Lake District

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Showing posts with label University. Show all posts
Showing posts with label University. Show all posts

Weekend Roundup


A Day in Pictures | A Meeting in Manchester

I love reading these kinds of 'day in the life' posts and I've been meaning to do one for ages but I haven't really had very many very interesting days recently, just a lot of lectures and uni work! Yesterday though I ended up taking a short trip to Manchester to go to a training session for working as a student language ambassador in the North West and thought since it was something a little different I'd take a few little pictures of my day.

I know for a lot of you English folk, especially if you're from the North, trips to Manchester may be somewhat of a regular occurrence, but I'd never really been before (except one time for a couple of hours when I got hopelessly lost) so hopping onto the train yesterday morning I felt as though I was embarking on a very exciting adventure indeed. One thing I can therefore definitely say after yesterday is that the novelty of living on "the mainland" really hasn't worn off me one bit- you mean I can get the train to London or Edinburgh from my local station?!- because whenever you're in Ireland, you're just you know, in Ireland. The public transport at home really isn't that great, for example, the train lines only cover about half the country so if you want to go to a more obscure location you're pretty much screwed. One fine example was a time my friend and I wanted to go to this little place called Moneymore to go llama trekking (yes, that's a thing), it was only about an hour away by car but we had to cancel due to the fact it would have taken us a good three hours to get there on buses and trains with a few changes in between, and obviously a six-hour round trip to spend 40 minutes walking a llama wasn't really feasible nor a sensible use of our time.

Anyway, when I got off the train at Oxford Road station I literally hadn't a notion where I was going. How people survived without Google Maps I do not know. The event was at Manchester Metropolitan University which thankfully was really straightforward to find, it was just straight up the road from the station. The trickier part was finding the right building once I got to campus since the one I was looking for was sort of tucked away behind the other campus buildings, though I did manage to find it quite easily once I'd gotten myself in the right direction. 
I wish I'd taken a photo of the inside of the building the event was in because it was so cool, it kind of looked like an airport departure lounge. I actually really liked the whole campus in general, it's got a nice buzz about it and is circled around a little park which was looking really pretty and autumnal yesterday as I was passing through.

The meeting ended up wrapping up a little early so I took my time strolling back towards the train station, appreciating the sights and sounds. I'm not at all accustomed to big cities because frankly, we don't really have them back home. I'm not sure if I'd call Belfast a "big city" by the rest of the UK's standards, so I always find cities like London or Liverpool really interesting and exciting and sometimes I'm kind of taken aback by it all, like I'm almost surprised places like this actually exist.

I arrived home around half 7, later than expected as my train was delayed by nearly 15 minutes... (not ideal). I then ended up heading out in Lancaster with my friend Louise where I danced like a freaking maniac, fell on my ass in the club at one stage (and have the massive bruise to prove it!) and then polished off a McDonald's quarter pounder meal and 6 chicken nuggets on the walk home. Oh, and if you have yet to hear of "the Great McDonald's Fanta Spillage Fiasco of 2014" you might like to check out my twitter feed. There were many tears. In fact, I still haven't fully recovered.

But hey, that was my day for you all, I hope you all had a very good day yourselves and are enjoying the October autumness as much as I am these days (unless you live in the Southern Hemisphere, in which case I hope you're having lovely Spring).

Back to Uni Wishlist | 2014

The trip back to uni is now only two weeks away for me so of course I've started to fantasise about all the lovely things I'd love to bring back over with me... Some of these things I think I will treat myself to after payday.

Black lace-up boots: Pull & Bear I just thought these would be really good for the winter time, especially because it rains A LOT in the North West and I hope these will keep my toes warm! I've actually already bought these but just want to say, if you're going to buy these online, the soles on my pair are a lot lighter than they appear in the photo.

Tartan scarf: ASOS  I just thought this looked so cosy and would probably go with everything. I do need a new scarf for the autumn/winter time.

Jack Wills Hoodie This is one of those things I'll probably not be getting any time soon, and I know they're a bit cliche these days, but I really want one, just because they look so cosy!

Coral Hunter Wellies Another thing I probably won't be getting any time soon, but I love Hunters more than anything in life and I just thought these were so cute for autumn time!

