HOW am I half way through second semester??!!?

Snow in Windsor!

You can tell by the slightly over the top title that Spring term is just going SO FAST and next week is the last week of lectures before reading week (a.k.a. half term but not half term bc unis don’t get that lol…except some of us do). Honestly since coming back from Winter break, time has passed so quickly and I think that’s because I’ve been throwing myself into lots of things, which is good!!

I wanted to just write a little update about what I’ve been up to and reflect on the term so far!

I was determined to make this term better than the last and although it got off to s bit of a rocky start with some major breakdowns and trips to the uni wellbeing service, I am doing a lot better now! I feel like I’m the happiest I’ve been since starting uni.

Talking to the wellbeing advisors has helped me let go of a lot of stuff that was holding me back and getting me down last term, in terms of both the social and academic side of uni. I’ve always put pressure on myself academically and I think just having someone to tell me that I my work doesn’t need to be perfect and I am allowed to let myself relax has really helped. Also, I was feeling very lost and struggling with making friends, but the wellbeing team helped me to realise that friendships take time and I will make good friends eventually!! So I’m generally feeling a lot happier in myself now.

I’ve also stopped using Snapchat and Instagram, because I think there were affecting my mental health quite a lot as I kept comparing my experience of uni to my friends and making myself feel bad that I wasn’t having an “amazing” time, but I think I’m over that now because I know that I can shape my uni experience to how I want it to be and I don’t need to live up to society’s expectations of student life.

In terms of what I’ve been up to this term, I’ve done quote a few fun things! I’ve been trying to go and explore new places every Sunday to give me a day off and help me relax and so far I’ve been into London to see the Winter Lights Festival in Canary Wharf, which was amazing although I practically froze and I’ve also been to Windsor and Eton to explore. I’ve also been on a hike in the snow (IT SNOWED!! TWICE!! And uni turned into Narnia!) with hiking society and trying to meet up with friends from outside my course more often, which has been really nice!

I feel like this term I’m definitely balancing the social side of uni with studying more and I’m feeling really good in myself, which I’m happy about!!

Something else I’ve started doing this term is volunteering at a local Scout group which was honestly terrifying at first and quite far out of my comfort zone, but I’m so proud of myself for doing it and now I’m really enjoying it.

I’ve got lots of exciting things coming in the second half of this term like going to the watch The Last Leg live on Friday and doing a Monopoly Run around London with the Scouts which my mum and sister are both coming down to do, so it will be nice to see them!

I’m going home for a few days in my reading week just so I can focus on essays as there are too many distractions at uni, and also it’s my friends birthday so I’ll be able to catch up with her. Also in March my friend from home is coming to stay and we’re going to explore London together which will be so nice!!

So yeah, I think that’s pretty much what I’ve been up to so far this term! Hope school/college/uni is going well for you all and catch up soon! 🙂

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5 Student-Friendly Veggie Meals!!

Hello!! Since coming back from winter break, I’ve been really enjoying getting back into cooking. It’s weird really because before uni I couldn’t cook at all and now I’m always looking up new recipes, buying new foods and experimenting with different ingredients. Although sometimes cooking can be tiring after a long day, I really like feeling in control of what I’m eating and to be honest I think I eat a lot more healthily at uni than at home!

Today I’ll be sharing some of my favourite meals to have as a student and all of them are budget friendly too!! As I said in my 2019 goals post, I’m going to work on becoming vegetarian this year, so all of the meals I’m including are veggie friendly!! (Also apologies that the photography is not great haha, was trying to sneakily take photos of my food without people thinking I’m weird!)

