Monday, 15 September 2014

The things you really need to know about University...!

This week 6 years ago, I was packing up all of my stuff to go to University. It was the first time I would move away from home and have to survive on my own. Armed with a box of cleaning supplies, enough tins to last a lifetime and the vision that my life was going to turn into skins (does anyone else remember that? The first series of course, it went down hill after that) I headed to Sheffield. Needless to say I learnt a lot over the 4 years and I want to share some of that wisdom (foolishness?) with you.

1. Making friends is easy

Everyone seems to worry about this. I only had a brief moment where I considered that I might live with people who would be cooler than me and I would be the loner. So when I actually got there I realised that no-one else had any friends either! You also get two chances to make a good group of friends, your housemates and your course friends. Everyones a winner.

2. Fancy dress is a big deal.

When else can you paint all of your skin a solid colour or go out in clothes that would make your mother tell you that you forgot your skirt? University is where! I have spent days, weeks even planning costumes for some fancy dress themes. Some of my personal favourite include painting myself white to become mini mouse, fame (see above. Yes I went out in a leotard), cave girls, burglars, mimes, golfers and cat in the hat. Oh and me and a few friends once did Lady Gaga in her different videos. You get the idea, it's a serious thing.

3. Hangovers become so normal it's like an actual illness

You go out a lot at university so naturally you get a lot of hangovers. The funny thing is that everyone is hungover so much that it starts to become like a genuine illness. You sit pondering with your friends "Do I really deserve this level of hell?" and they give you sympathy for it like it's not your fault (even though we all know it totally is)

4. You can do it on a budget

I have seen people live on £20 a week and people who have 2 overdrafts and don't know why. It's simple, work out how much you have left after you have paid your rent and bills and then how far that money needs to stretch. Admittedly, loans don't always cover things in expensive parts of the country but there are always jobs. It might just mean that you have to put that Topshop dress back on the hanger and walk away.

5. Any excuse to throw a huge party

"Hey did you know it's national dot day today? No? Me neither but I definitely think we should celebrate by having a party tonight."

I have never before celebrated Halloween on the same scale as a  national holiday and you would think that come St Patrick's day we were all born and bred in Ireland. However, I love that everything and anything is just another reason to party!

 6. You actually have to go to University to do well

I don't mean just be at university. You actually have to go. I know it's ridiculous isn't it? Thinking you have to go to lectures and do lots of work to do well? Who would have thought. In all honesty, it won't happen if you spend everyday watching friends re-runs. You're there for a reason.

7. You will have at least one housemate from hell

Everyone has had a food thief, a non cleaner, smoker or just plain idiot living with them at some point, usually in your first year when you don't have a choice. You can protest all you want but these people just don't care so you either have to crumble or just ignore them and their pile of 20 dishes in the sink.

8. Friends at different universities = more places to party

My best friend and I considered going to the same city but at 2 different universities. Boy are we glad we didn't! We both got to visit each other and make twice as many friends and have lots of variety for fun weekends out. In fact, I now consider her friends to be good friends and look forward to the annual reunion on her birthday.

 9. You make friends for life

The first two girls I ever lived with and met on the first day are still in my life today. I went to one of their weddings last year and consider the other to be one of my best friends. As for my course friends, we are planning a reunion as I type. You change so much at university and find out who you really are. If you are lucky enough to find friends like I have then you are very lucky indeed. I couldn't have done it without them and I know they will always be in my life.

10. At the end of it you feel pretty darn proud

It really annoys me when people de-value degrees now. "Everyone has one" or " It hasn't helped you get a job though has it?" So?! Since graduating I have spent far too long listening to little comments from people who have never been to university criticize it and undermine your degree. Well I am bloody proud of my First Class Degree with honours! It's a huge achievement and one you should be proud of. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!

If you are going to university for the first time or your final year, Good Luck! Make the most of it and remember amongst all the fun you have to do a little bit of work (only sometimes!)

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Back to School Wishlist

It's my last day before I return for another school year and I still get the same longing for new things to start my year! Nowadays I don't have to wear a uniform and chose the latest sports backpack in the hope that this is the year I become cool. Instead I love lunchbags, stationary and things that will be useful. I can't emphasise that enough. But they can be pretty too right?

1. Recycled Pencil Case - £5.99 from Nigel's Eco Store.
My class last year had a local recycling group come and talk to them and there were all sorts of things made out of recycled containers and plastic. I would love this to add to the bag I already have!

2. 'Create everyday' journal - £6.99 from Fox and Star
I am very arty and am always encouraging children to be creative so I saw this and loved it. It's not just a blank journal either there are squared, coloured and illustrated pages.

3. 'Sardines Tin' Notebook - £8.00 from Paperchase
I am obsessed with Paperchase notebooks as they are always the nicest and this one is just a little bit different. You can't have too many notebooks, especially small ones like this that will just pop in your handbag. Sometimes though I think they are too nice to write in....

4. Recycled shopper bag - £2.95 from dotcomgiftshop
If you haven't guessed already I'm a little bit obsessed with maps so this print is just lovely but you end up carrying lots of things around when working in a school so am always in need of a bag. Not only is it a bargain but it can fold away into your handbag ready for when it's needed.

5. Washi Tape - £5.50 from Fox and Star
Ok so if we're being honest this isn't an essential but it's just so cool! The range of washi tape on the Fox and Star website is amazing but this caught my eye as it's also got lots facts and info on it about the solar system. Again, probably far too nice for school!

6. Backpack - £25.00 from Paperchase
Another essential but this time for school trips! I love the print and the shape of the bag as it looks like it will sit nice and flat against your back. It's a little pricey but then again you know what you are getting from Paperchase.

7. Novelty Post-its - £2.25 - -Ebay
I love post-its and they come in so handy for marking things, making notes to myself or labelling something quickly. You could just have plain ones from any old shop but why when you could have novelty ones?! They go down a treat with the little 'uns.

If you have already gone back to school as a student or teacher I hope you are enjoying it and don't have the summer blues! If like me you go back this week....good luck!

Monday, 1 September 2014

Goodbye Summer...Hello September!

Well it's the 1st of September which means it's officially the end of summer and for many of us, back to school! As much as I loved my summer holidays as a child I secretly loved going back to school. When 6 weeks felt like forever, there was nothing better than seeing all your pals again and sporting the latest Clarks school shoes.

Now however my summer has flown by and I've been so busy enjoying it that I haven't done my usual monthly round-up of photos. So instead I'm merging all of my summer days into one post and I promise to be good from now on! :)

1. Starting the summer off with a lovely family wedding.
2. Celebrating my parents 60th at York Races.
3.  Winning bets on the horses!
4. 24th Birthday celebrations with my favourites
5. The end of a fabulous school year
6. Gran Canaria was amazing!
7. Holiday cocktails.
8. Not wanting to leave the sun, sea and sand :(
9. Finally having time to read and becoming obsessed with Dan Brown.
10. Lots of family time <3
11.  Loving my project life cards for my scrapbooks.
12. More products in my Etsy shop!
13. Free photo prints means more scrapbooking!
14. Can't resist a trip to the seaside
15. Sledmere House...who doesn't love a stately home?
16. The most perfect gardens. Can I live here?