Confessions of a Teenage Body Shamer #4

A few weeks later, I sat waiting for my friends in the school cafeteria. It was unusual for Katie and me to arrive there separately. When I searched for her in her classroom, she’d already left. I scanned the room, making sure I had a view of all the entrances, yet neither Katie nor any of my other friends walked through any of them. Suddenly Kasey appeared – we made eye contact, and I warmly waved at her.

Recently, I spent afternoons at her house working on our school project. Unexpectedly, she’d become a great friend of mine, even though we barely spoke to each other at school.
At most, we would acknowledge each other. However, we would speak over the phone regularly, and through this, we got to know each other better – which made me realize that Kasey was not like how we thought she’d be at all!


Katie and the rest of my friends found this new acquaintanceship super weird. They would readily make remarks whenever I would greet Kasey. Once, when Katie was feeling especially mean, she made snarky comments about our friendship – of course, I simply laughed it off. I knew she wouldn’t mean them, but the insults became annoyingly unbearable, and I tried to avoid bumping into Kasey whenever I was with my friends.


The cafeteria became a bit noisier. I looked over my shoulder to see Katie and our group of friends laughing as they made their way towards me. Katie’s face sobered up as soon as she saw me.


“Hey”


“Hi, where have you been?”


“Around,” Katie answered vaguely. She shared a look and a giggle with our friends sitting at the table.


“Around? What’s that supposed to mean?” I was confused about why they were leaving me out all of a sudden.


Katie looked at me whilst rolling her eyes. “I mean around, Emma. Do you really need to know everything?”


I was taken aback by how harsh her tone was. “Everything? I literally just asked one question, Katie, it’s not such a big deal.”


She scoffed. “I swear ever since you started hanging out with Fatty K you have been acting so weird! I don’t even know who you are anymore.”


“What are you even talking about? I don’t hang out with her.”

“Are you serious, right now,” her bitter laugh made me freeze. I started feeling queasy, fidgeting with my fingers. Katie had a blank look on her face, completely unreadable, which made me feel threatened. “Come on, Emma. We have all seen how you greet her in the hallways, even now you waved to her.”
Around the table, everyone nodded their heads in agreement with what Katie was saying. Her face lit up. “Wait a second, don’t tell me that you’re actually friends with her?”

Looking around the table, everyone nodded their heads in agreement with what Katie was saying. Her face lit up. “Wait a second, don’t tell me that you’re actually friends with her?”


Stunned, I felt the room spinning around me. Not saying anything – unable to find the words, Katie and the rest of the table broke out into a fit of laughter. I gulped nervously, feeling uncomfortable as they laughed at me. I could feel the blood rush to my ears as tears welled up in my eyes. My throat was closing up, making it hard for me to breathe. I couldn’t stay there any longer – I had to escape – but I couldn’t move at all. It was like I had lost complete control over my body…

What was wrong with me? Why did I just sit there like an idiot? Why didn’t I just deny it? That would have been better than to have them laugh at me.


Katie steadied herself, “well this is rich. Our little Emma is all grown up and making friends with our school’s resident Fatty.” She checked her wristwatch, putting her arm around my shoulder. Leaning in too-close-for-comfort to my ear. She whispered, with a hot breath that sent shivers down my spine, “I really think you should see what’s about to happen next. I think it’ll put you back on the right path.”


Unable to look at her, she tucked my hair behind my ear. Once she finished speaking, a commotion started on the other side of the cafeteria, right where Kasey sat. I looked up just in time to see a tray of lasagna thrown on her head. I swear I gasped, but it was lost in the raucous laughter erupting in the cafeteria. Kasey stood up to defend herself – her protests were silenced with a yoghurt cup thrown at her face.


“Go ahead, Em. Go defend your friend, she looks like she needs your help,” Katie said loudly standing up from next to me, making me look up at her. She looked at me with such malice in her eyes that made me feel so intimidated – it made me feel so small. I wanted to stand up, I really did. But I was frozen to my spot. I was scared that if I moved right then, everyone that was throwing food at Kasey would turn their attack on me in an instant.


