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

Advertisements

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

My 2nd year review

IMG_0016

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

What to do this summer

So I am sure you are all bored to death of hearing about Cosmopolitan, so here I am finally with something else to talk about! Summer TIME!!!

Image

On Holiday with my friends

How to make the most of the summer!

As you get into university there are only a few more long summer time holidays, unless you become a teacher, so you want to make these moments count. I thought I would give you some great ways to truely make these summers count!

  1. Frankie says relax!

After the stress of a million assignments, talk of dissertations, and everything else that comes along with university life. The sumer is a much needed time to just take a break, it’s the first thing I do in the summer!

  1. Catch up.

What happened to all those friends you had at college that went of to universities around the country? And the family members you haven’t seen in months? Well the summer is the best time to get everyone together and remember the good ol’ days. As well as making new memories.  I am sure you have seen them since you have been at uni but probably not all together for a long time.

  1. Volunteer

Ok, I sound like a mega geek but using your summer holiday to volunteer or get a short internship in your chosen field can not only help your uni work, but might help you realize your hate the job you thought you would love! Best to find out now.

  1. Go away!

If you haven’t blown all of your student finance, or you got a bit of money for your work in the summer why not go away with a group of your friends. Weather it’s a festival or a trip abroad, it will be a great time to let you hair down and have fun with your mates.

  1. Do what you want!

The best bit about the summer is that without any university work you wont have to feel guilty for not doing any of it. So if you want to go away on holiday or stay up til 4 in the morning playing on FIFA every night. Just do whatever the hell you want. After all don’t forget you don’t have many of these super long holidays left.

I hope you have a great holiday.

Summer time Uni Confessions:

-I am hoping to go to a festival in spain this summer!

-My summers are normally pretty boring- Not this year.

-Fingers crossed the good weather keeps going.

-I have 2 jobs this summer- Ekk, mega busy.

Cosmopolitan’s career guide!

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog posts about the career masterclass that Compilation held, I had an amazing day in London and thought that the advice they gave was really useful. Some of you lovely readers have asked me to give some more information about what they said. So today  I am going to fill you in on what they said. I hope you enjoy!

Image

The event was a few weeks ago now and I didn’t write very detailed notes so I am not telling you word for word what they said but you will get the idea. I would also like to point out that the talk looked at working within the media industry.

  1. What do you want to be?

When you were picking what to study at university you had to decide what you wanted to be when you are older. If you took Journalism then you are probably thinking about becoming a journalist, and even if you didn’t know what to do you have already narrowed it down; you can’t become a medical doctor by studying English.

Now you are at university you need to start thinking more specifically about what exactly you want to do. Let’s assume for now that you want to work within journalism, well what type of journalists do you want to be? In my group of friends we have one person who wants to do local news journalism, one who wants to become a fashion journalist and me who wants to go into Public Relations.

Through your university work and assignments you should be testing out different aspects of the area you are studying, this goes for most courses not just journalism. If you still can’t decide what aspect of the industry you want to get into then you need to get out of there and find out where your passion lies.

Through out the day the wonderful Cherry Healy kept giving great advice about how to gain experience and work out what you want to do within the media industry. Her advice was to pretty much get out their and try the waters. If you think you want to work on set, produce or anything like that then get on a set. You can then see what is needed within the role. You can do this by contacting production compnaies and offering your voluntary work for a day or how ever long you feel suitable for.

  1. Build your CV

Ok, so you know what you want to get into doing when you have finished university and entered the big wide world. You can now use your time at uni to build a CV so that your future employer can never say no to you.  If your course is anything like mine you will be really busy during the term time however  my summer is something like 5 months long. So what a perfect tome to gain experience.

A number of large firms, in most professions, have summer internships which you can apply for. Some of these will even be paid. However you can also work for smaller companies who will pay your expenses and volunteer for local charities (writing a newsletter, creating a Pr campaign, filming youtube videos etc)

  1. Be unique, be you!

I guarantee that if you have spoken to anyone about writing a CV, then they will have said something about making it stand out from the crowd. The truth is there are hundreds of people applying for one position at the moment and you need to be the CV they look at. I always feel like I should channel a little Elle Woods from Legally blonde with her pink CV.

