How To Start 2018 Off Right

In 2017 I turned 21, lived in a different country, travelled to different countries and even a different continent. I met my boyfriend, made new friends and reconnected with old ones. On a sadder note, I have loved and lost people and pets in 2017, but importantly, I have grown from my experiences, become more accepting of myself, and opened my eyes to different cultures and customs. There is a reason why I am writing this and it isn’t just to brag about how amazing my 2017 was, but to look ahead and think about how I can make 2018 even better.

Me in Brooklyn, New York

2017 was a very odd year when you think about the bizarre political and current events that happened, and for many people, including myself, 2018 is a fresh start. To borrow a phrase from magazines and adverts: ‘New Year, New Me!’ Many people will use 2018 to begin new habits, or break them; to work harder, or quit their jobs or start a new hobby. Obviously, we could do all of this at any point in the year, but somehow choosing to do it on January 1st feels somehow more special, like it will help you to stick to your new resolutions.

I don’t really want to call them New Year’s Resolutions because whenever I’ve called them that, I never keep them. Instead this year I’m calling them: ‘New Habits of 2018’, because it suggests – to me, anyway – that these are things I’m going to keep doing throughout the year. They say that on average it takes 21 days to form a new habit, which means that hopefully, by January 21st, you’ve got your resolution down! When I was celebrating New Year’s Eve in 2016, I decided that my new habit for 2017 was to try being vegetarian, and on January 7th I did just that, and so far, I’m still a vegetarian, so some habits do stick.

Resolutions

These are the top ten most common New Year’s Resolutions and my new habits also fall into the list. This year my new habit, although it’s more of a goal really, would be to visit 3 new countries. When I was in Ireland, I realised that with a bit of planning around lectures and making different arrangements, you can travel over a weekend without a lot of disturbance in your real life. And the best thing about the university is that we’re so close to Stansted airport (only 40 minutes by bus) that it isn’t even that much of a hassle to get there! When I was travelling I realised how great it is to see the world, and how cheap it can be now. If you’re willing to sleep in hostels and get early flights then it’s so easy to travel! In 2017 I went to Northern Ireland, various counties in Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands and New York. This year I’m aiming to travel round more of Europe and to see more of Eastern Europe.

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Me visiting the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland

In terms of habits for 2018, I am going to try and worry less. I am the world’s worst worrier, if there is something to be worried about, I’ve already thought about it and had about three sleepless nights. This year is going to be very hard for me because this is my last year of university before I graduate so I have my dissertation and very important exams to worry about it. But, I’m going to try my best to stop worrying as much, or at least worrying about stupid things. I’m not too sure how I’m going to do this yet, as it’s easier to become vegetarian than it is to change how your brain thinks but I’m going to try my best!

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Source: fayeosaurus: https://www.flickr.com/photos/68082654@N08/6232698920/in/photolist-auLdfd-aebyuy-CVAuZN-kwose-q1WyLs-7gT12J-pya1dX-VHGwu2-cGBtMS-7vTRkU-bDK2jn-2sZQs-ayWbpc-5XrKqR-7ANmxP-6eiGcN-8BWrUN-UvFNwo-47o5a1-68ZemK-8NPYbb-4HU6kj-padA6-21pfoY1-MV9o7K-7Gxqwz-a1hs3-87uroV-a4Pzrw-8ZG3au-4kQSjW-VwXTqx-ZjGujS-zgFTj-pjdWDR-FznKz9-87xBZ7-pKkiCK-a4PzAs-8hpgWv-4PCy8p-bcjmE-8XSDmT-XU2Abr-bbfo3R-QGVMa2-EfmZ9J-AMf9ax-NWD2N3-8HFgEg

 

Obviously, if you don’t want to change anything in 2018, you don’t have to. I actually don’t like to make a fuss on New Year’s Eve, but I like thinking about things I want to change in 2018 so I have something to look back to see what I’ve achieved. So when New Year’s Eve of 2018 rolls around, hopefully I will have a few more stamps on my passport, and I will be a happier, less stressed person.

