On the Cover
By Joanna, age 20, South Wales, United Kingdom
Sweet Designs Featured Writer
I grew up in Cardiff, Wales, with my parents, who have been a great inspiration to me. My mother has been through so much in her life and still manages to do the best she can for everyone around her, and I really admire her perseverance and ability to make any situation solvable. She's still one of the first people I turn to in a crisis, and she's there for me without fault. My dad works harder than anyone I know and has held the family together through some tough times, but for always putting on a strong front and doing what needs to be done, I admire him. I also have one older sister with whom I share a typical relationship - when we argue, it's really bad, but when we get along it's awesome and we laugh for hours. We share plenty of happy memories and I'm sure there'll be plenty more to come!
I love music, and seeing live bands is one of my hobbies. There's something about the atmosphere of a crowd of people gathering to hear something, and everyone singing along in unity that really strikes a sense of belonging within me. Some of the best live bands I've seen include Anberlin, Plain White Ts, Beyond All Reason, and Third Eye Blind. Other bands that I love but unfortunately have not yet seen live are Motion City Soundtrack, The Gaslight Anthem, and Lucero. I love discovering new music - it makes me happy!
Another hobby of mine is gaming. This started with the Playstation One console, but in the last year or so I've grown to appreciate PC games and online RPGs (role playing games). It's not something that a lot of girls do, and most people think of games as being a 'guy thing' but it's really not. It's actually quite fun and can be a really rewarding activity.
Reading is what kick started my passion for writing, and in general I like to read magical fantasy books or Victorian or Edwardian fiction books. I also like Charles Dickens' work and some autobiographies, as I find it interesting to learn about how other people live.
Cardiff is where I've spent my entire life, and although there are many places I'd like to travel, it will always be my home. There is nothing like knowing every side street and shortcut round where you grew up and have lived. This summer I graduate from university, and after that I'm aiming to work as a journalist. I ultimately want to be an author, but realistically I thought that would be difficult to make a living out of straight off, so I've been pursuing magazine journalism for the time being. I love doing it. I've been taken down some very interesting paths with my work experience in this, including my voluntary work at Diabetes UK. (As some of you might know from my December 2010 article "Living With Diabetes" I am a Type 1 Diabetic.)
I enjoy writing articles for SDM that help people to understand important issues like diabetes and hope that my writing helps at least one person out there! Alongside writing, I have an interest in photography, although I wouldn't by any means say that I was a photographer. Maybe one day though!