Hello my wonderlings, I am so so so sorry for my absence this week, things have been crazy you wouldn’t believe!
Happy #FashionFriday (I am so incredibly sorry this post is so late) I hope that you all have a wonderful last-weekend-of-freedom lined up – I certainly don’t haha.
This week’s fashion article is going to be my essentials for Uni.
I’m going into my second year at Stirling University and I can honestly say I am so so hyped to be going back. This Summer has been super boring for me, and the weather has been a complete blue-do (literally) so I’m looking forward to getting back to University and getting stuck in to whatever they throw at me (which looks to be quite a lot).
Therefore, I have to be prepared for whatever I may be faced with in this coming Semester.
I pride myself in being prepared; that’s the one thing I always praise myself for. I’m consistently organised and I always plan and prepare for everything. I’m ready weeks in advance for things and I tend to prepare backups for most things just incase something crawls out of the woodwork and surprises me.
This Autumn I know what to expect from Stirling. I know it’s going to be cold – colder than Glasgow – and I need to prepare myself for the freezing cold waits at the train station. This means scarves, thick jumpers, hats, gloves, boots and a big enough bag to store it all in when I get to the boiling-hot University (It’s always so warm in every single lecture theatre that I always regret wearing thick clothing by the time I get there.)
It also means I need to keep a minimal makeup bag on me incase of emergencies. I was caught out one too many times last year and I severely regret not keeping my emergency bag and makeup supply on me at all times.
However I’m a little nervous because the bag I’ve bought for this semester is not going to be big enough to store everything in. It’s a brief-case-type bag, pale pink and thin leather with a short shoulder strap. It isn’t a brief case but I can tell that the people who made the bag (LYC London) took their idea from a brief-case; giving it a more stylish (and kind of less practical) look.
It’s a stunning bag and I absolutely adore it and I’m so so happy I purchased it, however, it’s going to be a bit of a squeeze fitting anything thick in there. I don’t even think a water bottle will fit as it’s quite a thin bag, the opening doesn’t stretch entirely far. However it is perfect for my notebooks, Macbook and textbooks and I know I’ll be thoroughly thankful on Tuesdays when I have to spend the entire day (from 9-5 – that’s 7am-7pm incl. travelling!) working there.
My Uni essentials are quite basic and common-sense, however believe me when I say that you cannot survive University without them. At the bottom of this article I will also post a list of hints & tips for surviving your first year at Uni.
Okay so first up we have a small collection of fashion essentials. First off is the “No7 Airbrush Away Primer” this can be bought for £16.50 from Boots and apparently it is a must have. I can’t say I’ve tried this product, or the “No7 Airbrush Away foundation” (also available for £16.50 from Boots) pictured below the primer. I have added these 2 products to my wish list and I am super excited to try them out and post a review for you guys. Once I have, it’ll be available (here). However, according to the reviews, these products are essential for long and hard days, which I recon is a must-have for uni.
Beside the primer is One Direction’s new perfume “Between Us”, available between £21-£31 from Boots (I’m not entirely sure if this perfume is cheaper elsewhere so you might want to shop around before going ahead and buying it.) Now to be quite honest, I think that this perfume is terribly overpriced. But then again, I believe that all celebrity perfumes are overpriced. I always thought that celeb perfumes were one of the more cheaper options of perfume, but One Direction’s tends to blow that theory out of the water. However, having said that, this perfume I would say is worth the extra pounds. I love the sophistication in this perfume, I think it’s a very mature and “dark” scent; the complete opposite to their two previous perfumes which were over-fruity, childish, sweet and light. (Can you tell I don’t like the others???) However I have no idea about the longevity of this perfume, or how it smells on the skin or clothing. I only smelled the fragrance in the store and I didn’t even take a tester. However, I do believe that this perfume is essential for the likes of school or university or college, as it’s a sophisticated perfume but isn’t too rich or dreamy for a night-out or any formalities etc.
