Life at UCB through the eyes of our international student bloggers

Urie Diaries: Random Thoughts

Urie Diaries: Random Thoughts

Now that summer is here, I have more time on my hands than when I was at uni. So, in today’s blog, I thought I’d share my thoughts about the movies and books I have consumed recently or maybe some trends that have been formulating for the past few months.

Also, I didn’t know which category I would put this in. Therefore, I decided on ‘Urie Diaries’ even though it’s nothing remotely close to a journal entry that I often do.

𓆸 Books 

  • “Women Don’t Owe You Pretty” by Florence Given 

This book explores the topic of intersectional feminism and dives into issues surrounding relationships, body image and self-esteem for women. It is an informative and thought-provoking book. It allowed me to question myself and learn more about myself, not only as a person but as a woman. I’ve learned how to treat others because there is still so much to learn, even if I was socially aware of specific social cues. The issues were deeply interwoven, hence why it’s so complex at times. I have also learned how to unlearn the toxic attitudes and ideologies I implemented as a child. It is an awakening experience reading this book. 

  • “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky 

As I’m writing this, I’m on page 101, so I have about 130 pages left before I finish it. Regardless, I just wanted to share my thoughts about it. To those unfamiliar, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is about a boy named Charlie, who tries to navigate his way through uncharted territory – first dates, family dramas and friends – and he realises that he can’t stay on the sidelines forever. It is a coming-of-age novel and is written in the first person.

This book is not news to me. In fact, this has already been adapted into a movie. I’ve seen the movie twice, but they were always in the background, so I didn’t entirely grasp the story behind it. I decided to read it first before rewatching it for the third time. So far, I’m enjoying it, and it feels like I’m part of the book. And it’s also an easy read which is nice as I love a quick read. 

  • “How To Find the Right Words: Guide to Delivering Life’s Most Awkward Messages” by The School of Life 

As a socially awkward introvert, this pocketbook is very helpful regarding what you can say when you’re caught up in an uncomfortable situation. It could be relationship-wise such as family or friends, or work-wise, like being fired from work. 

𓆸 Movies 

  • Top Gun: Maverick (2022)

I went to watch the Top Gun movie blindly. I wasn’t aware that it was a sequel to a film released 36 years ago, and I didn’t know that Tom Cruise was in it. (But I’ve always wondered where this photo of Tom came from when I was younger… Well, now I know.) 

I thought it was a good movie, despite me not having seen the first movie. I feel like I would’ve had a deeper emotional connection with the characters, especially Maverick and Rooster, if I had seen the first movie. Still, other than that, it’s all good. The songs were terrific. And I didn’t really see any bashful criticism. I saw one who said that it didn’t feel like a sequel at all. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing. I saw another one saying that they were slightly disappointed that (SPOILER ALERT!) the sequel didn’t keep the original love interest. It personally didn’t bother me at all, so… 

  • Jurassic World Dominion (2022) 

Dinosaurs vs Humans. Evil scientist. Chris Pratt, and Jeff Goldblum… That’s my takeaway. 

On a serious note, it was nice to see the original characters from Jurassic Park and the new ones from Jurassic World on a screen together. Other than that, it was okay. You know, it’s your typical Jurassic movie, and it’s impressive regardless. 

  • Elvis (2022) 

I’ve never really been vocal about this at all. (Okay… Maybe except for when my friends brought me home drunk, and I pulled out my Elvis vinyl and told them how ‘hot’ he is… ANYWAYS…) I first heard of an Elvis movie being in the works around late 2019, and I was stoked! However, because of the pandemic that caused disarray throughout the world, I kind of forgot about it.

I might be biased about this movie because I love Elvis, Baz Luhrmann, and Tom Hanks, but the film was AMAZING! It’s the type of movie that keeps you coming back. Midway through the movie, I was already thinking about when I’ll see it again because it was that good. Then again, it’s subjective. Some people weren’t fans of Baz’s directorial style, which is totally okay! One thing I can say to summarise the movie is that it’s colourful, glitz, glamour, and lastly, it humanises Elvis. (PSA: It does involve flashing lights, so maybe that’s one thing you should consider before watching it.) 

  • Cruel Intentions (1999) 


I couldn’t focus throughout the entire movie because it boggled my mind. Although the brother did get his character development and redemption arc at the end, it still disturbed me. Especially the sister. Anyways, it was a good storyline regardless, and it’s one of the classics, so… 

𓆸 Current Trends 

Fashion and Style 

  • Platform shoes 

I don’t know what’s with it, but I’ve always wanted these. In fact, I was going to purchase myself a pair earlier this week, but I didn’t because they didn’t have the colour that I liked… I’m guessing because I’m not good with heels, that’s why I’m settling with something that could give me balance and height. That’s also one reason why I like platform shoes. As a short person, it elongates me and gives me the illusion that I’m tall. 

  • Low-rise bottoms 

Absolutely not. 

  • Regency-core 

With the release of Bridgerton Season Two in March 2022, it took the world by storm and everyone – by everyone, I mean TikTok – started dressing up in puffed sleeves midi dresses, putting on tiaras and satin gloves, some pearls and hosting little tea parties in their gardens… And obviously, busting it down to the orchestra version of Taylor Swift’s ‘Wildest Dreams.’

No doubt, I was in on the trend… I couldn’t let it pass. What can I say? I’m a sucker for some princessy stuff, and Bridgerton is no exception. 

  • “School Uniforms”

In TikTok, some might refer this to as dark/light academia, preppy, Ivy Leagues aesthetic, or old money. As someone who wore a uniform for 14 years, unlike others, I surprisingly didn’t mind wearing uniforms. In fact, I enjoyed it. I liked how I didn’t have to think about what to wear to school. Although I had repressed memories about the stress I endured in secondary school that I subconsciously linked my experiences to a piece of clothing, I still enjoyed wearing a more stylised (or as Gen Z would say, ‘yassified’) version of a uniform. This includes a pleated skirt, a shirt, and a jumper over it. Most of the time, these have become my go-to outfits during the autumn when I don’t feel like picking outfits… Which is very reminiscent of my Year 11 days, if I say so myself. 

Anyways, that’s all for today’s blog, and I hope you enjoyed this little insight I have into specific trends this year. See you next Tuesday! 

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