Sunday, 25 February 2018

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?




Wednesday, 14 February 2018

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!

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Sunday, 4 February 2018

My Top Self Care Tips


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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