10 Things to Remember When Going Back To or Starting University!

So here are my Top 10 Things to remember when heading back to uni or you’re starting unversity fresh!


I’ve just moved into my new flat for my final year of university, 4 years! My Lord, it’s been absolutely awesome though. I wouldnt change anything about it. I am just excited to graduate now!

I was supposed to post this blog post a little earlier but alas from my flight from Budapest my ears didn’t pop properly. So now I have an ear infection and a lil bit of vertigo because of it, so I’m more dizzy than I am concious!

But I’ve percevered today! Especially as I start my new Job tomorrow too. So today I’ve got shit done, including this post for you all! Can spend my whole week wallowing in self pity.

So WITHOUT further ado, here are my Top 10 Things to Remember When starting or Going back to University!

  1. Get Organised – folders, stationary, books, your time table. Know it learn it live by it. I always find that being organised makes everything SO much easier! Plus when you go into a lecture or start doing coursework or seminar work and you’re organised it’s just that much easier to get started and get your head down! Something which at Uni can be quite a challenge due to there being a lot of distractions.
  2. Do Not Panic – I had to swear by this saying in first year. Just do not panic. It is solvable, you can do it. Even if it’s something you’ve never come across before, don’t panic about it. Uni is probably one of the most relaxed but also the most stressful places, but you do not need to panic. Help is always at hand.
  3. Be Positive, Be You – it’s the best you can be! I know a lot of people go back to uni or start uni thinking “oh Lord this isn’t for me” and do you know, if it isn’t for you? That’s no problem! But as I have said in a previous blog post, university is what you make of it! If you go into the experience being a negative Nelly, like I did, it doesn’t feel like it gets better. I considered dropping out. Now I look back and think why I thought that I will never know. Like I said, it’s what you make of it.
  4. Keep on making friends / Make friends & socialise! – You are quite literally THROWN into this at uni. Your flatmates are ideally your first point of contact. I don’t know about anyone else, but my friends I made at University are my friends for life. No matter how far apart we all are, because we are all from literal opposite ends of the country. They will always be my faves! Now I’m back for my final year, most of my friends are graduating next week (couldn’t be more proud!!!) And then they are all moving away, so I’ve got to remember how to make friends again. But your whole life you’re making friends so it won’t take too long!
  5. Budget! – DONT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON STUPID SHIT. If you don’t need it don’t buy it. I was a PRO at buying unnecessary things and my overdraft was my best friend. Don’t be me. Plan your food shops and like I said if you don’t need it, don’t buy it. Only take set amounts of money our with on nights out, don’t get happy clappy with your contactless because it will happen and you will wake up the next morning wondering if you bought a horse.
  6. IMG_20180909_160757.jpgDon’t forget a home comfort – For me, when I move Into a new place I have got to have a little home comfort that makes me think of being back in my home town. For me it’s a small hanging sign that says; “Life’s A Beach” as I live by the beach! It’s followed me to every house all 4 years so far and will continue to do so!
  7. Uni help services are your friend – if you are struggling with your work your lecturers are there to help you. Reach out to them. If you are struggling with your mental health the university health centre and welfare will help you. Reach out to them. If you’re Struggling to find rescources for your essays the library staff will help you. Reach out to them. You have a larger issue you want to discuss with the university. REACH OUT, they will not hesitate at all to help you with any of your needs!
  8. Vodka isn’t the answer, but it’s worth a shot – This one speaks for itself really, GET ON THE SESH. But that does also bring us to our next point;
  9. Learn your limits – I don’t think I need to say to much here other than don’t be that friend who needs to get their stomach pumped.
  10. Enjoy it! – Uni is an awesome place, a huge step into adult life and responsibilities with a little bit of heavy drinking on the side! Uni will always be the best years of my life, I don’t doubt it for a second. I mean until I get married n have babies but that’s a looooong time coming. Enjoy your time, you’ll be there for a while! Why do anything else BUT enjoy it?!

So these are the My Top 10 Tips! I hope they give some sort of help and insight into the joys of getting back too or starting university!

Here’s to my final year! Bring it on!

J x

My London Bucket List – Part 4: The X Factor Finals, Two 21st’s & Wishing I was Spanish

Hello and welcome to PART 4 of My London Bucket List!

This post is based on lot on heading out, please don’t judge me on my drinking habits (Jokes I don’t have any because I’m broke). So one day before i stepped into work I noticed the X Factor were at the SSE Arena in Wembley, Well I say I noticed but you couldn’t miss it! Extravagant people all singing and dancing, being interviewed and just generally warming up for Boot Camp auditions! Now the X Factor is sponsored by Just Eat, the magical food takeaway company, and of course Just Eat were outside the SSE Arena with a ‘Spin the Wheel’ and win game, so of course as I was bored before work, why not? Typically I spun the wheel, and managed to win two tickets to the final!

