Campus Boredom Busters

Every so often we all get a little bit bored. Maybe it’s the weekend, you actually have no work to do for once and you’ve watched enough Netflix to last you at least a week. Or maybe you are just plain old bored. It happens to everyone. But with a campus like Essex where there’s always something going on, that doesn’t have to be the way. Take at look at this list of six boredom busters on campus.

1. Play some disc golf

basket-871276857848l3st Ever wondered what this is?

You’ve probably seen those strange metal basket things dotted around campus and absentmindedly wondered what they were. They’re actually holes on the frisbee golf course at Essex. You can get a disc and a score sheet from the reception desk at the gym, it’s only 50p. I can tell you from experience that it’s not exactly easy but it is very fun!

2. Go and see a Cine10 film

Going all the way to the cinema in town can be expensive and a bit of a trek, especially considering we have one right on campus. Cine10 movies are shown in the lecture theatre building and are a great chance to see the latest films without paying top dollar. Recent films include La La Land, T2 Trainspotting and The Lego Batman Movie.

3. Discover a new sport through Just Play

mens football

Just Play is a great chance to try out a new sport or play one just for fun. There are loads of sports you can do for free or a small fee including swimming, ice skating and baseball and more. Just play is how I got into playing hockey and went on to play in BUCS games. It’s also great to go to with friends to see how competitive you can get! Have a look at the timetable here.

4. Visit ESCALA

You are probably wondering what on earth ESCALA is. It stands for Essex Collection of Art from Latin America. The majority of the artwork is housed in a special space in the Constable Building up by Wivenhoe House and you can go and visit it when there are exhibitions and events on. At other times though the art that is in the Silberrad Student Centre is part of ESCALA.

5. Go for afternoon tea at Wivenhoe House

wivenhoe-house
If you’re feeling fancy, head over to Wivenhoe House for some afternoon tea. Be quintessentially British and treat yourself some scones, finger sandwiches and some pastries. And, of course, they also have a huge variety of tea. If you fancy anything else they’ve also got you covered for dinner!

6. Take a fitness class

I really am not a fan of the gym but I do really enjoy going to fitness classes. Essex has loads of them at the gym. If you’re a member of the gym then they’re free but for all other students they’re £3.50. My favourite has to be yoga but there are loads more like zumba, insanity and dance classes.

So if you’re ever bored on campus or just itching for something new to try why not give this list a go!

How my life has changed from college to university

I am sure I’m not the only one that is utterly shocked at the speed this academic years has flown by. Despite this being my second year here, it still doesn’t seem that long ago since I was back in college, studying a handful of A-levels and wondering what direction I wanted my life to go in! The step up to uni is one of the biggest transitions we’ve all had to make, and there were a lot of differences to college life that I certainly didn’t expect.

My constant need for extra sleep

During my A-level years, I could get up at 7 am, do a morning paper round, before completing a full 9 am to 3 pm day of classes, and still have the energy to hang out with my friends all evening. Oh, how things have changed! I have now reached a point where one to two hours of lectures leaves me yearning for my bed and a chance to recover. With the regular availability of alcohol combined with the deadlines constantly looming over your head, spending the early hours of your day productively has become more of a pipe dream!

Independent Working

No matter what A-levels you took, the style of learning and working will feel very different after experiencing those first few lectures or seminars. I realised that much of my subject knowledge was no longer understood in a classroom-style environment, but instead in my hours outside of the lecture theatres. Whether your course is mainly exam-based or filled with regular assignments, your time management and organisational skills will, eventually, reach a whole new level of ‘On Point’, even if that means occasionally working until 3 am bashing out a 2000 word essay the night before it’s due (not that I would know about that….).

Difference in Lifestyle

A big change many of us were probably preparing ourselves for well in advance was living away from home, whether it be on or off campus. I imagine many students, myself included, thought that having 3 well-balanced meals a day would be a simple part of uni life on top of the workload. And yet, I write this while planning my typical dinner of a piece of chicken with some plain rice, so clearly, I was mistaken! Add to this the need to do washing and clean up after yourself, and at times it just seems all too much! But despite it all, living with people that are going through the exact same struggles just makes it that bit more tolerable, and we find a way to survive.

