15 Reasons I Am Happy Today

15 Reasons I Am Happy Today

Recently, I have been in a bit of a funk.

There is so much to be said for being happy. I can complain as much as the next girl, but there is nothing better than being content. Sometimes I find it really hard to be positive and it can feel like things just go wrong- All. The. Time. With University strikes, my third and final year coming to an end and what feels like mountains of work- I’ve just been feeling a little bit naff. But like I said, this is just a funk. A temporary blip to look back on and think ‘thank goodness- I made it’.

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So today I wrote a list of 15 things that make me happy. Despite all the crappiness.

  1. Right now, I am sat at my desk, with a coffee. For which I am eternally grateful. It is the fuel in my engine and the source of my procaffeinating.
  2. My friends. I have just got back from a trip to Reading to see my cousin, Jess, and I realised just how much I love her. Friends end up being rocks without knowing it sometimes. My little group chat was buzzing away today, and I was reminded of how much I love our little conversations.
  3. Living so close to Leamington Spa Parade. I didn’t really consider Leamington Spa in my choosing of Warwick as my University of choice but it turns out it was a pretty good shout considering that its littered with coffee shops (literally every other shop). I am grateful for these coffee shops providing my flat-mate, Hannah, and I with the opportunity to escape from the flat and drink coffee (and inevitably window shop).
  4. I am loving eye liner at the moment. Feeling stressed can make me feel totally yuck. But I’ve found that putting on eyeliner every morning has really given me a boost. Essentially, I feel like crap, but at a glance, look somewhat put together!3
  5. My boyfriend. He’s pretty damn awesome and puts up with a lot. He buys me pasta, shares my love of skittles, and watches Netflix with me. I’m grateful we’re both going through University together. His constant motivation I find both baffling and inspiring.
  6. My dissertation is getting better. I’m writing it. I’m starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
  7. The lady in Costa who forever showers me in compliments and I don’t think she quite realises how much it cheers me up. I want to get her a little gift before I leave University for being such a gem. She does the same to my friend Hannah too. Maybe that contributes to my visiting Costa quite so often! 2
  8. Brunch. The invention of it. I love it. I love Bills. If it’s pancakes or something remotely avocado, I’m good with it.
  9. Floaty trousers. I’ve been feeling somewhat potato-like recently. A little bit circular-like, and sort of ugly. It’s probably the snacks and lack of movement from my desk. But floaty trousers have been a God-send. They make me feel less podgy and a little bit stylish!
  10. James Blunt. Recently, I’ve been listening to him (and Nina Simone) non-stop.
  11. Having said that Taylor Swift has made the car journeys with Hannah one hell of a throw back to my teenage years. Which I love. There is something fantastic about singing at the top of your lungs in the car with one of your best friends.4
  12. Colourful clothes. In these Dark Times (which I feel is a totally appropriately name for these Strike-ridden days/weeks/months) make me a lot chirpier. I feel more alive. Which sounds so dramatic.
  13. The weather. It’s much warmer since the snow melted (pfft surprising that!) and I like it. Sat on the train today, directly in the sun, made me desperately want to be on a beach holiday, with a pina colada in one hand and a crappy magazine in the other.
  14. Cornwall. I am off on a little adventure with my family (and my dogs) and I cannot wait. I’m excited to relax, play board games- and maybe even read a book!
  15. Netflix. Hannah and I have really got into all things murder mystery and CSI on Netflix recently- if you fancy something easy to watch and to cool down to in the evening I highly recommend the documentaries section on Netflix! We mostly natter and drink tea together, but I love it.
Defining Moments

Defining Moments

This blog post was inspired by Natalie Leanne’s Blog Post that I read on the train journey home the other day. I’m super nosy and love learning more about people. Natalie’s Blog is so open and just so relatable- I highly recommend checking her blog out (natalieleanne.com).

On that note, I am going to share some of my defining moments in life and hope that others can relate!

