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!

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When, where and how?

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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!

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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.

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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!

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

Revision techinques

After 6 years of exams I think I have mastered revision now. I know what type of revision to do that makes it more interesting and helps me remember the most information. Often different types of exams suit different types of revision.

My biggest piece of advice for revision is to use more than one method. You could have up to 8 exams. Doing the same thing over and over will get tedious and that is no way to get the material into your brain! Switch it up and make it as fun as possible!

Lecture notes

Writing up a lecture is a great way to start your revision. It refreshes your memory about what you have learnt in your lectures and you can change it into your own words, making the notes catered to you. I like to use colour pens to make each section of information stand out. I will then use these lecture notes to revise from along with the lecture slides.

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Mind Map:

There are several ways you could use mind maps.

  1. You could write each topic in the middle and write around it the important sub headings. E.g for a mind map about Working Memory I explain the different parts such as visuospatial sketchpad, central executive etc.
  2. You could choose a sub heading and write all the information to do with that subheading e.g for a sub heading on Visuospatial sketchpad I would explain what it does and any research to do with it.
  3. You could get a bigger size paper e.g A3 and write out all the important information from one lecture.

 

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Listen Again

Listen again really is a god send. It has saved me sooo many times from when I have gaps in my notes or I didn’t understand something. It is a way of doing the lecture again in your own time! For one of my January exams I was constantly using listen again! A lot of the content was hard to get your head around, so listening to it again really helped me understand it. It also means you can sit at home with a cup of tea and feel relaxed.

Flashcards/question cards

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Once you’re been over material the best way of learning is to test your knowledge! Create flash cards with a subject on one side and the answers on the other and get someone to test you! Or create question cards and test yourself after you’ve gone over a lecture.

Essay plans

If your exam involved writing essays then making essay plans is a good idea! You might go over your lectures 10 times but when you come to your exam you need to actually be able to write an essay. Most subjects will include past papers so that you can have a look at previous exam questions and plan an essay for that question!

Practice questions

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In exams that you have short answer questions or maths questions the only way you’re really going to know if you are doing it right is by practising! If your lecturer hasn’t provided you with practice questions then ask if you can have some… practice makes perfect!

Teaching someone else

Studies have shown that one of the most productive ways to revise is to teach it to someone else. If you have a willing friend/partner/parent then try and teach them some of the material you are learning. Telling someone else the information can help you to have a better understanding of it.

Study Group

A good resource is using your fellow students! Going over and discussing information together means you can help each other and you are more likely to retain the information. It is also a great way to test each other. Get your flash cards and question cards out and learn together! It makes revision more interesting instead of being stuck staring at the same 4 walls! If you are going to use a study group make sure you are actually going to work because study groups could be a negative to studying too!

There are areas in the student centre were you can form study groups or in the orangery zone too.

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Remember to take care of yourself during exam season. Take plenty of breaks and remember you can do this!

My perception of Feminism

Between 7th to 10th March it was Women’s Week on campus. It was a great opportunity to celebrate women and to think about how far we have come in getting equal rights for women. It is also a good opportunity to think about what else needs to be achieved for women’s rights. So what is my perception on feminism? Like any person, I have my opinions about what I believe feminism is about and what it really means, as opposed to the more ‘taboo’ stereotype it can sometimes have.

We should celebrate how far we have come

First of all, I think that the feminist movement is great. We have come so far, from being given the right to vote, to equal pay acts and gaining more rights for working mothers. Today we have a female Prime Minster and whether she has is feminist or not, she is a great example to young girls that women can be in the top job of the country and there are no limits to what they can become. Years ago, it was expected that women should stay at home and be a housewife, but now more and more women go to work, have a career and be mothers too. More importantly, they have the choice to decide which they’d be happier doing. This is so important to me since I’m soon to enter the world of work, but one day want to be a working mum. This progression and opportunity for choice, that women once didn’t have, is absolutely worth celebrating.

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No sex is superior; we should be equal

I believe that feminism should be about getting equal rights for women and men. In my A-levels I learnt there are some feminist movements that have some really extreme views and very negative opinions about men. I do not believe this type of feminism should be celebrated, because no one sex should be seen as superior. Feminism for me is all about fighting for equality and is just as much about things being equal for men too.