Although this is just scraping the barrel when it comes to the reality of university life, I wouldn’t change a thing about it. Having the opportunity to study something I love and feel the freedom that independence comes with is an experience like no other. Far gone are the monotonous days of college classes, and I’ve never been happier about it! Many of you will agree it is certainly a rollercoaster, but despite the ups and downs, you often feel like you never want it to end.

How to prepare for the independence of university months before you go!

University isn’t just about the studying and getting a degree. It is also about learning life lessons and most importantly gaining independence. But this is a big step. One day you go from mums home cooked dinner, cleaning (and lets face it she probably packed half your stuff!) to staring at the hob with a saucepan in hand thinking “right how do I turn this thing on?” But this step might not be so big if you do some preparing now.

Step 1: Buy the university essentials

So the first step to preparing for your independence is buying the things you’ll need to cook, clean and survive at university! Things such as saucepans, frying pan, cutlery, iron, can opener etc. Don’t go over board, buying things that you’re not even sure how to use it! Buy the things you’ll think you need. Do you never peel potatoes? Then don’t worry with the peeler! Hate grated cheese? Then leave the cheese grater out! Save yourself some money (which you can then use for freshers!) Starting to buy stuff now eliminates the pressure of having to buy everything in one go and inevitably forgetting something!

basic-kitchen-supplies-bs1-kitchen-perfect

Step 2: Learn to cook your own meals

If you’re anything like me, before I started uni the extent to my cooking was putting pasta in a saucepan or putting bread in a toaster. I had no idea how to cook for myself. And I never needed to, so it was great that going to uni gave me this opportunity. And just a FYI there is no toaster in towers…so you can’t just live off toast like you might be planning on!

Learn how to cook simple and quick meals (as well as cheap!). There are some great blogs on the i am essex blog page to give you ideas on the type of meals you could try at uni. My suggestions would be spaghetti bolognese, stir fry, and sweet and sour chicken. These are all easy meals that involve just a frying pan and saucepan! (You don’t even need to learn how to turn the oven on!)

quorn_spaghetti_bolognese

Step 3: Learn how manage money

So you’re in the process of applying for your student loan, and soon you will know how much money you’ll have to live off at university. The good thing is you get your student loan in termly instalments so if you go a bit mad first term you have a chance to pull it back!

When you know how much you’ll have each term you can start to work out a budget. How much will I have left once I’ve paid for accommodation? How much can I save for freshers week? Will I need to get a job? If you start becoming aware of the money you’ll be living off you can start to manage it! Check out the i am essex page for blogs on budgeting.

You should also start thinking about student bank accounts. I went for Santander which offers a free railcard and a reasonable overdraft! So if you are worried your spending, you’ll always have that to fall back to!

giphy (27).gif

Step 4: Learn some basic household chores

Another learning step at uni is learning to clean up after yourself and do some chores! One of the most interesting experiences at uni was every 2 weeks (or as long as I could hold on without doing any washing!) I’d have to carry all my washing across campus to the laundry room and try and work out how to use the washing machine!

Before coming to university it is a good idea to learn how to do your washing and ironing. Don’t be that person that put the red sock in with whites and now the clothes are pink! I have to say I really tried to avoid ironing and I pretty much got away with it apart from that one dress that always creased! Learning to iron is a good skill and you’ll be everyone’s favourite!

giphy.gif

Step 5: Getting ready to become an independent university student

Making these steps will help you prepare to become independent! Next step is to put them to test on your university journey.

Accommodation stereotypes: What kind of person lives where!

The Towers

If I could describe our amazing Towers with one word, that would be social. The Towers, either South Towers or North Towers, are the most social type of accommodation at the university and also the most fun one! Having 16 to 13 people per flat, depending on which tower you live in, it is no surprise either.

