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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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

5 really easy Halloween Costumes for uni students

It’s almost that time of year, when witches, ghosts and werewolf all come out to play. If your at uni, it is probably going to be a big night out, actually a big couple of nights! So here at Uni Confessions HQ we thought we could come up with some fancy dress ideas for you!

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Black Swan 

What is scarier than a schizophrenic Ballet dancer? Ok a lot, but it makes a nice looking costume!

All you need is a black top (preferably strapless) and tutu, put your hair up into a bun. For your makeup you need flawless foundation, a very dark eye and red/dark lips. It’s the makeup that makes this outfit work!

Witch 

I can guarantee you will see a hundred witches on your night out, but let’s be honest it’s easy!

Get out your little black dress, you must own one! Simply add a witches hat (this will be stolen by most of the people in the club) I told you this was easy. Once again I would go with a dark eye look.

Pirate

My flatmate has been searching through her dressing up box, something owned by both 5 year olds and uni students. She has finally decided on wearing a pirates costume, and this is how you can do it.

Get a white shirt, one with ruffles on the front would be great. Add leggings or loose skirt, put a thick belt around your waist and add a bandana to your head. If you want to go all the way don’t forget your eye patch! Boots would look great with this but you might get a bit hot!

Cereal Killer 

While I was looking for ideas for halloween I found this and thought it looked very funny.

Go to your nearest super market and get a multipack of cereal (the little ones) stick these to a t-shirt using double sided tape add some fake blood and some plastic knives. Carry around a fake bloody knife and you are all set, plus you have breakfast!

Just add blood

If you want a really simple costume, just wear what you normally would on a night out, or an outfit you already have (cheerleading, rubgy ect.) add a white face, black ringed eyes and blood. Back comb your hair and you are all set to go.

Don’t get too scared!

Lauren x

How to use Facebook to organise your house.

Isn’t Facebook an amazing creation? Half my university life is centred around it; I have a facebook page for my uni course, the societies I am part of and of course my job is working with social media, so it only seems right that I use social media to organise my home. 

 

At the beginning of the year, in fact up until this week, we had a group message that we all wrote on about everything from nights out,  cleaning the kitchen to random jokes. However everything got lost somewhere along the conversation and if you came in half way through the day you often had a million comments to read so I decided we should use a facebook group.

 

They are dead simple to set up. You simply go on ‘Create Group’ in the left hand panel. Name your group (mine is called Our House!) pick an icon to represent your group and select who can view the group. My group is set as ‘Secret’ so that only we can see what we write- I don’t need others to know I’m a bossy boots.

 

We now can create different statuses for different conversations, upload your homely pictures and documents. Since It has been set up we have created a rotating list of chores we need to do which hasn’t been lost amongst our halloween plans! 

 

So do you use social media at uni? 

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! 

6 top tips for moving into a student house

I can’t believe that it is time to start packing up the boxes and heading back to university already! I’ve barely unpacked. I thought I would share a few hints and tips on how to make moving day a little less stressful.

  1. Be organized.

No matter what I am packing for I always like to make lists before I start to make sure I don’t leave anything behind. In my second year I moved into my house and realized I had taken 2 pairs of jeans 5 pairs of shorts and 2 skirts. I hasn’t planned and pretty much packed whatever. I ended up going home in the week to get more jeans and sweatshirts. It was a complete waste of time and money!

Whenever I plan ahead I know what I am taking, how many I am taking ect so I can see from my list I have everything.

  1. Pack Sensibly.

When you are packing I find it more sensible to pack according to type for example my folders, books and notebooks for all my lectures go in one box, I have box for Pots and pans and other for my undies and socks. This means when I am unpacking I can take the pans straight into the kitchen and put everything away more easily than if I were trying to search for everything.

  1. Don’t stress

This is the one thing I suck at when moving house. Every time I move I want everything to be sorted that day. If I don’t have things sorted out and in a place I feel unorganized, and a little over whelmed. You have the whole of freshers week to get sorted before you have to start university; it’s plenty of time.

  1. Use the Professionals!

The longer you are at university to more stuff you collect. Last year I brought a number of organizational things, decorative things and I almost brought a mirror. In the process of trying to sort out your new home you may find yourself buying new bits and pieces that you need.

This can mean that you can’t alway fit everything into your parents car. I have heard a lot of people who have said that in the 2nd and 3rd years they have to take more things either meaning they have to take multiple trips to university from home or hire a rental company.

Companies such as Ecomovers will help you move from home to university and back. They even provide storage facilities for people who don’t want to move everything back home over the summer!

5)Get sociable!

No matter weather it is your first year or your final year you need to spend time with your new housemates! Don’t forget to go out and have fun!! You want to make sure your year starts off really well after all you have a year with these people! Don’t annoy them.

  1. Have fun!

Fresher week is always fun so just relax. Don’t worry about moving, if you forget something it’s not the end of world.

Hope you have a great move!

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p.s. This blog was created in association with Ecomovers. All opinions are my own. http://www.ecomovers.co.uk/removal-services/student-removals

My Confessions!

-I am going on holiday this time next week.

-I have just had my nails done

-I am going to a wedding this weekend (pictures will be on the blog!)

Recipe: Spicy pasta

If you follow me of twitter you will have seen my exasperated tweet earlier today. After writing a 5 page review on some fake tan my computer needed to be re-started, so I lost my work 😦 I need to learn to save when I start.

*Saves this document*

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Pasta and sauce

I can’t bring myself to re-write the whole review now, so you will have to wait for the sunless tanner reviews. Instead I will give you a lovely pasta sauce recipe. This sauce reminds me a little an Arrabiata sauce as it is tomato and Chilli. I love this sauce and I think its so easy to make.

Ingredients

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1/2 a teaspoon of tomato puree

2 cloves of garlic

1 fresh chilli deseeded (unless you want an extra kick!)

1/4 of a teaspoon of chili powder

1 onion

packet of pre-cooked chicken (or any leftover meat.)

Olive oil

(optional: red pepper)

  1. Start by dicing the onion into bite sized pieces. Then add the onion, along with some Olive oil into the bottom of a pan. If you want to add a pepper then you should chop and add to the pan the same way you did with the onions.
  2. Once the onions have started to soften and go brown then add the whole can on chopped tomatoes and mix the vegetables around in the sauce.
  3. Add in the chilli powder. To deseed a chilli you need to cut the chilli in half and run your knife along the chilli pulling the small white seeds out. Mix the fresh chilli and chilli powder into the tomatoes.
  4. When you start cooking the pasta, add the chicken (or other meat) to the sauce.
  5. Once that pasta is cooked add it to the sauce and mix together and then serve!

Hope you enjoy this spicy pasta sauce!