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

Bottom Cupcakes and Mexican Food

Yesterday my mom had a conference just around the corner from my new uni home. So after the conference was finished she came round to my house, with some of the things I had forgotten when I moved in.

Because she works within the NHS, she came home (or at least to my home with a beautifully craft cupcake with a bum on it. I have to say it was possibly the weirdest present I have received but that seems to be the case with an NHS Mum.

Anyway after I showed her around the house, I’ve done some re-arranging since she dropped me off (and again today!) We went into town and had a lovely meal together.

We couldn’t decided between 2 places: a Lovely Italian with the riches sauces you can imagine or Las Iguanas a south American restaurant that does everything from Mexican fajitas to Brazilian Curry. In the end we decided on Las Iguanas as it was a firm family favorite, although we hadn’t been in a while.

As soon as you walk into the restaurant I always feel like I am being transported to South America. The Vibrant colours and the music with its dancing beats, the whole experience is amazing.

I decided against my normal drink of Long Island Ice Tea (OMG it is amazing!) As my mum was driving we each had a coke .

I decided to have Gambas to start with (I have also made these at home!) and my Mum had Hot Tostada with Tinga. I have to say I always have the Gambas and I never go wrong! They are perfect, succulent juicy prawns in a tomato sauce with three slices of squidgy bread.

Gambas

The Hot Tostada looked amazing, three Tortilla’s topped with Tinga and salad with chipotle sauce. My second course was Chicken Fajitas. I love the idea of building my own food, it’s my inner cook. You get guacamole, jalepinoes, Salsa, and yogurt.

I am also in love with their re-fried beans. They are gorgeously dark in colour and have an amazing taste. However I decided not to this time. After eating all that food I normally feel like I can’t move for a week, but as it was the lunchtime menu I decided to get a pudding as well. I went for the Berry Mexican Mess. It was basically an eaton mess style pud, that made my mouth water.

Served in a large Margarita glass (and what bad can come in a margarita glass?) It was filled with Berry’s Mascarpone and Crushed Meringue. The Sweetness of the meringue contrasted against the savory taste of the mascapone to make an amazing explotion of yum in my mouth.

Over all the day was great. I got to see my mum and eat Yum Food.

TOP TIP: If you go before 6:30 you can get your meal for £5. Now that is a deal!

This post was written independently and has no affiliation with Las Iguanas. I just truly love the place.

Such an amazing pudding!

Year one review: Moving in

This blog post comes with a slight disclaimer, no it doens’t contain sexual content, however it does contain information about drunken behaviour. Freshers week is a little blurry in my mind so this post may not always make sense. Hope you enjoy though. Image

The morning of the 24th September 2011 will always be a memorable one, its the day I left my family home and moved into my university halls. I remember packing up all my belongings I wanted to take. It turns out I didn’t take enough clothes but I guess I had to go there to work it out.

Packing everything into the car, we could barely fit my family and my belongings. Once we had completed the tetras game of getting everything into the car we started to drive away.

Slowly pulling out of the drive at my house, it seemed so strange to watch my house get smaller the same way it always had done, but this was so different. I wouldn’t be returning to the home. My Mum would come back the next day and carry on living her life while I was living else where.

Opening the door to my flat the new key and fob in my hand I was met by a long corridor 7 doors came off it. The first room on the right, E, that was mine. The corridor was filled with peoples belongings, everyone was trying to fit their life into a small room. The room in which a new life would begin.

After I had moved everything in, although not everything in place, my Mum and step dad left. They were staying in hotel in the center of town, it meant that they were close for my first night. If anything went wrong then they could help me, they were my safety net. Once they have left I went into the kitchen where some of my flat mates and some other people were playing drinking games. Some of the other people turned out to be my closest friend during the following year. After a number of drinking games we all decided it was time to get ready for going out.

