Monday, 16 December 2013

Christmas

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everybody! Happy Holidays!

Hope everyone is well and happy that uni is over for now, everyone has trekked it back home, and halls have become a ghost town. For those students commuting, you don’t need to trek it anywhere so consider yourselves lucky!

Some students can’t go home unless they have a flight ticket booked which is not the best situation, but there are a handful of people that stay in halls over the holidays, I remember I did spend a small amount of time in halls over Christmas last year and there is always that one person you know who will be around. Sometimes the peace is actually quite nice and relaxing so you might as well enjoy it while you can!

Are you broke? Need to do some Christmas shopping?

I have noticed in Superdrug (In the Greenwich campus) there are some nice little gifts – I mean little, if you’re interested in buying them for secret santa or friends. They have aftershave sets for men and make up for the women.

Regarding Avery Hill students, I am aware there’s pound land in Eltham High St if you’re really strapped for cash – It’s the thought that counts!

And for all the other students, Westfield?!

Hey I’m only making some suggestions and trying to help my fellow students J

If you’re not looking to buy presents for friends or family, buy one for yourself you deserve it! Treat yourself its Christmas! I’ve treated myself to those sugar candy cane things from Tesco and I’m waiting till Christmas to devour them (with my friends of course). Okay, it’s not the best present in the world but as most of you know by now, my bank balance is wiped clean so candy canes will suffice for now!

Also does anyone know where you can buy the Red Velvet Ben & Jerry’s ice cream? I saw a picture of all the different Ben & Jerry’s flavours on Twitter and I NEED the Red Velvet one ASAP! So if anyone knows please comment below J

Freshers, you’re probably still in that relaxing phase, keep relaxing and take it easy, obviously don’t slack in the work but you don’t need to stress at this point.

Second Years I would recommend revising and just recapping the content you covered in the past term because it will help – I’m taking my own advice too for once in my life!

Third Years in Accounting and Finance, my tutor has warned me that next year for us will be intense and I can only imagine what you guys are going through. I’ve heard that there are two exams in January so Good Luck and all the best!


Just think about it, this is my last blog post of 2013 ;) See you all next year! 

Thursday, 12 December 2013

December Lights


I don’t know about you but I’ve had one hectic term! As the weather is dropping further and further down the thermometer, I recommend a few tips if you are living in halls:
  • Buy a onesie – Primark has decent ones and they are surprisingly warm!
  • Heat up a hot water bottle to bed – It tricks you for about an hour thinking it’s warm then by the time you’re asleep it’s too late to feel the cold!
  • Get a good coat and scarf – I actually got ill because my ‘winter’ coat wasn’t warm enough
  • Invest in some hot chocolate – Last minute deadlines can be daunting so use this as a pick me up
  • Sainsburys have some really good 39p noodles! #JustSaying
  • Layer your blankets when you sleep
  • Face away from the window, some vents can’t be shut (Like mine)
  • Get some Vitamin C tablets from Superdrug and they boost your immune system so you don’t get ill as often

Now that is out of the way, how’s your first term been? If it’s been chaotic then think back on the things you would change, if you can stop the same things from happening again? Sometimes things can happen beyond our control e.g. losing your USB, spending all your loan money it’s all about learning from these experiences which makes uni life so amazing.

I can honestly say I’ve learnt so much from last year and I will never repeat the same mistakes. An example of one of the mistakes is joining the gym. I joined the gym in February paying £30 a month. I actually utilised the gym for 14 days and I continued paying for it until May. That’s £120? All gone to waste! Only sign up to things you will know you commit to because time is money!

Apart from life skills and learning curves, forget all that’s happened and enjoy your break! Instagram the pretty lights and trees, take the chance to seize every opportunity you get. Have a wonderful break with the plans you all have and Merry Christmas! 


Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Outside the Box

I know a majority of my blogs have a hint of humour in them but I reckon this will be the first blog which will talk about a few important issues. Like I mentioned in my other post, I've been feeling philosophical this month so bear with me guys it will probably change by next month!

My main point that I wanted to get across is that it is so important to have a wide perspective in life. It’s easy to be narrow minded because you don’t have to exert yourself in expanding your mindset but sometimes it’s this process that causes a lot of people to change. I can honestly say that when I broadened the horizon I saw so many things I was never able to see before.
Now some of you may be thinking “What the hell is she talking about?” It’s not easy to understand and I don’t expect everyone to understand what I am saying but I will give a few examples on what defines a narrow mindset.

You’re unable to look beyond what you can see. So imagine you are standing at the top of a hill in Greenwich Park, watching over half of London. How many of you would notice the patterns in the sky? Or the colours behind the clouds?

