Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Student Money Saving Tips

It's getting to the last week of term, your bank account is looking a little worse for wear as you wait for the next student loan to come in January -  but you've still got to travel home and Christmas presents to buy. Nightmare!

I will be making full advantage of my last year being able to use my student card to get money off my Christmas presents, it will be a sad day when I can't use it any more! My railcard however is something that I will definitely renew and it is perfect for when I travel home, and they last until you are 25. Good thing I still have 4 years of use!

 Having an NUS Extra card is also so useful - although it gives many of the same discounts for your normal student card, it also gives money off in restaurants, Co-op and even Amazon - so if you don't have one already, it is definitely worth checking out! Although I was always certain that I would never pay for Spotify, they are currently running an offer to have 3 months of premium for 99p. It seemed too good to miss!

TransPennine Express have put together this great infographic for ways for students to save money, which will be especially useful in the Christmas period - maybe try some of them out next term?!

*This infographic was provided by TransPennine Express* 


Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Hack your Student Accommodation with Sugru*

Let's face it. Student housing is rubbish. Lack of matching furniture and storage space, units with missing shelves and the inability to stick anything to the walls (although we all do it anyway!) makes it hard to think of it as our home for the next 9 months.

When the people at Sugru got in touch with me about hacking your student room, I was intrigued. I had heard about Sugru before, it's mouldable glue that you can make into anything. It's not only used to fix things, but make things, so of course, I put it to the test.

Whilst I am not as creative as some people as I scoured through Pinterest for some ideas, I first started with making some hooks. I have a shelf next to my desk, and thought it would be nice to make some hooks for my keys, or necklaces so my desk isn't cluttered.

You have 30 minutes to mould the Sugru into something before it starts to set. You then leave for 24 hours and the next day, it would have hardened into rubber. Pretty cool right? It took me a while to get it into the shape that I wanted, and then attach it to the bottom of my shelf. So they don't look perfect, but it was my first try okay! Somewhat sceptical, I left them overnight. And this morning, I have hard, rubbery hooks that hold my keys and necklaces - and they're still there a week later! I then went on to fix our bathroom towel rail which was coming away from the wall!

Sugru is definitely one to check out. If you're into hacking your life, or just want to fix those hard to fix things, it is one to try.
Plus, they have loads of student tips and hacks for you to get started (check it out HERE!), including an example of a beer can table? So I'm definitely not that creative (and I don't drink that much beer!), but, I think it's pretty cool!


Monday, 19 October 2015

What Bridget Jones taught me about life.

It's a Sunday night. I'm currently celebrating the fact that my only lecture has been cancelled tomorrow with a decaf tea, some scented candles, and watching clips of Bridget Jones on youtube. If that isn't a fun Sunday night, I don't know what is. #singlelife #foreveralone

 I'm definitely looking like this right now as I jam out to I'm every woman

Amongst all the news and pictures of the filming of the new Bridget Jones film (I'm literally googling and checking everyday, I can't get enough, I'm like a woman obsessed), I find myself going back to the film and even the soundtrack a lot. Actually, they are the only DVDs I bought with me to uni this year. So here's a few things that Bridget Jones taught me about life.

1. You'll definitely make mistakes, and that's okay.

2. Nobody is perfect and you shouldn't try to be either. It's better to accept your flaws than pretend they don't exist. 

3. Life is too short for uncomfortable underwear

4. Had a bad day? Did someone say icecream for dinner? 

5. You always need that friend who gives you the best advice

6. It's actually pretty fun being single 

7. Not everyone is an amazing cook 

8. Someone will love you just as you are... Mark Darcy, I'm still waiting 

Come on ladies, embrace your inner Bridget!! 


Saturday, 17 October 2015

An Update - Third Year

Here, have a picture of what I was hoping would look super autumnal, instead, very limited leaves - and what looks like a cigarette - and a dirty pavement. Oops!

Well hello there. Long time no see. It feels like forever that I sat down and wrote a proper post. I have been back in my uni town for about 3 weeks, although I only properly started lectures and seminars last week. I can't believe that this time two years ago, I was starting first year, not knowing what the future held, and now the end is really in sight, and it is so scary!

