Uni prep top tips!

Top tips when preparing for uni! So when I look back on how I prepared for my undergraduate degree, I pretty much didn’t. Living at home meant I didn’t have to learn to cook, nor did i have to consider packing. But now, looking to my next year where I’ll be heading to London, all of these are things I need to consider. 
1. Learn to cook.

Now this is a tricky one for me as I hateeeee cooking. I wouldn’t say I can’t do it, because I definitely can, I just don’t enjoy it at all and would rather not. So through my undergrad, where my mum was already cooking meals for her and my family, it never jumped out at me to cook independently. Obviously with that no longer an option, I’ve been trying to use my time staying in hostels and these few weeks I’m back at home, to be a more proactive chef. I wouldn’t say I’m a Gordon Ramsey, but I make a mean Chicken Satay dish! I think it’s super important for me to learn to cook, as it would create the wrong impression with my future housemates to try and lean on them for such a basic necessity. 
2. Make a packing list.

Personally, I love a good list. It makes me feel so much more productive even if maybe it doesn’t actually make me that much more productive. Chat to people you know who’ve gone away to uni and ask what things they took with them. Reflect on how much these things apply to your life and include or exclude them as you go. For example, I don’t drink hot drinks so won’t be taking a kettle, which is something I know appears on most people’s packing lists! 
3. Open a student bank account.

This is definitely something I intend to do, as there are many benefits of getting a student account. Most importantly for me, it can help with your future credit rating! Something which at the upcoming age of 23 seems way more necessary for me to consider than it did a few years ago, when I chose not to bother getting a student account! Forewarning guys haha!
4. Check out the societies. 

For me, when I started my undergrad, this was super important, because I wasn’t living on campus and wanted other ways to meet people. Although I will be living down in London, I’ve already decided I want to join Cheerleading. Joining a society exposes you to so many more opportunities and is a huge part of university life. The sports and societies fairs in your first week though can be super overwhelming, so knowing ahead of time what you’re interested in will be helpful for navigating that warzone
5. Find your course mates

This actually wasn’t something I did ahead of uni, which I’m not 100% sure why… I think I was so nervous about uni I put off thinking about it until the week before! It’s definitely something I would recommend though, and I’m going to do it for my MSc. Although I definitely feel you’ll make friends easy enough regardless (I did), it could offer you more ease in the process if there’s already someone you can share your worries and excitement with! 
6. Learn about your course

Although uni is an experience aimed for you to have fun, it’s important to remember you are going there for a reason. They’ll be bits of your course that you love and bits that you hate and struggle with. Something I wish I had done is learn about my course before I went and give myself some time to prepare for the bits I knew I would struggle with, like biology or essay writing. Giving yourself a head start for things that you could struggle with later will be something you’ll thank yourself for, take it from someone looking at it in hindsight! 

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Derby Day!

So today (well yesterday, but I haven’t gone to sleep yet, so it still counts), was Derby Day. One of the biggest days of the UEA year and something that all students look forward to. This year it was at UEA. I’ve written about it before but this was the first time I had competed. 

I HAD A BLAST!!! I think it’s a great day and something every student should get the chance to take part in! And do you wanna know the best part… WE WON! UEA won overall, by a huuuuuuge margin, something like 54-9?! And also… THE UEA ANGELS WON THE DERBY DAY COMPETITION FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER! 

I’m not sure if that’s 100% accurate but no one on the team could remember the angels winning, so let’s go with for the first time in memory! 

It was an amazing day, with such a good atmosphere on campus, it felt like we were all one big team. People came to cheer on, even if they didn’t know anyone and there was a huge party celebration in the square. It will definitely be one of my highlights from my time at UEA and I can’t recommend it enough to new students!!

OH UEA IS WONDERFUL! 

UEA School Visits

So, last week my sister went on a visit to UEA with her school, to ‘see what it was like’ at uni.

She got shown round the campus; to the Sportspark, in the Hive and the LCR, the Arts buildings and she got to have a taster session for a Law talk, although she did say it wasn’t very law focused.

I think it was a really good idea for this to happen, as it’s really got her thinking about her future. On one hand, she thinks it’s super scary and she doesn’t even want to think about it, because she’s not sure what she wants to do yet.

But on the other hand, I can see the cogs turning in her head, thinking about what it would be like, admiring the idea of going off to uni, to discover who she is and all that!

I think it’s great that the UEA run things like this, because I was never given the opportunity to have these experiences, and I always wondered about uni, worried about going and was unsure, because I had no idea what it would be like. I wish something had been around to show me so I could have more confidence in myself to go.

