Staying Calm & Collected through Exam season

Spring spells exams.

It’s prime season to be getting all prepped and nervy about pending exams. Whether it’s your GCSE’S, A -Levels or University exams, they are stressful beyond belief. The pressure to succeed and do well, and the knowledge that the next few weeks will be filled of cramming in as much revision as possible. Really doesn’t spell out fun does it?!

When we’re stressed, our bodies release hormones that can cloud our judgement and can reduce our immune systems.

Basically, stressing about your exams can actually cause you to perform badly on the day, compared with a calm, rational approach. It can even lead you to feel unwell and catch common colds! All in all, being really ruddy stressed is not ideal!

For this post, I have teamed up with Brampton College to give you a little advice on how to reduce your stress levels during this critical exam season.

Read : The qualifications you’ll need for studying Journalism

Prioritise your time

Top tip : Get yourself a schedule.

Draw up a revision timetable so that you can allocate revision sessions to each subject, dedicating additional time to areas that you’re struggling with.

Being prepared in this way will prevent you from wasting time and procrastinating with the likes of Netflix and Sims ( no, just me? ).

Once you complete each revision session, tick it off your timetable. Reward yourself with a break of even some choccy. Seeing the revision periods being crossed off will motivate you towards the end goal – and keep you sane.

Be organised & create a routine

Top Tip : Organise revision days into working hours – 9-5pm.

Organisation is vital, and takes more than just a revision timetable. You’ll also need to adopt a regular routine; don’t sleep in until lunch time one day and then get up at 7am the next. Sticking to a routine well help you feel in control of your day and wayyyy more productive.

You could write up some to-do lists to ensure nothing gets forgotten. It’s also important to plan some you time too; you need to take breaks from your revision so that you don’t lose momentum.

Curb the distractions

Try and break free from all of the distractions around you, especially social media. Distractions can lead to wasted time and wasted time leads to last minute stress.

Put your phone on silent or leave it in a different room all together. If your mind is wandering during revision sessions, it won’t be productive and you’ll panic when you realise you don’t know as much as you thought you did.

If you are struggling with stress, be sure to talk to someone about it. Sometimes, when it comes to emotions, all you need to do is let it all out and you’ll feel better. If you speak to friends, family or your teachers, you may receive some helpful advice that will help you rise about the stress.

Remember, all you can do is your best. Work hard, revise where possible but don’t out too much pressure on yourself.

Do you have any tips for those revising for exams? Struggle with exam stress? Be sure to leave your thoughts and comments below.

What A-Levels do I need to study journalism at University?*

It’s right about now that many people, old and young, that will be considering their next step in career and education. Whether you’re finishing school or jumping back into education after a break, there is lots to consider surrounding further education and University.
Unfortunately there are stages to getting to that end goal of your dream career and that all comes back to the subjects you study and qualify within.

Luckily for me, I always knew I wanted to be in the field of writing, storytelling and ultimately journalism. I seeked advice and support where I could which made the whole process that much easier.

Why you should consider Journalism as a degree?

Journalism has hugelyyyy helped in my career sector. Whilst I may not be the aspiring, hard hitting journalist on New York’s streets ( which I ever dreamed of when at school ), I have in fact done one better. I have a successful, growing space on the web of my own. I have the ability to work with numerous business and help their business grow with copy and I also have freelance pieces that can be shared through typical media outlets like Magazines, newspapers and more.
Journalism is hugely diverse and is a sector that is ever changing. There are lots of pieces of journalism to consider which can help in various career fields, aside from just journalism.

Since you are here, you’re obviously considering to study journalism in the near future. It can be hard to know how to get there, so I’ve collated some of the qualifications you’ll need to grab that Journalism BA spot! I’ve teamed up with Mill Hill School in London with this one and have put together the following information to help aspiring journalists succeed in their careers.

What you’ll need to study at degree level

Journalism is a broad term, which is there’s not a set of subjects you have to take to succeed. With that said, there are some A Level subjects that are more appropriate than others, and it’s likely that you’re already angling towards those anyway.

Essay Based Subjects

Subjects like English Literature or History, are great places to start since they will help you with your writing skill. Analysis subjects like these really help when it comes to constructing knowledge base journalism pieces like politics.

Consider a Language

Language subjects are an added bonus and can put you at a huge advantage when seeking employment. Multi-lingual journalists can be pretty hard to come by!

More specific

If you are aware of an area you’d like to cover in journalism, than consider grabbing A-Levels that will help your cause. Things like politics, economics or even media can help with your further understanding down the line

Other top tips to strengthening your portfolio

There are other things you can consider getting involved with, aside from your A Level subjects, which will help you get onto a Journalism course at university.

I would highly recommend building a portfolio and showcase your skills and dedication to the field. Think about starting a blog or perhaps contributing to your local newspaper. If broadcast journalism is more your cup of tea then you’ll need to brush up on your public speaking skills, so it’s worth considering joining a debate club, or even starting a podcast.

