How to: Survive Uni ~*

Good evening friends! How is your summer going? mine has been a busy one up until this point which is why I bring you this post later than I thought I would. After graduation, so much happened. The grad ball came first, then moving out of my Stirling flat and into the new flat in the space of two days, then going home to pack for a holiday two days later! phew. I should say that I am now settled in the new flat for now as I look for jobs to do with my degree and will talk about my holiday adventures in the next post I publish. So, without further delay, let’s move swiftly on with the post I’ve named ‘How to: Survive Uni,’ bearing in mind that these tips are purely my own opinion based upon my own experiences and you can make of them what you wish…

Let’s begin with the good stuff, what I’ll call the ‘Do’s’:

  • Do elect to move into Halls (Halls of Residence) in your first year. Just do it, I’d even urge you to stay there for second year. If you can, opt in to live in a bigger dorm – my mistake was that I went for less flatmates in first year and did not have the experience that most people brag about when it comes to their ‘second family.’ Although part of that was due to suffering from a severe case of freshers flu for a whole month, which included having conjunctivitis for a week or so!
  • Before you get freshers flu and hey! even if you get it, Do embrace your first year life and even second year life before the stress hits the fan in third year. First year will be your easiest year, so why not make the most of it! after getting freshers flu after the foam party and one too many fire alarms that went off leaving me standing and soaking outside for the best part of twenty minutes, I missed the chance to see one of my favourite bands from when I was a kid; The Vengaboys, and a magician show I really wanted to go to. Where was I? In bed dying or staring at a laptop feeling sorry for myself. Honestly guys, just live like there’s no tomorrow, trust me, it’ll be worth it.
  • Do talk to random students as you wait for lecture halls to open their doors to a hoard of excited and overwhelming students who are probably freaking out as much as you are. This bonding will make the most meaningful friendships you will have!
  • Do embrace the freshers flu – everyone gets it, you cannot and will not escape it. Day and Night Nurse, Strepsils, hot water with a teaspoon of honey in the morning and night, along with Beechams max strength and really hot steamy showers will hopefully get you through – along with the eye drops when and if you get conjunctivitis. If your lectures get recorded then stay in bed! don’t be me and go to lectures where you fight through two or more choking fits drawing more attention to yourself than is necessary. Only a few more points left to go, we can do this!
  • Do reward yourself occasionally (and if you can afford it) with pizza and chocolate, uni can be stressful enough without denying yourself the occasional junk food binge. Hold it off until after you’ve handed in your assignment or passed an exam or got a really good grade on something that way, you will feel even more better! I used to hold study sessions in third and fourth year where at the end of it, we’d all get take-out for working so hard. 
  • Finally, Do get a part-time job, it will help improve your time management skills and allow you to be more independent since you’ll be earning your own money to do with it what you wish.

Still with me? let’s move onto the ‘Don’ts’ (we’re almost done):

  • Don’t procrastinate too much, this may be rich coming from me but honestly, the stress is not worth it. Get things done, get chapters read, (especially if they’re more than forty pages long) get essays started to well in advance of their due date so you don’t end up being swamped early on. In the final years, I ended up getting work done and reading done up to a week in advance where I could and it helped a bunch.
  • Don’t do all nighters, they don’t help anyone and only turn your sleeping pattern upside down. Put down that coffee and go to bed, your brain can’t possibly function at its greatest at 2am, give it up.

Hmmmm… I think that should just about cover it. I honestly have no idea what else I could put in the don’t category and I think if you have made it this far then you deserve a medal! If you have any questions or feel like having a general chat about your experiences, then by all means drop me a comment. The next post features my Cyprus adventure so stay tuned for that, it will be published next Wednesday or Thursday but until then, take care and enjoy the sun ~*

 

 

 

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My Graduation Post – ‘Cause Why not? ~*

Good evening friends! I realise that it has been a good while since my last post was published, why? the day after I handed in my dissertation I adjusted my lifestyle so that I could enter the world of full-time work (it has not been easy but I managed to get used to it after a week or so). My next steps were to get organised for graduation and get something together for the graduation ball which is happening tomorrow! so excited for it! There were also a few birthdays thrown into the mix along with searching for a job where I can use what I have learned in my degree made me a very busy bee! Anyways, let’s get on with this post before I lose myself on some other tangent…

As some of you may have been aware, I was studying Psychology and Philosophy at Stirling University – which is still a very beautiful campus even after graduating. Like every other student, or rather, most of the students I have spoken to, the journey has been one of emotional highs and lows… but what made it special was that we were all in this together. When one person was stressed, finding support and an equal measure of stress from your flatmates or peers somehow made you feel better and more motivated to fight through the tough times and earn grades that gave you warm proud feelings inside. Anyways to cut a long paragraph short, my journey has been rough but it has made me a stronger person mentally and I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to make so many friends throughout my four years – some of which have stayed by my side whereas others have grown distant but are still very much appreciated!