Happy 2018 everyone!

5 ingenious ways to survive travelling while being on a student budget

Right now I’m in Prague.  This winter I decided to visit some of the most amazing places to be in the lovely Christmas period:

  • London (as it is 45 minutes away from Essex). I had fun, as seen from the pictures below ( especially at the Winter Wonderland)
    • Prague (where I am today)
    • Vienna (where I’ll be in 2 days’ time)
  • Budapest (where I’ll be in 4 days’ time)

If you think that I’m coming straight back to England, you’re wrong! I have another 3 destinations on my mind:

  • Timisoara (my hometown)
  • Bucharest
  • Belgrade

So, now to tell you how I’m actually affording this!

  1. FLIGHTS! Flying around the world always seemed like a marvellous idea, until you actually see the prices. This doesn’t necessarily need to be a problem.

Usually tickets are the cheapest in the low season and especially just before holidays, such as Christmas, Easter, etc… If you plan your trips around those times and you can score awesome flights! Always go online to check if any of the flying companies have discounts or offers! I got an offer during Black Friday, 10£ return to my home city in Romania. Cheaper than a train to London!

  1. WHEN SHOULD YOU GO?

As I said above, in the low season! In Europe (as it is the only continent I’ve visited) it’s really painful to go in the summer time. Everything is expensive in that period of time, and it’s understandable; the weather is nice, there is plenty of free time and everyone is having a blast, why not make a profit out of it? Spring and winter are the two seasons  key to your finances.

  1. WHERE SHOULD YOU STAY?

The obvious answer would be Hostels! I’m not a big fan, in fact, I have never stayed in one. Why? I’ve always booked an apartment. Wow! That sounds expensive! It’s not.  I’m always using the Booking.com website to get the best deals. I’m always looking around, searching for the places which have at least 70% off.

Last spring I booked an apartment in Budapest and it was massive! The bathroom had so many buttons and options that I spent over 20 minutes trying to figure out how to turn on the water. The original price for that apartment was 270£. I only paid 50£.

ALWAYS BRING A FRIEND! The price for the place you are booking is always going to be divided by the number of people you’re sharing it with. If you’re going with 4 friends, for example, it is cheaper to rent out an apartment.

  1. CHECK THE TRANSPORTATION

This is by far the easiest and most common mistake that everybody makes (and I’m not an exception). DO NOT SPEND MONEY ON TAXIS! They are all rip-offs.

Start learning the underground, bus, trams, or whatever public means of transportation they have in your chosen destination. It indeed, takes a while, but it will definitely save you lots and lots of money. My strategy is to always choose an accommodation which is closer to a station that takes you directly to the town centre, because after all, in almost any location, you’re going to spend a lot of time there.

  1. AVOID EATING YOUR BREAKFAST/DINNER OUT!

This is the main reason I choose to get an apartment: the kitchen. Almost any apartment that you rent comes with a kitchen, which is almost always equipped with things you need to cook. Another trick which I have been using for a while is checking for supermarkets in the vicinity of the accommodation.  On the plus side, you’re going to taste a bit of the culture of that place you’re visiting, as supermarkets do really tell a lot about the consumer culture of that specific country.

In my last journey, I’ve been to Oslo. I have asked a lot of Norwegian people (due to the multicultural University we have) about decent priced places to eat. They all laughed. When I arrived there I understood why. A cheap lunch was over 20£. One meal. I chose to get my breakfast and dinner from a local bakery and the supermarket. I had a kitchen in my accommodation, so I could actually have fried eggs for the breakfast! Lucky me!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my top tips! I can’t wait to hear about all your experiences!

 

 

Top 5 Underappreciated Spots on Campus

If you’re applying to Essex, you may have already heard about about the campus social spaces. Sub-Zero, Top Bar and the SU Bar are all great, but what about the places you haven’t heard of? Essex has a multitude of cultural hot-spots just waiting to be taken advantage of, where you can open your mind and create freely. That, to me, is what university is about.

