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Charlotte Ballantyne

20-something Scottish blogger, former expat & ESL teacher, globe-trotter, music lover & caffeine addict.

I'm still trying to figure life out! I graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2015, in French & English Lit, then made the huge leap of moving to Hong Kong for 2 years, to teach and travel around most of East and South East Asia. Now I'm living in Edinburgh, working for a walking tour company, with some waiting and bar work on the side. I fill my spare time with writing, music, books, films, TV, yoga, playing piano, walking, and exploring & photographing as many places as I can. Find out more on my personal blog, justmuddlingthroughlife.com
Trying to be an

Trying to be an Adult

I’ll be perfectly honest with you all; I have no idea how to be an adult. Does anyone? Sometimes I wonder if we’re all pretending
08/01/2018 16:47 GMT
Dear

Dear Graduates

Long story short, my life has been pretty much mapped out up until now. And in some ways it's liberating to not know what's coming next. But it's also completely terrifying. So can anyone provide me with some reassurance or advice or anything really? Am I alone in feeling like this? Will things work out? What do I do next?
29/07/2015 16:43 BST
On Religion and

On Religion and Faith

I've written about a whole host of different topics in the past. I've written about marriage, sexuality, success, the future, and a whole host more, but yet I've never discussed religion, despite it continuing to be a large part of our society. I had a conversation with a friend a while back, in which we talked about lots of big issues, eventually getting into religion, which sparked some more of my thoughts on the subject.
27/07/2015 10:46 BST
Why You Should Do Things

Why You Should Do Things Solo

One day, I realised this was stupid. I was missing out on activities and adventures that I really wanted to do, just because I'd be doing them alone. I decided this was going to change. A lot of this began when I was living in France, for my university year abroad.
30/03/2015 14:29 BST
On Turning

On Turning 21

Getting older is also really funny, because when I was a teenager I liked the feeling of being one, of being a youth. Yet now that I'm a little older, I'd never want to go back to being that age.
30/03/2015 14:26 BST
Fear of the

Fear of the Future

For the next four months, I will be completing my university degree. Then, from the end of May, for possibly the first time in my life, I have no idea what I'll be doing. I'm both excited and completely terrified.
16/02/2015 16:50 GMT
The Blink-182

The Blink-182 Drama

So I'd imagine that most people have heard about the Blink-182 drama that hit the news this past week. As a self-professed music addict, I thought I'd chip in my two cents on the story. I'm not going to rehash the whole affair - a quick internet search will get you up to speed - and what I'm going to say doesn't have to only apply to this specific band.
09/02/2015 12:28 GMT
Herself.com

Herself.com

Feminism has risen to the forefront of many people's minds this year, in no small part thanks to Emma Watson's inspiring UN speech. But one of my favourite things to appear recently is Caitlin Stasey's new website, herself.com.
19/01/2015 16:32 GMT
Racing Against

Racing Against Time

If life flies by this quickly, we need to make the most of it. Take every opportunity that comes long, as you might not get that chance again. I'm pretty sure that when I look back on my life, I'm far more likely to regret the days I wasted doing nothing.
11/12/2014 06:32 GMT
Writing About

Writing About Music

Why did we feel the need to set our words to music? Why not just write poetry? Music has existed for hundreds of years (with and without lyrics!), so it clearly appeals to the human race. Who among us doesn't listen to music in some way every single day? What is it about music that we enjoy so much? And how do I go about trying to explain this?
10/12/2014 20:06 GMT
The State of the Music

The State of the Music Industry

So alright, we're clearly not spending as much money on music as we used to. Maybe it's not that big of an interest or concern for some people, but it certainly is for me. To phrase it briefly, music (and other art forms) is a form of emotional expression, which can unite people across the world.
05/12/2014 11:36 GMT
Compassion and

Compassion and Kindness

Compassion is a funny thing isn't it? Human emotions are complicated and difficult to understand; sometimes we can barely understand ourselves, let alone others. Motivations and reasons behind our actions and behaviours and responses can intersect, and finding the true root of a problem can seem impossible at times. Often, it isn't the answer we expect.
02/12/2014 16:40 GMT
Seven Things About

Seven Things About University

So after three years of university, and now embarking on my fourth and final year, I'd like to think I've learned a few things in my time here. As it's round about the start of the new semester, I thought I'd try to share a bit of advice for new students. Please be aware though, I am by no means an expert and still need to learn to follow some of this advice myself!
10/10/2014 15:03 BST
Scotland Independence Referendum - The

Scotland Independence Referendum - The Aftermath

Through this referendum the voices of the Scots were heard, and they need to continue to be heard just as loudly in future. The people who are still hung-up on the result need to be mature and respectful and move on from it; but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't continue to fight for change in other ways.
10/10/2014 14:53 BST
Defining

Defining Success

What does it mean to be successful? A high-powered job? Bags of money? A fancy house and expensive sports car? Living up to the expectations others have for you? To me, success is far more personal than any of these things.
16/07/2014 10:47 BST
Dead End Towns and Daring to

Dead End Towns and Daring to Change

Everyone has a different relationship with their home town, both growing up and as adults. Some can't wait to escape, others never want to leave. We all lead our own lives and must make these decisions for ourselves, so I would never judge someone for doing what makes them happy. But our home towns are just one tiny corner of a large planet, which has a whole lot of stuff to offer.
27/05/2014 15:04 BST
Breaking Away From

Breaking Away From Expectations

Our society is built around expectations. Expectations as to how we look, how we behave, the type of job we should have, the type of person we should marry, the trajectory our life should take. Often these aren't even conscience thoughts about a person, just things we naturally assume to be the case. But why?
08/04/2014 13:47 BST
The Courage to Be

The Courage to Be Creative

Creativity is ultimately personal. When being creative, you are making something unique and new. You may have taken inspiration from other sources, but the end product is uniquely your own. Humans are constantly being innovative and inventive, and everyone is capable of this in their own way...
03/04/2014 14:35 BST
The Need for

The Need for Attention

Humans crave attention, whether we care to admit it or not. For some people, this manifests as the desire for fame and fortune, while for others it can be as simple as feeling as though someone is proud of you. But it's there in all of us, that little selfish streak that wants people to notice you.
01/04/2014 12:53 BST
Of Bagpipes and Burns - Scottish

Of Bagpipes and Burns - Scottish Stereotypes

Every country and culture has stereotypes that go alongside it, some truer than others. Scotland of course, is no different. However, what I have noticed is that while Scotland is part of the UK British stereotypes tend to be more closely associated with the English portion of the country. It is a common mistake to think of the U.K. and England synonymously, when this is not true. As a Scot, I have no objection to being called British, but I am certainly not English.
24/02/2014 11:55 GMT