How to survive university

I thought for my first post of the new year I would look at how to survive university. Students all around the country are currently looking at what university they should go to and sending in their applications. So let’s give them a heads up! 

 Make friends.

Everyone makes friends so easily at uni, its the atmosphere. However if you sit in your room, not talking to any one and counting down the days you can go back to family or your other half, your unlikley to do very well. Your friends will help you out when your stressed with work, need advice and take you out when you want to be boring.

Be organized.

The worst thing would be if you realized you 5,000 word essay was due in tomorrow, or worse last week. Keep a diary, where you have written all you deadlines, presentations, and exams. I missed one of mine in the first year due to remembering it wrong.

 Go out. 

I am not a huge night clubber, I would prefer to have good night in with a bottle of vodka and a group of friends. I think in the first year you need to go on nights out, because half of my memories are from funny things that happen on nights out.

 Learn how to reference. 

One of the things that I think EVERY student needs to learn as soon as possible, is how to reference. In my house I am the Queen of referencing and my housemates are always asking me advice. However when I was in my first year, I failed loads of my assignments because I didnt reference properly. Does your university do Harvard Referencing?

Don’t forget the people at home.

For me this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make, your friends from school, college or wherever should stay your friends when your at university and unfortunately it is far too easy to leave them behind.

 Don’t Stress. 

As long as your putting effort into your course work, making friends and having fun then you are doing uni right. Don’t worry too much about how high your grades are, in your first year it really doesn’t matter.

Lauren. x

Third year: Term One.

Well 2013 is almost over, which means that so is the first term of my final year at university, that seems very strange to say.

I can’t believe that I am already in my second year, I still feel like I am finding my way around university and I am defiantly not cleaver enough to be un my final year. However I am and in 6 months I will be standing up on the stage dressed in my cap and gown receiving my diploma, or at least I hope I will be.

If I had to use one word to describe this year it would be: Difficult. Whenever you talk to adults about university, they are always so impressed, talk about how it takes a lot of brains and how you have to be very organized. Well I have always felt like a fraud, uni life is a lot more having fun than it is studying. Last year I would get home, get back into bed with my boyfriend and watch TV (but don’t tell my parents!)

This year however, the weeks I don’t have hand-ins I feel like I need to be working on future assignments, the weeks I do have assignments, I don’t cook, don’t go out, in fact i pretty much only work on my assignments. Hopefully the second term will be a little easier, but i would be shocked if it was.

I am not trying to scare anyone, when I started this, at the end of my first year, it was to give an accurate indication of what people should expect at university, and that is what I hope to achieve.

I should also note, I am a slight worrier, and I don’t have my boyfriend to calm me down when things get rough, unfortunately.

Hope you all had a great christmas, I will have another post tomorrow.

 

Lauren x

Getting into PR by Sarah Stimson

Many of you know, I am now a third year student who is studying Journalism and Media and Communications. As a third year I am faced with the daunting task of trying to find a job, within Public Relations, for next year. This is a task I have found both over-whelming and confusing at times, so when tutor told me about a new book all about getting a job within PR I jumped at the chance to read it.

How to get a job in PR is written by Sarah Stimson, who has worked within recruitment and training for over a decade and now works with the Taylor Bennett Foundation. If anyone knows how to get into the PR industry it’s her.

The book consist of 37 short chapter, including what is PR, Using social media to get a job and the 25 don’ts of PR. The book goes over the basic information perfect for people just learning, or looking to learn about Public Relations and goes onto to talk about getting a job and how to ask for a pay rise for people looking to work in PR. It even looks at taking a career break and how to resign for when you have managed to get your job.

The layout of the book makes it easy to read all in one go or to quickly look up information of interest. Each chapter has an explanation by Sarah along with a number of industry professionals giving their thoughts on each of the topics, meaning that you can hear what the professionals real think, and make your own mind up.

The wonderfully funny and conversational tone of the book makes reading it easy and enjoyable. Where else can you read “If you want you parents to proudly declare, “my daughter is a PR consultant” and for the rest of the dinner table to go ‘Oooo’ my son wanted to ho into PR but settled for being a vet instead, then your going to be sorely disappointed.”