Moroccan-style fairy lights: I think I might get these for my uni room this year, just because they're so pretty.

Instax mini 8 camera I've wanted one of these for absolutely ages but unfortunately they've always been a bit out of my student budget. One of my good friends, Giselle who's from Hong Kong though messaged me the other day asking if I'd like her to bring one home for me because they're a lot cheaper over there which was really really kind of her.

Clocky Alarm Clock I am notoriously bad at getting up in the morning. In fact, last term I had an exam at 9.30am and woke up that morning at 9.40, absolute nightmare! My mum has joked for a long time about having to get an alarm clock that I have to chase after and now I've actually found one!! Whenever this alarm goes off its wheels start moving and you have to run after it to turn it off, such a good idea!

Photo Chain: Urban Outfitters I posted something like this on my uni room inspo and originally I was going to just make it myself but apparently you can purchase them at urban outfitters- win!

Sports fleece: H&M I really want something like this so I'm able to go running once the cold weather comes since I find normal hoodies a little too heavy!

Navy Converse: Office always a good shout. I'm hoping the navy will go with most things!

Purple sports shorts I've wanted these since I saw them in H&M a few weeks ago, though of course I was skint at the time (still am!). I sort of want to get them for motivation to try for really toned legs this year.

Adidas sports leggings: Next Basically I just need a pair of full-length sports leggings, again for the cold weather because the majority of mine are cropped!

Update: I just got twitter again. If you would like to follow me (and I'd love it if you did!), you can @alphabethblog

What's on your back to school/uni wishlist?

Uni Room Inspo | 2014

So it's that time of year again when I start to gather up bits and pieces for my new uni room in October!  I absolutely love doing this, it's definitely the best part of moving back to uni. I have a fair idea of what sort of stuff I'm going to go for this year and have picked up a few of the things below already but I thought I'd share with you some of the different ideas I'd looked at and the various looks that inspired me

I thought the textured white duvet cover in the picture on the left was a really good idea since it means you can dress it up with any colours or patterns you like without it being overpowering yet the texture adds a little bit more dimension rather than just having it be plain white.

I know photo strings aren't the most original idea any more but I liked the way this person had pinned these in a sort of rectangle. It would make a really nice feature piece on a wall I think and it's very cheap and easy to do as well!

These are a few of the cushions I'm thinking of having on my bed and I've bought a few of them already. The pink, turquoise and 'Choose Happiness' cushion covers are from H&M home: Pink velvet cushion cover; Turquoise velvet cushion cover; 'Choose Happiness' cushion cover. The blue geometric print cushion then is from Dunelm.


The photo on the right was my main bedroom inspiration with all the layers and mismatched  patterned cushions, though I've decided to go a little bit brighter. I don't know if I'll actually end up doing this but I think the origami swans are a really cool idea, I can just imagine my attempt going horrible wrong though!

I thought this owl cushion cover from H&M home was very cute.

Again, loving the textured white duvet, but I also like the way the fairy lights go around the corner of the room, and I like the bunting and vintage map of the world too!


These are just a few more ideas for how to hang photos on my room and again I think they're a bit different, especially the one on the right!

If you're moving into new uni accommodation I'd love to hear the sort of ideas you have for your room too.
Hope you're all well!

University Survival Guide | Part II: Freshers' Week

As promised, here is part II of my 'University Survival Guide' on the topic of surviving Freshers' Week. I'm not sure I'm really the best person to write about this due to the fact that I'm a bit of a granny, and while most of my friends are queuing up to be freshers' reps for this year's lot of freshers, the madness of Freshers' Week is something that I will be quite happy to only experience once. Couldn't 'hack the pace', as it were- so this will probably be more of a guide for introverts on how to survive possibly the most mental week of your short lives, more than anything.
Obviously a lot of things will differ between university to university but I've tried to make a lot of these tips quite general:

1// Make a good effort
Even if you are like me and Freshers' Week just isn't your thing. It still pays off to make a good effort to go to the different events. Remember it's only one week out of your whole life and you're likely to meet some great people and make a few new friends. Also, once you get into it, it is really good fun.