We need to stop gender stereotypes

It is hard not to gender stereotype, because we have all been raised to believe a male must be ‘masculine’ and a female must be ‘girly’. It all starts off when we are babies. Males are put in blue, given footballs and cars; while females are put in pink and given dolls and soft toys, so we can’t really blame ourselves for doing it. But so what if your son wants to wear a pink tutu? And your daughter wants to play football? We should let them express themselves however they want! Equally, there is no shame if a girl wants to play with dolls and a boy wants to play with toy cars, the point is, it should be a choice, not an expectation.

Gender stereotypes can also lead to issues in the workplace. A recent study has found that gender stereotypes in the workplace are still similar to 1980. If a woman wants to be a mechanic then why not shouldn’t she be? If a man wants to be a midwife, why can’t he be? Why are jobs labelled as ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’? Because we are both consciously and subliminally taught to believe it should be like this. We’re all guilty of expecting certain things of men and certain things of women and to a point that’s perfectly fine, because as a general rule the two have their differences, but that shouldn’t mean that doors are closed to anyone in their career purely because of their gender.

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Why it is so important to vote

There was once a time that women couldn’t vote. It’s hard to imagine that there was actually a time when women had to risk their lives just in protest to be allowed to vote. I think we can sometimes take this for granted. Whether you’re interested in politics or not, voting is so important. We didn’t always have this privilege. It shocks me that only 39% of females between 18-24 voted in the last general election. This is our future! We should be voting!

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There are some great female icons

My favourite  icon has to be Michelle Obama. During her 8 years as the first lady, she was in a very powerful position and she could choose what to do with it. One of the main things she chose was to speak up about women’s rights and the right for every girl to have an education!

Another great feminist icon for me is Malala Yousafzai. As a teenager, she was very outspoken about the rights for girls to be educated and nearly died because of her protests. She is the youngest winner of the nobel peace prize, and she deserves every bit of it!

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Of course, there are many other perceptions of feminism and issues that are still very prominent in the world today. Unfortunately, I can’t talk about all the issues facing women in the world today but I know there are a lot more, especially for women in 3rd world countries. But I hope you enjoyed my perception of feminism!

Student saver tips

Over the years I have learnt many ways to get the best deal and how to save money! Being a student there are never ending deals to persuade us to spend our money (and we often give in). It’s not just student discounts that can get you money off either.. so I here to show you ways you can save your pennies!

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Sign up to Unidays

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For those who don’t know about unidays it is a way of getting student discounts for many different websites/shops. Whenever you’re doing some online shopping check unidays for any deals they might have at that time. It is often not even just 10% often 20% and 25% deals too! Don’t waste this amazing platform for student discounts!

Get an NUS card

An NUS card is a well-known student card that can get you a lot of great discounts! They cost £12 so it’s a choice whether it is worth it for you. With my Essex student card I can get student discount in high street shops and get a student ticket at cineworld, but this card is recognised by all retailers so it might be worth investing in a NUS card! Having this you can 25% of national express, £3 for 3 months for now TV movies and 40% of pizza express. Sign up for your NUS card here

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Sign up to notifications from websites

As annoying as company emails can be, they are really helpful for finding deals! They will often email you letting you know about sales or money off events! Why miss out?!

Write a complaint

 I know that to a lot of people writing a complaint is daunting. But if you general have an issue about something then writing a complaint can lead to you getting a good deal. Once I hadn’t received a refund from Newlook for something I had returned over a month ago. I rang up and asked what had happened to my refund and they gave me 20% ff my next purchase for the delay!

Wait for offers

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 You have seen that skirt that you desperately need or that hoodie you love? If you can hold on that little bit longer you might be able to find a good deal! If the shop you want to buy from isn’t currently doing a deal wait until they are. There may be a sale or a money off event just around the corner!

Get a loyalty card:

They may mean you can’t shut your purse but they are totally worth it! If you’re going to spend the money you might as well get something back for it right?!

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If you’re doing your shopping at the local Tesco this is one of the places you should get a card for! If you spend enough money you get clubcard vouchers. This goes on both food and petrol. These can then be spent on days at such as Colchester zoo (£7.50 in clubcard vouchers per ticket), voucher for restaurants such as pizza express (£2.50 in clubcard= £10 pizza express) and you can even get cinema tickets.

