How I Spent My Student Loan: A Guide for How (not) to Budget

As I’ve now officially finished my first year at university (eek!!), I decided to look back at how I’ve managed my money since moving out in September. One of the biggest responsibilities you have as a student is managing your income as for many people, university is the first time where you are expected to pay for your rent and bills by yourself, whilst also somehow having enough money to feed yourself and socialise.

I’m quite a visual person, so things graphs and charts mean a lot more to me than just lists of numbers, so I thought I would create a pie chart to breakdown my spending this past year. Throughout the year, I have been recording everything I spend in a little notebook, as it helps me keep track of how much I’m spending each week so I don’t end up in my overdraft. I’d highly recommend doing this as it’s a straightforward way to keep track of your spending and budget better. Also, if you’re bored and miss doing maths like me (who am I kidding??!), you can then spend hours creating fancy pie charts at the end of the year!

For context, my living costs at university have been funded by a maintenance loan from the Student Loans Company, along with a bursary from my university itself. Luckily my loan covered my accommodation costs but I know for some people this can be a struggle and they find they need to work alongside to support themselves.

The first chart I made is an overview of all my spending throughout the year.

Pie chart titled: Year 1 spending
Rent = 58%
Deposit = 10%
Other shopping = 7%
Groceries = 6%
Holidays = 4%
Social = 4%
Transport = 3%
Books = 2%
Other = 2%
ATM = 2%
Laundry = 1%
Top-up = 1%

As I expected, the rent I’ve paid for my university halls of residence has been the biggest outgoing, followed by the deposit I had to pay for my second year house (which was ridiculously expensive arghhh!!). Most student’s will probably end up spending the biggest chunk of money on their accommodation, unless you’re commuting then transport might be the biggest cost. Aside from the rent and deposit, all the other things I’ve spent money make up a relatively small percentage in comparison, so I’ve broken this down further into another pie chart, excluded the rent and deposit.

Pie chart title: Non-accommodation spending
Other shopping= 23%
Groceries = 19%
Social = 12%
Holidays = 12%
Transport = 1-%
ATM = 7%
Other = 6%
Books = 6%
Laundry = 3%
Top-up = 2%

So, excluding the amount of money I’ve had to spend on actually having somewhere to live at university, my next biggest cost by far is ‘other shopping’. I didn’t really know what to label this but basically I mean things I’ve bought that isn’t included in my weekly grocery shop, so non-essential items. The majority of this spending has gone on clothes, birthday/Christmas presents for friends and family and the new phone which I had to buy myself in first term as my old one decided to give up on me. I honestly expected transport to be by biggest non-accommodation cost, so this was quite surprising. I definitely think next year I can aim to spend a lot less on unnecessary items so I can save more money for after university.

After shopping, I’ve spent the most money on groceries which is to be expected as food can be expensive!

I’ve also spent a lot of money this year on holidays, which isn’t that surprising as flights and accommodation can be expensive! I also had to renew my passport this year which cost A LOT, but at least it’s valid for the next 10 years now. To some people, holidays/travel may seem unnecessary but travelling and exploring new countries is something I do for fun and to relax, and whilst some people might spend £100 on a night out, I’d rather put that money towards travel. I’ve spent the same amount of money on socialising, which includes things like paying for society memberships and events, going out for meals/for a coffee with friends and going to the Student Union club nights. The amount of money I spent on socialising definitely increased a lot in second term as I made more friends and although I have spent a lot of money socialising this year, I think it’s important to find a balance between studying and social life. It also proves to me that I haven’t been as anti-social as I thought I’d been this year!

Then transport is my next biggest cost and I was totally expect this. I think I’ve spent almost £400 on train and bus tickets this year, just travelling around the UK which goes to show how extortionate train tickets are here. It costs me £50 for a return ticket every time I go home, which is why I’ve only been home 4 times throughout the year as it’s too expensive to go back more frequently. I’ve also travelled a lot around my university area, going in and out of London multiple times and visiting my sister at her university in Portsmouth, so that accounts for the rest of the transport costs. I think next year I can aim to cut this down as well. One thing I’ve noticed this year is that when things get tough, I have a tendency to want to run away and escape, which usually results in me jumping on a train to London or another nearby town/city to go and explore for the day. I have enjoyed exploring the South East, but I think next year I’ll have to try and travel less frequently to save money.

The next three biggest costs which each make up around 6% of my spendings are books, cash withdrawals from ATMs and ‘other’ (which includes random costs such as posting parcels and buying new glasses, which are ridiculously overpriced!!). Honestly, university books are so expensive and I can’t wait to sell them at the end of my degree, even if I only get a fraction of the money back. I put ATM withdrawals as a separate category as I can never remember what I spend cash on specifically, but I guess it’ll usually be groceries or bus/train tickets.

Then finally I’ve spent the smallest amount of money on laundry (3%) and mobile phone top-ups (2%). I thought laundry would be a lot me, considering it costs me around £7 each week to wash and dry my clothes. However the good thing is next year I won’t have to spend any money on laundry as my house has it’s own washing machine and tumble dryer, so that’ll be some more money I can save. As I’m not on a contract, I only top-up my phone when I need credit and I’ve only spent £50 on credit this year, which just goes to show how good value pay-as-you-go phones are (well for me anyway)!

