GS 2017 – 19/06/2017

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Good Evening Readers,

Here we are, another article! What has been going on in my life? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Oh! Wait! I binge watched all of Rick and Morty. That is the extent of what I can class as being productive at the moment. Yay for me!

I think the begin this article, first and foremost, we should address the weather. That’s the most typically British thing to do, right? I mean, we only get a few good days of summer a year and it is fair to say, this is some of the warmest weather we have faced this year. When I say that what I mean is, WHY IS IT SO DAMN HOT?! If I am being honest with you, I prefer the cold weather. At least when it is cold you can control your temperature. When you are hot, you are just hot! It’s so annoying.

Anyway, enough of that, just know that I will probably be trekking to the South Pole tonight to sleep, or failing that, sleeping in my freezer.

Today, I believe I shall talk about a little poll I ran over on Campus Society. Now, as most of my readers know, I have written a few articles entitled ‘Student Worries’ where I have explored a variety of worries that prospective students face when starting university. Well, even those that are already at university. A lot of them can be debunked as common misconceptions that have been created through media coverage and stories, social media content and stories that have been passed through the grape vine.

In this poll, I put forward the following question with the following options;

“What are you most worried about starting university?

  • Finances
  • Starting Your Course
  • Food Shopping
  • Living Independently
  • Making Friends
  • The Work Load
  • Joining Societies
  • Night Life ETC.
  • Other”

The following are the number of votes they received each;

Finances (47); Starting Your Course (14); Food Shopping (10); Living Independently (13); Making Friends (54); The Work Load (13); Joining Societies (6); Night Life ETC. (5); Other (1).

As you can see there are two clear ‘winners’ that are far ahead of the others, those being ‘Finances’ and ‘Making Friends’. Ironically, through my past three years of blog writing, these are ALWAYS the most common. This has led me to write many articles on these topics in order to try and encourage students to not stress about these things quite so much before they start university; doing so can really make the start of university a daunting experience.

Finances

Do not get me wrong, finances can be extremely daunting whilst at university. For the majority of students, they will apply for Student Finance and get a varied amount depending on their parent’s income (do not even get me started on that). Now, this amount they receive from SF can barely even cover some students rent/ability to live and that is scary. For other students, it doesn’t cover their accommodation at all! Some students have to borrow from friends/family if they are so lucky. Others are able to get bursaries. Others have to dip into their savings. Then there are others that have to work in order to allow them to live. Now, this point goes off into various other branches about working during university, the stress of that and the balance of work/social/uni and it goes on and on, something I have covered many a time! But for now, we’ll focus on just the idea of finances.

Whatever situation you are in, if you want to go to university, you are going to have to live with it. One thing that is not worth your time is worrying about the debt you are going to be in. Unfortunately, we live in a society now where being a student means having an acceptance towards the debt you are going to be, that’s just that. There is nothing you can do about that. (Unless you are insanely right or win the lottery!). Therefore, try not to let it bother you too much. Accept the money you are going to get and accept that it is something you are going to be paying back for an awfully long time and probably never going to fully pay off anyway. Once you have accepted that, you can move on with your life.

If you need a job, get a job and something manageable. If you don’t, manage to budget your money. (To be honest, do that either way!). Budgeting is important. Also, know that you are not alone. Every student is in the same boat and finances is something that 99% of us do poorly… so, do not worry. To be honest, I am not the best at giving advice about it. I usually ignore it until I HAVE to worry about it. Best way! (It’s not!).

If you need help, reach out to your university. There are many, many routes that you can take in order to get extra money and get help whilst at university!

Making Friends

Again, this is another EXTREMELY common worry when starting university. It is mostly common for it to be a 50/50 split. Half are not worried about making friends at university, the other half is. At the end of the day, it depends on who you are as a person – all those weird and wonderful things that make you, you. No matter whether you are an extreme extrovert or a deeply rooted introvert, there is ALWAYS going to be somebody like you are university and you will come across them. You will bond over past experiences, likes and dislikes, hobbies and so on. (Hopefully your course as well!). There are friends to be made all over whilst at university.