Recently I signed up for a body shop card. Even if you hardly spend money in there you get a voucher on your birthday so it’s win win. But if you do shop in their regularly, for every £1 you spend you get 10 points which is a really good deal! Once you have collected 500 points ( Spent £50) then you get a £5 voucher.

Boots have a different system. You get points for every purchase you make which you can then spend in store. So if you have 400 points and buy a £3.29 meal deal you can pay with your points!

Download Apps

Downloading apps for different companies can save you money and the great thing is you can just delete them after! Often they might do discounts like ‘10% of your first purchase using the app’ which I just used on a quiz app. The apps will also send you notifications on when they have sales and money off events so a great way to keep up to date with all the deals!

Yeah my brain hurts too.. so many ways to save money! Happy shopping!

My Dyslexia Story

Like 1 in 10 people, I suffer from dyslexia. However, I have never let my dyslexia hold me back.

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Source: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/0c/8e/82/0c8e82af8742109489ff85d3f95fcae6.jpg

My Dyslexia Story

I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 18 and started university. I’ve always been awful at spelling and my reading age was below average, but somehow I always managed to be in the top classes for English in high school. When I was 15 and in my last year of high school doing my GCSE my Grandad told me he was dyslexic. He suggested that I should get tested. So my high school gave me a test and it came back with moderate signs of dyslexia. However they decided since the waiting list to see an educational psychologist was 6 months and I was due to do my GCSE in a couple of months they’d give me extra time. My sixth form did the same.

After my A-levels were way better than I had ever expected, when I came to university I decided actually I probably wasn’t dyslexic since it had never actually been picked up by teachers. I did my first couple of pieces of coursework and failed one and got a 48 on the other. I was gutted because I’d really tried hard. This was when I decided to contact student services. They were great and got me an appointment with an Educational Psychologist. Within a couple of weeks I was diagnosed and had been given loads of help by the university with extra time in exams and a cover sheet to go with my coursework to explain my diagnosis.

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a learning difficultly which may affect a persons ability to spell, write and read. There are many different symptoms of dyslexia. I tend to suffer with poor spelling ( I am having to spell check dyslexia every time I type it), have a limited vocabulary and find it hard to understand long passages of instruction or text.

More Symptoms can be found here

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 How the university can help you

Any advice you would like about dyslexia or any learning disability is available at student services. Like they did for me, they can arrange for you to have an assessment.

If you already have a diagnosis then they can provide academic support, make arrangements for exams and provide you with a cover sheet for your coursework. If you feel you could benefit from their help, pop down to the Silberrad student centre and go to student support on the first floor for any advice.

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Not letting my learning difficulty hold me back

It is great the amount of support you can be offered from university, but what happens in the real world while applying for jobs?

Firstly, I think it helped me getting a job in a shop. The type of tasks you do while working in a shop aren’t demanding, but it helped me with skills such as problem solving which is something that is affected by my dyslexia. It also helped with my confidence.

During university I have completed a frontrunner position and I am online brand ambassador. I mean I never in a million years thought my writing was good enough to write blogs!  During my interview for frontrunner I had to do a timed assessment, something that really panics me. A symptom of dyslexia is that you generally work slower and need more time to understand instruction. But somehow I managed to complete the assessment and got the job!

I am now in the process of applying for graduate positions. The first one I didn’t mention I was dyslexic. I had to do a online timed assessment and panicked and didn’t finish it before the time ran out. I got an email back to say I had been rejected. Since then I have made sure I have put about my dyslexia on my applications. The latest job has arranged for me to have extra time so I have less pressure on my online assessment.

Understanding dyslexia

People will say “You can’t be dyslexic and do a degree” or “You won’t have dyslexia if you weren’t diagnosed in primary school”…well these just aren’t true. Morale of the blog is I don’t want people to let their learning difficulties hold them back. You can get a degree, just like I am and many other people at this university who suffer from learning difficulties!

The ultimate guide to pancake day

This year it falls on Tuesday 28th February. Households everywhere will do some flipping, frying and tucking into delicious pancakes! Don’t know how to do your own pancake day? Fear not, I am here with all you need to know! I use this blog to show you how to make your own, topping choices and recipe ideas!

