University Advice

Overcoming Bad Results

Hi all,
It’s been a bit of a while since I last did an update to the blog, however today I’m going to discuss failure. I know it’s not really everyone’s cup of tea, however it needs to be talked about. Failing a module is just as important as passing one, because it can teach you some really important lessons.

One such lesson is that, a mistake will never define you. (apart from the following, which might… (thank you XKCD for being the source of joy to anything)brakes

I’ve failed a lot throughout my life, exams, assignments, homework. However I’ve carried on pushing myself to do the best that I can do. Whether it be attempting University or even learning how to survive on a £5 / $6.94 a week budget. My most recent failure came after I failed my module that I was retaking.

To me, all that means is that I had a bad day during the exam.

One technique I learnt a long time ago was to go into every exam believing it was a mock examination, that it means nothing. It works. I don’t feel stressed, I don’t worry about it. I just go into the hall, write what I think the answers are, and leave. If I fail a module, well I just know that I’m not good at that topic… yet. I know I can come out, enjoy myself again and read my textbooks to learn it in the environment I prefer without having to worry about the impending deadlines.

That leads me to my other point, learning the topic in your own time.

No one likes to fail, and if you’re like me, you prefer to overcome that failure by proving to yourself you can do something. The best way I manage this is by reading through and practicing the work in your own time. Currently I’m working on a project in C++. The language I failed my module in. It’s slow progress, but I learnt a lot more about that topic from doing it without pressure than I have ever done before.

That’s something employers want to see. They want to see that you can overcome failure, and I know that I will always have “failed C and C++” and I will always tell employers if they ask, before replying with “however, I took this upon me and learnt from my mistakes and produced this.” (it’s actually really handy as 9/10 employers ask for a time when you learnt from a mistake)

It might be the definition of insanity, but it’s also the same as perseverance.

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results each time.
Perseverance: Try, try and try again until you get it right.

Keep attempting whatever might get you stuck, and someday it’ll just click, and you’ll have worked it out.

(Apart from me and percentages, but who will ever need to know what 34.46% of something is?)

Anyway. That’s me done for the day,
I hope my experience has given you some insight into failure and why it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

See you again! Conor

University Advice

Join Societies (just don’t overdo it!)

Hi everyone, Kathryn here and before I begin I would like to apologise for the silence on this blog for the last few months.

The past few months have been very stressful in a lot of different ways, but hopefully I can draw on these experience to give you some more snippets of advice.

So, today my advice would be to try and join a few clubs and society when you go However a word of warning you should only join those clubs and societies that you are prepared to make a genuine commitment too.

But you may be wondering, why should I join a club of society? What do I get out of it?

  • It makes you a more rounded individual. (Also it gives you something to put in the hobbies and interests section on your CV!)
  • It’s a great way to start a new hobby or continue developing an existing one.
  • It’s a great way to meet new people and make new friends.

The point I would like to empathise is the third one, societies are a great way to start friendships with people who aren’t necessarily your flatmates or course mates.

One of my biggest regrets from my first two years of university was not sticking with any societies. And when I return in third year I plan to remedy this by joining more societies and hopefully by making some new friends along the way.

So my advice to you would be to join societies. And most importantly remember , you don’t have to wait until freshers to join a society, you can join whenever you want.

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

University Advice

Undertaking A Resit Examination

I apoligise for my lack of updates over the past week, I recently resat my Artificial Intelligence examination last Thursday so I had to sacrifice some of my pleasures so I could study more, and unfortunately this was one of those.

The first time around, I was given two days and I realised when I was walking out of that examination I was destined to fail. I didn’t expect to pass. But I knew that I was going to be able to resit. So I took that chance.

I sat down with my girlfriend and she helped me plan a revision schedule, (I’ve never been good at focusing, I get distracted way too easily) so after she left for her Industrial Year, each morning I would do some early morning revision until about 12PM, then break for lunch, then do more revision until the evening when I would spend time talking to her on the phone and via texts.

I got into a routine, and that was the way I like it. So much so that even now I’m finding it hard to break out of that routine. This is my advice for today.

Don’t worry about your retakes. They’ll go a lot better the second time around. Talk to your friends, let them know that you didn’t pass. They might be able to help you out as much as they can, take a load off your mind for instance or help you unwind where they can.

The second time around, I walked out of that exam hall feeling more confident about that exam than I have ever felt about any exam retake I’ve done.

All because I let people in to help me and yes, I fell at some points, I stumbled, but where I stumbled, my friends helped me back on my feet and I knew that I could do it.

Don’t stress too much. Take some time to do the things you want to do, whether it’s walks, playing games, or reading books. Enjoy yourself. Just make sure that you do a little bit of revision every now and then.