#1: Gigs in Base

Here is the place to go if you want to see live music for cheap right on your doorstep. From lively cover bands, university alumni, all the way to touring bands who have played Reading and Leeds. If you love live music in any capacity, Base has you covered. Also, if you form a band on campus, chances are you’ll get to play in Base pretty frequently…just ask Sonic Hangover! The gigs in Base are organised by the Alternative Music Society (Altsoc), a great group of people united by a love of all kinds of music.

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Photography credit: University of Essex Alternative Music Society, sourced via Facebook  (https://www.facebook.com/AltSocEssex/)

If you want more info on upcoming live bands in Base, join “University Of Essex Alternative Music Society Forum” on Facebook.

#2: Lakeside Theatre

My fellow blogger Perry has no doubt covered this extensively during his time as a student blogger, but it bears repeating. The Lakeside theatre is an absolute gem. It boasts everything from a yearly panto, to physical theatre, to powerful discussions and spoken word performances. In my first year, I saw some brilliant stand up comedy from Nathan Caton and I’m a sucker for a panto, so I saw that in my first and second years. No matter what your taste, if you’re into theatre, Lakeside is the place for you. 

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Photography credit: University of Essex sourced via Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/universityofessex/12221362263/

You can find upcoming Lakeside performances at http://lakesidetheatre.org.uk/whats-on/listings/.

#3: Music Room B

In my first year at Essex, if you wanted to play in a band, you had to practice in a lecture theatre between 7 and 10pm. In my second year, I helped the music society clear out the old drama room, which happened to contain not one but two Steinway pianos, and convert it into a practice room for musicians. Two years down the line and it’s a fully functioning music room complete with a set of amps, a drum kit, a keyboard, PA, and a multitude of other equipment. All you have to do is join the music society and you’re free to book it whenever you like. A musician’s dream. I love it!

 

Photography credits: Matthew Thurlow-Fox via Facebook (top) (https://www.facebook.com/matthew.thurlowfox?ref=br_rs) , UoE Music Society via Facebook (bottom left) (https://www.facebook.com/uoemusicsociety/), Octavian Albu (bottom right)

If you’re a practising musician, or just fancy giving it a try, check out “UoE Music Society” on Facebook.

#4: Cine10

Cine10 is something that still blows my mind every time I think about it. A cinema on campus, with full Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound and a 2K projector, and tickets are half the price of the Odeon in town. Cine10 shows movies that are still in cinemas, as well as classics, such as Mean Girls on October 3rd (of course) and the obligatory showing of Love Actually at Christmas. I saw Gone Girl there in my second year, and I have screenings for my film class there once a week. This is how much I love Cine10: my screenings are voluntary and at 9am (9AM!) and I still make the effort to go every week. It’s the full cinema experience, for no money at all.

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Photography credit: Cine10 via Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Cine10-986183034789708/)

See all upcoming films at https://www.essexstudent.com/cine10/.

#5: Art Exchange

The Art Exchange is an incredible, cutting edge art gallery which is always free and always home to some amazing art. The first time I went to the gallery I saw Faiza Butt’s Paracosm and was so deeply impressed I made my mind up to see as many exhibitions as I could. The gallery has been home to such exhibitions as 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen’s Queen and Country exhibit and Regina José Galindo’s incredible Tierra. If you’re looking for radical contemporary art, or exhibitions of seminal work, Art Exchange has you covered. 

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Photography credit: Art Exchange via Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ArtExchangeUoE/)

To see what exhibitions are coming up at the Art Exchange, check out their website at http://www.artexchange.org.uk/.

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!

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!!

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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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!

Long distance friendships and relationships

Coming to university, moving away from your loved ones, and starting this whole scary ‘long distance’ thing might be the worst nightmare for many students. It was scary for me too, but now I actually think it’s a blessing.

I left my home country a while ago, leaving all my friends behind. For the past seven years I lived in quite a few countries and, as a fairly sociable human being, I found a lovely bunch of friends in each of them and fell in love a few times. And just at the moment I would start to call that place ‘home’, it was time to make a move again… even though it was always painful (actually I don’t think I ever managed to leave without crying a river!) I learned to appreciate every different place for their own special reasons.

