Meet The Team: Eleanor


Eleanor is a full time student and the University of Auckland, studying a conjoint Commerce and Music degree. Eleanor also works part time for AYM as a ministry assistant, including work with the Grace Collective! Eleanor works with Charlie to maintain our Facebook page, Instagram profile and blog (if you would like to contribute to any of these – let her know!). Eleanor has also been involved in organising the live music for the Grace Collective café events; if you play any kind of music she would love to hear from you! Eleanor’s life goals include being a drummer in a heavy metal screamo band and meeting Taylor Swift. She can be reached at
Currently reading: Relevant Magazine and WNTLM.

5 Ways to Procrastinate During Exams

examsIt’s finals time! Yay! If you weren’t already finding plenty of ways to avoid studying for your exams or finishing off those essays, then Eleanor’s here to be a terrible influence and give you some more.

1. Suddenly becoming a fitness freak


You know those running shoes you haven’t touched in 6 months? Now is the perfect time to dust them off! Nothing makes you feel better about procrastinating than exercising, and exercise actually benefits you more than you think. Endorphins released help manage stress and improve your mood, while just clearing your head and shaking off that study-induced cabin fever.

2. Instagram


Instagram doesn’t just constitute the one app. There are apps for editing, making photos look old, vintage, there a videos now. It’s endless and extremely time consuming; because your morning coffee obviously needs at least 10 minutes of editing time.

3. Blogs

If you’re reading this than you’re already on the right track! There are some great blogs out there on the internet just waiting for you to read them RIGHT NOW. Don’t wait another moment. Because learning how to style your hair just like Elsa from Frozen is obviously the most important thing you’ll learn this week.

4. Youtube

If you haven’t found the acapella corner of Youtube then you are missing out. BIG TIME. Cat videos come in a close second, followed by babies giggling for the first time.

5. Jennifer Lawrence

Whether it is a brilliant photobomb, hilarious GIF or zero-filter interview, Jennifer Lawrence does it all. Hours of entertainment right there.

Happy Exams! And may the odds be ever in your favour.

My Happiness Pursuit

It is a crazy coincidence that this upcoming Grace Collective event is titled/themed ‘In pursuit of ‘Happy’”, because that is exactly what my last 50 days have been about.

See, I’m doing a challenge that you have probably heard of called the 100 Days Of Happy challenge (#100happydays) that went viral on the internet a while back. People sign up to complete the challenge on their chosen social media platform and post a photo of something that makes them happy every day for 100 days. Sounds simple right?

Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 10.58.20 pmI’m just over halfway through the challenge on my instagram profile (@_eleanor_calder if you’re interested #shameslessplug) and I have been reflecting on what I’ve learned about myself and this thing we call “happiness” while completing this challenge. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share my findings with someone so here goes.

I’ve always tried to see the joy in the small things in life, to appreciate every day and consciously keep my naturally pessimistic mind positive. And I thought I was pretty good at it, until I started this challenge. The first sign of trouble was when I was signing up to the challenge and they mentioned that over 60% of people who sign up fail to complete it. I scoffed at this – how hard could it be to take a photo a day and post it online? Piece of cake.eleanor

I hit the first hurdle when I realised how boring my life actually is. I started at the beginning of February (during my University holidays) and spent a lot of my days doing absolutely nothing. I couldn’t exactly post a picture of me in my onesie three days in a row so I had to get creative pretty quickly. I started posting older photos of memories with friends and family (with the obligatory #throwbackthursday) on days where I didn’t do much and the happiness followed. Nothing like looking back at old photos to make you grateful for what you have, and from that gratefulness came happiness. Pretty awesome if you ask me.

eleanor1The second hurdle I encountered was when I would have a terrible day and legitimately struggle to find anything to post. This happened more than I’d like to admit. That was when I realised the real purpose of this challenge and why that 60% of people hadn’t finished; it is hard to find happiness when life sucks. Really hard. It takes a lot of effort and a lot of searching – but it’s there. I promise. It’s there when you’re running to catch the bus you’re about to miss and the driver waits for you. It’s there when your friend buys you lunch because you’ve had back-to-back lectures and haven’t had the time. It’s there when you’re having a terrible hair day and someone gives you a compliment.

It’s there – you just have to keep looking.


I apologise for all the hashtags in this blog post #sorrynotsorry