One thing I will say is this. Do NOT worry if you do not make friends in your course. There are some people that do not and that is fine. There is plenty of other opportunities. During Freshers week especially. During Freshers week the universities usually put on a parade of different events and activities to take part in and you should give all of them ago if you can. Just get out there and meet friends. Join socities, go to taster sessions and so on! Now, I do understand that for an extrovert that is fairly easy, for an introvert, not so much. However, introverts, get out! Give it ago! Make friends with your flatmates and go out for a coffee or for a meal or to a taster session… the list is endless.

All I can promise is this… it will naturally happen. It will all just fall into place, so let it happen. (Just do not forget to put in at least a little effort!).

Good luck propsective students, until next time!

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GS 2017 – 16/06/2017 (This, That & Everything)

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Hello Readers,

How are we all? I trust we are all. Today’s article is going to be a mixture of everything; as the title suggests, ‘This, That & Everything’. As university and college come to an end, the exam stress begins to disappear and summer begins to take shape, I thought I’d address a mixture of areas. Let’s get started!

  • A Well Deserved Break

As previously stated, university, college and more is coming to an end for a lot of students. That means all that hard work has now (hopefully) paid off and you can begin to enjoy your summer… again, hopefully.

This little area is to remind you that you should have a well-deserved break! You have been working hard for a VERY long time so now, do not feel guilty about taking some time off. This is what I did when I finished university, I felt SUPER guilty about not doing anything but I am telling you, if it is possible, take a week to yourself! Stay in bed, watch films, binge watch TV, have some relaxing days out, go out to eat, go out drinking – do whatever you need to do to unwind and relax. You owe it to yourself to let your body and mind have a break.

  • Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail

Yes, it is a very cheesy line but it is very true. Now, I apply this quote to a variety of situations – therefore, it depends on what situation you are in. If you’re going from college to university, ensure you start preparing. Make sure your Student Finance is sorted out in plenty of time, as well as your accommodation! Ensure you have started to plan out weekly budgets and you have started to look for jobs if you need one. Make a list of everything that you need to buy and buy in plenty of time!

If you’re already at university, ensure you start preparing for your next academic year. Spend some time getting copies off books or spend some time in the library and start reading and trying to make a head start on the work you shall be doing. Also, if you’re already in university, make sure you have everything sorted for your student house (because if you have not already got one, you are cutting it fine, to be prepared – look around Christmas time). Ensure contracts and money are in order if there is anything you need to buy for the house or clarify with the landlord and so on. BE PREPARED.

  • Landlords and Communication

This leads on from the previous, and one I pride myself in especially. At this point, I have lived in two student houses and had a good line of communication with both of my landlords. Why is this important you ask? Well, if you are respectful of your landlord and willing to talk to them, this can even benefit both you and the landlord. For example, in the first student house, by being close with my landlord, he provided us with two new sofas and also allowed us to have rabbits, as well as fitting mirrors in the bathrooms for us. At the same time, in return, I offered my services of doing minor repairs and so on.

In this student house, I am again close with the landlord. He let us fit an outdoor light in the garden, as well as fitting a blind for us in a hallway and teaching me how to bleed radiators and fix the boiler. In return, I am offering my services over summer repainting the house free of charge. I take pride in my student house and I show this by caring for the garden and making sure it’s presentable. By showing the landlord you can about the house, keep it in good condition and are not afraid to help out and talk to them, they will respect you a lot more! This is something I can not repeat enough!

  • Money, Money, Money

Obviously, as a lot of students suffer, we know that Student Finance does not allow some students to afford rent, let alone live. Therefore, students suffer. In turn, students have to ask family for money (if this is viable) or work! All I say is, in the student cities, jobs are all around – but not easy to come by, ironically. Therefore, ensure you search for jobs in plenty of time! Apply, apply, apply!

However, I will say this. It is important you know your timetable for the year whilst at university. Find out when you will be in lectures and make sure you dedicate time to individual study, once you do this, you will know the kind of hours you can apply for. Do not get me wrong, some people manage a full-time job whilst at university, some people can only manage part-time, it depends on you! Just do not stretch yourself thin! Know what you can handle!

  • Enjoy Your Summer!

Finally, enjoy your summer! This sort of links with the first point about having that well-deserved break but this addresses all of summer. Summer, all in all, is about having a good break (even if you are working) therefore, make sure you enjoy it! Spend time with family and friends, if you can go on holiday – go! Go out, explore and just make some memories! Once university hits, as much fun as it can seem, it will be stressful and though you’ll make memories, you won’t have time to go on breaks away and such (some people do – but that is not the point). Just ENJOY YOUR SUMMER! As much as possible! Have a great time and just live a little and return to university (or start) refreshed!

