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Having received quite the following over on Twitter lately, I thought I owed it to my new blog readers (over 300 of you!!!) to write a lil 20 Facts About Me. I hope you enjoy this insight into my life, and do let me know if we share anything in common.
  1. Born and raised in Staffordshire, England. A bit boring, really.
  2. I now study English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham.
  3. I am this year’s editor-and-chief for my university’s Her Campus chapter, an online magazine for university women. It was founded by Harvard students, which is pretty cool.
  4. I am an avid theatre goer and have seen numerous performances at the West End and regional theatres (very lucky!) I’ve been privileged enough to assistant direct for a couple of shows for the Nottingham New Theatre — but I’m not much of a performer! (I wouldn’t mind trying my hand at it).
  5. After university, I want to do a masters in Broadcast Journalism.
  6. Off the back of this, my dream occupation is to be a journalist (hopefully) working in the television industry.
  7. I’m a major Harry Potter fan. I’ve been to the studio tour in London a couple of times and to the theme park in Florida.
  8. My favourite Harry Potter character is Luna Lovegood
  9. If you’re wondering what house I’m in, I would say Ravenclaw (proudly so!), but I see traits of both Gryffindor AND Ravenclaw within me. I guess that technically makes me a Gryffinclaw.
  10. I believe that if I’m determined enough, I will get to where I want to be. Determination is everything. I could write an entirely different blogpost on this mindset, if you like.
  11. I believe in being ‘other-centric’; again, another blogpost may be required to explain this.
  12. I’m 100% a cats over dogs kinda gal (pls don’t be mad).
  13. I’m the biggest Taylor Swift fan EVER: favourite songs include Dear John, Long Live & anything Speak Now era. I’ve seen her live three times: Red tour, 1989 & Reputation.
  14. I have an ever-growing literature collection. Basically, if you ever find yourself wanting to borrow a book, I’m your girl!
  15. My favourite genre of film is fantasy.
  16. I’ve never been to a private/boarding school: just your regular, non-selective state school.
  17. I didn’t drink alcohol or go out clubbing until university.
  18. I have quite severe joint hyper-mobility syndrome.
  19. I also have scoliosis.
  20. I love to write and my pipe dream is to write a novel one day.

20 Facts About Me!!


Having received quite the following over on Twitter lately, I thought I owed it to my new blog readers (over 300 of you!!!) to write a lil 20 Facts About Me. I hope you enjoy this insight into my life, and do let me know if we share anything in common.
  1. Born and raised in Staffordshire, England. A bit boring, really.
  2. I now study English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham.
  3. I am this year’s editor-and-chief for my university’s Her Campus chapter, an online magazine for university women. It was founded by Harvard students, which is pretty cool.
  4. I am an avid theatre goer and have seen numerous performances at the West End and regional theatres (very lucky!) I’ve been privileged enough to assistant direct for a couple of shows for the Nottingham New Theatre — but I’m not much of a performer! (I wouldn’t mind trying my hand at it).
  5. After university, I want to do a masters in Broadcast Journalism.
  6. Off the back of this, my dream occupation is to be a journalist (hopefully) working in the television industry.
  7. I’m a major Harry Potter fan. I’ve been to the studio tour in London a couple of times and to the theme park in Florida.
  8. My favourite Harry Potter character is Luna Lovegood
  9. If you’re wondering what house I’m in, I would say Ravenclaw (proudly so!), but I see traits of both Gryffindor AND Ravenclaw within me. I guess that technically makes me a Gryffinclaw.
  10. I believe that if I’m determined enough, I will get to where I want to be. Determination is everything. I could write an entirely different blogpost on this mindset, if you like.
  11. I believe in being ‘other-centric’; again, another blogpost may be required to explain this.
  12. I’m 100% a cats over dogs kinda gal (pls don’t be mad).
  13. I’m the biggest Taylor Swift fan EVER: favourite songs include Dear John, Long Live & anything Speak Now era. I’ve seen her live three times: Red tour, 1989 & Reputation.
  14. I have an ever-growing literature collection. Basically, if you ever find yourself wanting to borrow a book, I’m your girl!
  15. My favourite genre of film is fantasy.
  16. I’ve never been to a private/boarding school: just your regular, non-selective state school.
  17. I didn’t drink alcohol or go out clubbing until university.
  18. I have quite severe joint hyper-mobility syndrome.
  19. I also have scoliosis.
  20. I love to write and my pipe dream is to write a novel one day.
I am lucky enough to have been sponsored by Typeboost, a company that I believe truly values the virtue of productivity, for the creation of this blogpost.

Summer is probably the best time to 'get stuff done', as they say, and yet most of us relish in doing absolutely nothing at all. Or do we really? Whilst it is nice to have seemingly endless amounts of unstructured days free from any university or academic commitment, one cannot help from feeling completely redundant every now and then. I know that this dichotomy really gets me down: whilst it's lovely to not have looming deadlines or seminar classes to prepare for, at the same time I grow to hate not getting ANYTHING DONE WHATSOEVER. I swear it's even bad for my mental health, in the same way that having too much going on also impacts my mental health.

So, in this blogpost, I've decided to gather some ideas together that I've learned over the course of this summer and previous summers that I believe will really help you to achieve a productive attitude to this lazy (and very hot) summer.

