RIUF – an experience

I remember the first time I went to RIUF. I wasn’t too clear on my future plans, as I was in my penultimate year of high school.  I remember walking with my classmates in order to get to the venue which was nearby to our high school. There were so many students queuing up to enter the fair and I remember being really excited to see what different countries had to offer.

There were over 10 different countries represented and, as well as all having a different culture, every country has a different educational system. I was extremely curious to see how different students my age were going through the same feelings I was going through; excited and provoked by the thought of choosing a new path -a choice which definitely changes your whole life.

Why I went:

RIUF is a fair where students can get a crystal clear idea about the educational opportunities offered by different universities. A lot of my high school classmates and friends found the courses they were looking for. The courses were seemed like they were tailored for us, they suited us so much!

This university fair gave me the chance to create an image of what my future would look like and of all the opportunities, both educational and personal, that I could benefit from.

RIUF was definitely the most amazing opportunity to get hold of all the information I needed. I could get hold of booklets, offers, and I got to meet the staff from each University who were out promoting their different establishments. It is a great way to find out about a university from a direct source, from someone who is either studying or working at the university. You can easily see if that person is really excited to be studying or working at that university through their expression and body language, which is something you wouldn’t get on the university’s website, or even their social media platforms.

I was  amazed by the number of stands and universities who came from all across Europe to exhibit their university. I didn’t waste any time in going  to  every stand, gathering information and balancing the offers. It was a fantastic opportunity to find out about so much; from the cost of living, tuition fees, expenses, the people and culture, and what made that specific university the best place for me!

Why you should go:

As well as being able to get your questions answered, having the chance to meet different university representatives, and get tips for your application, you could be lucky enough to get to know other students who are also planning to study at the same university as you. It’s always a comfort to know that there is someone going through the same experience as you and that you have someone to share it with, not to mention having the opportunity to actually know somebody before going to university! I was lucky enough to have a classmate who decided to study at Essex as well and it was amazing to have someone who shared the same insecurities and excitement before actually arriving at the university as me. Sharing the same flight and cab to get to campus is a plus as well!

The fair gives you the opportunity not just to ask your questions, but also to find out about things you may never have even considered. When I went, there were so many booklets you could just pick up. Even looking at their prospectus design was a useful indicator of whether or not I would be interested in them.  As I am really passionate about design, I was taking everything into account,  from the fonts to the pictures and colours used to catch attention. I was looking for something different, something that stood out, not through powerful colours, or striking images, but through the words used and the message they wanted to deliver.

For me, there was a certain University booklet which caught my attention: The University of Essex. Why? It was bold, yet intriguing. It didn’t have pictures of students laying on the grass like you normally see, instead, it had tinted silver words, as seen below.

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I have felt like a ‘Rebel with a cause’ since the moment I saw this and if I were to go back in time and make a choice, I would absolutely choose Essex again.

As I have said before, do not hesitate to attend RIUF as it can definitely change your whole perspective and put at ease any kind of questions and issues you might have. If it weren’t for RIUF, I wouldn’t know about Essex – the place that now I call home.

 

 

 

 

 

Best Vegetarian Options on Campus

Meat-eaters, stop reading!

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Vegetarians….hello. It’s hard for us, right? Not only do we have to deal with every family member, housemate, and partner’s family asking us why we do this (with a look that says “I couldn’t respect you any less for this”), but we have to order the worst food from restaurants too? Karen’s over there with the foie de gras and you’re stuck with the soggy bean burger with lettuce and mayo. Rubbish. Luckily, Essex has heard the plight of the vegetarian and has risen to the occasion. What follows is a list of the best veggie options on campus.

SU Bar: BBQ Quorn Chicken Pizza

The SU Bar is a hotbed for delicious, vaguely unhealthy food that you’ll crave on a cold winter night when your loan is down to the last £10 but you’ve still got 3 weeks left of term and rent due tomorrow. Mozzarella sticks to die for, incredible chili, the BEST mac & cheese. Having said that, by far my favourite thing on the menu is the BBQ Quorn Chicken Pizza.

