of some wine. Considering we hadn’t eaten all day, we treated ourselves to a Nando’s for getting at least nominated – Everyone eats when they’re sad, don’t judge us!

We left soon after and it gave me time to think on the journey back to Edinburgh. I have more belief in my ability and although we never won, we did not bad, in my opinion. That is all the inspiration I need to push on and go and do even better next time. It’s amazing how such a little thing, such as confidence can make a huge difference to your own perception of things. It doesn’t need to be an award nomination, even just a nod or even a simple “well done” can make all the difference. Just a simple acknowledgement that you’re on the right track, it can put you in a good place mentally. If you’re reading this, and you know a colleague, classmate or just anyone in general who is doing good, tell them, let them know that they are. It could make the world of difference to them.

Before I go, I just want to say congratulations to the Robert Gordon University students for their Aberdeen Student Festival and also a huge mention to my partners in crime, Jeanie, Misbah and Rachael who were great to work with. Here’s to next year!

 

Jay Carrington

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My Online Hiatus Is Over (Part 2)

December

HERE WE GO! WOOO! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!!

WRONG.

My first 10 days of this festive month was full of report deadlines, presentations, results, stress, tears and too many mental breakdowns to count.

However, I did it! I had (just about) survived 3 and a half months at university, I was indestructible and I felt I could conquer the world! On the 15th, my dad came to my flat in Edinburgh to drive me back home to Glasgow for Christmas and New Year and I went back home and lived happily ever after my dad crashed the car.

We were on the motorway heading towards Glasgow and the lane we were in was coned off and was diverting traffic into the other 2 lanes, my dad thought he could cut in late… He couldn’t. He then preceded to knock down a minimum of 15 cones while there were cars racing up behind us, beside us, everywhere. Cars were swerving all over the M8 to avoid the trail of cone destruction we left behind us. However, plans for a quick getaway were foiled by the 5-10 cones stuck underneath the car stopping the car from moving.

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We then temporarily blocked off the other lane to turn a 3-lane motorway into a 1-lane before being escorted by security into a cordoned off area while we waited for the police.

Usually, people get embarrassed by their parent’s dancing or clothing, I wish my dad kept it on a low-key scale like that.

An hour passed before the police showed up for less than 1 minute before we were on our way again, it actually got to the stage where I was hoping the police would take us to the station, give a fine, lock us up, just something to at least justify us being unable to move for a full hour.

Urgh, frustrating. However, fast forward to my birthday weekend…

Friday, 16th

Boys night! The first night we’ve spent together since Ryan went into the XFactor house, I moved to university in Edinburgh and Daniel, well he’s still there. So the 3 of us got a few beers, snacks and then headed back to Daniel’s for some boy time – no girls, no phones, no drama.

Saturday, 17th

After a chilled day,  I was soon only hours away from my 24th birthday. I was having a quiet night at my friend, Daniel’s flat playing some Fifa and having a few beers, until our dear friend Ryan calls us up and wants to join. Well, I’m not saying he’s a bad influence but our night went from a “quiet one” to this…

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I also had the pleasure of joining Tommy from the Glasgow reality-show, Glow. Reality “stars” often come across as cocky, douchey but again you have a select few who are genuinely nice, down to earth and a good laugh, Tommy definitely fits the latter category. A truly nice lad who invited us to join him and his friends at their table, it was such a nice way to see in my birthday with my closest friends and a group of people who know how to have a good time. I was glad to be home, I LOVE GLASGOW!

Sunday, 18th

IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!!!

I get woken up to the inevitable hangover but also a full English and a cup of tea courtesy of my dear mother. A few days prior to my birthday, Ryan broke the news to me that Emily had got him tickets to see The 1975 on the Monday, a band me and him both love – and we had seen in March that year. INCREDIBLE! However, for my birthday they both got me a ticket to Clyde 1 Live, so I could literally see The 1975 on my birthday along with Tom Odell and Blossoms at the SSE Hydro. FAR. TOO. HYPED.

