Anxiety and It’s Disabling Capabilities


Hello Readers,

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post now and I have been juggling university work, job searching and life in general. To be honest, in the past couple of weeks, this anxiety that I suffer from has attempted to rear it’s ugly head back into my life and in the past couple of days, it succeeded. Therefore you can call this moment I’m experiencing, the “relapse”. From the title you can gather I will be talking about anxiety (as usual), but this time (and in more detail) exploring its disabling capabilities.

Whether I’ve explained this before, I cannot remember, but since anxiety has settled itself like a unwelcome visitor in my life, it has continually found ways of rubbing me up the wrong way. Or in other words, found ways to make me pay attention to it.

If that doesn’t make sense, let me go back and explain. Anxiety has a way of affecting you both physically and mentally – as many of us suffers (and non suffers) will understand. The physical affects can range from person to person depending on who you are and the level of which you suffer, e.g. rapid or irregular heartbeat, hyperventilating or shortness of breath, shaking and twitching, light headedness or dizziness and so on and so fourth. The mental affects are racing thoughts, constant feelings of dread, overthinking, negative thoughts etc. Whatever way anxiety decides to manifest within you, it isn’t a pleasant feeling with most suffers saying that when they have an attack, it feels as though they are dying. Which is something I feel all too well.

A lot of these symptoms that are listed above (as long as those that haven’t) are also known as “triggers“. Normally meaning that any of these symptoms can occur and then “trigger” the rest of the anxiety (or panic) attack. Of course, whether you know it or not, anxiety and panic attacks are a cause of the “flight or fight response” in the body. The way I like to think of it, simply, is as a mis-wiring within the body. The “fight or flight response” within the human body is all about basic survival. However, anxiety suffers, our flight or fight fires 100x more than it needs to and within the release of chemicals (such as adrenaline) it triggers the symptoms above. This makes us feel like we are on “vibrate” and as though we need to be running or doing something when all we are doing is sitting in bed and everything is fine. A major problem with suffering from this mental health issue is that it causes us confusion. Humans naturally suffer from a base form of anxiety, e.g. being nervous and unfortunately, we no longer are granted the basic anxiety which helps us. Instead, we are running on overdrive 24/7 for no reason, dealing with irrational and silly thoughts and although we know there is no need to feel this way, it’s difficult to talk yourself out of it, although, not impossible.

This brings me to my journey. Throughout my journey, I have battled throughout a lot of my triggers. It originally started with a rapid heartbeat, that would set me off. Then once I overcame that, it was having a shortness of breath. Defeating that led me to twitching and shaking, I suffered from this a lot. This goes on and on, you get the idea. I am at a point now where I have fought with my anxiety a lot and overcame A LOT. Usually, I relapse badly at least once a month, if not a little longer. This is one of those times. The most recent of these triggers is that of being light headed and feeling nauseated. Badly. Normally, it’s not too bad and it passes easily, however, this time it has decided not to grant me the simple pleasure of having to endure it for a short while. In the past couple of days, it’s completely disabled me in day-to-day life and social situations. I hate it. Ever since early yesterday, it has felt as though the room was spinning. It has felt like, well simply, it has felt like I have vertigo. It seems as though I am unstable and it makes me feel sick to my stomach. Although, it is purely a product of this dreaded anxiety. If I shake my head widely, it does not make me feel sick or dizzy, but, if I sit normally or live my day-to-day life then BOOM! I feel as though I’m about to pass out. Excuse my language but it is completely shit. This has led to me having to miss my girlfriends grandmothers birthday and be in bed for most of the day which makes me feel absolutely horrible. It makes me feel disrespectful, rude and idiotic. It is completely disabling in every way. It is a battle every second. Why do I tell you this? Well, maybe to help me vent or maybe to help you understand that if you are reading this and you suffer as well, you aren’t alone or to let those know that don’t suffer, it is not a choice we make. Our brains are working overtime and the questions never stop; what if I’m out and I faint? what if nobody believes me and they think I am being silly? what if I embarrass myself? And so on. It completely disables you from being able to be a normal human and we want nothing more than for it to stop. We do not choose this.

