Sunday, 7 November 2010

Elo Elo Elo....

Finally, things seem to be picking up for me! I’ve eventually managed to move out away from that bunch of nutters, and into a much nicer, calmer flat (which is pink YAY)! Sadly, I already had a trip to Newcastle planned so I haven’t actually met my new flatmates yet, i’ve met 5 of them, so 4 to go. But they seem pretty nice! BINGO! 
I’ve been in Newcastle exactly 9 days now, it’s been such a fantastic week, I really don’t want to go back to Manchester, though I am looking forward to getting back in the swing of things down there, as much as I will miss my Gran.......I don’t know why i’m sulking about it really, i’m back in the land of the geordies in less than 2 weeks anyway, wooo! 
This week was reading week, apparantly meant for essay writing, unfortunately I can’t really say much of that has been going on. Woooops! Christmas shopping, and wrapping, and watching Saw 7 (which was fab!) and going out drinking sounded like much more fun than writing a boring old essay. I did manage to get 500 words down though, taking me up to a 1000......only 600 left to go! 
I have this formative assignment ‘thingy mi jig’ due in tomorrow, and I have approximately 0 words. Good work Stacey! On the bright side, I am sat here prepared to do some work, though clearly wasting my time on this thing, muahahahaha!
I suppose I better get going, unless I want to fail it, so for now, cheerio folks! 
P.S I hope you’re all having a smashing time at uni! 

Friday, 22 October 2010


So i’m well aware that my last post was a pretty morbid one......i’m hoping this one may be a little more cheerful! 
It’s friday afternoon, i’ve been naughty today, I skived my last lecture, I really couldn’t be bothered, and I justified it to myself by saying i’ll work on my essay - almost 2 hours later, i’m still sat here putting any work off. Truth is, i’m just shattered and I cba. Though I vow I will get some work done before the nights through!
It’s been an OK week this week. Nothing too exciting. I now have all 4 essay titles which need to be done and completed sometime before Christmas. How exciting! Ha. I have started two of them, but one of them i’ve completely lost all interest in know when something seems so simple, then you overthink things and make it complicated = a very confused self? Yeah? Well that’s me. What I thought was a simple essay, now feels like rocket science. I believe I have 3 weeks to get my backside in order. 
Started taking the gym more seriously this week. Think my hard work is paying off, i’m feeling better about myself. Having said that, no matter how much exercise I do, I still can’t get used to the 3 floor climb up to my flat in halls..........I still always feel like i’m dying by the time I get to the top. I’ve started swimming this week’s pretty cool, nice and relaxing, not to mention there is some pretty good conversation going on at the pool. Fell over getting out of the pool first time though, didn’t bank on the floor being that slippy, wooops! Hope nobody saw me, hahahahahaha. Nevermind, life went on!!!
I’m planning on going to the cinema tomorrow. I’m thinking maybe Eclispe (again!)..........or Paranormal Activity 2, though i’m not too enthusiastic because the first was a little shite........or Life as we know it, which looks pretty cool. I’ll also add that i’m dyyyying for the next Saw to come out. Yeeeha!
Halloween next week, woopee! I LOVE Halloween. I don’t do anything remotely exciting, ha, but this yeah, i’m going back to Newcastle for Halloween, I plan on stuffing my face with pizza, crisps, and sweeeties (it is Halloween afterall!) whilst watching good old Hocus Pocus. I’m really looking forward to carving a few pumpkins’s gonna be awesome!!! 

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

I apologise it's not the most cheerful post!

Soooo it’s been an awful long time I last posted a blog. Well, the truth is, I just haven’t felt like writing, i’ve had a hard time settling into uni unfortunately. Firstly, I didn’t click with my flatmates, they are all party animals, which I have no problem with, providing they don’t wake me up at 4 every morning, but they do. The majority act like children, which is appalling, we are supposed to be university students!
Secondly, i’ve been feeling quite homesick. I didn’t realise how much i’d miss my Gran, Dad, Mam and dog until I moved away. Thankfully, it seems to be getting easier though. 
I can honestly say Freshers week was like hell for me. It was boring, it was awful so I went home. I actually had more fun at home. I know going home isn’t the best thing to do but tbh, I just couldn’t hack the boredem. I was hoping to meet people like me but unfortunately not.
Thankfully, now work has actually started, i’m starting to settle in, now I actually have something to do. Woah, that makes me sound like a geek doesn’t it! I do get sad sometimes, knowing that I haven’t made any proper friends yet, but then I remind myself it doesn’t matter, i’m here for my degree, friends come and go. Having said that, it’s only 3 weeks in, maybe i’ll meet someone eventually, but for now, i’m content enough to get on with my work and visit family on the weekend.
Lectures! I never realised how boring they could be. I always imagined myself to be a thoroughly interested student, who paid attention and absorbed as much as I could. Yeah, right, truth is, lectures are possibly one of the most boring things on earth - sometimes I have to literally stop myself from drifting off to sleep. 
Wow, it sounds like all I have to do is moan right? Well, when your at uni, living with people  you don’t click with, and you haven’t made any friends yet, it’s kinda hard to be happy and cheerful all the time. So I apologise for my morbidness. Hopefully next time I blog, i’ll actually have something interesting to say.......or at least cheerful! Ha, believe me, i’d of loved to have written a piece on how amazing Freshers was, how wonderful the people are and how exciting actual uni is like, but i’d be lying. Ha!
Ciao for now folks! :) 

