Going it Alone


Time to get a little bit personal. How personal? Who knows. Hopefully not very if I don’t ramble on too much.

This is something that has been floating around my head for the past week and I think the best way to get around it is to write about it. Maybe I should have wrote it down and stored it away, but I share most things with the internet, so why not this? Maybe some of you have gone through the same thing or may do so in the future, so hopefully it can help in some way.

Here goes

A comment was thrown about last week and as a lot of things do, went over in my head about 100 times and got me thinking a lot. And by thinking, I mean over-thinking and then over-thinking the over-thinking. As the great philosopher Harry Styles once tweeted, “I think, I think, I think too much.”

The comment was about friends. And how little of them that I have in London. Also, as a result of the majority of my friends from university graduating this year, I won’t have very many to go back to in Liverpool either. It was only a passing comment, something like a ‘Billy-no-mates’ kind of thing, but it was laughed at and to be a little bit frank, made me feel like shit.

Automatically, I started to think, They’re right. I don’t have many friends in London other than the interns and a few others that I know outside of work. They’re also right in that 80% of my university friends are finishing their courses in June and won’t be there when I go back in September.

Then the over-thinking came into it. Did I make the right decision in moving to London? Was I wrong in making the move to the capital by myself? Have I jeopardised my final year in uni by not having many friends to go back to? Should I have followed what my friends were doing and instead, gone straight into final year? Should I call my move to London a failure and move back home?

Go your own way – Stevie Nicks

Yes, that last part did come into the equation. I always considered myself to have lots of friends. I’m particular about my closest friends that I tell everything to, but I have a lot of friends that I can go for drinks with, catch up with over coffee, go shopping, or go on a night out with. If I was to plan a huge night out at home or in Liverpool, it would be quite the party.

I don’t have anywhere near the social life I had in Liverpool, or even back home but I don’t mind. That’s not what I’m in London to do. I’m here on a placement year to get experience. But of course, I can have fun at the same time. And it’s not like I haven’t had a few boozy nights – there’s been more than I expected!

Eight months in London and it’s really starting to hit me how much I miss my friends, both from home and in Liverpool. Don’t get me wrong, I’m having the best time here, but I didn’t really start thinking about the social side of things until the comment was said.

After I spent a little while feeling sorry for myself and being incredibly homesick (and after a few motivating texts from some of my friends from uni) I shook myself and thought I should be proud of what I’ve achieved.


You do you

I moved country to go to university. I no longer live in my home country, even though it is quite close, if I want to go home, I have to fly or go by boat. I can’t drive there and can’t go by train. So I should give myself some credit for moving out of Ireland at the age of 18.

After two incredible years of living in Liverpool, I moved even further to London where I knew absolutely nobody. There were no better opportunities in Liverpool or surrounding areas, and I definitely wasn’t going back to Ireland for the year. Sometimes I don’t think people realise how lucky they are to live so close to their friends and family, so should I really be laughed at for wanting a better life for myself? Even if that means having to move country?

I’m the only one of the interns not from England. I also go to the furthest university. So out of everyone, I’m furthest from home and friends. But I wanted to be here, and 1000% this job has been totally worth the move. I wish I could see my family more than twice a year, believe me, but I have a full-time job and I moved away in order to make a new life for myself, so why would I keep going home for that? I’m still only 20 years old and have spent the past three years living in England, away from home. Living in London before the age of 21 was not something I expected to achieve, so I’m pretty damn proud of myself for getting here.

There are a few people I know from back home that have moved abroad for placement year, moved to Australia, America and even further and I admire them so much for it. Making a large move like that to the other side of the world is a huge deal when you don’t know anyone at the other end. But you go in the hopes of making new friends, new experiences, a new life and having the best possible time. I have so much respect for people that move so far away, and if in the next few years, the opportunity comes along for me, I would love to do the same.

Derry Girls

It will be worth it

Moral of the story, if you move away from home and aren’t physically able to see your friends in person all the time, or if your circumstances and their circumstances change, that’s just life and you shouldn’t be ridiculed for not having a large social circle as a result of it.

I’ve always been independent, and it’s one of the things I pride myself on. I like going it alone. Making large leaps that maybe others don’t have the confidence to do. Living in new places, meeting new people, I love it all.

By moving place to place, I’m making friends everywhere I go. I’m learning about them and I’m learning about myself. I’m making better decisions about the type of people I want to be around and want to associate myself with.

Popularity contests ended in high school. It doesn’t matter if you have 10 friends or 100. If those 10 friends inspire you, motivate you and cheer you on for everything you do, then those are the types of people you want in your life. You don’t need friends that bring you down, make you feel embarrassed for going after what you want in life or make you feel any kind of negative emotion. Life is too short to surround yourself with those types of people, and they will only limit what you can achieve in life.

I may not have the same amount of friends in London that I have in Liverpool or back in Ireland, but I have good friends, and ones that I know I will be friends with for a very long time.

*Speaking of going it alone, I just got back from Dublin this week after seeing my favourite One Direction Irish boy on his solo tour, which was pretty amazing. I’m also off to stay with friends (friends?!?) in Liverpool today to celebrate St. Patrick’s weekend and Ireland winning the Six Nations with hopefully a Grand Slam to add to that tomorrow! So I’ve been a little quiet on here as of late, and have a pretty hectic few weeks but you only turn 21 once!  



  1. March 16, 2018 / 10:26 am

    I enjoyed reading this (as ever) – but the timing meant I couldn’t consider it for my weekly round-up. Of course, it’s not about public relations, but it’s about something more important – life.
    This is about growing up and independence. Sure, there’s a loss, but there’s more to gain. Would you be the same person if you’d stayed in Northern Ireland? Or in Liverpool?
    What I like about you is that you’re still in touching distance of your teenage self (One Direction), but you’re also in touching distance of independent adulthood.
    The future is unknown, so it’s sometimes tempting to retreat back into our past. My hunch is you’ll be absolutely fine. Besides, friends will at some point become less important than partner/s (and maybe family). That’s life!

    • orlaghclaire
      March 16, 2018 / 3:58 pm

      Thanks so much Richard! I don’t usually write much personal posts, always too afraid to but I felt much better once I hit ‘publish’. Who knows what the future holds, I just hope there’s a lot more good things to come!

  2. March 16, 2018 / 10:49 am

    You’re doing incredibly well Orlagh never doubt it. You’ll make new friends when you come back this September and i’m only gonna be a train journey away in Manchester! 🙂 x

    • orlaghclaire
      March 16, 2018 / 3:59 pm

      Girlll you always got my back and I’ve always got yours! Going to miss you so much next year, but we’ll definitely have to catch up! xx

  3. March 16, 2018 / 11:55 am

    Love this Orlagh! And love you… you’ve achieved so much and your friends in Ireland are so proud ☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️

    • orlaghclaire
      March 16, 2018 / 4:00 pm

      My number one, only a few weeks until we’re reunited. We got this! xx

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