The Experience of Your Life!

So guys, its been a little while… Coursework deadlines, exams, placement sorting and trying to get time in with the family before heading away for my placement year, so here is my update…

They say that going to university is the start of your life… It truly is.

Thanks to Aston University with their connections and my amazing parents I’ve had the chance to go abroad for my placement year. Now when I say abroad, I don’t mean across a couple of borders but….. 10,000 miles away. Yup im spending the year in the Sunshine State…. Queensland, Australia!!!

Whilst most go for industrial placements I opted for a study placement at Queensland University of Technology as it was the best option for me to get over to Australia and well, I felt that I could thrive further from another prospective to the theoretical aspects of business. No Regrets. In fact, its potentially the biggest and best decision that I have made.

Although I am yet to have a Summer break – I started in July Australia’s Winter… actually feels like summer at 20⁰ – it’s been oddly relaxing.  The atmosphere her is unbelievably laid back and the opportunities to get out there and explore are endless. Me, im exploring the more daring activities so far…

Rock Climbing —— Check

Rock Climbin 15-07-2015 (14)
Kangaroo Point Cliffs, across from QUT Gardens Point Campus

Skydiving —— Check

Skydiving (1)
Byron Bay Skydiving, New South Wales

Bungee Jumping —— In Progress

[Insert Image Here… Soon]

The scenery here is just amazing too and its weird how you can go from being a couch potato and only going out to lectures, pubs and work to wanting to get out exploring for hours on end… Even when you’re dying from the heat. Having said this, its weird how you can get motivated to do coursework too; nice non British weather and scenery to take you away for your 5 minute breaks!!

View from QUT Gardens Point Campus
View from QUT Gardens Point Campus

So I guess what im trying to say is that, when you’re applying for, about to start or progressing with university seriously consider the prospect of doing a placement year… Whether you stay in England, Europe or explore the world… Do a study or industrial placement… It is all worth it and the world honestly becomes your oyster!

Aston, well what can I say. Without them I probably wouldn’t have realised my potential in travelling to Australia; opportunities to apply for placements over here and meeting people from here in my Freshers year of whom have been a huuuuuge help in moving across the world!!!

So I think that I have said enough for my first, welcome back post aha. I hope to be hearing / seeing about your choice to carry out a placement year… No matter where in the world you are. So for now…

Stay safe, explore your options, relax, have fun and… Keep Calm

 Chloe … x

 

Where’d the time go?

So guys, we’re well into the second term of the academic year, week 6 ALREADY!!!

One of the biggest problems with this term is the feeling of letting yourself down after the declaration of “New Term, New Me”, yes, its a thing. Forget the “New Year, New Me”. We all know that you made a promise to yourself that you would come home at the end of the day and re-watch the lectures, writing up your notes into something a little more revision friendly.

But lets face it, that didn’t happen… Well it might have for the first couple of weeks.

For all you first years, you probably don’t have much of an excuse for this to go down the drain! Before you ask, having a week or two “we got through our first term celebration” doesn’t count as an excuse, no matter how convincing you may sound.

In your second year you will see why this isn’t an excuse, because, in second year it generally goes down the drain because of placement search and applications.

So how can we overcome this, well I think the best way would be to make a “serious” study plan, get it down in writing. Yes, this can actually work, particularly if you have “reward” nights. The way I see it is that the more work I do, the less guilt I feel for having a weekend of nothing. Well not nothing, going out for a few with your flatmates.


So I found some top tips to creating a study plan:

  • Place the calendar or printed schedule in a visible location so that it is easy to see and follow.
  • When writing dates on a physical calendar, use a pencil so that it is easy to make changes if needed.
    (This doesn’t mean that you can rub it out and totally forget about it!!!)
  • Don’t create a schedule that is overly rigid or that isn’t flexible enough to accommodate emergencies or conflicts that may arise.
  • Schedules should be created so that the study times are consistent each day, which will help create positive study habits.
  • Don’t forsake well-balanced meals for study time. Poor eating habits can lead to fatigue, an inability to concentrate, and consequently less effective study time.
  • Schedule study time in a location that has minimal distractions or interruptions.
  • Study one course at a time for no more than two hours.
  • Color coded schedules are often easier to see and follow.

 

If you are serious about the whole “New Term, New Me” following this simple study plan can help, just remember, you are allowed to have some You Time! There’s no point in over working yourself.

Have fun guys and good luck to all those second years out there with your placement searches..

Keep Calm

Chloe … x

That time of the year again!

So, it’s the beginning of December which means – for those who have not yet begun – it’s time for the festivities to begin…

Frankfurt Christmas Market
Its time to take that stroll after avoiding it for so long. Deadlines are almost over so there’s now free time to battle the crowd WOOOH

German Market

Making The Flat Look Homely
Yes, it’s time to get your parents to cart all your Christmas decorations to uni, including the 6ft Christmas Tree
Christmas Tree

Mince Pies
The only time Mince Pies are “acceptable” so lets over indulge, make sure we have enough to get through another year without them
Mince Pies

Alcohol
Because… Well… We are uni students, it’s Christmas and we need something to wash all the Mince Pies down with

Fancy Dress
Let’s face the facts, there are going to be a lot of Santa’s and Angels over the next few weeks.
So will you be the one to go out dressed as a turkey? Be different?
Turkey Fancy Dress

Just remember guys, especially those new to the City and haven’t witnessed German Market Madness, it gets super busy this time of the year. Especially for Christmas nights out, people travel from around the country to celebrate in Birmingham

Enjoy your festivities guys and say safe

Keep Calm

Chloe … x

Random Dance Parties!!!

