Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Our blogs have moved!


My fellow bloggers and I have moved home! You can now find us all together over at blogs.gre.ac.uk/studentlife.

If you want to catch up on what I've been doing, or even re-visit some of your favourite posts, click here to view all my posts.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

My summer so far!

So far my summer has been very busy! Once university was officially over, I went on holiday to Portugal with my family. It was the best way to finish off my second year at university by sitting by the pool with a book. There were some ups and downs, including days out at the beach, the water park and the inevitable family argument! However, the absolute highlight of my holiday was dolphin watching!

On the day, we went to the harbour and got on a speedboat. My brother’s girlfriend and I ran to the front of the boat, but as we got out to sea we quickly regretted this decision. I have never experienced anything like it, the sea was very choppy and we were literally bouncing on the waves. At this point I would like to note that, there were no seatbelts. Nothing. The only thing keeping me in that boat was my own strength. We finally got used to the vicious waves and we set out to sea in search for the dolphins. We were driving around for ages, when finally we heard on the radio that another boat had located some dolphins. I honestly didn’t think boats could go that fast but it did and then in the distance we could see them! Seeing the dolphins, was exactly how I expected it. We saw a colony of about ten and it was the most beautiful scene I have ever seen and one that I will not forget in a hurry.

Now I am back home, with the holiday blues! We are now in full swing of Clearing and I have recently been offered the role of Senior Clearing Assistant, which I am over the moon about! Even though it has its busy spells throughout the day I am loving being at work and I cannot wait to meet the rest of my team!

Now, you are all up to date! I will call in soon and let you know how it’s all going! Until then!

Friday, 5 June 2015

Life after second year exams!

Since my last blog, I finally received all of my assignment and exam results! I am pleased to say that I have finished second year with a high 2:1. I am so happy that all the library visits, hard work and tears are starting to pay off. Even though I have only just received my results for my second year I have already been emailed regarding my dissertation topic which is a scary concept. I really haven’t given it a thought but would like to relate it to education as much as I can, to support my application for a PGCE after graduation.


I have also started my new work experience this year in a primary school with a year 4 class. I do not think I have ever been so nervous in my life! And to make matters worse it was raining, I had a five minute walk from the car and that morning I had decided to take my umbrella out of my bag! So on my first day I turned up at the front gate soaking wet! However, after a while of being there I realised that I had nothing to worry about. The teacher I am now working with is so lovely and soon made me a cup of tea to warm me up.

During the day we did double maths with a singing assembly in-between and then had history and creative writing in the afternoon. Before I started I was worried that the work experience would make me realise that I didn’t want to be a teacher but it only reinforced my desire to teach. The only things that will take some getting used to is being called Miss. Paterson and how small the chairs are! I am going back to this school once a week for the next month and then I start two more schools in September which I cannot wait for! And of course I will let you know how they go.


Speak soon!

Friday, 22 May 2015

Second Year is done!



Since my last blog I have finally submitted all of my coursework and completed all of my exams! Even though I am so excited that I have completed another year of Uni, it just means I am one step closer to graduating and leaving here! :( Despite the stress of the past few weeks, being here is the most fun that anyone will ever have.

The exam season being over can only mean one thing, the Summer Ball. For those who do not know, the Summer Ball is the big blow out after exams. It’s located at Sparrows playing fields and this year included: bumper cars; Chinese Karaoke tent; zorbing; silent disco; and other fun fair activities. Despite the late night and being exceptionally tired the day after, it was the best way to celebrate the end of exams and to say goodbye to everyone who is now coming home for the summer.

Now that my second year is done, I have a very long summer ahead of me so I am currently trying to find ways to fill my time. This week I have had three meetings with different schools to organise work experience. One of which I will be starting in June and the other two I will be starting in September. For the rest of the summer I will be waiting for my exam results and catching up on all of the TV that I have missed during the exam period.  After this, it is now a countdown to the start of clearing, and oddly I can’t wait! Not just for the money but for the BBQ and of course the infamous theme your team day.
So, that’s all for now, but I will keep you updated on my exam results and the future highlights of the summer!

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Money Saving Tips

There are so many lists written to help students save their money, however, it has got to the time where many of us have spent a little too much of our student loan and we need to make the rest last until late April. In light of this I have done all of the leg work for you and have read all of the money advice available and written the most useful tips below.

Plan meals in advance
  • It is easy to just pick up some food in between lectures or order a takeaway after a long day at work when we know full well that we have food at home. 
  • Make dinner with your friends or flatmates and split the food bills. 
  • It is so hard to cook for just one person so there are always left overs so why not freeze it for a future dinner or have it for lunch the next day?
  • Above all of these the number one rule is to NEVER go food shopping when you’re hungry!

