Saturday, May 23, 2015

My Honest University Experience

Hello, there.

If you have been following me for a little while you will know that I was in my final year of a criminology degree. 

I finished my degree a couple of days ago (yippee!). 

DISCLAIMER: I am going to be completely honest here. If you are one of the people I talk about then sorry, but not sorry also. 

A lot of people always ask me what university is really like, and I always find that a lot of people sugar coat things, and make it out like it's all party, happiness, and generally great times.


This isn't true.

Sorry if I burst your bubble... 

Overall, university is a great experience. 

If you are thinking of going because you need it for a career then go for it. However, if you are thinking of going to uni to put off getting a job, or think you will "find yourself" (I cringe as I say that, ergh), or if you think it'll be an easy three not go. It's a very expensive way to find out that none of those things happen or are true. 

University is hard. It has been a difficult three years. There is a lot of work, especially in your final year. If you don't work your ass off and commit to it fully then you won't get the grades you want. 

Hell, there will be a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. 

I have gone through some of the hardest times of my life at university. Dealing with being cheated on rather a lot, my mum having cancer, some nightmare situations this year that made me reconsider my entire degree, and some severe homesickness this year. 

I also made the decision to stop drinking back in October because I was starting to get a tad ill after drinking far too much (sorry, mum) over the previous two years. I found that this meant I essentially got left out of things - told you I was being honest - and actually meant that I didn't get on with my house mates any more. To be brutally honest, that has been absolute hell for me. I kept myself prisoner in my room, I was always scared to be in a room with them, and now I am extremely happy to be moving out. These are all things I never thought would happen to me, especially when I was really good friends with them beforehand. But advice I have been given is "you win some and you lose some". 

But it has also been a really great time. I've met (a few) people that I will consider lifelong friends, gained a degree, had amazing opportunities, and been able to develop myself in ways I wouldn't have done without coming here. 

The bad times were unbelievably shit, I won't pretend they weren't. Yet I have way more positive memories of the last three years, particularly more from my first and second year. 

The one thing I think I have learned most from being at university is that you can't please everyone, and you shouldn't try to. People are going to go out of their way to make you feel like shit, believe me it happens a lot. You have to be strong enough to know when to walk away, whether it be from a friendship, relationship, or anything group work-y. 

Oh, a second thing I learned (the hard way) is that you get out what you put in. If you put your everything into an essay then you will get the results. If you do them the night before you will (mostly) not do too great. 

Remember that you are coming to university to gain a degree, not to party your life away. 

I may consider doing a university Q&A sort of thing later on if anyone has any questions. I will be doing a "my degree in pictures" next week, so keep your eye out for that! 

I want to know what advice would you give to someone going to university/starting a new job/making a big life decision? Put your answers in the comments below!

As always, thank you for reading, and I will see you all next time!

PS. sorry for not blogging for a while, dissertations are hard.


Friday, May 15, 2015

Summer Bucket List

Summer is fast approaching - as is the end of my degree, thank god - and I am starting to think about the things I want to do. Unlike last year where I spent every waking second at work, I am taking it slightly easier this year. I have a holiday, a trip to a theme park (or two...), and some day trips planned; plus my obvious trips back down to Plymouth.

I thought there would be nothing better to do to get myself in the mood for summer, and distract (procrastinate) from exam stress than to make a bucket list of the things I want to do this summer.

1. Lose weight
I say this as I am sat here munching my way through a pack of Hula Hoops. I have sort of neglected my body over the last few years and put on rather a lot of weight, so I think this is about the time I sort that out. I plan on going to the gym several times a week, and cutting all the crap *echem, hula hoops* from my diet. 

2. Take more photos
I used to take photos of everything, but as soon as I gave up drinking I sort of stopped. I got myself a new camera at the end of last year (mainly in relation to number 7), so hopefully I can put that to more use this summer.

3. Go on more walks
I really enjoy going on walks, exploring new areas, and slowly getting lost in fields. Unfortunately for me, my dog is rather stubborn and doesn't particularly like to walk very far so I don't have the luxury of taking her on longer walks. Maybe I should borrow someone else's proper dogs?...

