The Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting University

The Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting University

Starting university can normally lead to one of three things: excitement; fear; or a bit of both. For me, it was definitely the third. I had no idea what to expect on this new journey, and it didn’t help that I wasn’t the most confident person. You almost want to watch a trailer of your university experience to see what you can expect, but as that’s not possible, I’m rounding up just a few of the things I wish I knew before starting university, based off of my own experience.

You’ll grow more than you ever thought you would

I only really noticed this within the last year and a half of my university experience, but it was really the case for me that I changed quite a lot. Although some scenarios still see me become a little shyer potentially than others in the room, my confidence has grown tremendously, which I didn’t really expect to happen. I was (and still am, to some extent) a person that doesn’t express myself fully until you get to know me, but just making that move to get to know people in the beginning really helped. I also put myself out there a little more in different ways, and done things I’d never done before, which really just made me feel a lot better about myself than I ever did. University had quite a positive experience on me, and I can only hope that it does the same for you.

(For all of you that are a bit shy like I was at the beginning, please put yourself out there! You could potentially meet some of the best people, or people that will shape you as a person. Try out that new activity, go to that event, introduce yourself to the person next to you – it may be one of those moments you look back on fondly, and if it’s not, you’ll probably never see that person again because university is MUCH bigger than college and sixth form).

It’s all about balance

I don’t think I made enough time for the social side of university, which probably sounds like a surprise, but I also know from friends that spent too much time on the social side that it’s not entirely beneficial. When I wished that I spent more time going out, I also realised that it’s all about that work/social-life balance: make time for everything, realise what’s smart for you to do at the time (and sometimes you’ll make the wrong decision), and realise it’s okay to say no sometimes!

Don’t listen to everyone else

I can’t stress this enough: unless someone done the exact same course as you at the exact same university, don’t listen to their experiences of how much work you’re going to have to do/what you need to do to get a certain grade! I heard so many things about second year during a degree, but honestly none of them matched up to my own personal experience, so the advice I would give is always prepare yourself, but don’t take everything everyone tells you word for word – everyone’s experience is different.

The more you put in, the more you’ll get out

Pretty self-explanatory really: if you really want to achieve a certain grade at university, you work for it. If you don’t ask for help, you won’t get it. If you want to make the most out of university, put in the effort for it.

There are big things to come

Ending my undergraduate degree made me realise that even though this is the end of a chapter, I’ve still got so much to go! There’s a whole world waiting for you out there, so don’t lean into that common post-university assumption that you go straight into a low-level job at a company you may really like to build experience and go up in the ranks, because the truth is, you could end up doing that, or something completely different – your post-university experience can be whatever you choose it to be.

I would love to know your feelings towards starting university, or if you’re a post-grad, if you related to any of these (if not, have a little laugh about these, and then share your own experiences). If you didn’t go to university, what did you learn from the route you took? Drop them in the comments, or on my Instagram.

Sightseeing In Oxford – My Top 4

I’m finally back (hopefully with a bang), starting off my Oxford series from when I stayed there back in late August. Oxford is by far one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in the UK to date: its beautiful Gothic and Baroque architecture are the star of the show for me, but there’s plenty […]

The Best Olympians To Follow For All The Tokyo 2020 Behind The Scenes

I’ve always been a fan of the Olympics: I love seeing how insanely talented athletes are and watching records get broken with every four years (or rather five, in this case) that passes. I love watching it with my family, and seeing the spirit of the nation rise with every medal that’s achieved. What I’ve […]

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The Truth About Being In A Rut – The Process Of Getting Over It

The Truth About Being In A Rut – The Process Of Getting Over It

It’s official: I’m in a rut. Ever since finishing university, I’ve been in this “I don’t want to do anything” phase, which I thought would last a couple days. A couple days turned into a month, and here we are now.

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The Best Olympians To Follow For All The Tokyo 2020 Behind The Scenes

The Best Olympians To Follow For All The Tokyo 2020 Behind The Scenes

I’ve always been a fan of the Olympics: I love seeing how insanely talented athletes are and watching records get broken with every four years (or rather five, in this case) that passes. I love watching it with my family, and seeing the spirit of the nation rise with every medal that’s achieved. What I’ve particularly enjoyed this year is watching some of the Olympians share their experience on social media, whether that’s giving some behind the scenes looks at the Olympic Village, or the training they do whilst they’re there. If you, just like me, are curious at what makes the show go on in Tokyo, read on to see my favourite clips and pages for you to watch and follow along to this year.

(And yes, before we go on, that is a Wimbledon picture you see, but clearly, I’m not in Tokyo at the moment.)

Jazmin Sawyers

This is really the post that inspired this blog post: with a pandemic in the mix, this year’s Olympics was bound to be different. This is really as ‘behind the scenes’ as we can get, with Jazmin giving us a tour of the COVID measures in place. To be honest, I was surprised at just how strict it is, but also glad that safety is being taken seriously. She also has a reel on her page of her initial travel day to the Olympics, but this first reel was unlike the other content I’ve seen from the Olympics thus far.