1) WRITE, WRITE, WRITE! Preparing for your upcoming studies, or fulfilling your own creative aspirations is a productive way to go about this underrated summer activity. Still, how many times do we say that we're going to write such and such an article or book review and never actually get round to fulfilling our desire to do so? In order to combat this lack of productivity, I recommend using Typeboost, an up-and-coming app which basically plays music as you type out your essay/notes/blogpost/anything you would like to type about. Having that sense of concentration in the musical form has proven to be effective when I feel the need to write stuff down, whether that's studying independently, creative writing or a blogpost (I'm using the app to type this up right now). As soon as I break for a while and the music stops, I feel eager to start writing again just to hear the calming classical music (which you can very easily personalise to your own preference). This is a really innovative studying tool for anything from practicing essays to taking notes from reading lists. You can learn more about Typeboost here in order to increase your writing speed: www.typeboost.io 

2) Exercise, exercise… exercise? Okay, so maybe not THAT much exercise. But a light work out here and there, or some yoga poses whilst you close your eyes and imagine that you're in a faraway island… you get the idea. Exercise is just as good for your peace-of-mind as the creative act of writing can be. Set out an exercise mat in the back garden and enjoy some light stretching in the sun. Whatever you choose, it doesn't always have to be heavy-lifting to feel fulfilling, and it's a good excuse to get outside and enjoy the glorious weather. Feel at one with nature, so they say. Still, it's important to remember to be realistic and to not be too hard on yourself as that's obviously counterproductive (the opposite aim of this article!).

3) Work experience. Work experience is a very easy way to become productive during your summer holidays. There are so many different places that you can apply for. If you're truly lacking inspiration/opportunities, you can easily find online magazines to write for that are willing to take on new writers and pitch an idea to them that relates to your interests. Failing this, starting an online project such as your own blog, website or YouTube channel is just as innovative and impressive (if not more) to future employers. A glossing-up of your C.V. can't hurt either.

Have you got any more summertime productivity ideas? Let me know in the comments down below.

Love,

Chloe

Thank you to Typeboost for sponsoring this post.

HOW TO BE PRODUCTIVE… EVEN IN SUMMER! (FT. TYPEBOOST)

I am lucky enough to have been sponsored by Typeboost, a company that I believe truly values the virtue of productivity, for the creation of this blogpost.

Summer is probably the best time to 'get stuff done', as they say, and yet most of us relish in doing absolutely nothing at all. Or do we really? Whilst it is nice to have seemingly endless amounts of unstructured days free from any university or academic commitment, one cannot help from feeling completely redundant every now and then. I know that this dichotomy really gets me down: whilst it's lovely to not have looming deadlines or seminar classes to prepare for, at the same time I grow to hate not getting ANYTHING DONE WHATSOEVER. I swear it's even bad for my mental health, in the same way that having too much going on also impacts my mental health.

So, in this blogpost, I've decided to gather some ideas together that I've learned over the course of this summer and previous summers that I believe will really help you to achieve a productive attitude to this lazy (and very hot) summer.

1) WRITE, WRITE, WRITE! Preparing for your upcoming studies, or fulfilling your own creative aspirations is a productive way to go about this underrated summer activity. Still, how many times do we say that we're going to write such and such an article or book review and never actually get round to fulfilling our desire to do so? In order to combat this lack of productivity, I recommend using Typeboost, an up-and-coming app which basically plays music as you type out your essay/notes/blogpost/anything you would like to type about. Having that sense of concentration in the musical form has proven to be effective when I feel the need to write stuff down, whether that's studying independently, creative writing or a blogpost (I'm using the app to type this up right now). As soon as I break for a while and the music stops, I feel eager to start writing again just to hear the calming classical music (which you can very easily personalise to your own preference). This is a really innovative studying tool for anything from practicing essays to taking notes from reading lists. You can learn more about Typeboost here in order to increase your writing speed: www.typeboost.io 

2) Exercise, exercise… exercise? Okay, so maybe not THAT much exercise. But a light work out here and there, or some yoga poses whilst you close your eyes and imagine that you're in a faraway island… you get the idea. Exercise is just as good for your peace-of-mind as the creative act of writing can be. Set out an exercise mat in the back garden and enjoy some light stretching in the sun. Whatever you choose, it doesn't always have to be heavy-lifting to feel fulfilling, and it's a good excuse to get outside and enjoy the glorious weather. Feel at one with nature, so they say. Still, it's important to remember to be realistic and to not be too hard on yourself as that's obviously counterproductive (the opposite aim of this article!).

3) Work experience. Work experience is a very easy way to become productive during your summer holidays. There are so many different places that you can apply for. If you're truly lacking inspiration/opportunities, you can easily find online magazines to write for that are willing to take on new writers and pitch an idea to them that relates to your interests. Failing this, starting an online project such as your own blog, website or YouTube channel is just as innovative and impressive (if not more) to future employers. A glossing-up of your C.V. can't hurt either.

Have you got any more summertime productivity ideas? Let me know in the comments down below.

Love,

Chloe

Thank you to Typeboost for sponsoring this post.


The revival of the classic Broadway tale has been running at the West End’s largest theatre for over a year now, and it’s more than fair to say that the whole cast have very much found their feet. 

The show is proof that you really don’t need much of an innovative plot to have fun at a show. And a spectacle of a show it is: the dancing and the musical numbers prove themselves to be an equal amount of infectious. In fact, it’s so feel-good (without being cheesy), that you can’t help but smile alongside the ensemble and tap your feet from time to time. Clare Halse is a stand-out as Peggy Sawyer— she is in equal parts believable, charismatic and sometimes awkward, making her character a lead that you can both aspire and relate to on many levels. 

Home to the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, the largest theatre in the West End, one can tell that the production has very much kept the audience at the forefront of the production. Whilst I was front row for the Wednesday matinee, I am very much willing to see it again from further afield as the sets really were made with the very back seats in mind. The set design lends itself seamlessly to the intricacies of the movement of the dancing and singing, so much so that it becomes a prominent theme itself. You won’t be missing anything even if you’re at  the back of the balcony, that’s for sure.

