Friday, 17 August 2018


Photo by Mark Solarski on Unsplash

Music is something we all have in common. It has the capacity to lift you up when you are down, make you feel emotional and can even motivate you in the worst of times. We all have vastly different music tastes and this can cause countless debates and arguments. However, we can all agree on one thing. Great speakers make listening to music even more enjoyable than it already is! I for one love the look of the Panasonic Wireless Speaker Systems. Imagine having a multi-room speaker system! I listen to a lot of music when doing chores around the flat and when listening to music with my current sound system, I can barely hear my music from the next room without turning up my speakers to the highest setting and annoying my neighbours to their wits end! Being able to have my music playing in multiple rooms around the flat would be so amazing!

Nostalgia is defined as: "a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time". I can't imagine a better way of describing it. A yearning, not just a feeling. It envelops you in a way that any other thought or feeling fails to do. When I feel nostalgic, it puts me in a bit of a daze. I feel preoccupied fully with the bittersweet yearning of it. I reflect a lot and I find that so many things evoke a sense of nostalgia within me; especially music!

Nostalgia can be felt in a multitude of different ways. It can be happy, sad, amusing and even reflective. It doesn't just make you yearn for a former place or time, it can really take you back to that time and the mindset which you were in at that time. Let's start with happy nostalgia. I have kept the same playlist of 'happy songs' for years and every time I listen to the songs on that playlist, they completely take me back to happier times. The nostalgia really stirs up a true feeling of happiness within me.
  • You Make My Dreams - Hall and Oates
  • Mr Blue Sky - ELO
  • Rock With You - Michael Jackson
  • Africa - Toto
  • I Wanna Be Your Lover - Prince
  • Barracuda - Heart
  • Everywhere - Fleetwood Mac
  • You Can't Hurry Love - Phil Collins
  • Hit Me With Your Best Shot - Pat Benatar
  • You Can Call Me Al - Paul Simon
  • A Little Respect - Erasure
  • Beautiful - Carole King

Let's talk about music that just 'takes you back'. I'm talking high school style and the different phases we go through in our quest to fit in! I loved angsty music and classic emo/scene music! I was angry with the world and listening to 'emo' and alternative music made me feel like I could relate to something or someone. Listening back to my old favourite tracks, I remember my teenage years and I yearn to go back and tell myself to make the most of them! I spent so much time feeling put down that I missed out majorly on the friendships I had at the time and the freedom that came with being a student and not having to also work on the side. I also yearn to go back to this time as music was my absolute life and I possessed this complete and utter devotion to the music I listened to and the idea of going to as many gigs as I could and meeting my favourite bands just so I could tell them how much they meant to me!
  • The Taste of Ink - The Used
  • I Hate Everything About You - Three Days Grace
  • Going Under - Evanescence
  • I Miss The Misery - Halestorm
  • Knives and Pens - Black Veil Brides
  • Numb - Linkin Park
  • The Ghost Of You - My Chemical Romance
  • Miss Murder - AFI
  • Tears Don't Fall - Bullet For My Valentine
  • The Kill - Thirty Seconds To Mars
  • Welcome To The Family - Avenged Sevenfold
  • Caraphernelia - Pierce The Veil
  • Miserable At Best - Mayday Parade
  • Second and Sebring - Of Mice & Men
  • Blessed With A Curse - Bring Me The Horizon

After High School and when I attended college, my music taste shifted again. I started listening to more chilled out indie, folk and punk music. While I listen to most of the music I listened to in college still, certain songs remind me so intensely of the friends I made over my two years in college and all the time we spent hanging out in the common rooms between lessons. It was a great time!
  • Twelve Feet Deep - The Front Bottoms
  • St Christopher Is Coming Home - Frank Turner
  • Lost In You - Great Cynics
  • 40 Day Dream - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic eros
  • Tonight's The Kind Of Night - Noah And The Whale
  • Awkward- FIDLAR
  • Going to Georgia - The Mountain Goats
  • From Here to Utopia - Ramshackle Glory

