Blogger Link-Up: Stationery for University

First of all I’d like to thank Chloe for allowing me to write a blog post for her amazing (& yummy blog – seriously the images always make me drool)..

My name is Sarah and I’m a 19 year old university student due to finish university in 2016! I blog over at EverydayConcepts about organisation, beauty, fashion and entertainment as well doing some giveaways so keep tuned!

Since I am really obsessed in love with anything related to organisation and stationery, I thought what could make a better post than where my passions lie?!

Before starting university, I went onto a massive stationery haul and purchased many things I didn’t even need. This caused me to waste a lot of money and just stare at the beautiful writing instruments and gorgeous notebooks I wouldn’t be needing. By the time second year started I sold nearly all of my items on ebay at discounted prices which was bad in terms of me losing money but good in terms of me allowing others to feed their passion and helping them get organised for cheaper!

However, I learnt my lesson. In year two, I stuck with a strict budget and only purchased items I needed:

 photo DiaryOrganiser_zps5969491d.jpg1) Diary/Organiser – This is a definite item all students should purchased. I’ve had a bit of a hassle finding out how to organise myself jumping from well known organisers to self-made diaries. Then, I popped into my local supermarket and found the diary of my dreams for only 70p!!! Advice: Always visit supermarkets first before hitting large stationery outlets.

 photo NotebookArchlever_zpsaf81c7ff.jpg2) Notebooks – I prefer good quality Oxford notebooks. I purchased two A4 ones to see if they lasted me a whole year and luckily they did! I LOVE the paper quality and how smoothly the pen writes on them!

 photo Writing_zpsf2cc1250.jpg3) Pens – Obviously a MUST (unless you use your IPad which I have seen many students use but I’d hate all my work to get lost in a dramatic technology fail!) I use Papermate inkjoys for note-making in my own time and frixion pens for rushy lectures and seminars because then at least I can rub wrong things out! I’ve not really used highlighters because I get carried away and highlight everything , so instead I use sticky notes which brings me onto my next point.

 photo StickyNotes_zps7b2415d1.jpg4) Sticky notes – These have saved me a lot of times. I am forever indebted to you sticky notes! During revision time, I use larger ones which I stick around my room. They are always popping out from my diary reminding me of deadlines and meetings. Finally, they always allow me to further cut down my notes into concise versions which are easier to remember – they are the reason for my success.

5) Arch Levers  – I have two arch levers – one with a copy of all my assignments and grades and another with all my notes. The one with my assignments and grades usually stays put until I print out everything however the one with notes sleeps under my bed! I update the notes throughout the year and collaborate notes from other modules together and develop them with further research. This helps greatly when it comes to revision.

On a final note, don’t splurge on stationery and stick to what you really need, unless of course you use your IPad (or other technology). It’s best to always see what sort of modules your degree entails – if it’s more chemistry/maths based, go overboard with the notebooks and pens! If it’s more hands on, only buy the essentials. As for me, I’m on intercalation for the following academic year, so it will be great to see what I discover however I won’t be able to indulge in stationery much! Also, for the 1st anniversary of my blog (29th July) I will be doing a HUGE stationery giveaway and fundraising for a charity so stay tuned!

Sarah 🙂

Massive thanks to Sarah for writing this post – I know I find organisation really important for university! I’ll definitely be entering her giveaway, and although I don’t want you to ruin my chances keep an eye on her blog here.

What’s your must-have bits of stationery?

Blogger Link Up: Simple Snacks for University

Continuing on my Link Up, today we have Olivia from Land of Soap writing about healthier snacks to take to university. Olivia is a medial student so I’m really interested to have her tips – I know my university lunches could really be improved!

 

Eating on Campus can get expensive and boring. At my uni the only thing remotely edible from out canteen is chips, but even that gets boring. Taking snacks is an option, hopefully this post will give you a few ideas of some healthier options.

Choose meals and snacks that emphasize protein over carbohydrate. Protein-rich meals and snacks keep your energy levels even. Sugary snacks will give you energy for a while, but they will eventually  drop causing you to feel sluggish.