Imagine having not only your flatmates as instant friends but the whole tower, since people tend to know each other from other flats and socialise a lot. Also, another plus would be the fact that you are bound to live with people from all around the world which means that you could get friends from all around the world, how cool is that?!

The Towers are a place for a good hangout. There is no chance you can feel alone here. There is not one day that is the same when you live here and that is why Towers are so magical.


towers

The houses

The Houses are housing (get it?) the forever knowledge-hungry students They are located only a few minutes away from the Student Centre and the Library, so you’re only a quick step away from all the computers and materials that are available to us students. The Houses are kind of the opposite of The Towers, but that by no means equals boring! They are centrally located, which means you’re super close to campus and there are 4 to 6 people per flat – perfect for a close-knit group of friends!

houses

The Quays

The Quays are next to a river and beautiful greenery, but as they’re a bit of a walk away from campus you can expect everyone to be out all the time. You will see the usual sporty people running along the river, playing badminton, enjoying a bike ride, and also just people out and about, sunbathing or just out for a picnic! The Quays are also super close to the train station, so if you fancy an impromptu weekend away or just a day trip, there is a 150% chance that you will find a minimum of 10 people going with you. The Quays are definitely for the curious adventurers who are eager to explore and be out and about!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

South Courts

South Courts, being one of the most high-end type of accommodation we have, will definitely give you what you pay for. En-suite bathrooms in each room and only a three minutes’ walk away from Square 3, you definitely get the bang for your buck. It is an ideal choice for the sports fanatic, since it is located right next to the Sports Centre and Evolve Gym. It is also our largest accommodation area, so if you are thinking of moving to South Courts, be ready to see LOAAAADS of people. Housing 4 to 6 students per flat, and in some up to 12 students, it’s a perfect balance for your academic studies and social life.

south courts

 

But this is not everything the uni offers in terms of accommodation! Have a look at their website for more info on the others or if simply you want to find out more about the ones I talked about here 🙂

The things I wished I’d know about university before starting: Busting the four big myths about university

If you have a strong, preconceived idea about what life will be like at university then this blog may ruin that. If however, you are happy to have those ideas challenged then continue reading. Essentially this is what I wished I’d known about university all the way back when I was a young and naive fresher.mythbusting-min

Myth: Students drink and party all the time

Truth: I would be lying if I said students didn’t drink, of course they do. As someone who doesn’t drink that often, I was worried that I wouldn’t fit in at university or that people would pressure me to drink. But that didn’t happen, in fact people have been very accepting. There are tons of people who don’t drink and there are tons of people who do, so there will always be people in the same position as you.

While I can’t speak for other universities, at Essex a great deal of effort goes into ensuring that there is a good mix between events that involve drinking and those that don’t. So there should be something for everyone.

Myth: You’ll meet you best friend on the first day

friends-forever

Truth: Unfortunately there are no guarantees of this. University is a big place with thousands of people, so don’t be surprised if it takes a while to “click” with people. I met someone who I regard as one of my closest friends during the first week of term and the rest of my friendship group evolved over a number of months.

It has certainly been romanticised that you’ll move in or arrive on your first day and meet your new best friend. Having spoken to a number of people this isn’t always the case, but don’t be disheartened as you’ll make friends eventually.

Myth: Everyone will be smarter than me

200_s

Truth: Don’t sell yourself short. Everyone will have come from different backgrounds and will have learnt different things. As an English Literature student I’ve found that the Literature I studied at school is different from the Literature that someone else studied- yet we both have an A-level in Literature.

There will be people who have extensive knowledge in certain areas, but then you might outwit them in another area. Remember one of the points of first year is to get everyone up to the same level of knowledge.

Myth: You have to buy everything before you arrive

overloaded

(c) motoring.sg

Truth: No! No! No! No! Ok, so you may think that you are a whizz in the kitchen but even Gordon Ramsey doesn’t need six toasters and three kettles!