Lastly but certainly not least is this beautiful Autumnal scarf from New Look which you can pick up for a bargain £9.99. I saw this scarf in store a few weeks ago and I absolutely loved it. I’m a natural red-head and so I tend to suit orange-rustic colours (Just so long as I don’t blend altogether because that is disasterous.) Some oranges do tend to wash me out, but this colour really brings out the bronze and orange flashes in my hair and I absolutely love it. I believe that this is a must-have for any fashionista at school, uni, or college, especially in the Autumn/Winter days when we’re all feeling that extra chill. Style with a white blouse and leather jacket and you’ll be the root of every girl’s jealousy.
Now onto the real essentials.
Last year I learned the hard way when it came to studying and lecture-notes. Let me give you my one main piece of advice which everybody gets but completely ignores.
ALWAYS DO THE READINGS.
Seriously, that’s it, in a nutshell. The big secret to succeeding at University is to always read the chapters and books that they give you. You might take one look and go “no way” but if you do it the way I suggest, it’ll take a huge amount of pressure off and you’ll still be able to have that Student Social Life that all adults moan about.
As soon as you get your book/reading list, purchase one book at a time (depending on when you get your list and if you can do this) buy second hand off Amazon as their books tend to be in tip-top shape for a reasonable price. That way, if you so wish, you can save the difference for a night-out or that item on your wish list.
Do each reading at a time; it doesn’t matter if you’re reading it months or weeks or even days in advance because the way I’m suggesting ensures that you have short notes to refer back to before lectures, classes, seminars and essay deadlines.
This is where my essentials come in. Make sure you have coloured post-its, index-markers and highlighters. These three items are so logical to every student; but not everybody uses them in the right way. If you’re like me; a visual learner; then this will be superb for you. If you’re any other type of learner, this will help, but maybe not as perfectly as it helps visual-learners. I learn in colours. A few weeks ago I was quite insulted when somebody asked me if I was Dyslexic because of this. I can assure you that no, I’m not Dyslexic, and even if I was, so what?! Colours are the best way that I can learn, and so by highlighting important passages of books (some people are uncomfortable with doing this, if you are then underline with a pencil so you can go back and rub it out when you’re finished, or simply take a picture of important passages and edit it to underline if you so wish) in for example the colour pink, then it’s easier for me to learn because I can then jot down that important fact on a pink post-it and stick it in the pink section of my project book, taking down a few extra notes in pink pen, so that when that topic comes up in class, I’ll remember that it was pink and I’ll be more likely to remember the fact at a later date.
I hope you’re all following, sometimes I can explain things really badly. But trust me, colour-coordinating your work helps so much. Especially when it comes to exam time because then you can transfer your important facts onto coloured card which corresponds with the note-colour you made at the start of semester.
Therefore, coloured index markers (to mark off important sections in your textbook for an easy-find when it comes to essay time, or during classes when you’re asked to refer to a specific passage or quote.) post-its, highlighters, pens and card are all must-haves for any kind of student at all. I just wish I’d learned this when I was still at school, that way I would’ve flown through my Highers.
You’ll notice that I also have lined pads in my essentials picture above. Now, I recently bought a ten-pack of 100-paged yellow-lined notepads of Amazon for a tenner. How fantastic is that? Last year two project books cost me £10 and they only had 200 pages (and not all of them were lined!). I used the two project books in under two months, which completely knocked me flat on my back. I didn’t realise I was going to go through paper quite so rapidly. So, this year I’m economising by refraining from fancy notebooks and cute little jotters and instead i’m going for the bog-standard notepads that you see in all the TV shows. I mean, really the main reason I wanted notepads like these is because the guys in Criminal Minds use them in interrogations and I got super excited when I imagined myself using them too in lectures. I know, I’m extremely pathetic, but it’s all about what you like and what works best for you.