2// Remember that everyone is in the same boat
I think the best thing to remember if you're nervous about starting university is that everyone is going through exactly the same thing as you are. It's scary business moving out for the first time and a pretty big personal upheaval, especially if you're moving far away. You'll find most people will be really friendly and keen to make friends during Freshers'. Just be prepared for a lot of the usual "what A levels did you do?", "what course are you on?" etc!

3// It's OK not to be friends with your flatmates
I think a lot of people go to university with the expectation that they MUST be best friends with their flatmates. For sure, it's great if you get on well with the people you're living with but if you find that you just don't gel well with your flatmates (it happens!), it's really not the end of the world. I got on with most of my flatmates OK and one of them did end up becoming one of my best friends, but the majority of the friends I made in my first year were mostly just people on my course or people I'd met through other friends.

4// Don't hide yourself away
I feel like when you're a bit nervous in an unfamiliar place like university there can be a bit of a temptation to hide away in your room and lock the door- and  sure, if you need a little space or a little alone time for a couple of hours that's totally OK, but just don't hide yourself away for too long. Make an effort to hang out in your accommodation's communal areas and make a point of eating your meals in the kitchen rather than in your room.

5// Join a club or society
This is the standard #1 piece of advice most people will give you for starting uni- and it is so for a reason! So far I haven't done this and so far I've sincerely regretted it. Most universities have a whole ton of societies so there will definitely be something to suit you, and logically you're going to find like-minded people somewhere where you know you'll have a shared interest. But even apart from all the potential friendships there are to be made, societies sound like a lot of fun too as well as a great way to find some sense of community at university.
Your uni will probably have a Freshers' Fair  during Freshers' Week where you can sign up for different societies. Make sure you don't miss it because it's worth going to see what's on offer and pick up some freebies!

6// Be careful
When you're living away from home for the first time it can be very tempting to just throw all caution and inhibition to the wind but just remember to be be sensible and take care of yourself.
Firstly, know your limits with alcohol, don't drink on an empty stomach and never ever leave your drinks unattended. Also, when you're out, stay with someone else and don't wander off on your own- you need to be especially careful during Freshers' Week when you still don't know the area well.
Remember that you don't have to do anything you don't want to do, so don't let anyone pressure you. If you don't feel up for something, don't do it. Simple as that!

7// Resist temptation to skip class
First year is whenever you're going to learn most of the foundation for your subjects for the rest of your time at uni so make sure you don't skip class or let yourself get behind. Your attendance will be well worth it come exam time when you have all the notes and material you need, trust me!

8// Budget
Set yourself a weekly budget and try not to go over it. There's such a temptation to overspend at the beginning of term when you just have your student loan in, but don't do it! You don't want to be left penniless and living exclusively on cheese on toast by the end of term (been there!)

9// Get to know your campus
It might be helpful to take a good walk around and get to know your campus before classes start so that you have an idea of where your classes are- just so you're not panicking before your first class because you're unsure of where you're going!

I also would just like to add that even though it's also really good fun, going away to uni can be really hard. I certainly didn't have an easy time of it at first. If you need someone to chat to or if you have any more questions you can 100% email me and I'd be more than happy to help. Also, please let me know if you want any other university-related posts and I will happily write about anything you want to know!

For those of you who received their A Level results this week, I hope they all went well and you got what you were hoping for.

University Survival Guide | Part I - Getting Ready

If you've been following my blog for a little while you might already know that I just finished my first year of university in June. Around the end of my exams this year Rebeka suggested that I do a little round-up of some tips I've learnt for surviving uni so far. I thought it was a great idea since I know of a lot of fellow bloggers at the minute who will be heading off to university in September-October time and although I don't consider myself an expert on university life by any means (I'm still learning), as a recent fresher I would be very happy to bestow upon you some little tips I have learnt from my experiences at university this year! 

Originally I was going to write all my tips up in one post but as it turned out a bit too long, I've now decided to break it in to parts, starting with a few things to think about before you start uni.