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So December 3rd rolls around and My Younger sister and I are off to enjoy the night! We stayed in the Hilton Canary Wharf. Its a very business orientated hotel but it was incredibly accommodating. We stayed in a comfy twin room, en suite and all other hotel comforts and it was lovely, we ordered room service desserts (of course) after the show and they were gorgeous and did not take long to get delivered either! I’d highly recommend the Hilton Canary Wharf to anyone staying in that area or nearby as my sister and I were heading to the Excel Arena!

So to the Excel Exhibition centre we went, The Excel is an incredibly huge building used for shows, presentations, conventions and of course the obvious, exhibitions of all sorts, so it is a large building indeed. But with perfect transport links arriving on the DLR at the Prince Regent stop, its really not difficult to get too at all, depending on which way you’re coming from you may even get to see the O2 Arena on your way!

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Once we arrived we were ushered to a ‘Pize Winner’ queue which felt pretty fancy. We were given our tickets with our seat number and row and send off into a Just Eat area with food, they took photos of you as you arrived with the X Factor background behind you, almost like a mini red carpet! There were lots of you typical corny X Factor photo booths and cheesy music, it was set up with park benches and a bit of fake grass, it was funky but we didn’t stick around for long before we went off to get a proper burger! FYI, I couldn’t tell you where I got it from, but it was amazing.

24312605_10210104814128715_8857701371266376113_nOnce being told at 16:50pm that the doors had opened and we could start queuing we were like Hell yes as we’d been waiting around for hours now, only to get in the queue and wait until 18:30pm. But it was absolutely worth the wait because the show was amazing and our seats really weren’t all that bad at all! Not only that but we got to see Little Mix, P!nk and Sam Smith perform live and watch Rak Su win the finals! (Sorry if I ruined it for anyone!).

Although I’ve never been a fan of the X Factor it was really enjoyable, and the Excel is an incredible building, so if you ever get the chance to see both either at the same time or separately, don’t hesitate!

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I’m at the age now where myself and a lot of my first are turning the wonderful 21 years old, Now legal and able to drink in America, how exciting. But turning 21 means a large session is at hand. My first 21st was a big one, Maddie’s 21st. I’m almost certain we 24312483_10210104807688554_7886318755466502035_nwere just going to wing it around London and just see where we ended up. We started at a friend (Mason’s, I’ve mentioned him before as a wonderful tour guide, sorry mase), And then headed to Old Street in London.

Now we had absolutely no plan at this rate. It was amazing. We started in The Craft Beer Co. literally nearby Old Street station, the atmosphere was great and it was relatively cheap as well consider how central we were! After consuming a few drinks and listening to some ultimate cheese music we then headed a little further down the road to a Bar/Club called Floripa! MY GOD was it expensive, £10 entry into this Brazilian themed club, but the vibe was amazing, the drinks were flowing and of course there was good music too! I paid £21 for two doubles, boy do I miss uni prices of £2.50 doubles at Superbull every Friday!! But the place was super cool, all summer themed with Floripa up on the wall with bright bulbs and a large dance floor that was absolutely packed out!

It was a good night that did end with being superglue’d out of masons flat due to his neighbours not liking how loud we were BEFORE the noise curfew of 11pm. 11pm may I add is when you should stop being too loud or noisy in a residential area in the UK. 11pm – 7am are the exact time. So we left at around half 10, to come back to a superglue’d door and no way of entry from 3am, to 5am. It was a pa-larva and a half but it was a great night none the less!

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My second 21st was in Watford for my wonderful friend Shannon, she was 21, we hit up Watford town and headed to Pryzm, a massive nightclub in the centre of Watford. With 2 floors with different music and a funky rooftop smoking area, the music is a main factor as it is amazing. Mixed with your typical chart music and house music that you’d hear in Ibiza it was a crazy night being picked up in a LIMO.

The best part of the night wasn’t just celebrating with Shannon but the fact that I also got to see some of my university friends, its nice to see them in/outside London and not in Lincoln for once! It was a really fun night, and Pryzm in Watford, for £7 entry, is where it’s at on a Friday night! Compared to Floripa where I paid that £21 for doubles I paid £6 for a double in Pryzm! I dont understand clubs sometimes but then Watford isn’t as central as Old Street in London!