But hey, all in all, this may just be the next battle I am going to have to face. Just the next step in this journey of an anxious life. It’s shitty but it’s a part of me. However, it will not control me for long. I will overcome this soon.

When The Going Get’s Tough…

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Good Evening Readers,

A massive thank you for all the support I had yesterday with the previous article, if you have not already read it, you can find it here. Tonight, it is going to get a little personal and extremely truthful in regards to university. Buckle up Freshers (or students), truth bomb coming at you!

The title of this article as you will have already read is ‘When The Going Gets Tough…’, now, many of you will already know the end to that saying, but for now, we shall save it. What do I mean by this?

Simply, university is going to get tough. Whether at the beginning, in the middle or at the end. University will be tough for you. You are going to experience that time that 99.9% of students go through. The stress, the tears, the defeat, the hopelessness, the pure exhaustion of doing what you are doing. It is going to hit you. Guess what? That’s okay. It is natural.

Now, throughout my time of writing my student blog I have often touched upon the idea that the media portrays student life and university life as a complete facade to what it actually is. It is either at two ends of the spectrum – glorifying student life as they study towards their achievements or the other end of the spectrum, e.g. drugs and the scandal around them and student drinking. However, there is no in between, the truth is not presented. That being that student life is bloody hard. It is hurdles and challenges and sometimes, not succeeding in jumping or facing them. It’s being completely exhausted and having breakdowns over deadlines and word counts. It’s having to work basically full-time and balance studying just so you can eat. It’s stressing you out that much that you actually make yourself ill. It’s having late nights and early mornings equalling in very little sleep just to catch up on work and make it to lectures. It’s having breakdowns to your lecturers about life because you are just struggling to juggle it all. It is constantly worrying about money and how you are going to afford rent. It is facing high school drama that should have ended by now but never did. It’s having to attempt to remain in a social circle and keep your friends and even dipping your toe in the relationship pool and doing all of this whilst trying not to fall apart because you desperately want that degree. It is the physical embodiment of ‘the good, the bad and the ugly.’

I do not make it sound glamorous or welcoming at all, do I? Okay, let me rectify that with the point of this article.

Despite all of this, it is these times where the memories are created and when you realise what university is all about. Yes, at the end of the day, university is always going to be about your degree, but, it’s about how you experience this degree. During all those moments that I mentioned above, that is when you come together as students. Those late nights in the library where you are having a breakdown are the moments your friends bring you a McDonalds, those times when you can’t afford food, those are the moments when friends lend you money or cook for you. When you are ill, your friends nurse you. When you’re having a breakdown, your friends give you a break. When you feel like you’re drifting when your friends, they pull you back in. Being students is a unity. As cliche as that sounds. You stick together.

Because you know when the going gets tough…

The tough get going.

Remember this Freshers, when you down in the dumps and feel like you want to drop out, stick at it. These are where the memories of university are made. You are being tested, keep pushing.

My Next Step

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Good Evening Readers,

What a lovely afternoon it is! My article today comes, yet again, after a suggestion over on ‘Campus Society’. Seriously, if you have not made a profile on there yet, you really should. Especially if you want to give blogging a go! I’m here today to talk about my next step, after Bishop Grosseteste and where my life is heading!

My three-year journey at Bishop Grosseteste University studying a BA (Hons) Drama in the Community Undergraduate degree is quickly coming to an end. It seems that only yesterday I was a prospective student for this university and had the whole three-year journey ahead of me, but here I am, a couple of months off finishing my degree and looking onwards and upwards! So, what’s next for me?

I’m happy to announce that I’ve applied and been accepted onto, the MA Drama course at the University of Lincoln specialising in the ‘Playwriting’ module starting September 2017. As you can see, I’m still staying in Lincoln! Therefore, currently, I am attempting to achieve the best grades I can in order to continue onto that next step. I am staying within the confines of the theatrical word but narrowing my skills down to what I do best, writing! Specifically, playwriting. When I start the next stage of my university career I will be staying in the same student house that I am currently living in and just move to studying downhill. It’s a rollercoaster of excitement and nerves at the prospect of going onto studying my Masters, but I know this is my next logical step and I am looking forward to it. Alongside this, during the year studying at the UoL, I will be attempting to find work experience within the industry and attempt to start getting my work out in the world as well as attempting to find a stable job to give me some financial stability as I study – this will allow me to live comfortably and be secure financially.

