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?


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.


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

Monday, 23 July 2018

Photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash

Let's talk about self care again! Keeping on top of your mental health is incredibly important and it should be incorporated into your day-to-day routines. Even if we don't think about the implications for our mental health, a lot of the activities we already do in the name of self care have really good effects on our mental wellbeing! Here are a few suggestions of ways in which we can take care of our minds on a daily basis!

Body Care + Skincare

Taking the time to take care of yourself physically can work wonders when your mental health is not up to scratch. Just slowing down and doing something that has no purpose other than to make you feel good. This can be done a little everyday, with nice smelling body wash or a really nice cleanser. Something that feels a little pampering in your daily routine. Your nighttime skincare routine is an ample opportunity for this! You can also go out every so often! Do a face mask or hair mask, slather on a lovely body butter or give yourself a hand massage and cuticle pamper!

Photo by kevin laminto on Unsplash

Sleep Hygiene

We all know that getting enough sleep is incredibly important, but we are almost all guilty of finding several excuses nightly to put it off! Whether it's late night studying, a Netflix session or a really good book, there always seem to be so many excuses for late nights and foggy mornings after too little sleep! Perhaps we can improve our sleep by being a little stricter with ourselves. I could take for hours about the importance of sleep, especially as a psychology student with a massive interest in it, but let's keep it simple! If we don't get enough sleep, we may wake up cranky and this is not the best way to go about our day! By waking up feeling more rested, rejuvenated and ready for the day, we could have a great kick start and go about our days in a better mental space. Set up a nighttime routine to get your body ready for a good rest and to wind down after the day. Take more baths to get into that cosy feeling! Have less screen time in the evening and grab a magazine or a book. Listen to your favourite chilled out music. Get on some ambient lighting. Whatever you do to wind down, make it a solid routine and stick with it. You'll be thanking yourself in the mornings!


This is said time and time again, but i'm going to say it again because it's true. Getting your feelings down on paper can be such a good release. While you are writing down what is bothering you or what is happening around you, you are processing it all. You have to think through it purposefully in order to get the words down. I find that when I am journaling, I begin to really look through my issues in a constructive way and I start to come up with solutions or alternative ways of thinking. I then write them down and highlight them so that when I look back at my pages and look through what has been going on, I am immediately drawn to the solutions I have come up with and it reminds me that I can change my thinking.

Photo by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash

Date Yourself

Sounds weird but hear me out. Take yourself to nice places. Go and have a solitary coffee somewhere or take a nice walk somewhere pretty. You don't need others to enjoy your time and learning to spend time with yourself and growing to enjoy it can be really mentally strengthening. I am living alone over summer and I genuinely hate my own company, but learning to make plans to go out and do stuff without having someone to meet has been a really nice exercise in self discipline. I have the opportunity to cancel my plans and stay at home in bed without really letting anyone down, but I push myself out of my flat and I end up really enjoying this time out alone. I have been discovering places which I have been waiting to visit with other people and now that I have been, introducing others to these places will be even better because I can show them all my favourite parts of the places!

Breaking Habits

Perhaps one of the best ways to take care of yourself mentally is to break those bad habits of yours. If you think less about breaking habits and more about getting into healthy habits, this will help you to fixate less on the bad habit which you are trying to fix. For example, instead of focusing on breaking my bad eating habits, I have set a goal of cooking proper meals every night and learning to enjoy cooking and learning new recipes. I focus less on getting rid of the bad foods, and more about getting into the habit of cooking good tasting proper meals. It makes it a lot more enjoyable! Here are some of the habits which I am looking to break, and the subsequent habits which I am hoping to build.

  • Less screen time
    • Get back into reading. Find a new favourite author and work at reading all of their works.
  • Less drinking
    • Invite friends over for games and food more (as opposed to just inviting people over to drink). You can cook for them whenever you find a really nice new recipe and enjoy the food with them.
  • Stop staying up too late and oversleeping
    • Fix your bedtime routine and find more nice relaxing hobbies to do before bed. Update your nighttime playlist.

The Magic of Baths

I went a long time without having baths. I thought that they were a waste of time and way less efficient than showering. Then I discovered the most magical elements of having baths. Drinking an ice cold drink whilst in a warm bath (so refreshing). Reading in the bath and losing track of time, only to realise that all of your toes are wrinkled and the bath is starting to get a little chilly. Radox bubble bath or the occasional Lush product. Lowly lit bathroom with relaxing music. After a bath, I always feel sleepy and content. It's truly a place where you have to take some time to yourself to relax.

Photo by Grace Madeline on Unsplash

Not all of us have the luxury of having a bath. When I lived at halls of residence I had a tiny shower. Showers, however, can also be wonderful. Take your time, find the perfect water temperature. Wash your hair with your favourite scent and lather up a lovely shower cream/gel or even a shower jelly! When I was living in halls, I started using the Whoosh shower jelly from Lush and it always left me feeling so relaxed and fresh!


The amount of resources out there now for mindfulness are staggering. From apps to YouTube, we all have access to so many guided meditations and they can be so helpful. Mindfulness is about noticing your train of thought. You can notice that you have a thought or feeling, but once you have noticed it, you do not have to accept it. It allows you to change your pattern of thought before it takes over and really has an impact on your mentality. It gives you a bit more control over your own feelings and emotions and it has really helped me with my issues around intrusive thoughts.

Yoga or Light Exercise

We hear it all the time but your body and mind are both important to take care of and are interlinked. If you are feeling better physically, then you are probably a bit more likely to feel better mentally. I am not suggesting that you need to start going to the gym or take up running as a hobby. Believe me, I don't do that at all. However, a bit of exercise can leave you feeling better by allowing you to ease pressure or feel more awake. There have been countless studies also stating that exercise can have a positive effect on mood and some have even suggested that exercise should be a widely used therapy for some psychological issues.