Tuesday, 14 September 2010


So it’s Tuesday night now, only 3 whole days until moving in day arrives. I actually don’t know how I feel about it. All of this just doesn’t seem real to me. Maybe it’s because i’ve spent so much time planning it, it feels as though it was never going to roll around, and now it’s almost here and i’m actually going. I don’t really think it’s going to hit me until I wave my Grandma and friend off on the train back to Newcastle. That worries me a little, because once I start crying, it feels like i’ll never stop.
I’ve been getting things ready and in order lately, packing is finally getting sorted (after unpacking and repacking a couple of times), I have so much stuff to take. I think i’ll need 2 taxis to get to the train station. Thank god the uni isn’t too far away from Manchester Piccadilly. 
I’m not sure how I feel. The thing i’m looking forward to most is joining the gym. Boy have I missed it! That’s my plan of action for the Monday, join the gym. Can’t that come any quicker? I feel quite sad because i’m going to be leaving my dear Gran and Dad behind. My world basically. We’ve never spent longer than 4 days apart, so this moving out malarky sure is going to be a challenge.
I realised something lately, I just don’t have enough photographic evidence of my childhood, and that saddens me a little, I keep thinking of these amazing memories.......past christmas’s, past birthdays, random day trips out with my Gran, and stupid silly moments with my Dad, and yet I have nothing to show for it. Nothing to remind myself in ten years time to say this is what happened, that’s what happened, and that makes me sad. So i’ve decided to make a pact for myself, from now, to take as many photos as I can, of anything! A cake mix gone wrong, a pretty christmas tree, my friends and family pulling funny faces, and I vow to make sure everything I take, I print, and put it into an album, an album worth treasuring, so that when I look back on them, those photos can remind me of how I felt at that exact moment in time, I want to be able to remember. My Grandad died 6 months ago this Friday, and i’ve realised that I don’t have any decent quality photos of him (he was camera shy anyway!), and it makes me sad because those memories exist only in my mind, there is no evidence or anything absolute to set as a reminder. So from today onwards, I vow to document every important and precious moment in my life. 

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

What's the crack?

Sooo it’s been a while since I posted a proper blog post. To be honest, i’ve been far too busy. It is now just over two weeks until I move down Manchester. I’m feeling really excited about it, but concerned with how much luggage I have!!
So far, I have one giant holdall which I have previously posted about, a suitcase which has bits and bobs in such as ipod speakers, smellies, bowls, etc. And I have a smaller suitcase which is dedicated to just books. I have counted, I currently have 13 academic books to take with me. And they are beasts! I’m not even joking, a couple are average size books, but I have a few huge books, big and fat and heavy. Thank god that suitcase is on wheels! I also have my laptop bag, which i’m not too bothered about. It’s the cases that’s got me worried. Firstly, I have no idea if i’m going to get them all in one taxi, which means costing around £20 to get to the station alone. Secondly, i’m hoping there is enough luggage space on the train without causing problems to other passengers. And thirdly, I don’t even know if I will get all my stuff down there! 
Anyway, aside from that, i’m very happy uni is getting closer! I sound like such a geek, but I really can’t wait to start learning. Sod freshers week and the endless nights of alcohol, bring on actual uni!
So how is everyone else feeling about uni? Any luggage problems like me? Haha :(

Maybe something useful......

Hi guys, firstly, can I just say that I have not written this list myself. I have gotten it from the Palgrave Study Skills book, I personally believe whilst the book is useful, it is a bit scattered and things are here, there and everywhere. So I decided to try and simplify it and write up a word document for my own personal use. But then I thought I might as well post it on here for you guys too. So I hope you find it useful! :)

**For some reason, for each point of the procedure, the net has decided to put it as number 1 for all of them. Ha, that's silly. I did have them all numbered correctly in my word document so I have no idea why they have changed, so just ignore it. They are all in order despite all being labelled as number 1! (I can't change it without messing up the layout!)