You may be looking at that and thinking; “fantastic”, “wonderful”, “great news!” and yes, it is. This is the next stage of my life and the foundations are already in the place. However, there is a fair amount of pros and cons – or to make it simpler, areas that I am and am not looking forward too. Let me share some of these with you…

What I’m Looking Forward To…

  • A whole new university campus to explore and use.
  • A whole new social group with the potential for new friendships to be made.
  • A new course to study that will expand and strengthen my knowledge as well as give me new skills.
  • The opportunities that come with this course and the ability to look further towards my future.
  • Another year in my student house with some fantastic friends – with that, all the new memories and ups and downs that come with it.
  • Another year in the most beautiful city I’ve ever lived in and be able to continue living in a place I now call home.

What Scares Me…

  • Though mentioned as something that I’m looking forward to, a new campus and a social group equally scare me!
  • The fact that I might not be intellectually on the same level as the rest of my course mates.
  • The fact I could fail my Masters and it would have been a waste of money.
  • Getting into more debt and the entire worry of financial stability.
  • The fact I have no idea what my next step is after this year doing my Masters.
  • What if I cannot support myself financially throughout the next year?

There you go – those are the little things running through my mind when it comes to the next step in my educational journey!

Also, you may be interested to know, I’m currently constructing and refining my own personal business plan to start up a company specialising in Theatre in Higher Education delievered to university students / college students to help them with the transition into ‘student life’.

I’ll keep you updated!

It’s The Little Things

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Good Afternoon Readers,

Today’s article is all about ‘the little things’. Meaning, all the little things that I love about university since starting my journey. I’ll break this down into the first, second and third year and go from there. Hopefully, if you haven’t yet started university, these are things you can look forward to. If you’re already at university, these are things you can relate too.

First Year

  • The fact that no matter what time is was, even if it was 3 am, there would someone be awake to chill with if you couldn’t sleep.
  • There was always something going on in halls – either the good, the bad and the ugly.
  • It’s extremely sociable – if you want to be involved in that side of university.
  • Everyone not taking the first year seriously so you always find an excuse to not do work.
  • Beer gardens after lectures in the summer.
  • Christmas Dinner in halls with your flat and housemates.
  • Flat/House Parties.
  • The start of your lectures.
  • The new city and being able to explore and discover places.
  • Making new friends, some of which become lifelong friends.
  • The independence you feel – if you have been waiting for independence.
  • The feeling of a new chapter of your life beginning.
  • Going to SU events that can be so terrible, they are hilarious.

Second Year

  • Moving into a student house and experiencing having control over your own house.
  • The random events that happening the early hours of the morning.
  • Cooking for each other and bonding as a house (if you’re lucky).
  • House Parties.
  • Furthering your studying and learning more about your course.
  • Experiencing placement and putting the theory into practice.
  • Beer Gardens in the summer, always. Or in your house garden – if it’s nice.
  • Your first Christmas in the house and decorating the house.
  • Doing everything you definitely shouldn’t be doing in your house.
  • Learning to become a ‘handy-man’ and being able to ‘fix’ most things.
  • The continued feeling of independence.
  • Making new friends – basically feeling like family.

Third Year

  • For me, it was moving into a new student house.
  • Entering the final year of my course and being able to bring everything together.
  • Making new friends and continuing long term friendships.
  • Preparing for my future and planning the next step.
  • Christmas and Beer Gardens – that’s always going to be true.
  • Finding out your true friendships.
  • Really discovering yourself as a person and growing as a person.
  • Graduation and celebrating my achievements.
  • Wishing I was a first year all over again.
  • Making more memories that are going to last a lifetime.

As you can see, a lot of the things that I love cross over with each and every year – because some of them remain to be true. They always will be. University has been an experience and I’ve loved a lot of moments that have happened and some of them, I will cherish forever. Some of them I will miss. Unfortunately, university can’t last forever and I’d say it’s more ‘student life’ that I’m going to miss because student life is still so detached from real life. It’s like still having freedom but still not having freedom and you’re constantly stuck in that middle ground for all three years – or however long you’re in university.