Even though it was only a couple of years ago, the music I listened to when I started university also makes me incredibly nostalgic. Life was changing at a rapid rate and I clung to my iPod as a massive comfort as I moved into my new life in Manchester. I watched Gilmore Girls for hours every night when I was homesick and the theme song lulled me into a sense of comfort and security. I had no idea what was to come once I got to university, but the music I listened to got me through it and kept me calm.
  • Black (Unplugged) - Pearl Jam
  • Where You Lead - Carole King
  • Blackbird - The Beatles
  • Landslide - Fleetwood Mac
  • The Boxer - Simon & Garfunkel
  • In My Life - The Beatles
  • Helplessly Hoping - Crosby, Stills & Nash
  • Hard Sun - Eddie Vedder

I've talked a lot about life phases and music up until this point. But how about single moments? Sometimes, the music you were listening to in a moment is embedded in the memory of that moment completely and utterly. They can be massive moments in your life or very mundane ones. For some reason, they just stick. These are a few of my moments:
  • Walking home from the bus stop after asking my first boyfriend out for the first time. Always by Bon Jovi came on shuffle and I was completely caught up in the song. I started to listen to that song every evening as I walked home from the bus. If I pressed play as soon as I left the bus stop, the song would finish precisely as I got to my front door
  • In the car on the way to the airport with my family. Considering this was when I lived in Oxford, this must have been about 12/13 years ago. We were in the car ready to go on holiday and my dad had an ELO greatest hits CD playing. We would always sing along to Don't Bring Me Down in funny voices
  • When Love Story by Taylor Swift first came out, one of my childhood friends claimed it as hers and our other friend's song. However, in secret, our other friend bluetoothed it to me and begged me not to tell our friend. We listened to it for that whole afternoon and I was so over the moon that I had the latest 'in' song on my flip phone!
  • Whenever I listen to the Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack, I always think back to the live anniversary screening which I attended with a friend! People got dressed up, we all got up and did the time warp, it was amazing!

Finally, let's talk occasions! Some events and periods of the year are just generally so nostalgic, and music just boosts this! The two go hand in hand and listening to music for that occasion can make you long for previous years' celebrations!
  • Halloween: I am a big lover of Halloween, and I start listening to my 'spook' playlist as soon as September starts to end! Listening to songs like Thriller by Michael Jackson or Red Right Hand by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds makes me think of previous years' celebrations, the people I celebrated Halloween with and the feelings of excitement that I get every year without fail!
  • Christmas: This is the most obvious one! I crave Christmas music all year round and I THRIVE when it becomes acceptable to listen to it more! Listening to any classic Christmas tracks just brings me into the most wonderful time of the year and makes me think about all the amazing Christmases I have been able to spend with my loved ones!

I hope that you loved this post! What music gets you all nostalgic?x



*I want to thank Panasonic so much for sponsoring this post! It is my first ever paid collab and I am so so grateful for the opportunity to earn a bit of income from my passion on here!

Wednesday, 8 August 2018


Prioritise

One of my biggest pieces of advice is to hoard your work holidays for the exam period. You will need that time off to revise, especially if you have long hours at work. You will have more of a chance to revise and you also need to rest and conserve your energy for studying! Taking time off during exams is such a lifesaver, and I would rather have those dates off than just a random weekend chilling in the middle of the semester.

Don't take on too much! Obviously, your set hours are a bit hard to control so what I mean is don't take too much overtime on if you don't have the energy. Also, always prioritise assignments over overtime. Yes, the extra money is nice, but you also need to focus on the reason you are in university and really focus on your assignments.

Shift Patterns

Ah yes, the dreaded decision. Evenings or weekends? Well, I have tried both, and I have even worked late night shifts. I have found that weekend work is so much more manageable than evening work. You can dedicate your weekdays to university and weekends to work in a nice division of time. I am not thinking about my weekday job in university and I focus on my studies in the evenings. When I am in work at the weekends, I get to take a break from university for a while and it really takes my mind off the goings on of the week.

If you can, I would also go for set shifts. I had a shift pattern which changed weekly when I worked in fast food. It was disrupting my weeks and making it difficult to make any plans. I told my boss that I was thinking of quitting due to the job's effects on my studies and my mental health and I ended up with a set shift. All I had to do was ask.

