Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Second year problems

photo credit: Stefan Leijon via photopin cc

Congratulations! You've made it to second year of university and ready to make the move out of halls of residences and into your own house! Paying rent, bills, setting your up your own internet may seem daunting at first, but you are no longer a scared fresher, you are a second year! You're mature, and ready to take on your new independent life. 

But then you realise that it isn't all it is cracked up to be...

Your kitchen will still be a mess

How excited you were to not have to clear up the mess of 17 other people that you lived with. But in second year, you are still clearing up other people's stuff... 

You will be cold all the time

Goodbye are the days of inclusive bills. You have to be responsible for your own gas bills which means sacrificing the heating and inevitably getting a cold. Boo! 

You will still eat rubbish

I thought I would have so much space to cook lots of great meals and be really healthy this year... nope, I still eat mostly the same rubbish that I ate last year. 

The furniture will be broken

I had dreams of living in a beautiful small house with cute furniture and nice bedrooms.... I needed to lower my expectations. More than often, something is always broken. And then trying to get hold of your landlord is another issue!

You live off campus

No more being able to roll out of bed to a 9am. A 9am lecture now requires me to get up at 6.45am to catch a bus that takes half an hour to go to campus. Plus, the days are long. A lot of time wasting is happening waiting for your next lecture. There is only so much work you can do in one day!

Uni work counts! 

No more doing assignments the night before because you only have to pass them to get into Second year (which I definitely don't advise you do anyway!). All your work actually will count towards your degree, which is a super scary thought 

However much I am complaining about second year, it really is great. Not being the new person is such a bonus - you know what you are doing, you have great friends and generally it is a ball - with a tad of added pressure of actually doing your degree! 
How has your first month at university been so far? 


Friday, 10 October 2014

Being Organised - Uni advice

Organisation is a key skill, especially at university. Being able to juggle working for you degree, social life and other aspects of university life can be a struggle. It is one of my aims this year to be more organised, so here are some of my tips that I will be doing this year to help me out!

1. Write out your timetable

I find that having a printed out copy of my timetable pinned on my noticeboard (and colour coded!) means that I know exactly when and where my lectures and seminars are. I also add regular society meetings/sessions and anything else that occurs on a near weekly basis. 

2. Buy a diary

This may be pretty self explanatory, but buying a diary can also help with information on your reading/assignments or being able to write in urgent things, to do lists or last minute events. This can also be done on your phone, which may be better if you forget things! 

3. Organise your notes

Keeping paper/lecture handouts safe and together can be a struggle. This year, I am doing all of my seminar prep reading in separate exercise books and then lecture notes on paper and keeping them in one folder. This way, I can grab the book that I need before running out of the door to my seminar. I don't have to faff around with lots of papers

4. Organise your laptop

Spend a little bit of time making new folders on your laptop. I personally have a 'UNIVERSITY' folder under my documents which is broken down into years, then into modules. If I have to download readings, power points or podcasts, they all go in there. I also have sorted out my 'One-drive' folders so I can get all of my documents on my tablet, laptop and phone. (I assume the Cloud is the same for apple users?)

5. To do lists

I write so many (probably too many) to do lists for days, especially when I have days off from university (let's take some time to appreciate my amazing timetable in which I have Wednesday afternoons, Thursdays and Fridays off!). I even write household chores on them. Seriously, there is nothing as satisfying as crossing off a task! 

I have only been back at university for a few weeks and am already noticing the difference between first and second year work load. My days off cannot be used to browsing the internet and eating all the food in the cupboard any more! 



Tuesday, 7 October 2014

The Last 20 years

To my younger self.

Tomorrow, you will turn 20. It seemed a lifetime away when you were dreaming about this day. But it has crept up on you, and you haven't really noticed. But that's okay.

I remember you dreamt of being the big 20. How different your life would be. You wondered if you would be madly in love, getting into your dream job, living independently. You thought that by 20, you would have you life sorted out, knowing exactly how you would live out the next 20 years, and the next.

I'm sorry to break to news to you, but the life that you dreamt, well... it kind of hasn't happened. By the time you are 20, you will still look 16. You won't know exactly what you want to do in life. You won't have found Mr Right (but you will still find the cliche 'Mr Right' cringy!). You won't suddenly not be nervous or scared any more. You will still worry about the stupid things. And sometimes, you will still feel a little bit alone.

But, don't let me put you off the good things that will happen. You will be living three hours away at university, in a rented house where you pay your own bills (it sounds scary, I know!). You will have great friends who will always pick you up after a bad day. You will have the best family ever. Whilst you haven't gone to far away countries or experienced a lot of things others have, you will be happy with the greatness you have achieved.

But remember, it's okay to be scared, and it is okay to not know what the future holds. But most of all remember to have fun - YOLO (wait, you won't know what that means yet!)

Lots of love
Abbie (aged 19 and 364 days)


Friday, 3 October 2014

University bag essentials

I am back with more university related posts! This week has been quite busy, but hopefully, I will be able to continue blogging and getting a degree. I have some more recipes and advice posts to put up as well as some personal lifestyle things, so hopefully, in the next few weeks, I can get back into the swing of blogging.

I have been back at university now for a week, attending meetings, introductory lectures etc. So here are some of my university bag essentials...

This is the bag I am using this year. If you read my Backpack Wishlist, this was featured on there. I actually ended up ordering it from Amazon instead of Asos. It was pretty cheap at about £20, but it is a little uncomfortable! 

  • Purse - an old one from accessorize
  • Pencil case - I am using a Cath Kidston washbag from a few years ago
  • Bus pass
  • Simple wipes
  • Headphones
  • Ipod - Yes, this is 7 years old and hasn't failed me... yet *touch wood*
  • Pens
  • Diary
  • Notebook - for my to do lists and blogpost ideas. This one was £3.50 in Paperchase
  • Page markers 
I also carry around a little 'Hello Kitty' makeup bag which I carry around hair ties and pins, lip balm, Rimmel Stay Matte Powder, Natural Collection Lash Lengthening Mascara and Superdrug anti-bacterial blemish gel. I also usually carry pain killers with me too. 

Last but not least, I have my Microsoft Surface RT tablet which I take to my lectures as well as some paper. I am using exercise books that I bought off amazon. 

I am thinking about doing a note taking/how to get the most out of your lecture post, so let me know if this is something that would be useful!

What are your university/school/college essentials? 

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