There is probably a lot that I haven’t mentioned – because even though these are ‘little things’, there are probably even littler things that make up my life and that I love about university and student life – but, there are things that I do not really realise.

It’s cliche but you really should make the most of your time at university as it can be an amazing, freeing and life-changing experience – if you allow it. You can make friends for life, you can find the one you love, you can discover yourself and so on and so fourth. There is so much that can happen at university and it really can be amazing. It can be hard and stressful as I’ve covered before, but, this outweighed by the good. Always. Some people do not get on with the university experience and struggle and drop out and that’s fine, the lifestyle is not for everyone, but if it is for you, love it and live it. (Cliche again). Just enjoy your time.

Is Work Experience During Uni Actually Essential? | Beth Pembrook – Guest Writer

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If we’re all honest, work experience is often viewed as a bit of a waste of time by a lot of students. A simple tick of the CV rather than an actually life developing experience or gaining career insights. A week or two spent making cups of tea and sorting out filing cabinets that make young people dread working life rather than look forward to it!

A big question that hangs over the whole ‘work experience’ notion is, is it actually worth it? A tick on the CV and potentially improved job prospects aside, many students don’t actually think that they will gain much from in terms on knowledge while they are on placements.

Many of us heading into work experience placements tend to assume that we won’t be given particularly important jobs to do, or worry that we might be over-loaded with boring, mundane tasks.

However, work experience is definitely worthwhile in the current climate. Gone are the days of being sat for 8 hours a day sealing envelopes or fetching someone’s lunch for them! In recent years companies have started to use work experience placements to their advantage, meaning they now allow work experience candidates to do some real worthwhile tasks. This means that most placements will actually throw you in at the deep end and get you fully involved.

If you are not completely sure about what career path you want to take, then work experience is something that should definitely be considered. For a start, if nothing else, a work experience placement will give you a taste of what a standard working day is like. You’re likely to be treated like a temporarily employee in a professional environment and be given assignments just as if you were a fully-fledged employee there.

Also work experience gives you the opportunity to meet people in the field your studying in. You can ask them any burning questions you may have about your potential future job, and they can give you some top tips about how to get into a competitive job.

Placements aren’t just there to encourage you to do a job, but also to learn if a job isn’t for you. One of my friends at uni went on a hospital work experience placement in South East Asia and realised that her life-long dream on being a Doctor actually wasn’t for her when she started feeling increasingly nauseous around any blood! While she was gutted, and did enjoy here placement abroad, it saved her 8 years of training and studying for the wrong job. By the same token, another friend of mine undertook a work placement at a PR firm because it was the only one that accepted her. Despite being in an IT course at uni, she loved the work experience so much she decided to pursue a career in it!

You should be open to all opportunities that come your way at Uni. Sadly, having a degree doesn’t just been that you’ll get a job – you need to stand out from the crowd. If you do end up having a placement somewhere that is pointless – aka: glorified tea make – then so be it. It will still look good on your CV and you can just take another placement somewhere else!

Top Tips Every Student Should Know When Buying A Car – Lee Carnihan (Guest Writer)

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Getting to uni is one thing, getting around is another entirely. Wherever uni is for you, you’ll need to get from home to uni, to the supermarket, to the pub, to the gym and all manner of other places during term time.

You might want to dart back home for a weekend of “mum’s cooking” too, or head off to the beach with your house mates on Bank Holiday Monday. Yes, you can get around by foot, bike, unicycle, pogo-stick, skateboard, tube, tram and bus – but they won’t give you the flexibility a car will.

Having a car basically makes everything much easier. Chief among the benefits is not having to ‘borrow’ trolleys to get the shopping back on a cold, wet, dark and windy night after a long day in the lecture hall. So unless you’re extremely lucky because you live right next to a supermarket, you’re going to need a car.

But money will be tight and you might have no idea about what kind of car to buy for your budget. You’ll want something affordable, but not so cheap it breaks down frequently and costs you even more to fix or leaves you stranded in the car park with six heavy bags of shopping with chilled or frozen food rapidly defrosting.