Discounts
  • Being a student holds many benefits with regards to discounts.
  • An NUS Card is so cheap to buy and will basically pay for itself. It will give you discounts in a variety of places including; Co-operative, Amazon, New Look, Pizza Express and many many more! 

Avoid the kebab shop on the way home…
  • Not only will this have a serious effect on your waistline it will eventually impact your bank balance.
  • We all know it’s hard to avoid the grease on the way home but instead just wait and make something when you get home.

Invest in travel cards
  • There are many ways that you can save money on travel but the best ways seem to be the 16-25 Railcard and the Student Oyster card.
  • These will save you a lot of money if you’re going home for the weekend or travelling home after a night out.

Text books
  • At your time during University there are so many books that you have to read and they can be so expensive!
  • Instead of giving up a huge chunk of that student loan, try and get these books cheaper by asking previous student if they still have theirs or buy them second hand  on sites like ‘eBay’ or ‘Amazon’.
  • If you only need the book for one chapter then look in the library first.

Organise your money
  • When your student loan is given to you in a lump sum it is tempting to spend spend spend!
  • The most important thing to do is to pay your rent or hall fees first or at least put the money aside, as well as the bills that you will have to pay.
  • After you have done this you can see how much money you have per week and you can set a weekly budget for this such as the food shop.
  • Another good tip is to set alarms to remind you to take back your library book to avoid unnecessary fines.

Maximise your income
  • Many students have part-time jobs to help give them some extra.
  • The University advises that if you are a full-time student then you shouldn’t work more than 20 hours a week as anything over than that may affect your University work.
  • As well as giving you some extra cash, it will also boost your C.V. A good place to start looking for jobs is within the University as they are flexible and understandable with regards to your University commitments.

Living in London doesn’t have to be expensive
  • Make use of all of the free things that are available right on your door step. For example; museums, parks, walks, sight-seeing and many many more.

Get help
  • The University has a student finance team that can give you money advice and answer any questions.
  • In the meantime, see if you are eligible for any scholarships or bursaries which will be able to lend you some help.

Helpful websites
  • www.moneysavingexpert.com
  • www.uk.freecycle.org
  • www.vouchercodes.com




Friday, 28 November 2014

The Reality of Deadlines!

Since my last blog, my second year of Uni has truly started! In the last month I have had three deadlines; two for sociology and one for psychology. I have definitely noticed the increase in the intensity of work and would say that the jump from year one to year two is much bigger than the one from A-level to University! Despite all of this, and the tears I had shed in the library and to my mum, I have managed to get all of deadlines in on time! J

So now I have caught up on my sleep and have got all of the energy drinks out of my system, it is back to work for me. I am lucky as I don’t have January exams; however I have four deadlines due in the first week of January! This is a very strange time of year as all students are counting down the days until the library is open 24/7!! It may sound sad but it is amazing when the library is open all the time and you have deadlines due. But it’s even better now that we can get Starbucks coffee in the library! It really is the small things in life! J

Getting away from the talk of deadlines, everyone seems to be getting into the Christmas spirit! We have our work Christmas party coming up which everyone is excited about as we have a prize for the best reindeer costume. But the best thing about being at a London University at this time of year is that you can be at Winter Wonderland within the hour! If you are not in the festive spirit this will help to fulfil all of your Christmas needs! There’s an ice rink, a massive Ferris wheel, an ice bar, a Bavarian beer house and loads of other things to get into the spirit!


Anyway, I better crack on with my work! Speak soon!!



Thursday, 16 October 2014

My first blog!

Hey guys, I’m Laura and I’m in my second year of BSc Sociology and Psychology.

Initially I was very intimidated by the nature of my course as it is very essay based. However now I’m in my second year I honestly cannot see myself doing anything else! If you’re like me and you’re a bit worried about the intensity of the course, please don’t be! The great thing about this programme is the amazing support network that you have around you. The lecturers are so approachable and helpful with all issues that you have during your time here, even if the problem isn’t necessarily University related. 

The first year of this programmes aims to bring everyone up to the same level, so if you haven’t studied either programme before then this really is not an issue!  In the first year of Sociology we looked at ‘Inequality and Social Change’ and research methods. These courses gave me an insight into what Sociology was really about and made me realise how many different ideologies existed with regards to the realities of society. The first year of Psychology looked at many different aspects including abnormal and social psychology. As well as this, we had a module looking at the different approaches to counselling.

My main advice for any student, would be to get involved in the University in any way possible! Whether this is getting involved in societies, our huge array of sports clubs or an in campus job. This summer I started a job within the Enquiry Unit. During this time I have made the most amazing friends and had the opportunity to develop personal skills as well as increase my knowledge of the University. It also looks great on your C.V!


Please take advantage of the amazing opportunities that you have available to you during your time here! Don’t forget to enjoy term one!