I met Ryan and Emily at the venue and we went and got seated at the back of the middle tier, I was third-wheelin’ but when The 1975 are on-stage I could be 33rd wheelin’ and I still not care. Blossoms followed The 1975 and then Kaiser Chiefs performed before a 20-minute interval. In that time, Ryan and Emily got noticed, I went to the toilet, came back and there was a full-blown queue so people could get pictures with them. Fair play to them for smiling for each picture while I sat next to them like a right gooseberry. I was lowkey tempted to tell the queue that they were ruining my birthday. However, shout out to Molly and Emily who invited me to go and sit with them while the queue should no signs of slowing down. Unsurprisingly, Ryan and Emily left pretty much soon after, I stayed for Tom Odell with my new friends before going home. It’s been a long one but finally, my birthday was over, but the party wasn’t.

Monday,19th

I am one day older than my very dear and beautiful friend, Carly Starrs so to celebrate her birthday we attended the Atlantic bar and Brasserie in the city centre of Glasgow. The food and customer service was spot on and I recommend it to anyone looking for a place to go in Glasgow.

The highlight of this night was being surrounded by all my friends and especially seeing my best friend have a smile on her face on her big day. The girl is a true friend and I was glad I was able to see in her birthday with her. 7v6v7o5y

That weekend took its toll on me and left me needing a few days of recuperation but if I was feeling fragile, that was just the beginning of my family’s health problems. In the following days, my great Aunt Neta went into hospital after blanking out, her sister, my gran went into hospital due to having problems breathing but she was luckily let out on Christmas eve. Two days after Christmas and my gran then gets taken back into hospital and gets diagnosed with pneumonia, all of this while knowing my mum has to go for an operation on the 30th to get gallstones removed.

The 30th December is the day where people get prepared for New Year’s Eve, they’re buying alcohol, they’re laying out their outfit for the following evening and looking forward to welcoming in a new year. I, however, had my great aunt in a hospital in Glasgow and I had my mum AND my gran in another hospital on the same day. I remember coming back to my house after leaving my mum in hospital to an empty house and it’s a weird feeling sitting in an empty house and having neither your mum there or being able to go to you visit your gran.It was probably the only time where I had ever felt truly alone.

I completed my errands for my mum and Gran and managed to visit my gran and also my mum post-op who was clearly still a bit dazed from the anaesthetic. My mum, got out the following day but sadly my Gran had to stay in for at least another week.

P.s

You may be wondering what happened between the 19th and the 30th, I’m not going to lie, it was purely family and friend time but here’s a breakdown:

  • I consumed my weight in turkey and pigs & blankets.
  • The world also lost musical icon, George Michael on Christmas Day and we paid tribute to him with this beautiful video
  • I managed to spend Christmas day with my family – and Boxing day with my second family – The Lawrie’s lfwcrqb3

 

but the highlight of December was definitely taking this beautiful woman to the Glasgow Christmas Market. All the partying, all the studying and everything in between means nothing without this woman. The light of my life and my inspiration to become a better person and how she handles any sort of problem that encounters her path with such grace and dignity. The best mother I could ask for.

lhmxdrkm

Jay Carrington

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My Online Hiatus Is Over (Part 1)

Well… I should start this by saying HAPPY OLD YEAR and MERRY BELATED CHRISTMAS.We are officially into the second month of 2017 and I am yet to post, in fact, I haven’t posted in 4 months… FOUR MONTHS! My activity on social media has nose-dived more spectacularly than Arsenal’s title challenge this season

… There’s always next season, eh lads? Lads?!

I have been offline for a few months, rarely popping online to be nosey and occasionally Retweet stuff I was either obligated to or generally anti-Trump/pro-equality – both are pretty much the same thing. Although I have been keeping a low profile online, I have been busy with my personal life. As any student knows or even if you have friends who have students, December is deadline month and November is the month you spend being stressed about December, hence why I was inactive online over those 2 months… but still remained active in real life.

November

On the 12th November, I was honoured to be asked to attend the Rainbow Valley Charity Ball at the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow. You can read more about them here at their website and what the charity are doing and the story about why they are doing it. Working with Angela MacVicar and Lindsay MacCallum on a campaign in 2016 was definitely one of my highlights and all for an amazing cause.