The first few weeks have been spent trying to get on my feet. Luckily my house mates are amazing, and I actually live in a proper house rather than a rubbish cold flat. No longer do I have to worry about being kept awake all night by noisy neighbours. And I can actually walk around in my room without bumping into or having to walk over something, which is an absolute delight. So it's still very studenty (you know the feeling), but we have done loads to make it a proper home - which included an amazing ikea trip!

I feel like third year has so much added pressure to it. Besides studying for my degree (and the dreaded dissertation!), applying for graduate schemes and wanting to volunteer and join all the clubs as it is your final year just adds so much pressure to it all, and I'm worried that I'm going to cave. I'm scared.

In other news though, like I said on my third year bucket list, I auditioned, and got into a choir. Not any choir... but an a cappella choir. My Pitch Perfect dreams can now finally come true. Don't laugh, I know it's cheesy as hell, but man am I excited! Also, isn't the weather getting dreamy. I love the smell of Autumn/Winter. Please don't tell me that I am the only one who LOVES winter. The cold doesn't bother me anyway.

Things may be a little quiet around these parts for a little while - no longer do I have time to sit all day on twitter! But please bear with me.. and don't forget about me!

Here's to a great first term of university. And here's to hoping that my house will be warm enough that I don't see my own breath whilst sitting in bed. 


Monday, 21 September 2015

Getting Nakd*

After my month in Edinburgh where a daily trip to the £1 pie shop for a macaroni cheese pie (yes, this is a thing!) occurred way too much, Natural Balance Foods got in contact and asked if I wanted to review some Nakd bars, I immediately said yes.

I had never had a Nakd bar before, and to be honest, I hadn't really heard of them either. When the box arrived, I was surprised at the amount of flavours that there were. In the box I received: Berry Delight, Cafe Mocha, Cocoa Orange, Rhubarb and Custard, Bakewell Tart, Ginger Bread, Cashew Cookie, Cocoa Mint, Cocoa Delight and Pecan Pie - so many to choose from!!

I was surprised when I opened one. It doesn't exactly look super appetising. But boy did they taste good! I thought as a chocolate lover that I would like the cocoa ones the best, but I think the Gingerbread, Pecan Pie or Cashew Cookie were my favourite!

They are also SUPER good for you - wheat, dairy and gluten free, plus one of your five a day? Say whaaat?! They also list the ingredients on the back, usually consisting of dates, some sort of nut or raisin and sometimes flavouring, all squished together, making it feel super healthy.

Natural Balance Foods also have loads of other products which I am now sooo tempted to try! They also have some great tips on weightloss or just generally getting a bit healthier with foods, something that I definitely need to work on - getting more protein and cutting down on the amount of bread and carbs that I eat (okay, I'm not sure that I am ready to give up tiger bread yet!). Why not have a look at their blog and articles on "Energy Foods" if you are ready to take that next step?!

I have a few bars left over which I am going to attempt to keep for when I am back at uni for my lunch! 

Have you found any good new snacks recently? 


Monday, 14 September 2015

It's Okay To Say No

I am a firm believer that a night in can solve all of life's problems (okay, so maybe not all of them). Okay, so maybe that makes me a loner that I have passed many a night out with friends, for some quality me time and the chance to spend all night in my pyjamas. Maybe that's something that comes with my introverted nature.

I am sure there is a moment in our lives when we have a "just say yes" thought, where we believe that saying yes to things will drastically change our lives. Whilst I don't believe that sitting waiting for things to happen is the way to live your life, I don't believe that doing things that you don't want to do is the way forward either. I have often written about my experiences of university, and the expectations that it came with. Being the fun, outgoing and lively student played havoc in my first year, making my anxiety flare as I couldn't live up to these expectations that the media, friends and family, and myself had put up for me. I wanted to be that person who said yes, but I soon realised that this isn't healthy.

That's why in my second year, I forgot all of those. Whilst I increased my social aspect in some ways, I learnt to say no. Saying no to a night out for example isn't going to make you lose a friend. They may be annoyed for the night, but they will soon get over it.