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History of pancake day

Pancake day actually have a religious background and comes from Anglo-Saxon Christians. People would use up all their ingredients so they could fast for 40 days before Easter. The ingredients made pancakes.. and that’s why we now have pancake day! Pancake day changes every year but is always on a Tuesday. It is dependent on when Easter is!

How to make a pancake

So option 1 of is to make your pancake from scratch. They are easy to make.

You’ll need

  • 100g of plain flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 300ml of milk
  • Some sort of oil
  • Frying pan
  • Toppings of choice (see below for topping ideas!)

Mix the flour, eggs and milk together until smooth. Put some oil in a frying pan. Remember the size of the frying pan will be the size of the pancake! When the frying pan is hot pour some of the mixture into it. Cook each side of pancake till it’s golden brown (should take 1 or 2 minutes each side).  To turn the pancake over you could have a go at flipping the pancake!

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Option 2 for pancake day is using a ready made mix. Pancake day is completely student friendly because supermarkets sell ready-made pancake mix with instructions of what to do! Bonus: they’re only £1 in Tesco and make up to 6 pancakes! All you need is this mix, oil and a frying pan!

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Popular Pancake toppings

Pancake is all about experimenting and finding out what makes the perfect pancake topping for you! Here are some ideas of toppings that are popular on sweet and savoury pancakes!

  • Lemon Juice
  • Syrup
  • Sugar
  • Chocolate- Nutella, melted chocolate, chocolate chips
  • Fresh fruit- strawberries, bananas, raspberries blueberries ect
  • Dried Fruit- Sultanas, bananas, apple, apricots ect
  • Cream
  • Honey
  • Caramel sauce
  • Soft cheese
  • Jam
  • Ice Cream
  • Nuts
  • Yogurt

Pancake Ideas

Can’t decide from that long list of what to put on your pancake? Here are some ideas of toppings mixes you could have!

The Traditional

When I was growing up the traditional toppings for a pancake would be lemon juice, syrup and sugar! If you are looking for something lighter and less sickly then this is the perfect topping combination for you!

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The Nutella Filled

My favourite pancake is a Nutella pancake with strawberries and banana! To make a Nutella filled pancake fill the pan with a layer of pancake mix, then add ½ a teaspoon of Nutella and spread this around. Then add another layer of pancake mix and start cooking! Cut up some strawberries and bananas and you have my perfect pancake!

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Banoffee Pancake

Another idea is a banoffee pancake. For a banoffee pancake you’ll need bananas, caramel sauce, whipping cream and roasted pecans.

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Millionaire Shortbread Pancake

What about a millionaires shortbread pancake? Sprinkle shortbread over the pancake and put some caramel sauce over the top. Melt some chocolate, Nutella or chocolate sauce over the pancake and you’ve got a millionaire shortbread pancake!

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The healthier option

If you still want to enjoy pancake day, but don’t want to completely ruin your diet, a healthier option for pancake day would be to top the pancake with your favourite fruit! Berries such as raspberries, blueberries and strawberries add a great flavour to the pancake. Adding dried fruit and nuts would be a good mix too!

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Now you’re all set to have the perfect pancake day! Remember 28th of February is pancake day – don’t miss it!

If I could Start over my Essex Experience: What I would and wouldn’t change

I have spent a lot of time recently reflecting on my time at Essex. I keep looking back to first year and thinking “wow that was 2 years ago?!”. I have no regrets coming to Essex and doing a degree in Psychology. However, if I could do it again, there are some things I might change and some that I wouldn’t change for the world!

What I would change

Join a sports club

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One thing I do regret is that I never joined a sports club. I assumed that if I joined a team I would have to give up my Wednesdays and weekends for it and with working that was something I couldn’t do. Now I’ve found out that this isn’t the case for some sports clubs, so wish I had done more looking into it! I would have loved to go and meet new people and go to sports fed with a team!

My advice to any first years is look into different sports clubs. Go to the just play sessions and the try outs! Get out of that comfort zone!

Getting more involved at Essex

Even with working weekends, I think I could have got more involved in my time at Essexs! There are society’s I wish I had got involved with in first year such as the Psychology society. I don’t speak to many people on my course and I think this could have been a way to talk to more people and make more friends!

