Saturday, 30 August 2014

Harry Potter Studio Tour



On Friday I went to 'The Making of Harry Potter' at the Warner Brothers Studio Tour. I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan - I have all the books multiple times and went to see all the films at the cinema. I went with some of my family members, but I think that I was more excited than the children that I went with!

I was really surprised with the amount of things that there were to see. There were also short videos and extracts that were really interesting. Even though it ruined some of the 'magic', it was so interesting and when I watch the films back, I will definitely look out for some of the tricks that they used. 


We spent about 3 hours there, but we could have stayed for longer. I was expecting it to be very busy and was a bit worried about not getting the chance to take photos of things close up or having to queue for various bits, however, I was really impressed with how they managed the amount of people that there were (wow you know you are getting old when the way that an event is managed makes you extremely happy!) 

Price wise, tickets were expensive, as was the gift shop etc - however as a Harry Potter fan, I wasn't disappointed with the props, costumes and sets that were on show. 

I took way too many photos, so here are a few below! 


xxxx
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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Uni Tips - How to Budget Like a Boss


Keeping track of your money is vital for university. Student Finance is a pain in the bum, and getting too much into your overdraft is not ideal. So here are some of my tips on how to budget your money and spend a bit less

1. Work out how much money you will have per week 
Once you have your letters from student finance, take off your accommodation and that is how much you will have to spend that term. Divide it by however many weeks until your next loan and tadaa! Remember to take off any other monthly expenditure such as phone contracts, netflix etc. Also, remember to save some money for the time that you are at home as well!

2. Use cash instead of card
If you are serious about sticking to your budget, get out the cash for the week rather than using your card. You know then that you can't spend any more than your weekly budget. This is also important when on a night out. I often don't take my debit card with me so that I don't spend a lot of money!

3. Keep tabs on what you are spending money on
If you do use your card, write down what you spend on food/going out/online shopping - this is not only useful for looking at how much you are spending, but you can also make sure that nothing fishy is going out of your account.

4. Save your change
Saving your £1/50p/20p to pay for washing machines and bus fares etc can all add up if you save a bit every time you get some change.

5. You may have to make some sacrifices 
You will not be able to afford to do your food shopping at Marks and Spencers or constantly go clothes shopping. Just be cautious and don't go crazy.

6. Save Save Save
Don't spend all your money for one week? Don't spend it, save it!

7. Get an NUS Extra card
I think that they save a lot of money. I bought a 3 year one so that I wouldn't have to remember to renew it. Although your normal student card will offer you some discount, you can often get extra discount with the NUS extra card

8. 16-25 Railcard 
One of these is also a must! You can save a third off rail travel, vital for going home or visiting friends. Santander give a 4 year one away for free when you sign up to their student accounts.

9. Don't let it stress you out
If you are having problems with money, the student union can give you advice. It is just about having a bit of restraint and being responsible. There is no point using all your money in Freshers Week and not being able to eat, but don't feel bad if you don't stick to your budget for one week, just save some money the next.

Hopefully this will be useful!
University is getting close now for many - I don't start until the 29th of September which is really late. 


xxxx


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Monday, 25 August 2014

Introverts Unite!

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I have always liked being in my own company. I spend too much time inside on the internet, I get too attached to TV show characters and I love going shopping by myself. It's not that I am anti-social, I have friends who I absolutely love, but I know that I am an introverted person. 

When I was younger, I thought that this was a bad thing. Especially at school when everyone would go out and I would be quite happy staying in. I would turn down opportunities to go out, and soon I found that I was stopped being invited to things because they assumed that I wouldn't go. I felt that even some of my best friends didn't really understand, and that they still don't. 

I thought that at university I would make myself become this person who would suddenly love going clubbing and wouldn't feel nervous about meeting new people - of course, this didn't happen. I lived with some very big characters who were the complete opposite of me. They thrived off other people's company and hated being alone. I soon realised that I was never going to be that person. I have grown to love my 'introvertedness' and you all should too! 

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After some persuasion at university, I do go out a lot more than I did and actually have a good time. However, my friends know that I need some time to recharge and don't judge me for the maybe too many lazy days that I spend in my room just watching youtube videos and reading blogs. They understand that this makes me happy. It's just the little things.

So.. Introverts Unite! There is nothing wrong loving night ins watching another re-run of Bridget Jones in your pyjamas whilst scrolling endlessly through Tumblr. 

(Plus check out this buzzfeed on what all introverts love - I totally agree with all of them!)

xxxx
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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Uni Tips - Living in Halls

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Living in university halls of residences was something that I never prepared myself for. The accommodation that I was put in had 19 of us on one floor with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. It doesn't sound very glamorous does it? Luckily, I got on really well with the majority of my flatmates this year, but here are some tips and tricks on living in halls.

1. Set up a facebook group
If you live with a lot of people, or just a few, set up a flat/floor facebook group. It's a good way to communicate about problems throughout the year and also through holidays as well to keep in touch

2. Set up rules early on
I am not talking about written down rules, but things such as 'you can use my kitchen things if you put it back' etc. Setting these up early will make it a lot more easier. Also sorting out cupboard/fridge space early is also a must. 

3. Keep Communal spaces tidy
This goes without saying... *cough* although some people will not follow this! Clean up after yourself whether this is in the kitchen area or bathrooms. It really isn't nice when it is dirty!

4. Noise
If you live with a lot of people, it will be very noisy, with different people coming in and out. This is what I found quite hard at the beginning. Earplugs are great, and don't be afraid to ask people to be quiet. A good nights sleep is crucial!

