University Advice

Saving Money

Hello all, my tip for this Thursday is take time a search the student discounts. If your going to uni, you are a student you might as well make use of it.
Especially in the first few week of term, when you start to settle in and realise what you will really need/forgot to bring. This is the time to look in to what student discounts are the most useful. Saving money early on.

There are many you can sign up for, a few of these I have used are NUS card, unidays, save the student and student beans. All three of these have many different discount which you can search through at your own leisure.

Out of these three I would say definitely go for uni days, save the student and student beans as these are all free and it only takes seconds to sign up (so is there really any reason not too). They also all have Facebook pages advising all the discounts and sometimes competitions (again why not you might see something you want). Only downside is you do get many emails.                                                                                            When you apply though UCAS you will probably have seen many adverts for the NUS discount card it looks great doesn’t it, with so many of discounts which you can use. But the only thing I would say is don’t get carried away, sit down and think about how many of them you would really will use, from experience I paid for the card (for one year luckily) and didn’t get my money worth out of it.

There are even some discounts you can get without haven to sign up for anything, you can just use your student card. So if your buying anything in store it takes a few seconds to ask at the till if they have any student discount.

Until I post again, Samara 😀

Friendship

Organise things!

Hi everyone, Kathryn here and today I’m going to refer back to a post I wrote a while back where I wrote (or rather ranted) about how it’s important not to allow people to take advantage of you. 

However today’s tip of the day is to organise things to do with your friends. Yes, one problem of organising things is that people can start to expect you to organise anything.

But if you don’t organise things, then… how can you make brilliant memories? Yes, it’s all well and good to hang out with your friends and order takeout and watch films but sometimes it’s nice to go out. Sometimes organising things is a good way to make brilliant memories.

I remember last January during my second semester, I got the courage to ask the people I had been sitting with in lectures for about three months if they wanted to hang out of lectures. There were four of us and we were all very introverted. 

If I hadn’t suggested that we all hung out then we probably wouldn’t be as good friends as we are now. And sometimes you just need to be that person who suggests hanging out.

After all if you don’t ask then you’ll never know. So my advice is to organise things and start making memories that you’ll cherish forever.

And that’s all from me for today, until next time, Kathryn.

University Advice

Hope on Results Day

Results.

A horrible time of the year I know, where you open it up and see the letter that will determine how the rest of you life goes, or does it?

You see, that’s all it is, at the end of the day. A simple bit of paper that just tells the government that on a certain day in complete silence you can write down an answer to a question you will probably never have to face ever again in your life.

For some however, like me, I failed time and time again. My teachers got to the stage where they started to say to me whether college was the best option for me and whether I should go straight into work instead (this was of course before the UK government declared that you needed schooling until you were 18) but you can’t give up hope. If you want to do something, you do it. I wanted to go to College and do a BTEC in Computing, because it was the best option for me. My college never did the A-Level computing and even so, I wouldn’t have taken it. I preferred my BTEC because I learnt a lot more practically than I did mentally.

I look at where I am today and I believe that I made the best option for me. Yes, I failed English 4 times and Maths 5 times (with the certificates to prove it) and I’m at University now. Studying one of the most intense courses in the world. I’ve met people who I never thought I would get to meet, my two best friends in the world, the love of my life and I still have yet to finish my course.

So my message is this. Don’t give up hope. When you get that piece of paper, don’t look at it as a restriction, look at it as an open door. To try as hard as you can do show the world you can do what you want to do because that’s just it. You can do whatever you want to do and no one can tell you otherwise, and I hope my experience with failing my GCSE’s and other exams can help keep your spirites up regardless of whatever you get.

Until next time!
Conor ^-^

Moving House

Get out of your Flat!


Hey everyone Kathryn here and first of all sorry for not updating on Saturday, I could give you a long winded explanation as to why I didn’t update but I suspect that would be both boring for me and for you. Anyway so for today’s tip of the day I would advise you to get out of your flat. 

Living on your own, or living in university halls is no small feat, going from being dependent on your parents to being independent is a big change. However one of the biggest changes is going from living with your family to living with six other people you don’t know or living on your own.

At the university I went to I ended up sharing a flat with seven other people (who I believe were picked at random). While I made good friends with one of my flat mates, I didn’t really get on with any of my other flat mates.