Defining Moment Number 1: University. Seems pretty straight forward, but actually this was a defining moment for me in a way I totally didn’t anticipate. My first year of university I found really tough, and I know I’m not alone in this. I just felt so alone. I missed home, my family, my friends and my boyfriend. Plus I didn’t “click” with my Flat as much as I had hoped. My first year of university was a defining moment because it taught me so much about myself. I realised I am OK on my own, completely capable, but I wanted to be around people. I spent so much time alone, that now I try to make plans all the time, so I’m not. I almost exhausted my own company. Having said that, being alone doesn’t scare me as it used to. University also taught me to be independent. I didn’t automatically have those “life-long” friends from uni in my Halls, so I became that person who walks up and introduces themselves, asked if people to wanted to grab a coffee after lectures or meet up later on. This was SO out of my comfort zone, but I knew I didn’t want to feel isolated, so I did my best to make lots of friends. It actually worked and I met my two best University friends through having that little bit of extra courage. I came to the conclusion that being overly friendly isn’t a bad thing, that if all people can say about me is “she’s overly friendly” then I’m 100% OK with that. My initial sense of isolation and home sickness actually just pushed me to question myself, ask me who I wanted to be. Lonely wasn’t on my list, and friendless wasn’t either. So I forced myself out of my comfort zone. I still do this now. I have an added confidence in the fact that I’m a good human being. And if anything I’m more aware of other people’s feelings because of my experience.

(My University best friends, the ones I forced myself upon and have absolutely no regrets about!!!)

Defining Moment Number 2: is a rather random one. I can’t remember where we were when I heard it for the first time but I watched “We Bought a Zoo” a few years ago and the phrase “all you need is 10 seconds of courage” popped up. And since then it’s stuck with me. Through the difficulties at Uni, I would convince myself that all I needed was 10 seconds of courage. Once you’ve said “hi” that’s the hard bit out of the way. I used it for my first job at 15/16, in a huge store with loads of people I didn’t know. It helped me with handing in CVs (and resignations), with interviews, and dealing with situations I wasn’t comfortable in. 10 seconds, and it’s done. No take backs, just dealing with the consequences.

Defining Moment Number 3 is a little bit different. During my Freshers week I experienced something that a lot of women unfortunately experience in clubs. I had gone out with my flat and it was my first night of Freshers week. This experience really knocked my confidence. But it also proved to me that I knew what was and was not OK. And I like to think it’s made me a stronger person. I am very conscious in clubs, I’m constantly aware of my surroundings and actually find it quite hard to let my hair down and enjoy myself if I’m not with Jack. But it made me realise my worth. This is my body. I think recognising your worth, your value as a human being, is so important to a happy life. I genuinely believe I can do anything I want if I put my mind to it. I know I am as good as any man. This experience simply raised the question: are you ok with this? And the answer was hell no.

(This is a picture of Jack and I, in 2015, 1 week after Freshers. My family and him came to visit, and they were my rock!)

Of course I still have my insecurities, I most definitely have my (weekly/daily!) wobbles. But I would say that, now, I am confident in myself, as a person. I try hard to be the best version of myself.

I hope you enjoyed reading today’s blog.

What are your Defining Moments? Have you experience something similar to me? Let me know in the comments!

Bee xoxo

Top Ten Beauty Hacks

Top Ten Beauty Hacks

Hello everybody!

Today I am talking about my top ten beauty hacks that I use! I hope you enjoy!

1) Fixing smudged nail varnish

There is nothing worse than doing your nails and then catching them on something, putting a mighty finger print on it or fluff getting stuck on them. So I figured out this trick a few years ago and have been doing it ever since. When the nail varnish is tacky, but no longer wet, you can (and this is going to sound super weird) lick the nail varnish. You can flatten and smooth out any marks and nobody would even know you smudged your nails. Top tip: make sure it’s not still wet though, because that just tastes gross.

2) Having that big eye look.

Use a white eye-liner on your waterline to give your eyes a pop.

3) Keeping your lips healthy and looking pumped. 

carmex.jpg

I use the Carmex Lipbalm before I use any lipstick or lip gloss- it plumps up your lips and they never dry out. This works with matte lipsticks aswell.

