Someone drove over my laptop & I got hives: EXAM SEASON

Hello everybody!

I am back to blogging weekly and I have such a fun filled summer ahead of me, so hopefully this page will be full.

The last month or so has been full of exams and exam revision- which has been super tedious, and of course there was very little to blog about! I basically became a couch/desk potato. But a really stressed one.

In today’s blog I am going to talk about how I react to the pressure of exams and I am going to be brutally honest, I get pretty worked up.

STAYING ON TOP OF THINGS
  • Having sat GCSE’s, A Levels and First Year University exams, I can definitely see a pattern in the way I react. I can get quite a stress head and, honestly, melt downs are inevitable. If anything, I think it’s kind of healthy to have a panic sometimes. It sort of forces me to talk to people about how much work I have and how I feel, but also makes me put a plan in place.
  • With my closest friends at University, I have also discovered that this is not unusual- which is always reassuring. I know for sure that they have had a funny five, where everything seems too much. So talking to friends definitely helps, because half the time they feel just as unprepared for exams or assessments as you do!
  • I have to have down time. Some of my friends can work from the minute they get up, to the minute they fall asleep- not me! I like to go to the gym, talk to people and if I can I’ll avoid having lunch on my own. University during exam season, especially when you live off of campus, can be quite lonely. So making sure I had human contact at least once a day was really important to me.
TAKING BACK CONTROL
  • During exams, I often end up feeling like I don’t have my crap together, which is really not a good way to feel. So I like to take back control of aspects of my life- it’s a control strategy.
  • I like to pamper myself, I will work until an hour before bed (unless I am hella stressed) and will paint my nails, fake tan or do something simple like shave my legs! Then when I wake up the next day, even if my work load seems impossible, I look like I’ve got control.
  • Also- everyone else thinks you have your crap together too!

IMG_2478

How my body reacts
  • This sounds like such a weird subtitle but actually I notice several differences in myself when I am under pressure.
  • I had a massive break out during my exam period, which was mega frustrating, but on the bright side- I became a social recluse so I could walk around bare faced and let my face sort itself out most days without feeling self-conscious. I found that the Clinique products, in particular the face foam, was really good at countering this face explosion of yuck.
  • Carrying a few more pounds. It’s never nice feeling chubba during exams (or afterwards!), but I had to prioritise and revision took precedent. I just tried to go to the gym or for a run at least three times a week and tried not to give into my inner Revision Pig. Let’s face it we all have bad days, where you eat what you shouldn’t and kick yourself afterwards. But sometimes you need it!

IMG_2474 (2)

Things just sometimes go wrong… and you just have to deal with it!
  • My laptop got run over… This was potentially the low point of 2017. Or University! I am going to cut a long story short here, but basically my laptop was left propped against a fence at the back of my house while I was moving out. And not in the boot with the rest of my belongings. Then I assume someone picked it up and attempted to get into it, gave up and threw it in the middle of the road with my chargers. Even writing this the butterflies and sense of panic are coming back- it was awful. What’s worse is I didn’t even realise. For over 24 hours. Until my flat mate text me saying that someone turned up at the front door with my beaten up laptop. Luckily, minimal damage has happened but boy did I feel terrible (and completely stupid). Despite the smashed up chargers and dented laptop, it did, and does, function, but definitely needs to be sent off for repairs. Low point of University for sure. And biggest ‘blonde moment’ to date.
  • My spinny chair- a far less significant incident, but nonetheless a right pain in the butt. Two of the wheels on my spinny chair fell off right in the middle of revision, which despite improving my core muscles, was not cool. I tried to twizzle them back on, but the majority of revision took place while balancing on the remaining three wheel. Sh*t happens.

IMG_2471 (2)

Hay fever + Exams = Hives on face.
  • The night before my toughest exam, I got very worked up about how little I felt I knew and was freaking out about how important the exam was. Once again, long story short, the mixture of hayfever and stress led to me calling my Mum (who obviously would know what to do) at 11pm to work out what had set it off. We came to the conclusion that it was merely hayfever and stress, but it was proper unnerving to look at. I even woke up with hives the next morning, so went to the exam looking like I’d been poking a wasps nest.

I think the underlying theme here is: stress is not pretty. But usually its short lived and you have to manage it the best you can.

So that’s my exam period experience- everyone’s is unique, but most people will agree, it’s never fun!

 

Exams and Plans – with a side of Goose Drama!

Hi everyone!

Once again- I’ve been drowning in University work recently, but hey- it’s not for much longer and I have already submitted 50% of my Second Year!

