Going home for Christmas: the good bits, the bad bits, and the downright ugly bits

First term of uni is finally over! We can all finally get into the Christmas spirit without pretending we don’t have deadlines to work on and tests to study for. It’s time for some guilt free relaxation where you can go home and be treated like royalty by your parents, fight with your siblings and eat food that isn’t cooked in the microwave. Whether you’re a fresher or a final year there are both good and bad things about going home for the holidays that we probably all experience so here they are!

Good

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Okay, so of course it’s great to see your family at Christmas, especially if you haven’t been home during term time, but you know what else is also pretty great: food. After weeks and months of different variations of pasta dishes, Christmas brings a welcome break from student cuisine. I know that when I go home for the holidays, I’m always asked how well I’ve been eating and whatever the answer my family feed up! Now, I’m not complaining, in fact, I love it. There’s the pigs in blankets, the fancy desserts, roast potatoes and copious amounts of gravy. After the big day itself, you’ve even got the boxing day leftovers; turkey sandwich anyone?

Bad

Of course, going home for Christmas isn’t all fun and games. You find yourself having just settled into uni life, having to go home again. It feels a little bit weird leaving your uni bubble and going back into the “real world”. You miss your flatmates and your friends, even the routine of going to lectures. It’s not all bad though, you get to have a long awaited catch up with your friends from home. Sometimes it can be just as fun to reminisce about those sixth form memories as it is to have a night out in Sub Zero with your uni friends.

Ugly

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We’ve had the good and the bad, so it’s time to get to the ugly. The questions. What are you going to do when you graduate? Have you found a boyfriend/girlfriend yet? I get these pretty much every time I go home and I know my family mean well and they’re just taking an interest in my life. The only problem is that it really does get quite annoying when you have to answer the same questions over and over again with the same answers. Sometimes I long for the day when my answers to those questions sound almost as if I have I know what I’m doing with my life! But you know what, whatever I end up doing, my family will always be there to support me.

Even with the bad and the ugly, all the good of Christmas really outweighs those things. It’s been a long first term and I can’t wait to just have a break and enjoy making the most of being home. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Christmas gifts on a budget

It’s actually snowed already, the gingerbread latte is back in the fashion and Mariah Carey plays on the radio approximately ten times a day.

Christmas is clearly approaching.

I got really excited about going back home, seeing my family and friends, and I started making a list of gifts ideas. It looked great, I had it all sorted. Then I opened my bank account…

If you are broke, like me, you might appreciate these Christmas gift ideas which will make your nearest and dearest feel special and won’t make you cry over your overdraft.

Perfect!

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PERSONAL CALENDAR

I made it a few times and it was always a total success! You can choose a template of a calendar and personalize it, or just do it all yourself, on the computer or just by hand. Choose the nicest pictures, mark important dates to remember, maybe add a nice quote for each month. It’s fun and easy to make and it will make your loved ones smile all year round!

PHOTO ALBUM

Not a fun of calendars? How about a photo album with funny anecdotes, memories, the most beautiful moments from the past year, or years. It’s always nice to go down memory lane!

MUSIC

Another idea on a similar note is a personal sound journey. Once I gave my dad a CD with tracks from his childhood, young years, and important moments from his life, it triggered so many beautiful memories! He loves coming back to it a lot, it’s like a little time vehicle.

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KNITTING

This is a classic. Imagine giving your precious person something you have knitted yourself? You might think it’s for knitting-PROs only, but this doesn’t have to be a masterpiece jumper with funky patterns, there are much easier things to do and with a little youtube tutorial I’m sure you can do it too!

If knitting is not for you, how about a personalized bag, shawl or decorative cloth to put on a table? You can get a plain linen bag or a piece of fabric from a charity shop or e-bay, and just embroider a name, a life motto, or a colourful pattern on it!

HANDMADE COSMETICS

You can pamper your loved ones with a mini spa in a jar! There are loads of easy-peasy and cheap recipes for homemade make-up, make-up removers, creams, face-masks, lip balms, etc.!

How about Vanilla Coconut Sugar Scrub? All you need is 1/2 cup of coconut oil, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (or a different aroma, but this is optional). That’s it! You just mix it well, put a scrub in a jar and voalá!

Another easy and cheap to make present is a handmade deodorant which is also much healthier than the industrial ones. The ingredients are: coconut oil, corn starch and baking soda. You can add an aroma if you like, but to me it’s perfect just as it is. You need 6 spoons of coconut oil, 4 spoons of baking soda and 4 spoons of corn starch. Mix soda with starch and then add the oil. The oil should be liquid to mix well, if it isn’t, you can just heat it up a little bit.