Whilst they say that life is too short to sit around all day, life is also too short to do things that you don't want to do. If I want to sit in, watch Bridget Jones and crochet, then no one is going to stop me. Why is there such a stigma about just saying a simple two letter word? No.


Monday, 7 September 2015

Uni tips - Masterpost

The beginning of term is almost upon us! I can't wait to get back, starting new modules, living away from home again and of course stationery shopping!

This time last year, I put together a number of "Uni Tips", and thought I would dig these out for the new freshers (or returning students) joining university in the next few weeks! Take a look and let me know if you read them!

1. How to enjoy clubbing sober

2. How not to act on moving in weekend!

3. Living in Halls 

4. How to budget like a boss

5. Being Organised 

If you are heading to University for the first time this September, good luck! You are in for the best 3 years of your life. Enjoy it, because it will go faster than you think!

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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Back to Uni with Home Bargains*

I absolutely love the back to school feeling, and I am so sad that this will be my last! I love the rush, the new timetable, the new uniform (or clothes!) and of course new stationary. 

I'm not going to lie, but when Home Bargains got in touch asking if they could send me some of their new back to school stationary range, I was pretty excited. I'm the classic blogger/student who  loves stationery and always have far too much! They have loads of basics, perfect for the money saving university student, from highlighters, post it notes, rubbers, pens, and glue - always useful things to have in your student flat. I can tell these all will come in super handy not only for myself, but for my flatmates too! 

Please tell me that I am not the only one who loves buying or getting notebooks, even though you don't always have a purpose for them?! The ones that they sent me have such a girly design. I especially love the pale pink one as I love notebooks with curved edges and it is so cute. I will probably use this for all my notes whilst I am in Edinburgh next month as I will finally have a use for it! They also sent me a 3 subject notebook and a folder which I always need as I go through paper like there is no tomorrow. I also will definitely use the diary to put in all of my deadlines, meetings and extra lectures. I can't wait to jazz it up with some colours and washi tape.

Home Bargains have some great things that won't break the bank, perfect for back to school. Everything was between 49p and £1.99 which is so good. I wouldn't have even thought to go their for the stationery, but the quality was a lot better than I was expecting. Whilst perhaps not up to Paperchase or Oxford Notebook standard, it is a much cheaper alternative, perfect for my stationary fix for this new school year. 

*This post was written in collaboration with Home Bargains who sent me some of their back to school range to try. 

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Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Moving back home

I never really had a strong group of friends growing up. I was stuck in the middle of two groups, not really in either of them. At the time, I didn't really mind. I was determined to get my grades so I could move away from university and start all over again. It's not until you move back home when you start thinking about if you should have done things differently.

I recently tweeted that all I seem to be doing is watching Netflix, reading and crocheting at the moment. Some replied, saying that that sounds perfect. From the outside it does, but from where I am sitting, having a limited amount of people to meet up with at home makes it is different than it seems. Of course I am enjoying catching up with Pretty Little liars, but when I see my friends from university out with their home friends enjoying the sun, I can't help but be jealous. I wish I had those people who I could go to back to at home.

I do have friends at home, a few good friends who I see maybe once a week if I am lucky. They too have boyfriends or friends from school who I never really fitted in with. I don't get invited to their outings, and whilst I don't know if I would actually go, I sometimes get FOMO and wish that I was.

Moving back home comes with other struggles. Losing my independence, just generally living with my family can sometimes drive me a little crazy and I guess I'm just feeling a little trapped, where at university I feel so free with my amazing new friends.

I always enjoy being in my own company (classic introvert!), being alone, but not lonely. But for the moment, I am alone, and feeling just a little bit lonely. 

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Wednesday, 15 July 2015


Someone told me yesterday that they had never seen me so confident, and I couldn't help but smile at the comment. I also did something that I never ever do, and that was to make a phone call, Without thinking, I picked up the phone. It wasn't until afterwards that I realised what I had done. I no longer felt my pulse increase and my face flush red as I dialled the number. What was happening?

Whilst shopping a few weeks ago, I saw someone who I used to work with. I didn't especially got on with them very well, but instead of pretending that I hadn't seen her, I walked straight over and said hi. It was a very brief and somewhat awkward encounter, but I wanted to show her how much I had changed in the past few years. I walked away feeling pretty happy with myself.