A high pitched scream.


It was Kasey’s last warning for them to stop… and everyone did. Until Katie walked towards her at an agonizingly slow pace. Picking up a can of soda, she opened it – the slow fizz of the can synonymous with the cocking of a gun – and poured all the contents over Kasey’s head. Katie’s speciality.


My heart sank to the ground as I made eye contact with Kasey. Her entire face was covered in food, but I could easily see the humiliation on her face. But nothing stung more than her look of sheer disappointment directed at me. Kasey’s glassy eyes were the last thing I saw before she ran out of the cafeteria, fiercely pushing through the crowd that shattered the silence with a piercing, mocking laughter.


The 2020 Bus Ride: Our Year in Review 🚌

A review of everything we’ve done together on the bus this year.

2020 has been a wild (unexpectedly long) bus ride for all of us: we’ve hit lots of bumps on the road, but we’ve managed to have a little fun regardless.

This year we tried out, and added, a few new things: new, talented writers; new SPOOPY posts for October; posting once a week; lots and lots of poetry and short stories. It’s (semi-) safe to say that 2020 was our fullest bus ride yet and we’re super thankful for that.

To prepare for 2021, and the ideas we’ve got stacked up, here’s a review of everything we’ve done together on the bus this year.

P.S. Authors who do not have their own profiles on GOTB have Italicised names.

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We looked at lots of things we liked

Continue reading “The 2020 Bus Ride: Our Year in Review 🚌”

#COLLAB: It’s going tibia ok: life as a nursing student

As a student nurse having worked in the hospital setting, I truly believe that nurses are the backbone of hospitals and healthcare delivery.

Written by Gafsah Martin

Nursing was never a career path that crossed my mind during my high school years. Medicine, pharmacy, statistics, mathematics, and chemistry were some of the more common career paths that I considered following after matric. This all changed when I completed my job shadowing assignment in Grade 11… and when I received my Grade 12 Term 1 marks (hahaha).

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Deciding to study nursing

Job shadowing a nurse was more of a “last minute option” for me as it was difficult to find companies that would allow me to job shadow someone in the fields I was interested in. But having the opportunity to actually follow a nurse around for the day changed my perspective of nursing, since I had only ever seen it from a patient’s point of view.

The reason I chose to study nursing was because I have always wanted to help others. It may sound cliche but helping others, even in the smallest ways, always gave me a sense of happiness, and I’m grateful that this career path has allowed me to continue to do so.

Ups and Downs of studying nursing

Ups: my favourite part about nursing is working in the hospitals, and making my patients smile and laugh. I never had strong communication skills but working directly with different kinds of people has not only helped to improve my communication skills, but it has also helped me build up my confidence.

Downs: my least favourite part about nursing is breaking the news to family members about someone they have lost. Since I am still a student, I am not allowed to do this myself, but I was always present when the sister-in-charge would do it.

It’s heartbreaking to have to deliver news like this because you can picture it being a loved one of your own and how you would feel in that situation.

Dealing with the emotions of bad news

As a medical student, we are always told not to become emotionally attached to patients. It was difficult for me to do this initially when I worked in the paediatric ward because it hurt me to see so many children who were critically ill. However, I have learned to refrain from becoming emotionally attached and I have honestly never had a difficult time dealing with the loss of a patient.

Studying nursing through the COVID-19 pandemic

Thankfully, I was not placed on the frontline during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic and my last day in the hospital setting was 18 March 2020. For the past few months, I have been safe at home and have had to continue my studies online.

Having to study from home was a big adjustment and it became stressful at times, especially when you’re bombarded with work from all your lecturers at once. I’m sure we can all relate the most to WiFi/data problems and the infamous loadshedding. Luckily, we started returning to our medical campus from 14 September for our practical assessments. It was a different environment to be in and it didn’t feel the same to be on campus anymore. It felt like a ghost town; quiet and empty.