A seven-point procedure for writing assignments
  • Examine the title and course notes very carefully. What exactly is required?
  • Write one line to sum up your basic opinion on argument. Adapt it as soon as you proceed.
  • Brainstorm to record what you already know.
  • What do you need to read or find out?
Analysing the title.
If you do not answer the question, you will get zero marks. Write about what the question asks, not what you want to write!
  • Underline or highlight words which tell you which approach to take.
  • Underline words which guide you on how to select the subject matter of the assignment.
  • Write it out more fully, putting it in your own words. What is the assignment really looking for? What is the central question.
  • How does the title link to what you have heard in lectures? What else does it ask you to find out?
Make notes.
  • Note obvious questions prompted by the title, such as ‘Why did this happen?’, ‘How often?’ etc.
  • Ask yourself why this question was set. Is there some public or academic controversy you should know about? Are there important issues to include?
  • Note down your reflections on the title, and your opinions.
  • What do you not know yet? Where or how can you find out more? 
Use the title.
  • Put the title where you can see it easily.
  • Keep checking the exact wording. As you research and write, remind yourself of the exact wording of the title. It is easy to forget the focus of the title and drift off on a tangent.
  • In your ‘introduction’ (the first paragraph of your writing, refer directly to the title in order to focus your reading. Say how you interpret the title.
  • In your conclusion, refer back to the title. Link your final sentence to the question contained in the title.
  • Be selective - you can’t use everything.
  • Write a set of questions to guide your research - and look for answers.
  • Check the word limit to see how much information you can use for each point.
  • Keep a notebook nearby to jot down ideas.
Types of material.
  • Factual information.
  • Ideas, theories, opinions.
  • Experience.
  • Books, articles, official reports, surveys.
  • Data from laboratory work, projects, internet, interviews etc.
  • Television, radio, newspapers, videos.
  • Keep asking yourself: ‘Do I need the information?’ ‘How will I use this information?’
  • Brainstorming, pattern notes, linear notes, etc. 
  • Where you found the info and ideas - for your references list.
  • Notes of themes, theories, dates, names, data, explanations, examples, details, evidence, page numbers.
  • Make a big chart to link ideas and details.
  • Make a rough outline plan early on - you can refine it as you go along.
  • Keep checking what you are doing, careful planning helps to prevent repetition, helps to organise and clarifies your thinking.
When you have gathered the information, think about where you have got to.
  • What have you discovered?
  • Has your viewpoint changed?
  • Have you clarified your argument?
  • Have you enough evidence/examples?
  • What arguments or evidence oppose your POV?
  • Is it clearer to you why this task was set?
Now structure your writing.
  • Refine your plan. Work out the order to introduce your ideas, using patten notes or headings and points.
  • Work out how many words you can write on each point. What must you leave out?
  • Write a first draft, write quickly, it is only a first draft. You may find it easier to type headings onto the computer first.
  • To begin with, state things clearly and simply in short sentences.
Develop your first draft. You may need to do this a few times. Leave time between drafts for your ideas to simmer.
  • Rewrite your early draft.
  • Adapt the structure and organise the writing into paragraphs.
  • Make sure your argument is clear to readers.
  • Check that you have included evidence and examples to support your points.
  • Write out your references (or bibliography).
Writing drafts.
Writing is easier if research, planning and organising have already been done.
Draft 1: a quick draft to get ideas down.
  • Write out your interpretation of the title/question.
  • Write out your central idea or main line of reasoning.
  • Write headings and subheadings from your plan, but leave these out of your final draft.
  • Add in details below each heading.
  • Use your plan. Keep referring back to it.
Draft 2: Fine-tune the structure.
  • Checkin that information is grouped and ordered - especially into paragraphs. If not, colour-code and number paragraphs in the order in which you will rewrite them. 
  • Check that the line of argument is clear from one paragraph to the next - if necessary, add in sentences to link ideas.
Draft 3: Fine-tune the style.
  • Read it aloud, does it flow? If not, add in sentences or details where needed.
Draft 4: Finishing touches.
  • Aim to leave at least a day between drafts. After a break, you will find it easier to spot passages that need rephrasing.
    • Does it make sense?
    • Have you used the appropriate structure? Is connected information grouped together? Is information presented in the best order? Is the work well paragraphed? 
    • Have you backed your argument with evidence, examples, details, and/or research?
    • Is the source of your information clear? Are your quotations accurate? Are references written clearly?
    • Is the text easy to read?
    • Are any sections confusing?
    • Is it precise enough?
    • Is the style appropriate?
    • Does it follow any presentation guidelines you were given?
    • Look for mistakes such as typing or spelling errors. Look up doubtful spellings or ask someone. Look up doubtful spellings or ask someone.
    • If you used the computer’s spellchecker, check especially for words that may have been correctly but were wrong words. Eg, there and their.
Drafting on the computer.
    • Drafting on the computer is a continual process - you will probably find you make many small corrections and move texts about as you go along. Leave spellchecking until the final draft.
    • If you intend to make major changes to a draft, save a copy of the document with a number at the end of the name. Then edit the copy. If you change your mind, you can revert to the earlier draft, or use information from it.
    • In case of loss, print out drafts as hard copies and keep copies of files on a CD or a memory stick.
Print your essay.
It is easier to read and edit your work on paper printouts than working onscreen.
Edit and check your final draft.
  • Read it aloud to check that is is clearly written.
  • Keep redrafting until you are happy with the text.