4) Getting the perfect lip line. 

I intentionally brush the remnants of foundation from my brush over my lips, this means that when I apply my lipliner and lip stick I have a lighter base tone. This also helps because I always find that the skin around my lips can look a little pinker than other areas on my face.

5) When you buy the wrong shade foundation

I am the queen of mixing foudations. Sometimes it’s simply because I’m stingy, and other times it’s because I like the qualities of both foundations. If I want a full coverage look, but I perhaps haven’t tanned for a while, I will add a lighter shade of a different brand of foundation to the darker, full coverage one. This way I get the full coverage, but avoid the big orange line that no girl wants! This also works with foundations that you buy after holiday, when you’re that shade darker.

I personally use Rimmel Lasting Finish Foundation in the shade True Ivory (which was perfect after my holiday and is a total coverage foundations) and combine it with my L’Oreal Paris Colour Match Foundation in the shade 1N (which is more accurate now!).

6) Soap and Glory Wonderbronze Shimmer Brick

bronzer

This is one of the best products I have ever got. If I’m in a rush, I’ll use it as a bronzer, an eye shadow and will pick out the lighter tones (with a different brush) and use it for highlight as well. It also gives a lovely sun-tint that I always feel I’m lacking in the colder seasons. It’s a constant in my handbag for those moments I want to touch up my makeup!

7) Find that perfect lip colour- Tanya Burr, Pink Cocoa

pink cocoa

I searched for ages trying to find a lip stick that was just the right shade. I wanted one that I didn’t need to line my lips with and was a shade darker than my natural lip colour. This, for me, is Tanya Burr’s: Pink Cocoa, it’s so perfect and I can whack it out when I’m out and about to give my lips a little more colour but still look natural.

8) Give yourself a healing foot treatment while you sleep

Sometimes it’s nice to pamper yourself, but feet never seem to be at the top of my ‘pamper yo-self’ routine. I like to cover my feet in a thick moisturiser and go to bed with socks on- they feel like heaven the next day!

9) Spots vs. tooth paste/ sudocrem

If ever I am out at a friends and haven’t brought over my night time face routine with me (or even if I am super tired) I use tooth paste or sudocrem. Stupid though I may look, my spot’s are not going to be as aggravated the next day!

10) Run out of dry shampoo? Baby powder. 

I am blond, so maybe it works better on lighter hair, but this trick is legit! It works and lets face it, baby powder smells nice too. Double bonus.

These tricks are all ones that I use myself! I hope they are helpful!

Bee xoxox

 

NOT HAVING A PLAN (& BEING OK WITH IT)

NOT HAVING A PLAN (& BEING OK WITH IT)

Hello everybody!

I am in my final year of my degree and I have no idea where I will be in 5 years time. And I am learning to embrace this.

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Here are the my thoughts:

UNTIL NOW MY LIFE HAS BEEN METICULOUSLY PLANNED

Since the age of four, there has been an obvious ‘next step’. In Britain you move from  Reception, to Year One. Primary school to Secondary school. Secondary school to College. Even University can seem ‘expected’ of teenagers today.

The question: “Where will I be in 5 years?” is one that can be quite daunting. It almost requires commitment. To a lifestyle, a career, a destination or specific people. When, in actual fact, you don’t need to commit to anything.

KNOWING ALL THE ANSWERS- WHERE’S THE FUN IN  THAT?

“What are your plans after Uni?” or “What are you going to do with your degree?” are two questions Graduates are frequently asked. And frequently don’t know the answer to.

But, why is it so important to know the answer?

  1. Fear of disappointment. Nobody wants to be a ‘flop’. But question what your idea of ‘success’ is. For me, success is to be happy.
  2. Money. Spending over £30,000 on University education is far too much money to ‘throw away’. There is a lot of pressure to make sure you don’t ‘waste’ your degree.

There is almost a sense of sophistication in having a plan, but remember to do what YOU want to do.

5 YEARS FROM NOW

Where you will be in five years is just an estimated guess. People grow. People change. And you will continue to.

Embrace this, who knows how many adventures and successes the next five years will hold. Dream big.