Looking back at even a few years ago at my 17 year old self, I can't believe how different I am. I would feel uncomfortable talking to people or doing anything by myself in fear that people were making fun of me. Yes, I still feel uncomfortable meeting new people and socialising in large groups with people who I don't know very well, but things have changed, definitely for the better.

It definitely didn't happen overnight. I used to wish that I would. I thought going to university would make me into this super confident person, who would talk to anyone and everyone and suddenly love socialising and clubbing. This pressure on myself for living up to the expectation that I had crafted hindered me, and made me feel like I was a failure, adding to my anxiety and made me feel defeated. But, you don't realise how far you have come until someone else realises. It was my mum who first told me after my first year of uni that I now stood taller, spoke with more confidence and looked a lot happier. Then I started to believe it.

 Recognising your flaws and accepting them was definitely my first step towards confidence. I started to realise that I didn't love clubbing, and that I preferred being in my own company and that this wasn't weird. Once I wasn't living the lie and accepted that the life that I wanted wasn't achievable, I felt more assured and happier with the person who I have become. Talking to people also really helped. For example, talking to shop assistants or bar staff instead of ignoring their questions or giving one word answers is so helpful. I would have a problem talking to strangers or looking people in the eye, but now, I make the effort to ask people about their day and to smile to people on the street. It's the little things that help.

I constructed this idea of the life that I wanted when I started university, now two years in, I'm so glad that didn't happen. Who knows what my life would be like. But for now, I'm just happy. I think I have finally become the person that I want to be. We get so caught up abut changing ourselves and trying to be like other people. But just be yourself, and your confidence will shine through.

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Saturday, 27 June 2015

University | Second Year

I actually can't believe that I am writing this... My second year of University is over. It seems absolutely crazy to be saying that, and that I only have another year of university to go before entering the big scary world.

This year has been absolutely incredible, as cheesy as it sounds, it has probably been the best year so far. I felt like I could be myself, rather than trying to make friends and pretending that I loved clubbing and going out. The pressure has been so much less, and this I have loved. First year was all about the pressure. The pressure to fit in, the pressure to adapt so quickly to living by yourself and university life. This year, I have drifted back into student life like it is 'old hat' rather than everything being new. My flatmates are amazing, and although the state of our student house annoys me no end, they know me so well. I don't say it enough to them, so if they are reading (I don't know, they could secretly be reading), then I love you all.

This year, the opportunities have been amazing. The society that I am a part of has allowed me to gain new skills, meet loads of new people and given me the chance to be the producer of a show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer. I have got to know lots of people so much better and I think that I finally have some sort of idea of what I want to do after university life, something that I had no idea about this time last year. I went to Prague, rode a segway and went to a 5 floor club with these amazing people.
Joining a society has definitely been the highlight of the year and something I would encourage everyone to do. It really opens up doors in ways that you can't imagine.

It's so weird to think that this time last year, I was finishing first year after having an awful year. My mental health got the better of me and caused me to be scared to do anything. I would ring my mum in tears most nights as I was so anxious all the time. I tried to hide it from my flatmates that only made it worse. It isn't until one of your best friends tells you that she knew how much you suffered last year, and how well you have been doing this year that makes everything better. 

Things do get better. This year has been incredible, and here's hoping I can top it next year. 

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Wednesday, 6 May 2015

University Revision Tips

In my first year of university, I had no idea where to start with revision. After being spoonfed through my A-levels and GCSEs with textbooks and revision guides, suddenly I was left with nothing but a reading list and a powerpoint.

I am currently studying Sociology, so this may not apply to everyone (apologies about that, can only give advice on what I know!), but this is how I revise for essay based exams.

1. Read through powerpoints and notes
Fingers crossed you have kept your notes from the year. Sometimes, they may not be helpful, but usually, my lecturers will add in extra things that may not be on the powerpoint. Have a look through and note down some of the key points from the lecture.

2. Re-read core readings
Once you have looked through the main points, re read some of the readings. Mine are always separated into core and further readings, with the core obviously being expected that you read. Although I made notes on it when I read them the first time, I definitely recommend making notes and re reading them again. Sounds boring, but it really helps.