The first meal I’m going to talk about is pretty basic but it was still really nice!! I had a cauliflower cheese grill which sounds really odd but honestly it was so nice! Then along with this I had some sweet potato wedges which I made myself, carrots, cabbage and peas. This is what I call a “freezer meal” – something I have when I can’t be bothered to cook from scratch but it’s very versatile as you could swap the cauliflower cheese grill for any type of pasty, slice or whatever you feel like! I buy most of my veg frozen and one bag of frozen peas literally lasted me the whole of last term, so this works out as a very cheap meal. Also I had gravy with this because I literally eat gravy with everything at the moment 😂

The second meal I’m going to talk about is something I cooked for the first time a few weeks ago and absolutely loved it! It was sort of something I just threw together but it actually turned out to be delicious. Essentially, it is a chick pea stir fry with noodles. As I’m trying to incorporate veggie meals into my diet, I thought I’d experiment with chick peas as a source of protein. I usually find chickpeas really bland but this time I made a sort of dressing with oil, mixed herbs, salt and pepper which I coated them in before adding them to the rest of the veg I was stir frying and they ended up having a really creamy taste. I then just cooked some noodles on the side. This meals literally took about 10-15 minutes to make and it was so nice, I will definitely be making it again! Also, any type of stir fry is such a great student staple as you can literally chuck any left over veg in a pan and fry it.


My photography skills really don’t make these meals look appetising lol but this next one is one of my favourite things I’ve cooked!! As you can probably tell, I love sweet potatoes as this meal consisted of two sweet jacket potatoes (cooked à la microwave bc the oven is SLOW), stir fried greens, sweet corn and pepper with homemade baked beans!! I mean, I had baked beans in my cupboard but there’s something so satisfying about making your own! I made my baked beans by boiling a tin of chopped tomatoes then adding some kidney beans which were left over from the day before, but haricot beans also work well! (Although I am aware this meal was basically just veg lol and doesn’t have much protein, I’m still working on making balanced veggie meals!)

(I mean, the photography just keeps going downhill but OH WELL). This next meals was another sort of improvised meal. I had a panini to use so I decided to make panini pizzas by grilling them with tomato puree, cheese, peppers and tomatoes on top. I then made sweet potato fries which I either coated in paprika or Italian herbs, I can’t remember, and then had LOTS of spinach on the side (why do they make bags of spinach so big?? It’s a STRUGGLE to get through it before it goes out of date!!)

Finally we have a nother quick meal which I just through together the other day but it actually turned out well! I had spinach and ricotta filled pasta with fried egg, pepper and sweetcorn and some kale. I absolutely love filled pasta (and it’s always on offer in Tesco ayy) and this was just another case of using up veg.

I’m actually pretty proud of the amount of veggie meals I’ve been eating. I’d say I’ve got to a point where half of my evening meals per week are veggie, and I’m pretty impressed with that!

If you’re a student like me, I hope these meals have given you a few ideas! I love trying out new meals so please let me know what your go-to meals are or just veggie-friendly meals in general, I would love to get some tips!

Things I Love About Uni!

As you are probably aware if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, I do like a bit of a rant about uni. So, I thought it was time to spread some positivity on my blog – both for your sake and mine – by sharing with you some of the things I love about being at university!

Meeting New People

I’ve never thought of myself as being very good at meeting new people, but I suppose that’s because at home I’d gone through primary school, secondary school and college with pretty much the same people so I was rarely in a situation where I could meet new people. However, since coming to uni I have discovered I absolutely love meeting people from such a diverse range of backgrounds. Being close to London, my university is quite international which means I’ve met people from all over the world, as well as around the UK, and I find it so interesting learning about other people’s cultures and experiences. At first it was a bit daunting being in a place where I knew no one, but you’ve just got to remind yourself that 99% of other freshers are in the same position! I love the fact that there are so many people here to meet and there’s always new opportunities to get to know new people through your course, societies, mutual friends or even just bumping into people in the library. I’ve also been able to meet more like-minded people which is such a refreshing experience – and slightly mind-blowing – when you meet someone who may have had a completely different upbringing to you but you still perceive the world in a similar way!

Exploring a New Area

If you know me well you’ll know that I am very much an adventurer and that exploring new places makes me feel alive! I didn’t know much about the area of the UK that my university is located in before coming here (and to be honest I still don’t!!) but being somewhere completely different to home means there’s always new places to discover. I’m quite a restless person and don’t like being in one place for too long, so often if I have a day or an afternoon off I’ll go on a spontaneous trip somewhere. For example, I went into London to wander around and look at the Christmas lights. I’ve only been to London probably less than 10 times in my life so there is still so much of it to explore and I really don’t know my way around! I also go walking a lot, mainly because I’ve joined the hiking society and also because I just love walking. Last week I went on a two hour hike in between my lectures just because the sun was shining and I wanted to get out and about. I really do love where my university is, even though it’s a campus and not in a city, I love the surrounding area and how it’s so close to London and lots of other interesting places to explore.