Water
This is not a food, but it is still pretty important to stay well hydrated whilst studying. Drinking water can help you stay alert for a bit longer. Aim to carry a water bottle with you at all times.

Cereal Bars
They come in many different flavours so there must be one you might like. A plus side is you can stock up and not worry about them expiring soon. If you put a few in your bag, they will be ready when you need them.
 photo cerealbars_zps40fabd72.jpgIf you feel adventurous you can make your own cereal bars, I personally mix 1 cup raisins,1/4 cup  smooth peanut butter ,1 cup roasted unsalted almonds, loosely chopped, 1 1/2 cups rolled oats together with warm honey. I spread the mixture out to set in a shallow baking tray, and once it is set it can be cut into cereal bars.
Pros–  little to no preparation required
Cons-some varieties can be very high in sugar

Fruit and Veg
Grapes, strawberries, carrot sticks and cucumber slices make great finger sized snacks. Carry them in a small container, and you will have a noise-free snack for when you absolutely must eat in the library or a lecture. These fruits and veg  are mess free so, making them the ideal study partner.
Pros– ultra healthy
Cons– not suitable for really hot days, (warm cucumbers are the weirdest thing I have ever eaten)

Sandwiches
This is not the most interesting idea, but there is no denying the fact that they are filling.  Almost anything can be turned into sandwich fillings so do not be afraid to experiment. Add variety to your sandwiches by using tortilla wraps, pitta bread or hotdog buns.
Pros– Highly satisfying snack
Cons– Requires time to prepare

Nuts
Nuts are full of healthy fats but they can be calorific if you devour the whole bag! A reasonable amount is about 30 grams(a small handful). Nuts  provide vitamin E, calcium, potassium and magnesium, as well as a significant source of protein and fibre. Throw some in a sandwich bag or a small lunch box to nibble on when you become peckish.
Pros– a protein source packed with minerals and Vitamin E
Cons– calorie dense making it easy to eat too much

Popcorn
Popcorn is a slightly healthier alternative to crisps. If you want you can  make your own in the microwave, but if your anything like me its probably easy to get a multipack bag. Popcorn contains more protein than any other cereal and more iron than eggs or spinach.
Pros– fun to eat
Cons-Thirst, I wonder why popcorn makes me thirsty.

Thanks Olivia for the interesting insight into portable foods for university – I’ve realised I’ve completely overlooked taking nuts, which is strange as its something I ate a lot at sixth form! I’ll definitely be looking at overhauling my lunches next year. 

What do you snack on during the day?

Blogger Link Up: University Isn’t For Everyone

Remember the Link Up that I posted about last week? Well today Rachel is kicking it off, telling us all about her experiences with university. Her post really hits home for me as I’ve seen some people really not get on with the university lifestyle, so if you’re unsure about where you want to go, definitely have a read of this!

Hi! My name is Rachel and I blog over at The Inelegant Wench where I talk about pretty much anything that comes to mind, including confessing things every Sunday in my Sunday Confessions series.

When I saw that Chloe wanted people to guest post about their university experiences over on Twitter, I immediately responded that I was interested as I took a bit of a different route to get to graduating last summer! I took the standard route to begin with, applying to UCAS and going straight from A Levels to university, to study Computer Science as I liked Computing A Level, and computers in general.

 photo inelegant1_zpsb9140cfb.jpgCaption: Halloween at university, dressed as zombies. I’m at the front.

I moved away to university, into halls and started my course. I had a large group of friends, a boyfriend and life was pretty good. In the Christmas holidays I went to visit friends around the country, and carried on having fun and living it up. However when I got back to uni in January, I had my first exams. I revised a bit, but didn’t get particularly amazing marks. Them the second semester subjects started and I began to find the lessons more difficult and I began to struggle to keep up as the amount of programming required increased dramatically. I was never the best at programming, I was fine at the simple stuff, but when it got more difficult I found it incredibly frustrating and difficult. At around the same time I got dumped and most of my friends began to leave me out and bitch about me a lot. All in all you could say that I wasn’t very happy. I kept persevering because that’s the type of person that I am, but by the time the Easter holidays came around I was looking forward to going home and getting away from it all for a month (oh how I miss university holidays!)