I know finance isn’t the most interesting of topics, but I did find it quite fun making these graphs and seeing what I’ve spent money on this year. I think the fact that I’ve spent more money on shopping for clothes etc. than groceries reflects the fact that when you’re student loan comes into your bank account, you kind of get a bit carried away and start buying unnecessary things. But next year I can definitely work on cutting down this unnecessary spending and reducing the amount I spend on transport which will help me to budget better!

I hope you found this useful in some way to see a breakdown of what I’ve spent in my first year at uni. I know every student has different priorities and will spend their loan differently, but I thought this might give people who are thinking of going to university in the next few years an insight into the types of costs you might want to factor into your student budget.

Good luck to anyone sitting exams right now! I’ll be back soon (*fingers crossed*) with a post about my experience of first year. 🙂

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University Halls Room Tour!

First of all WHERE did April go??!? I cannot believe it is May already (or more like I REFUSE to believe it is May and that exams start next week aaaah). Anyway, I hope you’re all doing well!

Today I thought I’d take a break from revision to show you my room at university. Some of you may be going to university in September or maybe the following year, so I thought it might be interesting to show you what my room in halls looks like. I can’t believe I’ve only got 6 weeks left living here and I’m definitely going to miss this room – it’s changed a lot since I’ve moved in, as have I, so if anything I’ll enjoying reflecting on this in a few years time.

For context, I live in halls of residence on my university campus. My block has four floors and I was unlucky enough to end up on the fourth floor, which means every time we have a fire drill I have the joy of running down four flights of stairs and always being last out the building. I live in a flat of 8 and we share a kitchen, although we do have our own en suites which is nice!

Also: I know that accommodation does vary from university to university and even across university campuses, so not every student room will look like mine!

When you enter my room, the door to the en suite is on the left. The bathroom is actually a wet room which means basically the whole room/floor gets wet when you have a shower which is kind of annoying but now I’ve learnt not to leave stuff I don’t want getting wet on the floor it’s not too bad! I also have some hooks on the right hand wall which I hang various coats/scarfs/dressing gowns on. Then there’s a little shelf above the door which is one of my favourite things ever (lol I know that’s so sad) as it’s the perfect size to fit my suitcase, sleeping bag and roll mat on!

On the wall running along the right-hand side of my room, I’ve strung up some bits of string and made a photo wall by hanging photos off of it. I’m actually pretty proud of this as it took some skills to tie the string around the coat hooks and then tie the other end to the hinge inside my wardrobe that’s at the other end of the wall (would have been so much easier if I was allowed to stick pins in the wall!).

It’s kind of hard to get a photo of all of my room at once, but basically once you walk past the en suite it’s a square shape. This wall backs onto the bathroom and I have used it as a sort of poster/photo collage wall and added some fairy lights in for good measure too. This wall was actually plain for like the first term and a bit that I was here but I got a bit carried away at our Student’s Union’s poster sale back in January. I also have a bookcase on this wall which is adjacent to my bed and is filled with various folders, books and cans of cider (student essentials).

My room has a double bed, which was strange to sleep in at first as I’m used to a single bed, but now whenever I go home my bed feels so small! It also has storage under the bed which is great (if I remember to take my stuff out from there when I leave!).

Then on the other side of the bed is my desk which is where I spend most of my time (if I’m not lying in bed procrastinating). I really like how there’s a massive window in front of my desk as it lets lots of light in and makes studying more interesting as you can daydream. I try to keep my desk tidy but sometimes mess piles up (also excuse the random plate haha). I spent a lot of time decorating my notice board too when I moved in and I’ll be sad to have to take it all down soon!

At the end of my desk, I have a cupboard, a drawer and a few shelves which get a bit cluttered sometimes. Then there’s my wardrobe which is pretty much full now as I seem to have accumulated more clothes since moving in! It’s actually quite a big wardrobe which is great and it has a mirror in the door.

So, that’s pretty much an overview of my room in halls! I’ve really loved living here this year and I think it’s just the right size for a student room. It’ll definitely be weird living in a house next year but at least I won’t have to worry about carrying my key card everywhere with me in case I get locked out (or the 1 am fire alarms!).

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my room tour! And if you’re heading off to university soon and have any questions about life in halls, feel free to comment the below!

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! 🙂

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? 🙂

2019 Goals!!

Pink and orange sky as the sun sets between trees

Okay so I know I’m a little bit let in setting out my goals for the new year, but honestly December just flew by so quickly that I didn’t have time to properly sit down and think about what I wanted to work towards next year.

Whilst doing some revision for my philosophy module the other day, I came across the concept of doing things that make you happy. Whilst this obviously isn’t anything new and I’ve always recognised living a happy life as the main goal I would like to reach, it really made me think about how we can be more happy and satisfied with the way that we live. In particular, the quote “have the courage to change your life in accordance with the moments that actually bring you happiness” stood out to me.

