5 Things My Second Year Of University Has Taught Me

Going to University is probably one of the most exciting, but scary times of your life. You have to deal with moving away from the familiarity and security of home, to an area you’ve most likely never really been to before, and then you have to learn all the basic skills you seriously took for granted when you lived at home. Using a washing machine – yeah it’s probably a lot more complicated than you think it’s going to be!

Although you learn a lot and tend to adapt to flying solo during your first year, the second year of University is also home to a lot of new challenges. Gone are the days of living in your University Halls where, believe it or not, a lot of the main aspects of living are taken care of for you. It’s only when you move into a student house during second year that you really start to appreciate those halls cleaners that used to annoyingly wake you up on the only day you got a lie in! Just finishing my second year of uni myself, I thought I’d share some of the things second year has taught me…

1. Paying bills are expensive and CONFUSING!

When you step foot into your new student house, you’re full of excitement, wanting to get settled in as quickly as possible. Then you realise everything you want to do, from putting food in the fridge, charging your laptop, and even flushing the toilet, has to be paid for, and you haven’t registered to any bills companies. WHAT?! So you find yourself spending you first day ringing up companies for Gas and Electricity, Water and TV & Internet and sorting out payments – a skill you definitely don’t get taught at school! Then, once you work out how much of your ‘hard earned’ student loan it’s going to set you back, you’ll pretty much faint with shock – it’s inevitable!

2. No Cleaners? How will you survive?!

After living in your house for about a week, and noticing that empty microwavable rice packet that’s been sat on the side since the day you moved in, and those stains all over the hob, it’ll finally start to sink in that the cleanliness of your house is all down to you. Yes, you. Also, you’ll learn the importance of remembering the weekly bin collection day, having a bin overflowing with numerous amounts of rubbish really isn’t fun!

3. Doing a weekly food shop with do wonders for your bank balance.

Student halls always tend to be conveniently located next to express Supermarket stores – Sainsbury’s Local, Tesco Express, stores that charge way more than necessary just for their convenience. But when you move into a student house and realise all the little things you have to pay for that you didn’t before, cleaning products, bin bags etc etc, you’ll see how much money you can save doing a weekly shop in a big supermarket rather than going to Tesco Express everyday to decide what you want for dinner. Trust me, it’ll be so much easier to save for that new dress you’ve had your eye on for the past month!

4. You’ll find yourself doing things you never used to.

Having my own house has definitely turned me into a bit of an old woman, as much as I hate to admit it! Every time me and my house mates go out together I find myself saying things like ‘Have you checked if the back doors locked?’ or ‘How are we using so much water?!’ every time out water bill comes out. I feel a bit like a nineteen year old girl with the mind of a forty year old woman!

5. Most importantly, you’ll appreciate the freedom and have so much fun!

As much as I had the best year living in halls, second year has brought so much fun and laughter! You don’t have to worry about turning your music down at 11 o’clock, won’t get in trouble for lighting candles in your room and don’t have people checking up on you 24/7! Everything feels that little bit more personal, and living in a student area has such a community feel making nights out so much fun!

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Five Things I’m Loving Right Now!

I’ve seen quite a few ‘things I’m loving’ posts floating around the bloggersphere recently, and the fact that I’ve really enjoyed reading them plus realising that there’s been quite a few things I’ve been loving recently made me think it would be a good idea for me to do one myself. So here goes… 

1. Ed Sheeran’s New Album ‘x’

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On Monday Ed Sheeran released his new album ‘x’ (or Multiply), and being a big Sheeran fan I couldn’t resist pre-ordering the album a week in advance – the deluxe edition of course! The best thing about this was the fact that each day leading up to the album being released, a new song was given to those that had pre-ordered the album, including ‘Don’t’, ‘Photograph’ and ‘Thinking Out Loud’, sounds like fun right? These pre-released tracks set a very high standard for the rest of the album, but it’s safe to say it seriously didn’t disappoint, I’ve pretty much had the track on repeat since Monday,read nothing but good things across all social media and it landed number one in the UK album chart. Good job Ed!