Fusion: Halloumi and Mushroom Burger

Mmm, halloumi. Always the tastiest option on any menu, and a vegetarian’s fantasy. Fusion does a wicked halloumi and mushroom burger that will make all the meat eaters at your table green with envy, and is a little healthier than some of the other options as well. Honestly, Fusion has an incredible menu with so many different styles of food that it’s actually hard to narrow down (try the veggie hot dog and have your life changed), but for pure hedonistic pleasure, their stylish combo of halloumi and mushroom is unbeatable.

 

Buffalo Joe’s: Mushroom Fritter

Buffalo Joe’s has always been a brilliant late-night option, but this year they really kicked it into the highest gear. The falafel and houmous wrap that was a staple of my first and second year is still there, alive and kicking, but it’s been joined by some fantastic competitors. Chief among them is the glorious mushroom fritter burger. Literally a deep fried portobello mushroom, topped with smoked cheese and mayo, this will satisfy all your cravings in one go. The soft, chewy texture of the mushroom with the satisfying crunch of the batter is a heavenly experience, and I advise every vegetarian (and non-vegetarian) to try it at least once.

The Canteen: Full English (Veggie)

The Canteen’s menu changes every day, and the vegetarian option is always pretty good. Very well priced too. However, it would be lazy of me to just tell you to have “whatever the veggie option is”, so I’ve decided to plump for a Canteen staple: the breakfast. Rumour has it anyone who gets a canteen breakfast before their 9am exam gets a first. I’m not sure how true that is, but I’m willing to believe. You don’t even have to have the meagre veggie breakfast of mushrooms, egg and beans that many restaurants offer. The Canteen has a plethora of veggie options to choose from, including amazing vegetarian sausages.

 

Frango’s: Pulled Quorn Wrap

I’ll be honest, I haven’t visited Frango’s as much as I’d like to have this year. This has nothing to do with the quality of the food, and I’m extremely disappointed in myself for not eating there more. If you’re a fan of the Portuguese chicken restaurant that shall not be named, but wish they had more vegetarian options, Frango’s has got you! They have an astonishing variety of options for us, and they’re really interesting. The pulled Quorn wrap has got my vote, simply because I don’t know of anywhere else that does pulled Quorn. It’s delicious, too, of course.

Happy eating all you veggies!

Working and Studying at the same time – is it possible?

A lot of students now worry about their employability after university, because they want to make sure that their university experience was worth it. Having a job on campus while you’re studying is great because you don’t have to worry about money, and it looks impressive to future employers that you were able to balance your work life with your studies and still get a great degree. For those that are a bit confused about how to get a part time job while studying, here are some ideas!

 

  1. Careers and Employability Office

Your first stop should be here! It’s on Square two, and full of very friendly people who are very happy to help. Here they will help you with your CV, and give you loads of helpful advice about how to really stand out to future employers. They have seminar talks year round about making successful CVs, to guest talks from people in a particular industry. They also have a Facebook page full of useful tips and invitations to their events that they host. They also have an Essex Interns Facebook page for undergraduates and graduates if people don’t want a full time job just yet. The office is really useful in terms of the resources that have for you as a student, which leads me on to my next tip…

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Source: https://www1.essex.ac.uk/careers/enterprise/default.aspx

  1. Careerhub

A website run by the Employability and Careers office which is helpful for undergraduates and graduates alike. They have particular categories to search for on the website, including ‘on campus employment’ and ‘vacation work’ amongst other things. If you check it regularly during the year, you can find small on campus opportunities (which are all paid above minimum wage!) that can be really useful for you. Careerhub was how I found this job as an Online Brand Ambassador! Most on-campus employment opportunities are ones that you can fit around your studies so you don’t have to worry about clashing deadlines and your work responsibilities.

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Source: https://www.essex.ac.uk/events/2018/01/23/careerhub-introducing-employability-and-careers-online

  1. The SU

The SU website not only advertises what nights out it has, but from time to time advertise vacancies in their venues, including SubZero, the SU Store and the SU bar. These are really popular because the SU is dedicated to making sure you work around your studies, so you have to make sure that your CV really stands out. Working for the SU also means that you get staff discounts!

