One phenomenon I have never been able to identify with is the concept of ‘guilty pleasures’. Are societal norms that overpowering that we feel guilty for our own likes and interests? What is so bad or shameful about being different, and having different views?
Whatever it might be, for example art, music, sport or television, it is all subjective. What one person enjoys can vary between different individuals and in similar vain with what we dislike. You might really like hockey or country music which are two things I am not overly fond of. But am I right in belittling your taste? Absolutely not. It is perfectly fine to appreciate those with different tastes.
But to feel belittled is exactly what can happen from a clash of two tastes. I firmly believe people become so afraid or insecure over their interests, that they end up categorising their love of ‘Taylor Swift’ or ‘reality tv shows’ as silly or ‘guilty pleasures’ if you will. This is generally to prevent people making fun of them for any potential unconventional interests, that society has taught them to mask out of fear of embarrassment.
When it comes to ‘guilty pleasures’ I for one hate to get bogged down in what social norms have been pre-determined for us, especially when it comes to gender. From my time in mainstream clubbing the concept of ‘a cheese room’ generally attracts female attention to hear these ‘guilty pleasures’. But I am generally the one dragging my friends into these rooms to hear some Westlife or Peter Andre. If there is something that you like then you must appreciate it for all its glory, rather than hide it from fear of judgement. So crank up some Nickelback and savour it!!
Please comment your favourite ‘guilty pleasures’ or even better… what you’re not afraid to love!!
I must start by apologising for my inactivity in recent times. It has been a while since my last post so I figured I should begin to explain how I’ve been spending my summer away from University.
After finishing my first year which was a huge milestone for me, I dove straight into an incredibly unique and out of this world experience. This involved my two-week summer school trip to Taiwan. Baring in mind that I had never been abroad or on a plane before, yet I was about to embark on a 12,000 mile round trip by myself. Some would call me courageous whilst most would think I was ABSOLUTELY bonkers.
I had absolutely no idea what to expect and I think that is what helped benefit my experience. I was deeply out of my comfort zone (such as taking a week to pluck up the courage to use chopsticks) but oddly enough, that was okay. Everyone that I met was so friendly and welcoming which was reassuring at this point. I felt that I could be more involved than I normally would be, in which was a very busy two weeks.
The two weeks ultimately flew by, with it taking a week for me to adjust to the dreaded jet lag and coping with the humid climate.I remember climbing Huoyan mountain and being so dehydrated I could not eat. Which for me, who nonstop eats is obviously very significant! But once I had adapted and stumbled onto Super Supau (an AMAZING Taiwaneese isotonic sports drink) I seemed set for the second week.
What I loved most about the trip was the amount of food and drink available at such a low cost. I remember getting a huge McDonalds breakfast the one morning for 99 Taiwan Dollars which roughly converts to £2.21. Whilst other mornings breakfast could cost as low as 62p. Because of this almost every meal I had was in a resturant of some sort, which was convenient and alleviated the worry about how I’d fuel myself each day.
The days involved a good mix of culture enrichment and adventure tourism. Rock climbing and bouldering seemed a popular choice there but for me it was river tracing and cliff jumping that captured my attention! Whilst it was also fantastic to experience another culture and well they look after public areas like parks and museums.
My days there were challenging in many different ways but I will never forget my experience in Taiwan. I couldn’t imagine a more positive first time experience abroad, where I was well looked after by the amazing people I met. Two weeks was simply not enough as there was so much more to explore. Visit if you ever get the chance!