I’ve heard the UEA also run these summer visits, where you get to stay in the accommodation for a few days. I think things like that are incredibly vital. I’m quite a shy person, and going for the day is something I could manage, when I know I’m coming home to my normal house at the end of the day, but it’s different wondering whether or not you would be able to live in an actual uni setting.

Did anyone else ever do anything like this before they went to uni? Or know any other uni’s that do it? I think going somewhere away from home would be great, because around here people are already quite familiar with the UEA, so may not necessarily associate it with the unfamiliarity of a new place!

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The end of an era

So, today was my last shift at Wymondham Leisure Centre, the place I have worked for over 5 years. I began there when I was 16 years old, studying for my AS Levels. I’ve left for other jobs, to go to uni and all sorts, but I’ve always come back. 

Until now. 

A month or so ago, I was offered a role as a Crisis Worker, with the Norfolk Constabulary, however I had already made my decision to leave. 

What with this semester bringing the dissertation deadline, and 5 other deadlines I felt that the time was right. I am also finishing off my applications for Masters, which if I get accepted onto will mean that I have to go down to London for interviews. 

I’ve worked all through uni, more hours a week than a lot of people I know, and while I’ve managed it, sometimes it’s been really hard. The crisis worker role is 0 hours so means I can work around when is suitable for me, rather than having set shifts as I have done so far. I’m looking forward to finally feeling like I have enough time to get all my work done, without feeling so stressed all the time. 

I think that working alongside uni is perfectly do-able, and I would actually recommend it. Sometimes it does help to get out of the studying headspace, and have something else to focus on. It also really enhances your employability for the future, which I think it’s really important to show. My only advice would be to make sure you’re not doing too much, and to stop if it ever does get too hard. You’ve got all of your life to work, you don’t have that long to finish uni and be proud of yourself. 

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Christmas at UEA

Christmas has officially arrived at UEA!! We break up much later than usual this year, because we started a week later than usual, so it’s so close already! 

There’s a Christmas tree in the square and lights all around! 

I love UEA at Christmas because they put so much on to make the most of the festive season! They do Christmas lunch in Campus Kitchen, and the last few LCR sessions in December are always Christmas themed. 

They also offer various Christmas outings as part of societies, so for instance the UEA Angels Cheer Dance society went out tonight and everyone had to wear some form of tinsel! 

And I think the bar also runs Christmas quizzes. And who doesn’t love a Christmas quiz! 

It’s just the right amount of festive cheer to make the deadline season that little bit more bearable! 

Oh UEA is wonderful 

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Interviewing

So, for my third year project I am doing a Grounded Theory study. This involves interviewing ten, maybe more people, about their views on terrorism.

I am getting better at interviewing, having now done four interviews, however at first I found it really difficult.

I have a set list of questions, but they are all very open-ended and I am supposed to follow up on these depending on what the people say. But that’s where I struggle. I am so focused on making sure I am getting it all down, and asking all the right questions, I have noticed that I tune out, and don’t necessarily follow up on what the other person is saying, meaning I miss out on opportunities to really delve in deep to the issues people are discussing.

Luckily, they are running an interviewing session tomorrow, which will hopefully help me develop the skills I need to make my last six interviews as good as they can possibly be.

It’s super funny when I am typing up the interviews to really think about how people talk. I have noticed so far that everyone goes off on tangents in the course of the interview. Usually in a conversation you wouldn’t necessarily notice it, as you would follow up on what the other person was saying, but when you have to keep track of where you are going and go back to the original point, you notice how much you digress. Also, I have noticed how much I say ‘like’ and how frequently people use ‘urm’ in the sentences.

I’m hoping that learning to be better at interviewing will be really helpful in the future, as if I do make it as a Forensic Psychologist, I would have to interview detainees and question them, and it would be necessary to follow up on what they are saying to better understand their point of view.

Does anyone have any tips for interviewing? Or on Grounded Theory?

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UEA Royal

So, the other day I signed up for UEA Royal, the university’s dance club. I’m super excited as I used to dance so much when I was young and I haven’t done it in ages!

I considered joining in my first year but a lot of the lessons were on a Tuesday when I was at work. 

Royal includes Hip Hop, Jazz, Commercial and Contemporary. 

I used to do street which is kind of like Hip Hop and I did Jazz for years. I’m going to focus more on Contemporary and Commercial though as Commercial is the kind of danc  I have always wanted to do and Contemporary is just beautiful and is something I have always wanted to do. 