This made first semester of first year really difficult when around November I felt really isolated. At the time I didn’t have any good friends, only a couple of people I hung out with at lectures. The problem was there was nothing I could do to stop feeling isolated, but what I did find helpful was getting out of that flat.

It doesn’t matter where you go, just get out of that flat: go for a walk, go shopping or even just sit on a bench somewhere. The important thing is to get out of the flat.

Another thing that helped me was that I started making more of an effort to meet up with my friends and the flatmate I was friends outside of lectures. This helped me a lot during second semester and I definitely felt less isolated.

However if you are living on your own then I’d still recommend that you get out of your flat. Personally I love going round all the charity shops on a Saturday and it takes my mind of being alone. And don’t forget, you can still talk and meet up with people!

And that’s all from me for today, until next time, Kathryn

General Advice

records !!!!

My tip for this Thursday afternoon is very boring (but very practical and has helped me out in the past) and this is to keep records.

This is never a bad thing to get in to the habit of doing but this tip is Particularly for when you spends large sums of money for say rent. If you using bank transfers your online banking is a record. But if you pay for anything in cash your have to keep receipt. (this also helps with working out budget and checking how much your spending etc.) Yes this does takes up space and most the time it unneeded but it’s always nice to have this records.

Let me tell you a story, I was all packed and ready to move stuff in to my new flat for next year,  I go to the estate agents to pick but my keys. They told me I needed to pay the deposit (and refusing to let me have the keys), but I had already paid eariler that month, I was not happy. But as I had asked for and keep a receipt for the transaction (in a safe place) I could prove that I had already paid. But If hadn’t had done this it would have been a fight with my word against theirs. (As a student I really couldn’t aford to pay twice)

Even if your luckly and never have to use that records at all. After you have kept them for about a year you have take to time shred and destory them (which is kinda fun really)

Until I post again, Samara 😀

Relationship

Say No to This!

Hey guys, Kathryn here and first of all sorry that I didn’t update yesterday, instead I’m updating today and Samara will still post later. 

So far there have been quite a few tips on relationships, but they have all been about starting a relationship. Today I’m going to dive deeper and talk about something that will ultimately happen in a relationship: sex.

Whether it’s today, tomorrow or somewhere the conversation leading to it will happen eventually.

(Also side note if your cringing at this then don’t worry I’m probably cringing twice as much while writing this).

And for today’s tip of the day I would advise you: to say no if you’re not ready. (And I wish ‘Say No to This’ from Hamilton hadn’t have just come into my head).

There’s no harm in admitting that you’re not ready, there’s no harm in admitting that things are going to fast for you. Remember you make up 50% of this relationship and it’s important that you are moving at a comfortable pace for both of you.

So if you are worrying that you aren’t ready then say so, say no, if they are the right person for you then they’ll be more happy to wait for you.

And that’s all from me for today, until next time, Kathryn!

Work Advice

Getting Used To Work

When you start work, it’s a shock to the system. Especially when you’ve been so used to working in your own environment. However, there are some tips that you can use for your own benefit that will hopefully make that transition a little easier.

1. If You Can, Bring A Comfort Belonging
For the first month at work, every day I brought a photograph of me and my girlfriend with me, tucked neatly away inside my backpack, just when I got nervous about something, I just opened my notebook, saw the photo and felt a little better about not knowing what I’m doing.

2. Don’t Expect To Know Everything
It’s something that everyone goes through when they start working, but you are only there to learn more, to increase your knowledge. It’s only normal to feel like you’re behind everyone else and that’s okay! It’s only a temporary feeling. Once a month or so passes you’ll feel a lot more comfortable.

3. Treat Yourself
I know it’s been said before, but at the end of your first week or month, go and buy yourself something. A coffee, a new magazine or a book. You deserve it after working so hard to get used to your new environment.

4. Don’t Get Big Headed
Don’t believe that you are better than that place. Even if you’re working in a fast food place and you have more qualifications than everyone else (I’ve seen an old friend do this and got fired in a week). Everyone there is in the same boat as you, all trying to make money so that they can feed themselves and their families and pay their rent.