Journalism is a great field to study. With an array of transferable skills, and avenues you may have never considered ( like blogging, freelance and more), it’s certainly not a degree that will be wasted!

Have you been looking into what you would study? Have you considered a career in journalism? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comment section below!

The REAL value of a Degree

Just last night on my way to work, I heard someone in government claiming that university is not worth the thousands of pounds worth of debt students gain from receiving and achieving a degree. And like usual, I would have loved someone to have heard my response. Because frankly, in my eyes, the statement hit the nail on the head!!

Of course, university bosses argued it is worth the cash. But that was a given considering they’re bagging nearly £9,000 a year from each student for putting on shit excuses of lectures, and lecturers not turning up because of a cold.

I have been a graduate for a little over 2 years now. And in those 2 years of being out in the ‘real world’ I have truly learnt the value of my degree. Jack Shit. Literally!

Every potential job interview mildly related to my degree resulted in a rejection and a side note of ‘more experience needed‘. And other job interviews for those neither relevant or related to my chosen degree resulted in a real grilling as to why I was applying for said job, because why the hell am I not going into Journalism?

It was, and continues to be flipping exhausting.

3 years of arguable hard work and dedication resulted in either a low paid job I could’ve applied for post college. Or a unpaid intern-ship in a last attempt for some experience, because you know, a degree alone is not enough!

So where am I?

I have had 3 jobs since leaving university and none required my degree level of education. Nor did they give me a little le-way to demand that extra salary that was oh so promised if I had the said degree. I have achieved jobs through my personality and experience in life more than anything. And one job in a estate agents, has now resulted in a sales job at a very reputable publishing company.

I am one of the many graduates in a job that unfortunately, neither a degree nor a large amount of debt helped me achieve. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike my job. But let’s just say if I was pitched that as my end job after £60,000 of debt when looking at uni’s, I would’ve jacked in the uni dream and caught the next train home to apply. 

What’s your argument here Charlotte?

University is something I neither regret or am over the moon I went and did. I certainly met some amazing people. Heck one turned out to be my best friend and is my bridesmaid in a couple of months! I most certainly had some amazing times, and learnt valuable lessons not involving and involving alcohol. Most importantly, it taught some life lessons on money and living alone.

And strangely these are all things that come as a side line and not advertised on the uni prospectus, yet became much more valuable than the degree itself! 

All in all, I strongly resonate with those students struggling to get a job post uni.

It’s a tough old world in the sphere of work. I have been grilled by interviewees. Treated like a child when questioned and lectured on the world of social media and the impact it can have on job prospectus. I have been on the lowest income available for a 21 year old and worked my butt off to get better. I have even been mocked by fellow colleagues in one job, because I tried to better myself with a degree and ended up beside them.

And yet, students especially, are looked upon as fools. As drunks who party hard and sleep all day. Who live a easy lifestyle and receive 20% off in New Look. We don’t even receive an apology or reasoning if a lecture is cancelled.

So what’s the real cost of uni?

A tougher skin.

A lump sum of debt you pay minimally until it’s written off.

A true grasp on the value of money and hard work.

These are the things that I consider the real cost of uni. What’s even worse, every pay cheque you are reminded of that minimal payment you are making on that hugeeeee debt you’ve accumulated! And all for what?

University is different for everyone and will be. It can all differ from the course you embark on, the university you study at, or the path you decide to take whilst and after studying.

This post is not to scare people off heading to uni. Not at all. This post is more of a real insight to the life of a student during and after university. I find it infuriating when there are news stories and even university stat’s stating anything but the real deal. University is a business that is interested in profit turnover. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always mean the students get the best experience, or education for their money!

University most definitely taught me a thing or two. But honestly, if I knew what I do now, I would have quit after a year of making friends and freedom, and nabbed myself a job!

What are your thoughts on university? 

Have you been and regret it? 

Are you considering it? 

Let me know in the comment section below! 

 

Best places to shop for Uni room Decor

You’ve probably moved in and looking around your new uni room thinking god this place is bleak.

Truth be told most of them are and really lack personality.

The good old magnolia walls with either blue, or green carpet. Or even better, the grubby plain blinds that scream office workplace!

But have no fear, it’s not all doom and gloom. It can take just a couple of soft home furnishings to turn your bleak, boring and bland uni room into a haven of colour and comfort.

Here’s the best places around to get gorgeous home wares, that won’t break the bank, nor your student loan!!


Ikea
It’s always my go to place when looking for new furniture or furnishings for my home. It’s reasonably priced, good quality and on trend all year round.

I love their range of fabrics that make the perfect wall hangings and can add that pop of colour and personality to your room without having to drill any holes!

Their soft furnishings of blankets, cushions, lamps, candles and flowers are very competitively priced and won’t leave you penniless. Their candles smell amazing, last really well and are only 85p!

Don’t get too carried away with the gorgeous showrooms, other wise you’ll need another loan to cover the Ikea haul!


Wilko 
Unfortunately, when I was uni room decor shopping 5 years back, I didn’t have a wilko close by, and so never experienced the full force of Wilko home until moving into my own place.