Energy

It's not just the hours you work and when you work them. It's about making sure that you are not burning yourself out during the course of the week. When you overwork yourself and tire yourself out, that's when your grades may fall or you may not be as social as you want. I know it's easier said than done (especially when you need to work long hours to keep yourself financially secure) but please don't burn yourself out! University is supposed to be enjoyable and a great experience, and this can be hindered by being exhausted all the time.

Photo by Lauren Kay on Unsplash

Distance

I would recommend applying to part time jobs within walking distance of where you live or study. Last year, I was able to walk to work in under 15 minutes, whereas this year I changed jobs and now I have to take the bus. Believe me, the bus money really adds up and I hate how much I spend on transport to and from work! As a student, being able to cut down on these costs is so necessary and needed. If you cycle, this would also be a great alternative to paying for transport to and from work.

If your job is near your uni, it can mean that you are able to go to the library before or after work and get some extra study time in around your job. Every moment of study counts and being able to easily nip into the library is a great chance to get some work done!

Envy

Finally, while some of us have to work part-time, many do not. It is not helpful or healthy to envy the people who do not have to work part-time alongside their studies. I am sure that given the chance we would just focus on our studies and not work, however there are things that we just cannot help. Envying others is not the way to go. Just embrace the opportunities which you are getting from your part-time job!

What work/study balance advice would you give?x

Monday, 6 August 2018


Summer is passing by quicker than ever! I have been working 7 days a week so the days have been feeling like only minutes lately! After just focussing on my health, job and internship for the past month, it's time to think ahead to my final year at university and really gauge how I'm feeling right now. I can't believe that I will be graduating in less than a year, but I have so much to do before I get there!

Excited

Third year is already looking amazing! I have dropped a psychology unit to take up a couple of interdisciplinary courses and I am so excited to expand my knowledge of business and marketing! I am also so ready for my psychology of politics and society module! I have started looking through the reading and I am already finding it so interesting! I am so ready to get stuck back into my  degree and really work hard this year!

I also have a lot of amazing opportunities coming up this year which I am so excited to jump into! I am on the committee for a mental health society in my university! Last year, I got really involved in this society and even co-set up a mental health mentoring scheme for students! Becoming the peer support officer on the committee means that I can keep up the hard work and oversee the scheme as it grows and develops! I can't wait!

I also have a role in my course's peer support scheme, which aims to help first years to settle into university life and excel from the start of their degrees! I can't wait to help to facilitate the constant improvements in this scheme and I truly believe that it will be bigger and better than ever with our coordination team!

Nervous

I am pretty worried about stress and workload. I went a bit off the rails in terms of my mental health last year and cut myself off from a lot of people. My grades dropped and I developed a nasty spending problem! Lately, I have been able to get myself back on track and I have really improved my physical and mental health. I am just hoping that I can keep this up once i'm back in university. I think that what I am going to do is book onto the fitness classes I have been attending over summer and this will help me to break up my days and have a good workout on my lunch breaks. It will help me to bust my stress and clear my mind!

Because my grades fell last year, I have to really work twice as hard this year to get myself back on track! I am nervous that I will continue to work hard but not see any improvement in my grades, just as I did last year. However, I know that I feel more connected to my units this year and way more enthusiastic about them. I know that I will be engaged and I will (hopefully) enjoy my units this year!

Eager

This is my final year and I need to jump into it head first! I will be so busy trying to smash my degree, figure out what I will be doing after graduation, and balance my extracurriculars and part time work! However, working 7 days a week this summer has taught me that I thrive when I keep busy. When I am busy, my days have a solid structure and I do not have time to over-think or dwell on events which have occurred in the past. I can't wait to get back to the grind of university and I can't wait to see what the future brings!

If you're in education, how are you approaching this coming year? x

Friday, 3 August 2018

Photo by Brandon Lopez on Unsplash

Lately, I've been feeling so cluttered. Not only in my surroundings but also in my mind. There is so much going on at once that it can feel so overwhelming and so easy to lose track of what is going on around me. I decided that I needed to have a proper life declutter, both for my surroundings and mind. Here's what I've been doing to tackle all this decluttering!