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Source: http://monipag.com/alizeecelina-lagraulet/2016/12/30/university-of-essex-week-4/

  1. Frontrunners

I did a Frontrunners placement in my second year working for SU Home as an office assistant. Frontrunners are really helpful for those who have had no employability experience, but even if you have previously, don’t be deterred from applying! They can be in particular venues or they can be in your own department so you can work alongside your lecturers and help the students on your course. They run for an average of 16 weeks so for a term and a half for around 10 hours a week, so again you can really balance your work life and your studies

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Source: https://employabilityandcareersattheuniversityofessex.wordpress.com/2017/10/02/is-a-frontrunner-placement-for-me/

  1. Summer jobs

Just because you go home for the summer doesn’t mean that the university shuts down. The campus keeps going all year round and so there are often summer jobs available if you’re still near Colchester or Southend in the summer. If you’re willing to give up some of your free time in the summer then there are loads of jobs available on campus. If you live too far away from campus, then sometimes jobs become available at home, but often it’s a little bit harder. Keep your eye out on careerhub or the SU website as they often have some great opportunities near the end of term!

 

Good luck everyone!

Long-distance routine breakers

Coming to uni, leaving uni, going for a year abroad, coming back from a year abroad… Being a student, it’s probable that at some point you will find yourself in a long distance relationship. It is a big challenge to maintain it, especially if you are apart for a long while. I’m sure every couple in this situation has their own ways to deal with the distance, but here are just a few ideas which can possibly make you two feel a bit closer while being far away in geographic terms. 🙂

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Voice and video messages

It’s a nice practice to send each other a short voice or video message every day and share your thoughts. It gets hard, especially if your days are busy and you can’t coordinate to do Skype calls frequently, and even harder if the time difference keeps you in completely different routines, but this little detail every now and then will make you feel more connected even if you are thousands of miles away from each other.

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Skype dates

Sometimes it can get difficult to keep up a long distance relationship if talking is not your strongest point. Some people are just not very good at it, which doesn’t mean they care less. The “how was your day” talk might get monotonous after a while, but if that’s the case, maybe you can come up with some Skype dates ideas – just do anything different that you both would like. You could Skype from the kitchen, try to cook the same dish, and have dinner with a glass of wine. Or how about trying to do an origami challenge, working it out together, or a games night or a movie night together? I know it doesn’t replace being in one room and throwing popcorn at each other, but maybe it can feel like a little date and get you out of the routine.

 

Letters

However old fashioned it might sound, I think it’s really special. When you write a letter, you need to take time, gather your thoughts and choose the words you would like your partner to read and keep as a memory. This is much more personal and meaningful than a WhatsApp chat, which will probably be forgotten. Why not give it a try?

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Home delivery

Being far away might feel a bit helpless sometimes, especially, if your loved one is having a hard time, feeling ill or overwhelmed with work. Of course, the best thing would be to just turn up at their door, but how about getting their favourite food delivered to them with a special message? Or, if you know that they need something – like winter gloves, a bike light or a vitamin C – and won’t get it themselves, maybe you can just make them a little surprise for no special occasion.

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These are just some ideas if you feel that you would like to try something different, but it’s worth to remember that excessive communication might get a bit overwhelming. You know yourself and your partner and what works for you two, so you don’t have to listen to me! 🙂 And don’t listen to people who say that relationships don’t work long-distance. I think it’s good to see it as an opportunity, rather than a threat. There is even a saying that if you want to live together, you first need to learn to live apart. You can get to know each other from a different side and have a chance to realize how important you are to each other. Some things are worth waiting for, and after passing this stage your relation can grow stronger than ever before.

Put Your Wellies On!

One of the things that I haven’t done in my almost four years (eek!) as an Essex student was volunteer with vTeam. The great people over at vTeam organise loads of volunteering opportunities for students to get involved with. There are regular projects and one off events. The other week myself and some of my pals from the hockey club went to go and volunteer on a farm. We were mainly excited to see some little baby goats but also to give something back to the community.

The day began pretty early with us heading to Wellies On. Wellies On is a care farm around a 15 minute drive from the uni. We were welcomed to the farm by Warren, the operations manager who told us what Wellies On was all about. It is a farm that combines the care of animals with the care of people. They work with people from various backgrounds, of different needs and abilities. Warren told us our first job for the day was to plant some sticks that would later grow into some beautiful hedges. It sounds like a pretty simple job right? Wrong! Well, at least for me because I forgot to actually plant my stick in the hole I’d just dug and filled in. I managed to fix it though and was told I had excellent stick planting skills. Not bad for a city girl!

