Lifestyle

Hi, student!

Welcome to another blog post! Hopefully, as most are, this’ll be another useful post to read!

This time, I’m discussing: University.

If you’re going back to University to study a masters/PhD or if you’re simply going to University for the first time, this post’s for you!

Making Friends

Are you moving away from home and beginning at a new University where you don’t know anyone? Join the University’s Facebook page/group.

Universities across England (and most likely abroad) have forums for Freshers/Freshman’s.

It’s also a good idea to use the Induction Day as a chance to hang out and meet the people on your course or studying similar courses. You’re going to be spending the next few years with them, after all…

DISCLAIMER: Don’t be afraid to be choosy about friends.

I was blessed with mine, but have heard stories where people’s choices in friends at University influenced them in the wrong ways.

DISCLAIMER 2.0:

Our communities, these days, are getting out of hand.

Unfortunately, we seem to be existing amongst barbarians (London’s crime rates are skyrocketing).

Therefore, please make sure to look out for people, always – on nights out especially.

DISCLAIMER, AGAIN: Stay true to yourself.

University is like starting secondary/middle or high school all over again.

Of course you want to be liked, but you’ll be loved for being yourself.

Find ways to break from the norm and not be swayed by peer-pressure.

Keep In Touch With Family & Friends From Home

Again, if you’ve moved away to attend University, keeping in contact with family and friends from your hometown is vital.

It will keep you levelheaded. You and your friends could always swap notes/introduce your friends to each other, growing your circle.

RING/TEXT. YOUR. PARENTS. EVERY. DAY. Although they talk bravado of “wanting to get rid of you” and such banter, your family (parents especially) will really miss you (and don’t mean any of it).

A family WhatsApp group (if you haven’t already got one setup) is a great way of keeping in contact with family. Swap memes if you have to! Just, keep the conversation alive. Let them know you’re okay, regularly.

Take Advantage Of Your Student Union

They’ll have some great offers on student resources, initiatives and extra-curricular activities to get involved in.

Another idea you should consider is: joining some Societies of interest. You can find out more information regarding this at your SU.

Joining a Society will help you increase your social circle. Hobbies are vital to take your mind off work and/or partying.

Set A Weekly/Monthly Budget

If you’re living away from home for the first time, being completely in charge of your own finances can be daunting.

Schools and colleges don’t teach us about this because Photosynthesis, Pythagoras and Of Mice & Men are more important.

First thing’s first, you need to budget having a good time versus paying your rent and other fees. I can’t stress enough how the most important thing to do is: budgeting.

There are some really good student budgeting apps that you can download too. Try Yolt, I recommend it!

It’s important to remember that you have responsibilities whilst at University, and that although partying all night, every night, is what we all want to do, it’s not feasible – and can leave us out of pocket.

Get a Part-Time Job

If you want to have more money to spend on partying or whatever else, which, let’s face it, everyone who’s not me, will… Get a part-time job.

You can start on a Christmas Temp contract and stay on afterwards (if your contract is extended). This will help you grow your budget.

NUS Card

NUS is the student card you shouldn’t live without.

Sign up to take advantage of some of the greatest offers in Entertainment, Fashion and much, much more!

Sign Up To Relevant Reddit/The Student Room Forums

There must be some Reddit or The Student Room forums that will give you more information on discounts for study or even entertainment resources.

You could even use this to connect with students in other Universities.

Your Hard-Drive or USB Should Be Your Best Friend

Back up your work!

It’s so important to save your coursework, lecture/seminar or exam notes in multiple places because if it’s lost… You’ve got yourself a SHITUATION!

Manage Your Workload

This should’ve been at the top, but I know how everyone (but mine)’s minds work.

Friends, good times, and money (to spend on good times) before actually doing the work required. That’s absolutely fine. We’re all entitled to live our lives the way we want.

I was a geek who kept lists and rewarded myself with several hours of playing Sims, so I could only daydream of being that way inclined.

The best thing (whether you’re a geek like me or a party/good-time seeker) is, we all get to the same destination in the end, and that’s success.

Look After Yourself

Lastly, REMEMBER TO LOOK AFTER YOURSELF!

It’s all well & good telling you to look after others, but you are your own responsibility and you come first, always.

Look after yourself by staying healthy, happy and on keeping on track with your assignments.

Balance is the most important. Doing everything in moderation leads us to perfection.

If it’s not impossible/too far, try going home for the holidays. Split your time between home and University, you’ll feel better for it.