As much as I’m seeing and enjoying this opportunity to spend more time with my family, I definitely miss being in the hospital setting. I miss interacting with other nurses and the medical team, and hearing hilarious, interesting stories from my patients.

Challenges of studying nursing, and resilience in hard times

There have been many tough challenges during my journey as a nursing student and there are times when I feel like giving up and start questioning whether this career path is really for me. I constantly have to remind myself why I chose this path.

Besides helping others, I also chose this career path to teach others that nurses aren’t just “assistants” to doctors, physicians and other medical professionals (because this is what I thought of nurses when growing up). As a student nurse having worked in the hospital setting, I truly believe that nurses are the backbone of hospitals and healthcare delivery.

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Accomplishments and goals in nursing so far

My biggest accomplishment thus far was pushing through and striving to do the best that I possibly could during the 2nd year of my studies, regardless of the various challenges that arose.

I have always preferred to set small daily/weekly/monthly goals for myself rather than have one or more big goals, because what happens on your life journey can change at any time. However, I want to continue to help people in general – not just patients in hospitals and/or clinics that I work at – and to make at least one person smile daily.

One of my greatest goals is to be the qualified nurse that I, as a student, would want to work with.

Author, Gafsah Martin, in her nursing uniform.

Thanks for reading! GirlOnTheBus is powered by a strong, sassy group of women with a love for writing and sharing stories. If you know of someone in your community doing amazing things for themselves or others, let us know! You can tag us in posts on social media with #girlonthebusblog or send us an email under the GOT SOMETHIN’ TO SAY tab. So easy! We look forward to hearing about the talented and simply stellar individuals across the globe.

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#COLLAB: Local scarf-fashion business ‘LAHAN’

LAHAN is a local scarf and accessory business in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town, South Africa. Started and run by two university students, we asked them a few questions about how they started up their business and how the experience has been so far.

Taken from LAHAN’s Facebook page

LAHAN is a local scarf and accessory business based in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town, South Africa. Started and run by two university students, we asked them a few questions about how they started their business and how the experience has been so far.

E/N: for those who might not know, the use of the Islamic words “Alhamdulillah” and “Inshallah” are used to give thanks and praise to Allah.

Talk us through the history of the company. The beginnings of this Cape Town-based hijab shop.

LAHAN was founded in 2019 by Aneesah and Aqeelah. We started this business out of fulfilling our own needs and found that many other women had the same need as us.

We make scarfs that are quality and affordable, with the various colours we have it is easy to match any outfit with one of our scarfs. [We] are both University students that saw the need for scarves like ours and we went for it.

Our family and friends were very supportive when we started our business and we would not have been able to get where we are today without their guidance and help.

A highlight in our business was definitely getting recognized by customers and other vendors at expos and on social media platforms.

We still have a lot to learn but Alhamdulillah, we are happy with the progress we have made.

Where did the inspiration for the brand’s name come from?

When thinking of our brand’s name, we wanted the name to be unique and intrigue customers.

LAHAN is a combination of the co-owners names; Aqeelah and Aneesah. So, it’s the end of Aqeelah’s ‘LAH’ and the beginning of Aneesah’s name ‘AN’. 

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With so many hijab-focused businesses opening, how do you stay creative and unique?

A selling point of ours is that we constantly get in new colours and a wide variety of colours. Currently, we have over 60 shades of colours. There is literally a colour for every outfit.  

Is there any particular type of hijab that is your personal favorite? Fabric or print or embellishment?

We are in love with premium chiffon and georgette material as it gives you an elegant look and drapes beautifully. The advantage of having these types of scarfs is that it is lightweight and non-slip.

Taken from LAHAN’s Facebook page

What is your go-to hijab color? The one that just makes you stand out more than the rest?

My go-to hijab colour would definitely be green: green generally is my favourite colour.