Digital

I've had most of my digital devices for years, and there has been such a buildup of files and browser bookmarks! On my phone, I have way too many apps which I never use and are just sitting there taking up precious memory. On my laptop, I have deleted a lot of lecture slides from previous years and pretty much cleared out my downloads folder, the source of most of my anguish. I have reorganised the files on my desktop and moved a lot of them to an external hard drive for storage, rather than letting them clog up my laptop. On my phone, I have deleted all the apps that I don't get anything from anymore. These are games that I haven't played in months and apps for media players that I don't watch anything on (eg. NowTV). Now, my desktop and phone are so much clearer and I only keep what I use. It is less stressful finding files and apps and I have freed up tonnes of memory!

I have also done a complete overhaul of my scheduling and general productivity habits. I use Google Calendar for all my planning and scheduling since it's so easy to organise my days into blocks of time and keep track of everything I have planned during the week. I have been storing and creating my files on Google Drive and I have reorganised all my folders in this. I have stopped using the social media that I don't enjoy and I have pretty much simplified all of my digital day-to-day activities.

Clothing

Who else is completely guilty of hoarding clothes that you never wear? I definitely am! However, when I moved to my new flat and I was unpacking my clothes, I realised that I had way too many items that I don't really like or enjoy wearing that much. So as I was unpacking, I bagged up a good portion of my clothes to donate and I also threw away some old tatty underwear. Decluttering your clothes leaves lots of space for new clothes, but I'm on a spending ban so I'm just learning to appreciate the clothes that I have kept a bit more. I am getting more use out of everything I have kept and I feel better about clothes shopping whenever I do decide to treat myself!

Surfaces and surroundings

Clutter. Clutter everywhere! In my old room in my student house, all my surfaces were completely covered and it made my space feel so claustrophobic and messy all the time! I hated it and always blamed it on the fact I didn't have a lot of space in the first place. Nope, I just owned a lot of pointless stuff that was cluttering up my room and making it feel crowded. Now that I have donated and thrown away a lot of stuff that I don't particularly love, my space looks so much tidier and is way easier to clean! I have realised that clutter makes me super stressed and I would rather own less and be tidy than own lots and let all my items completely take over! Now, everything has its place and is neatly stored exactly where I know to find it.

Walls

I loved all the posters on the walls of my student house room! I had so many and they all represented something about me. However, when I was moving and I took them all down, I realised how much I love plainer walls and how much lighter the space became when there wasn't so much covering the walls. In my new place, I have a couple of small items hanging on my wall and three beautiful prints by Jessica Gutteridge. My rooms feel so light and open and I love it!

Products

I own too many skincare products. However, I have not bought any lately and I have been working my way through everything I already own. The box that I use to store my skincare and body care products used to be very full but now it is looking pretty empty and I have been able to try out all the products and figure out what works with my skin best. Not having all those products all over the place has really decluttered my space and I know exactly what to repurchase when my spending ban is over!

Mind

Finally, I have been taking steps to sort through my thoughts and declutter my mind! I have been journalling more again and getting all my pent-up feelings down on paper. It's a weight off my chest and I like to look back through the pages and see how I have progressed into a better place due to counselling, medication and other factors. I have also started exercising more. When I am working out, nothing is on my mind and I am just focussed on the task at hand, which is so refreshing! I am hoping to get back into running next and clear my mind in the outdoors!

Have you been doing any life decluttering lately? x

Wednesday, 1 August 2018


Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

I've been a student for a good amount of years now and I've constantly searched for new ways to get productive throughout my time as a student, be that at high school, college or university! I have gathered a lot of tips, tricks and techniques over this period of time and I am so excited to share these with you! Before I set up this blog, I used to run a study blog over on Tumblr and I really learned a lot about productivity from this experience, as well as from studying and trying different things for myself!

There are so many great productivity apps on the market and so much choice that it can be hard to see which ones actually work and help you to get productive! I have tried and tested so many apps and I have finally settled on my handful of staple productivity apps, which I keep in a folder on my phone for those study/work days!

