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What They Don’t Tell You About Uni…

Having just finished uni myself, there is a LOT I’d wish I’d known before. If you’re about to go to uni, or even if you’ve been, I’m sure you’ll relate to some of these…

  1. You don’t need to spend hundreds on the books that they recommend.

I remember in my first year of uni feeling so overwhelmed with the amount and the price of the books that my lecturers were recommending everyone to buy. The average price of an academic textbook can be between Β£30-60, and when you’re doing 3-4 modules over the course of the year, it all adds up! Oh and another thing, I also wouldn’t recommend doing the TONS of reading that they set. throughout my degree I didn’t buy a single book, take a single book out of the library – it’s too time consuming, and to be honest, lecturers are wanting current knowledge not something from a library book that has been sat on the shelf for 50 years. Academic articles and the WWW is your new best friend – use it and abuse it!

2. If you’re not a big drinker, you’re going to feel it.

What came first? the alcohol or the fresher?! :’) Freshers week is a fun time to be at uni, everyone is up for socialising, it’s exciting and you’re guaranteed to have a laugh. BUT, a lot of these social events involve alcohol, which is fine if you’re up for it, but if you’re not don’t feel peer pressured into drinking. I remember my first week at uni as a fresher I went out every night of the week, and went to all my lectures – it was exhausting but worth it! Then you’ve got the ‘returners’ – freshers doesn’t end after surviving your first week at uni, it begins again every year no matter what year you’re in. I’m not a big drinker myself, and would often go on night’s out sober and get questioned as to why on earth I wasn’t drinking. The truth is, I always have been a very health conscious person, and there is nothing that will change this – not even the binge drinking culture at uni. Alcohol is the most relied upon thing in freshers, it’s like everyone is dependent on it and can’t socialise without it – it’s a coping mechanism more than anything.

3) You won’t get as much freedom as you think will with your 3rd year dissertation.

I’m speaking on behalf of my own uni and my own experience when I say this, but it’s one thing that surprised me the most about my final year. I had spent most of the summer research an idea and planning how I was going to carry it out (like they recommend you to). However upon meeting my supervisor, it was obvious this idea wasn’t going to happen :’). In the end it was probably for the best, as my supervisor was very helpful due to it being a topic he was familiar with, but I can’t help but wonder If I would have enjoyed it more if it had been a topic that I originally wanted to do?

4) Homesickness hits hard.

Even the most unlikeliest of people will experience this at some point. It’s only to be expected when you’re used to the easy life at home and then you’re fending for yourself. I was homesick for a good while at uni because I felt so out of my depth. I eventually got over it, but It took me a while and many trips back home on the weekends to get accustomed to it! But the point is it takes time, and before you know it you’ll feel settled and content again. Also, homesickness is something people experience at different times. It can be within the first week, month or even 6 months! It’s not a sign of weakness or that you haven’t yet cut ‘the apron strings’ I actually think it’s pretty normal and it means that you’re out of your comfort zone. I have done a post more in depth about this, and how I overcame it which I will link here.

5) House hunting is stressful.

I’d recommend starting this before you break up for Christmas, and ideally secure one so you can avoid the rush when everyone comes back. Oh, and be prepared to lower your standards. I went to many a dodgy house viewing, one of them we got trapped inside a bedroom, as the door handle fell off from the inside…I’ve never seen an estate agent look so concerned :’) All part of the fun! Try and visualise what the house will look like without all the student mess everywhere, as difficult as that may be…

BUT…other than that I do think the experience of going to uni sets you up for a lot of things in life. I also think its not the be all and end all – think wisely before you go and thoroughly research all your options. I don’t regret going, as I know I have developed so much as a person, but I am thankful that it’s helped me realise that academia is not for me. Through uni I have found the path I need to take, and that is what I value most from my experience.

Thank you for reading,

Jazzy B ❀

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Finding Motivation for the Last Mile…

It’s true that the last mile is always the hardest. Hands down this past two weeks of uni have been very difficult for me in terms of my motivation. I am a very motivated person, but something is happening in these last couple of weeks – and I know for a fact by the memes people are sharing on social media that I’m not the only one! :’)

I’m hoping this post will also be relevant to those of you who are close to completing something that you’ve been working hard on, or that you’re looking forward to finishing. Below are a few of the things that I think about when my motivation is running at an all time low!

  1. Don’t let your effort be for nothing.

You’ve worked so hard for this, so don’t even think about taking your foot off the gas pedal because of the way you’re feeling currently. I’m a big believer in living life with no regrets – so don’t regret your lack of hard work in the lead up to something great. You may feel tired, you may feel drained, but these are all temporary feelings which will soon be over. Don’t wish that you had of worked harder.

