Tips for starting university

Hello there!

It's coming to that time of year where people are heading back to school, college, and university; so I thought I'd share my own tips for starting a university!

I'm soon to be starting my second year at Sheffield Hallam, and I know almost everyone that goes to university says this, but it has been the best time of my life (so far). It's only been a year but I feel like I have grown so much as a person since starting.

Without further ado, here are a few tips when it comes to starting university (including some photos from my first year)...

Make a list of everything you need

When I first started to try and organise everything that I wanted and needed to take to university with me, I was a bit of a mess. I'm not a very organised person to start with, but I realised I actually needed to be at this point in time. I made multiple different lists for different categories; like bedroom stuff, and more beauty stuff I needed, food I wanted and kitchen utensils.
My best friend Becky

I've never been one for making lists to help stay organised, but since I was moving out for the first time, I figured I should at least be prepared for it. This also put my parents mind at ease if I knew everything that I needed to be taking with me.

Also, it helps to look at what accommodation you are staying in and find out what utilities they have so you don't end up with more than one thing of everything. Plus there are usually groups on Facebook to find your new flat mates if you don't know who you're going to be sharing with, as you can discuss who will bring what for the kitchen/communal area for the same reason.

When making these lists, go through them after you've finished and ask yourself, 'Will I actually need this?', as some of the time, the answer will be no. After my first year, when I went home the boxes of uni stuff sat in a room in my house untouched all summer. OOPS.

Budget well
Freshers bar crawl

Everyone says this, but honestly it is so important. I was pretty good (if I do say so myself) at budgeting. But when you first get your student loan and you see all of those numbers it's a bit overwhelming; but remember that A LOT of that will be going straight back out soon enough to pay for your accommodation.

It's normal to want to go a bit mad during freshers week; going out every night and drinking and enjoying meeting new people, but it can take it's toll. Last year I didn't go out every night as it was also nice to have nights in with my new flat mates and just chill and watch a film whilst get to know them. And personally, I don't think freshers week is all it's hyped up to be. It's nice to sit in and order a takeaway and just drink with new friends too.

ANYWAY, back onto money. Although it may seem a good idea to spend a lot of money on freshers week, it's a good idea to set aside some money especially for it as it can get quite pricey; especially when buying event tickets.

Throughout the rest of the year, because of how little student loan I had left after paying for my flat, I had to try and budget at about £30 a week, which is definitely doable if you don't plan on going out every night of the week. But it is also worth looking into getting a student bank account with an overdraft to help you along the way. I'm personally with Santander because you get £1500 interest free overdraft and a free railcard (which can save A LOT of money).

Be confident

I know, easier said than done right? Unless you're a naturally confident person of course, unlike me. I've always struggled with self-confidence, and even acting like I'm confident. But when I was thrown into the deep end with having to live with 4 complete strangers, you just have to be yourself and have them take you for who you are. It's a time to be who you want to be and reinvent yourself without any expectations from people at home.
Me and my friend got bored...

I was also lucky enough to be in the same accommodation as my best friend that moved away from my home town when I was little (although we still kept in contact, and are still best friends). This helped me A LOT, as it helped me make more friends through her and become more confident with meeting new people. She was the one to help build my confidence, as well as a couple of my other really close friends, one now being my boyfriend.

I now have a small group of really amazing people that I can call my friends, just because I tried to forget about what they thought of me. I'd just met them, so who cares if they didn't like me? There are plenty of other people that you will meet throughout your time at university, whether it be in your accommodation or on the course you're studying. You meet SO many new people during your first few weeks, it's quite overwhelming. I met some people that I have never really spoken to since, but I don't really miss them because I didn't know them and didn't grow any sort of feelings towards them; but it all adds to the experience.


Christmas tree on a budget
Although university is mainly for higher education and getting a degree in your desired field, you have to give yourself time to just enjoy it. Yes it is important to study and hand in all of your assignments on time, but it is also important to have a lot of fun along the way. 

A good way to be able to do both is to organise your time effectively. Look at your timetable and figure out the best times to study; this could be between lectures and seminars, or this could be on any day off that you have when everyone else if your flat is at university, which means no distractions. Personally, I found it a lot easier to study in the library in the quiet sections as I could still listen to my own music, but have no distractions and temptations with my friends around me.

If you're not enjoying it or keeping up with the work, ask for help. There is a big leap from college to university, with the added pressure of being away from friends and family, so don't be ashamed to admit you're struggling a bit.

Leave a comment of where you're starting university this month, or if you have any extra tips for those who are!

Thanks for reading!

Paige x


V Festival

Hello there!

Last week I attended my first ever festival; V Festival.

Whenever I told someone that I had never been to a festival before, their instant reaction would be something of: "WHAT!?!?", so I thought it was about time I changed that. I'm not saying I went because of what others thought, I went because I wanted to experience something new and exciting, especially because I haven't been on holiday this year.

After looking at a lot of different festivals, I felt like V Fest was the right one for me due to the kind of music genres that was going to be there.

I only went with one person, my best friend Becky. Some people go in huge groups, but I'm quite glad I didn't for my first one, as it felt more of a personal thing and I didn't have the pressure of a big group to do things as me and Becky are pretty similar.

We have different music tastes in some aspects but we both enjoyed seeing people we wouldn't have gone to see ourselves. 

Here are a few pictures from the weekend...

Setting up the stage


The Kooks



The Script

The Script

Calvin Harris

Seann Walsh

The Comedy tent

Jess Glynne



Tom Jones

Olly Murs AKA the love of my life



One of the very healthy meals we ate...

Having a bit of a struggle
My highlights of the festival had to be seeing The Script, who I have wanted to see live FOREVER, Kodaline, who I have only just got into in the past 6 months but they were INCREDIBLE, and Olly Murs, who I have seen before, but each time he gets better and better. May I add that there was only one person infront of me behind the barrier for Olly and I was so close I could have died (but I didn't, or I'd have missed him perform).

I would LOVE to go again next year, but at the same time I want to experience something different. Also, my poor student problems will be one of the things that will sway me either way when the time comes to buy tickets.

Have you been to a festival this year? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

Paige x


A Fresh Start

Hello there!

I decided it was time to sort my blog out and get back into a routine of updating regularly, without putting too much pressure on myself. To be completely honest, I have never been very good with updating every week with new content.

I always say this to myself, but it IS going to be different this time, and I am going to get into a routine to help me become more productive. I have never been very organised in college and school; but I am not going into my second year of university and I really need to sort myself out.

By doing this, I have decided to completely delete all of my old blog posts (I feel like I forced myself to write them, and that it wasn't my true voice coming through). As I am studying Journalism at university, I have learnt a lot about writing and finding your own voice, and I feel like I am finally discovering mine.

I still have a long way to go with discovering my own style, but that's all part of learning, and as long as I do learn from it, then I'm doing something right.

SO, this is the beginning of something new for me, and I am excited to see where it takes me. 

I have some ideas for new posts already, starting with a post on V Festival, which I recently attended, and a few posts on university as it is coming up to freshers week all over the country!

From now on, I am going to be writing about what I WANT, rather than what I feel like I should be writing about. I will be doing it for me and nobody else, but if I do happen to gain some people who do like to read my posts along the way, then that is a massive bonus!

I would love to hear any suggestions on what I could write about, and if I like the idea, I will give it a go.

Thanks for reading,

Paige x