You can decorate the jar with nail polish, tie up a nice ribbon, or just keep it simple.

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WINE CORK BOARD

This is a great idea for wine lovers. Now you can make a use of all these wines you drunk during the term 😊 It can become a notice board, rustic bathroom mat, kitchen board to put a hot pan on, or just a lovely decoration. You can also pin pictures or good thoughts on it. All you need is cork and glue!

I hope these ideas inspired some of you to make a gift! You really don’t need a fortune to make your very special people happy. Just get creative and enjoy this lovely season! An empty wallet cannot ruin it!

Happy Christmas everyone!

Top 6 Xmas Comedy Specials of all time

It’s Christmas, and you know what that means: it’s time to forget about everything that doesn’t begin with the word “Christmas” and sit on the sofa in your pyjamas with a Christmas jumper on for a month straight. But what are you going to do in between shoving as many Celebrations (except Bounty) into your mouth and attempting to play Charades with your nan, who’s had a few sherries and can’t remember how to sign “Chicken Run”? You’re going to stick on the telly, switch to Gold and bask in the warm glow. Here are the best comedy Christmas specials you could ever hope to see.

 

#1 The Office (UK)

The Office is rightly held up as one of the best sitcoms of all time, and this pair of Christmas specials – which tie up the loose ends the series finale neglected to – are the icing on the cake. If you haven’t seen the rest, you ought to before beginning this. It won’t take long: there are only 12 episodes and you’ll breeze right through them. By the time you reach the specials, you’ll be gagging to know what’ll happen with Tim and Dawn, and whether David’s career as an entertainer ever took off. The specials are so jam-packed with satisfying endings you’ll be hooting and hollering at the screen by the end.

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#2 The Office (US)

If you’re a UK Office purist, please do yourself a favour and forget that the two are remotely connected. The US Office is a marvel, and entirely different from our version after about six episodes. There are a few Christmas specials from Michael Scott and co., but if I had to choose one to watch forever it’d be season 6’s “Secret Santa”. This is classic Dunder Mifflin when the show had really hit its stride and showcases Michael at his most excited, and his most childish. Which, really, is what Christmas is all about.

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#3 The Royle Family

It’s hard to think of a more accurate or hilarious representation of British culture than in the Royle Family, and never is this more true than in their Christmas specials. “The Queen of Sheba” is the creme-de-la-creme of the many Royle Family Christmasses in part for its emotional storyline (have the hankies ready for the ending) but also for its laugh out loud jokes that you’ll be ashamed to relate to.

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#4 Gavin and Stacey

Oh! What’s occurring? I know you’ve seen the Gavin and Stacey Christmas special about 500 times by now, but come on. You’ll watch it again, and you’ll love it. Plus, now that James Corden is somehow the biggest name in America right now, you can watch it and shake your head in disbelief that Smithy, of all people, is an A-lister. This episode shows him performing his very first Carpool Karaoke, no less!

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#5 The Simpsons

The Simpsons has been running for almost thirty years and as you can imagine, it has its fair share of Christmas episodes. In fact, the very first episode was a Christmas special! However, this list is not about “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire”, but rather about the seminal seventh season fable “Marge Be Not Proud”. This episode is chock-full of classic Simpsons moments (Thrillho anybody?) but also an emotional tale of crime and reconciliation. Essential watching.

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#6 Peep Show

An absolute classic. As if Peep Show wasn’t already the most quotable show ever made, nearly every single line in this Christmas episode is legendary in and of itself. Just say the words “No turkey?” or “Cauliflower is not traditional” or “Hello, Christmas smoothie” to basically any student at Essex and within seconds you’ll both be cracking up at your fond memories of one of the most awkward Christmasses ever captured on camera.

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There you have it! Have a very merry Christmas, or just a wonderful break from school/uni/anything!!

Turning your passion into a paid profession

Photography has been always one of my biggest passions. Why? I just can’t imagine my world without the viewfinder and the constant struggle of ‘the right lens’.

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Since the first time I picked up a cheap point and shoot film camera, a camera which my parents gave me when I was 7 to play around with when I was on a school trip in the countryside of Romania, I knew that it would become a really important factor in my life. After learning that I could take some pretty interesting pictures as a child (being encouraged by both my parents and teachers), my interest in photography grew.

