Why having an alcohol-free freshers week is absolutely fine.

It’s that time of year again, 18 year olds (and older) have got their grades and are heading to university. While some of us chose to move away from home, others might be sticking around but commuting. Freshers week has a reputation as an absolutely crazy 7 day party where everyone spends the majority of the time drunk. But what if you don’t drink?

Whenever I meet new students I’m always answering questions by nervous people who either don’t drink or don’t like clubbing. It’s true most university events are surrounded by alcohol, club nights or pub crawls but believe it or not it’s still possible to have a great time without drinking. If you’ve been following my blog since I started you’ll know that I hardly drank at all in my first year and went out to a club a grand total of two times, I did drink I’d usually end up wasted at pre drinks because I was so anxious about going out and I’d panic drink until I couldn’t go. In my second year I started going out with friends at least once a month because I had people I finally felt comfortable enough around and got the party bug. Fast forward to this year and I can’t go clubbing even if I wanted to because of my spine and if I want to drink I can’t take any pain medication for two days, which would you decide?
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After my Freshers Ball, sober but smiling. 

People choose not to drink for a load of reasons medical, religious, or simply not wanting to. I remember being a fresher and feeling so nervous and like I had to drink if I went anywhere. I was so desperate to make friends and not be alone but I really do regret it. When I’m anxious or depressed, alcohol is not my friend, on more than one occasion I’ve gone out drinking when feeling like that and ended up crying when I got home, because I wasn’t feeling well and plus, alcohol is a depressant. Now I’m happier and have better mental health I can usually gage if I should have a drink or not.

What about you guys though? I’m going to give you some clichè advice, just be yourself. Starting uni is a whole new chapter in your life and for me it was a chance to start over and be who I wanted, it took a little longer but I’m pretty happy with who I carved out here. You’re a great person and I’ll bet you anything there is someone close to you feeling just as nervous and isn’t keen on getting wasted. If you’re in a new place with completely new people you have a right to not want to get hammered and a lot of people understand. There are people who like that kind of thing but if you’re not one of them it looks incredibly daunting.

If you’re not drinking there are so many benefits no hangover in the morning, you have more money, more time to go and do cool things (like exploring your new place!) and work out what you want. There’s also no problem with wanting to go out and try it too, that’s what uni is all about!

I completely understand how daunting starting uni is and sometimes I still feel overwhelmed…and I’m a third year! If anyone wants any tips, tricks or just a chat feel free to comment, email or tweet me!

Have a great Freshers week folks!

Why do I blog? Two years on and what started it all.

For the last few days I’ve been spending my time with some great students. These guys are around 16/17, just finished their first year of college or sixth form and are thinking about going to university and we got to show them around, take them to taster lectures and answer any questions that they had. So I loved working with these guys and they asked some great questions, one of which really got me thinking. Why do I blog?

Ah! Why do I blog? I really had to think so I just kind of went through the last few years and realised that it might be an idea to share it with you guys. SO first blog, my first blog was about books surprise, surprise.Basically my Mum was always nagging me to get rid of some books every time I bought new ones, so as a reason to keep them I set out to review as many as possible and fell in love with it. I done that weekly for about two years until I realised that I wanted to write about my experiences of uni.

I wanted to create a second blog for a while and played around with ideas and themes while I was 18 until I realised what wanted to read. I wanted to read about people like me. People who had no idea about uni, started completely clueless and to tell the truth about what it was really like. Around the same time I finally got a mental health diagnoses and I was passionate about including that too. So this blog was born on the 1st September 2013 (although it’s changed names several times before I realised my own name was pretty awesome).

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The beautiful picture of a very fresh faced looking me the week I got into university, aww. 

I knew what I wasn’t your typical student, at the time I didn’t really go out drinking, I was in a long term relationship and I had terrible Anxiety and Depression related issues. BUT! I knew I wanted to write almost every day about my experiences and my life so that others could find it and have a reference point and someone to ask questions too.

My reasons have evolved over the years such as: 

– I love to write every day, it keeps me constantly thinking and in practice

– Mental health is important and needs as much help as possible to beat the stigma 

– You don’t get a manual on how to be a student…so you might as well have some true experiences 

– I love talking to people! I have some great friends online now, like Caitlin, Alwyn Ash and so many more! 

– I had no idea what uni was about and was fed up of generic guides which were all positive! 

– I absolutely love it 

So why do I blog? For so many different reasons but mostly because I genuinely enjoy it. I’ve had people be SO impressed with the fact that I write nearly every day, but I just see that as normal. It’s not a diary (there would be a lot of swearing if it was) but it’s just me being able to reflect and share that with you all.

So I’m nearly two year in now and I love it. I plan to carry on this blog for as long as I possibly can really. I also want it to get better! I have already started my weekly book reviews, a few opinion pieces and I will be starting more top 10 and uni advice blogs! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this and if you’re even slightly considering creating your own blog, go and do it! Why not! Drop me a comment with your blogs below and I will try to follow as many as possible.

Thanks for reading guys and check back in tomorrow for a new book review! Also can I please say thank you SO much to everyone who has followed me, I now have 600 followers! I want to get to 1000 by Christmas and who knows I might do some kind of prize…ohhhhhhh!

Where has the year gone?!?!

Tomorrow I have my last lecture of first year English Literature. Last week my favourite module ‘Deabtes in Literature’ had its last lecture, tomorrow it will be for Writing and Rhetoric and that’s all my lectures for first year over. I didn’t realise when I signed up that it was 2 teaching blocks and one purely for exams/assignments and so it is a bit of a shock.

