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’. 

Managing Your Time.

Hello again folks, here are the tips as promised. I hope you find them useful! :) Also, I think it’s important I confirm these tips and what not aren’t my own work, it’s just stuff i’ve got lying around in my room, which I think people could benefit from, before I hoy them in the trash! :) 
As only part of your week and year will be formally timetabled, you will be responsible for organising most of your study time. This can be challenging when there are committments such as work, family and friends to fit in.
Organise your time. To manage time well, it helps to do the following:
  • Be aware of your own time management.
  • Be aware of how much time it takes you to complete each type of study task.
  • Be aware that many aspects of study take much longer than expected.
  • Schedule time for unforeseen events.
  • Schedule time for relaxation and leisure.
  • Be very specific in your time-planning.
Set your priorities.
You may find that you have more things to do than there is time to complete. If so, it will help if you think through what your priorities are, either for the day, the week, or the year.
If you find yourself in this situation, it may be helpful to do the following:
  • Write a list of everything you have to do.
  • Underline essential tasks in one colour, and those that can wait, in another colour.
  • Identify the most urgent item on the list.
  • Work out the best order to do things.
  • Work out how much time you have to spend on each.
  • Enter each essential task into your timetable and diary.

Morning People!

Yo folks! It's currently 1:36AM and i'm lying here rather bored. I should really head off to bed but that would involve effort. Ha, i'm being lazy.

I don't really have much to say on the university front because nothing has changed in the last few days, Oooo, except i bought my towels the other day from ASDA. A nice plum colour. They are really cool.....well, as cool as towels can be ;)

What I do have is some leaflets and articles and random stuff which have advice for tips for new University Students, so I thought others might aswell benefit too, so i'm going to type those up for you! :) Tomorrow I am expecting my holdall to arrive, Mr Parcel Man did come yesterday but I was shopping in London, typical! So I changed the date and that is coming tomorrow, when it arrives I will give a review on it, material, sizing, etc. And on Thursday, my book which I mentioned in the first blog will be coming, I will give a review on that, obviously that one may take a while because I need time to read it.

Palgrave Student Planner
Now in my last post, I mentioned the Palgrave Student Planner, but I didn't go into too much detail, or give my full review so i'm going to do that now......

Firstly, I have to say, I was very pleased with it, it had everything I expected and more, so definately value for money.

- Year Planner.

- Notable Dates.

- A space for personal details, uni/college, emergency contacts/any allergies and medical conditions.

- Tutor contact details, along with subject, room, phone and email. There is a tone of space for these in case you have more than one tutor.

- Contact details for college services, eg, student union, student services, accommodation, transport, etc.

- Also space for essential local service numbers, eg gas, water, cinema, take away.

- Landlord details.

- Useful contacts, it gives you loans and finance, sexual health and family planning numbers etc.

- A list of useful websites (I haven't tried any of these yet, when I do, i'll recommend them if I think they are helpful), wow they take up like 4 pages!

- Also, they have tips on time management, revision and exams, managing stress, university language, spelling rules, grammar rules etc.

- Keyboard shortcuts.

- Cooking temperatures and laundry symbols. The laundry symbol idea is great in my opinion, I defo need help with those! :P

That's basically all the necessities. The actual planner itself was the most important buying factor for me, because I wanted space to be able to write what I needed to do, sometimes you see those awful planners/diaries and they have like 2 lines or something per day, which is just no good. This one has plenty of space.

At the back, there is a section for addresses and contact details. Also birthdays and events to remember. A to do list which is quite cool, this will definately come in handy, it has a column for when it needs doing, and a tick column too. This is followed with tips for managing your money, and a section which helps to sort out your own personal finances, which is really cool. Next comes a section for notes, and assignments and exam deadlines which is good if your like me and get your dates mixed up (I actually managed to miss an exam last year accidentally, it all worked out though, was only General Studies), then recommended reading by tutors, also tables to record which books you have on reserve from the library and when they need to be back. A revision timetable and subject planner, then a record of marks table, which again is pretty cool, easy to see how well you are doing. Then right at the back you have a timetable, so you can see this planner is just jam packed. I'm so glad I bought it, if you interested, i'll give you the link in a moment for you to go check out......... You can see here aswell, atm, the cheapest Planner on the marketplace and brand new is £3.50 which is so cheap compared to the shops, so a definate bargain! :)

I'll post the tips and stuff on a different post so they are easy to find for other people! So if your interested, bear with me :D

Saturday, 7 August 2010

First Ever Blog Post! :) Enjoy folks!