So, it is 03:00 on a Saturday morning.

Unfortunately for me I am not up at this stupid hour doing this because I have been out celebrating the weekend after what has felt like the longest week of lectures. Instead I am currently up as I am a second year needing to “market myself” to some pretty important professionals… Yay for placement years.

But that’s for another time I guess…

This morning I guess I just wanted to share a little something that might help you through these all-nighters that you are probably going to become familiar with… So throughout my first year at university myself and a flatmate loved to have a “Random Dance Party” – I use the term dance loosely – at random times during the night… If you’re a fan of Grey’s Anatomy then you know what im talking about!

So why not put your favourite / guilty pleasure music on and just let yourself go and refresh quickly. I personally enjoy a bit of the 90’s… Spice Girls – Wannabe… Smash Mouth – All Star… Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit… You get the jist … So here’s a quick demonstration…

Even if you’re on your own – like myself – you have no excuses to not give it a go…

If you are studying with someone don’t be shy and show them moves that you’ve been saving for a time like this!!!

Keep Calm

Chloe… x

Freshers Week!!!

So, after the nerve racking journey to your new home at Aston University, the stress of unloading the car, unpacking your boxes and finally being able to convince your parents you’re alright and they can leave, its time to get ready for the “best week” of University… FRESHERS WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK

After a few days of freshers week you’re going to realise several things…

  • This is the week that you’re going to learn how to really be independent, more so than the rest of the year, why?!?

Well lets face the facts, if you’re able to sort food and drink out with a killer hangover – even if it is just a  takeaway – then you’re more than alright to organise it on a day-to-day basis. However probably best you don’t boast this to your parents, they aren’t always understanding of this achievement.

  • Networking is soooo much easier

When it comes to freshers week, you’re going to be playing games during pre-drinks where you can really see personalities coming to light. Letting you get to know someone through indirect contact and giving you the chance to find common ground to help start up some kind of relationship with them. This particularly helps if you haven’t really found others doing the same or similar course as yourself.

It’s all about letting your hair down!!!
  • No matter what your personality you’re going to be talked into freshers events

Even if you’re not much of a drinker, it doesn’t mean you can’t join in with the freshers events including pre-drinks. This applies to if you’re a shy / nervous person, don’t worry about not fitting in, the week is all about being able to have fun and settle before starting your lectures.

  • Knowing where to get fancy dress is important

During your first week you’re going to realise how “normal” it is to actually do fancy dress for certain events.  This means that during Freshers when you finally decide that maybe you should do fancy dress you’re going to be running around Birmingham finding the best places for fancy dress, so that you are prepared for next time rather than being the odd one out…
*The Rag Market is the place to go… you can get ready made fancy dress or buy your fabric to make it*

  •  You’re going to become a professional at most if not all drinking games… Ring of fire in particular

Each day for your pre-drinks you’re going to spend an hour or so playing drinking games. Typically by the end of the week you’re going to know what every card means within the rules of Ring of Fire by heart, to the point where you will probably start adapting some of the rules to make it a hell of a lot more interesting.

 

So for now guys remember… Just be yourself, don’t worry about what others think and have fun… Freshers is the week where you don’t have to worry about early lectures!!!

Keep Calm

Chloe … x

Over packing worries!!!

So, since its only a couple of weeks until the big move to University you’re probably sat staring at a pile of boxes, suitcases and bags taking up a substantial amount of space in your room wondering if its going to fit into your uni room let alone your car!!!

Still got more to pack!!!

So this would be a great time to tell you – DON’T WORRY – pretty much every student moving away from home are in the same position. I was exactly the same when I first went to uni, I decided to take everything I could possibly pack from my room regardless of whether I used it or not because lets face it “its better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it”… right? This meant that I had to have a train journey with my sister and meet my parents and things down in Birmingham.

I can honestly say, it does not get much better over the years. I am currently in the process of packing for my 3rd move to Birmingham and even though I have already taken some boxes down to my new flat I still have quite a bit to take with me – hopefully there’s a bit of room for me in the car – I even left some of the “in-case” items out of my things to take this year!!!

Enough space for 10 pairs of shoes!!! and more!!!

However along with many other students in the same position, I found that the accommodation on campus at Aston University provided me with plenty of storage space. If you have not had a campus / accommodation tour, then here’s a quick summary of your storage:

  • Wardrobe space
  • Under bed storage
  • Cupboard in your en suite
  • Plenty of cupboards in the kitchen for everyone
  • Storage above your desk.

 

 

All that’s left to say tonight is…

Keep Calm

 

Chloe … X

Getting started…

So, in just a few days we will be going into September which means Freshers Week is just a few weeks away and you’re going to be moving to Birmingham.