When people say the colour you wear has an impact on your mood they are 100% correct. When I wear a green LAHAN scarf it makes me feel instantly happy. 

When women buy a scarf, should they take the same time to consider how it suits them as an eyeshadow color or lipstick shade would?

Choosing a scarf colour that suits you should definitely be considered; however, it can be a rather daunting process. For this reason, at LAHAN we try our best to continuously broaden our shade range to help every woman find her perfect shade in a LAHAN scarf. 

What changes have you gone through personally while operating your business?

Starting and operating a business has taught us so much, but something we had to learn from the very beginning was to trust ourselves and our ideas and to not be afraid of taking risks.

Had we been afraid, LAHAN might not even exist today but Alhamdulillah we took the leap of faith.

We have also had to change our mindsets regarding setbacks. Owning a business has taught us that it is not always going to be a walk in the park.

There will be challenges but it is our motivation and passion for why we started this venture, as well as our faith that our business will flourish, that will keep us going and striving to do better. 

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What were some of your lowest moments and your greatest achievements?

So far Alhamdulillah, we have not had any major ‘low’ moments. As for achievements, three of the greatest would have to be:

·       Completing our first LAHAN scarfs. It was such a proud moment to have the finished product that so much hard work and perseverance was put into.

·       The official launch of LAHAN was another proud moment and getting to share the occasion with family, friends and our first ever LAHAN customers was such a humbling experience.

·       The opportunity to sell our scarfs in store, Alhamdulillah.

Let’s talk the scarves themselves, what goes into making a typical Lahan scarf?

At LAHAN, we pride ourselves in supporting and uplifting fellow local businesses. For this reason, the first step to completing a scarf is sourcing all fabrics used from local businesses.

As the owners of LAHAN, we source these fabrics ourselves, ensuring that they are quality yet affordable with a variety of colours, shades, and prints.

Once we have our fabric, each scarf is then cut to a specific length and width to suit any scarf style; from simple draping to turban styles.

The unfinished scarfs are then sent to a local seamstress for the final step of being sewn to perfection. Our label is then added to complete the LAHAN scarf. 

Were you daunted to start this venture?

It is safe to say that we were nervous to start our business as we did not know what to expect.

But as soon as we pitched the idea to our families and after receiving their support and words of advice, our new venture quickly went from nerve-wracking to the most exciting experience Alhamdulillah. 

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For girls who are considering wearing the hijab for the first time, what advice would you give them?

To our sisters in Islam who are considering wearing hijab for the first time: we know that it could be a difficult decision and even more difficult to stick to, but just the fact that you are considering it is an accomplishment in itself. Our advice to you is 4-fold:

·       Wear your hijab for the sake of Allah (swt) alone

Your intention to wear hijab should be solely for the sake of Allah (swt). Take the first step and He will take care of the rest

·       Have faith in Allah (swt)

No matter what anyone says or what others may think, always remember that your decision to wear hijab is only between you and your creator.

As long as you are striving to be closer to Allah (SWT) and your Deen (E/N: faith), no one else’s opinion matters

·       Do not be too hard on yourself

It is okay to stumble along the way, but always remind yourself of your intention and why you are doing it. Continuously ask Allah (swt) to strengthen you, He is your fiercest protector and your biggest supporter, Alhamdulillah

·       Find what works for you

There are so many ways to make hijab and dressing modestly fashionable. Find a style of hijab that you feel comfortable with and start there. 

What are some of your future plans for Lahan? Anything International?

At LAHAN, we encourage women empowerment through bold and beautiful scarfs. Because of this, we plan on having many collaborations with various amazing brands in the future.

We are also in the process of expanding our online store to strengthen our online community and eventually reach international waters: ensuring the growth of our LAHAN family, Inshallah

Taken from LAHAN’s Facebook page: their latest collab with BEAUT jewellery brand

For some good quality scarves, make sure to follow LAHAN’s Instagram and Facebook pages to keep up with their ranges, sales and more!