27787407_1633701220040268_939230374_oVery proud of my planting skills

After planting our sticks we got to see some of the animals. Wellies On has goats, pigs, sheep, ponies and more. The cutest moment had to be watching the little pygmy goats bounce around after they had been fed. We were then able to have a look at all the others animals and were introduced to the farms oldest sheep at 17 years old! When I’m at uni I really miss my dogs at home so this was a great chance to fill the animal shaped hole in my life. We then had some lovely homemade soup for lunch and were told about our next job, and it was a smelly one!

27846314_1633701140040276_295095941_oSo cute!

The afternoon involved mucking out the barn. Not the best job but definitely more fun than you’d imagine! It was great working as a team because between us we got it done pretty quickly.

27836035_1633701256706931_1489079225_oGoat Selfie!

After some more time with the animals and taking lots of pictures it was time for us to head back to uni. We had such a fun time at Wellies On. Also it’s nice, as a student, to give back to the community. All of us make Colchester our home for the few years that we are here and vTeam is a great way to go out into the community that we are apart of and get stuck in. If you’re thinking of volunteering, or even if you’ve never thought about it, I’d definitely recommended giving it ago!

27946872_1853683351317501_1480602187_o They were friendlier than they look!

Cultural diversity and the parade of flags

One world or should I say, One World Essex? Every year, there is a week filled with a fantastic event in which we celebrate our more than 140 different nationalities represented by both students and staff, bringing together a diversity of cultures and experiences to one place, well, maybe 3 of them: Square 2, 3 and 4!

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This year, we had something unusual – SNOW, and for the first time we had the Colchester Morris men performing ancient English ritual dances, as you can see below.

You couldn’t miss the event as it went forward, despite the cold weather, despite the snow falling over the flags held high by their representative. The squares were filled with colours, diversity and laughter. It seemed that everyone was connected and coming together as one, celebrating all the diversity that unites us.

I have been deeply touched by the poem written by a Lebanese woman, recited by her husband. It was shaped in the form of the Cedar of Lebanon, the national emblem of Lebanon. You could actually feel the suffering and pain put into that poem, a poem which encouraged people to come together and unite their forces for a better world, a world in which all cultures are celebrated, not denied.

I am grateful that I am part of the University of Essex, which is recognised as one of the most international universities in the world. I am glad that cultural diversity is recognised and celebrated with so much passion and thought.

But why is it so important to focus on cultural differences? Here are my 3 main reasons to do so:

  1. Cultural awareness. Learning about various cultures, religions and languages, will enhance your perception upon life itself, creating a new perspective on the lives of others around you, as well as others around the world. You can only educate yourself through understanding other’s perspectives, broadening your own.
  2. Appreciate cultural differences. Through each other’s diversity, we become more aware of our own. Not only do we become more aware, we gain a sense of pride for the diversity of our own culture. Understanding people and their backgrounds is crucial to personal and community growth.
  3. Overcome stereotypes. Celebrating different cultures will bring to light new thinking and understanding. Without stereotypes blocking your view, you will be able to see individuals accurately, not as mere reflections of your preconception. The more you do this, the more experiences you will have with individuals who do not conform to your stereotypes.

The recognition of a common humanity is the first step in the celebration of our differences – differences that inform our cultures, our values, our minds, and all our ways of being in the world.

Until next time,

Mimi.

How To Adult Successfully

So it’s 2018, you think you’re going to make big changes this year because ‘new year, new me!’ You vow to wake up on time for your lectures, not spend all your loan the day it comes in and work hard. Except…it’s now February, and you’ve fallen back into your old habits: you’re back to snoozing your alarm, your bank account is already worryingly low and somehow you’re behind on lectures even though it’s only been a month.

It’s okay if that happens, it’s really hard to actually change behaviours. I’ve been trying to get up earlier this term rather than my normal 11am because I’m so busy, but it’s really hard because I have to self-motivate myself. However, if you find that you’re stressing about things as I always do, there are ways to actually look like you’re a successful adult, even if you probably don’t feel like one yet.

