University

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Good Afternoon Readers,

The title of this article is plain and simple: ‘University’. I am surprised, if I am being honest, that I have never written an article titled ‘university’. Sure, a lot of my articles have featured the word university but, I have never titled one ‘university’. Here we are!

University, what a journey it has been.

Before I started my university career, all I knew of this type of education was that it could be the next step in my educational career if I wanted it to be and if I worked hard enough for it. I did not really understand what it was, what it entailed or what it meant. I just knew it was something that I would be working towards. When I was finally in the sixth form, I had to make the choice. MORAL DILEMMA. Do I go onto an apprenticeship? Do I get a job? Do I go to university? Obviously, in the end, I went with university. However, I originally intended to do Computer Science as I had studied hard and come out with good grades during my ICT course but, Drama was my passion and calling and this is what I ended up doing – as we all know!

From there, we all know the story of my first, second and third year! I bet you are now wondering, “well, what are you going to write about tonight?”. That is a good question! To be honest with you, I have no bloody clue myself! I tell a lie, I do have a rough idea. Therefore, I’ll carry on and we shall see where we end up.

University for me has been an experience and a half. It has had it’s highs and lows. It’s positive and negatives. It’s happy times and sad times and so on and so fourth. It’s been a rollercoaster. It has been a juggling act! That is most definitely the most accurate term to use. University has definitely changed me in many ways, then again, other parts of me are stubborn and have not changed. Friends have come and gone, so have relationships – though, those that matter are still here at the end of the journey. My eyes have been opened to study I did not previously know and opportunities have been given to me to do some amazing things. University has not only gave me academic experience but also life experience. Sure, sometimes university was absolutely terrible but there were times when nothing could be better than it. I have had times where I drank all the time and then others were I was sober for weeks on end. I’ve had moments where I did all my work weeks before it was due and then other times when I handed it in the day before. I’ve had times when I’ve been completely in the dark about a subject and then others where I knew the most on a subject. I’ve had moments where I have been proud of my work and others were I’m disappointed in myself because I could have done better. I’ve made some memories for life that I will cherish forever and then there is times that I am trying to forget and would prefer never to think about again. There has been times when I’ve been completely motivated by university and eager to go to a lecture and then others where I’ve taken days off just to stay in bed. There has also been times when I’ve wanted to help everybody and anybody on my course with their work and then times when I just wanted to focus on my own. I’ve had moments where I thrived being independent and being away from home and being able to do what I want, where as there has also been times when I would have given anything to be back at home in comfort with my family. There has most certainly been occassions where I am financially stable (as much as you can be as student) and other times where I am having a complete breakdown about money. I’ve had jobs come and go when I’ve needed extra money and times when I haven’t had to work. I’ve gone through times when I’ve wanted to volunteer to go everything and taken too much on and times when I’ve turned away amazing opportunities. There has been the classic situations where I have worked myself to the bone in 24 hours and times when I’ve spread it out. I’ve experienced eating like a king for a good few weeks and moments when I’ve struggled to find a decent meal at all. I’ve had moments where I’ve been on top of the world and confident and then I’ve had the opposite where I am scared and terrified to do anything. I’ve had moments where all I’ve wanted to do is be at university and those when I’ve wanted to drop out altogether. I’ve experienced feelings of being utterly social and saying yes to everything and other times where I am a complete introvert and just wanted my own company. I’ve had times where I’ve chased my dreams and future and others where I’ve completely gave up on them. I have been happy and sad simultaneously. I’ve been angry and calm together. I’ve been positive and negative. I’ve been everything and anything all at once. I’d argue I’ve been at the highest point in student life and at the lowest – arguably at the same time sometimes. I’ve been inexperienced as a student and I’ve become a hardened (nearly veteran) of a student. I came into student life with misconceptions that I tried to live by only to discover I needed to discover it for myself.

I’ve come to realise ‘student life’ is a unique experience that you can not really experience anywhere else. It’s like a teenagers life smashed together with a working life. You are working 24/7 towards a degree but still manage to go out and achieve the mother of all hangovers. It’s having to take full responsibility for your life but at the same time, having no responsibility at all. It’s still enjoying life as a ‘teen’ but having to make pretty serious decisions as an adult. It’s everything you never imaged it could be whilst being nothing like you ever thought it would be.