I’ll be honest here and say that I did go to uni on a crazy whim because “it seemed like a good idea at the time.” And yes, I have spoken those words many a time but there was another motivation to my craziness… basically, I just wanted to prove a point to all my high school/college lecturers/teachers all of whom, never thought I’d get very far. To them I say something along the words of “Pfffft, bet you’d be choking on yer words if you could see just how far I’ve come.”

When my final grade came through I was so relieved that I passed, more so because I passed with a 2:2 and not a 3rd! For sure, I was disappointed at first as I thought that maybe, just maybe, I had done well enough to scrape a 2:1… but when I thought back and even as I think back in this moment to how I just decided on a whim that uni was a good idea and thinking back still, to all those times where I thought about dropping out in 1st and 2nd year, not to mention getting stressed over every single deadline and grade… That 2:2 basically says well done… well done on not giving up, well done on making every single one of those deadlines and well done on having made it to the finishing line… You did it.

Now of course, I couldn’t have done it without my amazing family and fantastic friends any gal could want – shouting out to the Sisterhood amongst others! Y’all have put up with me through the stress and anxious moments that I am known for going through and together we made it through and no amount of words will ever express how thankful I am for having every one of ya there. I hope that I was able to show y’all the kindness and support that you have all shown me and if this is the case then nothing would make me happier.

To those who have graduated and to those who have yet to graduate, even if you do graduate with a 3rd, know that, that in itself is an achievement! you might not think it but getting to that stage, a stage where so many struggle to reach due to whatever reasons you, you are one of the lucky ones whose battle has ended in a victory. Your victory. So, I urge every one of ya out there who has known the pain of doing a degree… steal yourself away from your disappointment for just a moment and think of all that you have achieved just by graduating, by being able to put on those thick and heavy robes where ya sweat yer life out in twenty odd degree heat and by being able to smile with your friends and share this moment, not just with them but with your family. Congratulations.

Well I think that seems like a nice place to leave this, slightly cheesy post… I will be back with another post with tips on how to survive uni and make it out the other side but for now… take care friends and I shall leave ya with a photo of me on top of a mountain of books, because why not ~*

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It is finally over! ~*

Good evening friend’s! How have ya been? I feel like it has been so long since I published my last post that I was not really sure how I would start this one but I’m gonna give it my best shot! So without further delay, I shall fulfil my promise made to y’all that I would publish a post on this very day, way back in March! Let’s begin.

Four years ago, a very shy and reserved individual began a journey that would take her on a whirlwind ride of emotions and knowledge that she could not even begin to appreciate. This individual was non other than myself! The first day of moving into my own room in Beech Court, on campus, was the most riveting and terrifying day of my life! I was excited because of the instant freedom and partial independence I gained from the feeling of leaving home and gaining new flatmates who probably felt the same. I was terrified though, for the moment that my parents – the very people I had depended upon for most of my life – had gone, from that moment I was alone. I had to make decisions based on my own intuition and well, as most people will tell you including my parents, I am a true nutter and should not be let out most of the time!

Anyways! the first day led to much confusion and deliberating about what possessed me to think that it would be a good idea to go to uni. First year was truly a roller coaster! from trying to figure out what the heck was going on all the time to finding friends as crazy and as clueless as I was and in the midst of all that, getting freshers flu for the first month; with the added joy of conjunctivitis! It was just a delight! I did manage to gain a small circle of friends though, most of which have continued to put up with my craziness to this very day!

Second year was something else! By this point, I kind of had a rough idea of what uni was about… I think! Sure, I would still go to lectures/seminars and come out of them thinking ‘I have no idea  what I’m doing’ but for the most part, I understood most of what was being learned. This was also the year that I had a pretty decent social life! My flatmates took me under their wing and I finally got a chance to experience what has been referred to as the “student life.” Juggling part-time work for the first time during term-time as well as having a social life brought with it, its own challenges and second year ended up not being the best for grades. I was however, a very stubborn and determined person so I vowed to not let uni defeat me and charged my way into third year with a new state of mind and a new set of flatmates!

**Que the flashback**

In between 2nd and 3rd year, I was lucky enough to get a place in Americamp where I was accepted into a summer camp where I experienced what it was like to teach and be a bunk mum to 2nd/3rd graders for two and a bit months before travelling independently for a while. The whole experience was enlightening and I truly felt like I learned so much about what I could do and what I could take away from my experience. 

Third year. This year was the one where I had met my second family. John Forty’s may not be the best accommodation but the students who stay there are some of the greatest folk I had met since starting this journey. I stayed there in 2nd year and had a generally good time but third year was just perfect! The coursework was brutal and much stress was felt… and many take-outs were had… but ‘the sisterhood’ along with my friends outwith the flat, made life so much easier! Everyone bonded over the stress of deadlines and I will treasure those kitchen sessions for the rest of my life! Again the grades never fell my way when the end of the year came which was disappointing but I refused to give up!