This book has already helped me concentrate on what I need to do to get a job next year, and what sector I want it to be in. I can see this easily being my PR job bible for the next few months and even once I have a job. I would recommend this book to anyone who is hoping to get into the PR industry or is studying PR.

This book was kindly gifted to me by Sarah for an honest view, Thank you to Sarah and everyone involved in this book for finally giving PR students a helping hand to get into the industry.

You can buy the book from amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00GX9DXVA/ref=cm_cr_mts_prod_img

How to survive a long distance relationship- at uni.

When I came to university in my first year, in fact in my first week, I met a guy and very quickly we started dating. This was great, however when the holidays came we were nearly 100 miles apart. This year he has taken a year in work, while I am in my final year at university, this means we are no longer together at uni either.

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My long distance relationship- When we first met!

So I thought I would share my tips on how to survive a long distance relationship.

1. Do things together.

I know this seems stupid, your miles apart and you can’t do things together, but you can. Watch one of your favorite tv shows while on the phone to each other. Being able to watch something at the same time, and talk about what is going on makes it feel more like you are together.

2. Make sure you have a plan.

This one comes from my housemate, Abi, and I 100% agree with her. Make sure you have a plan of when you can next see each other. If you know that its only 3 weeks until you can be together again it makes saying goodbye all that much easier.

3. Do something special.

Whenever my boyfriend and I get together we try and make it special so we will go out for a meal or go on a date night. It means that you have a memory of the time you spent together rather than spending your precious time just sat in your bedroom.

4. Talk.

Talk about everything, have you had a bad day? Do you miss each other? The simple things like that can be wonderful to hear when your apart but you also need to talk about the difficult things. How will the relationship work long distance? Are you struggling or always arguing? You need to confide in each other.

5. Skype.

If your boyfriend doesn’t live in the middle of no-where with shockingly bad internet conenction then you may want to download Skype. The Video software allows you to see and talk to each other with the use of your webcams. I have known couples who talk to each other via Skype while doing uni work or on in the background for long periods of time.

6. 101 Questions

When you run out of things to say, this happens when everyday is ‘wrote more of my essay’ then ask each other questions. This website has 100 questions to ask each other http://www.everydaybetterliving.com/love_danger_signs/100_questions.html   great for when you cant think of what to say, and you could learn more about your relationship.

7.Gifts.

This isn’t something you have to do by any stretch of the imagination, but imagine if you were stressed about your assignment and a bunch of flowers turned up at your door. Or even a pizza!!

One of my friends has a boyfriend who will read through her work, make her dinner and look after her when she is stressed. This is harder when you are far apart but a little token to show you care can mean all the difference.

8. Make good friends.

I know you expected all of this list to be about your partner but some of the best ways to survive a long distance relationship is to have amazing friends. You need people who you can go to when your upset, angry or just a bit frustrated with life. Your friends will help you become happy and excited about the smallest things. My friends are amazing and we help each other through every stress and strain of a LDR.

9.Let your self be upset.

It’s ok to become upset by the little things. On the second night of freshers this year I ended up in floods of tears for the whole night for no reason what so ever apart from that I was getting used to uni without him. The next day I was fine!

10. Just relax.

Although being in a long distance relationship can be difficult and I don’t think that you should go into it lightly without talking through your parameters and thoughts behind your relationship. When your in the relationship you need to relax a little. Don’t panic over every little thing, if your meant to be together you will be, if not then you know it.

Are you in a long distance relationship?   What are your tips for coping.

Fast Food: Vegetarian quesadilla

I haven’t done a food style blog post in a while and I thought it was time to get back to it so this is my lunch today. 

Ingredients

2 tortilla wraps 

grated cheddar and mozzarella cheese

1 small Onion 

1 chilli -no seeds

Fiery chili pesto

1/4 can Red Kidney Beans

 

Directions 

  1. cut the onion into small bite sized pieces and chop the chili into a very small pieces, making sure the seeds have been removed. 
  2. Put a tablespoon of pesto on one of the tortillas and smother all over the add cheese on top of the pesto.  
  3. Add the onion, Chilli and red kidney beans to the tortilla. Add the cheese before putting the second tortilla on the top. 
  4. Place your quesadilla into a pan and cook on both sides, or add a saucepan lid to your frying pan letting the top cook as well. 
  5. Cut into 4 pieces and Serve. 