Whilst back at home I had a great time with friends and I was really dreading having to go back to uni where I was lonely, miserable and struggling. About a week after I got back I made the decision to drop out of university. This was a big decision for me to make, as going to university had been my life goal up until that point. As I knew I was going to fail, or only just scrape a pass in the second semesters subjects which I wasn’t enjoying anyway, I thought it would be a waste of money continuing. Making the phone call home to talk to my parents about it is one of the most terrifying things I have ever done in my life. I was scared of their reaction, but luckily they were supportive, and told me that as long as I was going to do something, even if it was just continuing with my part time job, they would support me in my choice. They encouraged me to stick the year out, as it was already paid for and I might get some university credits out of it, which could have helped me in the future if I decided to study again.

I managed to stick the year out, and sat my exams. I passed a couple of them, but failed most of the others and was very glad to leave. I began working as a receptionist, living with my parents and I was much much happier than when I was at university. After about 6 months I began to get itchy feet. I wanted to study again, and I wanted to get a degree. I thought much more about what I wanted to do this time and came to the conclusion that working in the NHS was what I wanted to do, but not as a doctor or nurse. I applied for a training scheme where you worked full time and the hospital sent you to university one day a week to complete a degree over 4 years. After one failed application round I tried again and was successful. I moved out again, but this time it was to start a job doing something I was interested in and the degree was vocational.

 photo inelegant21_zps050c6aa9.jpgCaption: Graduating last summer.

I thoroughly enjoyed doing my degree in this format, it meant that I was a part of the working world, and as the degree was condensed into one day a week and I got study time at work, I worked really hard. Taking the year out between degrees had helped me to gain some perspective, and grow up a hell of a lot. After 4 hard and enjoyable years I graduated last year with a first class degree. Some of my family thought that when I dropped out I had ruined my life, but it was one of the best decisions I had ever made, and proving them wrong when I graduated made the day even better.

If you have read this and are unsure about whether your degree is right for you, if you are considering dropping out, it doesn’t have to be the end of your studying. You can go back, you can succeed and you can still have a happy and successful life. If I had continued doing Computer Science I am convinced that I wouldn’t have got a higher degree result than a 2:2 and I would have hated the subject by the time I graduated. Instead I graduated doing a subject I love and have got a well paid job straight away as I already have 4 years of paid experience in the field. Much better!

If you want to be nosy at more aspects of my life, why not pop over to my blog and say hi! I’m also getting more and more active on twitter (@inelegantwench) if you would like to ask me any questions or would like any advice.

Thanks to Chloe for letting me hijack this fantastic blog of hers, and she will be having a blog post of her own up on my blog soon, are you as excited as me?

Rachel xx

Thanks Rachel – was such a good insight into an alternative university experience! Please so check out The Inelegant Wench as its one of my favourite blogs!

Blogger Link Up: Introduction

A few weeks ago I decided to run a little link-up – a series of guest posts on this blog by other bloggers, with some relation to university. I asked on Twitter and The Student Room for contributors and got a really good response, so thank you! I’m also still looking for a couple more contributors so please let me know if you fancy writing a post!

Over the next few weeks I already have scheduled:

  • Rachel from Inelegant Wench writing about her alternative university experience. This post really hit home for me as I know through personal experience university definitely isn’t for everyone, so if you’re unsure about the route you want to take I’d definitely keep your eye on this blog.
  • Olivia from Land of Soap writing about Snacking at University – as a total foodie myself this is something I’m really looking forward to reading!

I’m also keenly waiting on a post by Taylah from Birmingham Student Foodie (who is one of my new favourite bloggers!) and Emily Louise from her style blog (I’ve only recently found this blog – still scrolling through past posts but its becoming a favourite!).

If you are interested in taking part in this link-up (all posts will include links to your own blog and social media pages, and if wanted I can write a guest post in return) then please email me at [email protected] with your ideas and I’d be happy to get back to you – I’d love some more beauty/fashion based posts, but anything goes really!

What kind of posts would you like to see on The Life & Loves of Ninegrandstudent?