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to get the newest edition but even then this will be very helpfully, depending on your subject they don’t really go out of date.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 😀



Getting a Job Advice

Try, Try, Try Again

Hi there! Today I’ll be talking about the importance of not giving up. When things do get tough, such as trying to apply to Universities or Jobs whilst you’re at University, it can get tough. Especially when you may get rejections from places you thought would be good. However, it’s not the end of the world, or the end of the path of trying.

Before I got my IY placement I sent out a total of 17 CV’s, 15 covering letters and failed 10 employment tests. However, I did eventually find somewhere that was willing to take me on for a year just so I have the experience that regular University just wouldn’t give me.

It’s upsetting when you open your e-mails up and see the words “sorry, but on this occassion you have not gone through to the next stage” and yes, it ruins your morale for trying to get more applications sent off, but you will always eventually find somewhere that is willing to take you on for a go, just to see if you will be good enough for that company. All you have to do is keep trying and eventually you will get somewhere, and one day, a company will hire you and see just how good you actually are.

This can be said for everything however, just like J.K Rowling didn’t get her book published for ages, you may, like loads of people, not get a job instantly, but you can always try. Since, if you don’t try, then you never know.

Goodbye for now!
Conor ^-^


Installing a Countdown App!


Whether you want to believe it or not, here’s the cold hard truth: long distance is hard. It’s hard not being able to see that other person 24/7. It’s hard only being able to see them one weekend every four weeks. It’s hard but at the end of the day you just have to find a way to cope and deal with the pain of missing that person.

It’s a hard transition going from seeing that person every day to only seeing them every so often but my tip of the day will (hopefully) make it a little bit easier and that is install a countdown app.
I’ve been in a long distance relationship for about two months now, and it’s hard, even though seeming them again and spending time with them is the best saying goodbye is the worst. And saying goodbye is the hardest part.

While there’s no fast track method to make the pain go away, one way I’ve found that makes saying goodbye slightly easier is by installing a countdown app.

On my phone I’ve installed a countdown app: Days (available on iPhones). On this app I’ve included dates to look forward to, such as seeing my boyfriend again, going to see Elaine Paige with him and my best friend, the end of my IY and the holiday that we’re planning next year.

Plan activities and new experiences to share with that person and give yourself something too look forward too!

Whenever I’m feeling down I will look at this app and remember that it’s not look until I can see him again. And it’s a nice feeling knowing that I have something to look forward to. For instance over the last few weeks, whenever I was feeling down I thought about seeing Grease with my boyfriend.

However I would recommend installing a countdown regardless of whether you’re in a long distance relationship or not. If you’re finding university or a new job hard then it’s a good idea to install a countdown app which contains a list of dates to look forward to.

So on a final note, my tip of the day would be to install a countdown app and give yourself something to look forward too. Until next time! Kathryn.

Work Advice

Bring CVs to Career Fairs!

Hey everyone, Kathryn here! I remember a while back one of my tips a while back being ‘go to career fairs’ and today I’m going to expand on that. So for today by tip of the day is bring CVs to career fairs.

Going to career fairs is all well and good, but what happens when you go to a career fair and see a company you really like and they seem really interested in you but you don’t have a CV on you?

How, if they like you are they supposed to contact you without a CV? CV’s highlight your skills and qualifications and they also provide contact details for both you and your references.

CV’s make it easier for employers to contact you if you give out your CV during a career fairs. A company are unlikely to contact you if you have just written your email on a piece of paper.

I’ve been to two careers fairs (one of which ultimately helped me get my IY) and I ended up printing 30 CVs. While I didn’t give out 30 CVs it was definitely useful to have them on hand to give to an employer.

However you shouldn’t just go up to a company and give them your CV! Prove to them that you are interested in the company, and prove to them that your a good fit for the company.

If you are interested in the company, and you give them your CV and if your skills match what they are looking for. You never know they might contact you and offer you an interview.

So on a final note, bring CVs to interviews! And that’s all for me for today, until next time, Kathryn.


Be Yourself When You Get To University

Going off to University will provide you with a chance to make new friends. These friends will be the people that you will end up staying friends with for a long long time after you leave University.

The reason for this is you’re all in the same boat. You’re all going into University to study the course you chose and you are all there to get a degree at the very end of your course. So you don’t need to worry. Yes, they will be people that are possibly not familiar with the place you are going to University at and so you don’t need to worry. The first few weeks before your courses begin is just to make those friends and to get used to being with those people and so the University will provide time and possibly occasions like movie nights and walks to meet those people.

Don’t be afraid of being who you are, and don’t change yourself just to suit the people you are going to meet, you don’t need to go and get drunk each night if it’s not who you are to begin with. Don’t lie to yourself and just be yourself and you’re more than likely to make friends that you will never want to trade in the slightest.

My experience was bad, I went out drinking each night and made my friends that way. It’s not me to be honest, and I stopped, I just couldn’t continue lying to myself that I was this kind of person that I wasn’t and eventually I started to make the close friends I know and hold dearly to myself today and I wouldn’t trade them for anything, we’ve done so much together and I even found someone who means more to me than just friendship.