1) Check which household items are already supplied
In terms of the stuff you need to get for uni, it's worth checking what sort of appliances/facilities/household items are already supplied by your university halls or accommodation beforehand to save you from buying anything unnecessary! For example, our kitchen at university already had a toaster and kettle and we also had a vacuum, iron, ironing board, brush and mop and bucket supplied for the flat so it's beneficial to know what you definitely do need to bring and what you don't need to worry about!

2) Storage boxes never go amiss! 
They're so handy for managing all the random clutter you accumulate over time. I got the baskets on my shelves as a gift from my aunt a long time ago so I'm not sure where they're from unfortunately but they were so useful for a bit of extra storage! You're also likely to have some space under your bed or desk for storage boxes or shelves.

(Left: patterned cardboard box from H&M Home - £6.99Centre: Komplement storage with compartments from IKEA - £15; Right: Duck egg clothes storage box from Dunelm - £3.99; )

(Left: Keter 4 drawer tower storage unit -Argos - £14.99; Pink Damask Rectangular Storage Box - Dunelm- from £2.99; Plastic Underbed Storage Box - Dunelm- £6.99)

3) Neither does desk storage
I never actually got around to buying a decent desk organiser (I ended up using Kilner jars to store pens and pencils) but I'd definitely say they're a worthwhile purchase to keep your workspace clear and clutter-free!
(From left: Hanging heart jar- £2.95; Vintage leaf storage tin- £6.95 - both from dotcomgiftshop; Red 3 drawer storage unit from W.H. Smith- £6.49)

4) Try and buy books second hand 
A lot of times the books you'll need for your course are ridiculously expensive. If you want to save a little cash you can try and source out some of your books from second hand bookshops or find used books on Amazon. You could also try and buy them from a second year student. At my university second years usually advertised their old books for sale on our freshers page on Facebook so keep your eyes peeled if your university has a similar set-up!

5) Think about the practicalities of your laundry bag
Ok this is a really random one but just consider the fact that if you're living in university halls there's a good chance you'll be lugging your laundry down to the laundry room at least once a week, in which case it's worth investing in a sturdy laundry bag- easier to transport and much more discreet than your standard laundry basket.

The DotcomGiftShop have a load of these amazing vintage-style storage bags in all different colours and patterns for £4.95 which I think would make great laundry bags, alternatively though you could just use a bag for life from Tesco or Sainsbury's- or just a plastic bag, whatever floats your boat, you know.

6) Consider bringing a printer
I personally feel like if you're in a position to bring a printer with you to uni- do it. When it comes to deadlines and last minute lecture work, having your own printer in your room rather than having to run down to the library every time you need to print something off will save you a lot of time, but this one is a bit of a personal preference thing!

8) Hone those cooking skills!
If you're like me and had never really cooked a real meal in your life, now is as good a time as any to learn! Truth be told, ready meals and oven chips will only get you so far in life and you will eventually miss home cooked meals. Knowing how to cook will also make you a very popular housemate and there are a ton of great recipe books aimed at students that you can buy if you need a little inspiration.

(Left: The Hungry Student Cookbook - Charlotte Pike - £6.29;  Centre: Nosh for Students - Joy May - £6.39; Right: The Really Useful Ultimate Student Cookbook - Silvana Franco - £3.99; all from Amazon)

7) Remember you don't need to buy everything in advance
If you want to travel a bit lighter, especially if you have to travel far to uni, you can always hold off buying some things until you arrive. It'll save a lot of space in your luggage and it'll also be easier to figure out exactly what you need and what you don't once you get there.

9) Find out about Freshers Week events
Just so you'll know what to expect and in case you need anything like costumes etc. for themed nights! Usually there'll be a Facebook page with details of Freshers Week events.

This is of course far from an exhaustive list of everything you need to think about, but rather it's just a few random things I learnt this year from a bit of trial and error of my own. I hope some of you will find it helpful anyways! If there are any other tips you'd like to add please feel free to comment and maybe we could help each other out?

I'm not entirely sure when the next part will be up with work and everything that's going on but it will definitely be sometime this week and will be on the joy that is: Freshers Week.

Hope you're all well!