Cooking

Before coming to uni, I actually really didn’t enjoy cooking but now, surprisingly, cooking dinner has become one of my highlights of the day. I really love having the freedom to buy my own food and cook what I like – not that I didn’t like my parents cooking at home, but it’s so satisfying to sit down and eat something you’ve taken the time cook! I really love trying new recipes and experimenting with different ingredients and I find cooking dinner helps me to relax after a day of studying. I’ll be sharing some of my favourite meals in a post soon! 🙂

My Degree

I am actually really loving my degree! You may remember I changed degree at the start of uni as studying French didn’t really work out how I wanted it to, and for a while I was a bit unsure whether Politics and International Relations was right for me as I always saw myself going into a career related to languages, but the more I study the more I realise this is the right path for me. I really feel like I’m learning about how the world works and what problems we’re facing on a global scale and it’s made me realise that i want to go into a career that will help make a difference to some of these global issues. My degree kind of encompasses all the bits I loved from studying geography, history and politics A Level as well as completely new stuff like philosophy which I find my mind is really in tune with, I’ve always like philosophising about thinks and I love the way that studying philosophy makes me think about the world today!

Every Week is Different!

Literally the weeks at uni fly by as I’m always busy doing one thing or another, and I love the variety of things I get to do here. my uni is really goof at putting on lots of events and although I don’t go to all of them, I have been to some like pet therapy and the Christmas market (we had ACTUAL reindeer!) which I’ve really enjoyed. Also I find each week my friendships with people change and grow – some weeks I become closer to some people and then the next I’ll grow closer to others. With every week I spend here, I feel a little bit more like this is the place for me.

My Room

I’m not going to lie, decorating my room was probably the thing I was most excited for when coming to uni. I’ve spent a lot of time making it feel homely and I absolutely love it!! my accommodation in general is just really nice and modern and I’m so happy with it. Also, I have an amazing view from my window, especially in the autumn – can’t wait to see what it’ll look like in spring!

So, that’s a few of the things I’m loving about uni so far!! I’m sure by the end of the year there will be many more!

If you’re at uni, what are you loving so far? And if you’re going to uni soon, what are you most looking forward to? 🙂

2018: The Year of Being Me

Hello! As it’s nearing the end of the year (HOW is the even possible??!), I thought I’d take the time to think about the year that’s just passed. At the start of 2018, I decided not to set myself resolutions as such and instead I said that this year, I just want to learn to be myself and be happy with who I am. I wrote a post about this back in January, explaining how in previous years, I’ve tried to ‘change’ myself, not drastically but there were always parts of my personality that I was unhappy with and for a long time I wished I could just ‘fit in’ like everyone else. But this year has been all about changing that mindset.

I know learning to accept and love who you are is a difficult challenge and not something you can achieve overnight, but this year I’ve made it my focus and I think I genuinely have made progress towards it. 

I think this year has been a year of big changes, some of which have pushed me out of my comfort zone and forced me to deal with things I’ve never had to deal with before. But I’m very much a believer in “we grow through what we go through” so although there have been some pretty low points this past year, I know that I’ve become a lot stronger because of them. 

Obviously moving away from home has been a big change and one that I’ve embraced. It hasn’t been easy but I’ve got through the first term of university and am feeling optimistic about next semester, so that must be a good sign. I’d always thought that starting uni would be a fresh start, a chance to start being me without worrying about people’s preconceptions and the “boxes” people at home put me in. In many ways, it has been a fresh start however it’s been harder than I thought to shift the label of being the “quiet one” which I’ve been branded with pretty much since the start of secondary school. However, I have learnt that you can’t fit in with or get along with everyone in life. You meet so many new people at university from different backgrounds, which I have loved and honestly I have made some lovely friends who I can really see myself becoming close to over the rest of the year, but I still find myself feeling out of place in some social circles, but that’s okay because we’re not compatible with everyone.

