No place like home

Hello everyone,

So the term has finished and I’ve returned back home for the Easter holidays. Honestly, there really is no place like home. Seeing friends from high school, family days at the beach and of course those precious home cooked meals really make me realise what I miss while I’m away. But I need to remember this holiday is mainly revolved around revision (sadly) but it’ll all be worth it in the long run for results and a lovely celebratory summer!

Thought it’d be a nice idea to give you a few favourites and recommendations to get you through Easter at home! (This almost escalated into a full scale beauty post but I’m trying my absolute hardest to stay away from being one of those stereotypical Zoella-mimicing blogs)

Nike+ Training Club App- honestly, ladies especially, this app is incredible. I don’t want to invest in a gym membership when I’m only home for a few weeks but this app is free and is full of amazing workouts from Paula Radcliffe to Ellie Goulding, with some great cool down yoga sessions for days off. You can select the work outs as you go or it will create a programme for you. No excuses, this will shake off those Easter chocolate pounds and keep you in shape.  DOWNLOAD IT!!!

Pinterest- Why not give your mind a break from the revision and create some boards to inspire you. I’ve been loving this recently because it means I can inspire myself to spruce up my bedroom so it’ll be a nice place to study or even giving myself inspiration for my revision notes and future holidays! Theres something for everyone on there and it’s the most relaxing thing ever.

Polariod- This is want item not a favourite but with all the lovely weather and time I’ve spent with family and friends so far this holiday, I really want to capture it all on polaroids. I know they’re quite expensive but I have a feeling a company will change your normal photos into polaroids but it’s not as fun as shaking to develop!

Spotify- Couldn’t live without this for revision, chilling and exercising. I’ve only recently invested in Premium and couldn’t go without it now! I’ve been loving Josef Salvat, his version of Rihanna’s Diamonds is amazing, give it a go, you won’t regret it, such a chilled take on a pop song!- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_koFbsnw_PM

If anyone has any recommendations for the Easter holidays please let me know, I’ve got 5 weeks at home and could do with some help!

Happy Easter

xx

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Mid-term Reading/Writing Week- Should I stay or should I go?

For those of you who take essay/reading based subjects such as English/History/Sociology/Law ect. you will probably get a reading or writing week in the middle of term where you have nothing timetabled. This usually falls around the middle of term and usually the last week of term. Most people ask with this week off What is the best thing to do- go home or stay at Uni?

Stay?

Lets face it you’ll probably get more work done at Uni, you’ve got the library and every possible resource at your disposal, so if you need to get those essays done in that week then I suggest you stay firmly put and get writing! Even if you haven’t got that much work to do in your week without any lectures or seminars it’ll be a great time for you to catch up on any bits and bobs that you have to do around Uni, maybe even tidy your room?! It might also be a great time just to relax a bit, especially if you’re in first year when it has all been a bit hectic since Freshers.

Go?

Other people take their reading week as an opportunity to go home or to visit their friends at other Uni’s. I will sadly admit that I am always way ahead on my work so I use my reading week to head home and relax away from the stresses of being in an all female student house (it’s hard.) I think it acts as a great way to decompress and adds a bit of a break in the middle of term, especially if it feels like its dragging. Visiting other uni’s is great too though, you can meet your friends from home and their flatmates at Uni (If they’re not too busy writing essays) and enjoy a great student night out somewhere you’ve never been before!

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you use that week well its an opportunity to catch up on everything and get yourself sorted before the last run up to the end of term. Whether it be sleeping, eating and watching Netflix to recharge those batteries or manically typing an essay before the 12pm deadline, Have a Happy Reading Week!!

-Sorry this week’s post isn’t very long, I’ve just finished writing two essays so I’m ready for my restful reading week at home- 9 days to go!

xx

Location, Location, Location: Student Housing Edition.

Sorry everyone, I haven’t had a lot of time to post much recently (see my last post and you’ll understand why.) Essays all done for the time being, I thought it might be handy ]to talk about student housing forf772a4ea9b7be1b073146f6e2f9e2f3c second and third years. I have learned so much in this year living off campus that I probably could have done with knowing so this may actually help some of you. Luckily, I’ve found a gorgeous house for my final year- lets hope I haven’t got any nasty surprises then!