4. Smile more
The last 6 or so months have been complete hell, and I have found myself on a daily basis being incredibly miserable. Luckily, I have been able to escape back home for job interviews (although I have been rejected on all of them - more of that in a later post). I may actually post about all that in a later post because I think I could share some pretty good advice. But I am hoping being back home in a happier environment, with people who don't hate me, and be somewhere where I am not actually scared to leave my room. Oh, and also having my dog around will be much better for me.

5. Blog more
I have sort of rejected you guys for a little while because of deadlines, dissertations, and now exams. Now that I don't have any of that rubbish (almost) to deal with, I can spend more time blogging and doing things I want to do! That also may mean more rants - possibly another airport/flying themed one in September!

6. Save some money
I am hoping to move out in the next couple of years, so I am hoping to save a significant amount of money towards that. I also owe my parents a rather large chunk of money because I borrowed some to buy a new car - whoops. But it will be nice to treat myself to some new clothes and treats once I have lost a little weight, too.

7. Vlog in Disney
Yes, you read that right. I am hoping to add a little video element to this blog! Panic not, I shan't be turning into a YouTuber; mainly because I don't really have enough confidence to spend all my time in front of a camera. I am hoping to do more of a series of montage-y videos so that I don't have to bore you with my voice! I am in Disney World and Universal Studios etc. for 2 weeks at the end of August, so look out for those coming out around the middle of September.

8. Drink more coffee...yes, seriously
If you follow me on Instagram (shameless self-plug) you will be all too aware that I drink a lot of coffee. But I want to go for coffee more with friends and family, rather than on my own. 

9. Keep in touch with some university friends
There are a select few friends I will put all my effort in to keeping in touch with. Luckily for me, a few of them live quite close so I can drive/get the train to see them reasonably often. Maybe I could do some awesome stuff with them to vlog/blog about?!

So there we have it, 9 things I really want to do in summer. Knowing me most of these will probably just start in summer rather than be completed...but it's the thought that counts!

Tell me in the comments below what do you want to do this summer?

Thank you for reading, and I will see you next time!


Friday, May 08, 2015

Summer Staple Item | ad

I am always on the hunt for a new summer wardrobe - although this has been put on halt for a few years whilst I have been at university (and put on far too much weight). However, my prayers have been answered thanks to Eles Clothing!

Eles Clothing is a wholesale retailer who supplies the newest fashion from the United Kingdom. They have not just women's, but men and children's and also accessories. The brands range from Next, Top Shop, Laura Ashley, Jane Norman and many more. 

You can find them on their blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Apologies for some changes in light - the clouds had a mind of their own today!

I searched through their catalogue and found the most amazing top to base my summer wardrobe on. I primarily wear black leggings because they go with everything, and they hide my legs (until I get my ass to the gym next month, anyway). Due to this, I won't include any picture of me with it on because of a simple lack of body confidence. 

I have to say, I couldn't be happier with it. The material is lovely; it flows in all the right ways and doesn't cling to my body in unflattering ways. It is also long enough that it covers my bum in leggings!

The spaghetti straps are adjustable, so you can have the top as high or as low as you prefer. I personally go for a slightly lower placement, just because I cover my legs (remember, legs or cleavage!). 

I love, love, love, the pattern. The floral pattern is quite in this summer (I think...) and can liven up any block colour. As I said before, I wear this with black leggings, but it could go with any teal, black, or white colours. 

I usually shy away from patterned tops myself, but I thought I would take a risk...and it really paid off. 

This is something I will be wearing all summer - look out for it when I post my Disney World vlogs! 

I would 100% recommend this company for online clothes shopping. They updated me continually with my item, told me when it would be delivered, and reminded me on the day that it would be arriving. The staff were incredibly friendly, and no question is too big. I would love to work with this company again; I couldn't be happier with them! 

Safe to say I will be shopping with them again.

Have a look through their catalogue and tell me what your favourite item is in the comments below.