Thanks for reading! GirlOnTheBus is powered by a strong, sassy group of women with a love for writing and sharing stories. If you know of someone in your community doing amazing things for themselves or others, let us know! You can tag us in posts on social media with #girlonthebusblog or send us an email under the GOT SOMETHIN’ TO SAY tab. So easy! We look forward to hearing about the talented and simply stellar individuals across the globe.

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#COLLAB: Student Troubles, Triumphs and Tests of Bravery… Part 2

As a first year student I found myself juggling between studies, adjusting to hospital life, and on the side tutoring to primary and high school learners. While filling in my calendar dates of tests, assignments, in-hospital practical tests and tutoring my students, it seemed overwhelming. Now that I look back, I don’t particularly remember being overly stressed or too worried, I just took it one day at a time; I dealt with whatever I needed to as it came.

Study and work

In radiography, as much as there was theory, there were practicals equally as difficult. Part of our practical experience is working in a hospital: second year students spend two weeks at hospital and two weeks at campus. As a first year we were not often exposed to hospital work, but this year I found myself becoming used to the pace and expectations required of us.

Adjusting to school, and then work, was not as hard as I expected it to be. I felt that doing both school and work balanced each other out quite well, but this might have been because we had not yet experienced the peak of the year (due to striking and the current quarantine).

As a first year student I found myself juggling between studies, adjusting to hospital life, and on the side tutoring to primary and high school learners. While filling in my calendar dates of tests, assignments, in-hospital practical tests and tutoring my students, it seemed overwhelming. Now that I look back, I don’t particularly remember being overly stressed or too worried, I just took it one day at a time; I dealt with whatever I needed to as it came.

Quarantine

 I wish all of the best to those who have the virus and those that had loved ones who lost their lives to it.

It has been a very sad reality, especially for us as students working in hospitals. I feel like reality only hit when we were officially told to stay indoors, and fortunately it meant not going to school or work.

The reality of my situation isn’t stressful at all, and I recognize what a privilege that is.  I have access to all our university online sources but I know this is not the reality for most others. Within my course we have not had any online classes, but course content as well as assignments given to us before the quarantine period.

Having motivation to sit with my schoolwork amongst the ‘at home distractions’ is what I am struggling with the most; because we don’t have official due dates or tests it feels like I am just supposed to revise for fun. Revising school content is very important but it is difficult to limit your series and phone time when there is so much free time now.

I have recently tried to be more productive, to be more motivated, whether it be exercise, eating better, painting, baking, cooking, religious studies or recently (trying) reading. I don’t know how that will go; I read two pages, 4 days ago, and stopped.

I also recognize that we should be patient with ourselves and take each day as it comes. With having all this time, don’t feel bad if you have been slightly unproductive. Just do what makes you happy each day – do things that keep you motivated, positive and feeling good. We can all overcome this by the will of God.

To read Part 1 of Student Troubles, Triumphs and Tests of Bravery, click here.

#COLLAB: Student Troubles, Triumphs and Tests of Bravery… Part 1

As a 21-year-old simple, Muslim female, second year Bachelor of science Radiography student, how did I get to where I am – where am I? Well, if you really want to know, let’s start from the beginning:

As a 21-year-old simple, Muslim female, second year Bachelor of science Radiography student and wonderer, I hope that what I have to say is relatable or serves as some sort of inspiration or motivation. How did I get to where I am – where am I? Well, if you really want to know, let’s start from the beginning:

Switching courses

Matric: what an interesting and confusing time for me and, I am fairly sure, the rest of the world. I never understood why, at the mere age of 17 or 18, we had to decide what to do for the rest of your lives. There was not a direct path, or a dream, that I was trying to make a reality, but I had an idea. From as early as primary school days, I wanted to work with people: specifically a hospital setting came to mind.

I decided to apply for Medicine, but here’s the untold and honest truth: I didn’t get in. I then applied for dentistry, pharmacy and other fields that I honestly cannot remember at this point. I finally got accepted into CPUT for chemical engineering and attended school there for about a week – until UWC accepted me.