I attended the ball with my best friend of many years, Clare Armstrong (she wanted a mention). Due to me moving away from Glasgow, her studying and working a lot, we haven’t seen as much of each other as we would have liked. Since I was going to be back home in Glasgow the event, it felt fitting that I kill 2 birds with one stone (I have just realised that is an incredibly grim analogy.) I felt this was the perfect chance to have a catch-up like old times so we got dolled up and headed to the ball.

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Halfway through the night, the alcohol – and the central heating – kicked in so of course, the jacket had to come off for a pose

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While all this was going on, the full night was incredible and full of fun and entertainment coming from cheerleading group, The Scottish Rockettes, Govan School Pipes and Drums and also real-life Sherlock Holmes (without all the murder and detective-y stuff), Colin Cloud.collage

The night was a hugely enjoyable and was also a huge success with a lot of money being raised for a great cause – tickets are already on sale for the 2017 ball, to purchase tickets click here.

The Rainbow Valley Charity Ball was my last public event I attended as a guest, however for one of my university modules I had to host an event with some people I had never met before. We bandied together and created a Harry Potter-themed scavenger hunt in the city of Harry Potter, Edinburgh. The event was called  Harry Potter Horcrux Hunt.

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The event was a huge success with the event selling out and gaining quite a large waiting list. For my first proper event, this was definitely a great start and I have just found out that the event is being put forward for an award so, we’re definitely excited. Considering the amount of work and stress that went into this, we could not have been more pleased with the outcome – and nor could the winning group, The Blast Ended Skrewts who won a £50 bar tab and a cup for their achievements.

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The event was incredible to put together and was made even better working with my group who were just the coolest guys to work especially on such an event. As a huge Harry Potter fan, I was so glad I managed to do this especially with so many notorious Harry Potter landmarks around this beautiful city.

We had to get a post-event picture so our faces are something of that of relief, exhaustion and 10 weeks of stress coming to and end. Don’t be fooled by the picture, we were incredibly happy!

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me, Jeanie, Rachael and Misbah (MJR Events)

 

November, was a funny ol’ month, but I was looking forward to December so I could go back home and see my friends and put all my studying and stress behind me…

 

Jay Carrington

Facebook/Twitter/Instagram

 

 

My Summer Story

Well… I’m back!!!

I have noticed a few of you on social media have been aware of my absence on here over the past few months and it was, well needed. Studying and blogging is all fine and dandy until assessments are required to be handed in and grades are needed to be met. To cut a long story short, I took a break to focus on my studies as I needed a B to go to university – Your boy got an A!

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Also, for one of my units we had to work in groups to create a PR & Advertising campaign for a charity called Rainbow Valley and well, this happened…

 

Our college project has now snowballed into so much more than we ever thought and we are currently in the process of working with the Rainbow Valley and Wire Media to take our campaign idea and turn them into a reality which our group is excited about.

Winning this meant that I got an internship at McFrank PR Agency which was without a doubt one of the most incredible and educational few weeks of my life. Seeing campaigns come to fruition, being involved with projects in the morning and seeing it in the newspapers that same evening was magical. It has only further confirmed that this is exactly the path that I want to go down for my career.

In April, I got invited by Renfrewshire Council to attend the Paisley Food Festival and you don’t need to ask me twice whether I want to attend a food festival. I swear I went home that night easily 2 stone heavier than I left the house that morning! A day where, the legendary chef, Nick Nairn cooks you beef stew and you’re sipping a rum & coke on beach chairs while listening to live music, is definitely a good day!

In June, my best friend Ryan Lawrie taken part in a competition to be Vodafone’s Summer Breaker with Capital FM and he won! His prize was performing at Capital’s Summertime Ball at Wembley Stadium in front of 90,000 and I honestly couldn’t have been prouder. So obviously I had to go and show my support and I travelled down with his girlfriend…

and his girlfriend’s mum…

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and we all conducted ourselves in a mature and professional manner…

but we’re super proud of him and his performance and now they’re both doing XFactor, while I eat 15p Asda-priced noodles – who’s the real winner here, eh?