MG classic car.jpg

So here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind when you’re looking to buy a car:

1 Stick with “old reliable”

The newer the car, the more expensive both the car and insurance is likely to be, so you’re better off looking at slightly older cars like an early 2000s Vauxhall Corsa, or a 2008 Fiat 500. Both cars are reliable, great for long distance driving, and fairly cheap.

If you’re a fan of the classics but you’re worried about the general up-keep of the car and insurance, you should go for a relatively newer classic like an Austin Mini. Depending on your definition of a ‘classic car’, classic Minis can range from early 60s to late 90s, so you’ve got a lot of choice.

Surprisingly, these quaint old cars are great for long distance travel, which makes things so much easier when you’re wanting to travel home from Uni for the weekend.

Minis are extremely reliable, and owning a classic car such as this, might mean that you’re eligible for classic car insurance instead of standard car insurance. The way the value of a classic is determined is different, so you might get better value.

2 Inspect the car and ask to drive it 

When you’re viewing a car, always ask if the car has had any major damage or other significant repairs, which should all be detailed in the log book. Look over the general condition of the car for rust, oil leaks, scratches, bumps, dents and differences in paintwork on different parts of the car. Anything like this will put the price down if you ever want to sell the car on.

And if you have absolutely no clue about what you’re looking for, take someone who does! Another perspective is always helpful.

Ask to take a test drive, even if they want to accompany you and your friend: listen out for splutters and chokes and feel the biting point: where the clutch engages and disengages when you change gear. Get out and look at the exhaust too. If it’s black, blue or grey, it could be a sign the engine is burning oil, too much fuel or has some other problem.

If you’re unsure, walk away. There is no shortage of second hand cars out there.

3 Where to buy and how

Choosing where to buy a car can be a bit of a challenge, so here are some pros and cons to help you:


Pros: Cheaper than buying from a garage and you may end up with an absolute bargain.

Cons: Cars are sold as seen which means no test drives allowed. You’re not guaranteed a warranty so if you end up purchasing a classic, like a Triumph Herald for example, but it doesn’t start or there is something seriously wrong with it, then too bad. If the car has serious issues and you’re not willing to pay more money to get it fixed, then you’re only option will be to put it back into the auction and hope wholeheartedly that it’ll sell again.


Pros: One of the safest ways to go about buying a car. This is because any registered noted dealer is required by law to supply the car with a warranty, and the car must be fully road legal. When buying from a garage there is always room for negotiation.

Cons: Usually more expensive than buying from a private seller or buying from an auction.


Pros: Cheaper than buying from a garage. Again, there is always room for negotiation, especially if the seller is eager to sell the car quickly.

Cons: You’re not guaranteed a warranty when dealing with a private seller. So if there is something wrong with the car, you have very little comeback.


Pros: Official online dealers are covered by trading standards, so you’ll be guaranteed a warranty.

Cons: Private online sellers are not covered by trading standards, so you’re not guaranteed a warranty. With all online dealers or sellers, make sure you do some research and ask about warranties.

At the end of the day…

Choose a car with a relatively small engine because they’re cheaper to buy and insure and the running costs are usually lower. If you “do your homework” – sorry if you thought you’d heard the last of that phrase – you’re more likely to get a good car for a fair price.


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Fantastic news, today is a brilliant day! 

It all begins with this…


“Why that little square?” I hear you ask! Well my lovely readers and supporters, as that square reads, I’ve been added to a list of ‘top student bloggers’!

There I was, sitting at my desk after starting back lectures today. I was starting to look at everything I have to do very soon and then up pops this email!

This email told me “Congratulations!” and that I’d been featured in an article called “33 Of The Best Student Blogs To Follow In 2016” and guess what? You can read it here!

It may not seem a lot to some people but for once, this wasn’t a website where I’ve been asked to be put on there. This is an individual website reading my work and believing I was good enough to be featured on their list with the content I provide and for me, after a couple of years of work, it’s so nice to finally be recognised and I really appreciate it.

Thank you so much to all my readers and supports over the years and I hope you, my lovely people, keep growing and growing! Expect much more content in the next year and for a very special Student Giveaway very, very soon (probably today at some point) and win yourself some goodies!