Amazon is really the best place for all student essentials. Whether it’s textbooks, highlighters (in bulk along with other stationery) or notepads, they’ve got it in great sizes for great prices, so check them out before you physcially go shopping. We’re students so we have to squeeze every penny possible out of things.
Here we have reached my tips for surviving your first year of University. I really hope this article has helped you, and let me know if you want me to elaborate on anything, or if this has helped at all 🙂
- Be confident; I know this is a cliche and is really difficult for all us shy folk, but when you walk into that first lecture theatre, don’t shy away, be bold and confident and that’s how you’ll make friends.
- Don’t be afraid to talk to people; they’re new too – even if they’re 2nd years, they’ll be nervous too. So, comfort each other and strike up a conversation. Doesn’t matter what it’s about; try the theatre you’re in, or the lecture you’re about to attend or the freakin’ weather, they’ll appreciate and admire your boldness and won’t be rude at all.
- STUDY. That’s something I didn’t do a lot of in first year and I most definitely paid the price. As you’re going along, make sure you’re preparing for exams in the sense of note-taking and filing in a way that will be easier for you come exam time. You’re the only person who knows what works for you best; so get it done. Whether it’s colour-coordinating, voice-recording your notes, singing your notes to certain songs, drawing your notes into pictures, or just good old-fashioned reading; make sure you do it as you go along (try weekly or fortnightly summaries) so you don’t have to stress out and spend so much time studying or cramming before exams.
- RELAX. We take it for granted, but our bodies are fragile. Even Captain America needs to chill out at times; so get it done. After each study session, do the thing that relaxes you most. Whether that’s shopping, or taking a bath, or watching a movie, or chilling with friends, or taking a run or a work out, or going out on the sauce on a night-out. Reward yourself with each goal you achieve; even if that’s reading that super long chapter of your textbook. Every little task deserves a reward; that way we’re more likely to fulfil more the next time.
- PLAN. Exams may seem far away just now, but they’ll be on you before you know it; even if you have a half-full or jam-packed timetable; they’ll be with you quicker than the weekend. Make sure you have a study plan in place; even if you’re studying as you go, or even if you’re not; you’ll be thankful come exam time when you already have a plan. That way you can dive right in in order to get the results you desperately want.
- ASK FOR ADVICE. If you’re lost and don’t know where to go, or if you’re hating your major or module, get some advice. Whether it’s from your parents, another student, a lecturer, a tutor, an administrator, an older student or your own personal tutor, ask them for their advice. Advice is different from help; advice is hypothetical whereas help is hand-holding. They’ll only admire you for being honest.
- DON’T SQUANDER YOUR CASH. This is my biggest regret of first year. I had my loan and I thought it was fabulous having so much money. I went on nights-out, I bought new clothes and makeup and accessories every damn week and I was excessive at lunch and dinners. Truth is that’s only immature and stupid. You have a loan to spend, of course, that’s why we have access to them, but for god’s sake don’t do what I do and spend it all as soon as you get it. I read once that for every £10 you make, spend £2 and save £8. This is a very good piece of advice; I’ve never tried it though, and I’m beginning to think I should. Spend, of course, but you must remember to save. If you don’t, you’ll get to June and you’ll have no money to spend over the Summer which will leave you bored, depressed and penniless; three things every student HATES.
- HAVE FUN AND ENJOY. It’s an experience you’re lucky to have, so don’t waste it. Take your time and appreciate the fact that you’re there. You’ve made it. Don’t panic or stress or put yourself under pressure. You succeeded at school and now you’re there. Take a look around; appreciate the building and the scenery and the students. You’re there for a short amount of time; time that will be over before you know it. So don’t waste it; enjoy it. Squeeze every drop of life out of university so that when you’re older; you’ll have plenty of fun stories to pass on to your kids or grandkids or whoever. Because at the end of the day, isn’t that what life is really all about? Making our own unique and individual stories to pass on to our children? Make yours important, make it count.