I also wish I had got more involved in volunteering. I tried the teaching assistant volunteering, but since I couldn’t volunteer in a psychology class I tried my hands at maths. However, I was a bit rustier than I thought and had the slowest 1 and a half hour of my life! I wish I hadn’t let that stop me from doing other volunteering activities!

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What I wouldn’t change

Living in towers

 I loved living in Towers! Because of the fact you’re living with 16 people, you are bound to find someone you have something in common with! It was such a mix of people and nationalities and it was a real learning curve. From what I’ve heard from other people it was a lot more social than other accommodations. We had such great time as a group and I am so glad I got to spend first year in towers!

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Not doing a year abroad

There is a massive part of me that would have loved to do the year abroad! I am a traveller at heart and really want to spend some time of my life going to different countries and experiencing different cultures! I would have loved to go to Australia because 1. Who doesn’t love a bit of sun? and 2. To go and travel around the other countries around there!

However, there is a but. There was no way I could go away for a whole year, to the other side of the world! I got home sick living in Colchester let alone Australia! I couldn’t have gone alone! I am planning in June to take some time out after exams and hopefully go to Thailand, so watch this space!

All the work experience I gained while at Essex

 When I comes to jobs I definitely got involved in Essex! In my 2nd year I was a Frontrunner for Residence life. 8 hours a week suited around my timetable. It was so different to what I was used to, working on tills, filling shelves etc. I am so glad that I have Frontrunners to put on my CV. It gave me so many transferable skills and opportunities that I can talk about in job interviews!

I also worked at graduation in the summer. I was a robing assistant and had such a fun four days working with the gowning company. Everyone was so happy and the atmosphere was great!I loved being able to see what everyone was wearing and how excited they all were. It was also nice to watch some of my friends get ready to go to their graduation! I would love to do it again this year!

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Essex; it has been a ball. I have grown as a person here and I can’t wait to go on to my next adventure!

 

3 things that scare finalists and how to overcome that fear

Being in your last year at university is scary for many reasons. I’ve always had the plan that I was going to get my a levels, then get my degree and then… well my plan didn’t reach that far! I feel like I thought I was peter pan and university would never end. Sadly, now I’m realising that it is going to end! I have had so many questions in my final year, so I’ve written my three biggest, terrifying questions below and an answer to overcoming my fear of them!

What am I going to do when I finish?

This is the biggest fear for any finalist that doesn’t know what their next step is. I hoped that during my degree something would come to me. One day I would wake up and figure out what I want to do with my life, but with 4 months until I graduate I still haven’t had that moment! It scares me a lot that I don’t have a plan.

How To overcome this: Start being proactive about figuring out what it is you’re going to do next! Even if it is eliminating options; it’s all about baby steps! Go to the postgraduate talks and open days, start looking for graduate schemes, internships and go talk to the careers centre!

I have applied for a number of graduate schemes and internships. Every couple of weeks I am on the employability and careers page looking at any jobs that might be for me and checking the local job page.

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The Dreaded Dissertation

Below is an accurate representation of any 3rd year and postgraduate student when you say the word ‘dissertation’.

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The thing about your dissertation is that no one ever really tells you anything about it until the end of 2nd year. You just hear the word ‘dissertation’ and want to go habituate in your bed and pretend like it doesn’t exist. What scares me about my dissertation is it is worth 15% of my overall degree. That is a lot for one bit of coursework… and I have always been better at exams!

How to overcome this: Start as early as you can! You are in charge of your dissertation. You are the one that needs to message your supervisor and set up when to meet up. The early you do this, the more time you are going to have and the less stressed you will be.

Will I actually get the degree class I want?

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I started university knowing I wanted a to get a good degree class. I’ve always said I’d be happy with a 2:1. I don’t see the point of paying all the money to go the university without the goal of wanting a good degree! But with the work load I have had during my final year, I have had a lot of self doubt about whether I can achieve this! Not only do I have the dissertation, I also have lecture note taking, MCQs, essays and my final exams. I know that a lot of people fear they are not going to get the degree class that they want!

How to overcome this: All you can do is try to be as organised as you can. Plan your time wisely and don’t waste it! Get some sort of diary or planner so that you know when all your deadlines are. Also don’t take on too much. Although it is nice to have money, I have to keep turning down overtime at work, because I just don’t have the time to be working extra hours when I could be studying.

