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

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My New Year Wishes

Can you believe that the new year is here already? I decided that I would start the new year by blogging about what I wish to happen in the new year?

My Love Life

My boyfriend and I have been together for over a year now and I have never felt happier. However this year Chris will be going away to do his placement year, he is currently applying and some of the places he has looked at are abroad. So the next year could have us facing some new challenges.

My love life wish- I hope that Chris and I will manage to get through the next year even if he is studying abroad, after all I hear cheap holiday.

My Professional Life

As you know I am at University, however in the summer holidays I am hoping to get a job within Public Relations. I am starting to look at companies now so I hoping I will find somewhere. I will also be doing Work Experience during the summer in Journalism as I need to do some for my course. By the end of 2013 I will also be having to look at jobs for after university. Ahhhh, thats scary.

My professional wish- to get a good job so I am not so worried about finishing university.

My University Wish

I have been doing really well this year at university. So far I have managed to do really well in my coursework this year, I am hoping that I will continue this throughout the next year, and come out of uni with the best grade possible.

My Uni Wish- To carry on getting the best grades possible.

My Blogging Wish

2012 was the year that started Uni Confessions and I have become so proud of this little blog. We only began in July and we have already turned into something that has become an amazing adventure. I can only hope that the excitement of the blog can thrive and continue.

My Blogging Wish- I hope for this blog to continue to grow, you will see some changes over the next year as I try to improve the blog. I would welcome your views on the blog and I hope you all know you can contact me whenever.

So those are my wishes for 2013. What are your wishes for the next year?

Love lauren blog sign off

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

Matalan Review

Hey guys. Sorry I have been away for so long! It has been manic in my life! I will explain all soon. Meanwhile enjoy this review 

If you follow me on facebook or Instagram then you may have seen my talk about a new review. Well It is finally here!

A couple of months ago I got an email asking if I would be interested in reviewing some things from the Matalan students range, and of course, I jumped at the chance. I hadn’t really heard anything about the range before, I am not sure how long it has been around but I certainly didn’t know anyone who got stuff from there when I moved into halls.

I really enjoyed searching through their site and looking at the students items. They have some great deals on necessities, but also some great all round stuff. So this is what I got.

Reem Tea Towel- £1.50 (currently 2 for £2)reem

When I heard about the review my boyfriend and I started searching the website and he loved this tea towel. I think the ‘reem’ reminded him of our friend who went to a different uni this year. The towel is made out of proper tea towel material, Cotton I think, not the toweling sort that sheds on all of your plates. It is relatively thin but does its jobs well and makes a funky addition to the kitchen.

Oven Gloves – Not currently available

This is one of the most over looked uni item ever! You never think you need oven gloves, but after one too many burn you will love them. I think the black and white flower pattern on them is great, although very girly and not very colorful. They seem  to standup to heat well. Although ours have a few marks on them the patten hides any marks. Overall I think these are great, and a really useful thing to have in the kitchen (we have 2!)

Towel Bale– £10.00

I have to say that if you have a friend who is going away to uni, or possibly moving into their own home, then this would be a great gift. Bundled together with a matching ribbon the different sized towels look really pretty. I chose the Aqua blue because I think the bright color can bring life to even the dreariest uni bathroom. The bale contains two wash clothes (or Flannels, depending what you call them.) two hand towels and two bath towels. This is perfect for uni because you are likely to have friends to stay and you don’t want to share a towel. (also Wash one, use one is big at uni!) The bath towels aren’t huge, but thats because I am used to bath sheets (the huge ones) but they are really nice. The material is not too thick so I don’t feel too weighed down and they are great for you hair! Overall I love this set, they give you everything you need and they are super cheap.

Candle– £3.00 candle

Candles are one of those non-essential things I was talking about in the intro, as well as that they are also something you are most likely not allowed in uni halls. However one of the things I was looking forward to this year was my candle! This candle is a very bright almost christmasy color and smells amazing. It is a Warm Spiced Apple scent, and I really think that its a true description of the smell and MY GOSH! I love the smell! I have to say this came in very useful when I lost light in my bathroom and was great for relaxing me when I my essay was due in.