Again thank you to BellVue Students and it just goes to show what a little student with a computer and the passion to write can achieve, this is huge for me and just goes to show why students should blog!

Let’s Start Third Year

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I think it’s fair to say we’re all pretty happy right now, because you know, student finance has finally re-entered our lives and we are all no longer poor!

However, saying that, if you’re anything like me you’ll be back within your overdraft within the next month. Thank God for student overdrafts. Man, I need a job.

So! On Wednesday I re-start Third Year and the best news about that is, for once, I’m actually beyond prepared. I’ve even started writing an assignment already, how crazy is that? This is probably the kind of thing I should have been doing from day one but oh well, better late than never!

I do realise that posting content to my blog was meant to be come regular next week but I’ve been distracted by preparing for university – which is foremost important in this case. However, I said I’d post an entry every Monday and Friday and it’s Monday today so, we’re making progress! Let’s see if I actually post one on Friday! Also, there should be a vlog thrown in there somewhere.

Anyway, back to the point!

So I start back university on Wednesday and luckily, this year, I’m only in Wednesday, Thursday and Friday however the other days will soon become filled with rehearsals and that’s university for you! Well, that’s my course for you!

In this little entry of ‘Lets Start Third Year’, I want to share with you the one module that I am looking forward and have been looking forward to for the past two years.

Studio Practice! That’s the module I’ve been looking forward too. Basically, it’s where as Thirds Years we either choose a play or write a play and then we get given a group of the First Years to direct in said play into the week before Christmas, we perform twice! Now, the problem about this years Studio Practice is that there is a drop in the number of First Years on the course so instead of getting a group of First Years we get like, one. We’ve had to use different people, off different courses from across the university. Never mind, I have good people and I can’t wait to start the module! I look forward to actually putting on the play that I’ve written, not long now until I can!

Other than this module, I’ve got an awful lot going on and a very busy year ahead – therefore, I will always try and keep up to date with my blog!

Also, after I start my counselling and get that under way, I may write more depending on how that goes. We’ll just see!

7 Steps to Successful House Shares : Lee Carnihan (Guest Writer)

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Please welcome Lee Carnihan, the first Guest Writer of 2016 – rebooting this small section of my website. Here, Lee writes about seven successful steps to surviving a house share at university!

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7 steps to successful student house shares!

Moving out of halls of residence into a shared house should be full of fun. You’ll breathe a sigh of relief after swapping restrictive rules for true independence and have the chance to make the house feel more like your own. It’s no wonder that during term-time, 38% of university students choose to live in a privately rented house or flat.

However, for every brilliant outcome, there are plenty of pitfalls too. Everyone’s heard the horror stories of vile landlords screwing students over on their deposit while they freeze in mouldy, mice-ridden rooms. Or what about the best friend who suddenly turns into the housemate from hell because of their terrible hygiene and insistence on urinating directly out of their bedroom window? It’s nearly enough to make you put your name down for an extra year in halls.

When you have a degree or post-grad course to study for, and possibly a part-time job to hold-down too, then it really is vital that you have a homely place for study, rest, relaxation, romance and friendships. The last thing you need is for it to cause you undue stress.

Luckily, a little planning and thought is all it takes to avoid most major hiccups in shared rental accommodation. Here’s how to enjoy it and make it work:

1 Before you sign on the dotted line, do your homework

Firstly, consider the worst case scenarios and take a couple of steps to prevent them from happening. The Citizen’s Advice Bureau is often the place people end up when in crisis with a litigious landlord or a dispute with housemates over unpaid bills or theft or damage of personal belongings.

You can be one step ahead by reading their guide to the different rental agreements. This explains the best ways of setting up a sharing arrangement ensuring, for example, that if a housemate fails to pay the rent it doesn’t jeopardise your position or make you accountable for the unpaid share.

2 Love your landlord (well, sort of)

They aren’t all bad, honest! But the quickest way to get on the wrong side of yours is to make late payments, upset the neighbours or sublet the property without permission. The Studentastic website explains the intricacies of subletting if this is a money-saving route you want or need to consider.