 

  1. Buy a planner/calendar

This is so useful to have on you! A small little diary that you can pick up from a stationary shop or a supermarket for less than £5 and you can write down all the things you need to do and attend. I’m not a forgetful person, but having a visual reminder of something that I need to do is really helpful for me just to remind myself to do something. A calendar is also a really nice visual thing to hang in your room where you can write everything down for the month if you don’t want to carry round a planner.

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  1. Sticky notes

As you can see, there’s a bit of a theme going here; I really like organisation! It gives off the appearance that I actually have my life together. I’ve written about sticky notes before, but they’ve helped me so much just because it’s just another visual way to remind me that I need to do stuff. I try to write a to-do list in the morning and then I aim to tick it all by the end of the day. It’s really satisfying to see all of your jobs ticked off for the day.

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  1. Budget

The dreaded word right? Your parents are always telling you to be sensible with your money but how can you do that when you need to buy food, alcohol and books? It all adds up, and a lot of people can get a bit overwhelmed. You just need to sit down by yourself or with a friend and go through your recent bank statements to see what the majority of your money is going on. Invest in an app that tracks your spending so you can see where your money is going – they have loads now and they’re really helpful –  and allocate a certain amount of money each week to particular things like shopping, alcohol and emergency things etc. You might find by the end of the month you have spare money which is always a bonus.

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  1. You need three things to be successful: a water bottle, a plastic container and a travel mug

If you followed the last tip and looked at your expenses, you might see that you’re spending nearly £10 a week on coffees and lunches on campus (I know I was at one point) just because it’s so convenient. You can save money on water by using the water fountains on campus; if you use your plastic Tupperware you can save money on lunch by making your own, and with your travel mug you can bring tea or coffee from home. That just saved you around £5 which if you did every day, would save you £25 a week! And if you really can’t beat the coffee habit on campus, then you can still use your travel mug and get 10p off all your hot drinks orders at SU venues

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  1. Make time for yourself

I know this sounds odd, all of the above are about making yourself more organised, saving money and doing ‘adult’ things. But it’s actually really important that you also don’t burn out. University is a really stressful environment, no matter what your parents think, and if you’re constantly stressed and running about doing things it’s going to affect your health. It’s important that after a long week that you take a day to relax, try and not do any work, or at least only a minimal amount and recharge. You’ll find yourself more optimistic about the following week and be ready to give it 100%

Image result for me relaxing after doing the bare minimum dog

These are only a small number of little habits that you can do to save yourself some time and money, but also be a bit more organised and less stressed which I’ve heard is all the things adults aim for! If you’re really struggling to change some habits, there’s loads of websites out there giving helpful advice about things you can do that make your life just that little bit easier.

 

Spring Term: What’s going on?

Colchester and the university have many events planned out from now till the Easter break. Without further ado, let’s see what’s in store!

SubZero

SubZero was voted the Best Student Venue in the UK and to this day is still a very popular place for students to enjoy their nightlife. The venue will continue to provide weekly events like Sports Fed and monthly ones such as Coko. This term, the SU will be inviting many famous faces: Cascada, Tim Westwood, Danny Howard and the Ministry of Sound. Remember to buy your tickets early for these events, as they’ll most likely sell out and door tickets might not be available. Other major events include a UV paint party (wear something you don’t mind getting dirty), beach party and Viva Las Vegas (a local recreation of a Vegas casino. Get a chance to win £100,000 by only spending £3). But wait! There’s more! If you’re a fan of nostalgic music, SubZero is having 80s, 90s and 00s rewind. Last entry for these events is 12:30-1AM and ID is required. Please drink responsibly.

SU Bar

Events here are usually calmer, making it ideal for relaxing with a few friends, grabbing a drink and listening to good music. It also doesn’t have fit-inducing lights and gut-wrenching sound volumes. Milk It and the SU Bar Quiz occur every Monday and Thursday respectively. Milk It runs from 9PM to 1:30AM where people sing karaoke of their favourite songs and moves on to cheesy music at midnight. The quiz starts at nine and the jackpot is usually around £100. The rules are simple: 6 is the maximum number of people on a team and phones are not allowed. Furthermore, the NFL Super Bowl is being broadcasted on the 4th of February where the New England Patriots are playing against the Philadelphia Eagles.