It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was packing up my things, nervous as hell and wondering how on earth I was going to get through the first year and now I only have a week and 3 months until I pack everythin away and had back to Basingstoke for a summer. Most people are planning on going home as soon as classes end, for me that would be the 21st March but Kingston can’t get away from me that esaily! I still have so much planned, a flat to find, assignments to write, my teaching job is 15 days between April and the end of June. I’m hoping to be working for the uni again if my interview goes well, fingers crossed!

I don’t really want this year to end, aside from not really feeling that good about the halls situation and my struggles with Creative Writing I’ve loved first year. I have friends, adventures and a whole different life here. I’m kind of a different person to who I was before and that’s okay. I’m more aware of my illness and how to manage it, I have more of an idea about myself I think and Kingston has helped a lot.

I makes me upset that in a mere few months a third of my degree will be done. As excited as I am at the thought of going into second year I’m bloody terrified too. The work will be uppsed, I’ll be living with Ali for the first time and I’ll be managing bills, a job hopefully as well as trying to keep the blog going. It’s easy, if I think too much, to get overwhelmed by this in an instant, to start to freak out and lose sleep, which I previously would have. I am working through ways of not letting things get on top of me and trying to keep my anxieties under control. 

So now I’m sitting here with part of next year reading list and taking a good go at it but for once I’m not rushing to start second year. Yes it’s me and I will do additional reading over the summer, I’ll try and get ahead but no in such an urgent way. I’m pretty happy just being at uni and taking my time a little more. Now I’m not saying I’m at peace and calm now, my anxiety has been a bitch for the past week but right now I’m just hoping I can appreciate what I have left of first year.

Always some bumps in the road

Today has truly been an up and down day, although despite everything it was definately better than yesterday! Although I’m dying ot tell you all every single detail some are just going to have to wait! It started with actually waking up on time and in a good mood, always a good start today.  After that some great new about No People Club (watch this space!!!) which left my bus ride to uni pretty brilliant. Follow that with a great seminar, a feedback lunch with the uni, some news on the nominations for the student awards and I was happy as pie for the majority of the morning. 

This is where the whole, one tiny thing can change my mood, comes in. I then recieved an email with some feedback and results from Creative Writing. The easiest thing to say is that I wasn’t best pleased and it had a pretty bad impact on me. Thankfully my friend Jen listen to me rant for a bit  before I spoke to disability, they’ll be supporting me now. That’s all I can say really, apart from it’s made me 100% sure I am right to leave Creative Writing. Even after I was still pretty low and the disgusting sight from the window of the bus of a man beating a dog in public had me on the verge of tears (If there had been a bus stop nearby I would have got off and gone after him, I would have also said something to the people around at the time!). 

I’m lucky that I have such supportive friends, the boys in the band were able to cheer me up within half an hour and we ended up having a night of chicken and band banter. Oh and I got an email to say I have an interview to be a student ambassador, something I’ve wanted since I attended open days myself, I screamed when I got the email. It’s all I needed really and now I’m sat here with Ali, full of chicken and pretty sleepy actually. So as you can see it’s always ups and downs but I’m lucky that today has ended on a very big up! 

The blog after the night before

Pulling my best duck face with Jodie, Ben and Amy in the SU.

When I woke up this morning I was slightly surprised. My head didn’t hurt too badly and the need to be sick didn’t seem to exist yet, for a brief second I wondered if I could have been as drunk as I thought I was last night. Then things started coming back to me, Malibu, Archers, Vodka, Jager and more doubles than I should have followed by attempts at twerking, slut drops and dancing in the middle of the bar with just Amy…no one else. 

I know what your thinking, where has all this come from? First the pub on Wednesday now out at the bar Friday night? I really don’t know, I suppose I’m trying to enjoy uni more this semester and socialise. I’ve realised that uni isn’t just about getting your degree. So I’m relaxing on the work front a little bit and trying to enjoy the other parts. So far I have something on every night next week. 

Managed to get Ali to come out too! Victory!! 

Although I definitely couldn’t do it every night, the change of company definitely made a difference. I can’t wait to go out with my Kingston Hill friends again! Sadly next weekend is a no go but I’ll be spending a night in with my little sister instead. It’s kind of a relief actually that last night happened. I haven’t been brilliant with my blogging this week because I’ve been struggling at uni. Creative Writing is really starting to wear me down and a lack of motivation doesn’t put me in the best mood. I guess there is a silver lining though,  while I only have to worry about passing Creative Writing I can go ahead and meet up with friends a bit more and simply get on with passing and then being able to let go. 

So there it is my lovely readers I’ve officially been accepted into the fold of ‘the fresher’. Of course there are a lot more embarrassing moments that happened last night, not that I’m going to let you all know them! It was the most brilliant night, I had my band boys around me, I was with friends and I finally let my damn hair down! Here’s hoping this year has started how it means to go on…

 

 

 

Do I look like a Kingston Uni student to you?

Today was my first day in Kingston and I have officially enrolled as a university student. As I write this I have an ID card in my bag and I’m wearing a lovely red Kingston hoodie (for the great price of only £20, ok so that is sarcasm right there). Luckily Ali and I had the same appointment slot so I didn’t have to go on my own, all the girls had theirs much earlier in the day so I took the opportunity to stroll around the absolutely packed Bentalls Centre. Oh that’s another thing I’ve learnt not to go into town on a Saturday unless I have too it was so packed I ended up eating lunch sat on the floor…

The enrolment itself was fine we had to explore rooms and spoke to different people from the university. I also met a lady who told me about a potential job for the uni as well as inviting me to go to something for the Chancellor, I gave her my email and I suppose we’ll see what happens. Apart from that today was quite normal I suppose I’m just getting used to being here and trying to get ready for a big week ahead. Oh God what have I let myself in for!