 

2. Patterned Trousers

It looks like the warm summer weather we’ve been waiting for has finally started to arrive across the UK (fingers crossed!), which only means one thing… it’s time for the summer wardrobe to be unleashed! One summery item of clothing I’ve been loving recently is patterned trousers. Not one to love getting my legs out (pale skin isn’t really on trend throughout the summer months) printed trousers have definitely found their way into my heart, and are perfect for those days when you don’t quite trust the unpredictable British weather. Partnered with a plain floaty top tucked in, they make the perfect summer outfit!

 

3. Gossip Girl

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Now I know I’m totally late to the party with this one.. but I’ve finally fallen for the Gossip Girl hype and all I can say is I’m LOVING it! People have been telling me to watch it for a long time, and although it always takes me a while to get through TV series as I’m one of those people that likes to have a long time to sit down and watch it properly, I’m halfway through Season Two and seriously starting to get hooked. It’s a good job I’m on my summer break from uni I guess! 

 

4. Orange Lips

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It appears that a lot of my most recent loves have been influenced by the summer season, and orange lipstick is no exception! As soon as the weather starts to get warmer, I end up getting a bit obsessed with fun lip colours, and orange is definitely my favourite at the moment. I’ve always been one to love Revlon’s Lip Butters, and their shade 027 Juicy Papaya is the one I constantly find myself reaching for. With it’s orange shimmery tones it’s just perfect for a day out in the sunshine!

 

5. Strawberries

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Slightly random I know, but in case you weren’t aware, it’s definitely strawberry season! With Wimbledon in full swing and the sun shining, you can’t beat a bowlful of strawberries on a summer evening, or on a day out, in fact their perfect for any summer occasion!

 

What things have you been loving recently?

❤ 

Cosmopolitan Superblogger Masterclass 2014!

On Monday night I was lucky enough to attend Cosmopolitan’s Superblogger Masterclass In London’s Millbank Media Centre, an evening designed to bring aspiring bloggers together and give them tips on how to improve their blogs and make them more professional. When I saw this event was happening whilst reading the latest edition of Cosmo, I knew it was something I had to attend – an evening in London getting blogging tips from an expert panel, what could be better?! The expert panel consisted of successful bloggers Fleur De Force and Kat Williams, social media manager Vicki Fogwell, and Joe Williams and Ali Luke who are associated with Zen Optimise. 

It’s safe to say the evening was fantastic, with a glass of bubbly, goody bag on arrival and a ton of helpful blogging advice I came away feeling super inspired and full of ideas! If you’re anything like me, the idea of a goody bag will send you into an excited frenzy, so surely it would only be fair for me to share what was inside with you…

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1. Popchips BBQ Potato Chips

2. Witch Oil Control Foaming Facewash

3. Ortis Digestive Tablet Sample

4. Dove 60 Second Hair Treatment 

5. MISO Tasty Soup Samples

6. Sleek Lip Gloss in Cranberry Crush

7. DanTek Floss 

8. Kallo Belgian Dark Chocolate Waffles

9. Nivea Powder Touch Deodorant

10. Vita Coco Lemonade Coconut Water

11. TRESemme Dry Shampoo

12. Gluco Tabs

13. Hawaiian Tropic Suncream

14. Lindor Milk Chocolates

Thanks to Cosmo for a brilliant night, lots of helpful tips and yummy goodies for me to try out! Same time next year?

Let’s start with a beauty post..

I know, I know, I’ve been a very bad blogger – and for that I can only apologise. After a hectic second year at uni, concentrating on assignment after assignment, I’ve failed to give my blog the TLC it deserves. But summer is well and truly upon us, and with the next four months uni free, I intend on dedicating a whole lot of time to the blogging world! 

Being a lover of all things fashion and beauty, I thought what better way to get the ball rolling than a beauty post. So here it comes..

 

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If you’ve been a follower of my blog in the past, you’ll be well aware that I have a slight addiction to all things nail varnish, eyeing up all the pretty colours and products whenever I visit a beauty store without fail. With the weather, *fingers crossed*, starting to get warmer, I’ve started to decorate my hands with brighter, more summery shades, and my favourite colour of the moment is by far this bright green from SEVENTEEN called Mint Bon Bon

When purchasing this product, it felt like a bit of a risk as I’ve never really been one to wear many blue/green shades. But I thought I’d give it a go and after applying it for the first time it’s safe to say I was a little bit in love. Not only does the colour look great, it applies really well and being a gel varnish, doesn’t necessarily require a top coat (which, given mine is running stupidly low, is also a bonus!)