Forest

If you haven't heard of Forest, it is an incredibly popular app on the app store and possibly the cutest productivity app out there! It asks you to choose an amount of time that you want to focus for (I always go for 25 minutes as per the Pomodoro technique) and it plants a lil tree for you. As long as you do not go on your phone and exit the app for this length of time, the tree will grow. If you go on your phone and procrastinate, the tree dies and you are left with a dead little tree in your forest. It's a fun and cute way to get productive!

You can download Forest on the App Store HERE and the Google Play store HERE. There is also a Chrome browser button that you can download if the app isn't your cup of tea!


Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Keep

The Google apps are incredibly useful! I use Google Drive for absolutely everything, from all my lecture notes to drafts of my blog posts and my peer support work! It makes it so easy to keep all your work backed up and also to work collaboratively with the ability to share folders and work on the same file at the same time as others! Having all of your work easily accessible on your phone through Google's handy apps means that you can work on anything on the go and you have access to so much information at your fingertips! For example, in the lead up to exams I like to read through my lecture notes on my phone when i'm on public transport, in a waiting room or on breaks in work! It's just so useful!


Priority Matrix

I have tried so many to-do list apps and none have been quite like Priority Matrix. This app allows you to divide up your to-do list however you want and allows you to change the sizes of each section when you are focussing on one more than the other. There are so many tools in this app and I feel like i've only scratched the surface!


Pinterest/Tumblr

Sometimes what you need to access is some inspiration! Pinterest is pretty much automatic for me when I need this! My dashboard is full of self-care quotes, career inspo and productivity tips. Depending on what you pin, your dashboard will be full of what you need to see! This is why I love Pinterest! You can follow my boards HERE for lots of self-care inspiration and career motivation!

Tumblr can also be a great destination when you need some inspiration. I use Tumblr mostly for study inspiration! The tags 'studyblr' and 'studyspo' are full of tips, tricks and advice for students! I ran a Studyblr blog for a handful of years and it definitely helped me to get to university! Now, I focus all my time on this blog but Studyblr does hold a special place in my heart!


Other great apps:
  • Quizlet - a great app for students who are trying to revise!
  • Canva - for making great graphics on the go!
  • Google Calendar - gotta have a good calendar!
  • To-Do - simpler than Priority Matrix!
  • Dictionary - you never know when you'll need it!


Blogs

Blogs are full of great advice and some of the best productivity and self-improvement advice I have been able to find in my quest for productivity tips! This is a list of some of my favourite blogs for this kind of advice:

Here are also some of my favourite individual productivity posts, if you want to find something to read quickly to get you into a productive state of mind:

YouTube

Just like with blogs, sometimes the best advice I can find comes from YouTubers! There are so many channels dedicated to self-improvement and they have a wealth of advice for productivity! Here are some of my favourite channels:


White Noise 

When I want to get properly in the zone, I listen to white noise instead of music. I have tried to listen to every genre of music while studying but they all end up distracting me! White noise is great because it blocks out the sounds of your surroundings but doesn't distract you in the process! It's also super calming so really helps with my anxiety, especially when super stressed about exams and deadlines! Here are a few of the best white noise generators out there:

  • Rainy Mood - A lovely rainfall sound to accompany music or just to blur out your surroundings
  • Coffitivity - Cafe sounds which will make you feel like you're out and about being all productive around other people

Grammarly

Grammarly is perhaps my favourite tool on this list as it makes writing so easy, especially when my head is all foggy from stress and I can barely get the words out! It checks your spelling, punctuation and grammar as you write and makes proofreading your work so simple and easy! I have to write to deadlines a lot as a student and Grammarly boosts my confidence about my quality of work whenever I end up submitting it!

Google drive

I have already mentioned Google Drive in the apps section of this post but I need to mention the web version too! I do everything on Google Drive and honestly, I do not know what I would do without it! I have been using it non-stop since the start of college and it has saved my ass countless times since the large storage capacity allows me to use it to back up all of my work! Trust me, give it a go!


My music taste generally is very varied, but I tend to stick to two different study playlists; one of my own and one on a YouTube livestream. However, I have hunted down a few different ones for you, including some of the playlists I used to study for my A Levels with.