That is it for today, these are some of my little tips that I wanted to share with you!

Have a great summer readers, whatever you do!

GS 2017 – 09/06/2017

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Good Afternoon Readers,

As promised, I am continuing with my ‘Graduate Summer’ collection of writing. Today’s subject was decided upon using a poll on ‘Campus Society’ in which I provided the following options;

  • My Past Couple of Days
  • The Election / My £210 Bet
  • Story Time (Random Story)
  • Other 

Following the results of that, I am going to combine two. I will write about my last couple of days and link it with a little story. At this point and time of my writing, I’m still yet to decide on what story that will be, but, we shall see!

We shall start with the past couple of days. As you know from one of my recent articles, I have been back home in Leicester. Due in part to going to London to visit Campus and also wanting to see my family, however, I had to come back to Lincoln yesterday to vote. I have not had an exciting life, to say the least at the moment. I helped out my parents with some work the other day and earned some money, then yesterday I drove back to Lincoln, voted and spent most of my evening watching the Election. After a while, I realised I’d tuned out of what was being said and just focusing on the bottom of the screen watching the seats being taken. Thrilling. I had to give up watching it in the end.

HOWEVER, the last couple of days have been dominated by something else… something that was advertised to ‘take over our summer’… and yes, you would be right in guessing that ‘Love Island’ has returned to our screens! I definitely have an unhealthy obsession with that programme. It is one of those that I refuse to miss, I have to watch every episode! I’m enjoying this year contestants and the drama is already heating up. I have my opinions on all of them but I won’t go into detail on that in this post as I would end up going on and on and on!

With this in mind though, this leads me to a story that happened just last night!

STORY TIME!

Right, so, I’d returned to Lincoln and quickly informed my housemates that we HAD to watch Love Island as I had not missed an episode and I wanted to continue that streak. At the same time, I wanted them to share in the delight that is Love Island and become as obsessed as I am around this FANTASTIC show!

So there I am, ready and waiting for Love Island to start at 9 pm on ITV2. Patiently waiting. I’ve gone to the toilet, I’ve gone for a cigarette and now I am comfy on the sofa. My roommate then plugs in her soup maker… which blows ALL the electrics in the kitchen/front room and yes, you guessed it, this meant the TV died. Full. Blown. Panic. The fuse had blown in the plug meaning it tripped the rest of the electrics in the house. Therefore, it was me to the rescue in a blind panic as I attempted not to miss Love Island. This was at like 8:58 pm – so yeah, you can imagine my panic. I ran to the fuse box, expecting to see that the main fuse had been tripped, it had not. PANIC. After fiddling with it for a while I managed to rest the fuse box and then change the fuse in soup makers plug and get everything back up and running – having only missed two minutes of Love Island.

Everything was okay. I managed to finish watching the programme without any more interruptions.

So yeah, that’s my exciting little life during my graduate summer!

JustGeorgeJ’s Little Adventure in Big London!

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Hello Readers,

As many of you know, today I traveled down to London to visit the offices of Campus Society. It has been a day… I can tell you that. It has been a lot of traveling, a lot of new experiences and very tiring. However, all in all, it has been extremely fun! 

As I write this article, I am on the train back to Leicester. Luckily, I managed to get a seat next to the window and facing the direction the train is actually going. As I travel home and record the standard “fields passing me by bit” for my YouTube vlog, I’m left reflecting on my little journey and the day as a whole!

Before I talk about today, I believe it is important to mention the recent, horrific, events that have happened in the U.K. including London. Unless you are a complete shut away and hermit (which in this day and age, I would not blame you) you shall know of the events that occurred in Manchester and London. If you do not know, in Manchester there was a terrorist attack involving an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert and then a couple of days ago, a terrorist attack involving a van and stabbings in London. It is fair to say, the world has been a scary place as of late. Therefore, it was no surprise I was nervous about traveling to London today. My anxiety was going crazy. I come from Leicester and Lincoln, sure, crime happens but nothing on the scale of terrorist attacks so it was difficult to decide whether I was going to go somewhere where tensions were high and venture into a city that is on high alert. I was on the fence, to say the least, I kept changing my mind. What set it in stone (the decision to go) was watching the One Love concert in Manchester last night. Following what happened at Grande’s gig, she did a charity concert with a collection of famous singers and musicians and much more to raise money for the victims and families of the tragedy. Witnessing what I did, as I watched it live on TV, was outstanding. It was clear to see that no matter what, as a country, we are defiant in the face of chaos and terrorism. They attempt to tear us apart and strike fear into our hearts and alter our values and way of life but all we do is throw a big ass concert and have a bloody good time! We are strong. We are resilient. We are united. With this in mind, I decided the fear was not going to stop me and the decision was made, I was going to London.

