Is Uni Right For You? Pros and Cons of Going To Uni

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Going to university is a big decision. With tuition costs as high as they are a lot of people are wondering if university is right for them. I was the first person in my family to go to university and, for a long time, I wasn’t going to apply. I thought university was for rich kids, I didn’t think I’d fit. I thought that all universities were like Oxford and Cambridge (the only universities I knew) but I was wrong. Through the persistence of a great teacher and my boyfriend I realised I could go to uni. That said I know uni isn’t for everyone! So, I thought I’d put together the pros and cons of going to university.

Living

Pro: You have the opportunity to move if you wish – I was terrified to move to a place I didn’t know but it was the right thing to do looking back on it. It made me be independent, it made me know that I can look after myself and gave me space to work out who I was on my own.

Con: Moving back after uni is tough. I see a lot of people who didn’t go to uni who are starting to get on the housing ladder because they’ve been working and earning while I’d been studying.

Pro: Being able to run your own schedule and your own life. You can eat when you want, sleep when you want and come and go as you please.

Con: Remembering to look after yourself. I really struggled in my first year with loneliness, I wasn’t close with my flatmates. I’d lock myself away for days on end sometimes, which was really tough.

Work

Pro: Some degrees are needed to get into careers, that’s a fact. Likewise, there are some jobs where graduates are preferred.

Con: It can be difficult to work and study. Everyone knows that student loans are difficult to live on and so if you live in a city it can mean long hours.

Pro: Student jobs can pay a good wage.

Con: Student jobs can have very crappy hours.

Friendships

Pro: Making friends from all over the world is a great perk of going to university. I learnt a lot about other cultures

Con: When friendships go wrong it can be hard. When you’re away from home and friendships go wrong it can knock your confidence and make you feel lonely.

Pro: Meeting new people. Meeting new people was great for me, I needed a change and I needed to rebuild myself, which was a huge positive for me.

Con: Moving back after graduation. When all of your friends are all over the country or world it can be really hard to adjust and you do miss the.

Money

Pro: Getting a Student Loan to help while you study was great (although depending on what your parents earn and your circumstances will depend on how much help you get).

Con: Going to uni means you’re not on a full time wage. This really depends on how much you want to study because I know a lot of brilliant people who didn’t go to uni, went straight to work and have built up a good career for themselves.

Pro: Over their lifetime, on average, a graduate will earn more.

Con: If you’re not studying full time you can get a lot of knowledge and experience in your industry, all of my family did it this way!

Learning  

Pro: If you love studying then of course uni makes sense! I loved reading and learning theory and debating, it was the best part of my degree!

Con: Uni can be really tiring and taxing. In third year I didn’t really sleep much, I was very stressed towards the end and got sick because of it.

Pro: You can create your own education. There’s so much choice in terms of courses and modules.

Con: If you’re not interested in studying, writing and sitting in lecture halls uni might not be you and that’s not a bad thing! There are so many ways to progress, further your career and learn!

There’s so much more I could come up with so by no means is this exhaustive. Whether you go to uni or not doesn’t determine if you’re successful. What are your plans? I’d love to know in the comments below!

One of those meltdown days

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Today has been one of those days where I just sat, freaked out and had a bit of a cry over the work that I have to do. Even though I know that my dissertation is in a place where I will be able to submit on time. So far I’ve never handed in a piece of work late at university, I may have had an extension of a few days, but nothing’s been capped for being late. I’m not about to start now.

There is still a lot to do here. I’m hoping to submit my dissertation on Friday, then I have a 5000 word essay to write and submit and then a 3000 word essay to finish and submit and ARGHHH. I think that’s enough to enable anyone to have a little meltdown. I might sound like I’m moaning and some people will think that I’m being more than just a little OTT, but this is hard work. Especially when my bed time has become 3am and I have been writing like crazy between the hours of 12 and 3. Not ideal.

So, hopefully I’ll make it through the next two weeks and be able to come out of it feeling a little more well rested and more positive. Wish me luck!

Sunday Seven – This weeks Favourites (14th -20th March)

It’s that time of the week again (although I don’t quite know how the week went so fast!) for me to write my Sunday Seven post. I’ve had a busy but not very picture worthy week this week so I’ve had to add in a picture of the wonderful Sylvia Plath at the end that is obviously not my picture, the rest are though! Enjoy my favourites of this week!

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  1. Star Wars Trainers (!!) 

Now, I already got some amazing slip on Stormtrooper shoes in Primark and didn’t get these and planned to go back and pick these up, by the time I got back they’d sold out! I’d described them to my Mum and if she saw them to pick some up and I’ll pay her back. She found them and this week I’ve been rocking the pink beauties.

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2. The Picture that mindf****d everyone this week

My Mum sent me the picture on the right today, while posting it on Facebook too. My friend commented that she was sure I had a picture like this too, which is the picture on the left. We look alike, we always have but with these side by side people couldn’t believe the likeness. I love looking like my Mum, I think she’s absolutely beautiful but I couldn’t help laughing.

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3. My Dobby Pop arrived! 

The second series of Harry Potter Funko pops have been released and I’m slowly acquiring them. I was a bit iffy about getting Dobby, but he is adorable and looks so cute with my collection.

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4. A Cup of Tea and a Good Book 

I was unexpectedly left with a hour and a half gap before my dyslexia session, in which I was able to grab a huge cup of tea. I’d forgotten how nice it was to get out of the house and just read somewhere else, without being interrupted. A definite, but expected highlight to this week.