Friday, 20 August 2010

The Day After Results Day.

So today is the day after results day, and i’m thinking I should record my thoughts and feelings now and not when i’ve forgotten. I would have done this yesterday, but I was exhausted. Anyway, here is my results day experience.
I woke up at 5:15AM, and you know that feeling on Christmas when you wake up and think “Woah it’s Christmas” and you get all excited, well I had that buzz in the air the moment I woke up, except it was nerves instead of excitement teamed up with my first thought of the day - “WOAH! It’s results day, oh god”. And I felt illllll.
So I went on TSR and had a neb around a bit and got a little annoyed with the retards who kept lying and posting stupid things about track updating when it hadn’t even gone live yet. Around 6:10AM, people started posting they’d got into uni. I couldn’t even get onto track, it kept bringing up the service unavailable page, this was really getting on my nerves, because for other people, they’d already put their details in, I couldn’t even get that far. It was beyond frustrating. By 7:00AM, I still had not been able to get onto track :( 
Ten minutes past and I got a text message from a very good friends of mine sending bad news. Unfortunately she didn’t get into uni, totally gutted for her. So I rang her up and made sure she was ok, blah blah blah, and I asked her if she would check my track for me if she could get on, so she did, and waiting for that to load, we rambled on about the options available to her, and unexpectadly she said “You got in”, and I asked where, and she said my firm! So I was really happy, though sad that we weren’t both celebrating. 
After getting off the phone to her, I shouted up the stairs to my Gran who patiently waiting in bed for me to tell her my fate. “Your granddaughter is going to Manchesterrrrrrrrr.” To which she came running down the stairs with a massive grin on her face, to squeeze me and say “Get in there me darlin”. Bless her. I then text all my friends and my Dad who was really happy for me, and said he was very proud. 
Ten minutes after my friend had told me my fate, I got a text from MMU saying Congratulations. My first reaction was “Aye flaming typical, all this nervous waiting around, until my friend looked for me, and then they decided to send the message. They could have sent it bloody earlier to put me out of my misery ha!”. I really wanted to see for myself , the UCAS track saying i’d gotten in, so I kept trying. Eventually, almost 3 hours later from the original starting point, I managed to lock into track, at 8:50AM. Not fantastic for someone as impatient as me!
I went to get my results, they weren’t amazing. BCC, but I was happy with those for several reasons:
  • That was the offer the uni had given me.
  • I know i worked hard to get those grades, unfortunately i’m not one of those lucky people who can get Cs without work, and As with work.
  • This year, has by far been the hardest of my life, so i’m quite happy i’ve managed to get the results I needed regardless.
  • During the Media exam, I was actually in no fit state to be out of the house, I was physically ill, so the exam was like hell for me. But I managed.
One thing that actually surprised me was my Sociology results. I’ve always struggled with this subject. I resat a D grade, and managed to pull it up to a B. Also resat a E grade and got it up to a C, which by the way I was very proud of. The exam was split into sections, your supposed to pick the one which your college have taught you. But I took a gamble, instead of doing Power and Politics which i’d been taught, I chose Media instead. And i’m bloody glad I did. And then in the final Crime and Deviance module which everyone says is so hard, (I was very panicky about that), I managed to get a B, unfortunately all of these grades added together, BCCB, added up to a C overall. But nevermind, i’m still very happy with those! 
When I got home from college, my Gran had a bottle of Smirnoff Ice on the table, and a card which had some money in. I was most pleased with the card, I plan on putting it on my corkboard/noticeboard at uni. So that everytime I feel like slacking off, i’ll look and it and be reminded how good it feels when you know you’ve done your family proud! Plus, it’s a pretty card, tis good decor! :)
Anyway, before I went home, the rest of my day consisted of phoning up uni’s to try and get a place in clearing for my friend (unsuccessful!), and a driving lesson. By the time I got home, I was shattered and ready for bed. So I put my PJs on, ordered a kebab, settled down in bed, with Finding Nemo on and my bottle of Smirnoff. I tell you what, that kebab was bloody lovely! Finished off with Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough Ice Cream, kindly bought by my Grandma as a treat! 
So yeah, that’s my results day, which was a very good one! :) I hope yours was as exciting and rewarding as mine. For those of you who got the results and university place which you want, CONGRATULATIONS and best of luck with your studies! 

Monday, 16 August 2010

A Never Ending Week.

It’s monday today. Just two full days away from Results Day, and it feels like it’s lasting forever. 
I had a nightmare this morning, right before I woke up. It was results day and I checked track and it said unsuccessful to both my offers. So I cried, then I went into my Gran’s room and we cried together. Then I got my results which revealed I got EUU. So that brought on a new round of hysterics because I don’t understand how I could have possibly got those grades with the amount of work and revision i’ve done. So I set about planning on re-sitting the whole year. I woke up, and paused for a couple of minutes and thought ‘it’s not results day yet’, you can imagine my relief when I realised it was just a dream. Gah, all this waiting around is making me anxious. I don’t have a great deal of impatience as it is, so this doesn’t exactly help! 
Come on results day, hurry up!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

An Essential List for Funnsies!