You’ll also need to take reasonable care with the place – easier said than done, for sure, as you won’t always have control over who visits. As long as you have not damaged the property (beyond normal wear and tear) you are entitled to your deposit back – it is your money after all. You can increase the chances of this going smoothly by double-checking your money has been put in a Deposit Protection Scheme, taking photos of the property when you move in and agreeing an inventory of items. This will protect you in case of any disagreement.

It can work both ways too. If you are a good tenant, the landlord will look after you and fix any problems quickly, although how quickly can vary from landlord to landlord especially if they have multiple properties and dozens of tenants to attend to. Indeed, many landlords are happy to negotiate cheaper rent if you won’t be using the property over the summer months – this is ideal if you plan to enjoy home comforts and get mum to deal with that massive bag of dirty laundry.

Alternatively, you might want to stay put and enjoy your digs without your housemates under foot. Whatever your preference, make sure you know what the deal is regarding out-of-term rent before you sign the contract.  Having to pay an extra month or two’s rent isn’t a shock you want just before you leave for the holidays or if your finances are already stretched to the limit.

3 Make it your own

It actually takes very little effort to make a place feel welcoming and cosy, rather than anonymous and boring. Try shopping for household items, such as cushions, bed linen and small items of furniture in the sales and on eBay or Gumtree. Parents and grandparents are often delighted to chip in and buy practical items too. They will make the transition easier because there’s nothing worse than moving to a new house in a new town without your creature comforts in place. Plus, if you end up in unfurnished accommodation after university, you’ll have bought the basics already.

4 Travel and storing your stuff out of term

There’s no need to be put off accumulating items by the dread of dragging them all home in the holidays, either by car or even worse, public transport. Storing your possessions is the sensible option, and absolutely vital for those with lots of stuff or an international journey ahead. There are plenty of good storage providers out there.

Similarly, if you’re planning a year abroad as part of your course – or a gap year travelling – then storing your stuff will be vital. Once your parents have sent you off to uni, they won’t be too impressed if you arrive on the doorstep at the end of term with all your clobber only for you to jet off and leave them to store it.

Deciding what to do with personal possessions is particularly important if you’re an international student because you might not know whether you’ll be staying in the UK after your degree. The existing rules are still supposed to be in play but who knows what might happen in the next six months after the Brexit vote. So placing everything in secure storage will buy you time, and your things can easily be sent abroad if needed.

5 House rules rule the house

Getting on with your housemates is a big deal. It can make or break your experience of uni. We’ve all come from different backgrounds with our own idea of what “normal” is. One man’s meat is another man’s poison, so the saying goes. It’s well worth sitting down with future housemates and checking you all agree, although “house-mate meetings” themselves can be a bone of contention: these are meant to be your wild and free years after all. But if things really aren’t working out, avoid passive aggressive behaviour at all costs if you can because it just leads to resentment and misunderstandings. If you suddenly notice lots of post-it notes with a dozen angry exclamation marks appearing on stacks of dirty plates or the fridge door, it’s time to get the kettle on and have a proper chat.

6 Running riot

One of the pleasures and pains of student shares is of course the parties. Chances are you will have at least one, but make sure all housemates are informed and involved and avoid key exam or assignment deadline dates for each other. It’s no fun pulling an all-nighter at the computer when everyone else is having raucous fun through paper-thin walls. Being a student isn’t about losing respect for other people and ignoring their needs, it’s about finding yourself and enjoying the ride but not at someone else’s expense.

7 Uninvited lovers

Chat about partners too. You may all start off single but after that legendary party… The quickest way to annoy your housemates (and potentially your landlord too) is for your partner to become an unofficial, free-loading member of the household. It’s all about being upfront and deciding what is reasonable in advance of an issue.

Now you’ve got the serious stuff out of the way, you can focus on enjoying yourself… and working out how to solve the ultimate of First World problems…who keeps stealing your hummus?

Don’t forget, if you want to get involved and be a Guest Writer for my  blog – head over to this page for more information.

Outreach – JustGeorgeJ

Accommodation, advice, Answers, Articles, Beginning, blog, blogs, cost, Countdown, course, Drama, education, Family, finance, Finances, First Year, Freshers, Friends, Health, help, helpful, hints, Home, House, Housing, Journey, justgeorgej, Male, money, moving, New, Personal, preparation, prepare, prepared, pressure, Questions, Second Year, SecondYear, Social, Student, Students, study, Studying, Theatre, Third Year, tips, uni, University

Today is a lovely sunny day – I should be outside enjoying the sunshine but instead I am sat inside writing an article for you, my lovely readers. I’m kidding, whether I was writing this article or not I’d still be inside, I lack energy to do much today! I’ll enjoy the sunshine from my window!