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For only £3.50, you can watch a selection of recently released movies on campus. Films being shown this term are Wonder, Ferdinand, the Disaster Artist, Jumanji, Pride, Pitch Perfect 3, Molly’s Game, Darkest Hour, Maze Runner 3, The Post and the Greatest Showman. There are multiple screenings of each movie so don’t fret if one of the showings sells out.

Sports Centre

For the duration of the term, the Sports Centre provides Just Play sessions for a wide variety of sports, including ones that most people haven’t heard of like Pickleball and Floorball. You can find out when these sessions are by visiting: https://www.essexstudent.com/sport/justplay/

Image result for university of essex new sports centre

         New Sports Centre               Photography credit: sourced via http://blogs.essex.ac.uk/essexdaily/2016/12/14/new-sports-centre-development-gets-underway/

LGBTQ+ History Month

February is LGBTQ+ history month which means theat the SU will create events that cater to those who identify as LGBTQ+. The LGBT+ community will be holding fundraisers and the donations will go to the Outhouse charity. In addition to this, the Lakeside Theatre will be showing “A Reason to Carry On” which is a play about a teenager discovering his identity. Generally, during this month, there will be forums and mixers for those who identify and those who are interested in the subject to discuss LGBT+ lifestyles and difficulties.

LGBT History Month - Book Club: Boy Meets Girl

Photography credit: sourced via https://www.essexstudent.com/ents/event/15134/

Other major events occurring on campus include Essex’s got Talent and this University’s version of the show “Take Me Out”, brought to you by Enactus. Make sure to buy your tickets early because these events will sell out immediately and I have no idea why.

Colchester Town

There aren’t many official events happening in town but the nightlife is still amazing in terms of clubbing. Also, in the Weston Homes Community Stadium, on the far side of town, there are weekly tributes to famous musicians and artists, old and new, such as Beyonce, ABBA, Lionel Richie, the Spice Girls and Whitney Houston.

By the time this blog is posted, some of these events may have terminated or sold out, but fear not, because there is still so much to do and this term has only just begun, kinda. Also, as the term progresses, the Student Union, uni and its societies will release more events.

 

Best deals you can get as a student!

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One of the best things about being a student, is the world of discounts that you can get a hold of. You may have heard that you can get free McFlurry’s and Cheeseburgers in McDonalds, but that is only where the discounts start my friend! Often all it takes is one quick show of your student card to get a reasonable discount to your bill. Result!

Here’s my guide to finding the very best of deals on the market…

Theatre tickets

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Theatre’s often have a reputation for being expensive, but a lot of the time they offer a sizeable discount for students. One of the biggest theatre discounts I’ve seen is through being a member of the National Theatre’s Entry Pass scheme. If you’re aged between 16 and 25 then you can get yourself £5 tickets that usually cost more than 8 times as much!

Music Streaming

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I really don’t know what I’d do without my music streaming! I don’t know how I survived before! Just because you’re a student doesn’t mean that you need to scrimp back on your music! Spotify and Apple Music both offer half price subscriptions for students at £4.99 per month.

Prime Student

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This is probably one of the most convenient things ever. By signing up to Amazon’s paid membership scheme you get access to several different features, most of which to be honest I don’t even use! But for last minute shopping and for getting things in a hurry, its one-day delivery service is a godsend! The video streaming service is also quite good too! After a generous 6 month free trail, Student membership is £49 a year. This may seem like a lot of money to pay, but if you shop online a lot then it’s well worth the investment.

Bank Accounts

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Banks love to rope students in when they go to Uni as people rarely switch bank accounts when they have graduated. This means that they pull out all the stops to lure you in to a potential lifetime of banking with them. Whether it’s overdrafts than can stretch to £3,000 or a 4 year railcard, it’s well worth checking out your options.

BOB

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Whilst this might not look like a discount, it’s still an awesome way to use your student status to save a bit of money. Box of broadcasts (or BOB for short) is an online portal of on demand TV and radio from the past 10/15 years. Okay, so here’s where the discount comes in… because it’s a learning resource you don’t even need a TV licence to use it!