Being a finalist is scary but it is also exciting. Once exams are over in June I am about to start the next chapter of my life whatever that may be. Enjoy being a student while it lasts, but remember that this could be the start of something amazing!

 

How British are you?

Whether you’ve lived in Britain all your life or you’ve moved here for Uni, you must have noticed little traits the British have. I used to watch all of those American films with British stereotypes and think ‘they have got us all wrong!’ but as I get older I am becoming a walking stereotype of a British person; I drink at least 3 cups of tea a day, I say sorry 20 times a day (even to inanimate objects) and I love a Sunday roast. So how British are you?

We love tea:  I love tea. Tea and a biscuit, there is nothing like it. I went on holiday to Spain and they had no normal tea bags! I had to go 10 days without tea and I was definitely getting withdrawal symptoms. I know I am not alone in this! Come on all you tea addicts, hands up!

Your score:

At least 5 cups per day – 15 points

The odd one or two – 10 points

Only if it’s really cold outside – 5 points

NEVER! Water and milk together?! Eww! – 0 points

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Source: Giphy

We love to talk about the weather: Have you ever heard a British person talk about the weather? Because we do. A lot. I didn’t realise how true this was until I started working in a shop. The amount of times a customer will try to talk about the weather and, no matter whether it’s sunny or cold, no one is ever happy! When we get that week heat wave that everyone’s been waiting for everyone is moaning that it’s too hot! When it rains it’s too wet and when it snows?! Well the whole country shuts down!

Your score:

Find yourself talking about the weather every time you have a conversation – 10 points

Only really talk about it if there’s nothing else to chat about and it’s got awkward – 5 points

Is it raining outside? I hadn’t noticed – 0 points

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Source: memegenerator

We love to queue: I think the whole country would go to pot if we didn’t have queues. I’m not even sure I understand this stereotype. Do other countries not queue? How do you decide who is going to be served next at the shop or who is first in line to get on the bus?! Maybe I am being completely British here, but I like a bit of order and a nice formally line to a till!

You score:

If strong tutting and scowling at the back of a push-in’s head doesn’t work, you’re fully prepared to give a lecture on the politeness of getting in line – 15 points

You’re not prepared to give a speech, but you will glare at anyone who ruins the queue (only when they’re not looking at you, of course) – 10 points

You get pretty irritated if a queue turns into chaos, but you also really just want to get to the front, so you’ll go with it – 5 points

Life isn’t about queues or forming a line. Someone pushed in? So what! I’ll get there in the end – 0 points

We love sarcasm: Sarcasm is what us British tend to see as humour. The definition is ‘the use of irony to mock or convey contempt’. So, for example, you might say something obvious and someone might reply ‘really Sherlock?’ (Sherlock is a British detective icon). I love a bit of sarcasm. But my real question is why hasn’t apple created an emoji with a a face holding up a sarcasm sign?! Some people interpret our sarcasm as rudeness when they don’t get it, but trust me…us Brits are actually just totally hilarious (and we never mean any harm with it)!

Your score:

Is the Pope Catholic? Every other sentence I say is a sarcastic remark! – 10 points

I’ve definitely caused offence by being sarcastic before (so I apologised profusely for approximately 3 hours of course) – 5 points

I don’t really get sarcasm. Are you serious or kidding? I can’t tell? – 0 points

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We love to apologise: I would walk into a door and then apologies to it! We just have this need to say sorry for everything. When we give someone a £20 note for a 50p item, if we don’t have the lighter the random person has asked you for (even if we don’t smoke), or wanting the attention of a waiter because we need another drink. You’ll hear a lot of ‘Sorry, can I just…’, or ‘Sorry’ *nervous laughter* ‘thank you.’ We don’t understand it, so there’s no point trying to make sense of it.

Your score:

Whether you’re a chair, a waiter, a dog, or someone who’s held a door open for me, chances are I’m apologising to you for some unknown reason. Sometimes the word just slips out without explanation – 15 points

I feel bad for calling a waiter over when they’re busy, so I might say sorry and thank you a bit too often. Not when I bump into a table though! – 10 points

If I’ve done something wrong or not quite caught what you said, I’ll say sorry, like any normal person! – 5 points

Who apologises these days?! – 0 points

We are very polite:  It comes along with the apologising. Once I was in staying in a hotel and the hot water wasn’t working so I had to have a cold shower, but I couldn’t bring myself to complain about it because I felt too impolite. I also, on many occasions, have had issues with my food at a restaurant and when the waitress comes over to ask if everything is OK I will nod politely. I am mortified when my mum decides to tell the waitress that everything is in fact not OK..! It can be a bit of a weakness, but I like to think that at least it means British people are, for the most part, a pretty nice bunch!