3. Bullet point
Instead of writing out long notes, bullet point the key bits, write down useful quotes and note down any names that you could use in your essays.

4. Try the further reading list
If you don't feel like the core reading has gone into enough detail on an area that you are interested in, delve into the further reading list. Read the Abstract and conclusion. If it's relevant, carry on reading, if not, try another one.

5. Google Scholar
Try searching for some key words. You get major props for going beyond the reading list!

6. Flashcard it
Trying to learn key words or names of studies? Write them on flashcards.

7. Past papers
If past papers are available to you, use them! Try planning them open book. Use your notes, make a mindmap of the points you would use, and the studies/information that you would put into each paragraph. Write an introduction and conclusion.

8. Keep re writing
I learn by re-writing things. Take a blank piece of paper and give yourself 20 minutes to write out your essay plans from memory. Or give yourself a list of names and write what they said on a particular subject.

9. Don't panic
University exams are stressful, yes. But they aren't trying to trick you out. The lecturers want you to do well.

10. Don't spend all day (or night) in the library
Personally, I find the library a stressful place in this exam period. Make sure you are taking breaks, having proper meals and proper sleep. There is nothing worse than feeling groggy all day.

What are some of your tips for university exams? 

Need a playlist or procrastination tips?

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Thursday, 30 April 2015

The Best Revision Playlists

It's that time again, Term 3. I'm not going to lie. I haven't worn jeans for a good few days and my floor is covered in paper. But it's allowed, right?

As I have very limited contact hours, I spend most of my time at home as I can't be bothered to find a space on campus. I always find that having a playlist and something to focus on really helps.

1. Study Music Project
This is an entire youtube channel dedicated to music to study to at varying lengths. I usually go for the hour playlist. If you're not a fan of classical music, then this is one for you. Plug in, and get listening.

2. Disney Piano
This is also a firm favourite of mine. Sit back and allow your favourite Disney tunes to be played beautifully on the piano. Pure Bliss. However, don't do what I did and start singing along - not good revision technique!

3. Harry Potter Instrumental
Film instrumentals are also a firm favourite, preferably ones with no words. Personal favourites include Lord Of the Rings and of course, Harry Potter. Get listening to the sounds of your childhood.

What are some of your favourite playlists to listen to whilst revising? 

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Saturday, 25 April 2015

So you've registered to vote.. now what?

The General election is everywhere, where ever I turn on campus or in town, there are people handing me flyers and putting up posters. There is no getting away from it. Frankly, I am pretty excited. This is my first general election that I am able to vote, and whilst it can feel like your one tiny vote can't make a difference, just think if everyone felt that way?

So Monday was the last day to register (which hopefully you have all done!), but now what? We have just under 2 weeks to decide who to vote for, but don't know where to start. 

Firstly, make sure the decision is your own! Some people may be persuaded by their parents or family and friends, but make up your own mind. At the end of the day, that is why democracy is there, for everyone to state their opinions. 

Here are some websites that I have found helpful whilst making my decision for the big day!

1. www.voteforpolicies.org.uk

Students and young people have the power to sway the results of this years general election. Make sure that you don't give up this chance that is given to us! 

Have a chat with some of the candidates and parties that you see around your campus or town. And most of all, vote for what you believe in. 

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Wednesday, 8 April 2015

20 Thoughts Whilst Essay Writing

(wow, so I just realised how dirty my laptop buttons are.. sorry!)

