Good to be Back!

Yesterday was my first day back in lectures and seminars and it’s safe to say that I’m feeling a bit like a first year again. I feel like I’ve been off for so long that I need to get back into the routine of things and as some of my lectures now take place in rooms that I haven’t yet been in I’ve been wandering around looking as lost as some of the freshers! I’ve also been feeling a little nervous about meeting new lecturers, although if it’s anything like last year I’ll be feeling right at home again after a week or two.

One of the biggest adjustments for me this year is going to be travelling in from Liverpool instead of Southport. This morning I learnt the hard way how bad the traffic can be and from now on will be allowing a lot of extra time! The drive in from Southport was definitely a lot easier, but I know that it’s worth it to get to live in the city with my friends.

The most exciting thing about living in the new house is that our landlady has allowed me to get a hamster. I’ve named him Mushroom, and in spite of one quite painful bite to the finger that bled a lot I’m pretty enamoured with him. I realise that most hamster owners are young children, but as I grew up in more of a cat/dog house I’m finding this whole experience very exciting!

mushroom

Overall, I’m really glad to be back at uni. First year went so fast, so I’m a little worried that I may blink and find myself in third year. Until then my plan is just to take each day as it comes and to work as hard as I can to do well.

Liverpool Club Nights- House Music

While typically I’d say that my music tastes revolve around rock and indie in the last couple of years I’ve found myself entering the world of House music a lot more. This is mainly due to the differing tastes of my friends, and while I still would never find myself listening to House music on a day to day basis, I’ve begun to really enjoy the club nights that it brings.

On Friday I attended ‘Eat Your Greens’, my favourite of all these nights because it plays a lot of Reggae, as well as Jungle. One of my favourite things about nights like these is the atmosphere; united in their love of the music scene everyone is generally lovely to each other and looks out for each other. My friends are in the habit of collecting promotional posters from these events and on Friday I decided to begin this as well and took my first poster, although I didn’t check the date and ended up taking a poster for their next club night by mistake!

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There are quite a few different club nights in Liverpool. More mainstream ones like Carnage get a lot of coverage, whereas not as many people seem to know about more niche ones that cater to fans of House music. For anyone interested in nights like this I’d recommend Eat Your Greens, Chibuku Shake, Circus, and Abandon Silence.

Most of these nights take place at least once a month and you can find out about them here:

Eat Your Greens- https://www.facebook.com/eatyourgreensmusic

Chibuku Shake- https://www.facebook.com/chibuku.shake

Abandon Silence- https://www.facebook.com/abandon.silence

Circus- https://www.facebook.com/pages/CIRCUS/335268435303

A blurry picture of me and Circus
A blurry picture of me and Circus

Packing

I’d say that I’m a relatively laid back person and that there’s not much that stresses me out, but the last week has been a bit of a strain and it’s all because of one dreaded task… packing.

I’m now set to move into the new house in four days and I’m nowhere near ready. I’m somehow managing to wear clothes faster than I can wash them and the logical bit of my brain appears to have taken a break. The other day I bought 60 clothes hangers online before visiting my new house and finally realising just how limited my hanging space was. The phrase ‘it seemed like a good idea at the time’ has been thrown around way too often over the past week.

I don’t know what it is about packing that sends my brain into a frenzy. Perhaps it’s my subconscious trying to tell me that it doesn’t like change. Either way packing isn’t something that I enjoy and seems to take up an irritating amount of time.

Choosing which clothes to bring with is the hardest. Splitting things into ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ piles isn’t enough. By the end of the day I was splitting things between ‘Yes’, ‘No’, ‘Maybe’, ‘Only if it fits in the case’, ‘Might come back for it’, and ‘Depends how many shoes everyone else is bringing’ piles. As I unfortunately don’t have infinite space in my room everything ended up merging into one pile and the horrible process had to begin again.

Attempting to rationalise is the worst. E.g. ‘Okay, so I know that I have never ever worn that old Victorian bonnet in my 21 years of existence, but who is to say that once I’ve moved something incredibly important won’t come up that requires me to wear an old Victorian bonnet and I’ll be filled with regret and self-loathing.’ Hypothetical scenarios like this usually end in me packing the hypothetical Victorian bonnet. I’d like to take this time to point out that I will only be living a 45 minute drive from home and can come back for stuff whenever necessary.