Firstly, check what the university provides (normally listed on the accommodation pages). Secondly, check if your university allows you to contact your new house/ flat mates- this is something that you can do at Essex and is a great way to make initial introductions and arrange what to bring for communal use. Thirdly, don’t forget that shops exist! So you don’t need to bring a weeks worth of food, a years supply of clothes and all the bedding to last a lifetime. Quite simply you can save space in the car by thinking ahead for the less essential things and buying them at a later date – panic over!

What is Summer Ball?

If you’re in your first year, you may have started to hear talks about an event called summer ball. Or are you a regretting not going last year and wondering if its worth it this year? Well I am here to tell you the basics.

So what is summer ball? It is the biggest event of the year at the uni! It is like the university’s answer to prom combined with a mini festival! I was very lucky that Summer Ball last year was on birthday so I had the most amazing birthday!

39

When, where and how?

summerball

When: Saturday 10th June. Summer ball starts in the evening and goes on until the early hours of the morning.

Where: On Colchester campus fields

How: Tickets go on sale on Friday 31st March. Any leftover tickets will go on sale after this. Tickets are usually around £50. They WILL sale out so don’t miss out!

What to expect

Summer ball is jam packed with lots of activities to keep you busy! There will be many different types of music acts to suit everyone’s music taste. Last year acts included headliner DJ Fresh, Hoosiers (you know the band that sang Good Bye Mr A), majestic, coffee house sessions and a steel drum band. The great thing about summer ball is you end up in a tent listening and dancing to something you never expected! This year’s acts will be announced around April!

There also lots of other entertainment. This includes a ferris wheel, dodgems, inflatables, waltzers and fireworks display. If you’re on the priority list, then this is perfect because it means you can get in early and  get on the rides before the queues start!

summerball-wheel

There are also a lot of food stalls and bars. My favourite was the bbq chicken wraps and Nutella waffles. I am still dreaming on getting my hands of summer balls food again! Summer ball is a no cash event though, so you need to buy tokens that you pick up to exchange for drinks and food.

summer-ball-waffle

5 reasons why you should get a ticket

So you know a bit more about what summer ball is why should you buy a ticket? Here is my 5 reasons why!

  1. It’s the last night out of the university year! It’s a great way to celebrate the end of the year with all your uni mates!

2. It is not like any other night out on campus. In no other night out will you get the            chance to see a variety of different music acts, entertainment and rides all at your fingertips.

3. The variety of music acts. Often sub-zero will have a DJ come and play on a Saturday night. But at summer ball you will get to see a number of DJ’s, bands and other music acts all in one place. Just like a mini festival!

4. An excuse to go all out! Everyone gets a little bit more dressed up for summer ball. It’s a great excuse to buy that new dress or the dust off the suit you never wear!

5. You get the opportunity to be a summer ball survivor. It is a sort of achievement to last right till the end of summer ball. The sun has risen, your tired, and dreaming of your bed…but who cares?! You survived summer ball!

summerball-survival

My verdict, don’t miss out on the biggest night on campus! Like the Summer Ball Facebook page for more updates!

Perry’s Essex Abroad travelling experience

So for the past few months, some could say that I was living the dream. If studying abroad in Brisbane wasn’t enough, a three month University summer break from November to February meant that I could travel across Oceania and Asia.

It was kind of like a mini-gap year experience as I visited 7 countries and spent 79 days on the road.

And if you’re wondering what that would look like, well it looks a little like this…

Now if that was all a bit quick then let me tell you about each stop of my journey…

Sydney

DSCN1079.JPG

The first stop on my journey was a hop down the coast to Sydney. Here me and my friends did the obvious tourist attractions, went to Bondi Beach and hung out in cool secret bars.

Fun fact: I have now been to the Sydney Opera House more times than the man who designed it. Jørn Utzon, the designer of the Sydney Opera House, never actually visited the finished building after falling out with the government at the time over escalating costs.

South East Coast Road Trip!

01 12 wilsons prom squa.jpg

Instead of flying straight down to Melbourne, we took the long way down taking the time to over 1,000 km in the space of just over a week.