5. Try not to fall out with one another
If there is a problem, take it up individually and nicely. I couldn't imagine what my first year would have been like if I hadn't got on with some of my flat mates. It can make the atmosphere tense not only for you, but for the rest of your flatmates. 

6. Quiet time
What I found the hardest about living in halls was the constant amount of people. I felt like I didn't have any time to myself - I couldn't watch some tv or a DVD without someone knocking on my door wanting to join. It can be very hard for an introvert like myself. So remember to have some time to yourself! 

Living in halls can be challenging, with fall outs, breakups and misunderstandings. However, this is a new time for you all, so the best thing is to support each other. And of course have fun! I regard most of my flatmates from last year as really good friends. It's like having your own family away from home. 

Check out more of my Student Advice posts HERE 

xxxx
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Saturday, 16 August 2014

How to have fun clubbing when sober

This may seem a slightly weird blog post, but over my first year of university, I have had some great nights out, as well as some truly awful ones. I enjoy a drink, but don't like being completely out of it when I am out clubbing - I like to remember what happened in the morning. And sometimes, I don't drink at all.

So.. I am writing this to debunk the common myth that you can only have fun when alcohol is involved.


1. Positive thinking
Don't go into the evening thinking that it is going to be awful because (a) all your friends are drinking and you aren't (b) you are going to be the odd one out etc etc. Go in thinking that you are going to have a good night with your friends. 

2. Getting ready 
Be geared out to go out! Get involved with getting ready with a group of friends. Or if you are by yourself, get dressed up, put your favourite music on and jam out. Get your mind into the partying spirit

3. Have a drink in your hand
This is mainly one for pre-drinks (especially at university). Don't awkwardly stand there. Join in, take your own soft drink and keep it with you, talk to people and get involved. 

4. Stay with your friends
Whilst this may seem a little clingy, don't let them out of your sight. Stick with them. If they are your true friends they will stay with you for the night and not leave you by yourself. There is nothing worse than that. 

5. Boogie! 
Dance, have fun. Even copy what some of your friends are doing. If you are dancing or singing along then it will be a lot more fun

6. Don't constantly look at the time

7. Suggest to be the designated photo taker
Great if it is a friends birthday. Take a camera or use your phone and take photos of the night. Then you can be in the action and with your friends

8. And if it all goes wrong... Make sure you have enough money to get a taxi home and chalk it up to experience. 

If you don't drink, or choose not to on a night out, it does not mean that you can't have fun! Plus it is hilarious to update your friends the next day of the funny things that you saw them do

On a sidenote, thank you to everyone who is following me on bloglovin'. I hit 100 followers last night and am so grateful, so thank you so much! 

xxxx
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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

A-Level Results Day: Tips!



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If you are receiving A-level results Thursday, I know how you are feeling. This time last year, I was a nervous wreck - I couldn't sleep properly and couldn't enjoy myself until I knew what my future held.

So, if you are getting your results (and consequently University Places) on Thursday, I have put together some tips on what to do before and on the day.

Before the day... 

1. Research 
I know it's not what you want to be thinking about, but have a think of your back ups. If things don't turn out the way that you hoped and you go through clearing, it will be better to have an idea of what you may want to do. Whether this is changing courses or university choices, have a snoop around. Some universities will have some clearing spaces up a few days in advance, so have a quick look. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

2. Talk to your parents/someone you trust
It is no use suffering in silence by yourself. Have a chat with your parents or your friends about your worries. They may help you think of potential back up plans or just talk through your concerns. 

3. Have your UCAS number/ID/username/password written down
There will be nothing worse if you wake up on the Thursday morning with no idea how to log in to check your results. 

4. Organise a gathering/drinks on the night before results 
Make a pact with your friends that you will not talk about results. Instead, suggest going out for drinks or have a film night. It will be a nice way to relax before the big day. 

On the day... 

1. Wake up early
As you probably know, you can check UCAS when it opens. Last year it was due to open at 7.30/8, but it opened earlier. Start checking from 7am - this way, hopefully UCAS won't crash with the increased traffic. 

2. Do it by yourself
I found it most comforting to sit in bed with my laptop and checking myself. With the added pressure of family members there, it can all be a bit much. Wake up early, make a cup of tea and try to relax. You can then share your news with them afterwards

3. Social Media
Checking sites such as Facebook or Twitter on the morning can either be a good thing or a bad thing. If you got the results that you wanted, it is a great way to share your success. Facebook last year also told me that UCAS was open earlier. However, if you are celebrating, be sensitive to those who may not have got the results that they were hoping for. 

4. Get your results
At my school, I found out in the morning on UCAS that I got into my university and then went into school a few hours later to pick up my results. This can be a great time to talk to your teachers, either sharing your success or asking their advice on what to do next 

5. Clearing
If you do need to go through clearing, if you have prepared the night before, it should be straight forward. Try ringing your university first, asking whether there was anything else that they would offer you or simply see whether there are clearing spaces on your course. The worst they can say is no. Then try ringing other universities. It can be tedious and upsetting, but doing it sooner rather than later will ensure that you get the place that you want. 

6. Celebrate
If you do get what you were hoping, congratulations. But again, be sensitive to those who weren't so happy. 

I hope these tips will be useful - remember to share them on to others who may be getting their results too. 

And once you find out, let the fun begin. Check out my Student Advice page for what to pack and some more tips coming soon!

Good Luck! 

xxxx

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