My main interests when I was a child were to get the most out of a situation. Starting from the cheesy sunsets to the smile of my mum; I wanted to capture everything I saw. I was truly fascinated. But I didn’t know that my passion for photography could turn into actually being paid to photograph events.

How did I managed to do that? Easy peasy lemon squeezy! I just looked online at the Students Union job opportunities. I’d seen photographers on campus wearing their SU badges, but I have never thought that they were actually students like myself! I eventually gathered all the courage I had to walk up to a perfect stranger and ask one of the photographers:

Are you a student here?

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Obviously (or not so obviously to me at the time) she answered yes! She was in her third year and I blame my enthusiasm for forgetting her degree (or maybe my loss of memory as I get older and older).

I started filling out my application the moment they were posted on the website, but I now had another crisis – there were 2 different photographer positions:

  • Venues
  • Marketing

The Venues photographer means in a nutshell, shooting all the events that happen in the clubs (SubZero or Base) and even in SU Bar.giphy (3).gif

The Marketing photographer is all about promoting what our amazing Students Union has to offer, starting from the Freshers Fair, Colour Run, Diwali, Chinese New Year, Guy Fawkes Day, all the way to sports! They cover everything that happens in the campus in the day-time.

In the end of I went for the Marketing Photographer role. As I’m studying Media, shooting events which are strongly related to a much more consumer and customer focus atmosphere is both beneficial for my academic knowledge and also for my future career plans too. I’m pleased to say I got the job! I’d done it – I’d turned my passion into a paid profession!

Whatever you’re passionate about, or even if you haven’t found your passion, do not hesitate to become a mighty explorer and discover what’s out there for you! The University of Essex has so much to offer, it has even given me this job as a blogger. Who would not love to blog about their own experiences and earn money from doing so?!

It all depends on you. Don’t stop dreaming. You can actually turn any kind of hobby in something profitable. And the University of Essex will definitely help you in doing so!

And now, let me share some of my favourite pictures I have taken while working for the Students Union, here at the most amazing university! The University of Essex!

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All this discussion about photography made me really enthusiastic! I can’t wait to grab my camera and explore the world!

Until next time,

Mimi.

Does my love count as a Christmas present?

My most recent google searches include:

‘Gifts under £10’
‘I have no money, how do I buy Christmas presents?’
‘What organs are worth the most money and the least necessary’

I’m kidding about the last one, but Christmas for students can be very stressful. For most people, Christmas is wonderful; you get to open presents, spend time with your family, and relax after a long year. But for students, the idea of buying Christmas presents fills them with dread. Now that you’ve reached eighteen, you’re expected to buy your own presents, rather than ask your mum to get something for you to scribble your name on. Personally, I know that by the time Christmas rolls around, I’ve barely got enough money to even buy myself a present, let alone presents for my whole family (see google searches above).

However, there’s no excuses in my family. It is the one holiday of the year that my family go all out. My parents especially love Christmas. My mum starts putting the tree up and decorating the house at the end of November, and starts wrapping presents in the beginning of December. And they still write Christmas lists. What this means is that I’ve learnt some things from living with people who are hyped about Christmas as soon as Bonfire night ends.

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^My family on November 6th

 

So for those who still haven’t started Christmas shopping, here are some things to think about before the big day:

The big question you have to ask yourself is: who are you buying for?

If you’re strapped for cash this year, it sounds mean but limit the number of people you’re buying presents for. Some people are really generous over the holidays and buy gifts for lots of people, but as a student you probably can’t do this. If you only want to buy presents for your parents and siblings, you can. A lot of people end up buying gifts for people because they know that they are buying one for them, but often it’s because that person feels the exact same pressure!

The dreaded word: Budget

Some people will have a bigger budget than you this Christmas, and there’s nothing worse than finding out that your friend has spent like £100 on your gift, when you can only spend £10 on them. The best way to avoid this is to set a budget. It saves you money, and there’s less pressure to buy lots of gifts. It also stops me from spending all of my money because like my family, I also get very excited about Christmas.

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Being Crafty

If, like me, you grew up watching Art Attack, you’ll know that you can make anything as long as you have some PVA glue to hand. That being said, people often really love homemade gifts because they know that you’ve spent time and effort on making something rather than buying it. For Christmas one year, I made a collage of family photos for my parents, and they loved it more than any of the other presents that we got them. The internet is full of websites with suggestions of homemade gifts

Some ideas I found (and also have used in the past):

Personalised photo frames – parents always like photos, when you’re at university, weirdly, your parents actually miss you
Personalised mugs
Handmade soaps/body scrubs

I want this, but I don’t actually need it (Something I have to remind myself every day)

In my family, we have a rule about Christmas presents: buy people what they want, not what they necessarily need. This rule has actually served me well so far. I know my sister doesn’t need another pair of pyjamas, but I know that she would want them, because she always feels the cold. Usually, people put off buying things that they actually want, because of the things that they actually need. I do this all the time – I want to buy more clothes, but I can’t because I need to be able to eat for the rest of term. People will be delighted if you get them something that they really want that they couldn’t justify buying for themselves.