Tom Daley

The GB hero that is Tom Daley is back with some quality Instagram content: here, he’s provided us with a 1 minute tour of the Olympic Village where we actually get to see inside of the rooms, as well as see a test of the infamous cardboard beds! He’s also posted some training videos, some Team GB snaps, and pictures of that almighty gold medal. He’s also updating his Youtube channel while he’s out there, so check that out for more!

Jessica Fox

Australia’s Jessica Fox has been updating her Instagram with everything from a Village tour, to medal-winning moments. She perhaps got more attention for her Tiktok repairing her kayak using an Olympic-issued condom (linked below), which gave everyone a bit of a laugh on social media. Jessica also has a ‘Tokyo BTS’ highlight reel on Instagram, as well as a Q&A on her stories (catch it before it’s too late!) for more information and things you may not have known about the Olympics. She sometimes also reposts her TikToks on her stories (great for non-TikTok users like me), which are just as enjoyable to watch.

Nafi Thiam

This training video made me want to get up and work out consistently so I can do what she’s doing (I know she’s an athlete and it’s difficult, but it was so motivating (I say as I still haven’t worked out and I’m typing this blog post – maybe tomorrow)). Nafi also has ‘Tokyo’ highlight reel on her Instagram so you can keep up with her Tokyo adventures.

The Olympics Official Instagram Page

This may be a given, however the Olympics on Instagram is the best place to find all the need-to-know information, from the day’s winners, to athletes pre-Olympics versus now comparisons, to emotional moments during the games. As well as reposting the athlete’s Instagram stories and featuring a ‘story of the day’ on their own stories, they’ve also been posting some behind the games interviews, with the likes of Simone Biles (as above), who has been at the forefront for her prioritising of mental health. Their page is definitely worth following for a full debrief of each Olympic day.

Bonus: Nile Wilson

This is more of a bonus addition as Nile Wilson actually retired from competitive gymnastics at the beginning of this year following some health problems. However, Nile actually competed in the Rio Olympics as well as multiple World Championships and Commonwealth Games. This year, he has been challenged by the National Lottery to attempt multiple Olympic sports over on his Youtube channel, hoping to inspire his viewers and show them sports they may have not watched before. I’ve been following Nile’s channel for years now, and find it highly entertaining and interesting from a non-gymnast point of view, to the point where I’ve found myself noticing certain elements in gymnastic routines that I may not have noticed before, like how difficult the move actually is, or that gymnastics isn’t ALL about the dismount.

I would love to know if you follow any fun athlete’s on social media, or if I’ve missed any interesting ‘behind the scenes’ clips. Thanks for reading this slightly out of topic post, and I’ll be back soon with another post!

The Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting University

Starting university can normally lead to one of three things: excitement; fear; or a bit of both. For me, it was definitely the third. I had no idea what to expect on this new journey, and it didn’t help that I wasn’t the most confident person. You almost want to watch a trailer of your […]

4 Of London’s New Art Exhibitions And Why You Have To Go

All over Instagram, I’ve been seeing reels showing London’s newest art exhibitions. Personally, I’m a huge fan of museums, and could spend hours just roaming around, but I know it’s not for everyone. However, from the reels I’ve been seeing, the exhibitions on show at the moment are absolutely magical, and I’m sure would inspire […]

Everything You Need To Know About Sandbanks

Sandbanks first came onto my radar when I watched a TV show talk to Harry Redknapp about his home in the area. It appeared to be a pretty exclusive area: small in size, but lined with grand houses amongst a sandy beachfront (a sandy beach in England, I know!) It wasn’t until recently that I […]

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4 Ways To Celebrate Your Non-Existent 2021 Graduation In Style

4 Ways To Celebrate Your Non-Existent 2021 Graduation In Style

As a graduating student of 2021, I can safely say that it feels like I haven’t really graduated. I’ve been doing assignments and having lessons over Blackboard Collaborate at home for months on end, and with no proper graduation to top off three years of hard work, it almost feels like the university experience isn’t actually over. I’m sure other graduates can relate to this, and I’m sure we all feel the same levels of frustration of not being able to experience a proper graduation ceremony. However, all is not lost.

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Your Guide To Borough Market (With A ‘What I Ate In A Day’!)

Your Guide To Borough Market (With A ‘What I Ate In A Day’!)

With Borough Market now opening seven days of the week for the first time in over two decades, now is the perfect time to plan your next trip over. Borough Market has a special place in my heart: it reminds me of trips with my dad into central London where I was a little smaller, and every stand seemed so big to me and full of so many different treats (my eyes were set on the cookies). As I grew older, the trips every year or so continued, but the market is no less interesting to me. Visiting Borough Market is almost like an activity for me – a chance to explore the stalls brimmed with foods from many different cultures, and hopefully for me to try something new along the way. It’s on my list of possibly one of my most unique London activities, and I love to take people who haven’t been or are from out of town, although I’m sure to the Southwark locals, passing through this market is an every day activity.

