Sunday, 25 September 2016

5 Best Things I Love About the Internet

According to some people, we are rotting our brains with all this screen time cough bullshit cough. Obviously sitting down in front of a screen 24/7 isn't advisable, and there are unquestionably downsides to the internet (hello constant comparison to other peoples' lives). I'm only just really enjoying blogging again, like actually enjoying it! I've suddenly found the mojo to write and properly comment on other blogs. The beauty of the internet means we can get to know people from anywhere in the world with similar interests to us!

Ok that was meant to be my point number one and now it's just turned into a long ass introduction, lemme properly list some things to love about the Internet...

  1. ALL THE KNOWLEDGE - you can learn so many things from a simple Google! Which some people need to get acquainted with and stop asking others to do their research for them... ahem. Most of the research I did for my third-year project was done using the internet. All accessed for free. Kind of, some of it I could only access 'cos I was a uni student, but there are many scientific papers available totally free so there's no excuse really. Biochemistry was obvs my thing, but you can actually learn ALL THE THINGS from weird facts about serial killers to creative tutorials (check out Skillshare if you haven't yet), and makeup tutorials on youTube which didn't actually exist when I was younger. Count yourselves lucky young 'uns if you didn't have to go through the Maybelline dream matte mousse phase.

  1. Easy access
     - the internet is nearly everywhere now. You can't find a coffee shop without free wifi now (as if Internet cafes used to be a novelty)! Even theme parks have free wifi and encourage you to share your experiences on social media! I would be lost, literally lost, without being able to access maps on my iPhone. Maybe that's a bad thing, I still think it's good to get lost sometimes. But deffo not when on your way to an interview...

  1. Easy to discover new music
     - when I was younger new music came to my ears only through the radio or my Mam's CD collection. YouTube has an endless supply of music, some people still 'undiscovered' by the masses. Spotify is my forever friend, especially the suggestions it makes based on your playlists! Or the various playlists made by other people you can find to fit your mood. I've found so much music I'd never listened to before through Spotify.

  1. Long distance friendships/relationships are somewhat easier
     - I know they'll never be easy, and there's nothing quite like snail mail, but sometimes that is just too slow and we want to see each other's faces. Skype and FaceTime are your forever friends. Seriously. Not only those but twitter, facebook, and blogging all make it easier to keep up with each other! Most of my family live in Ireland, I sometimes only see them once a year, but thanks to facebook I can keep up with all of them and see my younger cousins grow in the time between my visits.

  1. Internet humour
     - without the internet, we wouldn't have all the various types of Internet humour which can make me laugh for daaayyyys. Just check out Jenna Marbles if you need some full-on Internet humour. She gets it. YouTube videos, vines, GIFs, memes, the lot, they make my life. 

We all need Internet breaks and digital detoxes now and then, but let's be honest, we should all be a lot smarter with all this information at our fingertips. How lucky are we?! Is there anything else you could add? What do you love about the Internet?

Thursday, 15 September 2016

The Ultimate Guide to Student Life

You might be packing for uni, already moved in and getting your bearings, or going back for another year - all scenarios I'm obscenely jealous of right now! I'm already feeling nostalgic and I only graduated a few months ago! I'm sure some of you will be nervous af, and if it doesn't work out then at least you'll know you tried. Hopefully, you will all love it because it brings amazing experiences and fun times before everyone moves to various corners of the country world and you can't just walk home at 6AM in the morning after staying up on your friends' sofa chatting about nothing all night. Well, maybe you can, just not as often...

Over the years I wrote a few posts about student life. Looking back, they make me crease and bring back good memories, which are maybe relate-able to you, so even if you feel you are the expert on student life and don't need any of my advice, feel free to have a read and we can bond over shared experiences of mice infestations. Ahh. The good ole' days.

First year
  1. 9 Things No One Tells You About Student Life
  2. 8 Things I've learnt at University (So Far!)
  3. How to make your uni house more homely

Second year
When I started to actually know what I was doing...
  1. Packing for Uni / Take Two
  2. Freshers Week
  3. Meeting People / Making Friends
  4. A Study of the Student Species
  5. Halloween
  6. Housemates
  7. Christmas on a Budget
  8. Time Management
  9. Fitness & Eating Healthy
  10. Valentine's Day
  11. How to be a Knowledge Ninja
  12. Study Playlist

Aaaand there's a complete lack of student life posts from third year. Says something about how busy it gets! I've been trying to think of what else I could share from my third year, like how to actually survive third year, but I'm finding it very hard to put into words. I've learnt so much and come so far since first year it feels like way too much to get into a series of blog posts. I think it's different for each person too, how can I tell you how to do your uni experience?! You really gotta try it for yourself! Having said that, if anyone starting uni would like more advice from me you can feel free to email or tweet me anytime.