What do you do to take care of your mental state? x

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

I was laying in bed ready to sleep last night when I was suddenly hit by a number of post ideas. These have been few and far between over the past few weeks so I immediately grabbed my journal and scribbled down any plans I could. In this sudden rush of ideas, I came up with a three-step method for getting motivated. I have no idea where this came from, maybe one of the 'Finding Motivation' courses I took last semester, but it seems to be working! I am on a motivational high today!

Step 1: Assess

Before you start the motivation process, you should first figure out what motivates you and how you gather motivation. Some people are very intrinsically motivated. They are able to motivate themselves with thoughts of goals and future. Their rewards for their motivation are feelings, rather than external factors. They act because they know that they will feel satisfied or accomplished once they have completed their task.

Other people are extrinsically motivated. They act because they want to accomplish something external. They study for grades, not the feeling of achievement. They complete tasks because they want recognition or praise.

Our own 'motivation style' sits on a gradient of extrinsic and extrinsic. If we figure out what motivates us and where we lie on this gradient, we are one step closer to getting motivated.

When assessing your motivation style, you should look at past events. Think about when you have felt motivated and pushed to do something. It could be studying for an exam or picking up a sport. Think about why you did it and how you were able to motivate yourself.

Step 2: Access

Time to access your 'motivation materials'! Apply what you have learned about your own motivation style to how you gather your materials. These all belong in your 'motivation toolkit', which is your arsenal against being demotivated.

If you find that you are intrinsically motivated, focus on things that emphasise this. Find quotes that focus on self-satisfaction and personal development. If you're trying to motivate yourself to study, think about what learning means to you and how you will feel when you improve your own knowledge. If you are thinking about getting fit, think about how it will make you feel healthier and about the positive effect it will have on your wellbeing.

If you are extrinsically motivated, motivating yourself without something to actually work towards can be tough. If you are studying, focus on taking practice tests as you study. Seeing the grades that you attain improve will push you on to keep at it. If you want to get fit, maybe sign up to a marathon or start tracking stats of your workout. You will be working towards something, like being fit enough to have the achievement of running a marathon, or improving a reps number or fastest time.

Gather your motivation materials from many sources and keep them all in your 'motivation toolkit'. It can be physical or mental. Think about your motivation style when choosing what to put on your Pinterest boards or which quotes to write down. Think about your motivational style when choosing your goals to work towards. Keep refreshing your toolkit and adding to it!

Step 3: Success

Congratulations, you are now hopefully more motivated, or at least know more about how to get motivated! Now, go out there and crush your goals!

What do you need to motivate yourself for? x

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Friday, 6 July 2018

Planning my summer break is always a fun one for me. I love making plans to better myself and my career prospects while my studies have died down and I have a lot of free time. For the past few years, I have taken on shifts at my various part-time jobs and got together some savings for the following academic year. However, this year I decided to mix it up a bit! I have a list of parts of my life that I want to work on and I have already made plans for all of them.

The Internship

I have decided to take on a full-time internship in my university marketing department, to gain some experience more relevant to my career goals. I am in the middle of my first week and I am loving it! Getting into the office before 9 took some getting used to but I can already feel it becoming routine! I am so relieved that I have the opportunity to get creative and I can't wait to see how this internship progresses. Plus, it's paid so I can really get my savings together for rent next year!

The Part-Time Job

I am continuing my weekend job over the summer even though I am working a paid internship 5 days a week. This is because I need to keep my job in the next academic year and I can't just quit and reapply. It is nice to go there for a few hours a day at the weekend and see everybody though. I do love the team I work with! It's also contributing to my savings, which I really need to have for next year!

The Online Learning

As always, I am picking up some extra subjects to study on OpenLearn over the summer. They are related to business and marketing this year as I am studying them to accompany my internship and my aims to get into marketing. I love getting the time to pick up these extra courses!

The Move

I moved house! Well, I moved from my student house to a lovely little flat. It's so nice to have my own space and i'm even a little bit closer to uni and the shops! I have bought new kitchen stuff and almost fully unpacked and it already feels like home! I have also met a couple of the neighbours and they all seem so nice! I am mentioning this in the post because moving to this flat is something I have wanted to do for so long and something I have been counting down the days to. I have been so stuck in a rut with my physical and mental health and moving into this nicer space has really had an impact on me! I have been eating well and exercising at home and I have even started journalling again. My mental health is so improved already!

The Gym

Thanks to the internship and my ongoing weekend job, I can finally afford to join the gym! I am so fed up of feeling groggy and unhealthy and figured this summer is the perfect opportunity to get active and get to the gym! Plus, I'm going into my final year as a student so I've got to make the most of my student gym discount! I'm going to start at a gym with a pool so I can also get back into swimming. I can't wait!

The Habits

I have developed some nasty habits over the past year that I really need to curb. Smoking is a big one that I need to quit, and I need to get my eating under control as I binge eat so much when I'm sad, lonely or bored! I have already begun to work on my sleep hygiene and my ability to wake up in the morning has already improved so much!

The University Preparation

Getting all my habits and routines sorted means that i'm as ready as I can be for third year. It's going to be tough and busy so it's good to take the time now to work on my personal development! I am hoping to read more development books, pick up more tips and ideas, and really pull myself together.


The best way to prepare for the next year of university is to take some time to chill out! I'm going to take a couple days off to spend time with friends and I have already taken some time at home to spend some time with my family. I enjoy keeping busy but sometimes you just need to relax and take some time off!

How are you spending your summer?x

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