Isn’t part of the fun NOT knowing?

MY FUTURE

I hope to be a better version of myself. To be happy in my career. To be a strong woman. To be well traveled, with piles of memories to go with it. I want to be genuinely satisfied with my life. I like the idea of constantly setting new goals, overcoming obstacles and grasping every opportunity.

 

It’s actually a wonderful feeling- a sort of freedom. You could be a number of things. The world is quite literally your oyster.

Bee xoxo

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Let’s Talk Home Sickness

Let’s Talk Home Sickness

Hi everybody!

Have you ever been to a place you’re supposed to love, but all you can think about is home?

Yes. I certainly felt homesick in my first year of University (and occasionally I still do). Today’s blog I am going to talk about why I felt homesick and how I overcame it.

Why I felt Homesick: 

Here, I am going to quote Winnie the Pooh. Sounds silly, but he was a clever little bear.

‘How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard’

My situation going to University was slightly different to others as I had a boyfriend who was staying on at my college for another year, Jack. We had, at this point, been together for 1 year. A bunch of really helpful (completely ignorant) people had told me they didn’t expect us to last the year apart.  All those little comments really stuck in head. When you’re anxious about moving out or moving away from your family, comments like this can add to your worries.  The first few weeks of University were hard on the relationship, but I was really lucky, he put in as much effort as I did and everything worked out brilliantly. I missed him a lot, and through the struggles I experienced in Freshers, he was there every step of the way. I missed seeing him every day, which I had done for a whole year. And just as a heads up, Jack and I did last, and it made us stronger. Long distance relationships are tough- but totally do-able.

The equally huge change for me was moving away from my family. My parents have always encouraged me to do my best and so I never felt like they didn’t want me to go. I knew they were proud of me. But sometimes feeling like expressing how you feel (AKA: homesick) makes you worry that people will be disappointed. Give yourself a little slap on the hand if you feel like this. If you feel homesick, you tell someone. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. There were countless nights I couldn’t sleep because I felt alone, or isolated. And you’re not. People get it, and chances are- they have experienced it.

During my very first Freshers event I had a really horrible experience and it kind of put me off. I was never much of a drinker or clubber before University, another thing that added to my pre-uni worries. I won’t go into details, but I left the club early, on my own and ran back to the student accommodation. Maybe it took me by surprise more because I had been clubbing a handful of times prior to University, so I wasn’t used to the sort of men that feel they have the right to grab you etc. The experience really shook me up. And this is a top top top tip- call someone. Even if it is 2am. I called my cousin, who was also having Freshers events that night, and at 2am she calmed me down and made me feel that little bit less alone.

After that I felt homesick because I was embarrassed about what had happened. I didn’t trust people in clubs. I felt homesick because the socialising at Freshers’ events put me on edge. I found Freshers hard, basically because I didn’t enjoy the night-time events after that and I didn’t feel that the people I was going out with had my back. During First Year, I didn’t really mix with my Flat at all.

I missed my little town bubble from home, with my lifelong friends and my parents and my little sister.

So- How did I change this? 

  1. I got Skype. I called my parents and Jack almost every day in first year. Am I embarrassed- hell no. I did what I needed to, to feel better. I didn’t feel lonely anymore.
  2. I made my room ‘My Space’- I got a hot water bottle, I got myself a tray (so I could eat while I skyped!) and I made sure I had little bits of home dotted around.
  3. I made sure I saved the money to come home more.
  4. I got myself some good friends- this takes time, but all you need is 10 seconds of courage. Sometimes people feel like a noob walking up to people and introducing themselves. But be real, whats the worse that’s going to happen? You’ll be labelled as ‘too nice’ or ‘overly friendly’. 10 seconds of courage. Once you have introduced yourself to people you will feel SO much better. Remember, in Fresher’s everyone is trying to make friends, so strike while the irons hot! I met my two bestest friends during Freshers- but I didn’t live with them.
  5. I sort of ‘forced’ myself into other social groups. I basically adopted my friends Flat, who were a little bit more like me. I then lived with them second year.
  6. I grew in self-confidence- I am a nice person. I am a good person. People do like me. I didn’t want my sense of loneliness to make me feel like there was something wrong with me.
  7. I spoke to people about it- don’t be ashamed to be honest. It’s how you feel. She offered to meet before every lecture and go to the gym together so I had someone to socialise with every day. People really do understand.