I might go to Jazz occasionally but I think I will stick to Commercial and Contemporary. I haven’t joined the Comp Squad because I’m not gonna commit myself to going every week, I just want to have the option there to go and enjoy it when I can. 

Luckily the lessons change times each week so I’m not prevented from going to any regularly because of the timings. 

I’ve got Cheer where I’ve made new friends but dance is gonna be just a chance to go back and do something I enjoy! 

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Halfway update! 

So I’m nearly at halfway through my first semester of the third year at uni! It’s been great so far actually! 

I’m much more involved this year, having joined Cheerleading Dance. And I’m even thinking of joining UEA Royal as well as I really miss dancing.

It’s much less stressful as well this year, only going in for a few hours and having more time for independent study. I’m still finding myself incredibly busy though!!! With volunteering twice a week, and work, I still feel like I’m rushing round from A to B to C to D all the time but at least I don’t feel stressed like in second year! 

I absolutely LOVE my modules this year as well. It’s amazing how much better you become engrossed in learning when it’s something you’ve chosen yourself to be involved in! Psychosocial Perspectives of Family Life is very similar to the Family of Sociology module I did in A Levels which I really enjoyed and I therefore find myself understanding the course material so much better. I love my lecturer as well. Kamena is great and so good with the students. 

My other module is my favourite of the two, purely because it’s what I want to do after uni! Forensic Psychology. I find myself doing so much reading and actually enjoying it, because it’s some i find so interesting! We have all sorts of guest lecturers as well, like last week we had an actual Forensic Psychologist from NOMS (National Offender Management Service) come to give us a lecture which was so interesting. 

My dissertation is going well also. I submitted my ethics form this week and it has been assigned to a reviewer, so hopefully that will be sorted quickly so I can begin interviewing! I am doing a Grounded Theory analysis of the way terrorism affects decision making in travel which will hopefully be soooo interesting! 

That’s about all I have to say about uni ATM. Basically I love third year! 

Camp America

So, next year is my final year at uni, and I’m super keen to head to America afterwards. Ideally I am looking at working out there, or volunteering, but something that means I can stay the whole year! However, after a chat with the careers advisor, this could prove harder than expected and he suggested some other avenues. 

Camp America is something I’ve heard of before, but never really given much thought.. It just seemed such an American thing that I thought it wouldn’t even be possible for me to do it. I’ve looked into it a bit, and although I don’t have any particularly strong talents in terms of sports, music and crafts, there is an option to work in a role for mental disabilities, which would help with my hopes for the future. 

I was just wondering if anyone has any experience with Camp America.. What it’s like, what goes on, the application process? Whether it’s a good thing to do as a end of gear student? Any tips would be welcome as it looks good, but I’m a little unsure! 

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The Brickmakers/B2

My friend plays in, what I assume is a heavy metal band. It’s not really mine kind of music so I can’t be 100% sure that’s what category they would put themselves in, however it’s that sorrrt of genre. He quite often invites me to his gigs and it’s a good atmosphere so I go, with a couple of friends. It’s usually at the same venue, which is the Brickmakers or B2. It’s one building and run by the same company – the team call themselves ‘The Brickies’ which is pretty cute. 

It’s out Sprowston way, I couldn’t give exact directions as I often need google maps to find my way (I’m not good with directions). It’s not within walking distance from uni, but I don’t think it is too hard in terms of buses, as both The areas surrounding uni, and the Sprowston area are served by buses often. I would hazard a guess of around £7 in a taxi though, so in a group totally reasonable! 

It’s fairly cheap for drinks (apart from maybe whisky, I don’t drink it so couldn’t comment but my friend was surprised by £6 for a double). 

The Brickmakers itself is a pub, where live bands often play, there is a pool table and a darts board. They even have darts and pools games in there often. The music does often feature the more ‘screamo’ types so I guess it depends on your style as to whether you would enjoy it.

The back part of the building is reserved only for gigs. This part is B2! Make sure you check where you’re going if you’re heading to a gig, and don’t make the mistake I did of sitting in the main pub for the start of your gig! B2 doesn’t have any seats, and has a cordoned off stage area for bands to play. The drinks in there may be cheaper, I’m not sure. But it’s a good atmosphere and everyone is really approachable. If that’s your kind of music I would definitely recommend giving it a try! 

The only con of the place is a distinct lack of parking! I always have to park down the road! But if you’re coming from around uni in a taxi, you immediately lose that problem anyway! 

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