1. Today is the day I will get loads of work done and be super motivated! 

2. My desk is too messy to start doing any work. I'll clean it up before I start. 

3. Now I'm hungry. I can't start essay writing without a snack and a fresh cup of tea

4. I don't even understand the question, I swear we haven't been taught this

5. Or I didn't do the reading for that week. Either way, where the hell do I start.

6. This reading totally isn't relevant to the question

7. Or this one.

8. Thank goodness, I found something relevant. *internal happy scream*

9. I've written an introduction, that's enough to call it a day right?

10. Wow my course is boring

11. How is as essay on chronic illness going to help me in the real world?

12. It's time to have a 'what the hell am I going to do when I graduate' crisis.

13. No, l can do this. I am an intelligent woman. Right?

14. Mum, stop disrupting me, I need to write. But I would like that cup of tea you are offering.

15. How is this relaxing studying music? 

16. I must not sing along to Disney instrumentals. I must not sing along to Disney instrumentals.

17. I need more food. 

18. Damn it, I forgot to write down the page number. That reference isn't being found again.

19. Am I even answering the question? 

20. Screw this, I'm giving up for the day. I'll start again early tomorrow. Solid.

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Friday, 27 March 2015

Confession: I don't think I like my university course any more

Disclaimer: This is a slight ramble and a little bit all over the place. I kind of just needed to admit this to myself! 

I love university and I love being a student, don't get me wrong. But this Easter has taught me that I am not hugely inspired by my subject choice any more. If I could go back in time, but still knowing the things that I know now, I probably would have chosen very differently.

I went back to my old secondary school at the beginning of the week. It sounds cheesy, but I always go in when I am home to catch up with some of my favourite teachers, it is so sweet to know that they are still interested and support me in what I am doing. Of course, conversation soon got on to graduation plans and my university course. For the first time, I admitted that I wasn't that interested any more.

Taking sociology was definitely the right decision at the time. I didn't know what I wanted to do, too scared to actually make the plunge and say that journalism was something that I was keen to pursue.  Almost 2 years on, and some of my modules are a bit of a drag and not what I expected at all. Maybe it is just the essay questions that I chose this year or the modules, but it really isn't what I want to be spending my time doing. But, there are some really interesting aspects, and some of it I am really interested in.

I am not planning at all to carry on with research or do a masters or Phd in sociology. Instead, I hopefully want to go onto marketing or working in theatre, which is the next thing I will come onto. I am quite involved in societies which have made my university experience amazing. The opportunities and skills I have learnt, I think, are more valuable than what I am learning in my degree. Maybe it is the uncertainty of what a degree in sociology can do for me. I plan to use these skills to get me a job in the next year or two, not necessarily my degree.

I don't know whether I am the only one that is feeling this. Am I really racking up thousands of pounds worth of debt for the experience and extra curricular skills and activities? Maybe. I'm not too sure. I'm not leaving university, I am too far in and enjoy the extras too much. 

But for now, I have 9000 words to write in four weeks and a whole loads of procrastination to get through. 

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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Things I am looking forward to after exams

I am currently in essay hell. 5 weeks and 3 essays is totally doable right? And you have guessed it, I am currently procrastinating (as per usual) to start the first essay. I would seriously love to be in bed catching up on 2 series of Pretty Little Liars and eating my weight in chocolate. But instead, I am sitting at my desk, pretending to work.

So in an attempt to motivate myself, I am writing down the things that I am most excited to do after all my essays and exams are over. Hopefully this will give me the push to work hard but play harder in summer.

1. Edinburgh Fringe 2015
Of course this had to be at the top of my list. If you are a new reader, I went to the fringe with the production team of a show from university for 2 weeks, and it was seriously the best two weeks ever. I am so happy that I am going back this year for the whole 4 weeks as the PRODUCER of a show (I know, how scary!). There are lots of things to do before we head up in August, but I am so excited!

2. Netflix Marathons
I currently don't have netflix, but as a treat to myself, I am going to buy my subscription once I finish my exams. I am so ready to catch up with 'Orange is the New Black', 'House of Cards' and of course 'The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' and so many other shows that I have not stopped hearing about.

3. Spontaneous days out
What I love about finishing exams at university is the fun days out that we have. No one is up for doing anything in term 3 thanks to revision and exams, and it is the perfect way to explore the area and find some undiscovered gems. Plus, saving all that money not going out during revision period can be useful for something right?

4. Spending time with friends from home
I very rarely see any of my old school friends any more. I do miss it a lot. Coming home for Christmas or Easter is always a rush of trying to do work and seeing family, where in summer you have over 2 months. It is the perfect time to catch up!