Hi guys, well I got a great suggestion from CharlottexBelle on Formspring to compile a list of essential items to take to uni. Now I can’t make this from experience because I haven’t started yet, so i’m kind of making this list blind, however, this is in my opinion, the must haves for uni! ........
  • Photos. For several reasons. Firstly, to decorate your room, it’s going to be your own little place for a while, you might as well make it homely.  Secondly, when your feeling home sick, I know photos may make you sad because you miss someone, but they can also put a smile on your face, and remembering a good memory is definately the way to go to cheer yourself up. I’ve lost count the amount of times i’ve been sat on a bus grinning like a chesire cat because i’ve remembered a good time, and people are sitting giving me funny looks. Maybe they should try it! 
  • Footie Shirt. Ok, so it’s not an essential, but I was de-cluttering my room this afternoon and I came across my old Newcastle shirt. I don’t wear it anymore, so I had an idea, whey!  I’m going to stick it on my corkboard at uni, it shows where I come from man! And I love where I come from. Newcastle in my opinion is amazing. If you haven’t been, i’d recommend you try it out, shopping is awesome. Plus, this shirt is another way to decorate my room. It’s not an essential, but if you’re proud of where you come from, you could maybe think about putting one up...........a one you don’t wear! :) 
  • Bottle Opener! This in my opinion, is the most essential item. (Oh yes!), so you have a bottle of booze, FANTASTIC! And then you realise you have nothing to open it with, (Ohhh no!) so you spend some time frantically running around like a headless chicken trying to find out. So yeah, bottle opener is a necessity. Unless of course “Ye hard as nails’ (Geordie talk) and open it with your teeth. I really wouldn’t recommend trying this if you want to keep them in one piece!
  • Inhalers. Ok this is me personally. If you’re asthmatic, i’d definately recommend you stocking up a few inhalers at the start of the semester in case you don’t time to run along to the docs while you’re at uni.
  • Tablets. Medicines. Etc. A few of you may have heard of Freshers Flu. Apparantly everyone is guaranteed to get it, I hope i’m lucky! Anyway, I reckon you would be wise to stock up on painkillers, flu tablets, cough medicine, etc, you get the picture. You aren’t at home anymore, Mummy won’t be there to run around after you!
  • A Notebook. Seems pretty obvious huh? Well, my Dad advised me to take a small notebook to keep track of cash. Everyweek, budget before you spend anything. This will help you see how much you have spare, whether or not money is going missing or you’re unexpectadely overspending, etc.
  • White-tac. Nobody wants to leave at the end of the year with the accommodation people on their backs about little pieces of blu-tac or pins in the walls. White-tac is apparantly less likely to mark.
  • A USB Memory Stick. This is very much essential. And also I tip I came across in one of my study books. If you miss a deadline, losing you work because of technical problems is not an excuse and you will lose marks. So it would be a good idea to always back your work up to a USB stick. That’s what I plan on doing. That way, if you computer breaks down, or you by accident delete your work, it’s ok, don’t panic, you have it saved elsewhere. My study book also recommends you save all your work to the uni computers as well as your own, that way, it’s saved in 3 different places. Surely the guy on the cloud doesn’t hate you that much to steal all your work! (Sorry if any folk are religious, i’m not trying to be offensive).
  • A Planner. In my opinion, this is an absolute necessity. To record everything down, work, lectures, seminars, assignment deadlines, exam dates, etc. EVERYTHING. Again, i’d definately the Palgrave Student Planner, however, if you are after a planner/diary which is a page to a day, this isn’t the planner for you. Seven days is spread out over two pages.
  • Highlighters. I love highlighters. They are so helpful. Great for highlighting important points in work notes or books (only if you own them!) Everything seemed to mould into one when I was doing my A Levels, until I started highlights, things started standing out and i’d remember them better. Personally, i’d recommend using a bright yellow highlighter. It’s the only colour i’ve found that doesn’t leave a blotty darker colour spot where the highlight has left the page (anyone know what I mean?) So yeah, should you decide to use them, definately yellow.
  • CV. It sounds daft doesn’t it? I mean, a decent CV can be put together in less than half an hour. BUT! By having an up to date CV, if you see a job advertised, you can quickly get it printed and sent in, much quicker than if you didn’t have one. It saves the stress of getting one created, especially if your low on time.
  • Condoms. Ok, so i’m not here to lecture you on birth control. But really folks, nothing is going to put a downer more on the whole uni experience, than a screaming baby in tow! You may think in the heat of the moment, that it doesn’t matter, but I promise that’s not what you’ll think the morning after.
  • Pads and Tampons. Sorry guys if you’re reading this and are squeamish, but it’s true. Ladies, i’d advise stocking up on these now if you seen them on special offer, you’ll thank yourself if your time of the month rolls around and you’re a bit strapped for cash! I think my Gran is planning on buying me a years supply (Oh dear lord!). 
  • Earplugs! If you’re like me, and you cherish every moment of sleep, AND you turn into the incredible hulk if woken from that sleep, then definately invest in some earplugs. Excellent especially for nights before exams when you just can’t sleep because of the racket or whatever. Come to think of it actually, they may actually be good for those who are easily distracted, they can be used to help you zone out from any distractions and focus on whatever work you are supposed to be doing.
  • Subject Specific Dictionary. I’m not sure if this is necessarily an essential, but i’d recommend getting one if you think you’ll need one. For example, last year when I was studying Sociology, I was forever looking for definitions of terms instead of focusing on actual revision, it was a godsend when I discovered the Sociology Dictionary. I couldn’t believe i’d never thought of looking for one before. And i’ve found that alot of subjects have these kind of things. I plan on buying a Dictionary for Criminology for Amazon. Oh that’s another recommendation for you. Don’t buy any books from books shops, they cost an arm and a leg, buy from Amazon, sometimes you can even get them really cheap and brand new. For example, a few months ago I bought a Criminology book which cost me £30, if I had of bought that from the shops, it would have cost me around £75. Massive difference! 
  • Slippers! If you’re going to be living in halls. Slippers are a must. Halls floors, especially in the kitchens get filthy and sticky. Nobody wants stick feet right! Get yourself down to Primark or something, probably cost two quid or something, hardly going to break your bank balance! ;)
  • Alarm Clock. It doesn’t matter whether this is an actual clock, aslong as you have one. Phone, organiser, clock, whatever it is, just make sure you have one. 
  • ID. It really wouldn’t be wise to turn up to uni without some form of ID. No matter how much you prop your boobs up and out, I can promise you, you’ll find some bouncer who will refuse you access without some ID. And you lads should know bouncers can be even stricter with the male species. Don’t spoil your night, go prepared. 
Of course there are other necessities for uni, such as bedding, cutlery, etc. I will get down to those before I go to uni.......i’ll write a proper list. This was just a kind of fun essential list to do :) 