Since then, I have spent some much-needed downtime with my nearest and dearest. My mum has been sorting herself out, seeing the physio, lost nearly 3 stone in a few months and she is looking so much more like her old self. The confidence is back, her pain is getting treated, exercising more and the weight is falling off her! As her baby boy, I could not be more proud of her.

As for my brother, Adam. He only decided to pack in his job and use his journalistic nous to write a novel. Write a novel in Scotland? No chance. Write a novel in the UK? Nah mate. Write a novel in Holland? Hmm yeah sure. How would a regular person travel from Glasgow to Holland? Fly? Train? Boat? Nah, not my brother. He cycled! 2 weeks on his bike, pitching a tent and camping out at each location. But hey, he survived the journey only to get glandular fever in his second week.

I have packed up my life into a couple of suitcases and started preparing for life at university. Who knew moving out for the first time would be so stressful?! So check back in a bit and I shall leave a survival guide for moving out. It might be a few weeks or if I don’t post it then clearly my findings are incorrect and I haven’t survived. In that case, DO THE OPPOSITE!!!

Anyway, for now, I have left Glasgow behind to make a new life for myself in Edinburgh as a student/blogger/party animal/Pokemon master. It’s the first ever time I’m living away from home without any supervision and I don’t know who should be more worried, me, my mum or everyone I’m living with.

Oh well, here’s to this new chapter of my life and I could not be more excited to see what life has in store for me.

It feels good to be back!

Special Mention: Jen McEwan – I worked so closely with this girl over the past year and a bit and it has been an absolute pleasure. Together we got an A for our HND and we also won our Advertising & PR campaign for Rainbow Valley together. Her animation and graphic designs are incredible and were probably the reason we did so well. Her Harvey Milk animation also won 2 awards at the Equality & Diversity Awards in Glasgow in May.

 

Jay Carrington

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Week 14 2016: The Week of Sexual Health

Last month, I found a rash on my foot and thought nothing of it until I told my friend who proceeded to tell me the worst story you can tell someone as overdramatic as myself.

My college companion, Jen, told me a story of how her friend ended up getting a rash on his chest and felt really run down and exhausted – I had a rash on my foot and felt run down and exhausted due to having a bug. Her friend went to get checked and it turns out her friend got diagnosed with HIV. Of course, my mind went into overdrive and I panicked  and before I know it in my head I have planned my funeral, died and experienced life as a ghost. Considering you are meant to get “checked” every 6 months or so and I haven’t been checked in 2 years I felt it was probably for the best that I book an appointment for myself ASAP.

I made my journey to the health clinic on Tuesday by myself and I stood outside for 15 minutes before growing a set to go in. I don’t know about anyone else but I find it quite a daunting experience because it is sexual health is still quite a taboo subject. It doesn’t matter if you get spotted going to one of these places, the most important thing is that you’re as healthy as can be. It’s better to be safe than sorry. I was only in there about 10 minutes for a full check-up.

In those 10 minutes I did the following:

  • Answered some simple questions about my sexual history
  • Drank some water
  • Peed in a small tube – and accidentally on my hand.
  • had a needle stuck in my arm and had some blood taken.

When I left, I got handed a bag of condoms and sent on my way feeling so much better that I had been checked. Of course, it is a bit of an inconvenience but 10 minutes out of your day is nothing in the grand scale of everything. If you do have something it is better for it be caught sooner so it can be treated.

Be safe, don’t be silly, wrap your willy.

For the past month, the city of Glasgow has been in mourning due to the murder of 15-year-old Paige Doherty. An absolute tragedy where a young girl can’t even walk the streets in broad daylight so when I was invited to attend the charity event to raise money for Paige’s funeral and family I wanted to go and show my support. The charity event was  created by a young girl called Emma Docherty where they had local singers and dancers come out and perform. If people want to donate they can donate here and on social media feel free to post a picture in memory of Paige by using the hashtags “#purpleforpaige” and “#poutforpaige”

On Thursday, I started planning my first video blog. I don’t want to say too much about it but I have been invited by Renfrewshire Council to take on a project that will be up posted in the next few weeks and I am super excited for it. I can give you one clue and that it will involve lots of food and beer. I’ve been wanting to start doing videos for a while but I’ve been super busy with coursework to start it which makes me super sad. Hopefully this Summer I will have a few videos up.