Mug- £1

As the days have got colder I have been more and more attracted to warm drinks. So I decided I wanted to try out a Matalan mug. I have to say It is a really nice mug. I got it in Purple, (matching the dinner set you can read about next.) I think it is a good size and looks great. For £1 can you really go wrong?

Dining set– £12.00

I always feel like your dining set is one of the biggest thing you need at university. You can live without a lot of kitchen stuff but you will need something to eat off. Unless you plan to eat out every night. This set is a great value, you get 4 large plates, 4 bowls and 4 side plates. This is a great number if you have friends stay over as well as meaning that you don’t have to do the washing up every time you eat. Mine is in purple, matching with my mug and I think it looks really good in my draw as it adds a nice touch of colour.

basketNylon Basket– £5.00

Looking at this basket on the website, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it. However I wanted to try it out to see if it was any good. It feels quiet plastic-y but looks like a wicker woven basket, just in fun colours. This material is great for holding clothes or food as you can wipe down the basket if anything is spilt on it. I have found that this is the best basket for my laundry. It is the perfect size for a load of washing in an average washing machine and the wet clothes doesn’t stain or ruin the fabric, so I can use it to carry wet washing.

Although the items reviewed in this post were sent to me by the company, Matalan, all the opinions expressed in the post are completely my own. Matalan have had no input into what has been said in the review, they have simply provided me with the products to review.

Talk to you soon!

Love lauren blog sign off

Making your food budget stretch!

I know, I’ve been gone forever!

The past week or so has been a bit of a stress-fest for me; I have had essays due in, as well as a few issues with my house so I have really struggled to post anything, and I have felt so bad about that!

Anyway, I am back today with an tips post. I thought I would share with you my tips on how to make your food budget stretch further.

How many meals do you need?

I know this sounds like a weird thing to say but if you sit down and look at your calendar, what days are you in university for lunch time? Are there any reasons you will be eating out or round at someone else’s house? I plan to eat in every night and have lunch at home most days with only 1 or 2 brought meals. Working out what meals you are going to eat means you can plan better.

Make a plan.

Leading on from the last point, once you have worked out when you are going to be making food try and plan the food. Planning ahead can mean you are going to have less product wastage. If you have a chicken pasta on monday you could do a chicken curry later in the week using up the left over chicken. It is normally cheaper to buy one big thing than a couple of little ones so think of how many ingredients you can use more than once.

Lunch!

I know how easy it can be to go into university with a bit of money and have grab some food from the canteen. In the winter it can also warm you up. However buying food is much more expensive than cooking yourself. I know I said earlier to think about lunch, but if you are in for lunch everyday then think about a packet lunch for some of the days. I tend to buy food as a ‘well done’ for getting through the week or a hard part of the week.

Frozen veggies

Although I love having fresh fruit and veggies in my house, it is so much easier to have a bag of frozen vegetables in the freezer to just whip out when you need it. I have a bag of mixed vegitables and its lasting forever! (And goes with everything!)

What time is it!

(Is it really sad that I want to shout “Summer time!” from high school musical now? Please don’t run away!)

Most cities nowadays have 24 hour supermarkets or at least ones that are open until stupidly early, and us students need to take advantage of that. Who else goes shopping at 2am?

I am not suggesting that you go on your food shop just after you have been on a night out because I am pretty sure alcohol and food shopping don’t go together to make a cheap shop. However if you go late at night there tends to be a number of great things in the clearance section. Because of laws over sell by dates the shops will put a huge discount on a product the day of its sell by date. It is still perfectly fine to eat and in fact should be for at least a few days however they can’t legally sell it after the sell by date has gone!

Shop and Freeze.

One of the things that I tend to do is buy loads of products and then freeze them. It means your weekly shop doesn’t have to be weekly and you still have good food. When I am putting away my shopping I take all my meat/ fish products out of their packaging and wrap them in foil in meal sized portions. This means I don’t have to try and break the ice to get the amount I need.