2) It will all be over soon.

Within no time this will all be completed, you would have achieved something great, and how you feel now will be a distant memory. Bare this in mind, you’re so close to completing something great, its a matter of short-term pain for long-term gain. I find it also helps to think about how you will feel once it is all over, use this feeling to get you to the finish line!

3) Keep sight of where you want to be.

On a beach living the free life, please πŸ˜‰ The only thing that is going to get you there is your present self. Work hard now, and your future-self will thank you later. Nothing worth having comes easy, so put in the effort now. Remember why you started in the first place – you’re closer than you’ve ever been to achieving this.

Keep pushing, because now is not the time to stop…

Jazzy B ❀

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To Whoever Needs to Hear it…

For many, it’s exam season which means stress is running high and time is running out.

I not long ago handed in my dissertation, which I am still so happy about, and although I don’t feel it was perfect I am proud of the hard work I put in. I sacrificed a lot of time and sleep and now it’s a waiting game to see what I get. In the meantime, it’s another essay and an exam to revise for!

I’m seeing all over my social media people complaining about how stressed they are, how anxious they are feeling and how hard they are working. This turned my attention to how we feel about ourselves during this stressful time.

The thing I hate most about exams is that I don’t feel they are a true representation of a persons abilities and hard work. Learning just to excel at an exam and learning because you enjoy the subject and want to explore it more are unfortunately two different things. I feel in today’s society the education system (right the way from secondary to university) forces everyone to learn to pass an exam. The sheer volume of stuff you have to cover just in order to pass an exam now (especially A-levels) is ridiculous.

But to whoever needs to hear this, don’t let your exam results define you. You may be chuffed or you may feel disappointed with the outcome, but you should never let your results change the way you think about yourself. After all, they are not a true representation of your abilities or the hard work you have put in. Maybe I’ve been in education for too long, but there is far more to life than letting a grade alter your self-perception and making you feel worthless. It’s just a grade. It will not hold you back from achieving what ever you dream of in the future. Don’t be disheartened.

Keep things in perspective. Admittedly, the deadlines placed upon students make it easy for a healthy perspective to be lost. It forces you to push everything to the side and fixate on that one thing until it’s complete. Although this is a good mentality to get things done, its also very mentally draining. Every year after uni I feel so burnt out and need a week where I do absolutely nothing apart from gym and eat good food! I’m needing a lazy week!

The exam stress will all be a distant memory soon. Work hard but remember to keep things in perspective,

Jazzy B ❀

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Live In the Now.

Recently I’ve been thinking about my motivation towards university, as admittedly it’s been a lot lower than what it usually is. Although this doesn’t worry me, because I know my determination will see me through, it made me question why I feel the way I do.

The other day on my Instagram I read a quote which made a lot of sense to me;

If you are depressed you are living in the past.Β 
If you are anxious you are living in the future.Β 
If you are at peace you are living in the present.”


― Lao Tzu

I think there is a lot of truth in this, especially as I have been feeling anxious recently due to deadlines, dissertation uncertainty etc (all things which concern the near future). When relating this back to my own motivation levels, I think it can be said that I’m living in the future, instead of appreciating where I’m currently at. I’m so excited and ready for what the next chapter holds after uni, that sometimes it negatively affects how I’m viewing the present moment.

Living in the future is something I think we all do at times, especially if you’ve been in full-time education for what feels like a lifetime! As much as I have enjoyed my degree, I do believe that our education system encourages anxiety due to the silent pressure and expectation placed upon students to know what they want to do with the rest of their lives upon graduating. I’m very much somebody that when I have a goal in mind, it’s all I think about. Although this can have its benefits, it can also cause anxiety and a lack of appreciation for where I’m at now.

Of course, living in the future doesn’t just relate to education, it’s far broader than this. Every year most of set new years resolutions (goals which we believe will better ourselves or another in the future), we work hard and save for something we want in the future, we do so much to benefit our future selves.

But what about now? 

It’s so important to stop, take time out, and reflect where you’re at now. Having goals and a future incentive to work hard in the present is great for motivation but we have to know when to stop living in the future. A little appreciation for where you’re at now will go a long way! This is exactly what I’m trying to do – I have a clear plan for what I would like to do when I graduate, and I’m so excited to get to work on making this a reality, that I feel it’s becoming a distraction to what I’m currently trying to achieve.

Just live in the now – you never know what will happen tomorrow or next week and that’s the beauty of it. The future might not be all that it cracks up to be, and then you’ve set yourself up for a lot of disappointment, whereas right now we have the power to make each day exactly what we want it to be. Look forward to the future, cherish the past, but most importantly live in the now…

Thank you for reading,

Jazzy B ❀