‘Student Life’ and ‘University’ are unique to everyone, personally. Sure, there are the same generalised situations and feelings that we all experience but they are still unique to everybody. Every student experiences student life differently and they will all only ever be summed up as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ or ‘successful’ or ‘unsuccessful’. Society often views student life has a drugged up, alochol fuelled time of study but that’s the stereotype. Student life is in a bubble from the rest of society and unless you are living it, you will never understand the hardships of being a student. Volunterarily going into debt, volunterarily moving out and being independent, accepting that at this point you are not guaranteed a job no matter what you do but desperate to stay in education because it is the next logical step. For 18 years we are told to sit down, shut up and listen and learn and then expected to make one of the most important decisions of our life. Continue in school or go to work. Then, it’s all go from there. University and student life is a transitional period that anybody on the outside does not understand. It’s a struggle. It’s mentally and physically testing in every aspect of those meanings. Some soon find out that they aren’t ready for it or can’t handle it where as others just keep trudging through the challenges of this life, then there are those that seem to sail through it. No matter how it appears on the outside, everybody struggles with student life at some point.

As a student you will always face a judgement at some point. Whether that’s being judged for the course you study, the way you study that course, the way in which you live or act – whatever it is, you’ll face it because no matter what you did, someone isn’t going to approve of this life you have chosen. You’ll change mentally and physically – you’ll lose weight, you’ll gain weight. You’ll get into debt with various banks, friends or even family. You’ll experiene a ‘student breakdown’ of questioning everything. No matter what though, whatever you experience, you will keep fighting and living this ‘student life’.

From what I’ve learned, I could write a million and one articles providing hints and tips, advice and my own experiences but at the end of the day, they are just words on a screen. Nothing more. They are just words of one student. At the end of the day, student life needs to be lived to be learned. There is no other way and being honest, despite whatever I’ve written in the past, there is no way you can be prepared for it. As I’ve said, every experience is different and unique.

Though, one thing is for certain. No matter what happens during student life, what you study, who you make friends with (or don’t), whatever you decide to do… students always stick together and to be honest, we need too. It’s becoming more of a challenge to be a student. It’s becoming more expensive, more challenge and all at the same time, under appreciated. I truly believe when you pass your degree you should get your degree in the subject you’ve studied and one for surviving student life because, it’s an experience in itself and does train you to survive the world in ways you never thought you could.

So… here we are again, one students words on a screen.

This is university.

 

STUDENT GIVEAWAY

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JustGeorgeJ

Student Image Comp.pngAre you a Fresher? Could you do with a few goodies at no cost? Are you a Second or Third year that could do with replenishing some belongings you’ve lost along the way free of charge? Do you want a chance to win the follow;

  • Eight in One Kitchen Tool Bottle
  • Storage Boxes
  • Stackable Wine Glasses
  • Stackable Mugs
  • Kitchen Tool Set
  • USB Stick

plastic boxes and other gifts supplied by Allison Handling’

WELL, It’s time, FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, a Student Giveaway hosted by yours truly JustGeorgeJ!

So, now you’re questioning how do I get involved and how could I win?

EASY! Here’s what you do…

Step One; Follow Me on Facebook or Twitter (or both if you’d like!)

Step Two; Take a photo of yourself that represents WHY YOU NEED THIS GIVEAWAY

Step Three; Post it on Facebook or Twitter (if posting on Facebook, link my…

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LIVE CHAT FOR BLOGGERS

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Re-hosting this LIVE CHAT again today! Everyone and anyone welcome, students or bloggers!

JustGeorgeJ

Are you a blogger? Amateur or professional? Part-time or dedicated? Student or not? Food blogger? Auto blogger? Student blogger? Whatever type of blogger, you are invited to my Live Chat at the following link; https://tlk.io/justgeorgej 

A chance for bloggers to get to know each other, shares stories, debate and make friends!

My first time doing this, don’t be shy!

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STUDENT WORRIES : Being a Student

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Before writing this article I went through a number of different topics in regards to what I could write about. I started off thinking about money, then work, then assignments, time management and more. Finally I decided that I hadn’t wrote an article around ‘STUDENT WORRIES’ in a while and thought it was time to revisit that theme. However, I couldn’t think of a singular theme to write about – as I established above, so, I had a little think. I finally decided that a huge student worry, before you’re a student, is being a student. 

JustGeorgeJ – Half Way Through

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I believe in this case, the title is pretty self explanatory. This blog started off being a way in which I could document my journey through universty and as time has gone on I’ve moved away from that and started writing other articles, but I thought it was time to return to how I started. I wrote an article at the beginning of my journey, I’ll write one at the end, so it’s only fair to write one half way through. So, here we go.

There is no need repeating all the information you already know. You know what university I go to, you know the course I study and well, I’m now in second year and half way through my course. You know what? It’s terrifying. It feels like I only started yesterday but here I am, half way through my course and it’s just come around in a flash.

