Friday, 30 January 2015

Freshers: University is hard! Part 1

Hello my lovelies!

Before I dive into this, just thought I'd let you know that my brand new Facebook page was launched yesterday! Head on over and give it a like to be updated whenever I post something new and there'll even be some sneak peeks and behind the scenes kinda things for you all. 

Now I know I'm always super encouraging about giving uni a go and I've done all these advice posts for freshers but now it's time to get in to the real stuff. I'm talking about the hard hitting, life changing reality of university. This is probably going to span over two, maybe three posts but I'm going to start with a bit of a personal perspective. 

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to go to university. I don't know if it's because none of my immediate family (parents & grandparents) went to uni or if it's because I've always loved to learn but either way I don't ever remember there being a moment I did not want to do a degree. When I was looking at what I wanted to do for my GCSEs, I looked at the courses on offer at universities and I decided I wanted to work my way up to a particular course. Sure, things have changed since then because things never go to plan, but at that moment I made a huge decision and set my path in life. 

I decided to move schools to do my A levels because I wasn't happy to continue working in the environment I had been - it's not that I didn't like anyone there, but the majority of people weren't my kind of scene and the teachers couldn't really handle their students so I wasn't getting the most out of my education. I opted for a private education and I was super lucky to have that chance and I became a happier, more confident person, but I was still heading down the same path. University was where I wanted to be. 

Now in my second year of university I feel I've started to find myself. I learnt new things to love about myself and discovered that I don't have to be what people expect of me. I can make my own decisions and I can do the things I want to do. Never did I dream that I'd start up a blog that would be read by people worldwide! That being said, I'm still set on the same career path of Education. The degree I'm doing isn't what I'd always wanted to do, in fact, I really had no idea what I wanted to do at undergraduate level, but I've discovered a passion for English Language that I never knew I had. I've also discovered that there's a lot more to Education than I thought and there is a way that I can bring together many of the things I enjoy in the future.

But University isn't an easy ride. First year is a breeze, sure, all you need to do is pass! I struggled with my time organisation and money management and I felt like giving up so many times but I knew I never would. There are still days when I want to just jump on a train and go home to my parents because things get on top of me... but that's when my friends jump in and remind me that I'm not alone. 

So many university students go through struggles, whether they're physical or emotional, and so many are scared to speak up about them! But we shouldn't be scared. Every university has people you can go and talk to, people who won't judge you and who will listen and try to help you. You may feel alone and lost in the vast ocean of adulthood but you never ever are. They say that university is where you find your friends for life and it's true, you do. I have met so many people who I know I'll be able to bump in to at any point in the future and chat like we'd never spent time apart and for that, I'm so thankful. 

If you're at university and you're struggling, just remember you're not alone. Chat to a friend or knock on a neighbour's door. Someone will sit and help you out with a cuppa and some biscuits (oh so British!) or even a pizza! If you can't find anyone because you feel you're too close to them then get in touch with me. I'm always happy to have a chat with anyone because I've probably been in your shoes at some point over this past year and a half.  

I would like to go in to more depth about the hardships of university but I think I'll leave that for a second post as there's been a whole lot to say in this one!

All of my contact details are here and I hope that you'll feel brave enough to open up.

Love you all! 


Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Top Procrastination Techinques

Hello my Lovelies!

Before we begin, this post is not to encourage you to avoid doing things that need to be done but rather to show you the most popular ways that people waste their time. If there's a task you need to get done then it's always better to do it sooner rather than later. That being said...

If you're anything like me, getting stuck-in to a piece of work is something you just love to avoid and you will do anything other than what you're supposed to be doing. Confusing, right? But hang in there, you'll understand where I'm coming from once you've seen my top ways to procrastinate.

1. Netflix!

This was both my best and worst investment in 2012 as it opened me up to a wider world of film and television but it also gave me a huge distraction when I don't want to do my work. My favourite things to watch in order to waste time are Disney films or horror films, after all, who doesn't love a classic or a good fright?!

2. Cleaning/Tidying

I hate tidying up (as I'm sure my parents would vouch), however, when I have essays to write or work to be doing I often find myself wanting to clean and tidy to an extreme. I'm not only talking putting things away, but also: arranging drawers, cleaning windows, moving furniture and sorting through clothes. It sounds crazy but it's amazing how much time can pass when you're doing mundane tasks.

3. Blogging

Yep. You've guessed right if you're wondering 'is Tamsin supposed to be doing some work right now?' because I am almost definitely, probably avoiding some. I find that on my study breaks or when I'm stuck on some of my work, if I go away and write a blog post, I can then go back to it later with a fresh mind and new ideas. It's a way of giving my brain an academic rest and filling that break time with something I enjoy.

4. Tumblr, Twitter or other Social Media

I can honestly spend hours scrolling through Tumblr and Twitter. There are times when I'll be taking a break from doing some work at about 9pm, I'll go on Tumblr and the next thing I know it's 2am! There's just something engaging about social media sites and they are so so good when you're looking to procrastinate.

5. Sleeping

Possibly my most popular go to activity after Netflix, this is something that can be done at any hour of the day and for any length of time. Got an hour between lectures? Half hour nap! Not going out for another 3 hours? 2 hour nap! It's 3am and you've been on Tumblr too long to go back to doing work? Go to bed for goodness sake! Lisa (@_lissssr) supports this wonderful method too and it's not surprising as it's just so good!