My University Room

I am now back home in Ireland (after having travelled for 10 hours- we took the ferry from Scotland) and I can tell you, I am KNACKERED but very happy to be home in my own bed now!
Before I started taking my room apart to pack up, I took a few photos just to remind myself of what it looked like in case I ever wanted to look back in the future, and since I know a few people reading may be heading off to university in September/October time and may be starting to think about university accommodation I thought I'd just post these for you to show you what my room looked like in case anyone is interested!
The photos on my pinboard are a mixture of photos of me and my friends as well as a few of my favourites from Tumblr that I got printed at Boots.
I also got these Polaroid-style instagram photos printed at which I believe were £12 for 48 prints!
I got these two ornaments as gifts from friends at Christmas and just hung them with a pin :)
At uni I used this heart-shaped photo holder to put my necklaces on so they wouldn't get tangled- and my little cousin bought me this ceramic-heart ornament as a leaving gift when I was heading off to uni.
This is my shelf on the left-hand side of the room that I just kept some hair products and cards and ornaments on! (I always lose the lids for these sorts of things!!)
On the right-hand side I just had some nail-polish, perfumes, hand-creams and what not, then in the middle I had some framed photos of my school friends. The corked jar on the left-hand side is just filled with seaglass I've collected this year at uni!
I got this vintage Coca-Cola tin in a charity shop I used to work in a couple of years ago and I love it so much!! I just use it for a bit of jewellery storage.

As always, hope you are all doing very well!!

Life Update | Instagram Diary

Instagram: beth_farrelly

MY LAPTOP IS BACK! And I'm so very happy that I can blog once again. I've really been missing it these past few weeks, especially since there's been a lot going on that I've been dying to share with you!

I know my last post was quite similar to this but I thought since I'd been away for a little while I'd just give you an overall update of what I've been up to when I was meant to have been revising! 
Recently, I'm very pleased to report, Lancashire has been blessed with some beautiful weather! A couple of days last week it was hitting 20-odd degrees, which literally never happens, so despite the fact exams are looming I've been spending a lot of time outdoors, chilling out and enjoying the sunshine. A couple of weeks ago one of my friends from home came to stay with me for a few days which gave me an excuse to get off campus and do a bit of exploring! One of the days he was here we took a trip to the Lakes which was really fun, especially because it was such a beautiful, sunny day. Unfortunately, I managed to forget my camera but I did end up getting some half-decent pictures on my iPhone though so at least all was not lost. Even though I only live about an hour away from the Lakes at uni I don't get to go anywhere near as much as I would like so it's always a pleasure being able to take friends there when they come and visit me.
On the Sunday my friend was here we also visited some mutual friends of ours who live in the area and had a lovely Sunday brunch outside in their garden with sausages, bacon, eggs, strawberries, yoghurt and croissants which was a lovely treat.
Also, in the last few weeks a couple of my friends from uni and I have started going horse-riding once a week which I've really been enjoying. I used to ride a lot when I was younger but as I got older and schoolwork started taking up more and more of my time I had to give it up, but I'm so happy to have the opportunity to take it back up now. The yard we've been riding at is tiny and buried in countryside not far from the city centre. It's also just a short bus ride from campus which is incredibly handy for us and the family that own it are really lovely and friendly as well which makes all the difference! It's always a lovely break from uni life getting to go out there and spend some time in the fresh air doing something I love.
Yesterday when we were up at the yard one of the mares had just given birth to a tiny foal called May and I'm not kidding, she was one of the cutest things I've ever seen! She was only 5 days old, wobbling around still a bit unsteady on her feet but so was friendly, nuzzling up to us and letting us pet her.

Unfortunately now, since I've taken a bit of a long break this term so far I need to get back into some proper revision which is what I've been doing these past few days before my exams start at the end of this week. I'm quite nervous as there's a lot to cover but hopefully things will all go OK!

Instagram: beth_farrelly

Weekly Update | Things that I'm thankful for

This has been my first week back to uni after Easter and as much as it wasn't so great to be back to porridge as such, it's altogether been a fairly eventful week! So here is a very long and rambling update on what's been going on and the things that have been making me a very happy gal...

