17 Sept 2014

Goals for this University Year

At the end of this month I return to university after a nine month hiatus due to illness. As the time draws nearer I'm slightly nervous, yet mostly really excited, to be returning to the social and educational wonderland that is uni. And the anticipation of revisiting my second year has left me pondering on how to ensure I make the most out of the remainder of my university experience. So here's a small compilation of goals I'm aiming to fulfil in my second year of uni!

Join more societies. During Freshers Week, in my first year, I joined two societies; one that turned out not to be for me and one that I stuck with to this day. The one that I stuck with was the Rock and Alternative Music Society, which is where I ended up finding all my current university friends - which is sort of the problem, all my friends are from Rocksoc. And as much as I love them and the community, I'm eager to meet and befriend people from outside just the one society. So this year I'm planning to join a few more societies (English Society being top of my list) to hopefully broaden my social circle and experiences. 

Go to socials. Joining societies is one thing, but actually making the effort to regularly attend the socials is something else. As I mentioned previously, from the start of my time at uni I've been very active with Rocksoc and have made all my friends within it; yet I could count how many Rocksoc socials I've actually attended each year on one hand. After initially meeting everyone during Freshers and securing my friends I felt little need to actually attend the socials, and predominantly only turned up to the drunken soirees which were the society's bi-weekly club night. But clubs aren't necessarily the greatest place to make connections, which is why the slightly calmer socials are ideal social opportunities. So this year I aim to make regular appearances to the Rock socials, along with the socials of the other societies I join.

Make an effort with my coursemates. Most people make the majority of their uni friends on their course; I didn't. For me my lectures and seminars have been for me to sleepily soak in as much information as I could whilst counting down the hours until I could go out to see friends/go home and watch Vampire Diaries. I didn't make much of an effort to engage with my coursemates on a personal level. But being in contact with people on your course is not only very handy, but it's also rather nice, as you're likely to have lots in common with people choosing to study the same subjects as you. So this year I will actually attempt not to appear socially awkward when getting paired up with a coursemate for a seminar discussion and welcome being able to converse with someone like-minded.

Write for the uni magazine. My university, like most others, has a student run radio station, tv channel and magazine. And out of the three the magazine is the one that I've been most interested to be involved in. I actually had a piece published in the magazine once before, but it was an article I had written when I was off sick back home, so unfortunately never got to see it in print. So my aim for this year is to get another article published. As well as this being great writing practice it'll also be a fun challenge, as only a select few of the articles submitted make it into the physical magazine (the rest go up on the online site.).

Volunteer. This is something I've yet to do since being at uni. The only time I signed up for a project was for it only to be cancelled on the day due to snow! Volunteering is something I've loved doing in the past and that I've always wanted to do more of. And I believe it'd be a productive and enriching way to enhance my university experience and to meet some more people.

Start essays in advance. This is probably the most obvious one, yet possibly the hardest. Students are infamous for leaving essays until the night before, and I'm certainly no exception. It seems to be hardwired in a lot of us to feel unable to work without the pressure of a fast ticking clock. This method may actually seem to work for a lot of people, but what finally got me to seriously question my study methods is the fact that, last year before I had to suspended my studies, I was getting shockingly 'alright' grades. And all on assessments I started less than 24 hours before they were due. So this made me think - if it's possible to get decent grades when putting in the utmost minimum amount of time, then just imagine the possibilities when actually planning essays weeks in advanced and having ample time to go over and adjust them before handing them in!

These are the goals I have so far. Please let me know in the comments if you have any of the same goals, any different ones or any past success stories with completing your goals!


1 Sept 2014

August Favourites | Beauty

Here are a few short reviews of some beauty products that I’ve been enjoying in the month of August!

Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil

When it comes to foundation and concealer I usually stick with Bobbi Brown. But this month, as I approached the end of my Bobbi Brown concealer stick, I decided I may as well consider switching it up for something a little cheaper. I had been feeling neutral about the product for a while so I figured, why pay so much for a high end brand when I could be paying half the price for something more effective? When searching for a replacement I did struggle to find a good highstreet/drugstore brand in my shade, but finally I came across the Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil - and it is amazing. It completely masks my dark circles, which is one of my main concerns, and fully covers any other blemishes and discolouration. I find it also blends in really well with liquid foundation. My only slight annoyance is that it has to be sharpened regularly, but the pros far outweigh any cons. The pencil is also only £12 which I find is a ridiculously reasonable price for such a great and effective product. 

Rimmel 60 Seconds Nail Polish

It’s been a while since I’d purchased new nail varnish, so last week I decided it was high time! I was after a long lasting varnish as I seem to be prone to chipping easily. Despite the fact that most people seem to swear by Essie my only experience with an Essie nail varnish was with it chipping within only a couple of days, and I’ve never been willing to take the risk since. So whilst browsing in Superdrug this month I noticed some pretty shades of Rimmel's 60 Seconds Nail Polish and I thought I’d give them ago. I didn’t particularly find that this product dried faster than any other brand per say, but I was very impressed with the varnish’s staying power and I love the shades. My favourite out of the three is the Midnight Skinny Dip which is a gorgeous metallic electric blue colour, reminiscent of the colour of the sky between twilight and dusk. I imagine I’ll be wearing this shade a lot in the near future!

NYC City Proof Twistable Lip Colour

This month I bought NYC City Proof Twistable Intense Lip Colour, in shade Gramercy Park Plum. This was my first time with a lip crayon and I’m been having a lot of fun just with its satisfying application! I’m personally accustomed to dark purple/red lip shades so this purple is lighter that what I’m used to, but I find that it looks extremely pretty and may have even converted me to slightly lighter shades! The crayon leaves a soft but vibrant finish and a very long lasting coverage. I’m hugely happy with this buy and am sure to be repurchasing. 

Dr Organic Manuka Honey Rescue Cream

This is my favourite product that I’ve invested in this month. This year I’ve been struggling a lot with eczema, particularly eye eczema which I’ve been very self conscious about. So as you can imagine I’ve been spending ridiculous amounts of money on an array of creams and ointments, and hadn’t yet found any to be effective enough. Then recently through the grapevine I heard about Dr Organic Manuka Honey Rescue Cream and its impressive track record in treating eczema. I went and purchased it last week from Holland and Barrett and was extremely impressed. In the space of a week it has very noticeably decreased my eczema, which is an incredible feat considering how dyer my skin and allergies have been recently. I can’t give a full review until I give it a little longer to work but so far the eczema on my chest and arms has almost fully gone and it’s also managed to keep down the swelling of my eye lids. The product contains natural ingredients such as manuka honey, sweet almond oil and aloe vera and smells pleasantly sweet whilst feeling hydrating on your skin. The product is affordable at £8.89, but the downside is that it comes in a small jar, and if you are wanting to use it over a large area you may find that a single jar isn’t particularly long lasting. But saying that, the cream has a thick constancy and just a touch of it at a time applied to any given area will be more than effective.

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