I’ve been reflecting a lot recently on the how I used my time last year. What things did make me happy and make me feel alive and what things didn’t and that I want to cut out of my life, so I think doing more things that genuinely make me happy is going to be my motto for this year and the basis of my 2019 resolutions.

Okay, that’s enough rambling, time to get into my goals!!

Social media

Pretty much ever since I was old enough, I’ve used social media on an everyday basis. Especially with blogging, social media became a vital way for me to communicate with friends, keep up with their everyday lives, read the news etc. I will admit I have become addicted to my phone and it’s really not good for my mental health, so this year I’m going to cut down on the time I spend on social media and using my phone in general, because there are so many exciting things to go and experience in life and I don’t want to waste time scrolling endlessly through social media! I’ve already managed to not use Snapchat and Instagram since New Year’s Eve so I think that this goal is going well so far?? I’m not sure if I want to completely cut out social media or just use it less so for now I’m going to take a break from a few at a time until I am in a better mindset where I can use them more moderately and be focused and content with what I am doing in my life rather than constantly comparing myself to other people, which is not good for my mental health! Since being at uni I have really learnt the value of picking up the phone and having a proper conversation with my friends and family, rather than just seeing what they’ve been up to on social media, so I hope to do this more often in 2019!

Live more sustainably

As I’ve grown up, I’ve become more and more conscious of the impact that our decisions and lifestyle choices have on the world around us. I think it’s really important to be aware of the problems are world is facing as the lifestyle we are currently living cannot be sustained forever unless we make some important changes. I’ve never really accepted that consuming so many natural resources, creating so much pollution and destructing so many ecosystems around the world is the way we’re meant to live or should live or just the way it is. I believe we can change our lifestyles to be less destructive to the environment and maybe that may seem unrealistic to others but I know there are things in my life that I could change to live more sustainably and this year I plan to do some of them.

Since becoming a student, I’ve had access to more money than I have before because of my student loan which has meant that I’ve been spending more moeny on clothes and just general consumer goods. My goal for this year is to think carefully before buying new things because realistically, I probably don’t need them or there are probably more ethical sources I could buy them from. I really want to be more conscious of what I buy and where it comes from because the “throw-away” society that we live in is damaging our environment. I know plastic pollution has been a big thing in the past few months, so I really want to be aware of how much plastic I am throwing away and try to reduce this as well.

In addition, this year I would really like to make progress towards becoming a vegetarian. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time but have only really had the opportunity to since moving out to uni. I’d say at uni, about half of the meals I cook are currently vegetarian as meat is expensive and I’ve discovered I really love cooking and experimenting with new meals so have been exploring different ways to add protein to my diet other than meat. I need to do some more research into vegetarianism and it is a change that I will have to make gradually throughout the year but I’m hopefully that by the end of 2019, I will be eating fully vegetarian!

Get a job

I mean, this is pretty self-explanatory but I do really need to get a job this summer. When I graduate university (which is a scary thought) I really would like to move to France for a year because I was going to do a year abroad as part of my degree but since dropping French, I’m no longer able to do this. However, I still love speaking French and learning about French culture and it has been my dream for a long time to live there. So I really need to start saving for this as I have no idea how expensive moving abroad will be! Ideally I would get a job or an internship in France whilst I’m there as opposed to just travelling, but we’ll see what happens!

Travel

I really want to travel this year. I’ve been able to spend time abroad in the summer for the last two years with friends and with sixth form and it’s safe to say I’ve caught the travel bug. At the moment I have no travel plans set in stone, but I hope that will change soon!! I love visiting new places and gaining a different perspective on life. Even if I can;t travel abroad, I really want to spend more time exploring the UK, especially the area around my university as it is very different to back home!

Looking after my mental health

My last goal is quite a big one. 2018 was not a great year for me in terms of mental health so I’m very happy to see the back of that year, however I want to make sure that 2019 is better. Some things I really want to tackle are stress, self-confidence and accepting myself. I think self-confidence and struggling to accept myself are two things that I have been struggling with for a very long time and I know they are not things which can be fixed easily, but by recognising them as things I struggle with, hopefully I will be able to make more progress in overcoming this year. Stress is something I really need to get better at managing. I remember during GCSEs, I wasn’t really stressed at all or at least I managed it better but since starting sixth form and then going onto uni, my stress levels have been incredibly high and I’ve just lost the ability to deal with it. Often stress is what triggers periods of bad mental health for me so I’d really like to get a handle on it. One thing I’m going to do to look after my mental health is to incorporate meditation into my daily routine. I have used meditation before during exam time to calm me down and ground me, but I think meditating daily could really help me to stay mindful and think clearly instead of getting so stressed over everything.

So, those are all my goals for 2019. I know some of them are pretty big goals that I can’t achieve in a short space of time, but the new year is a blank canvas so who knows what progress I will have made by the end of the year!

I hope you enjoyed reading!

Have you set any goals for the new year? Let me know in the comments!

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!