1. Packages from friends from far away
One of the most exciting things that happened to me this week was that I received a lovely package from one of my very good friends, Evelyn from California, which was made even more lovely by the fact it was SO unexpected! Although we don't speak that often (we have the odd skype session maybe twice a year) I'd still consider her one of my best friends so it was amazing to hear from her and such a lovely surprise to see a package from her on top of my pile of what I expecting to be just some textbooks I'd ordered from Amazon.

Inside the package she had written me a beautiful letter for my birthday and stuck some photos of us- very old photos I might add, but I love them! She also sent me a Cal Poly shot glass from her college which now sits proudly on the shelf in my room. One thing I love about my friendship with Evelyn is the fact that although we live on opposite sides of the world we're basically in exactly the same phase of our lives, both starting college/uni and experiencing all these new things together.

2. University Bant & Baking Days
Another exciting thing that has been happening this weekend has been a tournament called "Roses" which is a sports competition that takes place every year between my university and our rival university and myself and my housemates went to watch the opening ceremony and a football match on Friday night which was really fun, even though it started getting really chilly in the evening. We ended up running back to our flat to change into jeans and hoodies at half-time, but it was all worth it! 
Me and my flatmate, Sam also embarked on a late-night baking session the other night which ended up being pretty successful! Much more successful than any of my attempts at making cookies have been in my life thus far.

3. Shopping Days & Morning Runs
Yesterday morning a couple of my flatmates and I set out for a shopping trip to Liverpool which was fab! It was amazing to get into the city again since our uni is quite far out, basically in the middle of the countryside where not much goes on. We spent the whole day shopping and a good couple of hours were spent in Forever 21, where I felt completely overwhelmed by the massive accessories section- bags and statement necklaces EVERYWHERE.
I ended up actually getting a really nice turquoise statement necklace and also this great brown faux leather bag which is absolutely huge but feels so comfy on my shoulder. I can't actually articulate how much I love it, since I normally just use a tiny little shoulder bag that I can hardly fit anything in.
Also, after many months of deliberation I finally got my hands on a pair of Nike Frees and oh my, they are beautiful. Definitely a good decision, despite having to part with a few too many £££'s...

I'm hoping they'll motivate me to exercise because I am the least fit person I know and I just always wish I had a better command over my body instead of not being able to run 20 feet. Me and my flatmate actually went for a run this morning, bright and early. We're using the '5k Runner' app which will apparently get us running 5k in 8 weeks which would be great if we actually end up sticking to it!

Hope you're all well!

Reflections on a Spring Day | Feeling Positive

I'm sorry about the high concentration of photos that are just countryside, I know a lot of my posts have been like this but I just can't help but find scenes like this so beautiful. Especially on a lovely spring day when the sun is shining and the weather is just nice and mild, and no rain.

I took this photos on a short walk I went on with one of my friends, and they were actually just taken around my university campus. Basically the whole of my Easter break I had agonised over whether I even wanted to go back to uni. Being entirely honest I really hadn't been enjoying my university experience so far. I'd been feeling very very down and very very anxious and having entered into a relationship very early on after starting uni, for a while I ended up isolating myself and not making as many friends or experiencing uni life as much as I would have liked. The relationship then ended quite badly at the start of last term and although it was short, it was quite a horrible and painful experience which has taken me a while to recover from.

I just wanted to write today to sort of acknowledge this point in my life. Despite my reservations about uni and days and nights of worry and feeling like I never wanted to go back, since returning I've felt surprisingly settled, content and a lot more positive. Being out in nature and spending time with good friends who encourage me and build me up really puts life in perspective and I've come to realise that perhaps it all isn't so bad after all.

I know I'm probably not alone in my feelings towards uni and for some, maybe even just towards the place they're at in their life in general and I just wanted to encourage anyone who can maybe relate to my situation just to remember that this stage in your life is just that, a stage in your life. Life will always have its ups and downs, moments of joy and moments of sorrow but we need to remember that no situation will last forever, no matter how bad it seems at the time. Life goes on and you will keep going and come out much stronger.

Remember that you have complete control over your life and how you live it. Do things that make you happy, cultivate interests, cultivate good friendships and don't dwell on the bad you may have experienced in the past. Tomorrow is a new day and every day is a second chance to enjoy the life you've been given.
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