Until next time!
Conor ^-^

University Advice

Don’t let revision take over

My tip for this Thursday is about exam revision. Yes I know it’s ages to any exams but hearing all the news stories about the A level results last Thursday got me thinking about my own exam experiences.

So my tip is to not let revision take over. Over say a three week period have 3 ish days off or at least half days off. This helps so much with the stress (making revision far easier) and also gives your brain time to recover so it can absorb all the information.

Seriously from my experience in first year of uni, during exam period I did nothing but revise and didn’t have any time to my self. i didnt even let myself have the time off to go food shoping as I was so worried about failing. So after the first week I had to live of toast and takaway from the uni bar (nice for a few nights not long term). All I this was really hard to cope with and I was constantly very stressed. I couldn’t face doing that again, so in second year I changed how I revised and made sure I had more time to myself.  If I had done loads of revision that day I would let myself have the nights off (which would often coincide with a good TV program) . And somedays I had complete days of which were spent hanging out with my friends and relaxing. (And also doing a food shop) And I honestly did better in my exam the second year.

I hope some of you find this tip helpful during your next set of exams (if your unlucky anther to have any).

Until I post again, samara

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 😀

University Advice

Hope on Results Day


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 ^-^

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 ^-^


University Advice

Don’t buy textbooks straight away

This tip is almost completely opposite to what every lecturer ever says, but hear me out (please). My tip is to think about which ones you really need. Even thro you think your going be really good an productive and get all textbook, read through them all and do all the exercises, but is realty you end up using very few.

In my experience at university each module/lecturer they will give you a very big reading list. Even if you say 3 books per module (their is sometimes far more then that, one of my modules has 7 advised textbooks) and there is 6 modules per semester. That’s 18 books. and textbooks are not cheap, about £20 to £50 each. As students can we afford approximately £360 to £900 pound at the beginning of each semester. The answer is NO!!!!!!!

From my experience there are three other options are:

  1. Take time to search online to look for pdf files of the textbooks for free (there is many out their). You may not be able to get the newest edition but even then this will be very helpfully, depending on your subject they don’t really go out of date.
  2.  Another free option is go to the university library to get the books out. This is hit and miss with the university only having 10 ish copies to share between everyone on the course and waiting list can be very frustrating when your trying to complete an assignment, but then again its free
  3. If you do like having your own copy look around for cheap second hand ones that are still in good quality, but again the newest edition may be unattainable.

So my tip is to think and search all options about textbooks before you splash out and buy them.

Until I post again, Samara 😀



University Advice


When you go to University, it can seem a little daunting at first, with all the different societies around and the first people you meet in your first year. It can be slightly terrifying and you will want to do everything you see.
However, you need to make sure you remember that not everything needs to be done. You don’t need to go out there and do everything. Remember that at the end of the day, you’re still only young. You have your whole life to make new experiences and you shouldn’t rush straight into them all, as you will only regret it later on in life when you get to be in your late 20’s and regretting doing something that you did at University, simply because your flatmates did it. Those flatmates won’t be your friends forever, sometimes, you can make one or two really good friends, but then you realize later on in your year that these people are doomed.
On the otherhand, you can always stick your neck out to try something you haven’t tried before, only you can decide what is best for you or not. Somethings, you do need to try, going on a date with someone that you met, going on a long walk over the hills surrounding your University, exploring all the woodlands and going to the beach. Go on holidays, get drunk and have a party with your friends. Movie nights and game nights.
Just remember to take everything in moderation. Like food and drink, you need to take things as they come, but know to say no to those things that you know you just don’t want to do.
Speak to you all soon!
Conor ^-^

University Advice

Don’t Sign up for Everything

Hello blog readers, my general tip would be to not overload yourself. Don’t feel under pressure to do all that’s people ask you to do (or you think people expect you to do). Give yourself a little time for you.

A place you have to remember this is society fairs at your universities. They will be a lot of people trying to convice you to sign up to their societies, some with free pens etc.  I know not having to buy pens for the year is a nice prospect but if you give in to everyone, you will only get millions of emails a day. Honestly it’s been two years since I was talked into signing up for archery, haven’t been to one event, I still get twice weekly emails and you will start feel pressurised to go to all events/socials and have very little time for yourself or uni work. Or (in my case) you feel bad as you and up ignoring many of the society you promised to attended (sorry archery).

Also i am not against joining societies (seriously I am not). They can be very good way to meet like-minded people. So my tip would be only join them is you’re really very interested in what they offer and not the free pens when you give them your email.

Until I post again, Samara 😀