So just remember, if you feel like this- you’re not alone. Others most definitely feel the same. But never feel embarrassed to admit you’re not enjoying yourself 100% of the time. That’s normal.

As Winnie the Pooh says, it just shows that you have something so good at home, that being apart is tough.

Bee xoxox

What you REALLY need for University

What you REALLY need for University

Packing to move to University can sometimes be overwhelming, which is totally understandable given that you’re essentially moving out. Well, kind of. University is a brilliant stepping stone from living at home to having your own place. I am going into my third year of University and I have learnt so much about self-sufficiency, the real world and what I like to call “adulting”.

“Adulting”: A term I use to describe my current life status. Basically trying to be an adult. Like having a provisional licence… but not having passed the test yet! Oh and it’s absolutely nothing to do with adultery- disclaimer. 

So I have put together a list of 25 things people are more likely to forget or gloss over when they’re packing to move- but won’t regret taking.

Here we go!

1. A tray– mega cheap, but crucial! The reality is, sometimes you leave a few too many mugs in your room, a bowl or even a plate- and you don’t want to do multiple trips!

2. Converse or flat shoes- Freshers is crazy fun and by the end of the week you don’t necessarily want to be dancing in heels! In fact most people go to SU events in trainers or flats. This way there are less blisters and you’re not as upset when someone spills a drink on your shoes or steps on your feet!

3. A frying pan– this may seem obvious, but I just brought some standard pans with me and it was something I wished I had thought of. The frying pan makes stir-fries, cooking meat or even a dish like curry or spaghetti bolognaise easier.

4. A lid for your standard pan- again, sounds silly but IKEA didn’t provide lids for mine and I soon realised it was kind of a necessity for some recipes. Like rice- it goes mega goo-y without a lid! #studentproblems

5. A decent knife– I got my knife from IKEA, you might be noticing a pattern here! It was really small so cutting meat was hard work and took a while.

6. A rug- this is more of a preference, but I loved having something other than the normal carpet to step out of bed on to. It just made me feel more at home. This is ideal if you think you might feel homesick- just make your room feel like your own.

7. Pads and Pens- for the first 6 months of University, I used a pad and pen, however I soon realised that I wasn’t as quick at making notes as I thought and that when it came to writing essays, it was easier for it all to be on the laptop. Second year I used my laptop the entire time. This is a preference, but consider what YOU need, if you’re likely to be typing the whole time, save some pennies and only bring one or two pads. You can always buy more later.

8. A bedside lamp- most of Warwick accommodation have one central ceiling light, which is great, but I found that the beside lamp was a score. Nobody wants to get out of a toasty warm bed to turn the light off and navigate your way back in the dark.

9. Recipe books– there are so many brilliant recipe books, particularly ones that are for students specifically, such as NOSH (highly recommend!) Some even show the prices and calories. Have a look around and bring one or two with you.

10. Salt and Pepper– add some flavour to meals.

11. Sugar- I didn’t bring sugar with me, I don’t have it in teas and so (for some unknown reason!) didn’t bring it. I really regretted it as cereal or recipes sometimes need it. A small bag will do.

12. Savings- I feel that the expense of Freshers can be over-exaggerated. You don’t need to have saved hundreds (unless you really want to). SU drinks are cheap, and most of the time, especially during Freshers Week, you play games and pre-drink (optional of course!) to make friends. Plus, events at the SU are really decent prices. So don’t worry too much!

13. Change- I feel that you are more likely to need change for things like bus fares and washing machines. I went to University with £50 in coins and just used them when and if I need to. I very rarely carry cash in my purse and sometimes using a debit or credit card isn’t an option.