Second year was nothing like I expected it to be and the work came in an avalanche. Before I knew it I was underneath all these assignments, portfolios, practicals, presentations and rehearsals. It’s had it’s up and downs but I’d say overall it’s been enjoyable.

So, what have I actually been up too? Well from my previous articles you will know that this year I moved into a student house with three of my friends. Two from my course and one from outside the course. The housing situation has been lovely so far – as with halls there is always moments were you may not get on, or there are arguments but they will always sort themselves out. We’ve definitely made it out own little home and it literally is our home now, not just a house. I feel comfortable, happy and safe here and I definitely feel like we made the right choice in housing. After settling into the house it was time to start back on my course. As I mentioned in a previous article we started out doing three modules: Page to Stage; Contemporary and Interdisciplinary. Page to Stage was focusing on Shakespeare, meaning we were given a theme (for example my group had villiany) and then we had to create a piece (like an anthology) of work using extracts from different plays that centred around our theme. I enjoyed this module most of all purely because it was challenging and pushed my abilities further. Contemporary gave me the insight to study history of this area as well study playwrights and what not and then interdisciplinary was my second favourite because there were so many different avenues to explore. So all in all, I’ve had a lot to take away from last term and gained a lot more knowledge and insight into areas of my course.

We are now fresh in 2016 now and the talk between me and my flatmates keeps circling back round to the fact we are half way through our time at university. Before starting university all I could think about was how I had three years ahead of me and how it didn’t seem to come quick enough. Now, here I am. How do I feel about it? Uneasy is probably the most accurate word I can use. I feel unprepared for what is to come. All my grandad used to tell was to “stay in education as long as possible” and of course, there is plenty of opportunity for me to do that. For example, when I finish this course I want to go on to do a PGCE. However, I don’t know if that’s the way things will turn out. I just don’t know where I want my future to go. I’m currently in the process of interviewing for a job that I honestly believe could be my ideal career, but, we’ll have to see how that works out. Knowing that time is flying by this quickly really does make growing up feel more overwhelming. I’m sad that first year is already behind me and all I have left is the memories, but don’t get me wrong those memories will last a laugh time, then on the other hand I’m excited for what is to come.

This brings me to where I am now. Waiting to start my second term of second year and see where that takes me. Lectures everyday and watching the weeks fly by. Therefore, this brings this entry to a close but there will be more to come, whenever I have free time.

student worries : assignments

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And I’m back. 2016 has just begun and it’s time to write some entries for the website. Therefore, today, I decided to start off with an theme I haven’t written about in a while. Returning to the ‘student worries’ section, this entry is about assignments! It’s fair to say we are all aquainted with this subject, let’s begin.

As I’ve just mentioned, we are no strangers to the horrors that are assignments. Let me tell you my minor horror story.

As I’m in my second year, I should be used to assignments now and in some way, I already am as first year prepared me for them and at the same time, allowed me to set my level at which I needed to work to achieve a certain grade. However, I wasn’t prepared for my first semester in second year and the two portfolios I had to work on and continue to work on over Christmas. There was a Shakespeare assignment in the first semester however that didn’t phrase me, I actually enjoyed writing it.

So over Christmas (well actually, I was meant to be working on it throughout the first semester but I didn’t, so skipping over that point) I had two portfolios to work on. One for my interdisciplinary module and one for my contemporary module. My interdisciplinary portfolio, I didn’t find too hard purely because it gave me the ability to explore different types of theatre that we’d studied and research them further and from there, further my research and write about them. So all in all, enjoyable. The contemporary one however, that is my nightmare. With the other portfolio there was a clear structure and I understood how to lay it out and what needed to be included but with contempoary there wasn’t a clear structure so it’s been a bit of a mess from beginning to end. Also, let me add this, with both portfolios together it’s over 10,000 words that I have to write. Sounds easy, yeah? Well, yeah I think it’s easy to write 10,000 words but whether those are relevant is a different question. This contemporary one has focused on the history, the playwrights themselves and a couple of select statements from Michael Billington that we had to create an argument in favour or against to make up the portfolio, as well as a select few other areas. Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to understand that all of this was extremely stressful and though I’ve covered areas like this in past entries, I want to cover some of the problems people face when writing assignments.

Leaving Everything Until The Last Minute

When writing an assignment, I believe the majority of us fall into this trap. We leave everything to do with the assignment until the last moment. We fall into this trap because as the semester goes on we continue to take notes and notes and more notes and convince ourselves we’ll go over them at the end of the day or end of the week and then we never get around to it. Then there is the reading list, you know you need to read it early but you never get around to it. Again, this is more than likely the majority, or the minority – from personal experience I’d say the majority. Once you leave everything until the last minute, it soon piles up and you feel overwhelmed because you feel like there is so much against you and a pile to tackle before you can even start. The obvious answer is start early but, it’s hard to get into that routine.