I never know if this is of interest to anyone, so feel free to skip this bit! But here are my essay titles for the modules I have chosen to do this year. Each essay is 4,500 words and altogether it makes up half of my second year grade 🙂

  1. How did attitudes towards exercise and women’s health change between 1880- 1920? (Module: From Cradle to Grave: Health, Medicine and Society in Modern Britain)
  2. How did Nicholas II try to legitimise his rule and why did he fail? (Module: Nation and Memory in Russia, Poland and Ukraine, 1800-Present)
  3. Why were Radical Politics and Radical Religion so appealing in the period between 1630-1660? (Module: Social History of England, 1500-1700)

If I’m honest it was a bit like this:

submitting an essay

But they are gone! I can do nothing about it so now I am non-stop revising. I am currently in a revision break actually! All the seminars and lectures are done, and so have found an empty lecture theatre and are working in it. We have been here since 6pm  and I have done a fair amount, so I am allowing myself to do some blogging- which I love doing and have really missed. But this summer is going to be so much fun and I have so many plans, and lots to blog about.

I am going on a Cruise around the Baltic with Jack- which is going to be great (but money-wise: completely crippling!), I am looking at raising some money through selling cakes (which I will most definitely be blogging about and sharing my favourite recipes- I love, love, love to bake!), I have organised a weekend away to London for Jack’s birthday and I am doing self-defense classes with my sister. These are just a few of my plans and I know it’s going to be one of the best summers EVER.

That’s basically  my motivation at the moment. Once I’ve finished my exams (19th June) I am free!

The Past Week: 

In the last 7 days I have been mostly revising- thrilling stuff! And spending time on campus. I don’t know if this is a problem specific to Warwick, but it seems like you either have to get up mega early, or there are NO seats. Which is not good. I mean, a seat is central to revision, let’s face it.

So I’ve been on campus nice and early nabbing those seats.

Despite the last few days being , cloudy, wet and windy, campus has been really pretty recently. I’ll put a few photos in here:

As you can see, there have been ducklings running around too! They’re completely adorable. However, the geese are INSANE. They’re mega sassy at the moment. So we take pictures from afar, hence the quality of the picture of the duckling. There is so much more to this story and I am going to post about these crazy swans and geese that have actually made it to the news!

I also drink a lot of tea at the moment. A lot.

Most of the time I do this drinking of tea in the campus tea room Curiositea:

love those big armchairs so much! They’re right in the corner of the tea room, tucked away. While I was finishing my final essay last week, I ended up wondering how many other people have sat in this chair. I mean look at it- clearly a lot! But I was thinking, I was sat in the chair, casually freaking out about a deadline. But I’ve been to Curiositea probably more than anywhere else on campus and it’s been to catch up at the start of a year with my friends, or to have lunch, to celebrate a deadline being completed, I’ve sat with my family in Curiositea and I’ve said goodbye at the end of the year there. Weirdly enough, I found it kind of comforting that the chair might have witnessed hundreds of people (not butts- that’s weird) being mega stressed out.

Today 

Today was really rainy. And miserable, but super productive! And I even took some pictures of campus and my boots!

 

I really hope to keep the blogging to weekly! And I promise I will be uploading far more regularly over the summer!

 

 

 

 

University Pet Peeves

Like most people, there are some things I just cannot stand. Here are a few of them:

  1. When people steal your milk.
  2. When people don’t put the bins out and your house smells like a bag of wotsits.
  3. When people use my tea towel- and never knowing what they used it for…
  4. Driving around every single car park on campus, hoping someone is leaving. Maybe this is a Warwick thing?
  5. Leaving tupperware out on the side, sealed, with food in it. (Despite it being a kind of weirdly interesting science experiment- it’s still completely gross)
  6. Not knowing what to order when you reach the front of the queue.
  7. Alcohol thieves- it’s even worse than milk.
  8. Super loud conversations in the library.
  9. When people don’t wear deodorant.
  10. People hogging the sandwich section of the shop, especially when I’m hungry. Or hangry, depending on how long I’ve been waiting.
  11. People refusing to move their bags on the bus.
  12. Using all the loo roll and not replacing it.
  13. When clothes are left in the washing machine for hours after its finished- like those clothes are going to stink now anyway.
  14. Not knowing what and when bills have to be paid aka TV licence.
  15. Slow walkers- I have a genuine belief that pavements should be split into a ‘trying-to -get-somewhere’ lane and a ‘dordling-through-life’ lane.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Article Got Published in a Magazine!

About a month ago, I entered a competition to have my work published in a Warwick University Law Magazine: Obiter Dicta, in their lifestyle section: ‘Chill Zone’. It has now been published in the Winter Edition and I will have more opportunities to publish my work. I am pretty excited! Here is my work 🙂

University Realities – What you weren’t told about before coming to Warwick

University life isn’t always what we expect it to be, and some things can only be learned by experiencing them first-hand. Here a few Warwick uni experiences to be warned about for unsuspecting freshers and tips to help you make the most of your time in the Bubble.

