Hello strangers

Hi everyone,

Firstly, I think I should make a grovelling apology for my absence and lack of posts. University exams and revision have taken over my life, and this post is actually a form of procrastination before my last exam tomorrow so it’ll be quick. So I am very very very sorry for being so slack!

I’d like to say that I have been away on exciting adventures and enjoying the lovely sunshine that we’ve had recently. But sadly I have been sat inside, glued to my highlighters and assorted cue cards trying to remember historians and why they dislike one another for completely irrelevant reasons. But as of tomorrow all of that will change as I will be finishing my second year exams! I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone and how much has actually changed since I embarked upon my second year.

So what have I learned? I think I’ve grown up a lot this academic year, I’ve learned to prioritise work and people who really matter in life. I had a very steep learning curve which I shan’t go into detail about but I think I’ve come out a better person because of it. All I will say is that you should keep the friends around that make you feel happy and not bad about yourself and that you can never change someone who doesn’t see an issue in their actions.

What am I looking forward to in summer? Holidays and freedom!!! There is nothing like having absolutely nothing to do all day when you’ve just finished exams. So that is exactly what I shall do…I will be doing absolutely nothing (at least nothing educational for a while).

My plan though is to bring you along with me as I write my dissertation. Keep you up to date on how it is going, research and archive visits and progress reports. Maybe one or two breakdowns but fingers crossed it’ll be an enjoyable experience.

I promise I won’t go away for months at a time again!

Have a lovely Wednesday

xx

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EXAM STRESS!!

So it’s just hit me that not only do I have to hand in two long essays at the end of this term, submit a dissertation proposal and module preferences…of course it’s also almost that horrible time of year where exams and revision begin once more. University exams are somewhat easier I think than A-Levels (at my Uni for History at least) because you can be more selective about what you learn rather than being expected to memorise the entire syllabus back to front, inside out and have the ability to recite it in greek whilst drunk (slight over exaggeration, maybe).

Revising over the Easter holidays is a very sad truth and inconvenience but it has to be done and will it will reflect in your final mark trust me! Make sure you’re taking in-depth notes throughout the term and go that extra mile and it will totally pay off in the long run, and make revision miles easier. This advice may be coming a tad too late for some of you I guess, especially since most of us are 2/3 through our second term…Oopsy.

But it is super important to remember to have time off, chill out and do something to reward yourself for all the work you’ve done. During exam time I usually revise 10-1 then have a break then from about 2-5\6ish so then I have the evening to do whatever I want knowing that I’ve worked hard all day! Take your mind off your work, play some sports, it’ll be sunny (hopefully!) Get away from that computer screen or grim textbook and give your brain a break!

stressed-student1

“If stress burned calories I’d be a supermodel”

I’m the kind of person who is so organised and gets stressed about the smallest thing being late or out of place so having these exams looming is the worst and sadly I do just want to start revising now to make sure I’m ready. But I think I just have to make sure that I relax and take my time with all of it otherwise I’ll end up freaking out and getting a rubbish mark (this has happened) and I do not want to have to come back and retake anything in August. NO. THANK YOU.

This wasn’t really that much of an advice post, more of a destress and diary for me…sorry guys! But I’m sure some of you might be thinking the same at the moment or starting to think about upcoming exams. Whatever happens, as long as we try our best and work hard then at least we can say we did all we could rather than regretting not working hard enough! (If that makes sense)

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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