When I was moving around, for the first few times I was convinced I would keep in touch with all my friends and only a thought of a different scenario would make my eyes water. The truth is that it’s not always like that. You will have your life here and they will have their life there. You can drop a message sometimes, but it’s difficult to be present in everybody’s life constantly, unless you want to spend your life on Skype. The good thing about it is that it will let you identify people who really care about how you’re doing and who always will be there for you, in spite of the distance and the time passing by.

Even if it sounds harsh, I believe the same goes for amorous relationships. Sometimes being around one another constantly doesn’t give you any space to reflect upon your relationship. After moving away for a while, you will be able to look at everything from a distance and decide if it’s really right for you.

A while ago I moved to another country (again), and my boyfriend-at-the-time stayed in the country I left. We were both so in love, so of course we tried to keep it going. After I moved away, I realised that I was actually happier by myself, doing what was making ME happy and that this relationship was keeping me in stagnation, without me even realising it. I didn’t just give up, I tried to find a solution, but after a while I came to the conclusion that this was an ultimatum: my personal growth or that relationship. It sounds like the worst scenario, and I don’t wish it to happen to any of you, but I think for me I made the best decision. I looked at my relationship from a different perspective and I noticed that it just wasn’t what I wanted.

I don’t mean to scare you. It doesn’t mean that after coming to uni your relationships will fall apart. Actually, I’ve been in (another) long distance relationship for a while now and seriously, I couldn’t be happier. Ironically, the distance makes us feel even closer because now we make time for good conversations. I don’t want to sound like a relationship pro either, of course everyone is different, but just know that it doesn’t have to be a bad thing to be away from one another and if it doesn’t work, it’s for a reason.

It’s a win-win situation!

Long distance friendships and relationships at uni might be the first ‘trial’ for you and I think it will benefit you either way. If things don’t go so well and you happen to break up or stop being friends – that’s ok, honestly! It might be difficult to accept at the time, but maybe there’s some truth in the saying that everything happens for a reason. My very wise friend used to say: ”It’s always good when it’s good”. It’s so true. It’s only when obstacles such as being long distance appear that you find out if you really are meant to bein each other’s lives. And  if it does work out, that’s amazing! You guys will have a solid base to build something very valuable.

Good luck to all those who are about to embark on a new adventure, moving cities or even countries, I hope you to keep your precious friendships and establish new ones! For those who come in a ‘relationship status’, stay positive! There are so many ways to pamper your Very Special Person from far away, but that’s a topic for another post. 🙂

What to expect from the Welcome Week

I am sure you are very excited about coming here to our amazing uni…and possibly a little nervous too! So I am now going to be the helpful chap I always am and brief you about the Welcome Week!

Moving In

Ufff…this part is…I am not even going to lie to you, it was tiring! I had a lot of luggage with me, so just bringing it with me everywhere was a pain. My hands hurt, my feet hurt, I was tired from the flight. Fortunately, the University is trying to make this as easy for us as possible, by placing ambassadors and Resident Assistants everywhere, so they can direct you to the right place if you are lost.

Introductions

The number one thing to expect from the Welcome Week is…well, welcomes. From your department, your personal tutor, peer mentor, to your RA, all will be welcoming you to our university and making sure you are doing ok. They will be explaining to you what help they can offer, should the need arise and you can always turn to them for advice

Fresher’s Fair

The most anticipated event of the Welcome Week is the Fresher’s Fair. It is always held on the Squares…yes, squares…like all the 5 squares because it is a huge event! There, you will get to know a lot of people, all the societies will have stalls, and all the sports teams too, you will find everyone there, from the VTeam to Nightline – LITERALLY everyone. The whole event is just so much fun and you get to sign up to any societies or sports club that you are interested in.