 

Have you tried any of the previous food ideas? 

 

Lauren. 

You might also be interested in 

Baked Camembert

Made your food Budget stretch

My 2nd year review

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Worrying about uni work and home!

At the end of my first year I wrote a review of the year. Moving out of my university halls had a big affect on me. It was where I had met my boyfriend and people that had become my closest friends. I decided that in my second year I would write a review at the end of every term.

However as soon as the second year started I knew something was wrong, I didn’t enjoy being in my house, so I found in hard writing about university life without feeling like I was complaining and being rude to my house mates. So today I thought I would write a quick review of my second year.

Home.

In my second year I lived with my boyfriend and another couple. It started off brilliantly, we spent time together in our living room. However as freshers week ended the other couple spent more and more time in her room, it had become ‘theirs’. My boyfriend and I would stay downstairs hoping they would join us but they never did.

Although I enjoyed living with my boyfriend, it did mean we ended up spending pretty much all of our time together, not great for any relationship. I wasn’t happy in the house but didn’t go out with my other friends very often. I sound like I am complaining, I did have some amazing times in that house and my boyfriend and I grew much closer. However I wouldn’t go back.

Education. 

Something happened in my second year at uni. I went from getting alright grades to getting high 2:1 and lots of 1:1. Yes, you have read this right I got a First!!

My lectures felt so much more interesting than they did in the first year. I started studying Public Relations and Gender and Identity studies. Public Relations allowed me to start to study a subject I had been interested in perusing for a while. Since I was younger I saw Public Relations as a job that I could do, in fact over the summer I did just that.

In Gender and Identities we look at the way people’s identities were constructed by the media and how the media portrayed certain people as better than others. This is a subject that I feel in love with and helped me decide on what to do for my dissertation.

By the end of the year I had handed in my dissertation proposal and had some great feedback.

This year I am really looking forward to researching and writing my dissertation and I have moved into a much better house, with some amazing friends. This year, could be my last, and could be the best!

I hope your year is going well!

Lauren

Dealing with conflict in your home

Living with new people can be really stressful, in your first year you are thrown into a house with a group of strangers, even when it comes to your second year living with a group of friends, you can still have problems. One of the hardest things you learn at university, in my opinion, is dealing with conflict within your university house.

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My Housemates this year- I love them!

In the beginning.

When you first move into a house the best idea is to sit down as a group, and have a house chat. If you begin the year by talking about what you all expect from each other and how you want the house to be kept and how to split house cost, you will all know from the beginning.

In my second year I found that we had 2 guys who wanted everything tidy, all the time, and 2 girls (including me) Who wasn’t that great at keeping things tidy.

I would also say that, although it horrible, you need to start talking about money ASAP. Will you all put money into buying bin bags and other cleaning stuff? Will you all alternate who buys them? The big cause of tension, in my experience, is paying the bills. If it is being paid out by one person in the group then create a standing order into their account so you don’t have to remember every month. If not try and find a company that sorts it out for you (I use split the bills)

When tension starts. 

The first sign about their being a problem within your house, is the tension, last year my house was filled with it constantly.

You need to, once again, talk to your housemates. Arrange a time when you can all get together, preferably not after a stressful exam or straight after a lecture. One of the most important things I think you need to remember in the conversation is that you need to try and see things from the other person’s point of view as well.

All sides need to honestly talk to each other about their feelings, without trying to make the other side feel bad and without getting too emotional.

Once you have realised the problem then you can work out what you can do to change to fix all your problems. Try and find a way to make sure you problems stay resolved and you don’t end up hating each other again in a few weeks.

Some really important thing. 

If your frustrations between your housemates get difficult, go and speak to your student services at university. They have seen everything and they will know how to help you out.

If you are being put in danger through your housemates actions or if they are threatening you then you can also talk to your student services and they will help with the next step. This can involve them having a disciplinary at university or helping you contact the authorities.

I hope all your problems get sorted out soon.

My Confessions. 

-In my second year of uni I lived with a couple who I never got on with. 

-My third year of uni is amazing and I love my housemates. 

-I am terrible at writing on a schedule sorry!