5. Work experience
Yes, I am excited to get some work experience this summer. Apart from going to Edinburgh, I want to find something to do with theatre to spend a week or two to build up my CV (as I have been going through so many 'what am I going to do with my life' crisis over the past few weeks. Of course, this isn't helping by the little amount of work I am getting done!). I hope to build some contacts and hopefully get closer to my dream of working in theatre marketing.

What are you most looking forward to in summer?

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Monday, 23 March 2015

How to be a Knowledge Ninja*

I was kindly e-mailed from 'Think Productive' who sent me the book "How to be a Knowledge Ninja" by Graham Allcott, the founder of 'Think Productive'. As I have been spending a lot of time essay writing and starting revision after the easter holidays,  this could not have come at a better time!

The book provides tips on how to balance and organise your studying and social life, something that I definitely struggle with! It also has exercises to do, which really made me realise all the things that I do to procrastinate.

The most useful part of the book for me was to find out what kind of learner I am. The book offers 3 types:  Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic. I found out that I am a Visual Learner as I like to use diagrams, colours and symbols to learn and remember key pieces of information. There is then a section of ideas of how to use this information for revision tips. Most of them I already know work for me, but it can be useful if you are still finding your feet with revision. Hopefully I can use this to the full potential once I start revision, as I find spider diagrams really useful!

The book also has some ideas for how to approach your lectures, how to work through your reading lists and tips for group work and presentations. All essential stuff for a university student!

And Finally… Procrastination. If you have been reading my tweets or my blog for a while, you will know that I am the queen of procrastination. So I thought I would give some of the ideas in a book a go whilst I essay write.

Going Dark
Going dark refers to the turning off of electronic devices etc that could be used to distract us. I definitely use my phone to check twitter, facebook and e-mails, even though I know they will still be there in a few hours. The annoying thing about essay writing is that I am on my laptop, therefore the prospect of going dark can't really work. I did turn my phone off though and found that this really helped!

Setting Time periods
The next strategy I tried was setting a timer. The book suggests to use a timer of 25 minutes to get started on a project that you don't really want to do. Whilst reading for an essay, I set a timer for 25 minutes to carry out without any distractions to see how much that can be done. 25 minutes doesn't seem too daunting does it! I found that once the 25 minutes was up, it was much easier to continue productively.

Working around others
This is one that has definitely helped. I find working at home really hard when I am by myself. When my flatmates are in and are all working, it makes me feel guilty for procrastinating and not doing any work. Also working in the library also helps as seeing lots of other people working keeps my focussed.

I think that many of the techniques and ideas will help me with once I start revision as well as other general tips for essay writing, tackling exam stress and taking lecture notes, all useful things for a university student!

The book is £8.75 from Amazon, buy it here! And a huge thank you to Think Productive for sending me a copy! 

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Tuesday, 10 March 2015

BA Student Problems

The struggle is real...

1. The constant "it's not a real subject" from science students

2. People think that you do nothing all day due to your little amount of contact hours

3. Which is sometimes true, but they don't understand how much reading to have to do

4. Family members constantly ask you how your degree will help you in life

5. You are even starting to wonder that yourself

6. When essay deadline time comes around, and all the books in the library have gone

7. Using your seminar reading as procrastination from writing your essays

8. Spending ages writing said essay

9. Referencing said essay

10. And despite the hours you put into it, you still come out with a 2:2

11. Submitting an essay is a mix of celebration and worry that you haven't analysed enough

BA students unite! 

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Typical Student Things I have never done!

I read copious amounts of student blogs and books before going to university about what the experience would be like. I came with a lot of expectations, did these all happen? The short answer, no. I think that I don't really fit the 'typical uni student' stereotype, especially now that I am in second year and need to knuckle down a little bit more.

I was reading Jennifer from Ginevrella's post  on the typical student things that she has never done and I thought it was great and wanted to do my own! So here are some of the things that, in a year and a half of university, have never done.

1. Pulled an all nighter
I like my sleep too much to do this one. I am happy to say that so far I have never left so much work to do that I have to do this, and I had many flatmates that would! I think it is always better to sleep and try again in the morning!

2. Thrown up after a night out
I have never thrown up due to alcohol consumption. Admittedly I don't drink a huge amount, but still I was always the lowest on the 'chunder chart'.