So we hired cars and camped along the way as we saw the Blue Mountains, Wilson’s Prom and The Great Ocean Road. We also conquered (the almost impossible to pronounce) Mount Kosciuszko, the tallest mountain in Australia.

Fun Fact: Wilson’s Prom, a beautiful national park on a peninsula is the southernmost point of mainland Australia. It was here where we bumped into a womenswear photo shoot on a deserted beach and unintentionally got used for a few practice shots!

Melbourne

16904764_10208810731486983_2497232309938375562_o

Melbourne is probably one of my favourite cities in Australia. Although this time around we were only there for a few days, its street art and alleyways were enchanting!

Here we stayed in an apartment in the city centre for a few days which was perfect! One day we even had a mini Christmas day where we cooked a roast dinner, played games and watched movies. It may have been 6th December but we had to make use of having a place to ourselves in the festive period!

20161204_201138.jpg

Fun Fact: We were lucky enough to have our apartment overlooking one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions, Hosier Lane. Whilst we were there, we saw a new piece of art being created in the pouring rain. This may be Banksy or some other big name street artist but we’ll never know!

Tasmania

DSCN1614.JPG

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Tasmania before I went. I wasn’t that fussed about going but my friends dragged me along and I was so glad that I went!

This Australian state isn’t massive compared to its mainland counterparts but what it lacks in size, it more than makes up in terms of beauty!

We took a week to explore this marvellous landscape in two groovy camper vans…

12 12 mountain pix.JPG

Fun Fact: Whilst in Tasmania, we spent the day scaling Cradle Mountain, ranked as one of Australia’s most beautiful places by Lonely Planet.

New Zealand25 12 xmas squad.jpg

This was an exciting stop on our trip as it was the first time that we had left Australia!

Here we spent 3 weeks exploring the whole country on the Kiwi experience tour bus, spending a day or two in each town along the way.

It was a jam packed few weeks full of bungee jumping, street luging, lakes, mountains, Lord of the Rings, Maori Culture, hiking… I could go on!

This was also our destination for the festive season including Christmas Day and New Years which was exciting and very different to back home! I don’t think Christmas day barbecues on the beach will be much of a feature in many more Christmases to come!

01 01 hobbtion squad.JPG

Fun Fact: One of the last attractions that we visited in New Zealand was the Hobbiton movie sets which were used in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. There are 44 hobbit holes dug into the side of the hill and you walk exactly the same steps that the characters made in the film. Even though I have yet to see any of the films it was used for (pathetic really I know), it’s amazing to see the lengths movies go to to create their sets.

Fiji

DSCN2192.JPG

Fiji was a welcome rest from the exhausting action packed New Zealand. Days generally consisted of exploring tiny little islands, laying in a hammock, going snorkelling in the reef and playing Beach Volleyball.

It was a struggle, it really was.

DSCN2179.JPG

Fun fact: The above picture was taken on the island where the Tom Hanks film Castaway was filmed. Despite it being another film which I have not yet seen (I should really watch some more films…), the ocean views more than made up for it!

Australian Open (Melbourne)

20170118_095022.jpg

With a few days before the Asia leg of my trip, I couldn’t resist going to back to Melbourne for a few days for the Australian Open whilst the others recuperated back in Brisbane!

If you haven’t heard of it, the Australian Open is one of the biggest and most important Tennis tournaments in the world! It’s basically Australia’s version of Wimbledon!

I had a ground pass for the first three days of the tournament, which allowed me to see players like Kei Nishikori, Gael Monflis and Alexander Zverv amongst others.

Screenshot 2017-03-19 12.56.47.png

Fun fact: The last match I saw, I had front row seats for the Brit Dan Evans and his win against world no.7 Marin Cilic. The win which was very unexpected for Evans and played a massive part in the player’s best ever run in a Grand Slam.