Finally… my last year, 4th year had reared its ugly head and this would be the year where I would learn so much, and that is not including the material I would use for my studies…

For this last year, the decision took no time at all to make the move to a private let in town. Feeling like a proper adult, I started fourth year off in a high; new job, new flat, new me! After the harshness of third year, I was looking forward to a refreshingly relaxed year of dissertation work followed by two other modules, in the first semester and just one other module, alongside the dissertation module in my last semester…

Alas, I managed to make it through alive! it took a leaky roof, broken boiler and broken door handle to reach this point but after submitting my last piece of coursework yesterday, I can finally say goodbye to this nightmare! I will look forward to graduating… if I have done enough to pass that is! I will cherish the good times and laugh at the bad times and thank those of you who got me through – y’all know who you are! Anyway, here’s a photo of me by the loch with my bound dissertation in hand! 30711904_2002826259760095_1268618410208526336_n

That is all I have to say this time, I will probably look to post something every two weeks from this point on wards on either a Wednesday or Thursday so I hope you will join me in the next chapter of my life ~*

The Beastly Chronicles – Last Log ~*

Good Evening friends! How has life been holding out for you? I would have brought this post to you sooner but life has been somewhat stressful recently with my uni deadlines creeping up on me like some kind of grim reaper. This will be my last log on the Snowpocalypse as it is now over and my boiler has finally been fixed, (a full week after it broke!) take my advice, do not ever sign a lease with Grant Property, save yer-selves from the stress. Anyways, let’s get right into this post!

Snowpocalypse: Day 5

There is truly no place like home… even in the snow! Knowing that the heating was still not fixed only made staying at home better. As I avoided worrying about how I would make it back up to Stirling, I decided to make the most of it… and since Brinkley loves the snow, there was no other option but to embrace the white stuff!

It was also good to get home and celebrate a birthday as well! it is just so comforting to know that when something like snow happens or anything major for that matter, family will always be close by… even if you can’t make it to them and vice versa, a phone call is all it can take to calm the nerves. 

I realise that I this is somewhat shorter in length than my usual blog posts but so much has been going on that my thoughts have just been everywhere to be honest. This will be my last blog post until… probably the 13th of April, as by that time my dissertation and research project will have been handed in. I promise to do a big one at that point!

Until then friends, let the mini hiatus begin ~*

A light at the end of the tunnel ~*

Good day friends! I hope you are all keeping well, the snowpocalypse has officially ended in Stirling now but let us dive right in to the 4th day of the monstrosity!

The snowpocalypse: day four

So… is the heating fixed yet? the answer is a big fat nope. Thanks to the supplementary heaters we were supplied with the other day though, we were at least able to sleep in our own beds and not turn into living icicles!

The day had finally arrived where I had to make the choice of going to the gig of my favourite band and risk getting stranded in Glasgow the next day or not… the band in question? Apocalyptica. Ever since I was in high school, around 14-15 years old or so, this band have played a massive role in inspiring me to play the cello myself so I was desperate to see them! The blizzards were still falling though and apparently Glasgow was worse than Stirling… After phoning the Box office a couple of times I found out that they were still playing. I had no ticket. My plan was to go home and collect my ticket but Fife was terrible and all travel to there was still cancelled for the foreseeable future!

Stressed to the max, I phoned ticketmaster, a thousand times, to no avail! no human being picked up my calls and the automated service was trash! I even created a twitter account to deal with my problem, again, I found no help was given. Really guys??? to top it off the engineer finally showed his face and discovered yet more problems with the boiler, meaning it could not get fixed that day. Honestly, that was when deciding on going to the gig became, oh so much easier. I had, had enough and after packing my bag, I left for the bus.

I had made it to Glasgow! Now I just had to find the hostel I was staying at and all would be well… Google maps helped me greatly here as I have literally no sense of direction – even in Glasgow, and I am from Scotland. I arrived at the Euro Hostel stressed but so, so relieved that I could now relax! My first thoughts were that the reception area was really modern looking and you could see the conjoined bar/restaurant from it, no navigational skills needed to find where I was going to eat and drink before the gig tonight! The staff were also really friendly and willing to help me discover where the gig was being held that night – this would be my first time properly reading a map, something I’ve always avoided! Anyways here are some photo’s of my room if anyone is considering staying here in the future!

So, we got an edgy wall frame…

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This was just a photo I took before getting in the lift to show off the art you see on various walls in Glasgow!

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Finally! So I stayed in a four bed, all female dorm. I found it alright actually, I’ve definitely slept in worse hostels. The room itself was quite modern however the one thing letting it down is that I was intially told that there were lockers in the room and in actual fact, there were not. I was not about to let it ruin my stay though and off to the bar I went!