Lo-Fi study music

One thing that I discovered when studying in uni is lo-fi study music, which is all over YouTube. This livestream (HERE) is the one I tend to always go for and Chillhop have also put together the playlist on Spotify (HERE). You can check out the other Chillhop playlists (HERE); they're all fab to study to!

This lo-fi hip hop playlist by ChilledCow is also fab if you want to switch it up a bit!

My playlist

For this post, i've put together a list of the songs I most frequently listen to when i'm studying. They're all classical pieces which I find help me to concentrate the most. I like to pair up this playlist with Rainy Mood to really get a good atmosphere going!


Other playlists




I am a massive fan of finding printables for every occasion, particularly for studying and productivity! I have searched the internet for some free printables and compiled a little list for you! I will keep updating this whenever I find any more great materials!




Just to round off this slightly long post, I just wanted to share a short list of tips which have helped me when I have been lacking a bit of productivity in my life! We all have the capability to be productive and get shit done, it's just harder for some people. My mental health struggles have meant that it has been so hard to be productive sometimes, but while I can't keep up with life sometimes, it really stops for nobody and sometimes we need to look outside ourselves for motivation and inspiration to get back up and keep going.

Make productivity plans

When I can't push myself to get out of bed and get anything done, I turn to others to motivate me. I make plans to push me out of bed from fear of letting somebody down, rather than just myself. If I plan to meet somebody at the library, I will go just so I don't leave them waiting. Book study spaces at the library, arrange a time to meet somebody at a cafe, arrange appointments when you know that once you're out of the house you will be more likely to go to the library afterwards.

To-do lists

I'm talking physical, on paper to-do lists. You can't just delete items and watch them disappear when you don't want to do them. Write in pen and make it neat. You won't want to put a harsh line through the writing, you'll want to check the item off the list! It's the most satisfying feeling ever!

Take breaks

What's better: studying solidly for a couple of hours before burning out and giving up, or studying for longer but with regular breaks? I'd say the latter. Whatever task you're trying to get done, make sure to break it up into chunks and have breaks! This is why I love the Pomodoro method of studying so much. It makes studying so much more manageable and less daunting! Plus, with regular breaks you are more likely to retain the information you're taking in!

What are your productivity tips?x


Monday, 30 July 2018


September is almost only a month away and it can be a very exciting time for those of you who are about to start university for the first time! This summer is yours to do with what you want, but with just over a month left until university starts, here are a few things you can do to get ready for the big move!

Spend time with friends

If you are moving away from home, or if you have friends who are, use this summer to make the most of being able to see each other regularly. Make as many plans as you can with them and take lots of pictures together! Whilst you will be making lots of new friends at university, you will miss your friends from home like crazy! Live near the coast? Have one last big get together at the beach. Live in the city? Have a night out on the town! Whatever you all enjoy doing together, make this summer one last hurrah before you move away. Make it memorable!

Research your new home

Moving somewhere new is always a daunting prospect but you can make it a little easier for yourself by researching your new home and finding out more about the spots related to your hobbies and interests. Find a good gym if you're interested in fitness. Find out where all the best shopping spots are. Look for veggie/vegan restaurants or where the best pizza place is. Just familiarise yourself with where you will be living for the next few years and really get to know the feel of your new home!

Read around your subject

If you have chosen your subject of your degree, I think it's pretty safe for me to assume that it's something you enjoy or find interesting. In university, you will likely be expected to read academic papers and it may be useful to get to know the layouts of these before you go (although you don't have to do this, it may help). It may also come in handy if you build up your subject knowledge as degrees are pretty tough and any extra knowledge comes in great handy. If you know of a textbook you will be using, pick it up from the library or buy it and have a read of a few chapters. Before I came to university, I read up on the areas of psychology which I figured I may want to pursue as career paths and that really got me thinking about my career from early on.

Look up societies

One of the easiest ways to make friends in university is by joining a society. You will be meeting and interacting with people who share a common interest with you and this is a great way to connect! Most universities have a society for pretty much anything! By setting a plan of which societies you may be interested in, you are saving yourself a lot of hassle at the societies fair in Welcome Week when you will be confronted by countless societies who want your membership!