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Euro 2020: Where To Watch The Euros In London With Food And Drink

Euro 2020: Where To Watch The Euros In London With Food And Drink

Looking for a change of scenery for this year’s Euros? Why not rally up your friends and go support your nation together over drinks? Maybe your rivalling nations are playing, and you want to watch the magic unfold together. Or maybe getting together over some good food and having a bit of seasonal entertainment is more on your agenda. Whatever the motive, here are just a few options of places to watch the Euros over some food and drink. Enjoy!

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COVID-friendly days out in London (on a budget!)

COVID-friendly days out in London (on a budget!)

There’s just one more evening until most things will be reopened in England again! I don’t know about you, but it still doesn’t feel real to me that soon we will be back to normal. While a lot of us are so excited about the reopening of many venues again, I’m sure, at the back of our heads at least, we’ll still be COVID-conscious. If anything, I’m sure we’ll all be somewhat COVID-conscious for a while, whether that’s by hand sanitising at any given chance, or carrying a mask everywhere post-lockdown. So for this blog post, I’ve decided to curate some fun activities in London that allow for plenty of distance and regular cleaning, so you won’t be too nervous about going out into the world again. Upon request, I’ve tried to make most of these budget-friendly too. I hope you enjoy these, and I’d love to know any of your suggestions in the comments below!

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Mayor Of London Candidates – Who They Are And What They’re Promising

Mayor Of London Candidates – Who They Are And What They’re Promising

The other day, I received the Mayor of London and London Assembly booklet, outlining all the candidates and some of the candidates’ ‘mini- manifestos’, as well as general information about the election. I think it’s fair to say that I had zero clue about who to vote for – I feel politics has almost taken a backseat in light of the pandemic and Brexit. But nevertheless, there’s still a vote to be had on the 6th May on who is going to make London the best it can be.

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My Teacher Training Application Experience

My Teacher Training Application Experience

As some of you may already know, I’m in my final year of university. Alongside learning during a global pandemic, us students have also had to think about what comes after university: jobs are dwindling by the day, and we’re competing against those with years of experience who have lost their jobs. I can say for myself that when I first came into university, I had an idea of what I wanted to ‘become’ when I finish, but it is very safe to say that that idea has changed about five times since.

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“What’s next for you?” – Let’s Talk

“What’s next for you?” – Let’s Talk

As I approach my 21st birthday, I’ve been thinking a lot about the future: I’m in my last year of university, and in a global pandemic – a combination I never saw coming. There’s always this pressure from adults around you as you approach the big 2-1, and even more so in your final year, to know what you’re doing next – I think a lot of us can relate. I received this question back in February, but now feels like the right time to answer it.

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Why You Need To Embrace Your Body and Stop Wanting What Others Have

Why You Need To Embrace Your Body and Stop Wanting What Others Have

“I wish I looked like ____”

“I wish I had her stomach”

“I hate my legs”

“I wish-“

Let me stop you there. We’ve heard all this self-loathing before. We’ve all been there. If anything, it’s promoted all over social media to desire what other people have. I’m a big fan of social media and I’m also a big fan of appreciating other people’s features, but I’m going to draw the line at desiring. What’s wrong with what we already have?

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“I Want To Start A Blog But I Don’t Know Where To Begin. Any Tips?” – Let’s Talk

“I Want To Start A Blog But I Don’t Know Where To Begin. Any Tips?” – Let’s Talk

Starting a blog was a huge milestone in my life, but I just didn’t know it at the time. It’s something that I always wanted to do, having loved writing from such a young age, but I just didn’t know where to begin and I was beyond nervous of what everyone else would think. I remember constantly googling “how to start a blog” or “blog ideas” for years before I actually made the move.

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5 Habits I Want To Take Into 2021 – Blogmas Day 11

5 Habits I Want To Take Into 2021 – Blogmas Day 11

It’s nearing the end of the year (and only 4 sleeps till Christmas!) and I think it’s fair to say that a lot has changed: we live our lives differently than we used to, for good or for bad, and assuming this English tier system will remain a couple months into the new year, it will stay that way.

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It’s Time To Romanticise Your Life – Blogmas Day 8

It’s Time To Romanticise Your Life – Blogmas Day 8

“In the movies, we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason, you’re behaving like the best friend.”

“You’re so right. You’re supposed to be the leading lady of your own life, for God’s sake.”

The Holiday (2006)

If you’re active on social media, I’m sure we’ve all seen or heard that one audio clip that starts “you’ve got to start romanticising your life…” (if you haven’t, where have you been?). Although repetitive, the clip never fails to inspire me mentally to go and do all the things I want to do – the question is though, what stops me physically?

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