Your score:

I end every sentence with a ‘thanks’, ‘thank you’, ‘cheers’ etc. – 10 points

I average about 40 thank you’s a day – 5 points

Unless you handed me a million pounds, I’m probably not saying thank you to you – 0 points

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So how British are you? You could have scored a total of 50 points. How’d you do?

0-25 = Not all British – You probably find our sarcasm bizarre and can’t understand our passionate love of tea. But don’t worry, spend enough time with us and you too will be complaining about the weather, tea in hand, apologising to the chair you just bumped in to.

30 – 55 = Pretty British – You probably stick to just apologising to people, rather than inanimate things, but you also find yourself tutting when people don’t form and orderly queue in shops and want to curl up in a ball of shame when you make a sarcastic comment and people take it seriously. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.

60-75 = Very British – You’re probably putting the kettle on as you read this, hiding away from whatever the weather is like outside, and perhaps even laughing at how true this all is (the kind of laugh where you don’t actually laugh, you just exhale a bit of air). You my friend are a proper Brit, even if you don’t know the words to the National Anthem (I don’t think many people do). Congratulations!

How to conquer your degree in 2017

New year, new you…right? This also means a brand new university term. More lectures to go to, more coursework to do and… the dreaded exams in May. Talk about the fun being over! But, if you follow these suggestions, I reckon 2017 will be your year and that you will ace your degree!

Studying Tips

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University of Essex Flickr

Get a diary: The best way to get organised for the new term is to get a diary or some sort of planner. This way you can plan your week to get all the work you need to get done!

Check your module outline: The module outline will explain how you are being assessed for that module. It will tell you when your coursework or coursework test is and how much % it is worth. Having this information is really essential for you to be able to plan.

Start coursework early: With the diary to write your coursework down and the dates from the module outline, you can start planning! Start coursework with plenty of time. Your best work is not going to be done in one all-nighter with a red bull in one hand and a pot noodle in the other!

Go over lecture notes:  The best way I have personally found to revise for exams is every week to re-write my lecture notes into some form of revision materials. It helps you go over the lecture content, get it into your head and then you’re already one step ahead of your exam revision!

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Start revision early: I do a psychology degree and lots of research has shown that it is better to revise over a longer period of time than cramming it in the night before. So, if you do 20 hours revision in a 6 week period this is better for you than doing 20 hours in 2 days!

It’s a good idea to start thinking about revision at the end of 2nd term. You’ll have a whole month off at Easter and that is a great opportunity to start some revision. You’ll thank yourself when the exams get closer!

Keep healthy and happy

Take breaks: The whole idea of starting coursework early and keeping up to date with lectures is so that you have time to take breaks and spread out your work load. You are allowed a night off! Make sure university doesn’t become your life and you give yourself plenty of breaks! Do a favourite hobby such as watching a film, playing a sport or going and socialising with friends!

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Exercise: I know I dropped the E word, but actually it’s not about keeping fit this time. Exercise can actually help your studying. Cardio activity helps to brain produce chemicals that increase the functioning of learning and memory. So get those running shoes on because it will help your studying!

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Think about your diet: There are a number of foods that are supposed to help you concentrate. These are green tea, water, fatty fish, blueberries, avocados, leafy greens, nuts, flax seeds and most surprisingly.. dark chocolate! Last exam season I got through 3 big bars of dark chocolate. I’m not sure if it helped with concentration, but having a couple pieces of chocolate kept me going!

And lastly.. get plenty of sleep!: Not only will getting the recommended 8 hours sleep a day make you feel ready for the day, it also has learning benefits too. During sleep our brain goes over information we have learnt over the day and that helps our memory. How can you expect to get that 2:1 when you show up to the exam on 2 hours sleep?!

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Conquering your degree this year is all about planning your time wisely and looking after yourself.  I hope these tips have helped!