Anyways, I’m off to do more coursework because that is literally what my life revolves around now, instead of being in England with mates, I am in my room doing coursework. I only have like 1 more month left but it is absolutely dragging in now.

Hope everyone else is having a better Easter Holidays!

 

Jay Carrington

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Week 12 2016: The Week of Progression, Reflection and The Taboo of Mental Illness

After a rubbish week I now feel so much better. I received a conditional offer for University, I got paid and I submitted a massive part of my coursework. I feel a lot more relaxed and in a much better headspace than I was last week.

The past couple of weeks has led me to reach crazy levels of stress, the fear of not knowing what my future held is a scary moment but, at least, I have that security blanket and now I feel so much better and relaxed. Now it looks as if I’m heading off to Edinburgh to attend Napier university for 3rd year Marketing with Digital Media and I could not be happier!

After blowing a lot of my wages on a string of expensive first dates, I am still majorly unsuccessful in love. 0/3 successes this month so now I have decided I might give Tinder a try – if you see me swipe right, thanks.

Even though I’ve submitted a major part of my coursework I feel a lot more relaxed considering studying takes up 99% of my time (this statistic is not 100% accurate) I am excited for the much-needed Easter Holidays. It feels like the full year has mentally drained me going into the final block, I’m finding it hard to muster up the energy to finish off this final lap.

Also this week, it has been one full year since my friend Chris Hardman aka Lil Chris sadly passed away. I first met Chris in 2012 and we remained in contact over the following years, whether it was via a friendly Facebook message or we saw each other at various events. He openly spoke of his struggles with depression and never shied away from it but the one thing I can say about him is that he was a true gent and he truly had a beautiful soul.

 

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It seems fitting that I post a picture of the first time we met. (Samsung picture quality suck)

 

I believe that the subject of “mental illness” is still quite the taboo due to it not being a physical illness. If someone has depression, people may play it off as someone “having a bad few days”. When my brother was growing up we often thought he was “just erratic” or “quirky”but only a few years ago at the age of 22 he got diagnosed with Bipolar. It was only after that diagnosis that everything started to make sense. There would be times where he was the life and soul of the party and then there would be other times he would become a recluse. He tends to go through intense phases, the first one I recognised was his guitar playing, where he would play for hours and hours and nothing would stop him, then his gym phase along with several others.

It is hard to know what kind of person I will be meeting with my brother, most of the times he’s great but he can say stuff that isn’t exactly “socially correct”. I’m one of those yo-yo dieters, one month I’ll  be fit and looking good and the next month I’ll balloon up by 2 stone (slight exaggeration). However, pointing out that I had put on weight and poking my stomach in the middle of having a family lunch, allowing me and my mum to pay for the full lunch without even offering to chip in and various other controversial statements. Whereas the week before he was almost like a completely different person. It can be hard at times but he is my brother and I love him.

Jay Carrington

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Week 11 2016: The Week of Self-Doubt

It seems that the title is fitting that this article is being posted several days after my usual Friday entry due to it being from me suffering from crippling self-doubt.

Am I good enough?
Will I ever succeed?
What if I was born to generally suck at life?

The week didn’t start well for me after finally hearing my first response from UCAS and getting a rejection. When I said the other week, that I didn’t care what I got as long as I heard, at least, something – I regret saying that.

After that mental kick in stones from UCAS, I decided to get stuck into my Advertising and PR campaign I’m working on for Rainbow Valley charity, I got great feedback from my lecturer about our idea but she feels like it is just missing that one little hook to tie it all up and since then I’ve had a million and one ideas, each idea seems to be worse than the other.

To end it all, I planned to sort out an internship at a PR Agency but I’ve been so sidetracked with all this coursework but it’s impossible to find the right time to start an unpaid internship right at the end of my course when hand-ins are coming thick and fast. Do I apply right now or do I leave it a few weeks/month and then apply? I can hold my own at college but can I work with seasoned professionals?

For a person that goes about life with a smile and a wink, I do suffer from a lack of self-belief at times, which does kinda suck.

 

Jay Carrington

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