3. Overslept for a lecture / seminar
I have never overslept. I have only missed 3 lectures and 2 seminars in my university career so far, which I am actually quite proud of. And even those times, I have e-mailed the tutors very apologetically! I must just be a bit of a nerd

4. Eaten baked beans
People think that all students eat/can afford is baked beans. Honestly, I hate baked beans, so none for me thank you!

5. Slept with a flatmate
Does anyone else get asked this all the time?! I lived in a mixed halls first year, and apparently it is the thing that happens, especially in freshers week? Well this definitely didn't happen.

6. Drank everyday in Freshers week
I actually did most of Freshers week sober, and I didn't go out every night either. It really wasn't my cup of tea, or my favourite way to get to know people!

What are some of the typical student things that you haven't done?

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Monday, 2 February 2015

Train Travelling tips

I was an awful traveller. Public transport used to freak me out and my anxiety would sky rocket. Being at university has meant that I mostly travel to and from uni and home at holidays by train, and also other places too!

The longest journey I have done is Cardiff to Coventry which also included quite a few changes. I was seriously proud of myself, doing something that would normally freak me out. If you get worried about travelling by yourself, here are some tips that I use to calm down and feel in control

1. Be prepared
Pre-buying tickets is not only cheaper, but easier. Whilst this can sometimes freak me out regarding delays and such, I find that it also makes me feel super in control. I know when to leave and when I will arrive. You can get them sent to the ticket collector, but for £1 you can usually have them delivered to your house which I do to allow me to make sure I have them all!

2. Sit with people
Whilst busy trains do stress me out, I find it a lot more settling to sit with others rather than a very quiet coach.

3. Put luggage high 
When I have luggage with me, I like to put it on the top shelf of the luggage rack. This way I can usually see it from where I am sitting. Don't be afraid to ask someone for help! Also, tie a coloured ribbon around the handle. It seriously helps!

4. Apps
If your journey has a lot of changes, I use an app to check where your next train is coming into. This is especially useful if your changes are quite close together. As a windows phone user, I use UK Trains. Any iphone users, feel free to share equivalent ones.

5. Test run
Especially before a journey, try a test run with family or friends. Although not always available, this made me feel at ease knowing that I could do it myself!

What are your top tips for travelling on public transport?


Friday, 23 January 2015

Essay Writing Tips | University

It's that time of the year again. Term 2 is a busy one for me. Not only are all my assessed essays in for before or just after the easter break, but having to prepare for seminars on top - it's all just a mess!

But fear not, put down that Red Bull, stop planning your all nighters and listen up, because university shouldn't have to be about stressing yourself stupid the night before a deadline! 

1. Start Early
I know, I know. Easier said than done right? Starting early not only means less stress, but you don't all have to scramble for library books a few weeks before the deadline. Look at the questions and start your research. It really will help if you have multiple deadlines. 

2. Plan Plan Plan
I definitely spend a little too long on a plan, making use of all my stationery to make a large spider diagram of all the points I want to make. So you don't need to do this, but going in with a clear plan really does make it easier to write. 

3. Snack up!
Snacks, yes please! I am currently still making my way through my Christmas chocolate, but this probably isn't the best thing to eat whilst essay writing. Make sure you have a glass of water and some fruit, bananas are always my favourite. Stay hydrated and focussed! 

4. Are you answering the question?
Take a step back, or maybe get a friend to read it. Make sure you are not just writing down all the knowledge that you think is relevant to the question. Constantly make sure you are making reference to it for you to come to a conclusion. Seems pretty simple, but again, it is easier said than done! 

5. Sleep! 
Staying up late for me is the worst thing I could do. I do not function well on little sleep. If it isn't going the way that it should or you are feeling uninspired, give up for the night and look back the next day. It could give you a fresh perspective on things. 

6. Know your deadlines
Know exactly when they are and how to hand it in, whether it is online or hard copy. Check your universities guidelines on presentation so you don't have a panic the morning before the deadline

7. Relax
Essay period is stressful, yes. But put in the hard work you'll get results. Make sure you relax a little, make sure to have some well deserved 'me time'.

Good luck everyone, we can get through this! 

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