“Dear students, Happy Easter! We hope you’re enjoying your well-earnt break…but also don’t forget to revise!”. The Easter holidays can be hard with exams looming and all the distractions of home comforts, family, friends and…Netflix. I mean, c’mon we just want a break! With all these distractions, it can be really hard to stay motivated to revise when you’re back at home, but unfortunately, it’s got to be done. Here are some useful tips to stay motivated and productive over the Easter break, whilst still enjoying all the advantages of home…’
To read the rest of the article, follow this link! You can also read the last article I wrote for the GRB about productivity upgrades to your university routine here.
Thank you for reading and supporting, I hope you can take something useful away from the article.
I wrote this article for the Graduate Recruitment Bureau which is a large graduate recruitment consultancy company, if you’re at uni you’ve probably seen them at a freshers fair or careers fair.
Since being at uni, I have definitely been on a journey to find an efficient, productive routine that works for me and in doing so, have had to change some of my terrible time-wasting habits, so I wrote this article for anyone out there who is struggling to change their unproductive day!
Click here to read the full article and to find more useful content about jobs, graduate schemes, interviews, uni life and finding a job after uni! Also, this isn’t an AD, I just wanted to write an article for their blog.
Here is one of the points, to you give you a lil sneak peak…
“Avoid working in your bed- As an English student, I have definitely fallen victim to this bad habit in the past as I much prefer to read in my comfy bed rather than at my desk, but this is one of the worst habits that can affect your productivity. If you’re working in a place your brain associates with relaxation and sleep, it can be hard to concentrate on work and likewise, if you sleep in the same place you’ve been working all day, it becomes hard for your brain to shut off at night, thus leading to a bad night’s sleep and tiredness the next day…”
Hope you enjoy the rest of the article and find it helpful!
I’m here to tell you about the reality of living in student accommodation.
Before I went to university, I didn’t really know what to expect. The only expectation I had to go off was the limited information my brother gave me from his first year at uni and Fresh Meat. (So I kind of just expected that we would be getting drunk a lot.)
However, no one told me about the parts of university when you’re not drinking because you can’t afford to get smashed every night and eventually the honeymoon period passes with your flatmates so you spend a lot of time driving each other up the (mouldy) walls or stressing about work.
A month or so after I began university I put up a post called, ‘Living with 11 Girls?!’ , and I painted a pretty little picture where we sat around braiding each other’s hair and passing each other tampons. And as much as I love my housemates and our house, there are time when I think I would quite like to move out.
So here we go:
Bye bye Mugs– In my head the logic of being nice to people is very much there. Of course when someone asks they would be able to use one of my mugs, of course when you’re living in a small pokey little house, it makes sense to share mugs because what’s the point of having a gazillion mugs in one house. The logic is there. However, a small part of me dies every time I give one of my flatmates a mug because I never know when I’ll see it again, or what state it will be in, i.e clean, dirty, or covered in mould. I know this may seem a little dramatic but I’m a tea drinker, I’m British and I bloody love my mugs.
Mould– I feel like this is something every student will encounter at some point in their time at uni, but yes, mould is very much present. The cycle goes like this: move into house, encounter basic level of mould (because its a shoddy student house), don’t turn on the heating because you’re a student trying to save money, dry clothes inside because it would cost a kidney to run the tumble dryer and its England so you cant dry clothes outside. The mould worsens, you tell landlord about said mould, they give you some mediocre advice or threaten to fine you if you keep drying clothes in the house, you turn on the heating more and dry clothes outside, the mould stops developing and you realise how much of a hole your house is and begin counting down the days until you can move out.
You actually don’t go out that much– Like I mentioned, I thought uni would involve a lot more drinking (responsibly of course) and I got through freshers week of first year and that was enough for me. Throughout first year, my flatmates and I went out on average 2/3 times a week until it just slowed down until about once a week or every fortnight. Now, in second year its about once a week! Now there are of course people who go out a lot and hats off to you if its working for you, but realistically it can get really expensive and also your degree matters, so maybe its not sustainable to be going on benders every week.
I haven’t seen my flatmate in a week– As people go through uni, your flatmates will settle into their friendship groups, societies and just work life and so everyone becomes busy and you can go a couple days without seeing each other in your flat. In my house we do make an effort to do stuff all together once in a while which makes the times we’re all together even more special!
An odd neighbourhood– Is there actually any nice areas where students live? From experience, you are always at high risk of either: being robbed, being followed by weird people, the house being egged, people throwing up on your doorstep or being followed by a weird cat. (Don’t get me wrong, I love our weird cat but most times he arrives and then will sit in my window staring at me until I notice which always scares the life out of me.
Learning to live with people who are essentially strangers when you first meet, in houses which are basically falling down can be challenging, and this post doesn’t paint the best picture, but uni is really fun and I will definitely miss it when I graduate. So despite its issues, if you’re at university, try and make the most of everything and every opportunity!
And if nothing else, every crappy thing can be something you can moan about to your mam.