6. Cooking

Whether you're more of a baker or a meal maker, cooking is a really good way to pass the time. I find that if I make a whole bunch of meals at once and then freeze them, it saves me a lot of time throughout the week, so when I'm avoiding doing something else this is something I like to do. Not only is it incredibly useful, but fun too!

7. Make a cup of tea and read the paper

This one was suggested by Kevin on Twitter (@KevHochard) but it's something I very much enjoy doing once a week. It may be old school but sitting and having a cuppa with the newspaper on your knee can be incredibly relaxing and there are some super weird and wonderful stories in the papers these days. I tend to go for the local paper more often than the national but it's all down to your personal preference.

8. Work out/Have a dance break

You read correctly. That does say 'have a dance break'. Not everyone enjoys going to the gym or doing proper workouts so the next best way to de-stress in a form of exercise is to have a bit of a boogie. Stick your favourite songs on shuffle and go wild all in the comfort of your own room. It's amazing how refreshed you feel when you sit down to do some work after exercise.

9. Sing some karaoke

This is definitely something I do a lot - most of the time actually. I don't necessarily use it to procrastinate but it is certainly an activity that wastes away the hours and it's fun whether you can sing or not.

10. Get naughty (for the love of unicorns, if you're under age, don't do this to waste away the time, go play outside or do some painting instead!)

As many of you suggested it, I've included it! This one applies to the more mature of my readers, and maybe those of you with stamina. After all, a couple of minutes isn't exactly the greatest way to procrastinate. This isn't something I do, but I know it works well for some which is why it appears on my list. But please, be safe and use protection - if you're a student and reading this, there are soooo many horror stories that I could tell you.

11. Phone/Skype family/friends

It's always lovely to have a catch up with the folks but if you live at home, you could ring anyone else. I can chat away on the phone or on skype for hours with anyone and I don't know if that's just because I'm super chatty or because I've nothing else to do but it works for putting things off.

12. Buzzfeed

If you're anything like Philippa (@Philippaaro), you may be into online quizzes and articles on the very popular site Buzzfeed. There's always something hilarious or downright weird to capture your interest and spend your time avoiding that all important history essay or class marking that should probably be done before tomorrow.

If you've got something you'd like to add to the list then leave it in the comments or let me know on twitter! (@tammybecks) Or even on the brand new facebook page! (Tamsin Rebecca) Don't forget you can also get in touch through any of the means listed here.

Have fun procrastinating!

Love you all!


Wednesday, 14 January 2015

New Year, New Attitude!

Hello my lovelies! 

A very happy new year to you all, isn't it wonderful to be in 2015!?

We're now well in to the second full week of the year and it's about time I posted something for you all. Last year I did a post on my new year's resolutions and I'm going to do a similar thing with this post. I'm now back at university and settling in to my routine again but as many of you have messaged asking to meet me I'm also on the lookout to meet some of you so if you see me around, say hi! Also, if you're a blogger in the Chester area then drop me an email as I'd love to get to know the some of you lovely local bloggers.

Every year my resolutions tend to be the same, but this year I've decided to come up with some that are a little different to the things I'm used to.

1. Get outside more and enjoy the world around me.

I spend a lot of time indoors whether it's down to laziness, workload or other reasons and for this reason I really want to go outdoors more. I have been in Chester for over a year now and there's still so many places I haven't seen! 

My recent trip to Manchester had me seeing sunrise on the train for the first time!

2. Improve my fitness.

This one is a bit of an add on to the first resolution. I used to love running but in recent years I just don't go quite as often as I'd like to and it's led to a decline in my fitness levels. This year I'm taking some inspiration from Sprinkle of Glitter who's doing #GlitterGetsFitter on her Instagram (@sprinkleofglitr) and going out on more walks which I will build up to runs. I'm also going to workout more and find fitness routines I can do at home away from the gym.

3. Eat less junk.

I am a huge fan of takeouts, as those who know me are very aware of, however they are a huge waste of money. I'm determined to cut down to a maximum of 5 takeouts per term and instead opt to cook the meals I may be ordering in a healthier manner. The inspiration for this actually comes from Jamie Oliver's new cookbook - Jamie's Comfort Food. I've only flicked through it but it made me realise that I don't need to order junk food that's full of fat and oil and grossness because I can make much healthier versions of it myself! I've also been drinking fruit teas and keeping cleansed, it's really rather refreshing.

Healthy kick start to the day on this trip with some fruit juice (and a banana that you can't see)

4. Go out partying less.

This is something I actually decided to do at the start of the academic year. I have found that the idea of going out dancing and drinking doesn't appeal to me quite as much as it did last year, I'd much rather have a night in with a bottle of wine and a good book or movie. It's also going to save me an awful lot of money.

5. Save as much money as possible.

Leading on from the two previous, this is something that's highly important to me. Next year is going to be a huge strain on my wallet if I'm going to get my own place so I really need to put as much money aside as possible.

2015 is a huge year for me and it's going to take a whole lot of growing up. On the 6th of January I turned 20, I can no longer use the excuse that I'm just a kid or a teenager. I'm an adult and it's terrifying. But I'm determined that this is going to be my year, and I'm going to smash it right in the face. 

Let me know in the comments below what you've got planned for the year ahead, or you can let me know by getting in touch through twitter, facebook, instagram or email. All of my social media links are listed here.

I wish you all lots of love and happiness in 2015.