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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

 

 

 

 

Gluten-Free Banana Pancakes!

With my holiday to Portugal in two weeks time, I am starting to think that I should do a last minute health surge to (hopefully!) make me feel that little bit better in a bikini! I wouldn’t necessarily use the word ‘detox’, but I am definitely trying to avoid foods that will make me bloat, and am trying to eat as much fruit and veg as I can. I have never had the flattest of bellies, and I try to do sport as much as I can, but I can confirm that I notice a big difference if I cut out all wheat and limit the amount of dairy (or lacto-free dairy) in take I have. Downside: this can make me a lil grumpy.

So this morning I thought I would try some Banana Pancakes- I had heard of them before and thought I would give them a go- and they were pretty damn good!

Banana Pancakes: 

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Serves 2 people: makes 4 pancakes- don’t worry they’re pretty filling!

Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 2 large eggs
  • A pinch of baking soda
  • A dash of vanilla essence
  • Oil- I used olive oil

Method 

Beat the eggs in one bowl and mash the banana in another. Make sure the banana is pretty well mashed, more of a paste. Then mix the banana with the eggs and add the vanilla and a pinch of baking soda. Mix it all together and you have your pancake batter.

I always seem to add too much oil so today I brushed it onto the pan, so I had a thin coat of oil on the pan. Heat the pan on a medium heat. When the pan is nice and hot, spoon out enough mixture for two pancakes- so half the batter.

Leave them to cook for one to two minutes on each side, and then flip them. Once they’re done, put them to one side and do the other two. Remember to add another coat of oil on the pan, and remove any burnt or excess pancake from the last lot- burnt pancake can smell pretty gross.

Then enjoy with whatever toppings you like, or even plain! They’re pretty sweet due to the banana and the vanilla.

Here are a few of my favourite toppings: 

  • Cinnamon and sugar sprinkled over the top.
  • Honey, maple syrup or golden syrup- depending on how healthy I am feeling.
  • Nutella- for my cheat/treat days!
  • Caramelised apple with cinnamon- I have blogged about these before and OMG they taste insane, however do contain a bit of sugar, so probably not the healthiest option.
  • Lemon or orange and sugar.
  • Chopped fruit- strawberries and raspberries are the bees knees on pancakes.
  • Yoghurt- I have lacto-free yoghurts, or soya yoghurts, but my favourite is the strawberry flavoured.

I hope you love these as much as I do- kick start your day with a healthy, non-bloaty breakfast and experiment with your toppings.

Bee xoxo

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Little Life Update

Hi everyone!

I feel as though I haven’t posted anything on here for ages, but the last two weeks have been the hardest of my entire University experience.With a History Degree, it’s kind of expected to feel as though the deadlines are never ending- 50% of the course is based on coursework. But crikey, the last fortnight has been slightly hellish/ very hellish.

But today I submitted my first Essay that counts towards my degree- a whopping 4,500 words of complete desperation. Who cares if five minutes before the electronic deadline I realised the referencing was wrong? Pfft, not me! (Slight lie, this was only after crying and realising there was nothing I could do about it.)

Seriously though, I am in a weird limbo at the moment, having gone from mega stress to kind of nothing to do. So I have filled my time with fake tan, nail polish and YouTube- oh and street food and coffee!

I always find that around stressful parts of term, life in general likes to give me a hard time too.

  1. Formative Essay Feedback- one of my lecturers gave me my essay feedback in German. I don’t know much German. The best I can do is ask to take my blazor off, or tell someone I own a dog.
  2. No Hairbrush– this is kind of pathetic, but proves I am pretty lucky to have a boyfriend like Jack. So, just to set the scene, it’s 2 am, I’m making some last minute touches to my essay aka writing a conclusion. And I had just got out of the shower. I look in my overnight bag and I have no hair brush. Naturally, this was the end of the world. Jack then pulled out this tiny little comb and starts brushing my hair while I write the conclusion- it took roughly 20 minutes to get my hair knot free.
  3. Sitting on ink in my favourite coat– need I say more?

However, it is not all doom and gloom- as shown by the pictures of Leamington Spa that I took last weekend, while taking a walk with Jack. It was actually a really nice day, we had cake and tea, and watched the geese and mallards in the pond. While sat on a little bench. I promise it was more exciting than that sounds!

It was kind of fun watching the Mallards trying to woo the lady Mallards- those ducks get sassy.

I am officially done for Term 2 of my 2nd year at Warwick University and I am so, so happy to be going home for Easter in just 2 days.

 

 

 

What I want to achieve in my 20th year on Earth!

Hi guys,

I have been pretty absent recently, but plan to reboot this blog and start writing more frequently again. I’m certainly not making excuses, but Second Year of University is proving to be pretty challenging… really, really challenging actually!

I often make New Years Resolutions but never seem to stick to them and just end up feeling rubbish by the next New Year when I realise I’ve not achieved the goals I wanted. But I have been thinking and a lot of New Years Resolutions are about taking away or stopping things, so I am going to try to make a list of 5 things I want to add to my 20th year on Earth. I have recently turned 20 and aim to fulfill these resolutions by 21.

So onto the Resolutions!

  1. Make the most of University– I worked out I’m over half way through my Degree and by my 21st birthday I’ll be in my final year! At the moment I am pretty overwhelmed with work, both University, blogging or magazine articles and working out what I’m actually doing with this degree- and I feel like sometimes I need to take a breather. So my goal is: go out for more coffees, go to as many Student Union Events as I can, take part in Puppy De-Stress Days (because why the hell not?) and fun memories.
  2. Make more friends– I have so many people that I see on a regular basis but never seem to go out for coffee with them, or organise to meet up outside of a Seminar.
  3. Take more photos. Capture the special moments in my life.
  4. Be happier with me. This is a pretty standard one: ‘get fitter’etc, but I’m more concerned with feeling good in my own skin. Maybe that means I need to buy more clothes that make me feel good? Or maybe eat a few less cakes… and crisps.
  5. Commit to my Blog and start a Vlog... This is the one I’ve wanted to do for the longest but have never had the guts. I’m pretty rubbish at sitting down and writing everything that happens in the day, but actually I like to think my life is pretty interesting, and I’ve got a pretty exciting year ahead of me. So I’m going to give it a go this year.

I hope you enjoyed reading this!

Bee

xoxox

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.