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

July Favorites

I thought I would do a series of monthly favorites, so at the end of every month I will write a blog post about what I loved that month; From makeup, Food, university and many more things!

 

Make-up 

Estaee lauder double wear foundation- I have been in love with this foundation over the last couple of months actually. Although the foundation is expensive, you only need a little amount and it stays in place all day. I have used the concealer for a while now and after battling with makeup that has disappeared by mid-day this is a brilliant product. 

 

Dream Matt Mouse Blusher- I love this stuff! I have dry skin so using a cream blush means that my skin looks dewy rather than dry. They have a beautiful soft pink that makes my pale skin look slightly flushed. 

 

Food 

You may know that at the begining of the summer I had to go gluten free as I discovered I have a Gluten intolerance, so it has been really hard finding food I can still eat and enjoy. 

 

Gluten Free Snack- Tesco Free From Chocolate Sponge Cake. Ok, so this isn’t healthy at all, and I am not saying that I eat it everyday. In fact one cake has lasted over a month in an air tight container. However after being restricted by my health, it’s really nice to have a cheat meal which is actually still good for me. 

 

General Snack- Metacalf’s Skinny Topcorn in Sweet ‘n Salt. I got these for the first time in one of my Cosmopolitan Gift bags, and to be honest I thought it was a stupid idea, why would i want sweet and Salty in one bag? However the Salt makes the sweet popcorn sweeter and somehow means you don’t get bored. It’s also only 115 Calories. 

 

Favorite restaurant- I am in love with Giraffe at the moment. All the staff there are mega friendly and can’t do enough for you and the food is amazing. If you’re gluten free they have a menu for you and they can try and re-create any of the normal menu in a gluten free way. 

University. 

Book- Dummies guide to writing your dissertation. I am starting to write my dissertation and this book has been really useful giving me advice on everything from research to what to put in your acknowledgments. 

 

University store- WH Smiths. They have some amazing ranges in at the moment with lovely looking notebooks, folders ect. I have always found that nice looking work things will make me work better. 

 

Home Store- Dunelm Mill has always been my top favorite store for buying home goods. It is where I got all of my things when I originally moved to university. However I have also found that Supermarkets like Tesco and Asda have some great deals. 

 

What have you loved this month?

 

Lauren.

 

p.s. Sorry I’ve been MIA; I have been working two jobs which is a mega busy deal! I am trying to come back and have a number of new ideas. x

The Stress of Exams

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Me at university- Stressed!

Over the last few weeks my Facebook timeline has been filled with desperate posts about revising and sitting exams, everyone hoping to get into university. Every time I read one of these posts it takes me back to when I was sitting my exams.

I have never been academically smart, I have struggled by being a solid C student. While my friends managed to walk into an exam, without revision. “I looked through my notes this morning.” was a phrase I heard too many times, followed a few months later by a soul killing “Oh, I got an A.”

At aged 7 my English teacher and tutor diagnosed me with Dyslexia, I struggled with my writing, often merging 3 words together, and always adding an ‘E’ where it wasn’t needed. However in my following schools they dismissed the idea, saying I was boarder line but it wasn’t serious enough to give me any additional house.

While I sat my A-levels and GCSE’s the pressure got too much for me, I constantly stressed about not doing enough revision or that I would suddenly forget everything when I got into the exam. I swear it actually did!

However after all my stressing, my worrying, emotional breakdowns and moody attitude. I got into university. Looking back over my school years I am amazed. I went from the girl at bottom of the class, who had been told she had Dyslexia to the person I am today, studying Journalism, getting firsts in my coursework and doing really well.

What’s the point of the post. Although your exams are important and you want to do your best. Don’t stress out about it, In my case I don’t think I got the right grades but my chosen university sit let me in any.

Trust me, everything will work out perfectly!

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The Big V

Well, It’s that time of year again. The time when singletons are made to feel pathetic and Couples are forced to buy gifts, Yes Valentines day!

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I have to admit I have a love/ hate relationship with Valentines day. I have fond memories of being at school and people passing around cards, and I love an excuse to go out and do something special with my boyfriend. But I also feel like doing something special on one day because your told your meant to is no where near as special as just randomly celebrating you love with each other. And do you want to know my biggest hate of all?

Every restaurant known to man, will have the tiniest menu at prices triple the normal value, and there restaurant will be packed, making your romantic night feel slightly less romantic as you can hear the people next to you talking. So I have tried to come up with some ideas of how to celebrate without needing a new student loan!

  1. Why Thursday?

Unless you have a real attachment to February 14th there is no need to actually stick to that day. Like I said earlier the prices of food and drink are raised on Valentines day, so why not go out on the Wednesday, or even the week after. You will still have a great night out but the likelihood is you will have a larger menu to choose from and it will be cheaper.

  1. Cook.

I know cooking can seem super boring but if you and your lover (that word makes me cringe!) work together to create a meal, it can be great fun as well as really tasty. You will also be saving loads of money, although you will have to face the washing up!