 

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People

As mentioned before, you will meet a lot of people. LIKE A LOT OF THEM. Your flatmates and course mates. Also, if you decide to step out and have yourself a club night, Sub 0 and Base are always full, so be prepared for instant besties (who are actually the best), because that is what is going to happen. And if you are not the kind to go clubbing, no worries! Going to SU Bar, or just sitting on one of the squares during fresher’s week kind of guarantees you friends, since everyone is very talkative and open to meet new people.

I hope I eased your anxiety about the Fresher’s week because even though it starts out kind of rough with the moving in, it is the most amazing thing ever that you will probably never forget. If you are still nervous about it just remember that probably all the other freshers are in the same boat as you. See you all there!

5 Student Stereotypes You’ll Meet at Uni

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Uni is made up of a multitude of people, all different and individual…saying that you’ll definitely meet at least one of these irritating stereotypes.

Library Badger

This person basically exists to make you feel like a terrible person. They’ll constantly be on their way to the library. Spending evenings there to do some extra research, going there between lectures rather than procrastinating on social media and overspending on coffees like the rest of us normal people. They’ll probably have a spot that they regularly sit in and rant savagely about the annoying students who talk or make out between the books. This person is however a useful friend, when deadlines and exams are approaching, going to the library badger’s favorite haunt to get your study on can prove very helpful, because you know they are a pro at getting their head down and working.

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The Fluker

Opposite to the library badger, is the worst kind of person to ever exist, ever (totally not an exaggeration.) I have met so many versions of this student, and weirdly, they’ve all been guys. The Fluker is the person that always does super well, despite doing little to no work. They’re never in lectures, they leave their coursework to the day before, and can be regularly heard uttering the phrases ‘I only need 40% to pass’ or ‘lol mine was so bad I’m gonna fail’. They then proceed to get a first and a better grade than you leaving you wanting to throttle them. The fluker is the absolute worst and there is a special circle of hell reserved for them (again not overreacting.)

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The Mythical Creature

This person is amazing, slightly concerning and could well be half mythical creature. They’re a party animal, to such a degree that they have a Mick Jagger amount of ridiculous stories from their escapades. They are usually an absolute nightmare to get hold of and are definitely not the type of person you want to get stuck on a group project with, because in terms of uni, they’re probably useless and rarely sober, on the other hand, there is potential for a crossbreed of the fluker and the mythical creature, combined as one, frustrating and bewildering hybrid. They may have a tendency to be a little flakey and quite often tend to become a slight urban legend, but hold a fire enough house party, and you bet, like a bloodhound, they’ll sniff it out, making it ten times better when they arrive with their antics. 

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Mummy Daddy Privilege Kid

Depending on your uni, the concentration of these will vary. This person rocks up in daddy’s Range Rover, head to toe in Jack Wills (bonus for striped rugby style shirt with turned up collar), carrying in an entire kitchen of brand new John Lewis utensils and appliances. The irony is, they will never use any of these items as they have no idea how to cook, seeing as they have always had dinner served to them. Think JP from Fresh Meat, it’s literally him. Combine them with my gap yah student from my previous article and you have a deadly, upper middle class super power.

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LDR, Never Single Girl

Now, just because I have spent time mocking a load of other student tropes, I will bite the bullet and rip on myself as well, I am fully aware that I am this student and I’m super annoying. This person starts uni with a boyfriend at home, spends most evenings calling and pining, generally being a pain about it. They ultimately have relationship problems that they spend most nights in the kitchen whining about, and end up splitting up. Leaving them disoriented. After a while, and to your relief they resolve to have fun and be single. For a brief period, this person turns into a little party animal riot, and they prove for a lot of entertainment, especially to live vicariously through. Then, bam!  Before you can blink they have a new beau that they’re pining over and moaning about how awful and difficult relationships are, all over again. This cycle can happen anything between one and 4 times during your uni career and this person is a whiney, exasperating nightmare. The likelihood is they’re like me and are fully aware they are like this, but can’t resist being a terrible person and repeating the cycle, they are the living embodiment of this meme…

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Use this blog post like Pokemon cards, collect them all!  Learn each character’s powers and weaknesses and how to just about tolerate them.