So now would be the time to start making a list of everything that you’re going to need in order to survive moving away from home, starting lectures and most important have fun at freshers!!!

The most important list of them all – whether your parents agree or not – Freshers Week List:

So the Fresher Week events have been released and its time to sort out the tickets and outfits that you’re going to wear, most of the events are fancy dress, so in order to get involved and have fun you’re gonna have to make an effort and spend those pennies.

However along with the fancy dress outfits you’re going to need something for pre-drinks – spirit and mixer generally- and some cheap cups that you don’t mind losing.

Freshers

 

Kitchen List:

We all know that at home new kitchen equipment generally just makes an appearance one day, so its probably best you get your parents to make this list… or even better, just get them to go shopping for you…

In the event that your parents are “teaching you independence” and making you sort it out yourself, you’re going to need:

  • Food
  • Pans – one pan may seem ideal, but in the event that you’re going to cook an actual meal you’re probably gonna need 2 or more
  • Oven tray – since you have to put your ready meals, pies and pizza on a tray before putting into the oven, also convenient for chips
  • Cutlery – make sure you have multiple of knife, forks and spoons as they WILL go missing at some point
  • Kitchen utensils i.e. fish slice, tongs, spoons including serving spoon – unless you have asbestos hands and don’t mind getting messy
  • Dining set – no one wants to eat off of a students kitchen table!!!
  • Oven gloves
  • Tea towel
  • Dish cloth
  • Washing-up liquid
  • Microwavable dish – because your microwave is probably gonna be your best friend
  • Glasses – need to mix cocktails in something right!?!

Bedroom and bathroom List:

So the basics for a bedroom and bathroom are the same for everyone

  • Bed linen
  • Duvet
  • Pillows
  • Towels
  • Wash cloth / Shower Scrunch
  •  Shower Gel and Soap
  • Tooth brush
  • Tooth paste
  • Laundry Basket – don’t forget your Washing Powder!!!

The rest is up to you to figure out, not everyone has the same things in their room and know what they need and don’t need in order to have a comfortable homely room at university.

Lecture and Seminar list:

Lectures and seminars can require different equipment dependant on the course that you’re doing as well as what you’re going to be comfortable using for note taking. However it is always a good idea to have the basic school equipment with you

  • Pen
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Rubber
  • Clear Pencil Case – mainly for exams
  • Laptop
  • Note pads
  • Sticky notes
  • Stapler

Make sure that you have multiple pens, pencils and rubbers because like your cutlery they’re going to go missing at some point during your time at university, whether its in your first week, month or year.


Let’s face it though, your account probably isn’t going to cover all of these items, so starting to do the chores and becoming model child to your parents is going to be your best option in order to get everything that you need… Try not to point out to your parents how much booze you’re going to be taking…

If your parents are a bit hard up on you about the amount of alcohol you’re taking, don’t worry you’re going to be in the city centre where there are plenty of late night convenience stores – Tesco on campus as well as Nisa just across the road – where you can get cheap beverages without your parents knowing…

Keep Calm

Chloe … x

Ever-changing summers!!!

Hey guys…

So by now you’re probably working out that as you get older and further into your education your summers are changing…

In school

  • How much stupid can I do in 6 weeks – Amazing stories to make me cool!!!
  • Plotting against teachers for making you work throughout the year (with threats of a phone call home of course)
  • ICE-CREAM VAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!
  • How worried can I get parents and grandparents with the tricks I do on the trampoline and in the paddling pool
  • How many neighbours can I p***off with knock-a-door run???

In college / Sixth form

  • What career do I want???
  • ICE-CREAM VAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!
  • UCAS, what’s that all about!!!

University

Lets face it, the summer holidays leading to university and throughout university are pretty similar…

You’ve made it through your (what feels like) 100th  exam without seriously injuring someone or damaging your sleep too much… but just when you think the stress is going to magically disappear it hits you… Hard… its time to worry about the results…

  • Did I write enough?
  • Did I revise enough?
  • Did I use my calculator correctly?
  • Did I use blue ink instead of black?
  • Which HB pencil did I use?

This is round about when you start to doubt yourself the most, since y’know, its just gonna potentially affect your WHOLE LIFE!!! Luckily enough when at university you don’t have too long between finishing your exams and getting your results… But it’s long enough to really really really annoy your parents with you whining that you haven’t done enough or you’ve done something wrong…

(Fast forward a little)

Your results are in… Let’s face it you’re gonna be looking at your screen through a tiny crack between your fingers covering your face, because of course you know that you failed!!!

However, as you begin to focus on the words on your screen, you realise maybe, just maybe your parents were right… AGAIN…

Should have listened to the parents

So as the news sinks in over the next few weeks, feeling the stress levels fall its time to start thinking about spending your parents money on the never ending list of things “needed” for university and not forgetting the most important part…

Freshers week!!! Because lets face it, its the only week you have no responsibility and no-one judging your antics… You hope!!!

So, all that’s left to say really is…

Good Luck on your A-level results and well done to those who made it into their next year of university!!!

No Matter What!!!

 

Chloe … x