Saturday, 14 August 2010

More Recommendations For You Guys!

Hey guys, so I mentioned in a past post that I was waiting for a holdall and a book to come through from Amazon.
Firstly, the holdall. I started searching for a large holdall/suitcase when I realised that my luggage at home really wasn't going to be enough to fit everything in, and since I plan on trying to get everyone I need down in one trip, I knew this might be a challenge. So I set about doing some research and found that even the biggest suitcases don't have that much capacity inside, even though the prices are crazily high. So I decided on a holdall, and found this one on Amazon, which was £28.50, the original one I wanted was from Argos but they had sold out, and then I found this one. The main thing that attracted me was a) the reviews, it didn't seem to have any bad ones (that I can remember anyway), and b) how much it could hold. It holds so much stuff, I have almost my entire wardrobe packed in that thing, as well as a couple of coats, and a few teddies (gotta make the place look like home!)..........I tried taking a few photos to show you guys what it's like, but my bluetooth is being naughty so i'll have to make do with the one from Amazon's website.
pastedGraphic.pdfThe only disadvantage of this is that it is mega heavy when it's filled, but to be honest, that's not exactly a surprise, I knew it would be. The most important thing for me when purchasing this was to make sure it held alot of stuff, and boy does it. I've got so many clothes in here it is unreal. So if you're like me and have so much stuff and struggling to find the space to get it all to uni, i'd advise checking this can get even bigger ones, but I was bit intimidated by the size of this one, so i'm glad I didn't go any bigger. If you are interested in checking these out, i'll put the link here.
I've actually done quite a bit of shopping over the last couple of days. I went to my local diddy town shopping centre and got a couple of bits of clothes in. I'm trying my best to get as much clothes as possible to stop me from buying them when I go if that's going to happen, ha! :) But it's what i'm aiming for. And so i've been scouting round for bargains. Because i'm trying to stock up, i've been buying in bulk. I went to Matalan's and bought some mens joggy bottoms. Now I know what your thinking, "Why is she buying mens clothes?", I promise i'm not a freak......but i've found that mens lounge pants are so much better quality and more comfy too. Actually, the way I came across them was that my dear Grandad died a few months ago as i've already mentioned and alot of his stuff was left untouched, he'd just got brand new pjs and joggy bottoms and what not for Christmas. So my Gran was sorting his stuff out and thought I might like to have his joggy bottoms. I was a bit skeptical at first, because well, like you, I was thinking 'Woah, mens clothes, they ain't going to be any good for me'. I was pleasantly surprised however to find that I loved them. They are a tad long so i'm going to have to get them taken up in length, but they were so thick and soft. In comparison to the womens, which are so think and not very warm at all. Anyway, he only one pair of those, so i've pinched them, and yesterday when I went into Matalan I picked up another two pair. For £6 they are totally a bargain and will definately be comfy for me to lounge about studying in. Interested in checking those out? Here is the link. The only bad point I have to make about those is that they come right past your waist, but to be honest, I haven't found that an issue, i've just rolled them over and over until they reach my hips, it's not a problem for me, their cheap, their warm, their cosy, so i'm happy with those.
I also picked up some plain leggings from Select. I think they were £8 for two pairs. I bought 4. I know this may sound extreme, but i'm totally stocking up for the Winter to get me through, plus I go through leggings so quickly, because I wear them that often, they tend to get a few holes in after around 6 weeks, so it's best to have a couple of spare pairs.
Today I went into Matalan again, (great for bargains!), and picked up some slippers. Not very exciting, but I love them, they are so warm and comfy. I only really wanted them so my feet don't get sticky or dirty or whatever from the floors in halls. I've seen how messy they can get! These are my new slippers......Don't they look super cosy! :)
I've been on the lookout for some cheap towels, and I found some in ASDA the other day, I picked up the plum colour. Usually I would have went for pink, but I totally fancied a change. I bought two bath sheets, 2 for £10, and two bath towels, 2 for £7. They don't actually have the plum colour on the website, but they have others, if you're looking for a bargain. £5 for a decent towel ain't bad!
Finally, the last thing I have to review is a book which I bought from Amazon.........'HOW TO GET A FIRST, The essential guide to academic success'. Firstly, I just want to say that I'm well aware that by reading this book, i'm not just going to magically get a first, I know that, but i'm prepared to do everything I can in order to get one, even if that means a complete overhaul of my study technique.
I haven’t quite finished reading the book yet, but I am more than halfway through, and I can say it’s definately helped me. For some people, they may already know all this stuff and their technique is perfect, but for me, I needed the extra help, so it was worth buying. 