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Finally…

Christmas should be fun! Presents are only part of the fun of the whole holiday. There’s also the Christmas dinner, the bad jokes, and if you’re like my family, the new board games to play. Don’t feel like you have to bankrupt yourself to buy people gifts. In the end, people will like whatever you buy them because presents are a way of showing someone that you were thinking about them.

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Happy holidays!

 

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New Year’s Resolutions never work! So why bother?

New-years-Resolutions

 

It’s funny to think we’re coming to the end of 2017! For me this year has been an eventful and rewarding one for a lot of different reasons. My time abroad has been a massive part of that, but a lot of it is down to the goals that I set down at the start of this year…

If you’re ever in the very specific situation of being in Brisbane as a student, be aware that there are hardly any part time jobs! I spent months looking for a way to get some extra cash for my travels with limited success. Strangely enough I ended up working on several what I like to call “Rockstar jobs” whilst I was away. These were one-off jobs where companies just needed people to work for a day or so and that’s it. From supervising a cheese board in a penthouse hotel room, to giving away free frozen desserts, I found myself working at a lot of eventful (and random) places.

Proud & Punch

One of the most memorable jobs I had was working for a sales company. The company specialised in face to face sales and I was allocated to work in the car wax department, selling products on petrol garage forecourts. I only ended up being in the job for a few days but I learnt a lot during that time. One of the main things I noticed was how positive and driven everybody was. People would arrive at work early and leave way after they were supposed to. They were all desperate to succeed by learning about how they could improve the following day.

An example of this was when I was in a session of theirs about making goals for next year. I was there around mid-November time 2016 and they were already planning for 2017!

This got me thinking.

Like most other people I made New Year’s resolutions. Something we all do every year as a withering self-promise that we can pick up our act over the next year and make some changes. For me at least, these never seemed to last and most of the time they went back to being idealistic, unresolved ideas within a few weeks.

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I was encouraged by one of my colleagues to not set up any resolutions for next year but make some realistic goals that I could achieve.

Whilst I didn’t achieve many goals involving selling car wax (sorry!), I really latched onto the rest of them. As a result I achieved the majority of the other goals I set. Here are a few highlights…

To act in a theatre production

Dream A House

When I was studying abroad, my course didn’t involve much practical theatre work. So, I made sure that in 2017 I went for every show that I could.

I ended up acting in a show called “Dream a House”, which took an audience member on a journey through a dreamlike world. As a company, we made the show from scratch and it was an amazing experience.

I got to meet lots of local theatre makers and make some contacts who I’m still in contact with now! There’s constant talk of them reviving the show, but I’m not sure if I can let them seeing as I’m no longer in Australia…

To earn back the money I spent travelling

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Okay so it turns out that living and travelling around the world does cost a lot of money (who knew?!). So much so that at some point I knew that I had to face the music and get some money in. I got a bit of work in Australia, but my big break came when I got home. I got a Frontrunners Plus placement working at the Lakeside Theatre over the summer holidays. Not only was this brilliant to get some experience, but I also worked hard and earned a big chunk of my money back.

To be more fit

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This has always been one of those resolutions that I used to make and never tackle. It’s just always too cold in January to suddenly get up and go for a run…

So, with no running experience before, I impulsively signed up to a 5km fun run. This meant that I actually had to up my game.

I dedicated myself to 9 weeks training which was tough. I would often stalk my fan for 10 minutes when I got home to recover!

It all worked out in the end though as I ended up running the race in a respectable 26 minutes, which for a first timer I’m quite happy with! I would like to say that I’m now a keen runner but I’ve let myself go since I got back to chilly England. Perhaps this should be one of my 2018 goals?!

So on the 31st December this year I encourage you to do the following…

Forget the resolutions that you know you’ll never stick to and pick some things that you actually want to achieve in 2018. Then set them as your goals. It doesn’t matter if you don’t achieve all of them, just have something to work towards. You’ll thank yourself this time next year for it when you see what you’ve achieved!