Anyway, I was sitting here and going through my website and my old work and starting to question what to do next – as I do on a weekly basis as it seems I have writers block 24/7 – fantastic! However, I finally realised something – a lot of you may not know but a huge amount of my readers come from countries across the seas! Yes, that’s right, a lot of people that read my blog are from outside the UK. STORY TIME: WordPress does this cool thing where it tells you how people are getting to your site – whether it be a link you’ve provided, a search engine and so on and so fourth – every now and again, a link is clicked that I don’t recognise so I check it out – one time, I discovered that my blog was being used as an example in a class way over seas! They studied it for their course and how I did things – I ended up speaking to the lecturer often, it was nice – made me feel as though I’d achieved something. Now, something has occurred to me – I never really do much ‘outreach’ – I mean why would I? I’m a small time blogger – no one important or anything but then at the same time, it dawned on me – university is sort of a worldwide topic that people can talk about and a lot of people do travel overseas for university – therefore, I saw an opportunity present itself! Therefore…

To everybody and anybody that may be reading my blog and entries from overseas (e.g. outside the UK) , I am speaking to you!

Now I can add in here that the following is a list of the stats from my blog – e.g. every place that’s visited my blog: United Kingdom (721), India (76), United States (73), Ukraine (55), Malaysia (34), France (26), Turkey (18), Australia (16), Philippines (14), Oman (14), Singapore (13), Canada (12), Ireland (11), Pakistan (9), Russia (8), New Zealand (8), Switzerland (7), Spain (6), Italy (5), Bulgaria (5), Nigeria (5), Morocco (4), Germany (3), Israel (3), Poland (3), Egypt (2), Romania (2), Brazil (2), South Africa (2), Armenia (2), Denmark (2), Finland (2), Indonesia (2), South Korea (2), Norway (2), Serbia (2), Sri Lanka (2), Kazakhstan (1), Netherlands (1), Portugal (1), United Arab Emirates (1), Guatemala (1), Fiji (1), Peru (1), European Union (1), Czech Republic (1), Taiwan (1), Hong Kong SAR China (1), Austria (1), Albania (1) and Cote d’Ivoire (1).. so, quite a few!

Why am I telling you this? Simple, I want to hear from you people! Now, don’t get me wrong, I completely understand that some of the views are wrong clicks, occasional glances and by no way means that these people are religiously reading my blog – but it’s nice to know it’s reaching that far by some means or another.

I want you guys to contact me!

This can be done by commenting below or message me over on Facebook (JustGeorgeJ) or direct message me on Twitter (@JustGeorgeJ_UNI) or even email me at: – whichever you feel is best for you!

Why do I want you to contact me? Well, I want you to tell me how you came across my blog… if you’d like, use these questions are guidelines:

  1. How did you come across ‘JustGeorgeJ’?
  2. How often do you visit the site? (Often, occasionally, rarely)
  3. Have you been directed to this website through a class you are studying?
  4. Did you use my entries to help read up on the university experience?
  5. If you are a regular reader – what content do you enjoy the most?
  6. Is there any content you enjoy the least?
  7. Is there anything you would like to see me do? E.g. videos, different subjects etc
  8. Where in the world are you currently writing from?
  9. Why do you visit my website if you do?
  10. Anything you’d like to tell me/ask me etc?
  11. Anything additional comments?

If anyone actually replies I’ll be surprised – it’s one thing giving people content to read, it’s an entirely different one to ask them to actually contact you, surprisingly few people don’t enjoy doing so – but if you do, I’ll be extremely grateful!

I’m just curious as to the readers I’ve gained from outside the UK – mainly because I never thought in a million years I’d achieve something like that but then again, the internet is easily accessible to many people and areas these days, so, it isn’t that much of a surprise if you put something online for it to reach far and wide!

None the less, I want to hear from you!