One big (ish) thing that proves to me that I have become more accepting of myself is that I came out as bisexual to one of my best friends. Albeit it was after having one of many massive breakdown about my identity (because the first half of this year I was in a permanent phase of identity crisis) and everything came pouring out, but I still did it. My sexuality is something I’ve been bottling up for around three years now so it was a big thing that I was able to come out to someone. 

Another thing is that my relationship with my mental health has improved. I’ve had some pretty low points in terms of my mental health this year but I’m learning to accept them as part of me and have started to open up to people a lot more about what’s going on inside my head. For example the other week, I was feeling really down about university and was on the verge of wanting to drop out but I made myself pick up the phone and spent about 5 hours talking to two of my best friends honestly about what was going on inside my head and I’m so proud of myself for doing that and admitting that I wasn’t okay. That gave me the confidence to open up to one of my closest uni friends too about how I’d been struggling with various oppressed emotions from the past few years and honestly I can’t believe I opened up to someone I’ve only known for three months, but it just goes to show how far I’ve come in accepting that it’s okay to not be okay.  Things still aren’t perfect and I frequently wonder if the mess of emotions in my head will be with me forever or if I’ll be able to work through the fog at some point, but I’m proud that I’ve started to accept that I do struggle with my mental health rather than pretending everything is fine.

This has all been a bit of an emotional ramble so far and that’s only about to get worse, but I honestly feel like this year I’ve made a lot of progress towards being happier with who I am and that’s something that I’m proud of. It’s not consistent progress and often feels like I’m taking two steps forward and one step back, but it’s progress nonetheless!

This year has been very much a roller coaster in terms of my personal life and I’ve had to deal with some difficult situations and emotions, but there have also been several high points. This year there have been quite a few moments where I’ve really felt strongly connected to myself and just felt pure in-the-moment happiness and really felt alive, that’s something I haven’t properly felt since the summer of 2016 after finishing secondary school. 

For example, when I went on holiday to Amsterdam with two of my best friends, it felt so freeing to be travelling independently, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.  Then when I climbed Snowdon with my family, that was honestly the most breathtaking experience and it really helped to pull me out of a mental health rut and look at life from a different perspective. I’ve also had some pretty powerful experiences with music this year, seeing both Eliza and the Bear and Walk the Moon in concert, two bands which I’ve loved for years. It’s so hard to put into words the feeling of watching bands you’ve grown up with play the songs you love and feeling so connected to all the previous “versions” of yourself who’ve sung those lyrics countless times. This summer I also found clothes that I actually feel comfortable in. It sounds like such a little thing but with all the confusing thoughts I was having about gender earlier on in the year (and still am having to an extent) it just felt so good to feel comfortable in what I was wearing.

It all might sound a bit weird, this “feeling connected to myself” thing, but I can’t think of any other way to describe it. I have often felt lost over the past few years and I think that is just a thing with growing up and discovering who you are, but this is the first year that, on a number of occasions, I’ve felt like I belong, like I’ve found who I am inside. And it’ll take many more years or perhaps a life time for me to feel like I can be myself all the time, but I’m proud of the progress I’ve made this year and am looking forward to what the next year holds!

I hope you enjoyed that little ramble-y reflection on 2018. I’m sorry my posting has become rather erratic since starting university and I haven’t been putting as much effort into my blog this year as a whole, but I really appreciate everyone who still reads my posts! You’ve all been as much a part of this year as everything else!

I hope you’ve all had a brilliant 2018 and that the new year will hold many good things for you all. 🙂

November wrap up!

Hello! It’s December yay!! In two weeks time I’ll be at home, beginning my month-long Christmas break which I am honestly so ready for. Today I thought I’d wrap up November by recapping what I’ve been up to, as well as some things I’m looking forward to in December. Time passes so quickly at university that it feels like I’ve done so much yet nothing at all, so it will be nice to look back at the past month!

Meeting bloggers!

I think I mentioned this in another post but at the beginning of November I met up with Megan, Kel, Eve and Janet and spent the day wandering around London, it was such a  lovely day!

Going home!