SEVENTEEN state that the product lasts 8 days without chipping, which I think is slightly ambitious. I found that it has a staying power of around 5 days, which for me is a lot better than other nail polishes considering I didn’t apply a top coat. Overall, I’m just completely loving this shade, something which is starting to stress out my flatmates as I don’t seem to be able to stop talking about (sad I know!) I will definitely look into buying more colours from the Gel collection. 

What are your favourite nail varnishes of the moment?

Where have I been?! – Life Update

Hey Guys!

Sorry about the lack of posts over the past month or so, I’ve been so busy getting back into Uni life, from moving into my new house, to Freshers, to trying to get on top of my assignments!

So what have I been up to over the past month? Well I moved into my new house at Uni and spent the first few days trying to make my room my own, with a trip to IKEA being essential of course! Me and some of my housemates then spent a week at our old first-year halls, helping move in the freshers, which was both fun and strange thinking that was me a year ago, how time flies! With Freshers Fortnight beginning, we had multiple nights out at the local clubs (it would be rude not to right?!)

My favourite event during Freshers, and something I look forward to every year, is the student lock-in at the local shopping centre. An evening dedicated solely to students, with the majority of shops offering up to 20% off! Perfect if you’re a shopaholic like me, and after saving up my birthday money especially, it’s safe to say I went a bit crazy! (a haul post will be coming up shortly)

I’ve also spent the past month catching up with friends, getting stuck into some of my second year modules including Music Journalism and Law and getting slowly addicted to a newly discovered ice cream parlour – Banoffee waffles and Ferrero Rocher milkshakes? YES PLEASE!

I’ve put together a few of my favourite snaps from the past month, it’s definitely been a good one! 

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Uni post

 

How To Survive Your First Year At Uni.

*WARNING* Very wordy post coming your way!

September has come around again, and for a lot of people the time will be approaching for them to fly the nest and head off to University! This time last year it was me that was in this position, and I still remember exactly how I was feeling about it. But a year down the line I feel like I’ve learnt a lot, and had such an amazing first year, so I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to share my ‘First Year Survival Tips’ with you all!

1. Try and make an effort with people from the start

The idea of going to University is daunting for anyone, you’ve got to deal with living in an area you’re unfamiliar with, be with people you don’t know and try your best to look after yourself. So one of the best pieces of advice I would give is to try your hardest to make friends with people right from the beginning. Some Universities will make Facebook pages for their Halls of Residence, and this is the perfect opportunity to get to know people and find out who you may be living with! Knowing at least one person before you move in will make it that extra bit easier. You have to remember that everyone is in the same position as you, and will be feeling equally as nervous, even if they don’t show it! 

2. Spend time in the communal areas of your flat, kitchen, hallway etc – funny things always seem to happen!

When you first move in, you might find all you want to do is hide in your room and wallow in the fact you have to look after yourself for a year, but this is not a good idea! Sitting in your room will only make you feel alone, and delay having to face the people you’re going to spend the next year with. As difficult as it sounds, leave the unpacking til later and try and get to know some of your flatmates, you’ll find this will probably make you feel more at ease and reassure you that everything will be okay. Throughout my first year, me and the rest of my flatmates spent a reasonable time in our kitchen getting to know each other and having a laugh, and I think this was definitely partly responsible for my first year being so good! From playing drinking games in the kitchen, to rollerskating down the corridor, we definitely had loads of good times!

3. It’s OK to miss home

One of he hardest things about being at University is being away from home, your family and your friends. But it’s okay to miss home and find it difficult to adjust to a new lifestyle, everyone goes through the same emotions but they might just happen at different times! Throughout my first year I found that I kept in contact with my family on a regular basis and was also lucky because my University isn’t too far away from home so I was able to go back some weekends. If you’re University is far away from home, making it more difficult to go back, there are still lots of ways you can keep in contact with your family and friends, from phone calls, to Skype and FaceTime. Make sure you do, a chat with your loved ones can be the perfect pick me up if you’re feeling a bit homesick.