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The bar is called, Mint & Lime. I had the lasagna with a glass of red wine, I found it to be not too pricey of a deal and it certainly filled a hole before going to the gig. I stuck strictly to the map I was given and turned up to the venue 15 minutes later! Apocalyptica were playing their Metallica album that night so I was well excited to get in there and here them rock out on their four cello’s and I was not disappointed!

I am so happy that I finally got to see my favourite band! I couldn’t get back to Stirling the next day and just went home instead… to Narnia land! The snowpocalypse had hit home with a passion indeed! At least I can say I now know how to read a map properly!

Well I believe that is all for this post, until next time, take care friends! ~*

 

The Beastly Chronicles Cont.

Good afternoon friends! how are you all keeping? The snowpocalypse has began to subside somewhat recently but I will get right onto the third log of this adventure…

The Snowpocalypse: Day three 

Alas, the snow had finally stopped… for now. Our heating was still out but we were hoping for the engineer to come out and do his magic. At least the living room which my friend and I had camped in was still nice and cosy thanks to the mini heater.

There was no way of escaping home at this point, transport was still down in certain places, mainly where I live back home in Fife – snowmageddon hit the place pretty hard from what I have heard… Still, we had hope that a thaw would break out at some point…

Luckily, as the afternoon approached, buses to Edinburgh (and I assumed to Glasgow) had started running again, with caution. My friend was finally able to get home after spending two nights stranded in Stirling! We were glad she was finally able to go back home and this gave us further hope that the engineer would come out if the transport system was finally getting back to normal.

As the day dragged on, we grew more and more impatient for our engineer to show up and in the end I phoned to discover that he in fact, did not have the parts needed to fix the boiler and so would not be coming out after all… I am pretty sure that by this point, if we did not have the mini heater to keep us going we would be suffering with the flu by now…

After sending out a few angry emails to our agency for their lack of professionalism, we once again had to live with what we had, at least we still had food and milk to get us by… Que the beginning of yet another snow blizzard.

 

That’s about it for day 3 as nothing too exciting happened on that day a part from our friend finding her way home safely. Day 4 however comes with new hope and excitement so I hope ya don’t miss it! until then, take care ~*

The Beastly Chronicles Cont. ~*

Good day friends! I hope you are all still keeping well. The snowpocalypse is still going some, so without further ado I shall get right onto my next post…

The Snowpocalypse: Day 2

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Who knew that sleeping with: a hat, two scarves, two tops, a dressing gown and socks on, under a cover with a trow on top, would actually make for a warmer sleep! I knew however, that when the time came for going into the kitchen, things would be rather different… After buying as much warmth as I could and mentally preparing myself for walking into the north pole, I finally decided to make a cup of tea and check if my stranded friend had made it through the night alive…

         There were signs of life as I slowly opened the door to the arctic wall. We were freezing… but at least we still had tea and hot chocolate, hope was not completely lost yet. We looked forward to the moment when the engineer would come and sort the boiler and we would be freed from this icy prison. The afternoon crept by… the engineer was no-where to be seen. The blizzards showed no signs of stopping. Our hope grew even thinner. I could take no more waiting. I phoned the engineer around half twelve/one-ish only to discover that he was not coming out after all and would attempt coming out the next day if he could.

We were doomed.

The snow progressively got worse. The transport to everywhere and anywhere was cancelled. The shops were closed – bar Tesco, from what we were aware of. Stirling had officially become a ghost town.

We needed heat! Students are not built to withstand such temperatures without a boiler!

Desperate, we began our search for electric heaters in the hope that a shop would somehow be open in town or walk-able distance from our flat… When all hope was lost we suddenly stumbled upon the Argos website which had heaters! without hesitation we reserved one, I received the text that let us know our heater was ready for picking up and my stranded friend and I battled through the blizzard to get to Argos.  Outside Argos is where our hearts were shattered. They were closed. With nothing on their website, how were we to know this?! we were now even more cold and even more desperate for any trace of warmth we could get!

Our last hope came as a surprise as we shivered our way into Cash Converters… We asked the staff if they had any electrical heaters in store and they said yes! Then we discovered that the only heater they had they were using for the store. This was it, my time had come to play my pity card. If we were to make it through the next few days, we had to have that heater. I told them my story of how the boiler broke and how no-one has been helping us… this worked. I will be forever grateful to the guys at cash converters for their sympathetic natures. We battled our way through the snow back to the flat with heater in hand and plugged it into the kitchen socket right away… finally there was hope.

With heat slowly circulating around one room, we began to get warmth back into our bodies and prepared for another night trapped in the flat… My friend and i slept in the living room that night, grateful to be sleeping in a warmer climate than the night before…

That’s all for the second log friends! stay tuned for tomorrows update! until then, take care ~*