This led to two years of my life in the world of BSc in Chemical Science, a field I did not imagine myself to be in, and it came with its own difficulties and hardships.  I still had this vision of moving over into another field as I had no idea what I was to do with the degree, and I had no motivation to complete it either.

What I wish I knew then, is that it was a path set for me to learn and grasp university life and engage with people and opportunities. It was not a waste, nor a part of my life that I see with regret. With that being said, by the middle of my second year at UWC I decided to apply for Radiography at CPUT. I wanted a degree or course where I would feel proud of myself, and that I would have pride in.

There were comments and questions like, “wow, two years wasted’’, “I have never heard of Radiography”, “why?” and “we hope you like this next field so that there is not another change”. But the overwhelming support of my parents, family and friends helped me ignore those reactions, because no time is ever wasted and it is never too late to become a better version of yourself.

What is Radiography and why was I so captivated by it?

Radiography is the field focused on x-rays: we are the ones that ask you to say “cheese”, and take images of your bones and more. There are various fields in radiography: ultrasound, nuclear medicine, radiotherapy and diagnostic radiography.

smart

I chose diagnostic radiography: taking x-rays of bones, CT scans, MRI and images of x-ray fluid in the body (fluoroscopy) amongst other things.  What really captivated me was the interaction with people and the ability to assist someone in need. Radiographers don’t necessarily complete treatments, but we aid the doctor in diagnosing and treating patients.

I then started my second try at my first year of University – the decision to move over was scary. Leaving two years of my life, friendships, study groups, and other experiences, I had to start from the beginning – with nothing. What I didn’t realize was that my past experiences made me more equipped for my next university life and I adjusted quite easily.

Stay tuned for more about Aalias experiences as a student, working in the hospital, and life during quarantine to be continued in the next post “part 2”.

Simple Student: Creamy Chicken Pasta

Hello my chickpeas! I’ve decide to start this new series where I help you find fun in the kitchen and graduate to Lvl.1 cooks!

I’ve called it Simple Student because these recipes are simple, economic for student life and even if you’re a simpleton – these recipes will surely have you cooking yummy foods for yourself in no time!

👆To start this series off is my go-to recipe for classic comfort that can be made ahead of time, in large batches for the week or in large batches to help you cope for the rest of the week.

We’ve all had some type of chicken alfredo pasta. And I dare not call this recipe that in fear of being lynched by some shook Italians and because of that it’s fondly called Creamy Chicken Pasta. ‘Cos that’s all this recipe literally needs: cream, chicken and pasta. Boom! You’re a chef!🍳

✌Now, I know that looks like a lot. But I have been making this recipe for two years now, so I know what it needs to suit my tastes and what it needs to suit my mommy’s needs.

👌Don’t start out fancy with this. The basic flavours of this dish speak for itself. Once you become comfortable with adding enough salt and pepper – feel free to get creative. I prefer adding some paprika for slight colour and smoke, and dried chilli flakes for spicy-ness!

👉Once browned, remove chicken cubes from the pan. The bottom of the pan will have some brown sticky bits, don’t worry, you haven’t burnt anything. That’s what chefs call fond. It’s browned bits that stick to the pan, typically after browning meat. It adds wonderful flavour without you having done a lot!

👇I added some spinach to mine. Feel free to add whatever you have in the fridge or cupboard. Or whatever you’re craving – except chocolate. I doubt that’ll be a lekker (nice) flavour combo.

All I can say about the spaghetti is: heavily salted water and follow the cooking instructions! Please, please, please!

This recipe is one of my favourites to make for myself when I’m feeling a bit miserable or for my family on a Winter’s day.

