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

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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.

Image

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! 

Tv show: is it offensive?

James Corden and Jack Whithall enjoying a glass of wine

It is only a show!

The original plan for this blog post was that I would do a review of the first term this year as part of my on-going review posts. However when searching through the online newspapers today I was shocked by one story and felt I had to write about it. [The review will be up next week!]

I am slightly ashamed as a journalism student to start off this post by saying; I was looking through the Daily Mail website [Sorry lecturers] and was shocked to see an article written about how Jack Whitehall is being recommended to step down from presenting a prize at the National Television Awards after a number of complaints about his actions on the TV show ‘Big fat quiz of the year’ which was shown on channel 4.

For those of you who are not familiar with the show, it is a quiz show featuring a number of comedians and familiar on screen faces, they are asked a number of questions about stories from throughout the year.  I find that it is an amusing end to the year and enjoy being reminded of a number of the highlights throughout the year. This years panelists included: Jack Whitehall, James Corden, Russell Howard, Jonathan Ross, Richard Ayoade, Gabby Logan, and  was hosted by Jimmy Carr.

Although it is a quiz show the men took a much more light hearted approach to the show, often choosing to write down a comedic answer rather than the correct one. Gabby Logan seemed to take the show rather seriously and answered pretty much all questions correctly. I have to be honest here that although the technical object of the show is to get to questions write, I feel this show is more of a comedic show than a quiz so without Richard Ayoade as part of her team she would come across somewhat dull.

Roughly half way through the show which lasted over an hour and a half. James and Jack received an ordered pizza and pulled out a bottle of wine with two glasses from under their desk, which they happily tucked into. Most of the complaints which have been received by both OFCOM and Channel 4, said that they felt the show contained some material that was too controversial to be shown at 9 O’Clock during the Christmas period, as a number of children were still awake to see it.

There are a number of rules set out for broadcasting show on television, one rule, which as far as I know is very well known, is that the 9 O’Clock watershed. After 9 O’Clock you can  air a show which contains adult material and possible sexual explicit content. The idea is that by 9 O’Clock children are likely to be asleep so will not view the material. To me this means if you don’t want your children to see this type of material, you should not allow them to watch tv after 9. Even if its the holidays, why not grab a board game if your worried about your child.

I think we can all agree that over the past couple of years a number of the talent involved in this quiz have been known to make comments that have been thought to be offensive. Jimmy Carr often comes out with rather risqué jokes and Jonathan Ross were recently fired from the BBC after his offensive phone call with Russell Brand. [if you don’t know look it up] Knowing that these characters were involved in this show, I would imagine easily offended people would think that it is possibly not what they would enjoy.

Although a lot of people are blaming the comedians for the tone of the show and created sexualized jokes. One of the questions of the show was what was the unfortunate hashtag used in Susan Boyal ‘s Album release. The answer was Susanalbumparty, it was obviously meant to be Susan Album Party but looks like Su’s anal bum party. surely any one faced with this answer would have to make a joke.

I honestly feel that people need to stop being so sensitive! Their comedians, let them make jokes. They are the sort of jokes I would hear down the pub, it’s not like this is anything new.

What do you think? Did they go too far? Are we living in an overly sensitive world?

Daily Nuggets

– I am watching a Criminal Minds marathon

– I have been so busy this week, going to London and spending new year with my boyfriend.

– I have so much work to do before going back to uni.

– IT’S FRIDAY!

A New Home: Finding a New Place

Want to live here?

Want to live here?

Merry Christmas! I can’t believe it is actually christmas day, I am sat with my family and watching Gavin and Stacey, a present for my mum. So I thought I would write a little post for you as a christmas present. Hope you enjoy.

A New Home: Finding a new place

Once you have decided the type of place you want to live and thought about who you want to live with you need to start looking around for a place to live.

Last week I said that I you shouldn’t go looking for houses, flats, ect before Christmas and I will explain why, as I am sure you have realsied there is not much time between moving into a uni home and christmas so many landlords allowed students to live in the house for a while before deciding what they want to do the following years. This means that a large amount of them don’t go on the market until after Christmas.

Where to live.

Once you have worked out the sort of place you want to live in you need to think of where it should be. You will want your travel to be easy, a short walk is best if possible  as this will save you money and make you more likely to actually go in. In some cases such as in remote on campus uni you have to use a bus, If that is the case then you want to be near a bus stop which will take you to university. Where else do you want to be near? A supermarket is good to have close especially if you don’t have a car at university. Other shops, clubs ect. Try and think of what you want to be close to and look around that area.

Estate agents?

Unless you are going to live in halls of residence you are going to need to get a house through an estate agent. I decided that the best option was to look around the areas we wanted to move in and phone some of the estate agents that were advertising on the size of house we wanted. I was literally standing on the street calling to book an appointment with the estate agents all my friends ended up using.

What to ask for.

When talking to your estate agents to begin with it is best say how many rooms you want and not have too many other restrictions as you can decide what sort of thing you want when you are looking around. You may found something you thought was bad is actually ok and something you thought was ok is actually a deal breaker.

See everything!

It’s best to see a few estate agents and see as many of their properties as possible. The more places you see the better idea you will have about what to go for, what is good for a student place, and what isn’t. After all you can’t expect somewhere like home unless your planning on paying big bucks.

What to look for.

While you are looking around the houses there are a few things that you should keep an eye out for.

  1. Dampness on the walls. – Damp patches can be a sign of a leak somewhere and water damage. In server situations this can lead to mold within the walls that can be bad for your health.
  2. things need fixing- If there are things that need fixing then the landlord may be rubbish and sorting stuff out. Try and ask the people living there how long its been broken and what the landlord is like.
  3. Is it warm in the house? If it is freezing cold there could be a problem with the heating.
  4. Try talking to the people living with them now and see what they think of the place.