Get the decor ready

Maybe the best thing about moving to university is all the shopping beforehand. Obviously, focus on the essentials first, like the kitchen utensils, pots, pans, towels, etc. but also think about how you're going to transform your dorm room into somewhere that feels like home! Cushions and nice bedding are always a good place to start! Think about bringing a touch of home with you, like a soft toy or ornament to always remind you of home. My favourite way that I decorated my dorm room in first year was my photo hanging! I had my favourite photos of family and friends printed out polaroid-style and I bought some twine and mini clothes clips. I hung the pictures up along the twine and used command hooks to attach this to my biggest wall. It was such a nice personal touch in the room and really made it feel like home!

Work and get some savings together

I could have saved more in the summer before I started university and I really should have! Yes, student loans exist, but mine didn't cover my rent and I relied on my part time job in uni and some food money from my family to get by. If you gather some savings before uni, you really take off a lot of the money pressure and actually get to have a trouble-free start to uni! Just a bit of overtime each week really adds up and makes a difference (as long as you don't spend all your savings at once like I did)!

Take a well deserved break

While it is important to make the most of your summer, perhaps the most important thing for you to focus on is getting a good rest and recharging your batteries! Make sure you get some time off to yourself and you get to do all the things you love to do to relax! In university, like goes at 100mph sometimes so it's important that you take all the time you can to properly relax and take some time to chill. Your body and mind will thank you for it!

What are you up to this summer? x

Friday, 27 July 2018

Photo by Prudence Earl on Unsplash

When it comes to personal style, I am so indecisive. Some days I want to change up my style completely and entirely refresh my wardrobe. I haven't really had a fixed style since my High School emo days. Some days i'm dressed up so smart and office ready, and others I will not let anything but sweatpants grace my legs. The thing is, I often think about comfort or accessibility more than actual style. If it's clean, i'll wear it. However, this can lead me to feel a bit down on myself. I rarely like the way I look in my clothes or the way I dress. Not to the same level as I used to. I want to make more of an effort and I want to look like I have made that effort. Here are a few of the styles I have been gravitating to lately and a bit of a wishlist for each.

Simple and Minimalist

Photo by Bogdan Glisik on Unsplash

There's something that feels so chic about wearing a very simple and smart outfit. Maybe a pantsuit or something you would see on Dana Scully in the X Files. Sometimes I love the idea of looking  smart and put-together all the time. Plus, this style really lends itself well to a capsule wardrobe, which is something that I have been contemplating for a long while! It can also be fun to work pops of colour into this style. For example, you could dress smart in an all-black outfit and wear some red earrings, a red belt or red shoes. Can you tell I like the colour combination of black and red?





Grunge

Photo by Elijah O'Donell on Unsplash

While my style does seem to switch up a lot, I always fall back on relaxed grunge. I love being comfortable and I love repping my favourite bands so the big oversized band tee tucked into some nice pants or a black skirt is a constant look for me. Maybe this isn't a specific style I want to aim for, just one that I want to find more time for and buy more clothes for. My trusty Doc Martens will stay with me for ages to come to be matched with all these clothes I am lusting after, but I have also been eyeing up multiple pairs of black boots on Killstar.







Florals

Basically, I just lust over Florence Welch's style constantly. Not even just her clothes, just her whole general style of living. She did a video with Nowness in which she guided the camera around her home and I was struck by how wonderful it is! I just think there's a lot of lightness within her style. She showed her wardrobe and there were so many pieces just in that glance that I just immediately fell in love with. Florals are a favourite of mine. I have a floral tattoo and plans to get more. I just don't own enough floral clothes but I would love to when I actually have the money for clothes.





Autumn Cosiness

Photo by Upstate, New York on Unsplash

Am I just writing this section because i'm fed up of this heatwave and i'm craving autumn weather? Yep! I love wearing layers and I love the colours associated with autumn fashion. I have a favourite orange jumper and i'm just waiting for it to get cold enough to wear it. I'm missing the long coats and the scarves and the option to wear a hat when your hair is terrible. Not to mention, autumn is my favourite time of the year and the falling leaves make everywhere look so beautiful. I want a chill in the air which makes me pull my coat a bit tighter to my chest. I want the amazing feeling of sipping a hot drink on a freezing cold day and getting cosy in my jumper on the couch with a loved one.