The point is, you won’t ever be yourself when you start University, but just don’t forget who you are when you get there, because it’s one thing to make friends, but it’s another to keep the friends you won’t ever want to be apart from.
Goodbye for now!
Conor ^-^

Work Advice

Treat Yourself! (just don’t go too crazy)

Hey everyone, payday is on the horizon which brings me to my tip of the day treat yourself (just don’t go to crazy).

When you start a new job there is no greater feeling than that feeling you get when you get paid. Mainly because a) you’ve got money! And b) you survived a month (or however long you’ve been working there for).

Payday and the fact that you have money provides you the perfect opportunity to treat yourself. And I’m not just talking about grabbing a quick coffee, treat yourself: get the book or game you’ve been after. After all you work hard so you deserve to treat yourself.

However, although it’s a good idea to treat yourself it’s also your responsibility to make sure you don’t go too far when you’re spending money. Don’t buy the most expensive computer or games console when you get your first pay check.  

Only spend the money you have, and don’t risk buying something if you know you might run into financial difficulties later on in the month.

So on that note, my advice to you would be to treat yourself: after all you’ve worked hard to earn that money but don’t go to crazy. Work out how much you’re spending on bills and rent and make sure you have enough if you’re making any big purchases.
Until next time, Kathryn

Moving House

Make lists

Hello everyone my tip for this Thursday is for when your moving home. Whether this is for university or moving for work. This is a very stressful time not only do you have to deal with the worry of leaving home (maybe for the first time) but you also have loads of things to pack and loads of things to sort out even once you have moved. With all these to think about you are bound to forget somethings.

This is wear my tip comes in, calmly sit down a couple of  weeks before you move and make a list of everything you think you need to do and pack. This tip come from my mother who is very list obsessed, I may grumble and moan every time she makes me do, I would never tell her this but in all honestly I have found it a great help. You could write this on a phone or a tablet but personally I get a small file and write them out of paper and keep it in a safe place, this means I can get the enjoyment out of scribbling out each item on the list as I do it.

Being a very forgetful person making a list doesn’t mean I remember everything (sadly) just it stops me forgetting the important things.

Until I post again, Samara 😀

P.S oops!!!!, sorry I have posted on the wrong day made a mistake when scheduling the post.


General Advice

Keeping A Close Backup

Making backups of your information is important, and you will always be told by IT tutors, technical support, your parents and yes, it does seem like a bit of a hassle, getting an external hard-drive or a usb stick to hold a single set of documents but it can come in handy.

First however, let me tell you a short story. In my first year of University, I had a complete meltdown, I lost all my data on my hard-drive and I suffered depression during this time due to a painful experience with a past relationship. I started however to wear a USB stick around my neck, this contained photographs of my pet dog, Toby. Whenever I felt like I couldn’t do anything, I immediately plugged my drive into my laptop to go through 500+ photos of my dog until I felt like I could continue working. This held me together because I felt like I had something to keep me going when I held it close to my chest.

A USB stick for instance, these are cheap and plentiful. I have about six all used for different things, one is my University documentation, all the work I’ve completed in the past two years, in case I need to pull up an assignment and hand it back in, in case of a server failure with the University (it does happen). The others are photos that I am too terrified of losing, photos of my family and my pets that mean the most to me when I feel like I can’t continue working on projects, it’s always nice to go through old photographs and feel a little less homesick.

An external hard-drive is a little more expensive, starting at around £30 and going all the way up to £150 based on hard-drive size and transfer speeds and extra functions like “cloud access”. However, if you are wanting to protect all of your data, music, videos, photos, documents like I do, then it’s worth investing in one, and every so often, format the drive and backup all the data once more. I prefer to do it every term so that I have the freshest backup if my computer dies whilst I’m at University, I have a backup in case things go pear shaped.

However, another backup option is cloud storage. Places like Google Drive and Dropbox are especially useful when you have little amounts of data but you want to access them everywhere.  I know it’s a drag to do and takes time, but in the end, having all your data backed up in case of an emergency is a wonderful thing we can do and achieve.

Speak to you all soon!

Conor ^-^


Don’t let People take Advantage of you

Hey everyone, Kathryn here and before I begin I’d like to apologise for the lack of updates recently, it was my cousins wedding this weekend so the past weekend has been pretty hectic! But it’s back to normal now so I’ll once again be updating regularly.

So today’s tip of the day is based on my experience from the past year and it is don’t let people (especially your friends) take advantage of you.When it comes to friendships it is very easy to just go along with whatever they say, after all your friends right? And that’s what friends do isn’t it? But the cold hard truth is that there will be some friendships where people will just take advantage of you.

Last year was the first year I had a group of friends, there were six of us in our friendship group and we were (and still are) good friends. 

However later on in the year it started to become apparent that it was always up to me to arrange things whether it would be going to town or going to cinema. As a result I always found myself too busy keeping everyone happy to properly enjoy myself.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love organising things but what I found annoying was when my friends would say things like “oh we should do that” without actually doing anything. It doesn’t take long to organise something! And I don’t exactly have time to organise anything when I’ve got assignments and exams to prep for. It was at times like this where I wished that it wasn’t all left up to me.

Another time I found particularly stressful was birthdays and it would all be left up to me to organise everything. And no one other than my two best friends would offer to help me even when I asked for ideas on presents and what not.

So my advice to you would be to not let people take advantage of you. Whether they are your friends or not they shouldn’t take advantage of you.