A more uncomfortable reaction comes from the old-Broadway-director-kissing-impressionable-ingenue subplot that comes in the second half.  It’s hard to make out what the intentions are behind this. In one sense, Peggy has truly noted that she has become sexually awakened and perhaps even autonomous: her continual rejection of Billy exemplifies this. In another, she is still the impressionable Broadway girl, barely an adult in terms of her lack of experience (especially in comparison to her fellow cast, who jeer at this before ‘Go Into Your Dance’). Mr. Marsh's intentions are all the more unclear: at one stage, he seems to reject her overfamiliarity. However, by the ending, he cruelly reveals that he has taken her ‘lucky yellow scarf’ by taking it out of his pocket and caressing it forcefully. Then, following her to the opening night’s after party, he aggressively walks into her direction offstage. It’s a dark and poignantly suggestive ending to an otherwise feel-good musical, and it’s the kind of controversy that I, quite frankly, relish in enjoying as a part of my theatrical experience. After all, this is 1930’s Broadway: it’s not all jazz-hands and pirouettes.  


Still, it was refreshing to see that one can have tremendous fun whilst still being alluded to some of the darker themes in 1930's Broadway. These themes are not distracting enough to detract from the feel-goodness that exudes from the tap-dancing and smiles, so you still come away having experienced some lighthearted fun for the last three hours. After all, who doesn't want an infectious Wednesday afternoon in London?


Love,


Chloe

42nd STREET REVIEW: INNOCENT AND SWEET?



The revival of the classic Broadway tale has been running at the West End’s largest theatre for over a year now, and it’s more than fair to say that the whole cast have very much found their feet. 

The show is proof that you really don’t need much of an innovative plot to have fun at a show. And a spectacle of a show it is: the dancing and the musical numbers prove themselves to be an equal amount of infectious. In fact, it’s so feel-good (without being cheesy), that you can’t help but smile alongside the ensemble and tap your feet from time to time. Clare Halse is a stand-out as Peggy Sawyer— she is in equal parts believable, charismatic and sometimes awkward, making her character a lead that you can both aspire and relate to on many levels. 

Home to the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, the largest theatre in the West End, one can tell that the production has very much kept the audience at the forefront of the production. Whilst I was front row for the Wednesday matinee, I am very much willing to see it again from further afield as the sets really were made with the very back seats in mind. The set design lends itself seamlessly to the intricacies of the movement of the dancing and singing, so much so that it becomes a prominent theme itself. You won’t be missing anything even if you’re at  the back of the balcony, that’s for sure.

A more uncomfortable reaction comes from the old-Broadway-director-kissing-impressionable-ingenue subplot that comes in the second half.  It’s hard to make out what the intentions are behind this. In one sense, Peggy has truly noted that she has become sexually awakened and perhaps even autonomous: her continual rejection of Billy exemplifies this. In another, she is still the impressionable Broadway girl, barely an adult in terms of her lack of experience (especially in comparison to her fellow cast, who jeer at this before ‘Go Into Your Dance’). Mr. Marsh's intentions are all the more unclear: at one stage, he seems to reject her overfamiliarity. However, by the ending, he cruelly reveals that he has taken her ‘lucky yellow scarf’ by taking it out of his pocket and caressing it forcefully. Then, following her to the opening night’s after party, he aggressively walks into her direction offstage. It’s a dark and poignantly suggestive ending to an otherwise feel-good musical, and it’s the kind of controversy that I, quite frankly, relish in enjoying as a part of my theatrical experience. After all, this is 1930’s Broadway: it’s not all jazz-hands and pirouettes.  


Still, it was refreshing to see that one can have tremendous fun whilst still being alluded to some of the darker themes in 1930's Broadway. These themes are not distracting enough to detract from the feel-goodness that exudes from the tap-dancing and smiles, so you still come away having experienced some lighthearted fun for the last three hours. After all, who doesn't want an infectious Wednesday afternoon in London?


Love,


Chloe



Oh my goodness, MOD pizza. I think you can tell by that reaction from just looking at the blog pictures that my thoughts and feelings on this place are of a very fond nature indeed.

I went to MOD with my friend Izzy as a post-exams, end-of-year celebration type thing. I was very hungry and very ready for some pizza — I'd been wanting to go to this place for the best part of my two year uni experience thus far, after having heard many a good review from fellow students.

As a first-timer, it was intriguing to learn that MOD was less of a restaurant and more of a fast-food-but-for-pizza kind of place, so you can really personalise whatever you want from here. Think Subway, but for pizza. I think that's great as it makes it really inclusive, especially for fussy eaters as I can (sometimes) be.

I think you can make out what I got, but here's the run-down anyways: tomato base, cheese, chicken, sweetcorn and peppers. A pretty dreamy combination if you ask me. And I had leftovers — I got the last tiny cardboard box to take home a couple of slices in. Definitely demolished it for dinner. Not even sorry. 

The best part? Surprisingly, the price! Altogether it was only around £8 (don't forget to ask for student discount!) and on top of that, you get a refillable drink cup to choose whatever drink you would like at the drinks counter. So I'd say the price makes the pizza taste even better so you can eat without the 'I'm a student who just got pizza I can't afford' guilt. So relatable.

I definitely recommend you check out MOD Pizza! I'm so glad there's one in Nottingham (I think there are only around five or six in the country, including two(?) in London). Feeling very blessed to have this pizza place in my student city. Definitely going back for more when the next academic year begins so that I can cry into my pizza and refillable cup about the looming deadlines that approach.

Hope you enjoyed… what's your fave pizza place? Let me know.

Love,

Chloe


MOD Pizza Review: Nottingham




Oh my goodness, MOD pizza. I think you can tell by that reaction from just looking at the blog pictures that my thoughts and feelings on this place are of a very fond nature indeed.

I went to MOD with my friend Izzy as a post-exams, end-of-year celebration type thing. I was very hungry and very ready for some pizza — I'd been wanting to go to this place for the best part of my two year uni experience thus far, after having heard many a good review from fellow students.

As a first-timer, it was intriguing to learn that MOD was less of a restaurant and more of a fast-food-but-for-pizza kind of place, so you can really personalise whatever you want from here. Think Subway, but for pizza. I think that's great as it makes it really inclusive, especially for fussy eaters as I can (sometimes) be.