NUS

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The National Union of Students (NUS), famously sell student discount cards that can be used at various retailers up and down the country including the Co-Op. It’s £12 a year to have a card and it’s well worth it if you shop regularly at the places where they accept the card.

Unidays

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Unidays is NUS’ main rival in offering a one stop shop for student discounts. You can set up an account on the app for free and then you have access to loads of offers including ASOS and Missguided. A lot of NUS’ discounts are also available on Unidays but the main difference is that you Unidays doesn’t offer an option to get a physical membership card. Instead you have to enter a unique code every time you want to use a discount. A brilliant option for those who don’t shop too often.

Many more to discover

These suggestions are only the start of the discounts you could make! Normally shops publicise if they offer a discount or not, but there is no harm in just asking at the checkout if they offer one. You never know how much you could get off! Even if it’s just a few quid, it all adds up! So next time you’re out shopping, it’s worth having your student card in your wallet just in case!

 

Relatable Advice on Revising for Exams and Finishing up Coursework

Holidays are meant to be period of relaxation and fun after surviving an entire term of stress and chaos. Lecturers try to space out the work over the term but for the last 2 weeks, they seem to realise that they miscalculated how much work they’ve given out and have to pile it up which results in mass panics and all-nighters in the library. You finally complete all your assignments and the holidays are here, but if like me, you were unlucky, you were given more coursework to finish in addition to January exams. I told myself I had plenty of time to study. I was right except my brain fed into my confidence and lured me into a false sense of security. Two weeks later, BAM, it hit me that I’d been procrastinating for too long and I had not even looked at the work I had. At least I was all caught up on Agents of SHIELD and the Flash series!

study gone

Here are some good, and hopefully easy tips to creating work-play balanced, stress-free environments:

  1. Sort out the technicalities of your work

By technicalities, I mean workload, all the information that is essential or helpful for your coursework/exams. Gather all the books, lecture notes and resources for the topics you’re using and place them in front of you. Let out a sigh of disbelief then proceed to separating your workload into lectures or chapters etc and calculate, reasonably, how much you can study in one day with regard to how many days you have left.

Businessman Drowning in Paperwork Whirlpool

2. Designate a study area appropriate to your atmospheric preferences

If you like peace and quiet, study in your room. If you like background noise, study on campus. If you don’t like studying then same buddy, but we have to anyways. Find somewhere that you can concentrate on actually doing work, so that you don’t procrastinate. Personally, I cannot study in my room because I find that I have too many distractions around me. I like studying in the Silberrad Student Centre because of background noise. People are probably doing the same thing as me, which motivates me to finish my work.

3. Give yourself generous breaks

During those long periods of revising, you’re bound to naturally get bored or tired and you’ll lose concentration. Take regular breaks in between and if you feel like you’re needing breaks too often, treat yourself to maybe an hour break. Perhaps watch an episode of your favourite show while having a small meal. That way you’ll feel more relaxed and comfortable and able to dive back into your revision. You’ll feel more determined to study harder and finish more work so you can have your well-earned break.

4. Set up a good sleep schedule

As everyone knows, sleep is important, especially during times like these. Your body only requires around 8 hours of sleep, so try to go to bed at around 11pm-12am at the latest and wake up at 8am. Science provides evidence that you have the most energy and concentration early in the morning, after a good night’s rest. Additionally, it means you’ll have more time to study during the day and therefore get more work done. If you continue on this schedule, your body and brain will get used to it and help you in the long run when you need to wake up early for exams or lectures.

5. Find a few friends or colleagues to work with

Revising on your own is a good way to stay concentrated on the work you’re doing. However, when you think you’ve got all the information down in your head, it would be beneficial to get in contact with your coursemates and form a study group. That way you can ask and answer questions and develop your analytical skills that are necessary for tests and coursework. Also, if your friends are motivated to study, you’ll be motivated too and in unison, you can get work done much faster.

study friends

In the end, it all comes down to you. You know better than anyone else what you’re capable of, your study methods, pace and concentration. However, these pieces of advice should push you in the right direction and get you the grades you need and deserve.