Today, I woke up at 9 am and proceeded to get ready for the exciting day ahead. Now, first I should let you into a story as to why I am so against public transport…

Back in my first-year summer, my car had to be fixed and therefore, to travel to Lincoln, I had to go on the train. This would be the first time I’d EVER been on a train on my own! (Weird, right?). This meant I had to book my tickets, navigate the station and all the rest. Long story short, when collecting my RETURN tickets from the machine at the station… I only collected the Outward bound tickets and believed this was everything I needed. Therefore, on the way back, I had no ticket. I couldn’t afford another to get back. Luckily, my friend drove me back. If not, I’d have still been there to this day.  (Literally) (Not literally).

… so now you understand why I was nervous about my journey. Anywho, I got myself ready and had to be at Leicester train station for 11:45, my train left at 12:00. By a miracle, I managed to get ALL my tickets I needed, navigate to the platform and get on the train without any help. #Achievement #AdultLife #NailedIt ! Ahead of me was an hours train journey to St.Pancras station – the journey was nice. However, someone was in my reserved seat… so, in a typically British way, I didn’t bother the man and simply sat with him. I soon realised I was sitting in a position so I’d be going backward when the train moved. Seeing as I get travel sick, this was not good. You’re probably thinking “you could have just moved seat”, oh no, no my dear friends! My anxiety does not allow for that, I was fully committed to sitting with this man and his girlfriend. I was in it for the long run. In my head, moving would have offended him and made me look weird. However, I survived the journey and did not puke.

Once I reached the station, I had to navigate to the tube. Which I had NEVER been on. I had NO idea how it worked. (This seemed to offend a lot of Londoners which I encountered today). I just started to mindlessly follow signs for “UNDERGROUND”, that seemed to be a good idea. I knew that I had to be on the Picadilly Westbound tube to get to Knightsbridge and luckily, three lovely police offers who were extremely approachable helped me out. Once on the tube, I managed to get myself to Knightsbridge and finally to the building I needed. Honestly, it may not sound a lot to you seasoned travelers but the whole thing for me was a miracle. The fact I actually got where I needed to be is a pure miracle.

As mentioned previously I was off to the offices of Campus Society. Campus Society is a social media website for students both nationally and internationally. If you have not already, check it out here. At this stage, I do not want to say too much about why I was at Campus Society but I will say it is an exciting opportunity! I’ll keep you all updated on this as time goes on!

After my team of meeting the Campus crew and getting shown around, my time had passed before I knew it, and it was time to meet a friend before getting some food. After a successful second tube trip, we ended up in Five Guys – catching up and having a nice time. From there, we went for coffee before I had to catch my train back to Leicester at 7:15 pm. Then, from there, long story short, I arrived back in Leicester and was home safe and sound!

And this is my day to London! (How many times can I say the word London?)

There is a lot of exciting news to update you all on soon and a lot going on in my life! Slowly but surely I will catch you all up and let you know what is going on but until then I hope you enjoyed reading this account of my day out and keep an eye out for this space where I will be posting the link to my vlog all about the footage I recorded today!

Goodnight readers!

The Post-Uni Slump

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Afternoon Readers,

I’m going to be honest this life after university is not all I expected it to be. Do not get me wrong, the life of knowing that I do not have any work looming over me is very glorious and free, but, at the same time, it is also very boring and I do not know what to really do with myself. Therefore, let’s talk about the post-uni slump!

I’ve been finished university around a week now and I can tell you now, I have not done much in that time. To be honest, most days/nights I have been out drinking celebrating the end of my journey, however, there is also so long you can go with ignoring the fact that a significant part of your life has come to an end and unfortunately, it comes the time you have to say goodbye to people that have become like a second family to you and grow and move on with your life. It’s not enjoyable, it’s an inevitability. Again, do not get me wrong, there are the people that you will stay close with and see often, but, there are still lose that go in their own direction and it is upsetting.