I think you can make out what I got, but here's the run-down anyways: tomato base, cheese, chicken, sweetcorn and peppers. A pretty dreamy combination if you ask me. And I had leftovers — I got the last tiny cardboard box to take home a couple of slices in. Definitely demolished it for dinner. Not even sorry. 

The best part? Surprisingly, the price! Altogether it was only around £8 (don't forget to ask for student discount!) and on top of that, you get a refillable drink cup to choose whatever drink you would like at the drinks counter. So I'd say the price makes the pizza taste even better so you can eat without the 'I'm a student who just got pizza I can't afford' guilt. So relatable.

I definitely recommend you check out MOD Pizza! I'm so glad there's one in Nottingham (I think there are only around five or six in the country, including two(?) in London). Feeling very blessed to have this pizza place in my student city. Definitely going back for more when the next academic year begins so that I can cry into my pizza and refillable cup about the looming deadlines that approach.

Hope you enjoyed… what's your fave pizza place? Let me know.

Love,

Chloe




Oh, hey, blogosphere. It's been a while, hasn't it? It feels like forever since I've just taken the time to chill out and write a blogpost. Maybe some of that is to do with everything that I've had going on in my final semester of second year which — and I can't believe this as I'm writing it — is over. 

So, second year. I feel like I did a complete 180 turnover this year and I don't know how I did it. Now, I'm not usually one for believing in fate/destiny, so maybe it was more my own determination and will to put myself out there and change things for the better. Even if didn't consciously think about these things at the time.

If you're wondering what I'm talking about, it's partly the best decision that I made during uni: to start the theatre society. Partly this decision, partly the people that I met as a result of this. I just became a happier, smilier and generally better person because of the experience that I had assistant directing a couple of shows and making so many friends from doing this. It's a total difference compared to the lack of community that I felt at the start of second year with having left halls to now: I have made genuine good friends, bettered myself and made many more memories than I would have if I hadn't joined the theatre. All of which I am so grateful for.

Academically, things improved as well, but I shan't go into too much detail about that as it's summer now and I'm going to enjoy it. I enjoyed my modules and am proud of my overall grade, but I know that things need to improve for next year even still. It's crazy to think I'll be applying for my masters in September but I'm excited (and anxious) for a new start when I graduate next year (omg). 

So, that's a brief summary of what I've been up to. I hope to be a bit more regular with the blogposts now that I have the time (including some foodie reviews from around Notts), so please stay with me for that!

Love,

Chloe 

My Thoughts on Second Year of University



Oh, hey, blogosphere. It's been a while, hasn't it? It feels like forever since I've just taken the time to chill out and write a blogpost. Maybe some of that is to do with everything that I've had going on in my final semester of second year which — and I can't believe this as I'm writing it — is over. 

So, second year. I feel like I did a complete 180 turnover this year and I don't know how I did it. Now, I'm not usually one for believing in fate/destiny, so maybe it was more my own determination and will to put myself out there and change things for the better. Even if didn't consciously think about these things at the time.

If you're wondering what I'm talking about, it's partly the best decision that I made during uni: to start the theatre society. Partly this decision, partly the people that I met as a result of this. I just became a happier, smilier and generally better person because of the experience that I had assistant directing a couple of shows and making so many friends from doing this. It's a total difference compared to the lack of community that I felt at the start of second year with having left halls to now: I have made genuine good friends, bettered myself and made many more memories than I would have if I hadn't joined the theatre. All of which I am so grateful for.

Academically, things improved as well, but I shan't go into too much detail about that as it's summer now and I'm going to enjoy it. I enjoyed my modules and am proud of my overall grade, but I know that things need to improve for next year even still. It's crazy to think I'll be applying for my masters in September but I'm excited (and anxious) for a new start when I graduate next year (omg). 

So, that's a brief summary of what I've been up to. I hope to be a bit more regular with the blogposts now that I have the time (including some foodie reviews from around Notts), so please stay with me for that!

Love,

Chloe 



Fresher's week. What a terrifying concept — literally a whole week of awkwardly attempting to socialise with people that you've only just met. An even more terrifying thought when you consider that I had the social ability of a teaspoon before university started. Luckily, I like to think I've come a long way since then, and so I'd like to offer what limited tips I can share...

1. Please do yourself a favour and damn sOCIALISE.

I know it's hard, especially if you're awkward like I was at the start. Know that it's easier to put the effort in early on than it is later down the line. Don't let that scare you though — be an open book and actively want to get to know everyone, even if it's just casual conversation that feels a bit dead. We all have to start somewhere. The more people you meet, the more likely you are to find your true friends (it's just, like, statistics or something, right?)

2. Don't feel or be pressured

Don't be pressured to do ANYTHING that you don't want to do. I didn't drink or go to any parties before uni, so I stuck to that routine during fresher's week. The closest I came to was joining some of my new-found friend group's pre-drinks before they all went out until whatever hour and guess what, I didn't drink there either! Awkward was definitely my name and game, oops. But it was perfectly fine, because I was still accepted to this new environment and by these new people, so I felt relatively at ease and non-pressured. When you do decide to follow the crowd, ensure that it's 100% your decision and your decision only. Saying that, fresher's week is where you're expected to most exceed your comfort zone, so remind yourself of this and know that it's the easiest time to get involved with things even if you feel like a total new-comer. (Heads up: everyone is!)

3. Join societies and stick to them

Societies are so much fun but unfortunately as a first year, things got on top of me and I decided to drop out of them (whilst missing them terribly). Luckily I recognised my mistake, and here I am telling you not to make the same one (unless you really hate everything about it I guess). Now in second year, I have quite important roles in a couple of societies and I feel so much more fulfilled that  I'm able to maintain a society/workload/social life/uni balance. It's given me incredible opportunities and experiences, some of which are the definitive part of overall university experience and ones that I will never forget.