Have a look at this recent picture I took in Greenwich Park and think about what you can see.


Being quick to judge. We all judge people we are only human and it’s a natural thing, but to what extent will you stop? Or do you ever stop? Get to know the person better before you assume that you “know” what kind of person they are, it will definitely widen the perspective!

Develop your beliefs further. If you believe something is wrong, i.e. killing or war. Then why stop there? Why not do something about it? You can start a fundraiser, campaign or simply starting a blog ;) For first year students you will have the perfect opportunity to do this, you have time and crazy ideas so where can you go wrong?!

I’m hoping that after those examples you will be able to understand the point I’m making.

(Picture by Ruben Chase) – Referencing! ;)


One lesson to learn from this as well is that you need to make mistakes to realise where you went wrong. University is all about making mistakes but are you going to learn from them? 

Friday, 1 November 2013

“November Blues”

From the first of November it is officially 1,320 hours (55 days) until Christmas! I don’t even celebrate Christmas but I’m just excited for the break ;)  Yes 55 days sounds like a lot but think how far you've come into the academic year?


There are no words to explain how fast time is going, before you know it, it’s April and it’s that time of year where your lecturers and tutors will enjoy tormenting you with exam stress (they don’t actually torment you).

For some of you, you are probably submitting your first or second assignments (nice and easy) for others (like me) it’s the countdown to exams and coursework deadlines. It’s been stressful in the first two months but I’m hoping I will get accustomed to these changes. If you were a lazy student like me in year one then year two will take you by surprise!

I remember how “Fun” year one was, there were no problems in the world, I did do my coursework and assignments on time, but I wouldn't attend lectures and seminars which I thought were irrelevant. It’s weird because now I don’t even want to miss a single lecture, it’s such a big change that you don’t even realise it. I've started my applications for placements for the sandwich year, you want to start doing this as soon as you start year two because I've already missed quite a few deadlines for applications!

Working in the part time uni job is actually quite easy, waking up early in the morning is about the biggest challenge I have so far. If you can’t maintain a balance between “work” work and “uni” work then don’t take the risk. I've witnessed one of my flat mates from last year always doing all nighters to finish his “work” work so he could complete the projects, he was studying web design and the jobs he were offered were related to his course. He didn't prioritise “uni” work and now has to retake two of his modules L. He also advised me to “PRIORITISE,” remember, you’re not paying £9000 a year to fail ;)

On that note I will finish with a quote, been feeling philosophical this month!


Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well.” – Josh Billings. 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

“It’s a rich man’s world”

As far as I know everyone has received their student loan, processed the 4 figure balance in their account and gone wild! Yes I still get the same feeling every 12 weeks, it’s good isn't it? Having all that money to spend on whatever you want, not to mention that lovely rent if you’re staying out in halls.

Can any of you relate to this list I've made from my personal experience on 7 ways to flash your cash?
  • Stratford
  • Nandos
  • Haagen Dasz
  • Primark
  • Michael Kors – My guilty secret
  • MAC
  • LUSH Cosmetics 

Obviously the guys won’t be able to relate as much but I’m sure you get the jist of the list. I am so bad with my money it’s actually a joke. But I've managed to find a way out of this mess!

I applied for a job within the Greenwich Employability Team and I am now “Happily” working for the university twice a week. It is still hard to manage the work and uni assignments but I need the money and somehow there is always a way to make time for your uni work. One thing I've gradually learnt is how to spend my money in bulk... BAD HABIT! If you are a big spender like me, then spend in small frequent amounts like, £20-30 a week instead of £200 a fortnight. It makes a big difference trust me!

There is no specific way to manage your money it solely depends on your situation and how much you eat, drink, shop etc. Just watch what you spend your money on and ask yourself every time you buy something you don’t need (like a Michael Kors watch), “Do I really need this? Will this affect my food budget in a month?” and then put it down, walk away and don’t look back!


Repeat those words as many times as you need to until you are out of the shop, then buy yourself an ice cream as a reward! 

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

It's October!

So it’s October, the Halloween flyers are out and it’s already been a month since uni has started, congratulations if you are still alive and not suffering from liver failure.
 
Currently, I have blown my student loan and now experiencing traumatic stress from the bombardment of second year assignments. Since my experience from fresher’s year, I have now learnt to be more responsible and wise regarding my attendance to tutorials and lectures. I was foolish enough to skip a lot of lectures last year because I thought they were irrelevant but the truth is, if I did attend them, I could potentially have a higher grade on my transcript right now. It does make a massive difference, even though your first year does not count, you still need the grades and basic knowledge to help you in second year. Otherwise you will be stuck revising your content from first year whilst the second year killer modules are being introduced (like I am).