Hey guys, i've decided to start writing my 2010 Uni Fresher blog. This is my first ever post, I just want to say, if you have any comments or questions that you want to ask now, or later on about uni, Ucas, the products I might decide to review, you can email me at and i'll try my best to help you. So yeah, i'll just get into it.
I’m currently waiting on my A Level Results, needing BCC to study Criminology at  MMU (Manchester Metropolitan University). Right, so now i’ve let it out the bag where i’m going, I have to say this isn’t a thread for people to have a go at me, ‘that’s a crap uni’, ‘your wasting your money’ etc etc, you get the point, i’m interested. I’ve chosen to go there, simple as. Don’t like it, don’t read this. :)
I know some people may be thinking i’ve started this blog way too early, it’s only........Sunday 8th August, but I thought I might aswell get in the swing of things, plus I currently have some music downloading so i’m waiting up for that to finish, before I can go to bed, so I thought why not. Nothing better to do. I’m a little early for a few things actually......I have Home Alone on my tele :lol: Feeling rather festive.
I’m not sure how i feel about starting uni. Definately excited, maybe a little worried, I mean, I am going to be moving 5 hours away (by Coach). And well, my family life ain’t ideal atm. (Do people usually talk about this?), oh well, what the hell, if i’m going to blog, might aswell talk about everything. Basically, my Grandad died a few months ago and my Gran is struggling to come to terms with it, i’m very close to her, we live together, so moving away is going to be a challenge for both of us. Before anyone has a go at me, i’m not looking for sympathy or whatever, just simply recording my thoughts and feelings at this particular moment in time. This is something that has been bugging me for some time, i’m a little worried about how she will cope, but to get her in the swing of me not being around, I plan on visiting every weekend, just so i’m not completely abandoning her, when I can tell she’s feeling better about things, then maybe i’ll stick around Uni for longer. Secondly, I recently struck up a relationship with my Mum who I hadn’t seen for 12 years, unfortunately she is both mentally and physically ill, so alot of travelling will need to take place in order for me to look after her. Moving to uni sure is going to be a challenge with all this going on.
On a brighter note, things i’m looking forward to:
  • Meeting new people.
  • Doing my own food shopping.
  • Being able to roll out of bed 30 mins before lectures start.
  • Studying itself, i’m really interested in this subject (Ha, obviously), so I can’t wait to get started.
In the past few weeks, i’ve been slowly but surely getting prepped for uni. Just getting bits and bobs in ready, also to spread the cost. I know things are pricey, but I never realised how much it all adds to. So far, I have most of the necessities a student needs, bedding, cutlery, stationary (sp?) etc, you get the picture. I actually didn’t realise how much stuff I have to take, and with me travelling by train, that really ain’t good. So i’ve just bought a new holdall from Amazon, to say it is huge would be an understatement! I’m not actually sure about the quality and stuff because it hasn’t arrived yet, if anybody is having the same   problem as me and wants to know if it’s a good buy, big enough, etc, just let me know, and i’ll give my review! :) It was actually a bargain, I think it was £28.50, which isn’t too bad. There was a better one from Argos which I wanted but it was sold out :( Nevermind! 
Another thing i’ve recently bought specially for uni is a Macbook Pro. Now I understand that there is alot of conflict whenever anything Apple Computer related is mentioned. You either like it or you don’t. At first I was undecided which to buy between the Macbook and the Macbook Pro, I would of loved the iMac, but it really wasn’t practical with me travelling back and forth on coaches every two minutes. Anyway, after hours and hours researching on the net through reviews, tutorials and opinions on the Macbooks, I finally decided on the pro. You know the feeling that you get when your undecided on something, then you decide, and you have a little regret and wish you had got the other? Well I didn’t have that, so I definately definately know I made the right choice. I