Friday, 25 October 2013

Single life at university

 
One of my female friends asked me the other day 'What is it like to not have a boyfriend while at uni?' She is 21 years old and hasn't been single since she was 16. In fact, she will probably marry this guy. Therefore if I wanted her to be able to understand what it's truly like, I had to come up with a very simple analogy. So what I eventually told her was this:

Being single at university is like looking for a dress in a charity shop. You normally aren't intending to go there but have a wander around to see if anything fits. You can be in there for hours, sifting through piles of crap yet find nothing which is always very frustrating. But now you have started searching, you don't want to give up. Occasionally you find something you kind of like but it's not your usual style and it's not long before you get bored of it. And then, very occasionally, you find an absolute gem. Something that you wouldn't dream that you would find and is so perfect for you that you couldn't imagine wanting anything else. Again, it might not have been exactly what you were looking for but somehow you couldn't imagine living without it. Those feelings of love and excitement never get old and it makes it all worth it.

That's what it's like being single at university. Carry on sifting through the crap, girls and guys.

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Sunday, 20 October 2013

The Oracle Student Takeover


For a shopaholic who has just received her student loan, this annual event at my local shopping centre was always going to be dangerous. Lured in by the advertisement of freebies and hugely discounted clothes, I spent A LOT. But who, cares? I have a lot of pretty things to show for it and that's all that matters.

So what exactly did I buy? Well....you can see pretty much all of it here. And you can see that I am a woman of many layers because not only did I buy clothes but also a bag, a piece of jewellery and, most excitingly, notebooks. Yes you heard me right, I am a complete stationery freak and I am not even ashamed to admit it. Notebooks are my weakness - but I am a writer so it is completely necessary for me to have lots and lots of them rightttttttt?

The whole place was absolutely buzzing with students rushing from shop to shop trying to grab the best bargains before everything sold out. Girls were scanning the rails with serious dedication, swinging from one section to the next, never pausing for a mere browse. This was shopping at its most aggressive and not for the fainthearted.

We didn't bother with changing rooms and opted for a buy-now-return-it-later policy. We definitely didn't want to have any regrets when items were this cheap. So we bought. And we searched. And we bought some more. Right up until the end of the night at 11pm where there were only a few hardcore students left scraping the barrel and keeping the shop assistants awake. It hadn't been easy. We'd been pushed and shoved, elbowed and stepped on. There had been disappointments - perfect boots that didn't have our size, beautiful bags that had to be rejected because they had a mark on them. And what can I say about Topshop - a broken aircon system and too many people in that tiny upstairs bit (I can not WAIT until it expands next year) meant that we all had to strip off our layers and walk around as if we were at the beach.

But we made it! And to celebrate we went to Macdonalds. At 11pm. Which normally is only acceptable if you are trying to sober up. Even that had its problems. Firstly, they turned off the McFlurry machine. WHYYYYYY would they do that? So I had to settle for a toffee muffin which just wasn't up to scratch (I think it had been sitting in that display case all day). And then when me and my friend tried to go to the toilet (a basic human right) they had turned the motion sensors off. Therefore we had to pee in the dark. WHYYYYYY would they do that? Evil people. And let me tell you, peeing by phone light is difficult and frankly a little unhygienic.

Despite this though, I did have a fun night. After lugging all our purchases home, I think we were all a little delirious. But it was so worth it. I picked up some great bargains.


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Sunday, 13 October 2013

Why come to university?

Odd as it may seem, I am a little envious of 17 year olds right now. With school having just restarted they are approaching the most exciting time of their young lives – the exploration of universities, trawling the country for that perfect institution which can offer all the opportunities they want. If they want it. That is the big question that everyone is asking these youngsters – do you want to go to university? And their immediate response should be a resounding yes.
My own days of applications seem like a distant memory now, occurring almost four years ago as I prepare myself for my fourth year of Primary Education at Reading University. The past three years have been a whirlwind and this decision remains to be the best I have ever made. I chose to study Primary Education because I wanted to do something more than simply sit in a classroom (which I had been doing for the previous 14 years of my education) and within the course, I had a range of practical placements as well as the traditional lectures. Nowhere else could I have gained the breadth of experiences (both good and bad) that I did, which all helped me to grow into the adult that I am today. It is here that I am finally beginning to find out exactly who Charlotte Coster is. I thought I knew her pretty well by the time I’d left school, but over the past years she has continued to change in a way that surprised me. And she has done things, I never thought her capable of.
This is what university is all about – finding out who you are. It is so easy to look at the £9,000 fee and say ‘That is so not worth it, for a piece of paper.’ Which is completely true. It’s lucky that university is so much more than your final degree classification. It’s about finding a subject you love and doing it to death. It’s about doing an all-nighter because you’ve left that essay until the last possible second. And then getting the next one in a day early because you don’t want to give yourself any more grey hairs. It’s about finding a group of friends you can’t live without. It’s about learning to place more than vodka and pot noodles into your shopping basket. It’s about making mistakes and fixing them. And, most importantly, it’s about learning to live. And to be honest, that’s something that money can’t buy.
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Saturday, 12 October 2013

A quick apology

I am sure I wrote a post similar to this, last year as well, but I just wanted to apologise briefly (but profusely) for my lack of writing recently. The start of the year at uni is always a little crazy what with Freshers' week, trying to catch up with all those people you haven't been able to see for 3 months and sorting out everything for the coming year of study. And it has all been a little more poignant this year as it is to be my fourth and final one. Hugely excited as I am to be heading into the world of work, I know I will miss this place where I have had so many incredible experiences and made so many friends. Therefore I am trying to get everything out of uni that I possible can as I don't want to have any regrets when I finally leave. And that started with Freshers' week. I am proud to announce that I was out every night with the youngsters and I lived to tell the tale. Who knew that SO MUCH DRAMA could occur in one week?? But I guess that's what happens when alcohol is involved!

Sooooooo...bring on final year. Hopefully it won't just be a year of stress but also of fun, booze, and opportunities that I will grab before I leave them all behind. I will make sure I document some of it for you guys so you see what I get up to and I promise to be a little more faithful to the blog as the year progresses. Let fourth year commence.


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