Jazz Kaur, Benefit PR mastermind, said that her first job she applied to was for L’Oreal, she ended her application with   “You should hire me because I’m Worth it.”Using their Iconic catchphrase obviously worked because she got the job.

Well, this has become a super long post so I am going to end there. I hope this helped you.

Image

Uni Confessions: 

~ I am getting ready for the Cosmo Blogging Masterclass. Anyone going?

~I am working in PR for a charity this summer. 

 ~What are you looking forward to this summer? I am hoping to go to Benicassim, a festival in spain.  

Gluten, what have you done to me?

Image

Over the past few days I have been battling with my body, after an wheat indulgent weekend partly at university and at home, I woke up on Monday morning with a heavily pregnant looking stomach.

I am not the best person at judging my own body, I always feel like I look really big at the moment. However with my summer dress on, thanks to the good weather, while I was shopping a very kind sales man asked me “When are you due?” After that a few friends and family members agreed that I did in fact look pregnant.

I have had problems with my stomach for year; at school I was ill quiet often due in horrendous stomach pains. Earlier this year I was tested for Coeliac disease due to a bloated stomach and pains. Although I was told I had not got the disease (although the test is not very accurate) my doctor told me that I was likely to have a gluten intolerance. My pain went away and I have to say I kind of ignored what the doctor said, until this week.

After eating a lot of gluten over the weekend, at least a lot for me, and then having a swollen stomach I think that I should go gluten free for a while. Along with this I am also booking in to see a woman who tests for allergies and helps create a diet suited to your life style and illness.

This is a new journey for me, one which I hope to keep you up to date with.

Over the last few days I have tried a number of gluten-free substitute foods; Pasta, bread and pancakes. As well as realising how many thing have gluten in them!

A uni Confession

  • I have finished my second year at university! That’s so scary.
  • I have gained a voluntary job in PR.
  • The next blog post will be a requested post about the career masterclass.

Cosmopolitan masterclass: London!

ImageSo a few weeks ago I got an excited text message from my friend, Jess saying she had seen an advert in Cosmo magazine about their masterclass. They had an amazing looking panel including Louise Court (Cosmo editor), Jazz Kaur (PR for Benefit), Cherry Healey (BBC3 Doc presenter), Chloe Melick (co-found of inside/out PR), Nicole Mowbray (Daily Mail’s Life & Style editor) and Pat McNulty (Cosmo’s digital editor). I am hoping to get into PR when I have finished university so the 2 women in PR as well as the amazing Cherry Healey, how could I say no?

We decided that we would take a coach from Leicester to London, in a short 3 hour trip!!! but the price was good and we were students. By the time we got Into the center of London it was about 2 O’Clock, so we grabbed a hotdog and queued for the London eye.

Image

I feel slightly bad because the other friend that came with Jess and I was Rhea and she is scared of heights, I didn’t realise how scared. We got into the pod (???) and Rhea sat on the bench in the middle and barely moved for the next 40 minutes.

Once we had finished the London eye it was about 4:00, I have no idea where the time went. We got back on the tube and headed to Covent Garden, where the masterclass was held, it turns out that Covent Garden is filled with health restaurants that serve tofu burger with a shot of wheat grass, we looked around and eventually found a pub that served food. It turned out to be the worst food ever!

After dinner we headed to the cosmopolitan event, when we got there the room was filled with very over dressed girls, most of whom looked like they were ready for a night out rather than a seminar, I felt like a bit of a let down after my makeup had worn off over the day. We sat down to find our goody bag, filled with some amazing products (a review coming soon!) The masterclass started with Louise Court asking the rest of the panel a number of questions, all of which gave a great insight into the media profession. They covered getting work experience, what is involved in their job, how social media has affected their jobs. They then went onto asking questions from the audience, the different questions were really great, although most people asked personal questions that only referred to them.

Image

Overall it was a great experience and I have booked onto the next masterclass the Blogging one!