simply love it. Everything just works. I find Windows alot easier to operate, but that’s only because i’m not quite used to it just yet. Anyway, first impression: I was blown away. I fell in love with it. I picked mine up for £849 instead of £999 at the Apple Store, I just took a letter in to show I had a place at uni and they had no problems with it. I also bought the AppleCare which I think was £50, instead of £200 so that’s pretty cool. I decided to use iWork instead of Microsoft Word, I was bit iffy iffy about it because i’ve never used it before, I can honestly say, I prefer this to Word. I bought this for £50 from Amazon instead of £72 in the shops. Again a bargain! Something I haven’t skimped on is the case for it. I bought a £6 one from Amazon, it was pretty crap, I wasn’t really surprised for that price, needless to say i’ve sent it back. Instead, I sent my Gran to the Apple Store to buy me a decent quality one and she came back with a bright pink one, which had a logo on the front saying “Incase”, they are quite pricey at £29, but they are so worth it, so spongy, and the inside is covered in faux fur so the surface of your Macbook can’t get scratched, so definately worth the price. I think they came in green, blue, pink and black but i’m not 100% sure. 
The final things i’ve recently picked up for Uni are a couple of books and a diary. 
How to write better essays - Bryan Greetham, Second Edition. Now I can’t give a full and fair review on this yet because I haven’t finished reading it. I get the feeling it’s kind of patronizing because alot of what is pointed out is common sense, but again, I can’t comment fully because I haven’t finished reading it. I will tell you what it contains though. 
Basically, it is split into 5 sections.
  • Interpretation of the question
  • Research
  • Planning
  • Writing
  • Revision
I’ll probably give a proper review on it once i’ve finished. I bought that from Amazon for £6, so if anyone is interested, go check it out.
The second book i’ve bought is Palgrave Study Skills, The study skills handbook - Stella Cottrell, Third Edition. Again, I can kind of comment on this because i’ve read alot of it, and  completed the activities inside. This book has got a tonne of sections and sub sections. Alot of it is common sense, but still, it has some great tips. The sections this book has include:
  • Preparing for university.
  • Identifying your skills.
  • Intelligence and learning.
  • The C.R.E.A.M strategy for learning.
  • Working with others.
  • Research skills.
  • E-Learning, technology and personalised learning.
  • Writing for university.
  • Developing your writing.
  • Confidence with numbers.
  • Projects, dissertations, reports and case studies.
  • Critical analytical thinking.
  • Memory.
  • Revision and exams.
  • Planning your next move.
As you can see, it does have alot, and each of those headings, has loads of sub headings. This book is jam packed with tips, self evalutation sheets, etc etc. I bought that for £8 on Amazon. Again, if your interested, go check it out, but beware, some of it is common sense.
I’ve also bought the Palgrave Study Planner. Now that one, I totally blown away by what you got from it. It is more than just a diary or a planner. I will give a full review on this, but right now I can’t, it’s in my Gran’s room and she’s in bed so you know, I don’t want to disturb her. One thing I will say though, it’s definately worth the money and looking into. I think I paid £6 from Amazon, but i’m not sure. 
Finally, the last book i’ve bought, again from Amazon, is a book titled ‘How to get a first’, now I know this isn’t going to guarantee me a first class degree, of course not, I don’t expect. However, I am going into uni with the aim of getting a first or a 2.1 (isn’t everyone?), therefore I need to completely overhaul my study technique and skills, so i’m willing to take the plunge and buy a few random books if they will help me do that. I figured i’m going to make the most of my first year whilst the grading doesn’t count to get me used to writing in university style.
Lastly, i’m not sure if this is like a typical blog, I guess i’ve done quite a bit of reviewing aswell but nevermind. This blog will eventually become completely uni based but right now, i’m just getting into the habit of blogging. It’s bin so long since I last wrote one! :p: 
For now, g’neet folks! :)