CREAMY CHICKEN PASTA

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Servings: 3

INGREDIENTS

2-3 skinless boneless chicken breasts

Spaghetti

1/2 medium onion

1 clove of garlic or 2 teaspoons of dried garlic

2 cups of cream

1 cup of milk

Salt & Pepper

2 tablespoons of canola/olive oil

Optional Additions

2 teaspoons oregano

2 teaspoons thyme

1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes

2 tablespoons cream cheese

1 cup mozzarella cheese

Use tofu instead of chicken

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

1. Cut chicken breasts into inch-sized cubes

2. Marinate your chicken in the dry spices: salt, pepper and any additional spices. Not the garlic!

3. Make sure that each cube is nicely spiced, and leave in the fridge (warm day) or at room temperature (cold day).

4. Chop your onion into a rough dice, it doesnt have to be super small, bite sized. Put onto a board or o a plate for now.

5. Peel, slice and dice your garlic and other additional veg. Put these all on a board or plate for now.

6. Pour oil into a skillet (pan) and turn on the heat. Medium heat to bring the oil up to temperature.

7. Test to see if the oil is hot by placing the end of a wooden sopon in the oil. If it begins to bubble around the bit in the oil, you’re all good to go!

8. Carefully place your chicken cubes in. Don’t throw them in! Ask for help if this freaks you out, or place them in the pan using a tongs.

9. Let your chicken brown for 2-3 minutes each side. We’re not aiming to fully cook the chicken here yet, if we do, adding it to the pasta and hot creamy sauce will cause it to overcook. We want it to be brown on the outside, pink and raw in the middle. Trust me, it will cook in time!

If you’d like to use stiff veg like broccoli or carrots, now would be a great time to add them. If you use bell peppers, leafy veg or asparagus, add them in later.

10. Onced browned and delicious, remove from the pan.

11. Lower the heat and add in your onions and garlic. Cook until the onions are soft and almost transluscent. Stir every now and then, season with salt and pepper.

12. Pour water into a pot and turn it up onto high heat to bring to a boil. Remeber add lots of salt! More than you think you need 😉

13. Once your water comes to a boil, add in your pasta and set a timer on your phone so you don’t overcook it. Simple psaghetti typically takes 8-10 minutes depending on your brand – so read the packet instructions.

14. Once your pasta is cooked, turn off the heat and drain some of the pasta water. Keep a bit in the pot with the pasta to prevent them from sticking.

15. Add your cream to your onions and garlic mixture. Keep the heat of your stove medium-low. Add your milk too and wait for it to come up to a boil. You’ll start to see a few bubbles in the sauce, don’t be tempted to stir!

16. Season your cream sauce with salt and pepper and any additonal spices.

17. After 2 minutes, stir it gently to prevent if from burning. Add in your chicken, pasta. And a few tablespoons of your pasta water. AND MIX, TOSS AND COAT 😉

Add your vegetables in here if you didn’t in the beginning.

18. It will still look runny and watery, don’t panic, give the chicken a chance to cook in the sauce and the pasta, to suck up those flavours. Put a lid on to help excess moisture evaporate quicker.

19. Once it has thickened, turn off the heat and serve yourself a huge helping!

Let me know in the comments below what your favourite pasta dish is? And don't forget to follow GirlOnTheBus for more fabulous student life stuff!

XXX

#COLLAB: What happens next?

I wrote the poem on a whim, when I was feeling a bit insecure about myself – and my future. Like leaves, we go through different stages of life – I chose to see it as different stages of success. The falling from the tree signals the moving on to something new, the end of dependency…and sometimes that’s scary.

The last autumn leaf fell today;

With a thud –

A heaviness

The last autumn leaf fell today;

While the others he hung with

Died.

Crumpled, deceased,

away

The last autumn leaf fell today;

And while the others had moved on

He laid there –

Red – full of energy

And

Scared

Wondering about

“what happens next?”

Saadiqah Schroeder (2019)


“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all”


Saadiqah is a BA student majoring in Linguistics and Afrikaans at UCT. She loves the outdoors, nature & animals, art and other thought provoking stimuli. She writes poetry and draws/paints as hobbies when she’s not studying.