4. Be realistic

If you're still feeling uneasy in your new environment, I urge you to understand that this is totally normal. For the first month I felt like a total fish out of water, but I kept telling myself that this was only the beginning, that it could only get better from here. And that's so true; this is one week out of your entire university experience. Don't drop out at the sound of a warning bell, be steadfast! You can totally do this. And if you really feel that you can't...

5. Find support

Confide in a new friend, a member of staff you trust, a friend from your home or even your family. Let them know how you're feeling emotionally, academically, and in every other way.

Five Things I Wish I Knew Before Fresher's Week



Fresher's week. What a terrifying concept — literally a whole week of awkwardly attempting to socialise with people that you've only just met. An even more terrifying thought when you consider that I had the social ability of a teaspoon before university started. Luckily, I like to think I've come a long way since then, and so I'd like to offer what limited tips I can share...

1. Please do yourself a favour and damn sOCIALISE.

I know it's hard, especially if you're awkward like I was at the start. Know that it's easier to put the effort in early on than it is later down the line. Don't let that scare you though — be an open book and actively want to get to know everyone, even if it's just casual conversation that feels a bit dead. We all have to start somewhere. The more people you meet, the more likely you are to find your true friends (it's just, like, statistics or something, right?)

2. Don't feel or be pressured

Don't be pressured to do ANYTHING that you don't want to do. I didn't drink or go to any parties before uni, so I stuck to that routine during fresher's week. The closest I came to was joining some of my new-found friend group's pre-drinks before they all went out until whatever hour and guess what, I didn't drink there either! Awkward was definitely my name and game, oops. But it was perfectly fine, because I was still accepted to this new environment and by these new people, so I felt relatively at ease and non-pressured. When you do decide to follow the crowd, ensure that it's 100% your decision and your decision only. Saying that, fresher's week is where you're expected to most exceed your comfort zone, so remind yourself of this and know that it's the easiest time to get involved with things even if you feel like a total new-comer. (Heads up: everyone is!)

3. Join societies and stick to them

Societies are so much fun but unfortunately as a first year, things got on top of me and I decided to drop out of them (whilst missing them terribly). Luckily I recognised my mistake, and here I am telling you not to make the same one (unless you really hate everything about it I guess). Now in second year, I have quite important roles in a couple of societies and I feel so much more fulfilled that  I'm able to maintain a society/workload/social life/uni balance. It's given me incredible opportunities and experiences, some of which are the definitive part of overall university experience and ones that I will never forget.

4. Be realistic

If you're still feeling uneasy in your new environment, I urge you to understand that this is totally normal. For the first month I felt like a total fish out of water, but I kept telling myself that this was only the beginning, that it could only get better from here. And that's so true; this is one week out of your entire university experience. Don't drop out at the sound of a warning bell, be steadfast! You can totally do this. And if you really feel that you can't...

5. Find support

Confide in a new friend, a member of staff you trust, a friend from your home or even your family. Let them know how you're feeling emotionally, academically, and in every other way.



Second year, so far. It has baffled me (as it does time and time again) that this academic year has flown by so quickly. I can't believe that, in relation to my overall degree, I am more than halfway through with it. Disbelief and excitement overwhelm me everyday: disbelief, because it feels as though I only started uni yesterday; excitement because the prospect of finishing my degree and starting a new chapter is more than a dream to me.

Upon reflection, last semester wasn't exactly smooth, though I did average at a borderline 2:1 in the end. I chose modules in Shakespeare and Chaucer for English and in ethics for philosophy. Though I enjoyed them in part, there were specific elements in each of them that I didn't quite get along with. I struggled in my first Chaucer assessment that amounted to 25% of the module, which was equally damaging to my self-esteem as it was to my sense of purpose. However, I managed to pull it up with the second assessment, receiving a comparatively lovely 2:1 for it. The other modules I struggled more in the enjoyment of them than the academic side, although I didn't perform as well in my ethics exam as I would have liked. I can only hope to exceed that this semester, and overall I am proud that my (approx.) 10,000 words of coursework generally received good praise.

Onto this semester, of which I am thoroughly enjoying so far. The three modules I am taking are more specific than ever, including yet more Shakespeare and even more philosophy. I repeat, I cannot believe how fast this semester and year has already flown by, but I am excited by the fast-paste nature of it all. My attendance this semester has been better than ever, although my hours are so minimal. This does mean, however, that I am able to dedicate my free time to more independent study and interests outside of my degree.

Speaking of extracurricular things, this semester has been wonderful as I have finally fallen back into the routine of the theatre. I am helping out in directing one of the productions this year and it has proven to be very rewarding already. I am definitely looking to apply for another producing role this semester and continue with theatre even more so next year. It's wonderful to have something physically moving back in my life; although writing is my passion, you aren't exactly required to leave the house for it. The theatre is a luxury indeed.

If you're at university, what aspect are you currently enjoying? If not, what do you miss?


Love,

Chloe

university update 001: second year, so far




Second year, so far. It has baffled me (as it does time and time again) that this academic year has flown by so quickly. I can't believe that, in relation to my overall degree, I am more than halfway through with it. Disbelief and excitement overwhelm me everyday: disbelief, because it feels as though I only started uni yesterday; excitement because the prospect of finishing my degree and starting a new chapter is more than a dream to me.

Upon reflection, last semester wasn't exactly smooth, though I did average at a borderline 2:1 in the end. I chose modules in Shakespeare and Chaucer for English and in ethics for philosophy. Though I enjoyed them in part, there were specific elements in each of them that I didn't quite get along with. I struggled in my first Chaucer assessment that amounted to 25% of the module, which was equally damaging to my self-esteem as it was to my sense of purpose. However, I managed to pull it up with the second assessment, receiving a comparatively lovely 2:1 for it. The other modules I struggled more in the enjoyment of them than the academic side, although I didn't perform as well in my ethics exam as I would have liked. I can only hope to exceed that this semester, and overall I am proud that my (approx.) 10,000 words of coursework generally received good praise.