Vietnam

DSCN2468.JPG

Vietnam was definitely something else! It was my first time in Asia and it was probably unlike anywhere where I had been before with crazy moped drivers and a unrecognisable language to deal with!

We only had 10 days in the country, so we didn’t have much time to waste! We visited the two main cities; Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and visited congested alleyways, beautiful bays, peaceful villages and some really interesting war museums!

DSCN2722

Fun fact: We were lucky enough for our visit to the country  to coincide with the Lunar New Year celebrations. When we explored Hanoi in particular, we witnessed a lot of traditions which take place at this time of year. One of which is burning fake money for good luck. Unfortunately some of these notes don’t get burnt and get taken by the wind, leaving them on the pavement somewhere! The amount of times I thought that I had found some money on the floor only for it to be fake was heartbreaking!

Cambodia

DSCN2748.JPG

If you thought that we rushing through Vietnam in 10 days was bad enough then we (somehow) managed to squeeze Cambodia into 4! It took a lot of precision and planning to get it right but we did it with time to spare!

We spent one day in the capital Phonm Penh learning about the country’s devastating recent history and the rest of the time at Siem Reap where the famous Angkor Wat Temple complex is located.

DSCN2733.JPG

(Not so) fun fact: During the genocides in the country throughout the 1970’s, it is estimated that around 2 million people died. That’s around a quarter of the country’s population. Seeing the prisons and the fields in Phonm Penh where these people were killed was incredibly powerful and touching.

Malaysia

DSCN2991.JPG

Malaysia was kind of an unintentional stop on our journey as we were only there for a few hours whilst waiting for our connecting flight. However, this didn’t stop us from getting out and about and exploring the wonderful city of Kuala Lumpur.

DSCN2979

Fun Fact: The Petronas towers are the tallest twin skyscrapers in the world and it was cool to see them right up close! Even if the observation deck was closed on the day that we visited!

And that’s it for the quick whistle stop tour of my travels!

It was a great experience and I would encourage everyone to take the time to do a trip like this if you can!

Thank you to all of the brilliant people that I travelled with and everyone who I met along the way 🙂

 

5 Things Only Final Year Students Will Understand

So graduation is 4 months away…This is not a drill people! As a final year student your life and view of the world changes dramatically and you practically become a different person as you come to the realisation that, yep, you are actually about to enter the world of work as a fully-fledged adult. No more hiding in the SU for you!

Three years is a surprisingly short space of time

the_persistence_of_memory

When studying at university, time takes on a new meaning. The weeks go quickly, the months pass quickly and the terms pass even quicker. Suddenly you become confused that you’re in 3rd year but can still remember the first day of first year so vividly.

People start to take an overly keen interest in your life

pbcxysw

So you’ve gone this far without people asking about your life or future career goals. Now that people find out that you’re in your final year suddenly you must have a clear idea of your future… Let me think… No, still haven’t got a clue!

The internal struggle between a good social life and wanting to study hard 

university-balance

I want to actually get a good grade, but I don’t want to neglect socialising, but I don’t want to fail, but I want to keep my friends, but I want to do well… it is a vicious circle

People instantly expect you to be an expert

Brainy man answering a question

I may have studied this subject for 3 years but that does not mean that I know everything and anything about it. I’m just as surprised as you when I know the answer.

People keep reminding you of the impending end.

Leave-Britney-Alone.png

Now at first I was excited at finishing. Then I remembered that I will no longer be a student. That I will not see my friends that often. That my student discount card will run out. That I will have to start work… and there is always that one person who keeps counting down the days- who are you, the speaking clock?!

