So You’re Starting University…

It finally happened. After all of the insanely late nights spent working on your UCAS application, then checking your offers and emails, all while juggling the stress of revising for how many exams again?! You’ve got your place, and in September, you’re off to University. Well, as perfect as finally getting started may sound, you need to be aware of some of the things that no one tells you about starting uni. Nope, these tips I’m about to share aren’t in any handbook, on any brochure or mentioned on any open day.

So today I’m going to save your life, and give you my top 7 tips for your first semester at university.

Tip #1

Establish your own rules

If you’ve moved into halls it can seem incredibly exciting. You’re finally away from your parents and siblings, and have room and time to yourself. Wrong! You need to establish the rules between you and your dorm pals. You can’t let everyone in at 3am for the first month and then when you’ve got work up to your ears, lock everyone out with nothing but a sassy note left on the door.

Tip #2

Discount

So many places accept student discount nowadays that you need to shop around more. I know  I know, you love the mac & cheese that your mum always made you with ingredients exclusively from Waitrose, but girl, this is university and you can’t shop at Waitrose any more. And for the rest of you that can’t wait to live like a student and have nothing but takeaway all of the time, I’ll tell you a secret, the Co-op accept NUS cards. There you go, this is a majorly unknown fact, so you have absolutely no excuse for having stale pizza for breakfast for the third day in a row.

Tip #3

Wash Up After Yourself, Dammit

There are two types of people that live in halls. Those that feel like they’ve met their friends for life, and therefore don’t mind doing everyone’s washing up, every night, for an entire year, and those that leave their dishes to be washed by someone else, every night, for an entire year. To stop the former from having a breakdown and eventually turning on the latter, and attacking them with a spork on the final night of the first year, just do your own washing. If everyone does their own, everyone’s gets done and no one has to cry.

img_8432Tip #4

Being A Grown Up Isn’t So Bad

I know you may think that you can only understand the washing machine and cookbooks once you’ve finished your degree, but trust me, nothing is as difficult as it seems. Those big buttons on the front of the washing machine are literally self-explanatory. “Colours? Wtf does that mean?!”

Tip #5

Leave It, Lose It

You’ve got to be careful with your stuff, because whatever you leave in a public area, will become public property. Unless it is locked in your room, it is no longer solely yours. Yep, even if you have your name on it. Even your tub of your moisturiser is now for the random guy that stayed over in your friends room last night…

Tip #6

Sign Up, Level Health Up

It seems to be a right of passage that everyone gets freshers flu, the important thing is to know the difference between freshers flu, and still feeling unwell at the end of the first semester. Make sure you sign up with the local doctors surgery at university, otherwise if you do get ill in the future, you’ll be stuck with your friends staying away from you and people pointing at you from across the street. There will still be doctors in the town of your uni, they are still not allowed to talk about you to anyone, everything is the same, so sign the hell up!

Tip #7

It’s Nothing Like This

Finally, you’ve gotta realise that university is going to be nothing like you imagine it to be. It’s not going to be scary and intimidating, but it’s also not going to be insane party after insane party with everyone going wild, not if you don’t want it to be. It’s still a new environment, so people will be feeling their most vulnerable. Some people will compensate by being louder and more outrageous than they normally are, and some will hide in the corners and backs of the room. Gravitate towards those are acting how you are feeling; those are your friends for life.


Those are my top 7 (not to be taken seriously) tips for your first semester at University. I hope these tips help some of you guys out, and remember, don’t worry about starting uni, it’s going to be fine. You’re going to make some of the greatest memories and friends of your entire life, enjoy it all.

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Mindfulness In Mental Health

Today I wanted to cover something that I’ve been wanting to talk about for quite some time, but I couldn’t quite figure out how to talk about it. Every time I decided to set aside some time to write about this, I felt myself feeling like I was going about it the wrong way. Essentially, I told myself that I wouldn’t write this post, until I had found a way to write it in a style which could help people, and not just draw attention to problems, without at least attempting to share some ideas on how to handle them.

