For All You Freshers

In a couple of weeks, I start my second year at university. It seems like only a few months ago that I started my first year, but now there’s a whole new group of Freshers starting their university experience. Here are some things I’ll pass onto you from my first year experience.

  1. Enjoy being in 1st year! There’s a lot less pressure as you only have to pass, rather than worrying about getting the highest mark possible. I’m definitely nervous about my marks all counting when I start this year!
  2. Most people live on campus in halls, but I’ve stayed living at home, due to the course that I loved being so local to me. Obviously I don’t have the full university experience, but I’m not missing out on much apart from the living away. I still have some great friends, go on nights out and have joined a society to socialise. So if you’re living at home, don’t worry about missing out! If you put the effort in to socialise, you’ll be absolutely fine!
  3. Whatsapp is very useful to have when you’re a student! Most people I know at university use Whatsapp to have group chats. We have one for my course (as we’re only a small course), and many have one for their flats. So I’d recommend downloading it onto your phone if you haven’t got it already.
  4. Prepare for the referencing (my least favourite part of essays). It’s not something I was used to before uni and I’m still fully getting to grips with always having to refer to readings throughout my assignments. I’ve been so used to just writing thet facts and my opinion down, but at university you have to quote or cite the works of others. RefMe is a great help to speed up your referencing. You search for the name of the book/article/etc. you’re referencing and the full details will come up, meaning you can just copy and paste to the end of your essay.  Always double-check it’s all accurate though, as it won’t always have all the correct information that you need, and you don’t want to be caught out.
  5. Be organised straight away. It may sound like an obvious one but you can end up with so many bits of paper and I got into the bad habit of leaving my notebook full for ages, then having to organise it all in one go which is difficult. Decide straight away how you are going to organise your notes, whether it’s putting them all in a folder or typing them all up on your laptop.
  6. Your reading list- Make sure you buy what’s required or you may struggle in your lectures and assessments. Textbook can be very expensive so be prepared for that and budget for it. You don’t have to buy them all new- many previous students sell their textbooks to people who now need them, so always have a look for 2nd hand ones to save a lot of money. I’m lucky that I only required one textbook to buy last year, but I have friends who needed to buy a lot, so it all depends on your course and university.

Here are some of my tips from my Freshers experience. You’ll all love it so have the time of you life but be prepared to work! Are any of my readers starting university? Let me know in the comments.

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A-Z of TV Series

Ever wanted to find a new TV series to get addicted to but have no clue where to start? I asked my Twitter followers to names some of their favourite TV series to compile an A-Z list to refer to, and to hopefully help you all find a new series to get into. There’s a mixture of current and older series, and well-known series and less well-known ones, so hopefully there’s something there for everyone to try.

A– Arrow

B– Buffy

C– Charmed

D– Desperate Housewives

E– Extras

F– Friends

G– Grey’s Anatomy

H– Heartland

I– (the) IT Crowd

J– Jericho

K– (the) Killing

L– Lost Girl

M– Madam Secretary

N– Narcos

O– Once Upon A Time

P– Pretty Little Liars

Q– QI (not technically a TV series but Q is a hard letter and this is a loved programme!)

R– Revenge

S– Suits

T– Teen Wolf

U– (the) Unit

V– Vampire Diaries

W– White Collar

X– X Files

Y– Younger

Z– Z Nation

Are your favourites listed? Are you going to try watching any of these series?

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The Beauty Of Spotify

I absolutely love Spotify. Yes, artists (looking at you Taylor Swift) have their issues around it and they have valid reasons, but for someone who is always looking to discover new music, it’s the perfect way. I got stuck in my ways and the artists I knew, but then I started to want to branch out more and discover what else is out there.

Being a student, I have access to half price Spotify premium which I definitely take advantage of. It’s so useful being able to listen to all my saved songs offline, and of course I love not having the adverts after every few songs. It means that it’s my main way of listening to my music now, although I still do buy songs and albums released by the artists I support. My favourite part of Spotify is the ‘Discover’ section. Using data of what you’ve been listening to, you are given recommendations to other artists and albums you may be interested in. I’ve discovered many new albums I love through this. You even get your own ‘Discover Weekly’ playlist, which updates every Monday with new songs you may be interested in. When I listen to a song on here that I like, I save it to a playlist I set up for this use so I can listen again another time, or listen to a whole playlist of new songs I’ve discovered and enjoyed.

Another way of discovering new music is through looking at the new releases to see the most recent music, a lot of which I’m not aware of. I’ve saved many new albums through this. There’s also the way of browsing for playlists, in which new songs will appear. In addition, when you are on an artist’s page, the ‘Related Artists’ come up at the side. I’ve often found myself going on a trail through all different artist’s pages and discovering new people to listen to, related to the artists I already know I enjoy listening to. I love it too when there’s an artist I’ve discovered who isn’t well known, and I hear their songs in films and TV programmes for example. I watched the film Paper Towns last week, and there was a song by Twin Shadow played at the end, which I discovered through Spotify and I love that album.

Spotify makes it so easy for us to discover new music that we grow to love. It means no more looking through iTunes and Youtube trying to think of new things to search. Yes, you can discover plenty of new music this way, but Spotify just simplifies the whole process and has opened my eyes to much more music.

What do you all think of Spotify? Do you love it or are you not bothered?

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Michael McIntyre- Happy & Glorious Tour review

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Happy Sunday bloggers!

This week I got to experience seeing a comedian live for the first time, and it happened to be my favourite comedian Michael McIntyre. I attended the Happy & Glorious tour at Cardiff Motorpoint Arena. After having the tickets booked for a year, my friends and I were very excited to finally be going. We had seats in row P, which meant we were close enough to see everything going on but far enough away to not be picked on haha!

The evening started with the support act Paul Tonkinson, who provided a lot of laughs before the main event. His set was based around the idea of how people are at different ages, and his family life. It was an entertaining set and a great warm-up act.

When Michael came on, he was soon distracted by items in the audience. He was intrigued by the Ninja Turtle bags and he took ‘a bit of bunting’ from one audience member, which was of the Welsh dragon, and hung it up on his set. This led to all the Welsh jokes, including about what people think of Swansea, which entertained the crowd. It amazes me how much talent comedians have when they do things like this, as they are just as funny when they are making jokes on the spot and they haven’t been rehearsed at all. The set continued as hilariously as it started and covered subjects such as ‘funny sleeping’, his holiday to Dubai and his experiences moving to the countryside. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever laughed as much as I did that night; it was absolutely hilarious!

I definitely enjoyed my first experience of seeing a comedian live, and I’m glad it was Michael because he never fails to make me laugh and the show was as funny as I’d hoped. I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing a DVD of the show, although it’s slightly disappointing for me that it won’t be of the show I went to, meaning we won’t be able to rewatch all the Welsh jokes and unique parts we saw on that date. But I would definitely recommend going to see him live if you get the chance, because I had such a fun night and Michael McIntyre is a very funny guy!

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