My university had a reading week at the beginning of November too which essentially consisted of a week of no lectures to help us catch up on reading and work on our assignments. On the Wednesday of that week my mum and my sister came to visit, I showed them around my uni and we went shopping and ate out in the local town. Then my mum and I got the train home and I stayed until the Sunday. It was so weird being home, it almost didn’t feel like home anymore, but it was lovely to spend proper time with my family. We went to see Bohemian Rhapsody at the cinema, we watched our local illuminated carnival even though it was tipping it down and I also went to the Remembrance Day service. I also managed to see one of my friends who had come back from uni too so that was great!

Fantastic Beasts

Me and three of my uni friends went to see Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald. I have to say I was a bit disappointed with it as the first film was so good, but it was a good evening nonetheless!

Essays…ugh

I had three 2000 essays due in this month which each contribute to 25% of my grade for each of those three modules. Honestly I got so ridiculously stressed whilst writing these essays that it was making me ill as I couldn’t sleep and felt constantly exhausted and dizzy. It was not fun so next time essays are due I definitely need to manage my time better, try not to panic and make sure I’m sleeping and eating properly. 

Birthday!

Last Wednesday was my birthday! It was so weird not being at home, seeing my family or doing our usual birthday traditions, but I did have a nice day. My family had sent some cards and parcels to me so I did have some presents to open, then two of my uni friends took me out for brunch which turned into a shopping spree!

I also met up with my sister again last weekend as I was so stressed I just needed to get out of uni, so we met up in a town halfway between her uni and mine. Something I’ve learnt whilst being at uni is that sometimes you just need a bit of normality because everything can get overwhelming very quickly, so seeing family or talking to friends from home can really help you to put things in perspective.

So that’s how November panned out, now some things to look forward to in the coming month.

Obviously Christmas break is what I’m most looking forward to – I get to go home for a whole month and I can’t wait! I think coming up to the Christmas period I’ve been more homesick than previously as at this time of year I just want to be around my family. However I haven’t got long to wait! 

I’m really looking forward to just spending evenings with my family, playing board games and watching TV. I’ll also be going to Devon and Yorkshire to visit my grandparents which will be great as I haven’t seen them in about a year.

I’m really looking forward to catching up with my friends from home too as we’ll finally all be in the same place.

I’m sad I don’t have time to do Blogmas this year, but if any of you are, let me know as I’d love to keep up with your posts!

I think that’s all for now, sorry this post has been a bit all over the place!

Feeling Lost

Hello! It’s been a while…again. Can you believe it’s been almost two months since I moved to university? I certainly can’t. I thought I’d take some time to sit down and write today as I’ve been struggling a bit recently to be honest. University has been hard, but not in the ways I thought it would be and these past few days I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all.

I am enjoying being here and I’m not really homesick, which is what I thought I might struggle with, however I just feel a bit lost at the moment, which I guess is normal as university is such a big change in your life.

I have settled in here and found friends which I am grateful for – I honestly thought making friends would be the hardest part but I seem to have just found a group of course mates who I get along with, which is good. Yet I’m struggling to develop those friendships and get to know people better. I think it’s the nature of my course as well because we only have 9 contact hours per week, so it takes longer and more effort to get to know people than at secondary school or college when you spend the whole day with people. Also I can’t shake the though that I’ve missed 18 years of my new friend’s lives and that I’ll never be able to have the same bond with them as I do with my friends from home.

It’s difficult being in a new place where nobody knows me well as I feel like I’m losing my sense of self, if that makes sense, because I don’t have my childhood friends to ground me and remind me of who I am and what makes me me. It’s a weird thought but for the past 18 years, I’ve only known who I am in relation to those friends and my family back home, so now I don’t have those familiarities, it feels like I have to shape a new identity for myself here and because I have been internally questioning several aspects of my identity, I feel like I’ve lost any sense of myself that I once understood through my friends perceptions of me.

Pretty much since I’ve moved in I’ve been stressed about finding housemates for next year and I feel like I haven’t really been able to enjoy the present as I keep worrying about the future to the extent that I’m losing sleep over it, which I know is ridiculous because in reality there will still be houses available in May/June time, but everyone seems to be rushing into making plans. 

I also keep comparing myself to my friends at other unis, who seem to have settled in really well, found a group of really good friends and some of them have already put deposits on houses for next year, which is adding to my stress as I don’t know why things haven’t been so easy and straightforward for me. But I have to keep reminding myself that everyone has a different experience of university and that is okay. Everyone deals with change differently and I’m not a failure because I haven’t 100% figured out where I fit in here.