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Now I saved the best for last! My wonderful friend Miriam turned 21 back in October and as she is from Spain it made perfect sense to go to the Spanish night they have at the club Tiger Tiger in Piccadilly, London! I went out with Miriam, Carlos who is also spanish, Alex, and Joanna who is Portuguese! There were a few more of us as well all to celebrate such a good night!

The club itself was huge with a large bar and dance floor as you walk in, flashing lights and what looked like a VIP Area up some stairs as you came in. The drinks weren’t too expensive, with a Double being £8-10, which isn’t so bad but also incredibly extortionate! Of course the music was your traditional and typical Spanish music, I discovered this night that I LOVE Spanish music and want to learn the Spanish Language. We discovered a second dance floor a little later on in the night and it was the best part of the whole night!

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We hit the club at about half 1 in the morning and stayed until the lights came up, I’ve never danced the way I danced in that club that night! It was phenomenal, it wasn’t just your boring typical trashy dancing you would see in a club, people were dancing traditionally and with partners and moving their feet and their hips like no ones business, it was an amazing place and atmosphere. When the lights came up even then the fun and singing didn’t stop as people were still dancing and singing, everyone was so merry and there were no problems at all, just like a huge family night, and it was a night I know I will never forget.

Shout out to Miriam, Carlos and Joanna for showing me how to REALLY move my hips to the wonders of Spanish music! I will be going there again one Wednesday!

 

My London Bucket List – Part 3, Brads Birthday adventures!

Our next London Adventure was a good one, it was for Brads 21st birthday!

I thoroughly enjoyed this one because I planned the wholeeeee day for Bradders and what he wanted to do in London, so I’m going to enjoy telling you about it! So we were headed to central London! Of course we started with some food as we set off around 12ish. So where else to be for that but Camden?

89We arrived and as per usual it was busy busy! It was a lovely day as well which meant we could walk about in just T-shirts, so we headed down all the different alleyways looking at the clothing stalls and smelling all the food. I went for the old school Chinese chicken and noodles, The stall I got it from was incredible, I chose it because the last time we visited Camden they gave me a sample from the stall and it was AMAZING. So of course I went back for more this time! We had a proper wonder around Camden and there are so many different stalls I want to go back and try, for example the cereal Killer shop looks incredibly cool. More reason to come back hey!

We found the main area of the market, kitted out with deck chairs on different levels and places to sit, theres a statue of Amy Winehouse as well as a memorial to her, it was really lively. But my personal favourite shop that we found was called Cyberdog. Its a ravers shop with two huge metal statues outside the front, its all luminous and loud bass line music pumping out the shop, I didn’t even realise until after we went inside the shop it has 3 FLOORS. It was crazy fun!

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93.jpgOnce we decided it was probably about time to head from Camden the next part of Brads 21st was somewhere he kept talking to me about going, so if course we headed straight over to the Imperial War Museum!

When we arrived we had a couple hours to go around the entire building, it was incredibly impressive and moving, really enjoyable and insightful too! The outside of the building had two massive gun statues placed right out in front of the building. It looked so good. As we headed up the pathway and inside the who place opened up and there was a huge open space in the middle of the museum. With the building rising up 5 floors and being able to see each display roughly from the outside of each floor from the balconies above, it was a pretty cool place. 99There were huge planes hanging from the ceiling and a number of tanks dotted around, with all these different displays of the trenches and how brutal the war was. You could see each story of WW1 & WW2 on different floors. There was a new floor that had opened also dedicated to the holocaust. It was eye opening and moving, dark tourism at its finest, with there being a model of what Auschwitz would’ve looked like from above, behind the model in glass cases were real shoes left over from those who were hoarded into the gas chambers, it was chilling.

We stayed right up until we had to leave because it was closing, it was a wonderful place, we didn’t quite manage to get all the way around, gives us an excuse to go again!

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Once the museum had closed we headed to the hotel! We’d booked in to stay in the Doubletree Hilton Docklands, right on the Thames/Docklands area of the Thames, And just opposite Canary Wharf!

It was a beautiful hotel on the water, we’d booked a king room and it was wonderful and huge, with a view of Canary Wharf and the thames one side and a skyline view the other side of the window! The beds were comfy, of course we got warm cookies upon arrival, and the en suite was so clean and fresh. Of course I wore my robe religiously around the room. Nothing better than hotel robes.

We had a lovely stay, a cracking breakfast as well, like my god did it set me up for the day. But it was nice to stay in London for a change, we were pretty close to everything we wanted to do and it didn’t take us long to get back from dinner at the Savoy to the hotel either!