It doesn't mean you can’t have fun, make the most out of fresher’s while you still can! The party is never ending, especially as this is my second year in halls, I can see all the fresher’s banging doors and playing loud music at 3am. I am fortunate enough to have a flat mate who stops playing loud D&B after 12am because he knows I can hear the music which is so nice considering the other types of people you come across in halls.

So what I would say is keep calm and relax, keep an equal balance of work and leisure. If you get too carried away with parties and fresher’s events, you will lose the focus you need to gain in first year to help you with the transition into second year. It’s really important you gain that focus and understanding of how the system works because there’s no time in second and third years.

Find out which places are good and find a spot where you can chill regularly to take your mind off work. It’s also worthwhile to start searching for accommodation for next year as many landlords require their deposit in January so I guess you know what you’re spending your January student loan on!


Prepare and plan well in advance is the key to success in uni, Good Luck! 

Monday, 2 September 2013

My First Blog

It’s that time of year again when everyone is worried about their results, some do better than expected and some do worse. If you have managed to bag yourself a place at uni give yourself a pat on the back, you have just overcome the hardest journey of your life! Clearing, adjustment and the whole shabang can be so stressful and it often breaks people apart, it’s not the results but the amount of stress one individual has to deal with. Not to mention the anxious parents and relatives who are unaware of how the university process works! So yes, in my opinion this would have been one of the hardest journeys any 18, 19 or 20 year old has to go through. Well done! And even if you haven’t managed to get a place this year there are always other opportunities which can work out even better for you – and you also won’t be in 50k debt by the time you’re 21.

So you've gone through the process, you have your offer, accommodation and registration, what’s next? Well if you’re moving into halls you have a whole new chapter to be prepared for and if not, you still have so much to look forward to!

When I first moved into my room  I had no idea what to do, I unpacked, bought food and cleaning materials but I didn't clean my room until someone suggested to me that I should, just to be on the safe side. I've never felt so embarrassed in my life, considering I have an OCD for bacteria and germs!

Next step was exploring the area, I visited Greenwich beforehand but never really looked around properly, still to this day I don’t know Greenwich fully and I've just finished my first year! I also missed all the freshers’ events because I lost the leaflet so I was pretty useless when I first moved in. These are the things you need to keep your eyes open for if you want to make the most out of the free time you have in freshers’ week. I started making good friends with my flat mates after 2-3 months of moving in – Yes I was REALLY delayed.

In order to avoid being in my position I've made a small list for you to use when you move in:

  • Buy food from the right shop (don’t go to news agents or small Tescos they are more expensive)
  • CLEAN your room before you use it e.g. surfaces and kitchen 
  • You will have a freshers leaflet don’t lose it!
  • Attend the meet and greet
  • Visit the local SU bar


 Join societies at the freshers fair – also attend the fair you get really good student deals!
Apply for an NHS student certificate so your prescriptions are free and also register with the local GP

For those students who are living at home, be grateful you’re still be able to have a nice dinner! I remember when I moved out I hadn't the slightest clue on how or what to cook, but I've managed to become a pro at making omelettes ;)

Apart from freshers there’s also other things you need to remember for the first year of uni, don’t get too carried away make sure you still pick up things on how the system works because you need to adjust to the differences between A-levels and University. Don’t be scared about the whole independence barrier, it will come naturally to you because if the lecturer doesn't cover something you don’t understand, you will take your own time to research it and attempt to understand it yourself. That’s the beauty of university!

Also if you are coming to Greenwich then you need to know a few things about what’s good and what’s not about studying or living in London:

A few good things…

  • Piccadilly Circus is full of good places to eat not to mention the ONE and ONLY HAAGEN DASZ!
  • Greenwich has a few hidden places where you can see the most amazing views across London
  • The River Thames and Canary Wharf looks stunning at night
  • The most obvious is the night life and clubs! – DSTRKT etc.. 
  • You’re near public transport and travelling is not once and hour e.g. in Wales
  • Greenwich park is clean – I don’t know about you but I find it very difficult to find a clean park! 


A few bad things…

  • The night life may be good but you NEED to be careful and cautious at all times for your own safety
  • It can be expensive at times but hey what are student loans for?!
  • You can’t always get food from outside you need to learn how to cook 
  • It does get packed and congested in Piccadilly and Leicester square


We now have come to an end of Devi’s short guide to success for Freshers! I hope you found the advice useful and remember to be sensible, you've reached adulthood now!