Onto this semester, of which I am thoroughly enjoying so far. The three modules I am taking are more specific than ever, including yet more Shakespeare and even more philosophy. I repeat, I cannot believe how fast this semester and year has already flown by, but I am excited by the fast-paste nature of it all. My attendance this semester has been better than ever, although my hours are so minimal. This does mean, however, that I am able to dedicate my free time to more independent study and interests outside of my degree.

Speaking of extracurricular things, this semester has been wonderful as I have finally fallen back into the routine of the theatre. I am helping out in directing one of the productions this year and it has proven to be very rewarding already. I am definitely looking to apply for another producing role this semester and continue with theatre even more so next year. It's wonderful to have something physically moving back in my life; although writing is my passion, you aren't exactly required to leave the house for it. The theatre is a luxury indeed.

If you're at university, what aspect are you currently enjoying? If not, what do you miss?


Love,

Chloe



I recently went for brunch with a group of friends at The Pudding Pantry in my university town, Nottingham. Oh my goodness, it was divine. I’m usually quite sceptical about eating out, but I actually can’t rave about it enough. I know that Nottingham has somewhat of a reputation for its eateries and it’s hard to distinguish the hype from the truth, but if my experience is anything to go by then The Pudding Pantry is definitely one to go to.

Oh my goodness, this hot chocolate was sooo damn good (although the picture is slightly out of focus, oops). You can tell that Pudding Pantry just make sure that everything is done with that bit of extra care and attention. If you’re a fan of homemade hot coco (who isn’t???), then you NEED to try out their Classic Hot Chocolate, which I paid £2.95 for. I figured the pricing was very decent for the hot beverage and that the quality actually exceeded the cost. It was so smooth and just the right amount of rich chocolate to sweetness ratio.

For £9.95 (one of the most expensive on the brunch menu, which isn’t actually too bad price-wise) you can get what they call The Full Pantry, a delicious couple of pancakes stacked with bacon and served with homemade baked beans, your choice of scrambled or fried eggs, a garlic mushroom and maple syrup. And boy, is it dreamy. It’s also definitely VERY full, so I would recommend only purchasing when you’re reeeaaally hungry. Looking back I should have just ordered a stack of pancakes and bacon as that would definitely have sufficed my hunger, and I wouldn’t have had left so much food over!
Saying that, I did actually really enjoy the food that I could manage, and was glad that I could get The Full Pantry to try all of their star products out. The homemade baked beans were sooo good; definitely different to your traditional (I hadn’t actually tried homemade ones before) but all the more indulgent! The pancakes were just divine as well, really fluffy and sweet, yet this didn’t detract from the savoury nature of the rest of the dish. In fact, the sweetness went perfectly with the saltiness of the bacon, and the pancakes were definitely the star of the show.
If you’re in Nottingham and looking for a good spot of brunch, I definitely recommend looking at The Pudding Pantry. I can’t believe I hadn’t been before, and will definitely be back in order to try out all of their cakes and sweet treats!
Love,
Chloe


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weekends are for brunching



I recently went for brunch with a group of friends at The Pudding Pantry in my university town, Nottingham. Oh my goodness, it was divine. I’m usually quite sceptical about eating out, but I actually can’t rave about it enough. I know that Nottingham has somewhat of a reputation for its eateries and it’s hard to distinguish the hype from the truth, but if my experience is anything to go by then The Pudding Pantry is definitely one to go to.

Oh my goodness, this hot chocolate was sooo damn good (although the picture is slightly out of focus, oops). You can tell that Pudding Pantry just make sure that everything is done with that bit of extra care and attention. If you’re a fan of homemade hot coco (who isn’t???), then you NEED to try out their Classic Hot Chocolate, which I paid £2.95 for. I figured the pricing was very decent for the hot beverage and that the quality actually exceeded the cost. It was so smooth and just the right amount of rich chocolate to sweetness ratio.

For £9.95 (one of the most expensive on the brunch menu, which isn’t actually too bad price-wise) you can get what they call The Full Pantry, a delicious couple of pancakes stacked with bacon and served with homemade baked beans, your choice of scrambled or fried eggs, a garlic mushroom and maple syrup. And boy, is it dreamy. It’s also definitely VERY full, so I would recommend only purchasing when you’re reeeaaally hungry. Looking back I should have just ordered a stack of pancakes and bacon as that would definitely have sufficed my hunger, and I wouldn’t have had left so much food over!
Saying that, I did actually really enjoy the food that I could manage, and was glad that I could get The Full Pantry to try all of their star products out. The homemade baked beans were sooo good; definitely different to your traditional (I hadn’t actually tried homemade ones before) but all the more indulgent! The pancakes were just divine as well, really fluffy and sweet, yet this didn’t detract from the savoury nature of the rest of the dish. In fact, the sweetness went perfectly with the saltiness of the bacon, and the pancakes were definitely the star of the show.
If you’re in Nottingham and looking for a good spot of brunch, I definitely recommend looking at The Pudding Pantry. I can’t believe I hadn’t been before, and will definitely be back in order to try out all of their cakes and sweet treats!
Love,
Chloe


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I'm a firm believer in all things self-care and mindfulness. I mean; healthy mind, healthy body works in reverse too, right? It is my belief that one of the easiest ways you can start to feel good about yourself is to do good things to your body, whatever that means to you personally.

Self-care is all the more important as a student. I've been a student living away from home for approximately two years now, and there have definitely been some trying moments. I believe that instilling some of the following self-care tips can be really beneficial when making the transition into adulthood for those couple of formative years.


1. Make yourself a cup of tea, or coffee, or hot chocolate, or any hot beverage of your choice! Taking time out of your day just to sit alone, with a friend, or in a busy coffee shop is important in order to reflect upon yourself and your day. It's the best way to gain some thinking time even when things are getting on top of you!