 

A tour of the food outlets on campus

So it’s your first term at university and you still haven’t eaten a proper meal. You told yourself that you were going to eat healthily and to cook for yourself, except you forgot one thing: you can’t cook and now Dominoes is on speed dial. But really, why go through the trouble of buying and making expensive food when you can find tastier food on campus?! Lets take the scenic route through the food outlets on campus.

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Starting at Square 5, we’ve got the Lakeside Theatre Cafe and the No. 64 Bus. By day, the Lakeside Cafe provides a variety of both hot and cold beverages, sandwiches, pastries and snacks. But by night, when plays are being performed, it is transformed into a bar, serving alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. The Bus is a life-size model of a traditional English double-decker bus that delivers common British breakfast and lunch items, such as pies, hashbrownss, sausages, and (most importantly) cheesey chips from 9am-4pm Mondays to Fridays.

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Photography credit: Print Essex sourced via http://www.printessex.org.uk/case-studies/

In Square 4, there’s Buffalo Joe’s, Fusion Grill and Blues Cafe. Buffalo Joe’s is a fast food restaurant that has chicken, beef and veggie burgers and wraps available from early in the morning till late at night all week (not to mention their AMAZING curly fries). There is indoor and outdoor seating, making it ideal to either eat in or take-away. Fusion Grill excels at creating gourmet burgers, skewers and steaks incorporating Mexican, Brazilian, American, Moroccan, Chinese and Greek cuisine, with similar opening times as Buffalo Joe’s. If you’re ever feeling like you haven’t had enough to eat during the day, Fusion will definitely fill you up. Like Lakeside Theatre Cafe, Blues also serves hot and cold drinks, and snacks. However, it is the proud owner of the largest salad bar on campus, which also includes soups and stews, and fresh carvery sandwiches.

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Photography credit: Pinterest sourced via https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/300544975102601007/

Consequently, we arrive at Square 3, home to the Canteen, SU Bar, Frangos, Zest fresh and the Kitchen. What a mouthful! The Canteen is well-known for offering a wide assortment of English and international dishes from all around the world, each day serving something different. At a good price, you can get a main dish and two sides, as well as a full English breakfast in the morning. Moreover, there is a Curry Club and Fusion Wok in the evenings and a Sunday carvery. The Canteen has got you sorted out for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

The Student Union Bar has a Starbucks branch open in the day, serving tea, coffee and cakes. Until 10pm, the bar also sells your typical pub food, like pizzas, burgers and pasta – all at pretty reasonable prices. At night, the bar has alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages suitable for the events that occur there.

Frangos is a replica of Nandos, except it caters more to students of this university by providing more vegan and halal options. It is popular for its marinated chicken, offered plain or in burgers and wraps. One unique feature that the menu has is the refillable drinks for less than £2.

Zest fresh is a dynamic and creative cafe that, like other cafes, serves hot and cold drinks. It provides a multitude of warm sandwiches and paninis, flatbreads and bagels, and salads. There is a useful set-up in Zest known as the Orangery, that has study pods for student groups who wish to complete their assignments as they grab lunch…or if you want to grab a cake to ease the pain of revision!

For those of you who are always in a rush to get to class or work, the Kitchen provides quick service of hot drinks, warm pastries, and sandwiches. There is also a Mug Wall if you wish to decorate your own mug and leave there for others to be amazed by your artistic abilities..!

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Photography credit: Hamza Kazmi sourced via https://twitter.com/essexsufrangos

Finally, Bonds is a cafe located in the Essex Business School (EBS) and serves to provide bagels and smoothies for breakfast, and hot lunchboxes and salad boxes for lunch. Personally I’d recommend their toasted pitta bread with humous, it’s delicious! Bonds is perfect for those studying in this beautifully designed building as it is quite far from central campus food outlets.

All in all, the university has quite a lot on its plate, serving well-priced and nutritious breakfast, lunch and dinner items. I understand this information may take a while to digest but I hope this review was helpful – happy eating!

 

A ‘Pointless’ Trip to London

I don’t think many people would disagree with me when I say that students love a good TV quiz show; The Chase, University Challenge, Tipping Point, and even Only Connect for the real boffins out there. And then there’s Pointless. If you haven’t seen Pointless here’s a quick rundown of what it’s all about: the goal is for contestants to score no points at all by giving really obscure answers to questions like “countries beginning with E”. The contestants with the lowest scores progress to the next round and to win the jackpot they must give a pointless answer (an answer that no one in the audience had already guessed). It’s hosted by comedian Alexander Armstrong and TV presenter Richard Osman.