This is what the back says (the blurb?), whatever it is, this is what it says........
Do you have to be a genius to get a first at university?
In How to Get a First, Thomas Dixon argues that you do not, and sets out to demystify first-class degrees in the arts, humanities and social sciences, clearly articulating the difference between the excellent and the merely competent in undergraduate work. This concise, no-nonsense guidebook will give prospective and current students advice on the teaching and learning styles that prevail at university, and on how to manage their two most important resources - their time and their lecturers. In an accessible, and entertaining style, the author looks at subjects such as:
  • Making the transition from school to university.
  • Developing transferable skills.
  • Making use of lectures and seminars.
  • Using libraries and the internet.
  • Note-taking, essays, seminars and presentations.
  • Common mistakes to avoid.
  • Writing with clarity and style.
  • Revision and examinations.
Illustrated with many examples from a range of academic disciplines, How to Get a First is an all-purpose guide to success in academic life. For more tips and useful links, visit Thomas Dixon has taught at the Universities of Cambridge and London, and is now a Lecturer in History at Lancaster University.
I can’t promise this book will be useful to you, but I can already tell that it is helping me, and I haven’t even started my degree yet! So if you are interested in this, i’d recommend checking it out! If you want a more detailed review, just let me know, but then I might even have finished the book which will of course give me the opportunity to really let rip about this book! I’ll put the link here.......How to Get a First!
That’s all I have to say for the moment folks. Hope you are all having a great day! 
P.S.........5 days until Results. ARGH! 

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Ten Time-Saving Suggestions

Save rewriting notes, and find more quickly what you have written.
  • Write on ready-punched filepaper. (It can be moved more easily between files, and rearranged as needs arise). Notebooks are much less convenient.
  • When making notes, write each major point on a different sheet. Then, when you are writing essays or reports, you can shuffle pages as necessary. Make sure each page is adequately headed so that you can put it back in the right file afterwards.
  • Write your notes on a laptop, computer or an electronic note-maker if you have one of these.
Save time writing notes.
  • Avoid writing notes in full sentence - use headings and keywords.
  • Don’t rewrite notes in ‘neat’ (Arrrgh, i’m guilty of this!)
  • Leave lots of space so you can add details later.
  • Don’t write the same information twice, if two writers make the same point, note in the margin a cross-reference to your earlier notes.
Save time looking for your notes.
  • Keep them all in one place.
  • File them as you go along.
  • Number your pages and label or colour-code them by subject in the top outer corner, so that you can arrange and find information easily.
  • Note where the information came from, keep an (updated) guide to your files.
Save time reading.
  • Read only what is relevant to this essay or assignment.
  • If something looks interesting for the future but is not relevant now, fill out an index card or make an electronic record, noting what looked worth reading.
Save time in writing and looking up your references.
  • In the margin of your notes, write the page reference from the book.
  • For every book, article, etc that you read, complete an *index card.
  • Alternatively, keep n updated file of your references on the computer - you will probably use some for more than one assignment. Some word-processing packages have a card-index facility.
Use word limits to focus your energies.
  • You need to research less, read less, note less, and write less for a 1500 word essay than for a 3000 word essay. If you don’t spend less time preparing ad writing, you will take extra time later, reducing your notes and cutting text to meet the word limit.
  • Map out your work to match the word limit. Eg, Into 100 words, Paragraph 1 200 words etc.
Save time thinking.
  • Always carry a small book in which you can record ideas as they occur to you.
  • Try brainstorming to get your mind working.
Save time organising information.
  • Use numbers and highlighter pens to group information written on different pages, rather than writing it all out again. 
  • In the early stages of making pattern notes, use small post it labels so you can shuffle ideas around.
Save time writing.
Write assignments directly onto a computer.
Avoid duplicating effort.
Find a study partner to share research tasks and tactics and to bounce ideas off.
*An index card should include the following:
  • Topic
  • Names and initials of author(s)
  • Year of publication
  • Title
  • Volume/Collection
  • Edition
  • Location of publisher: Publisher
  • Where to find a copy
  • Brief summary of contents
The advantages of this approach include:
  • You will know exactly where to look if you need to double-check some point.
  • Writing the ‘references’ page is so much easier.
  • If you use a computer, you can simply ‘cut and paste’ references when you reuse them.