I may write some more reflective studenty-type posts, if I do I'll add them here. Third year is very different and the same rules don't apply. I can't even think of how to put it into a sentence to summarise this post! All I can finish with (for now) is good things come to those who work their fucking asses off. Good luck!

What is your best advice for students starting first year at uni?

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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

A Weekend in the New Forest

Every weekend we try to have something fun planned, duh, I hear you say, that's what weekends are for. Max has just joined the working world and I'm on the job hunt so we are very new to this. People seem to think students are lazy and don't understand what it is to work hard and what the "real world" is. (Where have I been until now then? Fucking Wonderland?!)  Sure, first year is like one big party but get to second and then third year, studying consumes you. You don't get evenings or nights or weekends off. You gotta work right on through them. Unless you're one of those annoying people who are so smart they don't have to study as much... ahem not me.

When you have a 9-5 you get to come home at the end of the day and switch off, you get to spend weekends doing things you love! I'm not saying its easy, I'm saying don't assume it's harder than studying for a degree, they're just different types of hard. Of course, it's all probably very different if you work from home, or run your own business. I imagine it's hard to switch off and fully take the weekends off when you work from home. And let's not forget our weekend retail workers, I was one of you once, I salute you!

My point is now we are in quite a set routine of working and completing tasks during the weekdays, but we get to have chill evenings and weekends! So, my original point was that we like to have something different to do every weekend, but also save one of the days to be lazy.

For the bank holiday weekend, we stayed in a cute wooden lodge in the New Forest with my family.

We arrived late on Friday night, got ourselves checked in, and went to bed in the cosiest wooden lodge at Shorefield. It's close enough to walk to the beach, which is what we did on the first day! After a long lie in of course...

We walked along the deserted seaside until we found The Needle's Eye cafe where we stopped for a quick snack. The only downside was the absence of soy milk so Max and I couldn't have a cuppa! Honestly, all we did was walk that day, then rest for a bit back at the lodge before going to The New Forest Inn for dinner. DAMN I would recommend that place to anyone! It's a B&B if you fancy staying there for a few nights, and it's dog-friendly too! The staff were so lovely and helpful, picking out exactly what I could have that was vegan, which was only the vegetable samosas with bombay potatoes and mango chutney but oh my stars, they were the best veggie samosas I've ever had!

On Sunday we headed to Bournemouth for another beach walk! It was fucking freezing and windy but damn it's pretty there. Also, no one told us you have to pay to get onto the pier, I've never been to a pier you have to pay for?! Obvs, we didn't bother then and walked back to find another cafe for the all important cuppa (this place DID do soy milk).
(That place on the right is where we got our cuppa but I can't remember the name. Only that it was also dog-friendly and the food smelled delicious).

I don't have any tips or reviews for you here, as is the trend in blogging now. Gone are the days of simple photo diaries! But fuck that, have a photo diary of the New Forest 'cos it was the first time I used my camera in ages, not just my iPhone camera, and I really fucking like the photos.

Have you ever been to the New Forest? What are your favourite parts of it? I'd love to know for my next trip!

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Instamonth #August2016

August has been a weird month for me. I'm currently looking for a job but there's only so much I can do. I don't want to apply to too many, and then have no idea about any of the companies if they call me, that wouldn't look good to potential employers. If you have any tips on finding a job as a recent graduate let me know in the comments (pls pretty pls).

When not looking for a job I've been enjoying walks through the countryside I live in and reading lots of books! I read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and loved it. I don't get why people are hating so much? It's not descriptive because it's a script of a play! Totally different style to the original books. Although I'm not OK with how Hermione was portrayed, and there was a lack of any developed female characters, to be honest... OK so maybe it wasn't that great, but for hardcore fans, it's something extra to keep us going until the Fantastic Beasts film comes out in November.

I took part in the August Break Instagram challenge this month, run by Susannah Conway and actually loved it! I rarely take part in such challenges but I liked the prompts as soon as I saw them, although I did miss some days and am becoming more and more lax as we near the end of August... still, I posted nearly every day in August so high-five to me! If you wanna see more of the photos I took head over to my Instagram and check out Susannah's while you're there too!

green walks | read | tea for two outside our lodge for the weekend
the start of my uni scrapbook | bee friend | cute stickers
lunch date at Wagas | tan selfie | exploring
I posted so many photos this month and wanted to share some of the food I made as well. I've been planning on doing one of those 'What I Ate Today' type posts but I can't eat photogenic food all day, or ever apparently. I made my fave vegan pancakes way back at the start of August and nearly died from pancake overdose. I'm serious. They were well worth it! I often have creamy veg and tofu stir fry, and veggie curries are another regular fave.

I hope you enjoyed the long bank holiday weekend! I spent it in a lodge in the New Forest with my fam and boyfriend, keep your eyes peeled for a post soon. Let us know what you got up to this weekend in the comments!