Catch your flowers, bedding, candles and accessories at your local Wilko’s.

They range is fantastic and once again really reasonably priced too!

TKMax 
If you’re looking for individual pieces and quirky accessories, you need to check out TKMax / Homesense.

With one of the largest ranges in home accessories and furnishings, it’s always worth looking.

Not everything is cheap, but if you look hard enough, you can find some real gems!! Be sure to keep going back as their range differs every week!


Sainsburys 
I love Sainsbury and their home range. It’s the best supermarket home section available and covers soft furnishings suitable for any uni room. It’s a little steep in price on some things, but you surely can find some gorgeous pieces that will really add some character to your room!


The Range 
What can’t you get in The Range? Exactly. Whatever you are looking for, they have it including fabrics, duvet covers and more. If you really want to kit out your room with everything, you have to go to the Range!

Matalan 
Matalan home has really stepped up a gear, with lots of accessories and bedding for any style! I especially love their range of lighting, from fairy lights to lamps. Matalan is always worth a look, and once again reasonably priced compared to other stores.

Whatever style you are incorporating in your uni room, these pit stops are sure to have what you’re looking for!

Where have you shopped for uni room decor? 

Any places I have missed from the list I should’ve added? 

Let me know and comment below! 
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Living with others; What I learnt

As my degree came to an end, and my house keys have been handed over,  I’ve started to look over my time at university, moving away from home and living with other people.

You will always hear of horror stories of those who house share, whether it be the people they shared with, or the annoying neighbours next door. Upon refelection, I seem to have had my fair share of both, lol. So here are some things to bear in mind if you’re moving in with friends, or starting a house share for your time at university. Beware, you might not have even thought of some of these!

It’s one thing being friends, its another living together! 

Having lived in both halls of residence and private housing, there really isn’t much to go on when thinking of who to live with whilst studying. My choice was made easy at the end of my first year, with all us girls clubbing together to find a house. But friendships really come under pressure when living together, think wisely when who to live with!

Read : Acing those University Submissions

What you consider mess, might not be to others.

Remember, everyone has different living habbits, and different tendancy’s to mess and dirt. Mine is not as strong as others by my understanding of the last couple of years. What you consider mess and dirt may not be to others. 

Don’t chuck any food thats not your own 

It’s always awkward if you’ve chucked away mouldy gone off food, but it’s not recieved well. If its mouldy, don’t chuck it, just make the owner well aware. Better than answering the ‘where is my…’ question.

Read : What they don’t tell you about University

Be prepared to find your foods been eaten 

When housesharing, its inevitable to have a mix up with common food like baked beans and tuna, and equally annoying when you had your heart set on beans on toast. 

Milk runs out, fast. So do teabags actually! 

It’s pretty regualr to go to make a cup of tea and you’ve either run out of milk, or tea bags for that matter. Be prepared for pj runs to the shop if you’re that desperate for you morning tea!

Tumbledryers and Dishwashers are the dream 

Student life, unfortunatley doesn’t usually include tumbledryer nor dishwashers, so prepare for clothes drying and dishes unwashed for days.

Read : Packing for University

There is never clean cutlery in the draw

Despite washing up being done, its never put back in the drawer, or its used before it has the chance. Its not uncommon either to wash things up before you eat, the dinner needed time to cool I guess. 

Mutual cleaning is hard to organise  

When its messy its messy and its not all of your own, hell it might not be any of yours, but you know it needs to be done, and its going to take more than one pair of hands to sort it. It takes more than a little organisation to sort it.

Timing cooking is essential

When living with 4 other girls with a small kitchen, it had to become timed when too cook. Too many cooks in the kitchen just became not only messy, but stressful. Be prepared to eat late so you can cook in space!

Showering is in shifts

Much like cooking, its all in shifts. Teeth brushing, hair washing, weeing and showering is all in shifts. If you leave that bathroom because you’ve forgot something, chances are someone else is already in there!

Never had so much post….for bills!

 I’ve never recieved so much post and its all bills bills bills. How exciting that British Gas is my biggest fan?!

If you can hear your neighbours, they can hear you!

I have had endless evenings hearing the guy next door make love to his girlfriend, I’ve heard domestic arguments after a night out, singing, gossiping and flute practice. Apart from being pretty annoying as well as hilarious, just remember they can probably hear you when you’re singing along to Taylor Swift whilst preparing for a night out. 

But best of all, your best friend lives with you, and thats amazing. 

There are ups and downs of living with friends, but the best bit is them living with you. Since leaving university, the worst bit is, there isn’t some one awake with you, there isn’t someone there to gossip with when you can’t sleep, getting ready together is super easy; you just move into their room for the evening. Nights out don’t end when you go home, they continue, then there’s the group shopping trips, pamper nights, morning gossips in bed, afternoon naps, re-runs of desperate housewives and gossip girl and so so so much more.

So if you’re moving in with friends because of uni or just because you can, there will always be some good and bad points, but it really is the best experience. Just remember

Are you going to uni? Have you just come back? Let me know and comment below.