For me, personally, I’ve always fallen into a ‘slump’ at the end of the various stages of my educational journey. Be it the end of GCSE or Sixth Form, I have always this slump. I normally stay in it for one-two weeks (all of summer) and then carry on once I find something to occupy myself with.

It is a weird state to be in, especially where I am now, no longer a student at one university and waiting to be a student at another. I am aiming to use this summer as an opportunity to earn some money and get some money beyond me in hopes that I will be financially stable when it comes to my next academic year. Luckily, I have been shortlisted for a job and currently waiting for an interview at said job, if all goes well, I will have a job that I shall be happy at and getting this money behind me!

On another note, I also feel guilty for doing nothing. In actuality I should not feel that way at all, I have worked non-stop for three years and put a lot of work into my degree, so, I do deserve a couple of weeks break where I just do nothing. At the same time, I feel guilty due to the fact that I seem to have lost my passion for writing. Obviously, I run this blog and various other social medias and I feel like I should keep my work up to standard and regular for my readers, but, it is really hard to find the time and passion for sitting down and writing.

If I’m being honest, I’m struggling for topics, especially for this blog. I have written for this blog over a hundred times now, I’ve repeated past posts and I’ve provided various experiences and advice, however, I feel like I’ve hit a wall with this blog. This saddens me as I do not want this blog to come to an end, hopefully, it will not. I should start working on my blog ‘The MA Life’ and document my preparations for that course… however, I have no idea what to write about, again. Now you understand, the slump.

Ironically, as most people, I’m most motivated at 3 am. When I get into bed at night and attempt to relax and fall to sleep, my mind is firing at 100mph with ideas, motivations, dreams, goals and more – however, by the morning, they’ve disappeared as quick as the sleep I was longing for.

EXCITING NEWS… as I was writing this article entry I had a phone call and it was a telephone interview for a different job as opposed to the one mentioned above. It went really well and the prospects of that look promising!

All in all, this university slump will pass but I wanted to share this article for you to let you know it is a natural way of feeling after you’ve finished university. Even if that feeling makes you believe that you’re lost or that your university journey feels pointless etc, whatever it is, it is natural. You will get out of the slump and you will keep on pushing!

Good luck to all those that have not finished yet, keep pushing, work hard and watch it pay off! It is nearly over soon, best of luck!

One Week Left

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Good Afternoon Readers,

Yes! This is it. This is the ‘one week countdown’ of my undergraduate degree ,if you’d like. Technically, at this point, I have a presentation on Wednesday and then my last deadline is on the 22nd of this month, however, I’ve already completed it and just waiting to submit it. Therefore, after Wednesday, I am done! So, there is one week left!

It’s weird to think that in a weeks time I will no longer have any work to do at Bishop Grosseteste University. I’ve studied here for three years and it’s suddenly all coming to an end. It’s gone by in the blink of an eye.

All I can do now is wait for my grades to come back and graduation and see where I end up! An exciting thing though… I’ve applied to be a Student Orator for my graduation! This basically means that I’ll make a closing speech at one of the four graduation ceremonies which is extremely terrifying whilst at the same time exciting! I really do hope I get one of the roles, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do!

With one week left I am basically preparing for my presentation…. he says whilst preparing for a night out tonight. As a few cities do, we have a night out called ‘Propaganda’ and tonight is the last one of the university term… I plan to not rememeber the night. I am definitely going to use it as a stress reflief that I definitely deserve!

On top of this, I am attempting to get a job for summer, set plans for my Masters and work on my blogs! I also need to make a good effort on my Bucket List this summer! There is a lot I want to do this summer.

Anyway, like I said, I’m pretty much attempting to deal with the idea that university is coming to an end. It’s crazy and I really cannot get my head round it!

So… here’s to my last week!

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.

 

The Social Side

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Good Evening Readers,

Tonight’s article is all about the secondary most important part of university. ‘The social side’ to the whole experience. We have to admit, it is pretty important. For some people, the social side is easy, for others, it is challenging, for others – it isn’t something they even consider to fret about but university, like the other levels of education, is still on the social side and there is still things to consider. If not to consider, things I would like to pass to you from my experiences of ‘social life’ at university!