Everything seems very up in the air at the moment and I’m not sure what’s going on or whether I’m making the right choices for myself anymore. You may know that I actually changed my degree in the first few weeks of term from French and Politics to Politics and International Relations. Whilst I am happier with the modules I am taking now, it’s hard to adjust to the fact that I will no longer be getting a modern languages degree, which had been my plan for the past year or so, so now everything about my future seems uncertain. I feel like university has made me lose sense of who I am in a way, because for the past few years languages have been a big part of my life and something that I saw myself using in my future career, however since coming here, I haven’t been able to connect with that part of me, hence why I changed degree and changed my future plans.

Sometimes I wonder if I had taken a gap year, like I had been considering due to nerves in the run up to uni, whether I would have been more ready to go to uni and ready to study French again. Because I worked so hard for French at A Level, I feel like when I started studying it at uni again I was exhausted from studying it which is why I wasn’t enjoying it and consequently dropped it. 

I don’t know if I regret dropping French or not, because I am definitely a lot happier and more settled just being in one department, but at the same time I feel like I’ve betrayed myself and a lot of doors have closed for me. I’m worried I won’t be able to regain touch with the part of me that loves languages and culture again because I’ve put myself on a different path. 

It’s scary not knowing what I’m doing with my life and if I’m making the right choices or if I just feel too pressured to pursue what’s right for me. 

Everything seems so difficult at the moment and I really feel like I’ve lost connection with myself whilst adapting to all the changes over the past few months. 

I keep thinking about how it feels like time hasn’t moved since August and I’m worried that’s because I’ve been making choices that haven’t been right for me and that’s why I haven’t felt like myself lately.

Honestly, I just wish I could go back to college where I had a clearer idea of who I am and what I want to do because right now I’m not sure about anything and I’m just hoping that I haven’t made a mess of my life. Part of me just wants to run away from it all and take time out to figure out what I really want to do, but that feels wrong too.

I’m sorry this hasn’t been a very cheery update, I am generally okay and enjoying university life, it’s just sometimes I have moments like this where I question everything and feel overwhelmed and so I thought it was best to write my feelings out in the hope that someone might be able to relate. 

Anyway, thank you for reading. I hope you are all doing well and hopefully I’ll be back soon with a more positive post. 🙂

Surviving Uni & A General Life Update! (it’s autumn now ahh!!)

Me wearing brown brogues stood in a pile of red, orange and brown leaves

Hello! Long time, no blog, right? I don’t know about you but for me the weeks have just been flying by and I just haven’t had the time (or energy) to sit down and actually write. However, I am now on reading week at uni which means no lectures (yay!) and also that I’ve been here for six weeks and am over halfway through my first term at uni, so I thought an update about what I’ve been up to was due.

Uni has been MAD to say the least! things haven’t turned out how I expected them to be, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I feel like before starting uni, you have this ‘idea’ in your head of what it’ll be like, based on stories from family or friends or from TV programmes and films, but the truth is everyone’s experience of university will be different.

I’ve settled in surprisingly more smoothly than I thought I would, considering a few weeks before uni I was doubting whether I’d even be able to cope with living away from home, but I think because I’ve been so busy with lectures, studying, meeting new people and looking after myself I haven’t really had time to sit and dwell on things. I really thought I would be very homesick and want to go home but I’ve actually surprised myself in that sense because I love my uni and the local area and I haven’t really missed home a lot. I’ve missed my family and friends but I know I’ll get to see them soon so it’s okay! Before moving here I was determined to not come home for the first month and I succeeded in that! I still haven’t been home and it’s been six weeks now, although I am going home for a few days at the end of next week just so I can properly relax before term starts again. I think it’ll be really weird going home and then coming back to uni life again as it’s been so intense that I haven’t really had time to dwell on things, when you’re at uni you’re always busy and you just kind of get on with things.