I hope this post has helped in given you some tips… If it hasn’t, I’m sorry?

I wish you all the luck with your studies and University is there to be enjoyed.

To conclude, make the most of every year, but particularly the first as that’s the least stressful (education-wise).

alpha hBonjour, MFs!

I wanted to begin this post by raising awareness for everyone’s favourite thing, the existence of Duty Free. Thanks for being ‘a thing’, DF! Let me not be the first to say that without you, we’d not have been met with a fraction of the bargains we have.

Back to the post, which is why you’re here? Okay.

Alpha H’s Liquid Gold is golden. It claims to lift, brighten and exfoliate, with visible results after just one use – and is dubbed the ‘overnight facial’.

Does it work?

In a word, ‘of course it does, I tried it last night for the first time, as my skin wasn’t at its best post-flight, and it felt amazing this morning’. < ummm, what a great word!

My skin is radiant, soft like a baby’s bottom! But, in a survey, we asked 100 parents: “who’s bottom is softer (and better)?”, 99% of parents said my bottom’s ‘softer (and better)’ than their own baby’s bottom. I don’t make the rules, they make ‘mii!

Here’s the thing, I suffer from insomnia. It’s quite bad most days. I travel quite a bit, so that doesn’t help either…

Worry not, though, as I’ve recently found something that helps me… Well, a few things actually, but this one in particular! Enter: This Works.

I typically average 4-5 hours a night. Awful, right? Well, it can’t be helped. Working with computers and then coming home to my own… Must. Play. Sims. It really takes its toll.

My experience with insomnia…

I feel as though my insomnia has worsened over the years, particularly since experiencing bouts of ‘sleep paralysis’.

I can honestly say that sleep paralysis is one of the worst things I have ever experienced.

I once dreamt/woke up during a dream where I was underneath a motorbike and the rider was revving their engine really loud above me, with ‘Shut Up & Drive’ playing really loudly in the background. There was just a plank of wood separating me and this red motorbike. I couldn’t move or scream, just watching/hallucinating… It was terrifying. That’s the worst I’ve had it, I think.

But, what exactly is ‘sleep paralysis’?

It’s basically when you wake up from your dream-state (not Florida) prematurely and watch your dream play out, vividly, in front of your very eyes. You feel powerless, helpless and speechless… All you can do is wait for it to be over. No-one really knows how it comes about, nor what triggers it.

I suffered from it quite frequently for a few months on-and-off a few years back and since then, it’s as if my mind refuses to sleep in case it happens again even though, luckily for me, it hasn’t.

Back to insomnia, and the post at hand… I’ve mentioned this before, but my insomnia gets considerably worse before I go travelling. My mind gets so wired and awake, that it’s like it refuses to sleep, and I end up tiring myself out massively.

I’m not sure if I discussed what I’m about to bring up before, but I had a particular episode in Dubai, this January, that was probably the worst (and most embarrassing rolled into one).

Picture this: I land (for a trade-show), get to hotel, all whilst functioning on 3 hours sleep in 3 days… Yep, one could say I’m knackered. I wake up the following day at 3am and can’t sleep any further… I get a bright idea to head downstairs to 24-hr pharmacy (at 3:15am), and pick up a Panadol Night and a night-time sachet that you dilute with water. I then go on to have a full day of activities to tire myself out.

I go back to hotel, and drink the sachet and take sleeping tablets at 8:30pm. Wake up at 9:30am, right? Read on, it gets longer and worse.

Thinking I’ve had a full night’s sleep… I shower, apply my makeup and get dressed, as you do. I draw back the curtain and it’s pitch dark outside!?!?!??!? I start questioning the RISING of the SUN because I’ve OBVIOUSLY had such a long and relaxing sleep… “WHY IS IT NOT SUNNY AT 9:30AM YET!?!?”

No, seriously – so, I call my mum… Only to find out it was actually 9:30pm Dubai time. I’d basically only been out for one hour. Never, ever again.

Therefore, if you can avoid tablets and the like, spray your pillow with this instead!

Get a great night’s sleep with our best-selling deep sleep pillow spray. Proven to help you fall asleep faster and wake feeling more refreshed.

WHEN: use at bedtime to help reduce sleep anxiety and improve sleep quality.

HOW: our award-winning natural, aromatherapeutic Superblend of Lavender, Vetivert and Camomile calms both mind and body, soothing you to sleep.

WHY: when we sleep our skin cells repair and harmful toxins are removed, making sleep the ultimate beauty secret and first step in your skincare routine.