I went to a parents evening two months after I began college and my English tutor said if I really wanted to become a writer, I needed to start then, otherwise I would go nowhere. It was a great meeting
I have always loved writing, it was something I could use as an outlet to create absolute nonsense, (literally when my sister and I were younger we used to come up with stories starring Hannah Montanna, Zac Efron and our toys) and one day, I would really like to write a book. I’ve started many in the past but I would go a couple of months without writing and then look back at what I had written as absolute garbage. Eventually there came a point when I just told myself that I would pick it up again at a later point when I felt more qualified to do so.
However, then I just didn’t write anything ever and as my tutor kindly pointed out, this was doing nothing in the direction of my goals. I had told myself that writing was something I would get round to doing later, except now someone was actually telling me (in front of my mother, which is just added angst) that if I didn’t do something about it now, then I was never going to achieve it.
Now to a student who was just entering the ‘what the hell am I going to do with my future’ stage of her life, this was a tad alarming. My tutor suggested I start blogging and so I did. From the beginning, I loved the idea. I was nervous to do it, but I really wanted to try.
So here I am, three and a half years later (!!), nearly 100 posts down, many questionable posts written, but now I write about what I want and that keeps me happy. I am thankful for my teacher for giving me the idea to start a blog but I think he was wrong to say I would fail otherwise. There is no timeline to achieving your dreams in life, do it when you want to,change your aspirations, add more, give up when you want to and try again later.
Right now, I’m enjoying doing what I want to do, hopefully you all do to.
Here is my first post about one of my main loves in life: houseplants.
My collection has now reached 18 plants; my room is turning into a mini jungle; I really should stop getting plants but they’re all like children to me. After all, once you’ve proven that you can take care of a plant, you can then progress to small animals and then ten years down the line, you can successfully raise a small army of children. (Don’t question the logic, just do it.)
Here are four easy- peasy succulents to look after, for all my succulent and cacti lovers out there, or anyone who wants to get stuck into the depths of houseplant care.
String of Hearts: My string of hearts are my favourites, they are so easy to grow and so pretty. I got my first plant a year ago and since then, it has easily grown another 3ft, had a really good and long flowering season and it also grew enough for me to get a good amount of cuttings off of to turn into a baby string of hearts, which is also doing really well!
I care for mine my putting it in a position where it will receive a good amount of sunlight (Very important! My string of hearts definitely do better when I’m at home as they can live in our conservatory where they receive a lot of light) and water it minimally. I generally water mine when it either looks a bit lack lustre, if there are yellow leaves (this can also be an indicator of too little light) or if the leaves are really soft – this is a great tip that my sister gave me, so thanks Liv. They’re also really easy to propagate, there are loads of youtube tutorials to follow out there if you’re interested in doing this.
Bunny ears cactus: Yes this is a succulent -all cacti are succulents but not all succulents are cacti! This is also one of my faves, however I will put out a casual age warning of 18+ on cacti with needles. I have known my adult flatmates to ignore my ‘don’t touch’ sign and end up getting needles stuck in their fingers so there’s no limit to what an actual child would do…) You can get a lot of growth out of it every spring which is really cool to watch. It you look at the photo of mine I’ve included, everything except the bottom centre pad has grown since I got it!
Like a lot of cacti species it doesn’t require a lot of water. I water mine about once a week during summer and in winter, every 2-3 weeks, or even less! They don’t need a lot of water in the winter as they go dormant, frequent watering in cold weather could make them get root rot. When it really needs water, the cactus pads become thinner and wrinkle slightly.
One thing to look out for with this plant is its teeny tiny needles which will come off on your skin at the slightest touch. It’s really easy to not realise you’ve got needles stuck in your skin because they’re so small, but it will feel like you’ve got splinters in your hand and can be painful. They are easily plucked out with tweezers but it’s still good to be careful!
String of Pearls: This is really pretty plant of green vines with little green buds to make up the ‘pearls’. (Can you tell I like trailing plants?)
They’re super easy to take care of because they don’t require a lot of water, string of pearls suck up water into their buds so they can go along time without water if need be. I find that mine definitely does better on the drier side. I generally water when the soil is dry, about as often as I would water a string of hearts. Other than that I make sure it gets a good amount of sunlight, trim off any dead buds and it ticks along very happily!
Aloe plants: These are very common succulents and you can find them really easily in shops. I have two, one from Ikea(!) and one a gift from a friend and I love both of them. They grow a lot in the spring- from my photos, you can see small off-shoots and they have all grown since I’ve gotten them, which has been less than a year for each.
Again, they require minimal watering and do better with under watering rather than over-watering (they don’t like being sat in soggy soil) and want lots of natural sunlight.
A few general notes for all the plants, I would be careful of having them near heaters or radiators as they do not react well to the dry heat. Also, even though all these plants like bright sunlight, try to avoid putting them in positions where they can receive a lot of intense sunlight (like right next to a window in full view of bright sun) as they can burn! In terms of when to re-pot, I am yet to re-pot any of these plants since I first got them (a good few months ago), yet none of them have shown signs of being pot bound (e.g roots coming out of the bottom of the pot) and if the plants are happy, it’s better to leave them alone. In terms of feeding my plants, I give them all Baby Bio very occasionally.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my overview of some of my favourite plants and that it may inspire you to add some greenery to your life- succulents really are so easy to look after, and if you get a plant and you’re not sure what it is or how to look after it, it’s always worth doing a bit of research first!