One thing I wont forget was when we were heading back to the hotel from the bus stop literally 2 minutes away, there was a small park and as we were walking past, there were 3 urban foxes all fighting and playing in the middle of this park. I’d never seen anything like it, and it was so dark and quite they didn’t even see us. it was wonderful to watch and I never thought id get the chance in such a big city to see such a thing.

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109Finally, Brad and I went for a wonderful Dinner together at the Savoy Hotel in London, In Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant to celebrate Brads 21st Birthday!

It was a very fancy place, the Inside of the hotel was beautiful. It was marble floored and the bathrooms were something of royalty, yes the bathrooms were a high point, but if you’ve seen them you know they’re fancy as hell! There was a piano in the middle of their open seating and dining area, and the woman playing the piano was so talented and she had a wonderful voice.

We then headed into the restaurant, two glasses of rose and our food orders later and we were incredibly impressed. With someone to ask us what when we wanted before we ordered the wine, and incredible service and food, it was a lovely experience.

I ordered The Lamb and it melted in my mouth and the flavours were incredible, and brad ordered a Steak with Peppercorn Sauce and chips and it was cooked exactly bow he wanted it, They even put something together for Brad for his birthday which was also lovely!

After we were done we headed down to the Thames and had a little walk down to the London Eye and back before heading back to the hotel. The city lights looked so pretty from there, with St Paul’s also lit up in the background. I’d never even walked along the thames before this, so it was really nice. A wonderful way to spend such a lovely night!

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The next part of the bucket list coming soon guys, thanks for reading!

J x

 

My First Hospitality Job

I’ve been incredibly quiet on here the past couple of weeks and I am apologetic but do not regret it. This is because Ive started my first job in the hospitality sector. For me this is a pretty big deal, It is part of my university degree where I shall be working for a year in my chosen industry (hospitality). So, I’ve joined The Hilton Team!

Hilton is one of the largest and possibly most well known hotel business worldwide. So for me this opportunity to work in one of their hotels for a year was an obvious yes. Not only will it give me the experience I need in the future but it gives me a year to see what its like, because this is the real world not university. So a lot has changed.

I’ll be on placement from July 2017 until July 2018 so unfortunately no holidays/travelling to write about for you guys other than my South Africa trip from a while back which I’ll tell you guys all about when I have the time to write my blog! I mean I’m taking a holiday in September, but I’m only heading back to university for a week to see my friends, & I’m not going to write about that because all I’d be able to write is “I am too hungover and recovering from this week for this”.

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Getting up at half 7 is normal, maybe even half 6 now, which is really nice. Makes a change for me! I’m actually going to bed at 11pm and sleeping through till half 7, Getting up for work isn’t even that hard! The only thing I could say that could possibly fault it is the drive to work. I live 20 miles away from work. Now for those who are well aware of the hospitality industry you’ll know that normal hours 9-5 are a thing of the past, which is something that I really don’t mind as I love having different shifts as no shift is ever the same! If I can time it right I can get to work in half hour especially if my shifts are good. If my shifts are in peak times, we’re talking a whole hour and 10 minutes just to get 20 miles away. Ripping my hair out on the regs.

I’ve been working coming on three weeks now nearly and I am throughly enjoying myself. Even though the training is frustrating and it is a long process its something thats got to be done, I just can’t wait to finish the training so I can get out onto the desk and finally do something!

After starting the job I thought a lot would be different but I was wrong. I was convinced as I was so young I wouldn’t be lucky enough to make friends, now I realise it was hands dow the stupidest thing I had ever thought/said in my whole life. I’ve already met some wonderful people, Yeah I may be a baby but I’m not the only young one either. Everyone made me feel more than welcome, so I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t enjoying it. I was also so worried that I was going to be thrown straight into the deep end and that I might crumble and struggle big time. But its actually been the opposite, I’ve never been so throughly briefed about the way things are down in my life, It made me super confident which was really really nice.

One phrase used regularly by my family whenever I moan about work is “Welcome to the real world” because lord they aren’t lying. But I would much rather Live to work than work to live, and thats the aim especially if I can find a good career in Hospitality after this year and university (and travelling of course).

Its incredibly interesting seeing how the hotel business actually works, and It’s actually really impressive. There’s so many people all in one team. But at the same time all in different teams in departments and it’s all so well organised and yeah sometimes I’m sure as hell it gets hard to deal with everything for a lot of people and departments. So next time you visit a hotel, any hotel not just a Hilton Hotel, Be considerate because everyone goes that extra mile to make sure you enjoy your time whilst you’re staying.

Im very excited to see what the future holds! Here’s to the next year!

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Here’s a picture of Primrose Hill, London, With the London Skyline Just because!