4. Give yourself enough time to get to lectures and organise your work load

This may sound completely dull, but as well as being at University to have fun (and you will!) you’re also there to get a degree. Some of you may be lucky enough to go to a campus University, meaning you can roll out of bed and straight into your lecture. But for me this was not the case, I had a fifteen minute walk from my Halls to University, and there were many a time I left just that little bit too late and ended up walking late and red faced into my lecture – not fun! It’s also important to organise your work too – getting it done and out the way leaves more time for partying right?

5. HAVE FUN!!!

Now comes my most important piece of advice – HAVE FUN! You’re only at University for three years, which may sound like a long time, but judging by how quickly my first year went, it will fly by! Even though you are paying for a degree, you are also there to enjoy yourself, make friends, and gain some independence too. Pasta will become your best friend, you’ll end up spending a bit too much money on alcohol or clothes, and you’ll no doubt have to rely on someone to show you how the washing machine works! Make the most of every second and appreciate the fun before being thrown into the scary world of work and responsibilities (doesn’t sound great does it?!) Although you might be nervous now, I’m sure this time next year you will be looking back thinking about what an amazing first year you had, I know I certainly do! 

Roll on the next three years of your life, I’m sure you’ll love them!! 

 

Liebster Award

Hey Guys!

I have been nominated for Liebster Award, and before I get started I just want to say a huge thank you to Abigail Robyn Brown for nominating me! Everyone be sure to check out her blog, I know you will love it! 

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The Rules:

  1. Each nominee must link back to the person that nominated them
  2. Answer the 10 questions that are given to you by the nominator
  3. Nominate 10 other bloggers that you like with less than 200 followers
  4. Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer. 
  5. Let them know they have been nominated by going on their blog and notifying them

 

The Questions I was asked:

1. What is your favourite quote?

There are a few that I like, one being “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened” – Dr. Seuss and the other is “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken” – Oscar Wilde.

2. Who is your favourite author?

One of my favourite books I read was by an author called Jill Mansell called ‘An Offer You Can’t Refuse’ so I want to read more books written by her.

3. What is a song that has a lot of sentimental value for you?

That’s difficult but at the moment it would be ‘Of Monsters and Men – Little Talks’

4. If you had to name one essential beauty product, what would it be?

For me, it would definitely be a good mascara as it wakes up your face and draws attention to your eyes.

5. Do you prefer the countryside or the city?

At home, I live closer to the countryside being able to see the local downs from my bedroom window which I really like especially on days when you just need some time to think and relax. But at Uni I live in the city which I also love so this is a really hard choice, I think it would have to be countryside!

6. What is the saddest film you have ever watched?

As cliche as it sounds, Titanic pretty much gets me every time!

7. If your house was on fire, what would be the three items you’d save?

My one and only priority would be to make sure that all of my family were safe, if I were to save any material items it would probably be my laptop just because it has a lot of important things on it such as photos that I would be sad to lose.

8. What is your favourite season of the year and why?

As much as I find it a pain getting burnt so easily, I do love summer! Waking up to the sun shining through the window always puts me in a good mood and I love summer fashion. Plus the summer holidays always hold a lot of good memories for me!

9. If you could do any job in the world, what would you choose?

My dream job would be to work for a magazine like Company or Cosmopolitan, I get them both every month without fail and study Magazine Journalism for my degree! I would love to experience all sorts of journalism from interviewing celebrities, to writing about fashion, beauty, the works!

10. Everyone has something that comforts them when they’re ill, what makes you feel better?

My mum and my bed!

 

My 10 Nominees:

1. TrendyBelle – For a Girl on a Budget

2. A Sparkling Finish

3.  Blue Sky Daze

4. TillMidnight

5. Mixed Gems

6. Cosmeticaitlin

7. A Sprinkle of Love

8. Beauty Spot MIA 

9. ZoeandMeg

10. Breaking Blond

 

My Questions for my Nominees:

  1. What made you want to start a blog?
  2. What is your favourite song lyric and why?
  3. What is your staple item in your wardrobe?
  4. If I was going to go and buy one beauty product right now, what would you recommend I get?
  5. Where is your favourite place in the world and why?
  6. Best moment of your summer 2013?
  7. I’m a bit of a nail varnish junkie, so what would you suggest I add to my collection?
  8. Where do you want to be in five years time?
  9. Favourite snack?
  10. If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?