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

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 ^-^

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

Experiences

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 😀

University Advice

Use Pinterest for Recipes!

So you’ve moved house, or you’ve gone to university and you’ve got a few simple recipes lined up. But what next? You can’t live off those three recipes for an entire year, you need to find some way of finding new recipes and I would recommend using Pinterest to find new recipes.

Yes, you could go out and buy a cook book, but a) that costs money and b) chances are you’ll only use one or two recipes from the book. So to save money (and shelf space) I would recommend using Pinterest.

Pinterest is a form of social media that allows you to share and discover new interests by pinning them to your boards (or wall).

Using Pinterest you can create a board like I have containing a bunch of simple recipes that you can try out at any point. This can be useful to keep them all in once place. (You’ll also save time by not going throw several recipe books trying to find that one specific recipe). For those interested here’s the link to my Pinterest page (just click here).

Pinterest also has a search facility so that you can search for things like simple recipes. Once you’ve found a pin you can click on it and you’ll be directed to the recipe. You can then decide whether or not you want to pin it to your board.

Additionally, if you find a recipe on an external website (e.g BBC Good Food) then often there will be a Pinterest button where you can pin it to your board.

So when you’ve gone off to university and you’re cooking for yourself I would recommend using Pinterest to find new recipes and to keep all your existing recipes all in one place. And you’ll also save money by not buying new recipe books!

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

University Advice · Work Advice

Be Positive!

Hi everyone Kathryn here and for today’s tip of the day I’m going to suggest you to do something that we should all do regardless of where we are in our lives and that is be positive. 

When the going gets tough, and things start to go wrong it can be pretty hard to be positive. And when things go wrong this is the most important time to be positive. We need to just think positively and pick ourselves up again.

The question is how are we supposed to do that when we’re feeling so low? And the answer to do that is remember. If you’ve started a job or started university then the best thing to do is to remember how you got there.

When you were applying for university you would’ve gotten the grades to study there, if you ever feel like you don’t belong on the course remember that you applied and you got in. They wanted you and they choose you to be on that course.

Similarly if you’re starting a job and you ever feel that you’re not good enough. Just remember that they choose you. And you impressed them at the interview. You have as much of a right to be there as any other person in the company.

So just be positive, you deserve to be there and just remember that.

University Advice

Batch Cooking

Batch cooking is seen as one of those things that you only get told to do when you’re sat with your gran. However, it does have its uses. Especially when you are going into exam month and you don’t feel like spending £30 on a single pizza again and would rather have something a bit more substantial to eat.

A method of doing this involves plastic containers. Similar to those you would get from a Chinese or Indian take-away, and making sure the containers are suitable for the microwave. They may not be suitable for dishwashers, which may come as one of the only downsides to this method, but as long as they are suitable for microwaving, you’re in business.

Picking the food you want is the next step. You can cook pretty much anything for batch cooking, as long as you make sure you take your time. Two methods involve cooking the entire meal (such as spaghetti bolognese) and putting it all in the fridge/freezer for the month, other ways include separating a regular meal for the week. So you would separate uncooked sausages, chips and vegetables in a tub and pop it in the freezer for later on in the week when you fancy sausage and chips and don’t mind doing a bit of cooking. The last way would be to only cook the meat in one day, then seperate it into containers, marking the containers with a marker and then cooking the rice or the pasta separately when you go to have dinner. That way you can enjoy whatever you fancy one night, rather than cooking the same meal each night.

You do have to be careful if you do what I do and place the entire meal (pasta and sauce) in one tub, some of the foods you freeze after you cook can still contain pesticides that (although perfectly fine to eat cooked) can poison you once you reheat it. You must make sure you take care when re-heating things like rice and chicken, as it might be slightly uncooked in the centre, due to the way microwaves work.
Once it’s cooked, make sure you let it cool down before you distribute it into containers. Then simply pick it out of the fridge/freezer, defrost it if necessary and microwave, then tuck in!

This method is much cheaper and honestly how I’ve survived the past couple of years living on my own. Especially when your food budget for the month goes down to £20. It’s one of those things that people overlook at first, but it comes in handy when you really need to save money for essentials.

Goodbye for now!
Conor ^-^

University Advice

Work Together

Hello all, my next tip is about university and this is to work together.

At university you will always find that there are modules/subjects that are harder and ones that you find easier, this is the same for everyone. So my advice is to work together.

If you are willing to help your friends and course mates out in some areas. They will be willing to help you out as in others. This isn’t only about the work, if you’re shy this also give you a common ground to start talking to people in your course and begin to get to know them.

Also in revision (I am aware that this may not work with every one). I found working together so helpful. not revising together as in doing the same subject at the same time but going to one place (whether it be the library or one of the study spaces in your university).

This means that there are people around when your really stuck on something or people to rant with when you get very stressed (been there, done that). I’ve found this makes revision easier and far less lonely/isolating as it could be siting in your room by yourself.

I believe this tip is also useful in many walks of life, if you help others they will help you.  Until I post again, Samara 😀