Friday, 22 August 2014

NEW IN: Silver & Leather

 Despite my bank account being a little on the skinny side, I couldn't resist picking up some new pieces. 

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Lifestyle: Surviving your First Year of University

I cannot believe my first year is over already and that I'm about to go into my second year. What?!?! If you remember, I kinda struggled with moving to uni (here) . It can be a pretty daunting experience for even those who think we're well adjusted (ahem) but here are a few of my tips for surviving your first year of uni.  

  • Making Friends
The best buddies you make in Freshers may not be your best friends forever or even for the year. 
When you first start Uni, you're pushed into an unnatural situation where no body knows anyone. So it's very normal and almost inevitable that you'll latch on to some of the first people that you meet. However, these people may not be your best match. Don't fret, that's really not a problem, it happens wherever you go but it can feel extra daunting at uni because you really are a small fish in a gigantic pond. It's very different than being the new girl in school, where your class is only 20-30 people. I've switched friendship groups since starting uni and in comparison, I actually made more friends throughout the year than I did during the initial freshers period. So if you're still feeling a bit out of place around mid October - don't worry.

Don't be afraid to organise nights out with different groups of people or to invite someone to go for a coffee or a burrito (if you're off to Newcastle Zapatista is the only place to go for burritos!) Additionally, one thing that I wish someone had told me - it's never too late to make new friends. Although, it will quickly seem like everyone has their friendship group and it might be a little daunting to try and forge a new friendship, this isn't mean girls. If you genuinely have common interests you can make friends at any point of the year - freshers week isn't the make or break friendship moment.

I also felt a little bit homesick and lonely in my first couple of months and this is really quite normal. Try and stick it out, but if you're feeling really down plan a quick trip home or go and see some old friends for some home converts. 

  • Books 
Do not, I repeat do not rush into buying all your books on the recommended reading list. The lecturers will make it seem like you need them all at the beginning of the year and it can be really tempting to rush out and buy them all because you obviously want to do well. The reality is, not all books are made equal. Not all of them will actually be so invaluable to you that you'll want to own them. Textbooks are actually a pretty personal thing - some you may find more useful than others. Wait until you've had a few lectures, check the books out of the library (act quickly on that one). And see if you actually like the recommended textbook before buying it. I study Law, so my textbooks were pretty expensive. I found some of my modules were pretty straightforward, with my textbook only serving to confuse me; other modules were much more challenging and the textbook was literally invaluable. 

  • Money 
Budget! Budget! Budget! Okay maybe you can go balls to the walls for the first few weeks as it is freshers but after that you need to get serious. Whilst it's very tempting to blow through your loan and then blow through your overdrafts, this really isn't a wise idea. Trust me, once you've maxed them both out, you'll be crying. On the same note, do yourself a favour and just don't get a ridiculous overdraft - £500 is plenty to cover emergencies, anything more than that and you're just asking for trouble(speaking from experience). 
  • Get involved. 

    There's so much opportunities outside of your course which can help you make friends and enrich your uni experience. Go to the freshers fair and get loads of information. Take advantage of the fresher's induction programme - my university allowed you to try out societies first before having to pay anything - and see which ones you like. Don't stretch yourself too thin though, most societies have a membership fee and if you join to many, well....

    As well as societies, there's a lot of other things you can get involved with, freshers crews, course ball committees, student media etc, etc. Check out your Uni's student union for more information and just get stuck in.  

    If you're uni run opportunites aren't enough for you, branch out and look for things in your new city. There'll be lots you can do, no matter where you go and joining in with things not run by the university will help you explore your new city and make you feel a lot more comfortable about moving away from home. 

    With those few tips, I hope your university experiences go well. First year is a chaotic mix of emotions, but it is ultimately loads of fun. Embrace all the opportunites, be open-minded and outgoing and you'll be fine. Also if anyone is off to Newcastle (long shot) and wants to ask any specific advice drop me an email and I'll be happy to help :)

    Martha xo

    Saturday, 16 August 2014

    Beauty: 5 Reasons Why You Should Get a Spa Facial

    EEEK! No make up alert. To be honest, I'm quite comfortable not wearing any make up. In fact, I don't usually wear make up during the day. After many years of battling acne and blemishes/scarring left behind, I'm quite proud to see how clear my face is getting with age. As I've got older though, one thing I do swear by is getting a facial regularly (well as regularly as my student budget will allow). So keep reading to find out why :)
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