2. Have an early night and unwind from the day away from the people who surround you every single day. It's nice to go back to an environment where you're totally okay with being by yourself — independence is scarily underrated. There's nothing like treating yourself to a bit of a pamper night mid-week, rather than trying to fit in some social event that you don't really have time for. It's easy to get caught up in the week, so take it easy on yourself.


3. Confide in a friend. That's what they're there for! A problem shared is a problem halved, after all.


4. Keep a journal. It's universally acknowledged that writing offers some kind of therapeutic escapism that is seriously necessary in self-care rituals. If writing isn't your thing, try and document your feelings in a different way. Photography, song or painting — the creative world is your oyster. 


5. Do something for yourself. It's all about you. You have to be selfish every now and then and, after all, it is self-care at the end of the day. Whether it's playing a movie, going to the theatre by yourself or listening to your favourite album, you should take this time to find your thing!






My Top Self Care Tips


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I'm a firm believer in all things self-care and mindfulness. I mean; healthy mind, healthy body works in reverse too, right? It is my belief that one of the easiest ways you can start to feel good about yourself is to do good things to your body, whatever that means to you personally.

Self-care is all the more important as a student. I've been a student living away from home for approximately two years now, and there have definitely been some trying moments. I believe that instilling some of the following self-care tips can be really beneficial when making the transition into adulthood for those couple of formative years.


1. Make yourself a cup of tea, or coffee, or hot chocolate, or any hot beverage of your choice! Taking time out of your day just to sit alone, with a friend, or in a busy coffee shop is important in order to reflect upon yourself and your day. It's the best way to gain some thinking time even when things are getting on top of you!


2. Have an early night and unwind from the day away from the people who surround you every single day. It's nice to go back to an environment where you're totally okay with being by yourself — independence is scarily underrated. There's nothing like treating yourself to a bit of a pamper night mid-week, rather than trying to fit in some social event that you don't really have time for. It's easy to get caught up in the week, so take it easy on yourself.


3. Confide in a friend. That's what they're there for! A problem shared is a problem halved, after all.


4. Keep a journal. It's universally acknowledged that writing offers some kind of therapeutic escapism that is seriously necessary in self-care rituals. If writing isn't your thing, try and document your feelings in a different way. Photography, song or painting — the creative world is your oyster. 


5. Do something for yourself. It's all about you. You have to be selfish every now and then and, after all, it is self-care at the end of the day. Whether it's playing a movie, going to the theatre by yourself or listening to your favourite album, you should take this time to find your thing!







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Summer of 2017 was definitely a ride, and one of the perks of summertime for me was being lucky enough to go to Budapest for a week and a bit. I hadn't explored many European cities before (mainly Spanish islands, Paris and Prague), but this trip was definitely something special as it inspired me to go far more often than I currently do. Today, I thought I should reminisce on the summer just gone and talk through all of my favourite things about Budapest with you.





1) My main love for Budapest lies in its amazing architecture and important buildings. The Hungarian Parliament Building is just so pretty that it becomes a tourist spot itself. The Buda Castle — one of my favourite days of the trip — is actually awe-striking: I've never seen as castle quite like it. It is truly beautiful and unique, and made me realise how much I appreciate such artistic and creative architecture in the first place.
2) Budapest is also home to many traditional and historical cafes that sadly, I didn't get to experience this time around. I will definitely have to go back and experience the New York Cafe — one of the most famous of the city. The otherwise average walks around town were made a visually striking experience by the cafes and buildings around, truly exuding the character of the city itself.


3) The Thermal Baths of Budapest receive a mixed review form me. Whilst I definitely found the architecture once again impressively designed, I found the hygiene standards of the baths themselves a rather irksome experience. If you're not too fussed about things like that for an hour or three of your time, it's definitely still worth it even just to recline in the sun and dry off. You might even get a tan if you're lucky enough; it will probably be the most sunbathing you've done all holiday, which just goes to show how adventurous the city is. 


4) The views. The views! Oh my goodness, the views in Budapest are amazing. I recommend going on one of those tourist bust things -- they often stop at a beauty spot for you to observe the city from its best angles. It's definitely a treat, I mean, you don't see a view like that everyday!

I cannot recommend Budapest enough for you to explore either as an introduction to European cities or if you're well-travelled! Seeing such a beautiful city definitely has to be a highlight of 2017 for me, and I hope it will encourage you to go and visit someday too.
Love,
Chloe


Budapest, Hungary

My Favourite Things in Budapest


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Summer of 2017 was definitely a ride, and one of the perks of summertime for me was being lucky enough to go to Budapest for a week and a bit. I hadn't explored many European cities before (mainly Spanish islands, Paris and Prague), but this trip was definitely something special as it inspired me to go far more often than I currently do. Today, I thought I should reminisce on the summer just gone and talk through all of my favourite things about Budapest with you.





1) My main love for Budapest lies in its amazing architecture and important buildings. The Hungarian Parliament Building is just so pretty that it becomes a tourist spot itself. The Buda Castle — one of my favourite days of the trip — is actually awe-striking: I've never seen as castle quite like it. It is truly beautiful and unique, and made me realise how much I appreciate such artistic and creative architecture in the first place.
2) Budapest is also home to many traditional and historical cafes that sadly, I didn't get to experience this time around. I will definitely have to go back and experience the New York Cafe — one of the most famous of the city. The otherwise average walks around town were made a visually striking experience by the cafes and buildings around, truly exuding the character of the city itself.


3) The Thermal Baths of Budapest receive a mixed review form me. Whilst I definitely found the architecture once again impressively designed, I found the hygiene standards of the baths themselves a rather irksome experience. If you're not too fussed about things like that for an hour or three of your time, it's definitely still worth it even just to recline in the sun and dry off. You might even get a tan if you're lucky enough; it will probably be the most sunbathing you've done all holiday, which just goes to show how adventurous the city is. 