14. Slippers- a big one for me. If you’re lucky, you might be in a flat where nobody ever spills anything… but, on the occasion there is something you don’t fancy stepping in- slippers are ideal. Or even if the cleaner has been and the floor is still damp.

15. Flip-flops- if you have a communal bathroom, these are pretty useful.

16. Plenty of loungewear- comfort is central when getting on with deadlines. Hoodies, jumpers, tracksuit bottoms, or leggings- I spent a fair amount of time in comfort clothes while smashing deadlines or chilling during the day. Sometimes it doesn’t seem acceptable to wear pyjamas at 3 in the afternoon- so jogging bottoms it is!

17. Stationary: post-it notes: to mark pages of books- much easier than constantly trying to find the right page. Highlighter- seminar prep sometimes requires pre-reading (depending on the course) so a highlighter definitely comes in handy here. Files: keeping organised is central to avoiding panics when you lose things, which leads me onto a hole punch. Again, necessary to filing! If you’re like me, you’ll go to town on the stationary just because you can, but the above is all you really NEED, besides pens and paper.

18. Printer- I bought a printer for University, which certainly makes it easier. However, it isn’t a necessity, there are printers all over campus that you can pay (via your student card) for. They are everywhere. So don’t panic if you don’t have one.

19. Hot water bottle- living in halls means that the temperature isn’t always what you want it to be. I found that in the winter I got a little chilly (though I know others didn’t) so a hot water bottle just made my bed warm before I hopped into it. It’s a preference.

20. Coat hangers- just a must have really.

21. Clothes horse- I found that washing made my room smell AMAZING, but to make sure it doesn’t smell of damp, a washing line is advised! Also hanging wet clothes on every available surface gets in the way eventually.

22. A medicine bag- paracetamol, lemsips, anti-sickness drugs- the sort that means you don’t even have to leave your room when you’re feeling rough. Quite literally a life saver.

23. Extension lead- there are sometimes limited plugs, so the extender cables are great for making sure you’re not constantly unplugging and swapping things over.

24. Tupperware– I am the Queen of Tupperware, I have so many random pots and containers. But if you make too much food- Tupperware. If you need to freeze something- Tupperware. Want a snack during lectures- Tupperware. It comes in handy!

25. A door stop– getting locked out is not only embarrassing but bloomin’ annoying.

I hope this is helpful, I think it’s really important to remember that Universities do have shops, so if you forget something- don’t panic! Plus, you’re going to make loads of friends and people are very generous with sharing things.

This is supposed to be exciting, so enjoy the shopping, the anticipation and make the most of the break before the start of first term!

Bee xoxox

My Lactose Intolerance Journey

My Lactose Intolerance Journey

Hi everyone!

Today’s blog is a little bit different to my usual blog- I am going to be talking about my lactose intolerance!

What is a lactose intolerance?

  • It basically means that my body does not like as much dairy as other people. But I think it’s important to highlight that there are different levels of lactose intolerance. I am pretty lucky and my intolerance is pretty minor. That basically means that if I have a cup of tea with normal cows milk in, or maybe a cheeky slice of cake on a day out, I won’t necessarily have stomach cramps. So my body can deal with a small amount of dairy.
  • dairy-freeHowever, if I pig out and have a heap of dairy- I get the worst stomach cramps. The longer I have had this intolerance though, the more I have been able to judge how much dairy I can have.

When did I realise I was lactose intolerant?