What are your style cravings at the moment? x

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Unsplash

With summer speeding by, it may be time to start thinking about the next academic year a little bit. I imagine that some of you are eagerly waiting to find out if you have a place in university, which is a super scary time. Preparing for university, however, can be super exciting and the smallest things such as buying kitchen utensils can be super exciting! If you're going into student halls, here are a few things to think about which will make life a little easier!

Bring non-generic kitchen items

We're talking plates, cutlery and all those essential utensils. You don't need to go all out and break the bank, but buying kitchen items which look a bit individual can save you from a whole lot of stress in the kitchen! In student housing or halls, cutlery has a nasty habit of going missing and people can be pretty quick to place the blame when they've cooked dinner but can't find any of their forks. I bought a cutlery set from ASDA which had a stripe pattern indented at the ends of the handles. Some of my flatmates had plain cutlery and so they would war over who had taken the wrong spoons and I would be safe in my stripey cutlery situation. The same goes for plates and pans. If you can easily recognise your own things, they are less likely to go missing or be mistaken for another person's items.

Speak up

If someone is up too late and their music is too loud, let them know. If people are having a party in the flat above and you have to get up for work in the morning, ask them to keep it down. Don't let people walk all over you and wind you up. You are all living in the same building and they should respect your needs as much as you respect theirs. If you need sleep and music is keeping you up, ask them to turn it down and they may be more careful with the volume of their music in the future. Otherwise, nothing will change and you will have an awful time!

Buy headphones

This is sort of similar to the last point, but you will be living in close quarters with a lot of people, and these can be noisy and social places. Get a pair of headphones to drown out the noise when you need to work on an assignment, study, or generally just get a bit of peace. They are an absolute lifesaver!

Be social

Try and make a point to get to know your flatmates in your first week together. These may be the first people you meet in your new home and living with them for the whole academic year could forge some very strong friendships! Hang out in the kitchen or offer to help someone with their bags when they're moving in. Introduce yourself and don't be scared to have a chat. A lot of people bring a doorstop with them when moving into halls so that people can introduce themselves when passing rooms.

Clean up after yourself

It goes without saying, really. You will be living in the same space as your flatmates for quite a while and you don't want to get off on the wrong foot. Keeping the communal spaces tidy after using them will show your flatmates that you respect their living space and encourage them to do the same. Plus, living in a messy student flat can be a nightmare!

Make your room as homely as possible

Student rooms can feel very isolating and cell-like if you are hit by a bit of homesickness. Be sure to make your room homely and inviting so that you like spending time in there and don't feel like you're not at home. I grew to love my room in halls and you will too, it just takes some getting used to and making it feel more like home can definitely help!

Don't be afraid to call maintenance

At the start of first year, I hated reporting issues to maintenance. I felt like a pain and a hassle. However, a lot of student homes and halls can be a little run down and constant living in the space can take its toll. In my first year halls, I had recurring problems with the window in my room in the middle of winter. I had to report issues to maintenance a lot and if I hadn't then my room would have been painfully cold.

Top up your laundry card in bulk

Living in student halls can lead to the worst thing about being a student. Overpriced laundry facilities. In my first year I was paying around £4.50 every time I did laundry. This really added up and this is one issue. However, I worked in fast food and had to wash my uniforms quite a lot. The worst thing was when I had walked all the way to the laundry facilities and I had no credit on my laundry card. I would recommend topping up your card in bulk when loans come in or when you get paid. It's way better than having to put more credit onto your card every time you needed to do laundry and it can save a lot of hassle!

Get vaccinated

Here in the UK, we are offered a free MenACWY vaccine before starting university, to prevent meningitis. It is definitely worth getting up to date with your vaccinations before going to university! It could save your life!

Make the most of it

Living in student halls can be a fantastic experience and you could even meet people who you will be friends with for life! Definitely enjoy it while it lasts and make some great memories! I definitely wished I was back in halls when I moved to my student house during second year!

Have any questions about starting university? Pop them in the comments and I will help you with what I can! x

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