‘Adult-ing isn’t easy’

One of my favourite quotes is that being at ‘University is like losing your Mum in a supermarket for three years’- and this is so true. It’s undeniable that University is one of the biggest learning curves. Before I started at Warwick, I knew nothing about bills, washing machines or even how expensive it is to buy fruit. But it’s certainly a giggle figuring these things out- once you’ve put a red sock in the white wash, you probably won’t do it again. But hey, pink is the new white. Likewise, with the buses you only put a ten pound note into the money-sucker once before realising they don’t give change.

‘Who took my milk?’

I sometimes wonder what it would be like to set up hidden cameras in University kitchens, I really do think it would be like Big Brother. Living with a group of people, from a range of backgrounds, with a variety of personalities, can be unbelievably fun, but equally challenging. Being a student is very much like being a detective- who took my milk? Who left the kitchen unlocked? Who’s that sleeping on our kitchen table?

‘I like going home and picking up a tea towel, knowing I won’t catch a disease’

One of my top tips to any Fresher is to befriend the cleaner. Nagging your flat to keep the kitchen tidy, in fear of a fine, is the bane of any Fresher’s life. Last year I had a friend over to visit, had just cooked a typical University meal (probably potato waffles) and was starting the washing up. After a few weeks at University you adapt to the environment, for example you never lean on a kitchen surface, unless you, personally, have cleaned it. Less than 5 minutes prior. My friend, with good intentions of course, picked up a random tea towel from the side and started drying my plates. I don’t like to think what was being smeared over my undeserving tableware. Another University hack is never to venture out your room without some form of shoe or slipper- it’s not worth the risk.

‘Student Union + Sticky Floors = Trainers’

In my first year I went shopping for the perfect Freshers outfits and the best shoes. By term two, I was wearing trainers to go clubbing. The Copper Rooms are perfect for singing to cheesy music, being dragged into mosh pits, making friends in toilets and ultimately getting your footwear covered in some sort of sticky substance that eternally swamps the floor. In a way, it’s a beautiful thing- no need to worry about blisters from 5 inch heels, people jumping on your feet is blooming irritating, but not excruciating, plus there is no need to take your shoes off on the walk home.

‘University Food Favourites’

Cooking for one is pretty limiting and, having come to University with several Cook Books I hoped to use, it is quite easy to fall into eating unhealthy and convenient foods. During my first year, I found a few ways to make maintaining a healthy lifestyle easier. One thing that surprised me was the expense of fruit and vegetables, which is an immediate deterrent to eating healthier- but persevere, there are ways around this!

Firstly, I found that cooking a decent meal for one is difficult and time consuming when you have deadlines and general university pressures. I found that making food in bulk is a good idea, which means you need loads of Tupperware. Examples of foods to make in bulk include; spaghetti, chilli con carne and breakfast muffins. Breakfast muffins are a particular favourite of mine, once they have all cooled out of the oven, put them into plastic bags individually and put them in the freezer. Then, when you are rushing to get out the door, put one in the microwave for a minute and eat it on the go. Top tip- careful, berries can explode if they’re microwaved for too long!

Secondly, after a long day, I just want to eat. I’m not fussed with faffing around. So I love the weight watchers meals, they take a maximum of 8 minutes in the microwave and are truly delicious. There are lots of variations such as; Thai green curry, sweet and sour with rice, risotto, carbonara, tikka masala and salmon with potato wedges.

I have never been a breakfast-lover, and at University, there is so much temptation to skip the meal, but it really isn’t worth the embarrassment of a tummy rumble in a lecture theatre. So, I make sure I buy the pots of fruit from the Supermarket, often there is an offer and they are so convenient to make porridge or Weetabix that bit more exciting. Likewise, I had never tried avocado either. Now, I would have half an avocado on toast for breakfast every day if I could. I even have them as a snack (they’re even better with Nandos piri-piri salt on top). It is just about what is best for you and your diet.

Finally, I absolutely love the phone app Life Sum: I never particularly liked calorie counting but nothing was working and it is hard to keep up a diet when you’re at University and on a budget. With this, I try to avoid lactose and gluten, which makes the diets even more difficult to follow. So LifeSum really does make me feel more in control of my diet, and is really flexible with the foods I can and can’t eat- I eat what suits me, unlike strict diets that give you recipes for each day. I don’t feel like I am constantly thinking about what I am eating, but I feel like I have a plan that is sustainable.

Skool Dayz

Hello!

Every term Warwick University hold an event called “Skool Dayz”, where you dress like school kids and dance to school disco songs.

