I find that a laptop is pretty much essential for university, even for a maths-related degree. Yes, I hardly use it, it gets more use for blogging, but when I do need it for coursework I’m pretty much glued to it for a few weeks. A desktop for me wouldn’t cut it as I know there are occasions where I need access to it on campus, so laptop it is.
However a laptop isn’t ideal for someone, like me, who has Repetitive Strain Injury tendencies. Since suffering badly over exam period I’ve been prone to really painful twinges (in my other hand) if I use my laptop too often, so I started looking for a decent wireless mouse. Imagine my delight when Logitech contact me wondering if I’d want to review some products – the answer to my problems!
After a great deal of discussion they sent out the mouse they felt would suit me most, the T630 Ultrathin Touch Mouse*. I have to say, I love it!
Its small and lightweight; I can take this to work and pack in my pocket if I need to. It doesn’t aggravate any pain in my wrist, hand or fingers, and best of all its incredible easy to set up. I did have to order a Bluetooth Adapter as for some reason my laptop seems to have forgotten it’s got one built in, but other than that getting this mouse good to go was painfree. Quite literally!
It is pricy for a mouse, but the quality is so, so high. If you do a lot of tedious work using a touchpad I’d highly recommend investing in a mouse. And if you are going to be using it often, I’d go for the best you can afford; I’ve actually gone through several cheaper ones throughout university so you’ll be getting your monies worth. Maybe not a university essential, but it’s an item that’s pretty damn important to me! So whilst it is a luxury item, its also something thats necessary for me!
Disclaimer: The mouse was sent to me for the purpose of this review. I received no monetary compensation, and all opinions are my own – I genuinely loved this product!
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.
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.
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. If 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)
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 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.
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.
Caption: 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.
Caption: 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?
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!