Effective Diary-Keeping

A ‘week to view’ diary for the academic year is ideal. Fill in all the important dates for the year, such as family holidays, medical appointments and study activities. Include everything you do.
To be effective, your diary or planner needs to be a complete record of what you have to do:
  • Write in all study deadlines, exam dates, field trips, etc.
  • Write in exactly where and with whom each appointment or lecture is.
  • Add in very specific study tasks, eg, ‘Read Chapters 2-4 of Urban Ecology’.
  • Schedule some free time to be used in catching up on what got missed.
Map into the diary the times when you will:
  • Think about the subject.
  • Prepare for lectures and seminars.
  • Prepare for other formal sessions.
  • Plan your work.
  • Organise and refile your notes.
  • Reflect on your learning.
  • Discuess work with others.
  • Research each subject.
  • Write early drafts.
  • Edit and redraft your writing.
  • Check your work.
Allow some time for emergencies and unforeseen events.
Your diary will be effective only if your keep it up to date and use it:
  • Carry it with you at all times.
  • Check it several times a day, especially at night and first thing in the morning.
  • Add new appointments straight into it.
  • Write inessential appointments in pencil, so you can make changes easily.
  • Organise entries so you can see at a glance which time is filled - to make sure you cannot double-book yourself.
  • Use the diary’s year-planner.
Use colours and symbols to indicate a different activities and subjects in your diary. If you use colour and symbols consistently, you will find after a while that you don’t need to ‘read’ the entries: you will be able to see at a glance what is there. Use a positive or energising symbol for activities you dislike.
  • Smiley face for socialising.
  • A pencil for writing.
  • A book for reading.
  • An ear for a lecture.
  • A bookshelf for the library.
  • A piece of paper for a final draft.
  • A happy sun ray face for an exam.
  • A road for travelling.
  • And a random pattern for a seminar.
  • Write a fresh lists of things to do on a piece of paper or post-it label (I find this very useful).
  • Divide the list into ‘Today’ and ‘Soon’ (so you are aware of what you need to do long term).
  • Write items under headings so that they are easy to see, ‘Study’, ‘Home’, ‘Other’ (or whatever headings suit you).
  • Star or highlight the essential items.
  • Attach or paperclip the list to the page opposite the current page of the diary.
  • Cross out all of the completed items so that you are clear what is left to do.
Look for time patterns that suit you. You may prefer to work in short spells of twenty minutes or find you are increasingly engrossed by study as the day progresses.
As far as possible, schedule study activities to suit your own time patterns. For example, if you begin slowly, schedule short activities, such as brainstorming ideas, early in the day. You may find it easier to write at night when it is quiet - or it may suit you to write in the mornings when you feel more alert.
Set yourself mini-goals as milestones, so that you have a sense of achievement.
  • Break larger assignments, such as writing a report, into smaller tasks: ‘Read course notes’. ‘Find course materials’, etc.
  • Break each of these sections into smaller tasks: ‘Make notes on pp. 20-40 or Business Management’.
  • Set a realistic time allowance for each mini-goal. ‘Make notes on pages 25-45: 20 mins’.
  • Give yourself a start time - and stick to it!
  • Set a target end-time. However, if you have not finished, keep going until you have.
  • The important thing is not how long you spend studying, but to complete each mini-goal.
Mini-goals work best when they are:
  • Integrated: Clearly linked to a larger plan, such as your essay, project or overall motivation for the course.
  • Manageable and realistic: Set yourself achievable goals.
  • Specific: So you know what you are going to tackle.
  • Measurable: such as a set number of pages to read, or a report section to write.
  • Flexible: ‘empty’ spaces into your timetable for emergencies, and be prepared to change things around if necessary’.