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5. The Phonogram Series 

Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie are a dream team. I’ve previously read the 3 volumes of one of their other series’s The Wicked and The Divine and I was hooked. When this came into my local comic book shop I had to pick it up and I absolutely loved it, it’s made my top 10 graphic novels and I’, eagerly reading through the next one. It’s got goddesses, the 90s, Britpop, kick ass women and some amazing music references (and even a reference to Sylvia Plath). What more could  I want from a comic book?!?!

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6. Caitlin Moran’s Moranifesto 

Ah Caitlin Moran, my Feminist hero who made me realise that I actually was a feminist and the idiots around me were just bad examples. This is Moran’s newest book, only coming out recently and it is HUGE. I’m taking time to read it every night and missing sleep because of it. It’s funny but also deals with important issues from her Times column. One day I want to be as cool as Caitlin Moran.

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7. Sylvia Plath Interviews 

I currently have a love hate relationship with my dissertation. I love the topic and I’m passionate about what I’m writing about, but I have to write it and there’s so much to be included and finished in the next 6 weeks. Listening to Plath’s voice in interviews as part of research is definitely one of the better parts of my dissertation.

KU Talent Awards 2016

Tonight I attended my third KU Talent Awards! After being shortlisted for Rising Star in my first year, winning Overcoming Adversity to Achieve and being shortlisted for Second Year of the Year in my second year and now shortlisted for the Future Leader award, it’s been a great celebration throughout my undergrad. The nomination for this year’s award is for my work raising awareness and working with mental health, generally trying to make the world a better place. I’m home earlier than anticipated and I didn’t manage to collect an award this year, but I’m proud of myself.

You see, going tonight was about more than just trying to win an award to match the other, it was bigger. I’ve been anxious about it for the week, there are a lot of people at these events and there’s a lot of networking and on to of that I have to wear something ‘nice’. You guys know I’ve struggled a lot in the past year with my depression and anxiety and after my spine accident I lost a lot of confidence, so this years event was a big challenge. I did struggle tonight to sit, smile and engage in conversations when my brain was screaming RUUUUNNN AWWWWAAAAAAYYYYY, but I managed with my Mum by my side.

I’m not upset that I didn’t win, because I heard the story of the girl who did and she was an incredible person who really deserved the award for all of her hard work. Everyone has their time to shine, and mine was last year, which was truly one of the best nights of my life and I’m so lucky that my Mum got to share it with me. We don’t get to do as much just the two of us any more so I’m forever grateful when we get to hang out, because she really is my best friend.

I might not have won, but I got shortlisted and I fought my Anxiety and Depression once again and didn’t let it stop me, and that’s prize enough.

Passion and finding a job

 

As a third year student who graduates soon the question of ‘What are you going to DO?’ is cropping up more and more. I know I’m not the only one who wants to stuff their fingers in their ears and just shout la la la I can’t hear you while running away.

I love Ted Talks because I learn a lot and I realise a lot while watching them. I had a conversation with a friend recently about not knowing what to do after uni and not having one true calling. I’ve said before that I would like to do a Masters degree and a PhD but I know that this might change. I also know that there is a chance I might change my mind, a chance that I won’t get funding (which means it would take 4-6 years part time). There are a lot of things that could happen.

So while I have been applying for a graduate job (!!), looking at the kind of jobs available and thinking about what I want to do. So, I watched this Ted Talk because it looked interesting and I liked what she said. About just taking jobs that seem interesting and see where they go, that’s what I’ve done with my past 2 jobs and I’ve loved them. I’ve seen people doing the job and just like her thought ‘I could do that’ and my passion just grew and grew from there. All because I didn’t wait for this big show and dance of outright passion.

Don’t get me wrong I’m still going to freak out at times, I’m 21 and graduating. There’s a lot of pressure but I’m hoping I can keep this in mind and maybe you can too.

I’m not ready for 2016

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2016 is supposed to be an exciting year for me. Graduation for a lot of people is something to celebrate but with graduation comes a minefield of uncertainty and basically leaving me on the verge of panic attack central. As the days creep closer to the new year I feel like I’m digging my heels in and just saying no, no, no, no.

I’m not feeling happy or confident about graduating. I don’t like not having a plan and knowing what I’m going to do. I don’t know what I’ll graduate with, I don’t know if I can get a job or if I’ll get the one I want, I don’t know if my MA will run or if I’ll be able to afford it. Where will I live? Will I be able to deal with doing my MA and working at the same time? All these questions are running around my head and my anxiety is attacking me like a laser.

I’m hoping I’ll calm down and take it day by day, month by month but you do get asked a lot of questions. Everyone is interested in a kind way but it’s still stressful. Knowing that in a few months people will be coming to view mine and Ali’s home for the past few years and that I’ll have to start boxing things up again…To say that all this makes me emotional is an understatement and this is all probably a lot work because I’m tired and generally emotional at the moment.

It isn’t all doom and gloom. Some nights I think about exciting things and plans I have and ideas for the blog or the book I’ve always wanted to write. I guess it’s all ups and downs. I’ll try and go into 2016 with a day by day attitude because there are going to be a lot of changes coming my way and I am really anxious. I’m hoping I can work on my techniques and keep fighting the anxiety because I really do want to enjoy what I have left of my undergraduate degree and hopefully there will be good things to come in 2016.

 

 

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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!