‘Bristol to me has been a city of opportunity and a safe haven…’ Shin Lovelife’s Bristol


In her first post for Rife magazine, Shin_LoveLife talks about her side of Bristol. 

Bristol to me has been a city of opportunity and a safe haven. Acquaintances have been known to leave Bristol to search for more adventure in London, Birmingham and Gloucester, but my true feeling is that they didn’t look deep enough for it right here.

Bristol has always been in my heart, because of friends, family and relationships. I found my childhood sweetheart at high school and I believe that has made Bristol even more special for the both of us.

I can understand why it has been voted as the best place to live. It’s big enough for a change of scenery but small enough to not feel lost. It has the balance of speed and buzz, unlike London where it may be too fast or Weston-super-Mare where it is too slow. Bristol is just right. You have a sense of different communities and people tend to be friendly and there are great perks when you build a report with people. It’s like an all-you-can-eat of culture from the Caribbean, Asia and Europe.  This is displayed in events like the St.Pauls Carnival, which is the main Bristol event I look forward to each year. There is so much variety; it’s the ultimate feast.

I feel that the communities I was a part of growing up were more secluded in comparison to how they are now. Thankfully I was able to develop that whilst I was in South Wales. Newport is multicultural however the ethnic minorities are few and far between, which made it easier to develop my ability to communicate in different surroundings. Since, Bristol has caught up with that but there is still a small percentage of people who continue to stick to their own. During my time in Wales, although my family was based there, my hometown was still in my heart because of my partner and opportunities in my area of interest, so I moved back.

Bristol has become a well-kBurstnown media hub and has its share of media events and opportunities that works in my favour as a creative. There are so many young people in Bristol with raw talent, from spoken word artists to animators, filmmakers and music artists. It is hard to get in touch with people who are interested in your fields as a young adult, but once you make that first connection you get to know so many people and create innovative friends.

Since I have returned, I became Bristol’s first young black female to acquire an apprentice position at BBC Bristol in 2011 and accomplished other achievements that I believe would have only happened in Bristol. I feel blessed that I have something distinctive that employers tend to look for and I love Bristol for that.

To describe Bristol in three words, they would simply be ‘expect the unexpected’.

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Rife is Watershed‘s online magazine created for young people, by young people.

We offer paid internships and publish work by young writers, photographers, illustrators, and filmmakers from all sorts of backgrounds, helping them get into creative careers. Rife has reached over 8,000 young people through our workshops, over 220 young people have made stuff for Rife on topics ranging from mental health to identity to baked beans, and last year, over 200,000 people visited our website.

In these complex and uncertain times hearing from and supporting young people who are advocating for social change and contributing fresh perspectives has never been so important. 

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