  • There was a bit of a journey to figuring out what was going on and why I was having stomach cramps- but we got there eventually.
  • Period Pains- I first started getting cramps when I was about 13 or 14, at which point my Doctor’s were putting it down to my time of the month. I started my period when I was 12, so I had had some time to figure out what was ‘normal’ for me, and these pains were different. My stomach cramps are like stabbing pains that make me want to curl into a ball- not a constant ache like periods.
  • Appendicitis- I started passing out when I was 14 from the pains and I can honestly say it was mortifying. So after this happened a few times and started to be super embarrassing, I was taken to hospital to have some tests and I stayed over night. The tests came back negative.
  • Gall Bladder- they then tested me for problems with my Gall Bladder. I can’t really recall much about the tests, it all sort of merges into one in my head- but long story short they came back negative too. So yay for my appendix and gall bladder working!
  • Celiacs Disease– this was a quick test, but luckily this was negative too. The Doctors were basically ruling out different illnesses and allergies.
  • Gluten Intolerance- IBS– for YEARS I was convinced, and was diagnosed, with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Though originally this made a difference Lactose free stampand the pains died down, it wasn’t a long term fix. I completely changed my diet to be Gluten Free- which is surprisingly easy as loads of supermarkets accommodate for this diet. But the pains came back.
  • Dairy Intolerance- BINGO. By 18 I was still having the stomach cramps and I was getting pretty irritated. I ended up not knowing what to eat and what not to eat. At the same time my sister was told she was dairy intolerant, and so my family changed our diets again to accommodate  her. This meant lacto-free products- and the cramps started to die down. Though I was eating less dairy, I hadn’t completely cut it out of my diet. At this point I was about to go to University and my Mum suggested, with me shopping for only myself, to try a completely dairy free diet. That was that really, I went to University, bought only dairy free products and my cramps have been so much better!

Now I eat a mostly dairy free diet and occasionally have some dairy if I really have no alternative (or the food, usually cake, just looks too good!).

I know this is slightly different from my typical lifestyle blogs, but if you enjoy reading, or would like to know more about my diet let me know in the comments. Please like and subscribe!

University of Warwick- My Insurance Choice

University of Warwick- My Insurance Choice

When I was originally looking at Universities I had no idea where I wanted to go. So I decided to make a list of the things I ‘needed’ out of a University and a list of the things I ‘wanted’.

Location.

I started this process by looking at a map. I am going to be honest, my Geography skills are truly appalling- from this I decided how far away from home I was willing to go. As a complete home bird, I decided that three hours was the maximum for me, which automatically ruled out a fair amount of Universities. University was rather daunting to me and the idea of being able to get on a train and be home within the day was greatly appealing. Of course, this is a personal preference and it’s most important that wherever you choose to go, no matter how far, you’re comfortable.

Transport.

This leads smoothly onto the next thing on my list- transport. Having visited King College London, I realised that the hustle and bustle of London and the constant use of transport to get to and from lectures and seminars, was not for me. I loved the idea of the full on, hectic and movie-like lifestyle of London, but I actually found it rather overwhelming. This was where I started to realise that I quite liked the ‘bubble’ campuses, where everything was close together. Of course, I was open to using trains, buses and even tubes, but I didn’t feel that London was for me. Certainly, as a second year, checking out transport is crucial- living in Leamington Spa this year means that using a bus is part of my normal every day routine. With this, there are at least two big train stations to get home quickly. Transport is definitely worth considering when choosing a University. At this point I had narrowed down my search to Royal Holloway, Oxford Brookes, Exeter, Southampton and Warwick.

Employment Opportunities and League Tables.

Certainly, these are not to be forgotten. Warwick is currently 8th in the country for the Complete University Guide of 2017. Even when considering where you would like to study your degree, it’s a good idea to consider the opportunity that specific University can give you. Not only does Warwick have great Graduate Employment, but also has a number of events which welcome employers into the University. Also, unlike some other Universities, Warwick is in a great location for employment- with easy routes to Birmingham, London or even more locally- Coventry and Leamington.

Can I see myself here?

Having lived in Southampton all my life, it seemed silly not to check out Southampton University. There are so many benefits with going to a local establishment, rent can be cheaper, less student loans and of course transport is easier when you don’t live too far away. However, there are also disadvantages- you don’t automatically form the relationships with your flat mates (of course you can with those on your course) and it’s not as easy to go ‘out’. Whether that’s clubbing, going to the pub, a restaurant or even chatting with a friend to the early hours of the morning. So I would highly recommend considering these when choosing your University. I personally was not put off by these disadvantages, in fact the University itself just didn’t feel right. My parents were certainly pretty keen for me to fall in love with Southampton University- we did two open days. But everything was very familiar and not overly exciting as a result. I just couldn’t see myself there.