I think this is everything I can think of right now, I am super tired so I am sorry about any mistakes on this post I just wanted to talk to you again!

Talk to you soon.

A website update

Over the past week or so I have been working hard behind the scenes to create new things on Uni Confessions to make it easier to use the website.

Change number 1

The first thing I changed was actually brought on by my friend at uni, who told me that she couldn’t follow my blog without a wordpress account, which she didn’t have! So I started looking for a way that I could change that because I would love any readers to be able to follow, in as easy way as possible.So I found a new way for you to follow.

How Do you follow?

If you look at the side bar -> you will see a little box that says Follow blog Via Email. If you click on the follow button, you will then be asked to type in your email address (make sure this is a real account.) You will then be sent a confirmation email. Once you have confirmed that it is you that wants to follow Uni Confessions, you are all set.

What happens when you follow?

Once you followed the blog via email, you will receive an email every time that I upload a new post. You can then come and read what I have to say.

What if I am already following via WordPress?

If you are already following via WordPress then you don’t have to do anything. The new following system will not affect the WordPress followers as you will still be informed in the normal way. However you can also follow by email as well if you think it’s easier to get an email every time I update.

Update number 2

The second change is something that I have wanted to do for a while, but have been putting it off. So I finally got out my credit card and go to it. So, Uni Confessions is now based on it’s own domain name; uni-confessions.co.uk

What does this mean?

Basically all it means is that in the bar at the top where it says the web address it will now say uni-confessions.co.uk rather than uniconfessions.wordpress.com.

What will this change for the reader?

Not much to be honnest, as you will have seen today if you go to the normal word press site you will just be redirected here. You can also access the website via uni-confessions.co.uk, if you don’t have a word press account then you may want to just use this address.

Why have you done it then?

As I said earlier on I have been wanting to do this for a while. This website has become so special and so important to me, and over the last few weeks my confidence in this site has grown and grown.

As I have become more confident and proud about the blog I have wanted to find ways to make it seem more professional. The first thing I have done to make it more professional is buying this domain name. Over time I am hoping to do much more to advance this blog for you and to make me feel more professional and grown up.

I would like to point out this blog is still not professional. I am still sitting in my uni room (in bed) typing away. I have not been taken over/ paid by a huge company. It’s still just me!

I hope this has made sense!

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The Hangover

We all know you are you going to go out and drink too much while your at uni no one is going to stop you doing that. But I can try and stop you getting a hangover or at least help you deal with it!

Eat the stodgy food

The best place to start helping beat a hangover is before you even start drinking. Make sure you eat a proper meal before you start drinking. The best food for soaking up alcohol is carbohydrates! So try to eat pasta, bread or potato with your meal. I found that freshers week was the worst for this; the day I moved into halls we all started drinking before we ate and then indulged in a not-healthy or filling pot noodle. The end result was we were great friends the next day but also in bed all day nursing a hangover!

The Boring one

I have to admit that if you follow this rule you better than I am but I thought I should share it! Drink a glass of water between each alcoholic drink. I told you it was boring but alcohol will dehydrate you so drinking water in between each drink will stop the dehydration and stop the headache.

Passe your self!

I am sure you laughed at the last tip so if you can’t drink water try to passe your drinks. The more time between each drink gives your body more time to digest your alcohol. Note: roughly it takes an hour to digest one unit of alcohol.

Back to the water

I know this post is all water, water, water! At the end of the night before you go to bed try and drink at least 3 glasses of water before sleep!

Get girly

Girls here is my favorite tip I can give you and it comes from my eldest sister! You get back at the end of the night and get your glass of water you need to drink before bed. Put on a chick flick and add some yummy ice cream! I have to admit the ice cream tastes great and the chick flick is a fun way to end the night especially with friends. Say thanks to Sister Confessions!

The morning after the night before

For ideas on how to combat the hangover when it’s the next day and it’s too late watch out for my post about how to save your self from suffering too much once you already have your hangover!

Stay tuned I’ll be back soon x

P.s. share your confessions too!