Sunday, 11 September 2016

Freshers University Advice

Over the next few weeks I'm sure many of you will be starting the next chapter of your lives; university. Heading to university is an exciting time - full of independence and opportunities - but it can also be a daunting time for many freshers. Next week I will be going back to university for my second year and I feel like I've learnt a thing or two along the way to share with you so you can make the most of first year.

Making friends:
Getting to university and not knowing anyone can be really nerve-racking, particularly if you're shy or quiet. I was lucky that my flat were a friendly bunch and on the first night we all sat together in the corridor and got to know each other better whilst playing a few drinking games. If you usually struggle to start a conversation with someone, freshers is a great time to put that behind you because there are so many questions you can ask people, such as; Where are you from? What are you studying? Was this uni your first choice? Another great way to make friends is by joining clubs and societies. This gives you the opportunity to get to know people outside of your flat and on different courses, as well as second and third year students.

Managing your money:
During freshers week, it's tempting to spend a large proportion of your money on going out and not think about how long your money's got to last you. There are certain things you can do to save money without compromising on the nights out, for example; some clubs offer discounted entrance fees if you arrive there before a certain time so you could aim to get there before this time, also, instead of buying a takeaway after each night out (cheesy chips and Dominos add up to a lot throughout the year!), you could keep some snacks in your room to have when you get back to your accommodation. Working out how much money you'll have going in and out of your bank account is really useful to make sure you don't overspend - you could add up how much you have to pay for accommodation each month or term plus how much you'll roughly be spending on food and other essentials and the rest can be used for nights out and treating yourself! Also, writing a shopping list before you go shopping stops you from picking up items that you don't need.

Staying healthy:
It's difficult when you haven't got your parents around to cook you nice meals and check that you're eating your 5-a-day! Buying a recipe book aimed at students is a good place to start because the recipes are usually easier and less time consuming than other recipe books. Also, making your own food normally works out cheaper (and healthier!) than ordering a takeaway. If you struggle to include fruit in your diet, then you could make a smoothie using lots of different fruits, or you could add chopped up fruits to your cereal. Exercise usually takes a backseat at uni because you're too tired/busy, however, there are plenty of workout routines available on Youtube so you don't even have to leave your room! Joining a sports club is a great way to exercise because you can go with your friends and motivate each other.

Keeping up with work:
With so many exciting events and opportunities happening at uni, it's easy to forget that you're actually there to study! Creating a timetable for completing quizzes, reading books, doing revision, etc is a good idea to show you when you'll be able to fit in uni work around your other activities, but make sure you stick to it. Don't rush your work because this won't help you remember it when it comes to exams and don't leave group work for someone else to do - because they might be doing the same thing!

One final note, make the most of freshers and have an amazing time! If any current uni students or graduates have advice for freshers then feel free to comment below.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

August Favourites

It's the end of August already and summer is pretty much over now. Where has the time gone? In a couple of weeks I'll be back at uni and counting down the days until next summer! Anyway, I've got a selection of my favourite summer products to share with you.

When I went to Barcelona earlier in the month one of the top things on my to-do list was to visit a Sephora (priorities right!?). I made such a big deal about going to one that I wasn't leaving empty-handed, so I picked up the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper. I had heard so many good reviews about this eyeliner but never thought about buying it myself - and I'm so glad that I did buy it. This eyeliner has a very thin tip for precision, however, you can build on it if you want a thicker line. Usually, I find that eyeliners smudge onto my eyelids but this one stays put and is very long-lasting.

Something else I enjoyed whilst in Barcelona was using my Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Camera. I picked up a pack of the Colour Close-up Lens which clip on to the front of the camera and give warmer or cooler tones to the photos. I love using this camera because I can decorate my room with the photos rather than having them stored on my phone.

Whilst I was in Boots the other day I bought a couple of products from Soap & Glory. Heel Genius is a foot cream that I've been using for years and I love it; I apply it a couple of times a week and then put a pair of socks on to let in soak in. The other product I picked up was the Smoothie Star Breakfast Scrub, which contains oats, shea butter, and sugar. I had never tried this scrub before but I'd seen lots of good reviews on it. This smells amazing and leaves my skin feeling so smooth.

Finally, I have been reading Dream A Little Dream by Giovanna Fletcher. I've never read any of Giovanna's books before but they all have amazing reviews so I thought I'd try one of them. The book is about a woman who dreams of a handsome stranger and then he appears in real life. I'm only a couple of chapters in at the moment but I can't wait to carry on reading it!

Have you tried any of these products before? What have you been using throughout August? Also, I'm planning on doing a university advice post next week so if you have any questions then please let me know.