97% slept better
89% fell asleep faster
98% felt more refreshed in the morning
100% would recommend deep sleep pillow spray to a friend*

*In a study of 100 subjects and 100 ex-prescription users compared to no product.

Look, I’ve really found This Works’ Sleep Pillow Spray helpful. It does what it claims, and I now fall asleep faster, and deeper, (even if not for longer).

How can I be certain that I’ve slept deeper?

The only way I can tell that I’ve slept deeply is by waking up really refreshed, and not the way I have previously. I’ve had times where I’ve woken up worse than I felt before I went to bed. That – for me, is the opposite of a ‘deep sleep’.

The good news is: I can categorically say that those days are long gone since spraying this nightly.

What do I love about it?

It’s natural, actually works and smells fresh, almost like a dream.

I actually find myself looking forward to spraying it on every night, as sad as that sounds!

To summarise one of the longest posts on this blog, This Works’ Deep Sleep Pillow Spray has helped me sleep quite deeply since I began using it. It’s now a staple to my sleep routine.

moon

When anxiety or depression looms, I look to the Moon – my bear of comfort. It’s so weird, but just one look at this fella calms me down!

Fun fact: pills don’t actually work for me. I’ve tried anti-depressants, but they seem to do more harm for me than good.

If you know they work for you, take them in conjunction with attending counselling. Treat it right.

On anti-depressant tablets, I literally feel like a shell of myself. They seem to wipe out even the happiest emotions along with the vigour I have for doing my day-to-day activities. So, I’ve had to find alternative ways of coping with anxiety/depression, without making other parts of me worse… Enter: Moon!

This teddy bear is one of the very few purchases that sticks in my memory. I remember everything about the day I got him.

The story of Moon

I got him from Superdrug, in Swiss Cottage. After I got him, I took the bus home to drop him (and the rest of my shopping) off, before continuing to Uni.

Looking back, he was a free gift from Superdrug after buying a gift-set. Which, incidentally, is probably why I have fond memories of ‘buying him’, because I didn’t actually have to… It all makes sense now! He was a freebie, and we never forget a freebie… They’re literally priceless!

The USPs that Moon has to offer

He’s soft, cuddly and cute. Even after all these years, he’s maintained his softness enough for me to dub him ‘His Royal Softness’, reigning Supreme for years and long may that continue.

He’s also rose-gold in colour which is unique AF!

I’ve never really been much of a teddies collector or keeper in any case, but this one actually helps me with my anxiety, it’s strange even for me.

As I said, I feel relaxed when I look at him – it’s as if I’m holding one of my healing crystal. He’s just comforting.

What do I love about Moon (apart from the fact that he’s comforting)?

He never misplaces himself when I’m in a bad mood or having a panic attack…

If I was next-level unhinged, I’d be inclined to believe that ‘Toy Story’ is real and our toys come to life when we’re not looking, and that he moves to be within my eyeline when I feel myself getting close to a breakdown.

I lose everything, but I’ll never lose Moon. I hope he becomes a family heirloom that goes down from generations of my family. I hope he gives all his future owners as much comfort as he seems to give me.

If you think this post is weird, Molly-Mae off of #LoveIsland has a stuffed toy she sleeps with… Hers smells like armpits, apparently. Mine doesn’t.

I would like to know what unconventional things seem to cure your bouts of depression/anxiety, even if for a second.

Do you have something that calms you down but others think is weird? If so, comment below. It’d be really interesting for me to find out what others rely on.

Message: don’t be ashamed of the unconventional things that make you feel better. Without them, we’d be emotional wrecks.

If you’re out and about in London this August and are looking for something to do, check out Disney’s Aladdin (before it closes its curtains in London’s West End, at the end of this month).

It’s a great show. I went to see it last year, and it was thrilling. A real, magic carpet ride.

If you’re looking for a whole new world, you’ll find it in the West End.

It’s crystal clear that the show comes to an end this month, so catch it while you can. You by no means have to, but do it regardless because: FOMO’s rhythm’s going to get you!

Aladdin’s the Disney classic everyone needs to see and sing along to… I mean, that’s the reason they turned it into a stage show after all!

If the directors had three wishes, I bet all three would revolve around you going to see it.

Okay, great – I’m off to rub a lamp and write a musical that will begin showing in September. But first, let me sleep for 40 days and 40 nights.

Interested in Aladdin? Good. Read more.

Where is Disney’s Aladdin showing? The Prince Edward Theatre, in London.

What’s the story of Aladdin? Balamory.