Now to start out with, I’d like to mention how happy I am to feel comfortable talking about this, and how proud I am that we as a generation are striving for the disappearance of stigma, and openness in regards to mental health. Now I’m not entirely blind to the fact that we still have a really long way to go before there is absolutely no stigma surrounding mental health and everyone feels they can be open about how they’re feeling, but I feel that we will vastly progress if we are unapologetic and each individually open with our struggles.

We have the power to make this a topic of discussion. We have the power to make people think. We have the power to create needed change.

So today I want to share something that has really improved my life, and that’s bringing mindfulness into your life. Mindfulness is defined as “the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something”. I can only speak from my own experiences, but using mindfulness in my day to day life has vastly improved how I feel.

Essentially I have found that by doing the following things, I feel much better, more present and relaxed.

Mindfulness of your breathing | I didn’t want to just share tips that can only be done when you’re at home, or have a lot of free time, so this one is perfect for if you’re feeling anxious or trapped, or having a difficult time in a situation that you cannot remove yourself from, bringing your attention to your breathing can be a quick way to slow your heart rate down and clear your mind. Try and focus on taking longer and deeper breaths, holding it for roughly 2 seconds.

Mindfulness of your activity | I know, that is just a sly way of saying exercise. Now trust me, I am not one for crazy exercise routines, so I’m not going to recommend spending 3 hours in a gym 3 nights a week, because I know that doesn’t work for everyone. For me personally, I just try to go for a walk or a light run if I’ve noticed that I’ve been inside for too long. Your body will let you know if you need some fresh air, it’s all about listening to it.1Mindfulness of your surroundings/influences | If you take a step back from whatever it is that you’re doing, take a moment to evaluate whether or not it’s benefiting or bettering you in any way. If you’re surrounding yourself with negative people, and find yourself watching and listening to negative things, those things will affect your mood, and your approach to everyday life. I know it’s so easy to say ‘cut those things out of your life’, whereas the reality is that it is incredibly difficult. But believe me when I say you’ll be infinitely aware of how much more positive you feel about your present and future.

Mindfulness of your diet | Again, I am not one for diets, be they fad or not. I just think it’s important to listen to your body when it comes to what you’re eating and drinking. By all means, eat chocolate if you’re craving it, allow yourself a cheat day if you are dieting and you want a cheat day. The best piece of advice I could give anyone is to simply drink as much water as you can. That, and sugar free lemonade is life changing, you won’t believe how decreasing a little bit of sugar in your diet can clear your mind and make you feel fresher and better rested, as opposed to the harsh ups and crashes of caffeine and sugar.


Thank you guys so much for reading this post, it means a lot to me that you guys read my stuff. I am so grateful to the blogging community for being so uplifting and supportive, it truly is a place where I feel I can be open about anything I want to discuss.

Please leave any tips you guys have for picking yourself up because I think it’s always helpful to hear a range of tips from different people.

Can’t Sleep Colouring

We’ve all been there. It’s the middle of the night, but your mind shows absolutely no signs of slowing down and settling to sleep. Trying to tackle it by watching tv, or reading can often be useless because those things only wake your mind up more by getting your imagination running.The Can't Sleep Colouring Book So when I found this book, I had to try it out for its original purpose. (I say original purpose because adult colouring books like these are designed with a plethora of uses in mind. Many of which prove very helpful for many different things.) The Can't Sleep Colouring BookThe Can't Sleep Colouring BookDoing an activity like those that are featured in this book really do help you to shut off your mind and relax, as you are focussing on a single thing, and your mind doesn’t usually wander. This means that your body alerts your brain as to how tired you are, making sleep a much more achievable outcome. Furthermore, the actual illustrations of this book are all designed with serenity and peacefulness in mind. These illustrations are created to affect you subconsciously and induce feelings of relaxation; all lovely things for drifting off to sleep!The Can't Sleep Colouring BookThe Can't Sleep Colouring BookHowever, this very outcome is also incredibly helpful for when it comes to anxiety. If you suffer with anxiety, doing something mindless like this can prove very effective in calming your mind if you feel an attack coming on, or if you feel as though you are in a situation where you might feel anxious.The Can't Sleep Colouring BookI myself have found that this book is perfectly fit for its purpose, and it assists in many other ways, but it’s also just a nice way to pass any free time you might have.


Let me know if you’ve got a similar book, or if you’re contemplating purchasing one now in the comments!