  1. Takeaway

If your a good student who doens’t eat takeaways very often (or not.) this can be a nice treat. Last year my boyfriend and I had a lovely night watching a film and eating from our favorite takeaway.

  1. Meals for 2

I swear every supermarket does those dine for 2 people deals nowadays. You normally get a main course, side dish, pudding and a bottle of wine. They tend to be £5-£10, you normally can just whack them in the oven, or microwave and they do all the work on their own. I admit I have had a few of the tesco’s ones and they are devine!

  1. Cinema

My final idea is pretty simple don’t go out for a meal, why not just go to the cinema or another date night favorite. It will be loads cheaper.

  1. One extra!

My boyfriend and I have decided no presents, it is likely to save us both a fair amount and we don’t have loads to through around at the moment.

I hope you enjoy Valentines day weather your single or coupled up!

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P.s. Split the Bills code: LE959

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Food: Hangover one-pot breakfast

ImageBloody hell! It’s February already, where is this year going? I haven’t managed to upload on here as much as I want to,  but my boyfriends friends are round this weekend so I am planning on writing a load of blog posts.

I thought I would write another recipe blog post, so this is a hangover breakfast special. I found a recipe for this on pintrest and I have adapted it for my own flavors. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients

Potatoes- about 2 per person for a filling meal.

Onion- 1

Egg- 1 per person

Peas- as much as you want.

Bacon- a couple rashers

Directions

  1. The first thing you need to do is chop your potatoes, small bite sized are the best with the skin still on, makes them crispy. Once they are chopped you need to put them in a bowl of cold water, this is meant to make them more crispy.
  2. While your potatoes are soaking, start on your bacon. You need to go to chop them into small-ish pieces, make sure you remove the fat, as it is super unhealthy anyway. Fry them off until they are crispy.
  3. You should add your onion and peas to the bacon until they are cooked. Then place them in a bowl.
  4. You can now cook your potatoes, add them into the frying pan on a medium to low setting with plenty of oil. You want to cook them slowly and oily for them to crisp up.
  5. Once the potatoes are cooked add the bacon and veg back into the pan and mix together, make a little well in the middle of the pan and crack an egg. Once the egg is cooked you are ready to plate up. Your egg will turn into a little bit of an omelet with some of the veg and potatoes in it.

The Stodgy potatoes will soak up alcohol nicely, the veg kick in the vitamins and well we all know that bacon is god’s gift to hangovers.

Hope your hangover enjoys this meal.

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New home: Got the house

Well the snow has certainly been attacking little old Britain over the last week. I hope you are all safe and sound and haven’t bruised your bum too much by falling over.

I thought I would use today to add another part to my finding a new house blog series. So here we go, hope you enjoy.

Once you have found your house!

  1. who’s got that room?

In most university houses there is a mixture of rooms, some are big, some are small and some are in the way of everyone! Deciding who gets what rooms tends to be one of the first problems you will come across within your new house.

If you are very lucky, everyone will just end up deciding on a room and there will be no problem. However if you can’t decide there are a number of ways to decide.

Draw Straws.

One of the ways to decide is to draw straws for each of the rooms, however you need to make sure everyone is happy with the chance they could get the smallest room. My step sister had to draw straws and then the person with the smallest room then decided she could only deal with the largest one!

Money talks!

The second idea I have heard on people using is sorting it out money-wise. The person with the biggest room will pay the most rent while the person with the smallest room pays the least. This doesn’t take into account the idea of a room downstairs or next to a noisy bathroom.

2.Utilities

Sorting out utilities can be confusing, the best idea is to get everyone in the house to try and find some good deals. Once you have decided who you want to go with work out a good time to get things installed. Internet will need to be installed even if  it is a really old house and the old tenants used the same provider.

3. How to pay

You will obviously need to pay for your bills. One way to do this is having it coming out of one account and getting the other flatmates to pay. However this can get confusing and missed payments can easily occur. I feel the best idea is to use an external company. Split the bills is a company that deals with your bills for you, the company takes the estimated money for the bills out of you account and will refund any money that  was not spent on your bills.

4. Agreeing on everything

One of the things that I had a problem with in my house was mis-communications. Make sure that everyone is 100% on board before you make any decisions. If you have any problems then you should make sure you speak up, if you say something after your flatmates have taken action then they will get annoyed and possibly have to deal with your problems themselves.

5.Any Extras

If you can work out any extras you will need to buy as a house, Cleaning things such as a broom, vacuum cleaner and washing sponges are best to buy as a house if you are all going to use them.

Now all you have to do is look forward to moving in! Start thinking about how you will decorate your room.

UPDATE! I have managed to get a discount code for Split the Bills. If you use the code ‘LE959’ you will get your first months broadband free! Enjoy!Love lauren blog sign off

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!