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Photography credit: Hannah Ewens sourced via https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/aev55z/id-never-watched-the-tv-show-pointless-went-on-it-and-won

If you’re wondering why I’m telling you about this, here’s why! One of my friends recently applied for tickets to go and see Pointless being filmed live and was lucky enough to be chosen. Myself and four of my friends took advantage of this to take a trip down to London for the day. As a side note, one of the best things about Essex is how easy it is to get out of it – I mean that in the nicest way possible of course! The tickets to the filming were free, so it’s a pretty cheap day out if you only buy a train ticket and some food!

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Filming was taking place at the famous BBC Television Centre. We made our way there in good time to make sure that we’d definitely get seats, as even though we’d been given tickets you aren’t guaranteed to get in. The queue was pretty small when we arrived so we headed over to the nearby shopping centre to grab some food before the show. Five Guys was calling our name, their burgers and chips (or fries as they call them) are delicious. There’s a Five Guys opening in Colchester soon which is v.exciting!

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Group photo in Five Guys ft. two guys from Five Guys

Anyway, we went back to queue and soon after we headed straight into the studio. Unfortunately, you weren’t allowed to take pictures and even my sneaky attempt to do so got caught out! We had a great time playing along amongst ourselves in the audience, turns out if we actually were contestants we would have won! We saw two tapings of Pointless being filmed and although there was some waiting around in between it didn’t ruin the fun of the day at all!

Going to watch TV shows being filmed is a really great day out and I’d definitely recommend it. I’ve also been to see the Top of the Pops Christmas special being filmed and got to see some great artists, it’s also where I was within a metre of Nick Jonas! If you fancy applying for some TV tickets then all it takes is a google search and there’s plenty of shows you can apply for. London is so easy to get from here it’s definitely worth doing!

Is it Possible to Study and Still Have a Social Life?

The answer is of course, yes.

We’re in the last three weeks of uni, there’s officially less than a month until Christmas and deadlines are looming…It’s now that part of university where you have to actually attend lectures and start writing essays instead of hitting the snooze button and hanging out with your friends. The first term of university always feels really odd, when term starts December seems far, far away. You want to get to know your new flatmates rather than sit down and work. Now, you might have had a few late nights this term and you’re thinking about how to avoid panicking next term when your next deadline comes. So, here’s a few tips on how to have both a social life and get good results.

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To Do List

Invest in post it notes! Honestly, these saved my life in third year. I have so many deadlines for all my different modules, and for my RA job that it can be a bit overwhelming until I write it down. Once I have a list written down rather than just an idea in my head then it feels manageable. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed at university when you have something due every week. And even if I only manage to cross off only half of my list, I still feel really accomplished.

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Find Your Space

Everyone has a spot on campus where they can be super productive. Some need the total silence of the library, while others need some background noise to focus. Personally, I need some background noise so I always like going to the student centre. Some people I know can work in the SU bar and like being able to get food and drinks while they’re working, and others like to stay in their room. Everybody has a certain space on campus that works for them, you just have to find it.

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Learn To Say No

Sometimes you just have to say no to your friends who are begging you to come out one last time before a deadline. You know and they know that you’re going to end up sleeping in the next day and not doing any work because you have a hangover (at least that’s what happens to me when I go out…) If you can work through your hangover, that’s great (also please let me know your secret?!), but some of us can’t and sometimes you need to say no to your friends and do the annoying thing of staying in and doing work. You’ll have serious FOMO but once you’ve finished it, you can go out as much as you like

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Alarms Are Your Friend (No, Really They Are)

Do you ever look back and wonder how you used to get at 7am for school when now it’s almost impossible to get up for your 9am lecture? I know I do. But if you find a time that feels like enough of a lie in, but still early during the day (personally, I like 9:30), then you’ll find your day is so much easier. If you find yourself waking up at noon everyday you’re going to find it much harder to fit in enough time for your uni life and your social life. Even if the idea of waking up at 9am is too much, set your alarm an hour earlier than normal and see how much work you get done and still get to hang out with your friends

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Speak Up

If you’re really struggling to balance your work and your social life and find yourself getting really overwhelmed at university, speak to someone. Even if it’s just a friend, they may be struggling in the same way. Your personal tutor is also there to give you advice and help you if you’re struggling, and Student Services are also on hand. You are not the first student to need help, and you won’t be the last. It’s very common for first years to end up at university and get really involved with things on campus and then forget that they actually have to study!

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Good luck!