5. Try Not To Worry About Getting Everything Right
You’re going to make mistakes. That’s a part of life, and a bigger part of life is accepting you made those mistakes and moving on from them. Once you’ve done that, you can do anything. I made a pretty big error in my second month of work that cost us 4 hours. It’s only natural to make mistakes and as long as afterwards you can deal with it cleanly and professionally, then that’s wonderful.

And lastly. Be yourself. No one there is out to get you. Sure, you might meet people you really don’t get on with, but that’s okay. You’re not there to make friends, you’re simply there to go in at the start of the day, do what is asked of you, and go home at the end of the day. If they hired you, they would have done it because you were the best for the job. So don’t worry at first, because humans can do amazing things, and it’s all about dipping your toes in the water.

Until next time!
Conor ^-^
 

General Advice

Have a Jar full of Positive Thoughts!

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Hey everyone, Kathryn here, and for today’s tip of the day I will be talking about one method that I use that helps me when work gets tough. And that is have a jar full of positive thoughts, although I use this method to help me get through work when things get tough, you can also use it to help get you through university, or anything really.

This tip may sound cliche, but it’s a good way of coping when things get bad. Spend an evening using an old jam jar and writing a list of things that you have to be positive about, then fold these notes and put them in a jar. (I use a small plastic container since it’s easier to carry around than a jam jar).

You can then put this in your bag (I have mine in my work bag) and then when your feeling down you can pull one out and smile and whatever you’ve written on it. Then whenever something good happens get out a spare bit of paper and put it in the jar, keep filling up the jar with positive thoughts and use it whenever you feel down.

It is also good spending an evening just writing a list of things you have to be positive about, and it will help you feel more positive.

But what do you write on them? What counts as being a positive thought?

On my notes I normally write things like having my friends/ boyfriend/ family be there for me, and things that I have planned for the future, I also include things that I have done/ things that I’m proud of. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter how big or small they are- it’s all about whether or not reading it will put a smile on your face.

So get your sticky notes out and start writing some positive thoughts!

And that’s all for me for today, until next time! Kathryn.

Moving House

Give yourself something to look forward to!

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Living on your own is hard especially if you’ve just come from living with your family or living in halls with six/ eight people. It’s hard not being able to go to the kitchen and see and talk to someone.

It’s hard adjusting to life on your own so for today my tip is to give yourself something forward to. Don’t isolate yourself just because you are living on you’re own. You will still see your family and your friends just not as much as you used to.

So my advice is to plan things to do especially on the weekend. Go home to see your parents, meet up with your friends, keep yourself busy!

This ties into my previous blog post of installing a countdown app. A countdown app is a good way of keeping track of what you have to look forward too.

If you keep yourself busy, you’re less likely to feel lonely when living on your own. Next weekend I’m seeing my boyfriend, and the weekend after I’m seeing my best friend.

So give yourself something to look forward to and it’ll help you feel less lonely. Until next time, Kathryn.

University Advice

Working Whilst Resitting

Working at University can be tricky. Especially during resits and you are working 9 to 5 each day. Most of the time you just get home and you don’t want to do any revision for the exam that’s coming around the corner to frighten you.

 

However, you can’t lose faith. A little bit of reading here and there will always make up for it, regardless of time and means. For example, I have to resit an AI examination at the end of this month but I’m also doing my Industrial Year at the same time. The way I’ve gotten around this is to make a day by day schedule over what I’m doing and when. So the moment that I get home, I have dinner, make a coffee and read my textbook whilst I watch an episode of Futurama or Family Guy. Then after a phone call with my girlfriend, I continue my revision by reading more of my book and making notes before I go to bed at roughly 11PM. Whilst I’m at work I keep a smaller textbook on my desk and whenever I have a free moment such as a coffee break, I open it up and read that for a little bit before I continue working. Usually whilst making notes at the same time.

 

Yes, you will have to sacrifice a lot of what you would want to do in order to pass that resit, and that’s okay. After all. Your resit is only for a month. Then you have the rest of the time for yourself. I already have plans for example to learn Welsh in my spare time after I finish my resit, and it’s still okay to treat yourself with a coffee or a new book. You’re trying your hardest after all and that’s all anyone would ever want from you.

 

So don’t give up hope, just because you might not be able to put your mind to paper, because you can do it. It just takes a little bit at first.

 

See you soon!

Conor ^-^