I was so nervous about University and leaving home, but visiting the University of Exeter made me love the idea. They were so enthusiastic, everyone was so friendly and the whole campus was green. Just so pretty, with lovely big trees, huge buildings and beautiful accommodation. Plus it was within my three hour radius. I fell in love with Exeter and I could see myself there.

First Impressions of Warwick

Despite absolutely loving Exeter, Warwick was my second choice because I felt I could see myself here too. Though it wasn’t as green, Warwick was, and is, the perfect ‘bubble’ campus. I loved the mixture of buildings, the coffee shops and restaurants on campus and the open spaces to socialise- people studying at Warwick seemed really happy.

Why am I at Warwick now?

Exeter offered me: A*, A*, B for my History degree, and I was on track to achieve this. However, when it came to exam results, I didn’t reach them, instead I got A, A, B and an A* in my Extended Project. Though Exeter offered me a History of Renaissance Course, I rejected the offer as I had been offered a place at Warwick. There was absolutely no sense of disappointment as, over the summer, I had had a lot of time to think, and was actually starting to question my choice. Warwick was higher in the league tables than Exeter, had better student satisfaction and much higher levels of Graduate Employment.

I have a genuine belief that things happen for a reason, I am unbelievably happy at Warwick, I love the course, the campus and the surrounding area. I consider myself super lucky to be here.

My Favourite Study Spots on the University of Warwick Campus

My Favourite Study Spots on the University of Warwick Campus

The University of Warwick has plenty of places to study, but I have 5 top places I prefer, all for different reasons.

The Library

When I have looming deadlines and can feel the pressure, the library is usually where I head. Doing a History Degree, as with other courses, means that besides essays, I have seminar preparation, or pre-reading. This can vary from minimal reading to crazy amounts (of course, skim reading is a skill I picked up pretty quickly!). The library is ideal when I’ve got shed loads of work and need complete silence- the top three floors are silent areas. However, my friends and I often meet in the library on the first two floors, so we can get work done and have a natter while we’re at it. Also, the first two floors allow food and hot drinks, which I love. Another bonus of the library is the seating areas, despite being pretty busy, the library is full of sofas and tables depending on your preference, along with computer access and printing resources if you require them. Essentially, the library is where I get the most work done.

The Library Cafe

I am not one of those people that can work in a lot of noise, I find it very hard to focus if people are talking to me, or if I can hear conversations. But, the library café is potentially one of my favourite places to go. It’s loud enough to drown out specific conversations and there is almost always a table. Plus they do some pretty good coffee, and if you’re lucky crepes!

Curiositea

Curiositea is one of my favourite parts of campus, I am definitely more of a coffee shop girl than a clubber. I love being sat in a vintage tea room, surrounded by cake and studying, especially right at the start of the day, when it’s completely silent and I can nab one of the comfy chairs. Again, Curiositea is loud enough for the noise not to disrupt my train of thought. Its definitely my favourite place to go on Campus with my friends and after a big deadline we treat ourselves to a slice of cake- my favourite is the Red Velvet!

The Learning Grid

I always love the idea of going to the Learning Grid but I found it completely depends on what time of the day you head over, as to how likely you are to get a seat. Split into silent and non-silent, the Learning Grid is a pretty quiet and relaxed study space. It’s also right next to Costa Coffee- bonus! I often head over there if I intend to do work on my own or am on campus particularly early or particularly late. If you’re lucky you can get one of the sofas.

Fusion

Putting aside how much I adore the food at Fusion (especially the chilli beef with rice!), it’s actually a great place to get work done. When campus is buzzing and finding a space to study, where you aren’t squished against a complete stranger, is proving difficult, then Fusion is my go-to. Not very many people go to study there, but its relatively quiet and, when it’s not peak food time, I can get a lot of work done. Plus I don’t think I have ever studied there and not had an entire table to myself. If I’m having a rough day, a portion of fries helps with the studying.

I hope this was useful and maybe if you’re on campus you could check these spots out and see where you can see yourself studying. If there are any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

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

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