“Look around the room now. These people that you’ve made friends with, by the third year – maybe even second year – you may not be friends and you may not be close. That is okay. You’ve latched to these people at the moment because you were all in the same lonely boat but as time passes on, you’ll meet other people and friendships will form. Let whatever happens, happen and don’t worry about it!”.

I would love to say this is EXACTLY what my lecturer said, alas she did not. This is probably an ‘over-dramatised’ version of what she said. To be honest, the first couple of sentences are the closest to what I can remember she said. The rest?…. Dramatic effect?

When beginning university, amongst all the sea of worries and frets you have, once of them (maybe) about ‘making friends’ and from the times I’ve spent answering queries on The Student Room, it’s a big fret to a lot of prospective students. Completely natural! Making friends at university is a BIG thing. If you are not lucky enough to have someone you know from your area going to the same university as you, you’re going to be making new friends. Whether it’s from living in halls, on your course, in a society and so on. There are MANY social circles and a lot you can fit into and plenty of potential to make new friends and friendship groups.

I would like to state, my views may be a little bias. I say this because with studying Drama, all the first; second and third years know each other, or at least know of one another. We are a social bunch. I know for a fact we are pretty much the only course at my university that is like this. Therefore, bare that in mind with some of the things I’ll say.

I can certainly say that the starting statement was true for me with people in my friendship group. I’d say that my friendship groups have shifted across every year. However, there are some people that have always remained the same. However, they are people that I was best friends with in the first year, but no longer talk to in my third year, so, you must understand friendship groups do shift throughout university and that’s okay.

As I’ve stated, you can either make friends through your halls, your course, societies and many other ways. However, I should state at this point, I know it is not easy to make new friends or even approach new people and that’s okay, do you know why? Because there are plenty of people like that at university! If you ever think you’re alone in something at university, chances are, you aren’t. There is always someone who is going through or been through what you are going through and feeling – as I’ve stated before, everybody is in the same boat at university.

Having a social life at university is very important. It’s supporting to know that when you are fed up of your studies and need a break that there are people you can chill with, be comfortable with and just do everything and nothing with. Equally, it’s supporting know that you and those people can support each other through the hardships of university and go through everything together! It’s very true when they say you’ll make some life long friends whilst at university. Don’t let that opportunity go to waste!

One thing I will say is this; friendship drama never disappears. I tried for a good year and a half to believe that because I was at university, friendship drama would stop. It does not and I’ve come to accept that no matter what age you are, that kind of drama is always going to exist in some way or form. What I will say is though, if friendship drama goes happen, just try and resolve it as quickly as possible because it is not worth it. If they are people that you cherish, fight for them and keep them close. If they are toxic people that you do not need in your life, be rid of them. Just waste time and do not create excuses for people. Life is short and your time at university is even shorter – spend it with people that you can make memories with and have a bloody good time with. Celebrate your achievements with those your cherish and celebrate theirs and support each other when the going gets tough because at university, the going will get tough and you do not want to do that alone.

In previous articles, I’ve written largely about loneliness whilst at university and it’s important to know that this will happen with and without a friendship – but at least with them, you’ve got people you can go to in situations such as those.

Finally, I cannot say I’m great at sharing tips of ‘how to make friends’ but I’ll give it a shot, why not!

  • At the beginning be polite and open. Say “hi” when the opportunity presents itself and just enquire about where they are from, why they came to this university and their studies. You have a lot of material to work with when you first start university.
  • Take opportunities to go to social events. SU Events; House Parties; Study Groups – whatever it is, try it out. You never know – you might make a friend!
  • Don’t be downhearted if someone you have become friends with has another group of friends – either become part of that group or go make your own!
  • Remember there are PLENTY of people at university that will share your likes, dislikes, hobbies and so on. It’s just about finding them!
  • Make opportunities to do things with people. Study groups, lunch, drinking – whatever it is, suggest something and go do it!

Good Luck!

Health at University

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Health at university. Something you probably haven’t really considered with all the stress of moving city, studying else where, having to make new friends, learn a new place and so on and so fourth. Oh, if you hadn’t guessed it. This is for people living away at university.

When moving to university it’s fair to say, for the majority I know, that you don’t really take into consideration what you are going to do if your health suddenly needs some attention! E.g. doctors, dentists and what not. What’s that? You aren’t worried because that’s all sorted at home? Yeah, that’s all good and fine but what if you can’t make it home? Yeah, that’s right. Time to move doctors! 