4) The views. The views! Oh my goodness, the views in Budapest are amazing. I recommend going on one of those tourist bust things -- they often stop at a beauty spot for you to observe the city from its best angles. It's definitely a treat, I mean, you don't see a view like that everyday!

I cannot recommend Budapest enough for you to explore either as an introduction to European cities or if you're well-travelled! Seeing such a beautiful city definitely has to be a highlight of 2017 for me, and I hope it will encourage you to go and visit someday too.
Love,
Chloe


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Now, between you and me, I've tried a lot of skincare combos over the last few years. This existence persisted through countless bouts of teenage acne to hormonal breakouts and now, my relatively normal complexion. You'll be glad to know I've finally found my top 3 skincare products. Not that I don't change it up every now and then, that would be totally unrealistic for me! But alas, these are my current best picks:
1. Micellar Water
Now I've tried multiple brands of Micellar Water, but I always find myself constantly switch between the Garnier and the L'Oreal one. I just love this stuff for taking makeup off or refreshing the skin — the perfect in-between of a 'proper' cleanser and those flimsy makeup wipes.

2. Neal's Yard — Rehydrating Rose Daily Moisture



Omg, if you're a fan of natural moisturisers like me, then you'll looove this moisturiser. I can't recommend trying to find a natural alternative to your average chemically-induced moisturiser any day; it is seriously a life changing skin factor. I love this moisturiser, it feel light but still moisturising enough. The best of both worlds.

3. Pixi Glow Tonic
I know this is a cult product — but it's cult for a reason! I adore this stuff because it really gets the very last of your makeup off, and totally renews your skin. I've also found it to have a brightening effect on my skin, but that could be at the hand of all of these products together. I think it's definitely made the most difference to my skin overall and definitely has a regulating effect as well.
Overall, I can't stress the importance of having a low-fuss, slightly more natural skincare routine or at least introducing a few products into your daily life. I find these to be the most luxurious of products, and they don't even have to be that expensive! There are loads of fairly lower-priced natural skincare products — you just have to know where to look!
Love,
Chloe

My Top Three Skincare Products

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Now, between you and me, I've tried a lot of skincare combos over the last few years. This existence persisted through countless bouts of teenage acne to hormonal breakouts and now, my relatively normal complexion. You'll be glad to know I've finally found my top 3 skincare products. Not that I don't change it up every now and then, that would be totally unrealistic for me! But alas, these are my current best picks:
1. Micellar Water
Now I've tried multiple brands of Micellar Water, but I always find myself constantly switch between the Garnier and the L'Oreal one. I just love this stuff for taking makeup off or refreshing the skin — the perfect in-between of a 'proper' cleanser and those flimsy makeup wipes.

2. Neal's Yard — Rehydrating Rose Daily Moisture



Omg, if you're a fan of natural moisturisers like me, then you'll looove this moisturiser. I can't recommend trying to find a natural alternative to your average chemically-induced moisturiser any day; it is seriously a life changing skin factor. I love this moisturiser, it feel light but still moisturising enough. The best of both worlds.

3. Pixi Glow Tonic
I know this is a cult product — but it's cult for a reason! I adore this stuff because it really gets the very last of your makeup off, and totally renews your skin. I've also found it to have a brightening effect on my skin, but that could be at the hand of all of these products together. I think it's definitely made the most difference to my skin overall and definitely has a regulating effect as well.
Overall, I can't stress the importance of having a low-fuss, slightly more natural skincare routine or at least introducing a few products into your daily life. I find these to be the most luxurious of products, and they don't even have to be that expensive! There are loads of fairly lower-priced natural skincare products — you just have to know where to look!
Love,
Chloe



I feel as though I should up my game when it comes to beauty and makeup reviews, and so I thought that I would share my thoughts on the infamous Morphe 35F Palette.

So, very excitedly I received this for Christmas, and I must say that the colours of the palette are very appropriate to the Christmas season. I love the cranberry and burgundy shades, but equally the gold and copper.

I also love the matte transition shades in the palette. Unlike criticisms towards the palette that there isn't enough variety between shades, I believe that there is enough variation because of the transition shades. I've had palettes before where it was virtually impossible to create a 'look' out of because there were no matte shades whatever. Whilst I appreciate the sparkly shades more than anything, I also love the added transition shades for this very reason.

Overall, the palette is definitely a beautiful one, suitable for beginners like me who aren't willing to pay a hefty price point. Actually, it's a more than reasonably priced palette and I'm so glad I have it to experiment with.


Hope you enjoyed!

Love,

Chloe 

Review: Morphe 35F Eyeshadow Palette




I feel as though I should up my game when it comes to beauty and makeup reviews, and so I thought that I would share my thoughts on the infamous Morphe 35F Palette.

So, very excitedly I received this for Christmas, and I must say that the colours of the palette are very appropriate to the Christmas season. I love the cranberry and burgundy shades, but equally the gold and copper.

I also love the matte transition shades in the palette. Unlike criticisms towards the palette that there isn't enough variety between shades, I believe that there is enough variation because of the transition shades. I've had palettes before where it was virtually impossible to create a 'look' out of because there were no matte shades whatever. Whilst I appreciate the sparkly shades more than anything, I also love the added transition shades for this very reason.

Overall, the palette is definitely a beautiful one, suitable for beginners like me who aren't willing to pay a hefty price point. Actually, it's a more than reasonably priced palette and I'm so glad I have it to experiment with.


Hope you enjoyed!

Love,

Chloe 

chloe | 20 | nottingham

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About the Author

Chloe Jade is an undergraduate student at the University of Nottingham reading English and Philosophy. Post-graduation, her ambition is to become a journalist. In order to read, write and share as much as she wants, she decided to create this blog so that she could explore her wider interests and experiences.