The Homesickness Feels

When you start university in October there are loads of activities to keep you occupied in Freshers’ Fortnight. You’ve got all the stuff going on in the day involving departmental welcome meetings and registering for uni, so you get that handy student loan money. Then there’s all the things happening at night, whether it’s karaoke in the SU Bar, sports fed in Sub Zero or a rock and indie night in Base. Along with your flatmates being in the same position as you in a brand new environment,there really isn’t that much time to miss home. I loved my first few weeks at uni and didn’t go home until the Christmas holidays. Coming to Essex from Manchester, it was quite an expensive and too long of a journey to take just for a weekend. I settled in really well into all of my lectures and class and got on amazingly with my flatmates.

giphy Even The Simpsons get homesick

Pretty much everyone will experience being homesick at some point during university. It can affect some people more than others and happen at any point in the year. For me, homesickness didn’t really set in until I came back after being home for a month after Christmas. I don’t think I realised how much I’d missed my family and friends or how much they had missed me until I went home. By the time I’d settled into being back at home it was time to go back to Essex again. Whilst I was looking forward to going back and catching up with all my friends, part of me just wanted to stay at home.

4gravy You don’t get this every Sunday at uni!

Back at Essex, feelings of wanting to go home would just hit me at any moment. It was never bad enough for me to want to go back home straight away but I’d just find myself cooking my fourth pasta meal of the week and really craving a roast dinner. Even watching Netflix on my laptop with my flatmates made me miss having a TV and a comfy couch to sit on. Usually when I felt like this I would give my mum a call or talk to my friends from home and immediately I would feel better. But it’s not as easy as that for everyone.

On my year abroad here in America, it’s hard not to feel homesick sometimes. The way classes are taught is different, the food is different, the sense of humour is different, even the weather sometimes makes me miss dreary old England! You never really realise how far away from home you are until you want to go back and its a plane ride rather than a train ride away. The great thing about being an international student though is that you know so many other people in the same position and you sort of bond over it. I’ve had so many discussions about the funny little differences that you only really notice living here. Dippy eggs and soldiers are not a thing here, so of course I got my family to send me some egg cups!

If you’re feeling really homesick, talk to your flatmates and friends. I can guarantee that they’ll have felt the same at some point. Call home and tell someone you’re not feeling great. It may sound counter intuitive but don’t actually go home, if you keep leaving uni then it’ll take even longer to settle in. If there is no one you know that you feel you can talk to then pop into SU Advice. You should never feel like you’re alone because there will always be someone willing to help. I promise!

Essay writing tips from a uni student

Essay writing is a huge part of university life and no one enjoys doing them. This blog is going to give you tips on how to write a good essay and avoid more stress!

Make sure you keep your work organised

Throughout the year you should create a folder for each module, so that all of your work is in one place. Lecture notes are usually really useful for writing essays, as they sometimes give you hints and tips throughout the lectures. The lecturer is likely to give extra information that you can write down, instead of just reading the lecture slides.

organised

Plan your essay

You can do this by first destructing the question. After this, read the recommended reading that is usually found on Moodle and pick out any key and information and quotes that are relevant to the essay question.

You can then write bullet point notes under headings. The essay should start with an introduction, outlining what the essay will be about and how it will be structured. This will be followed by the main part of the essay with your arguments. Finally, a conclusion should be made at the end, summarising your assignment and what your final answer is. However, this structure can change between departments, so make sure you double check with yours!

tumblr_inline_mg9g8yrl5w1rnvwt1

Presentation

The presentation of your assignment can actually sometimes gain you marks. In your module outline it should mention how they expect you to format your essay. For example, this could include font, font size, line spacing and whether to include page numbers. Also make sure that your paragraphs make sense and always check your spelling and grammar.

References

The way you reference depends on your department, so you should check your module outline for this. Many students use Harvard referencing style, which involves in-text referencing, using the surname of the author/s, date it was published and sometimes the page number in brackets. There is also a reference list needed at the end, which includes all of your references in full. There are many website online that show you how to do this, or some even do it for you!

Time management

Many students cram writing an essay in the night before it’s due. However, this is not the best idea because if you need to find references in the library or you need to ask your lecturer or teacher a question, then it is too late! Also it is best to have time to plan your essay and have time to thoroughly look for good and valid references. By giving yourself time, you can still socialise without worrying about the 3000 word essay you have to write.

Clock

I hope that this has helped you to understand a bit more about essay writing at Uni standard!