Doubting Yourself Before You Begin

Now I don’t know whether this one applies to a majority or minority but I definitely know it happens to a few people. Before you’ve even started, you start doubting yourself as to whether you can actually write this assignment because even though when you are calm and think logically you know how to do it, you feel like you can’t. (Although there is the extreme case where you feel like you can’t do the entire course, but, like I said, extreme case). Doubting yourself is the worst thing you can do when it comes to assignments and it’s a horrible feeling, mainly because it hinders you before you even begin. There is no real solution to this, apart from being prepared.

Reading, Reading and More Reading

Now this is my biggest problem when it comes to writing assignments. I know I have a lot of reading to do and I know I should always start the reading list in plenty of time but I never do. If I read to early then I feel like I have just forgotten the book by the time I need it and even if I make notes, the notes barely make sense to me. If I start it too late then I am rushing and skim reading books. Our lecturer has said you either: “Read widely and deeply or read small and deeply” and I think I need to take this on board… I will at some point. Again, there are obvious answers to this problem but I think have all been at fault for the reason of not reading.

You’re Your Own Worst Critic 

The worst thing you can ever do is judge your own work, which obviously you are bound to. I believe there are stages to this. You start this and you feel like you can’t start, every sentence you write doesn’t sound good enough or doesn’t do the start justice, so you keep restarting. Then you get to the stage where you are writing and then re-read it and question entirely what you have been writing, then there is the stage where you feel like you are doing really well and can’t stop writing. Then finally you have the stage where you’ve finished and believe it is a complete pile of… rubbish. You read it and question what any of it actually says and whether any of it is actually any good and from there, it’s a downwards spiral.

Comparing with Others

First of all, DON’T. Second of all, it’s perfectly fine to study together and help each other out but do not, and I mean do not, compare your work to others. Either way, it’s going to stress one of you out. One person is going to feel like the others work is better than theirs or you are going to feel like you’ve done it completely wrong and just make yourself feel even worse in the process. Like I said, help each other, don’t compare.

Don’t Rush Through

This goes hand in hand with not leaving it until the last minute, but the point still stands. Don’t rush an assignment, it won’t help your stress and the work you produce won’t be your best. Some people can sit down in one evening and can power through an assignment and complete it and that’s it, it’s done. (Which is crazy!). Other people take weeks and so on and so fourth, it varies depending on the person. When doing an assignment, whether you do it in a short time or a long time period, never sit down and just do it all and keep pushing. As soon as you hit the metaphorical ‘wall’ where you are really struggling and racking your brains trying to produce an answer, STOP! You won’t produce good work and it’ll make you feel like crap. Just stop, take a break and return at another time. Trust me, it will be worth it.

Therefore, this is the end of this student worries article for now. I feel like this isn’t the end and as my semesters continue, I feel as though I’ll add more and more to this article. You may have taken something from this, you may have not. Either way, it’s felt fantastic to write an article again. 

50 things guaranteed to happen during Freshers Week

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rum tum

Ah, Freshers. A week or fortnight infamous for drunken disasters and loan obliterations. Here are 50 things that are guaranteed to go on.

  1. Someone will climb inside a washing machine at the launderette
  2. You will become best friends with someone for one night and then never speak to them again
  3. Someone will be violently sick in front of everyone
  4. You will get free condoms at the Freshers Fair
  5. And free pens
  6. And sign up to societies you never intend on going to
  7. You will have to drink a dirty pint
  8. You will get lost heading to an induction
  9. Someone will create a chunder chart and think they are hilarious
  10. They will then be the first name on said chunder chart
  11. Someone will make a basic cooking error and nearly cause a fire
  12. You will spend your first loan solely on clothes and booze
  13. Someone will have to be taken home…

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Reacquainted.

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Fanatastic article to read, an old friend discovering his blog and getting reacquainted with his readers. Check it out.

Touch The Hills

As I was stalking myself on Twitter, scrolling down my own profile, I discovered a link to this blog. I then discovered that I haven’t used it since October. Sorry.

Perhaps now would be a good time to get reacquainted and hopefully I will begin to use this more because I actually really enjoy writing.

Hi! I’m Mitch and I am a student at Regents Theological College. I am studying for a degree in Applied Theology and Performing Arts and I love it there. I am a fan of Leicester City Football Club (who aren’t doing too bad currently!) and I love music, whether that be listening or playing.

Before I came to write this evening, I read the three blog posts that I wrote at the back end of last year as I was preparing to go off to college and in the early weeks of my life there…

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