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The gym/swim world can be volatile. It is a place where you can be full of insecurities or devoid of them depending on the place and those in it. Here is a list of frustrating etiquette pointers inspired by my friend’s complaints – that if everyone stuck to, the gym would be a happy (as can be when you’re sweating on the treadmill for the first time in years) place.

  1.    SWIM IN THE LANES. Do not swim across the pool. Do not dive in mid way down and potentially knock out other swimmers. Do not zig zag and get in everyone’s way. We’re all trying to swim here.
  2. Know your limits. Yes, you may feel like Arnie when you get your gym gear on or your bathing suit. However it only makes others frustrated and annoyed when you doggy paddle in the fast lane. Or huff and puff with weights that are too heavy for you. Take. Your. Time.
  3. Keep flirting to a minimum. This may not apply to everyone – I’m sure there are some super fit men & women out there that enjoy a good flirt at the gym. However these people should know each other at first glance, and not prey on out of breath girls or other gym users that are trying to concentrate on their work out. Go to a bar to flirt, not the sauna (it’s creepy).
  4. Don’t intimidate others. This goes without saying, again there will be some super passionate gym/swim bunnies that enjoy the competition.  However this isn’t about good healthy competition. This is about looking down on others, or being ignorant – there’s nothing worse than an intimidating gym for a beginner. This goes for staff too.
  5. Take a towel. This is for everyone. Yourself, others, etc etc. No one wants to use gym equipment after a particularly perspiring person has used it. It’s annoying when sweat gets in your eyes (this may not happen to everyone, just me), and as for swimming – you get my drift.

All in all, use the gym! Go for a swim! Get outside! The feeling afterwards is worth it and living a healthy lifestyle is vital. And this is coming from a sport-phobic asthmatic girl. However be aware that it may not be a place that lies in everyone’s comfort zone, so make it as friendly and easy as possible. That said, go for it. And remember your water (&/inhaler).

*Image via Flickr

Gym/Swim etiquette for people who just want to work out.

Trials & Tribulations

5 tips to dealing with criticism

Advertising, Design / Typography, Trials & Tribulations

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It can be exhausting. Whether it be from colleagues, parents, clients, teachers, etc etc; it’s important to be able to take it and not let it get you down or get in your way.

I’m a bit of a sensitive person, I take offense to the slightest raised voice or blunt tone, and I can go right back in to my shell if I think someone is annoyed at me. I’ve always done things to the best of my ability, managed to do well in both school and college; therefore I was lucky that I received praise often.

University is a different kettle of fish, where you’re not surrounded by people who don’t care. You’re competing/learning/working with people who have the same interests as you, are of the same intelligence and ultimately may be better than you at certain things.

Again, working full time can throw a sensitive person in to even deeper waters. In the advertising/marketing/design industry, there are going to be some bold characters. Working in a creative environment means that a lot of work is interpretation, and not everyone’s is going to be the same. Learning how to take all of this in and come out of the other side better for it is vital.

  1. Don’t take it personally. Criticism is needed. If no one ever gave it, everyone would be walking around being right about everything; and that wouldn’t work. If your colleague doesn’t like your copy, it isn’t because you wrote it; it’s because the writing itself isn’t hitting the spot.
  2. Ask for feedback. Do what you can with criticism – improve. Whatever it may be, whether it’s a photo you have taken, the way you are managing a project, an essay you have written or even a cake you have baked. Ask why, what, how, so that next time, you can do better.
  3. Does it really matter? Despite constructive criticism being important, moaning isn’t. Ask yourself if the person giving the criticism is someone who is in a position to do so. If not, sack it off and don’t worry about it. If they are, do something about it.
  4. Keep going.  If someone is getting under your skin with the amount of bad things they have to say about your work, it can be easy to give up with the attitude of ‘if I can’t do anything right, I’ll do nothing’. Don’t let that happen. Be proud of any work that you’ve done – if you know it was to your highest standard; believe that it is despite what someone might say about it. If you know you could do better, then do better.
  5. Believe in yourself. It’s cliché, I know. However it really does help if you know yourself whether criticism is helping you or not. Sometimes it is, and you can learn to take it on the chin and do better next time. Sometimes it’s not, and someone may be in a bad mood and taking it out on you. This is when you have to let it go over your head.

When given in the right way, and received in the right way, criticism can be good. It can make you strive to achieve better, and when you receive the compliments, you’ll know you’ve worked hard for it.