As someone that has particularly outdated music taste- this is my cup of tea! Put me in a club playing busted, mcfly, Blink-182, Fatboyslim, spice girls and Robbie Williams and I am in my element.

We had predrinks at Jack’s University halls, as it was an SU event, then headed over to the copper rooms.

It lived up to its typical warwick university night expectations:

  1. Drama- a group of girls got in a trolley and tried to mount a curb… was never going to end well. The University Security team, first aiders and an ambulance later- turns out they had just had that little bit too much to drink.
  2. I made a friend in the loo- I always love this, she complimented my eye liner, I complimented her outfit and I’m pretty certain she won’t remember the conversation.
  3. Overpriced drinks- but that’s why you budget!
  4. Sticky dance floors.
  5. Grumpy bouncers.

If you enjoyed reading this, or want to read more, please like and follow!

Bee xoxo

Halloween!

Undoubtedly one of the best things about University are the events and this year was awesome. Hannah and I decided that instead of spending money on an outfit, we would invest time on our makeup: it’s so easy to get all Halloween-y and spend very little! Our local shop is Asda and they actually have some really good face painting kits and loads of variety. We looked at vampire kits, cats, zombies, clowns, witches and Frankensteins, but we decided on being an alien and a fallen angel. I cannot express how much fun it was! I loved it. The alien kit contained the paints, some gems, some stick on tattoos (that reminded me of being a kid!) and a little sponge to apply it. My boyfriend, Jack, decided to go as the Joker, and Hannah’s boyfriend, Charlie went as a zombie- and they looked fantastic. I shall make sure to upload a photo!

Observations:

  • Taxis are bloomin’ expensive- we spent £50!
  • When it comes to Hannah and I… Sours are lethal.
  • Fake blood tastes gross.
  • Taking these child-like tattoos off resulted in half my eye brow coming off with it.
  • Asda is pretty damn awesome at Halloween.
  • Enchiladas are great before a night out.
  • I love the Student Union’s cheesy playlists.

 

How I manage stress.

No matter which degree you do, there is always going to be some sort of deadline and ultimately pressure! Likewise, there is shed loads of pressure in school, college and everyday life, so I am going to show you how I manage my work load.

Side Note: I am a real worrier, I would worry about worrying if I could. Everyone deals with pressure differently, I personally go from being OK and feeling in control of my life one day, to feeling like I am drowning in work and there is nothing I can do about it. So throughout the last few years, I’ve picked up ways to avoid the intense stress.

Organisation

  • Clear Desk: even if it’s just before bed you do a quick sweep of the desk, organise paperwork, put things in their place and set up so that you can start fresh tomorrow.
  • Desk Organisers: this just makes your life easier: pots, boxes, files etc.
  • Lists: revision timetables were never really my thing, but having a list of priorities always keeps me on track.

Find a place you are comfortable working.

  • Having lived in Halls of Residence, it’s fair to say you don’t get peace and quiet all the time. I personally found that it was easier to walk to a study space and do my work there. Nobody cares if you’re in your pyjamas or even bring your slippers! Universities are usually pretty good at providing lots of study areas for Students- make the most of them.
  • If you don’t have this option (like me now that I am off of campus) then make sure you use your time wisely. It’s common knowledge University students don’t get up early, so I make the most of this, and start my work at 7am, when the house is quietest. Yes, it’s early, but if you smash an essay, it’s so worth it.

Set up Camp.

  • Whenever you are ready to work, you do it. If you get a sudden urge to write, seize the moment. Sometimes I’m just not tired and for some random reason feel buzzed- I start writing or planning. It doesn’t matter when you complete tasks as long and you get enough sleep.
  • When I know I am going to be sat at my desk for a long period of time, I make sure I am ready for it.
  • First stop- Coffee. I allow myself one every 30 to 40 minutes- that’s my revision break.
  • A snack, in case I get the munchies.
  • My paperwork and notes neatly stacked around me.
  • Be comfortable, have a shower, feel clean and fresh and put some pyjamas on.

Have realistic targets.

  • I make sure I aim to achieve something and work until I do- but be realistic.

Do things for yourself.

  • Facemasks: I personally love the L’Oreal clay masks at the moment.
  • Paint your nails.
  • Retail therapy.
  • A coffee with friends- particularly friends who are equally stressed, then you off load and feel much better.
  • Eat GOOD food. From experience pot noodles are not the best for brain power, cook something, take half an hour to make a pasta dish, or put some chicken goujons in the oven.

Email people who can help you.

  • Whether that’s mentors, tutors, teachers, bosses- even just to clarify something minor, if it means you feel good about what you’re writing its worth it.

Sleep.

  • Just means you don’t zombie your way through the essay.