I was really worried about making friends at uni as I’ve always been fairly shy and quiet however somehow in Fresher’s Week I found myself becoming very sociable and bubbly and excited to meet everyone. The initial first few days of inductions I was lucky enough to meet a group of people on my course who I got on with well and have stuck with ever since. I have been finding it difficult to move past the “people you hang around with in lectures” stage to developing actual friendships, but this past week I’ve really been making an effort to invite people out outside of lectures and it has really made a big difference, even if it was daunting at first.

It hasn’t all been easy though. I’ve found living in halls to be very intense and have been finding it difficult to get the right balance between socialising and having time to myself. For the first month I’d say I wasn’t very sociable at all as I was so stressed about changing course, had quite a few breakdowns and was really bad at managing my workload so I would spend my evenings shut in my room trying to cram the reading for the next day. This meant I haven’t really spent much time with my flatmates so we haven’t properly bonded, but I’m trying to spend more time in the communal kitchen now and just generally be more chatty. However I do find living in a halls there is almost a constant expectation to be sociable and some days I just really need a break from people and sometimes it’s hard to get that space, but I guess I’m still finding my feet and it’ll get easier!

In terms of my degree, as you may remember, I started out studying French and politics, and if you’ve followed my blog for a while you might know that I love languages, so I naturally presumed that at uni French would be my favourite of the two disciplines. However, after two weeks of lectures I found myself really not enjoying the French part of my degree. I think it’s partly to do with the way languages are taught here but also because I’ve been learning French in an academic environment for half of my life and I think I’ve reached the stage where I want to learn it more practically by living in France rather than studying in a classroom. The first few weeks at uni were very stressful because of this as I was just completely confused about what to do. I’d had it set in my head that I would study French and Politics for so long and when it didn’t turn out how I expected I was stuck. I was considering dropping out and reapplying to a different uni next year where they might teach french differently but I knew this was the right uni for me so in the end I decided to change my degree to Politics and International Relations. Although I am sad about not studying French anymore and missing out on the opportunity to do a year abroad, I think it was the right thing to do for me to be happy and fully settle in here. I’m really enjoying my degree now though and the modules I’m taking, even if I had two weeks worth of work to catch up on after switching degree!

I also thought I would struggle with cooking for myself as I didn’t cook often at home, but surprisingly I am doing okay and I think I am actually eating healthier than I would at home (aside from the snacking on biscuits…). I do have to rely on my mum for cooking advice though but I am surviving!

So yeah, that’s how I’ve been finding adjusting to university life so far. It still seems weird to think of myself as a uni student as part of me still thinks I should be doing A Level (sixth form will forever haunt me). I haven’t managed to tick anything off my London Bucket List yet (actually I have used the tube so that kind of ticks one of them off??), but I have been exploring the local area a bit which has been fun as it’s so different to home. I really miss being by the sea though 😦

I’ve joined the hiking society which is great to get off campus and spend some time in the countryside which always helps me to relax, even if my friends think I’m mad for walking 13 miles for fun! I’ve also joined the Student Scout and Guide Organisation so hopefully after Christmas I’ll be going to some of their national rallies around the country which I’m really looking forward to as I love camping. I’m also going to start volunteering at the local Scout group after the Christmas break as I’ve really missed Scouting after having a two year break, so it’ll be great to get back into it.

Perhaps the most exciting things that’s happened since I started uni was going into London on Saturday to meet up with some blogging friends! It was a miracle we all managed to find each other in Waterloo station considering how busy it is on Saturdays, especially when there’s a rugby match on, but we managed it! We ate lunch at a restaurant (after much indecisiveness) and then spent the day wandering around the city and it’s various parks, chatting and laughing about various things. It was so surreal to actually meet them after years of chatting online and following each other’s blogs, but it felt like I’d known them forever and the day flew by way too quickly. A massive thank you to Eve, Janet, Megan and Kel for making the day so enjoyable! We definitely need to meet up again soon!

I think that’s all for this sort of ramble-y life update thing. I have a feeling a lot of my posts are going to be like this from now on as uni life is very hectic, but you never know! I hope you are all well and if you’ve just started university, I’d love to know how you’re getting on! 🙂

P.S. I hope you enjoy the most autumnal photo I’ve taken this year – I got a lot of strange looks from both human and squirrels whilst photographing my feet standing a pile of leaves in the woods on my uni campus.