I hope this has helped you, and you are enjoying christmas!

I will talk to you soon.

Love lauren blog sign off

Homesick help!

Today is Football day in my house, that means 3 football games, 1 match of the day and games of PES and Fifa! So with that having been announced I decided that I would sort out my room and get blogging.

The other day I talked about the classic symptoms that you have become a student. One of those things was that I said was about feeling home sick. I wanted to go back and talk about this a little more. Over the last week I have felt really home sick so I understand what it feels like. I have also seen my elder step sister going through it.

I hope you don’t mind that this is another list of tips. I will do some proper posts soon.

A picture paints a thousand words

I know when you move away from home it can sometimes feel like you are leaving an old life behind and starting again. However that isn’t true, you a moving onto a new stage of life not a new life.

Keep memories of your friends and family around your room. Pictures are an obvious thing to put up, but letter from a friend or a trinket from the family holiday may also be great. Plus your childhood toy, if teddy got you this far you don’t have to ditch him now.

Go back 

One of the main stresses that causes Home sickness is the worry of not having a place to go back to. So if you are feeling a little worried or homesick then think about going back. I am not saying you should unpack and hop straight back into the car with your parents.

You need to give your new home and possible friends a chance. Your life at university is a new experience and you will never find it the best experience if you don’t get in there.

Keep it the same

This tip is more aimed towards parents and siblings left behind. Although it is really tempting to see the large room becoming empty when your sister goes to uni as a great new room for you to move into. However this can make their university life even harder.

As I said before, homesicknes is mainly caused by the worry of having nowhere to retuern home to. So if you return home to the little box room after been kicked out of your room this makes the move even harder on you.

Get out there

When your feeling homesick it sometimes feels like the only thing to do is to lock yourself in your room and feel upset. However if you get out of your room, go on a night out or just round to a friends house, it takes your mind off your family back at home and gets you thinking about whats going on now.

Phone home 

Believe it or not phoning home actually wont make you miss home more. Checking in every now and then to make sure your mum’s ok, Your brothers test went well and the dog is been walked is perfectly fine. If you are living far away from home and can’t easily get back then think about downloading Skype on your laptop and home computer. If you have a fairly modern computer then you should be able to see and talk to your parents making everything seem better.

Stick at it. 

On the first night at university it is easy to think that you have made a huge mistake. Don’t run away just yet though,  give it a few days to get used to your new life and make friends. Once you have gone home you are likely to feel better.

see the Pro’s 

If you are feeling especially homesick and feel it is actually getting in the way of your life then all universities, within the Uk at least, have a welfare section who can help you deal with home sickness including getting you to see a Councilor for free (you won’t get that out of uni!)

This post was written with some of my friends and families experience in mind as well as my own. I know of people who have dropped out of uni or moved uni’s because of feeling so homesick.

I hope this helped. 

You know you’re a student when

So I have had an internet connection for the last few days but, although I have had a slightly laid back life, I haven’t had the time to write a post. Or to be honest the creativity to get my mind working.

After fighting with my laptop for the last couple of days, I have stolen a mouse out of my boyfriends computer bag, Shhhh!

My freshers week

So today I thought that I would write a post called, you know you’re a student when. So have you officially become a student?

  1. You have the worlds largest bag of pasta.

When I moved into my Uni Halls one of the first things I noticed was that one of my flatmates and I had both brought the worlds largest bag of pasta. I have to say all my flat enjoyed the pasta for the whole of the first term. (oooh it was good!)

2.You have gone out to a freshers event. 

I know that not everyone likes going out to a clubs however freshers week is always an exception. The experience of going out with your new friends will be memories I love looking back on.

My freshers week with my friends was amazing. I would honestly not every take it back, even the awkward stuff.

 3.You decided something stupid is a meal.

On my first night, and second, I thought a pot noodle was a sensible choice before drinking.

 4.you missed home 

I know this is something that everyone hates about going away from university, and having fun is great, but missing home is something that is totally normal! Yesterday I ended up crying because I missed home. It was my mummy’s birthday.

5.You make a load of new friends. 

You are officially a student when you have met your flatmates, course mates or Randomers and have made them your friends.

Have a great week!

5 things to not forget for uni!

My Freshers bedroom

I promise you that I am not only writing this so I stop cleaning up for a while. I thought I would write a post about the things that are easily to forget when moving into Uni halls.

I had thought of loads of the stuff that I wanted or needed to take with me last year. However on my moving day I forgot some of them. Some of the things are also stuff I had never thought of.

Clothes hangers
In my halls I didn’t have any cupboards so I had to hang all of my clothes up. However even though I had a million clothes hangers at home I left them all at home leaving me to buy more at uni. It’s more expensive and such a waste of money.

Toilet paper
When you move into your halls you will probably need to go to the toilet. Especially if you have traveled a long way. If you bring it with you then you don’t have to rush straight to the shops.

Baskets
As I said before we didn’t have any draws at my University however we did have shelving type storage. Instead of just letting it become a mess I found that baskets allowed me to organize my clothes into sections without them getting all mixed up.

Food
This is actually one that I think you shouldn’t bring with you. The space in your car is precious, you want to fit as much as possible. So don’t waste it on things you can get when your there. I found it was much easier to get unpacked and then go shopping. It meant that I knew the nearest supermarket. I could think about what I wanted, and pick up any stuff you forgot!

Fancy Dress
During freshers week and the following few weeks there will be a number of fancy dress events. I remember almost every night of freshers week I was in Fancy Dress. I took my school tie but didn’t take a white shirt. I ended up spending money throughout the week getting more stuff. So bring as much fancy dress as you can think of!

Hope you enjoy Freshers!

Lauren X

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