Estate Agents are a guaranteed nightmare for students and lets face it, they probably don’t like us much either. I’ll warn you now, they’ll charge you a horrendous amount for a deposit (mine was £400) on top of that they may also charge you ‘administration fees’, mine ridiculously was £200- not forgetting also a check in and out of the house fee. So basically alongside the sky high student rent they will also rob you of any student loan you may have left in the Easter Term. However, this year I have learned I found an estate agent who didn’t ask for a deposit and I only had to pay £250 in admin fees which compared to last year is a bargain! My advice to you is shop around, go to your Uni housing fairs and maybe even find a private landlord who will no doubt probably be better than most estate agents.

Bills, Bills, Bills are a new thing for most students moving into their house for the first time, Fresher year is no problem the Uni takes care of it and at home its our parents job right?! So when a water bill arrives on your mat do not be shocked, they exist and they want money ASAP. But for students there is such a thing as a bills package. Companies such as Glide and Split the Bills for a set monthly fee will control and pay all of your bills for you without you ever having to get one of those nasty envelopes through the door. Sounds like a dream right? Yeah think again, they have ‘fair usage’ policies and they are not happy bunnies if you go way over what they think you should. It is a much cheaper option, even though it might be a hassle, to just organise your own bills that way you’re paying for exactly what you use rather than like me paying £50 a month for gas, electricity, water and wifi- when we won’t be using any gas in the summer and our wifi is slower than a lecture without a powerpoint (student struggles.)

Housemates remember you’re going to be living with these people for the next academic year so make sure they’re people you actually want to live with all the time. So if you’re tidy and they’re basically living out of a bin bag it may not be the brightest idea to live together. It may be the sweetest of friendships in student halls but once you start arguing over the state of the kitchen and who left the lights on all night, running up the electricity bill, you will not be impressed at all. Choose wisely and you’ll have a great year. Choose badly and you could end up rather grumpy paying a fortune for a house you hate living in (cue the ‘I’m running away and booking my trip home on the trainline strop’)

Location really is essential in second and third year because you’ll need to be at Uni a lot, even though you might only have around 6 contact hours a week the library will become your second home so you won’t want to have to walk 5 miles to and from home to get there everyday. I live around a 20 minute walk from my campus with a bus if I’m feeling super lazy which I think is just about right. So when you’re house hunting set yourself some limits of where you can and can’t live, look at bus routes and footpaths for shortcuts to the Uni and it’ll make the search a lot easier I promise! Websites like Rightmove.com actually let you set the boundaries online then show you available student properties which is super handy! 

Hidden Costs you don’t really think of these until you actually have to pay them- for example house insurance- Endsleigh actually do a great policy especially tailored for students so its worth looking with them but other insurers are also great- remember you need property and contents to protect yours and your landlords stuff. Council Tax, don’t panic, students are exempt from council tax (thank god) but you have to make sure you apply for your exemption on your Local Council website otherwise you may actually get a nasty bill through your door.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T I couldn’t help myself I’m sorry. The best advice I can give anyone going into a student house is even if it is awful and messy, make sure you look after the house and avoid trying to break anything, mark walls ect. because at the end of the day it will come out of your deposit when you move out and it is not worth the fuss, you’ve already paid thousands in rent so just try and keep games of indoor swing-ball to a minimum or take it outside…

Lets go shopping? My final words of wisdom on this matter will be to shop around for houses, book lots of viewings and don’t rush into a house just because you love the look of the wallpaper. Make sure you look around, take note of anything like mould (Yuck, but happens a lot in cheap student houses) and windows that aren’t properly sealed because the windows especially will burn money on heating. You have to make sure everyone you’re living with is happy with the house, so don’t feel pressured just because everyone else likes it loads more than you do. Talk it through and make sure you’re all agreed because overall you all have to pay rent for the next year so it may as well be a happy and hopefully healthy (mould free) place to live!

I hope that will of helped some of you, I know it can be a super stressful process especially when it feels like you’re in charge, I was ‘lead tenant’ so the estate agent came to me with all their questions (not fun.) Any questions or queries let me know!

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