So you’ve moved to university, you are all settled in and getting ready to enjoy the start of your course. Feelings are probably up and down right now but overall you are having a great time and enjoying yourself. However, your freshers is coming to an end and you are starting to feel a bit, how do I put this? Crap. Under the weather and not yourself. You’ve put it down to all the drinking, junk food and messed up sleeping pattern and well, yes, that’s true. It’s a combination of all those things but I’m about to tell you something different… you are experience…

FRESHERS FLU.

Yes, that’s right. That awful thing you’ve heard so many people complain about, you now have. Two interesting facts for you! ‘Freshers Flu’ is purely a term made up in the UK. It doesn’t really ‘appear’ anywhere else. It’s all ours! Second fact, ‘freshers flu’ isn’t actually anything. It isn’t a real thing. It’s just a term that’s been coined to fit a general feeling of crappiness.

I’m using this website for all this information: Save The Student

Like I’ve already said it’s a mix of:

– Mingling: You are meeting loads of new people from here, there and everywhere and basically, we all know how easily the common cold is contracted and theres your explaination. Everybody is carrying this ‘cold’ type ‘flu’ and it gets pass from person to person and then combined with the rest, it gets worse.

Lack of sleep: You are partying out till all hours, struggling to sleep because of home sickness or genuinely are watching Netflix till God knows what time and the messed up sleeping pattern is affecting your immune system, lowering it, making it easier to get colds.

Eating Junk Food: Easily recognised. Everybody, well the majority, eat pure rubbish during the first week of university. Of course not eating the right foods means you are getting this, that and the other that your body needs, again helping to lower your immune system.

Alcohol: Really need me to explain this?

Stress: Well again, you are moving out, moving here, there and everywhere and having to start a new course. It gets to you, even if you don’t realise it. Again, mix these together and you’ll be left feeling the following…

Symptoms: Shivering, Fever, Dry Cough, Sneezing, Headaches, Groggyness. Once these hit you, you’ll be stuck to your bed asking your newly found flat mates to bring your soup and tea and all the health healing drugs in the world.

How to cure? Drink LOADS of water, take paracetamol, vitamins, sleep, drink milk, chicken soup and last but not least what most do, man/woman UP!

Interestingly this ‘fake flu’ hits around 90% of all students around the first few weeks of university. It gets passed from person to person and then once you’ve had it, you’ll dread it and pass on your horry stories to the next first years.

So all of this is fun and games and going with the flow of starting university, however, what if things get more serious than this? What if you do need a doctor or you need a dentist and your home is a few hours away and isn’t just easy enough to jump in the car or get on a train? You need to look at getting a doctors!

When starting university, most universities give the details of the most local doctors and tell students how to apply and sign up for the doctors, if they do, take them up on it and get your details in and get that number saved on your phone! You just never know when you’ll need it! Also, if not, look out for your nearest walk-in centres. Always helpful! If your university doesn’t do this, just do a quick Google one night and if you can register online, fantastic! If not take some time out of one of your days to go and register. You will not regret it! I swear at some point I will take this advice, there was been times in first year when I’ve needed the doctor but due to my laziness I’ve had to go all the way home. I’m in the process of getting mine set up and I’m in second year. Don’t follow my example.

The next is if you need a dentist. This is a little more extreme but hey, who knows what silly accident will happen in freshers and you lose a tooth. It could happen. When I first started university I looked for a dentist and went an applied, I literally never heard from them but then again, I never followed them up. Jeez, I’m a bad example.

DO go on Google and find your local dentist and apply. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Also, extreme again, but KNOW where your local hospital is. You’ll never know when you need it if something goes wrong on a night out or if you need A&E quickly. 

University has it’s up and downs and your health should not be forgotten about. Of course I’m talking purely physical, university can affect people mentally as well but I will go into that in another article. Keep an eye on your health and keep yourself healthy.

It’s all fun and games until something goes wrong and then if you aren’t prepared, you’ll be wishing you were.

On a quick note: ‘The A Level Project’ has been shut down and the WordPress deleted as my friend who helped me run it is too busy, as am I, too keep the amount of content at a regular level. I run this blog therefore, I put this over priority. It may make an apperance again one day, however, thank you for the support showed there.