Getting ready felt like the sort of thing you would see in a film. We had music playing in our corridor from one of my flat mates room. Three of us were running in and out of our room running into the kitchen to make our Pot Noodles. (Not the best idea for day 1 going drinking!)

While we were getting ready there was a knock at the door. I think I will always remember this moment. I was doing my makeup, Hannah was getting ready and Abi was on the phone. Abi was the one to answer the door, as I was next to the door I could hear the voices of a big group.

I walked out of my room to see the doorway filled with a group of guys. I didn’t know it at the time, but one of those guys. The one at the back, dark brown hair and a cheeky smile on his face. He wasn’t the first guy I saw in the group but by the end of the year, I would be dating him, in fact by the end of the year I would be in love with that guy.

A little song for your day!

So I know I have been bad over the past few days but I have been a little bit poorly so I couldn’t blog, However I am back and feeling so much better, so lets get blogging!

I know the past few days will have been an amazing Roller Coaster of emotions for most of you who are reading this. Weather you managed to get into your first choice uni or you had to go through clearing it is still such a shocking experience. I hope you have all managed to get into a university and are now looking forward to doing your favorite subject at uni.

However If you haven’t managed to get in, if you are still going through clearing or if you have just realised that now you actually have to go and live with a load of strangers, then I have something I would like to think can help.

On my last GCSE History lesson, just before we broke up, my teacher, Miss J, played us a song that she was played when she was leaving school. She told us at the time she was played the song, she didn’t understand it as well as she does now. After living life a bit she now agrees with this song.

As soon as she played the song to me it became one of the songs that I look at when I am struggling. It’s not so much a song you can sing along to but it is great for making you think about life.

I hope you enjoy it!

Review year one: My results

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I remember the build up to my results day. I was convinced I wouldn’t get into university. I had made the foolish mistake of choosing my two final options as two places that had asked for the same amount of points? Why I hear you ask. Well a) because I was foolish, I made the choice without the proper time to think it through. In fact I hadn’t even visited my first choice when I put it down! b) because I was so surprised to have been offered a place. One of them I had to send off a virtual interview, to a camera, the second I had never thought I would get it! It was my highest jump to get there. They both gave me offers and I worked to get them so that’s where I wanted to go.

So if I didn’t get into one I didn’t get into any. Now thats pressure! My Sixth Form had set up stands in the hall on results day with universities close by who would be able to give you a clearing offer then and there. I had the number ready to phone I was pretty much ready to go. My mum had taken the day off work so she would be able to take me. I have never been the smartest girl in the world, I have struggled through school battling dyslexia and was always the ‘dumb’ one of my group. However the thought of not getting in still panicked me.

6:30, thats the time my results were published on the college website. I logged onto the website scared stiff. I’d told my family I was going to university what do I say when I don’t get in? I looked at the results and my stomach dropped; I didn’t get it. I was a few marks off the grade I needed, I wanted to cry.

I logged onto the UCAS website waiting to go through the clearance system. I needed a number? I didn’t really understand but I would  sort it out. It took a few attempts to log in. UCAS tends to crash a little on results day, well we all want to know if we got in don’t we. (You can ring I think!) There it was My first choice university- Accepted.

They decided that the few marks didn’t count and gave me the place anyway. I am into university.

My friends and I had arranged to go out that night to celebrate. Everyone I have spoken to says the best night to go out is results night. (Would it be bad to do it again this year?) Everyone is so excited to get into university, or is drowning their sorrows. My friends and I met up to see who got into where and what they were doing.

Not all of my friends managed to get into their first choice. In fact one of my friends didn’t get into either of his options. Although this initially seems like the worst thing that can happen, in fact it is not. My lovely friend has also just finished his first year of university because he went through clearing with the help from our sixth form.

All of my friends that wanted to go to university have now finished their first year of university. I know many of you are currently worrying about getting your results but I hope that this has helped you to not worry just a little bit.

How are you feeling about your results and what do you want to do?

Lauren x