I realise that this blog hasn’t been particularly helpful or informative, but I hope that it’s soothing to other people who get this stressed when packing that you’re not alone! Now I’m off to cram a large box of Pokemon cards that I haven’t touched in years into my bag… just in case.

Ice Bucket Challenge, Enrollment, and My New Timetable

Just as I dreaded I was nominated for the ‘ALS Ice Bucket Challenge’. If you haven’t seen any challenges search for them on Youtube- there’s some pretty funny ones and even celebrities like Lady Gaga and Matt Damon have taken part. My personal favourite is Foo Fighters’- I urge everyone to go and watch it!

I decided not to take part in the challenge and instead donated to a charity that feeds, neuters and re-homes feral cats. I’m a massive animal lover and self confessed crazy cat lady so this was a charity that suited me.

icebucketchallenge

A couple of days ago I also re-enrolled to uni. Re-enrollment for second and third years is a simple online process and only takes a second. First years are required to attend in person, as well as enrolling online. I can’t believe that it’s been a whole year since I was wandering around the university, map held in front of my face, on my way to enroll for the first time.

Now that I’ve re-enrolled I’m suddenly aware of how much I have to do. I’ve been working a lot and I still need to get stuff ready to move into the new house. All my other housemates have moved in now, which is very exciting, but I’m a little jealous that I’ll be last to move in. When I move in I’ll be getting a hamster which I’m also very excited about!

Now that I’ve enrolled I’ve been online to see my timetable. Unlike in college when I was given my own personal timetable at university it is the job of the student to look up modules individually to see when and where the lectures and seminars will take place. I find it easiest to type up all the times that I need to be in into my own timetable.

My timetable
   My timetable 

Now I just need to get organised. I move house in just over a week and I just know that time is going to fly by!

My Trip to Sheffield

This weekend I visited Sheffield for the first time. I was visiting because I’d won tickets to see a reggae artist called Chronixx from a radio show called Reggae Roots and Bass which is on All Star FM on Mondays.

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Despite knowing pretty much nothing about Sheffield as a city I realised how much I’d romanticised it in my head from listening to songs by the Arctic Monkeys (not that they make it sound particularly romantic, I just find something irrationally desirable about a city that’s been brought to life for me through so many songs that I love). Understandably, I didn’t see much of the Sheffield that’s sung about in songs like ‘When the Sun Goes Down’ and ‘A Certain Romance’ (it was a fleeting visit after all), but regardless, I had a fantastic time.

Right outside of Sheffield station there were some really beautiful fountains and I got to see the outside of Sheffield Hallam, a university that one of my friends goes to, for the first time.

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Sheffield Hallam University

The gig was due to finish late so me and my friend had booked a hotel. I absolutely love staying in hotels- even in England it makes me feel like I’m on holiday, and something about having a kettle in the same room that I’ll be sleeping in gets me way too excited. We checked into the hotel and after a brief argument over who would get to sleep in the big double bed (I won, yay!) we headed out.

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Chronixx was brilliant live and afterwards we headed out to a club. Visiting Sheffield for the first time has definitely given me a thirst to visit other towns and cities, especially places that my friends go to university in. I find it a little sad that there are places that are no more than a couple of hours away on the train which I have never been to but it’s definitely something that I plan to fix! Every city seems to have its own charm and I’m already planning a trip back to Sheffield so that I can spend more time exploring, although I’m still finding out many of Liverpool’s secrets, so I know that there will always be more things to do than I have time for!

Chronixx and Zinc Fence Redemption
Chronixx and Zinc Fence Redemption

Bank Holiday Weekend

This weekend I headed over to the house that I will soon be living in come September. I wanted to make the most of the weekend so on the Saturday night we headed out to a club night called ‘Waxxx’ which was in a Camp and Furnace.

The next day (despite feeling pretty tired and a little ‘delicate’ from the night before) we headed to Sefton Park to Liverpool International Music Festival. The act that we went to see was Shaggy, somebody whose music I don’t know much of, but who I knew would put on a good show. I really enjoyed his set and afterwards we headed over to the fairground rides and went on a few.

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The Liverpool International Music Festival is on every year. It’s not the only music festival over the bank holiday weekend; it also coincides with Creamfields and Leeds Festival. Creamfields is in Liverpool and is mainly dance music. I was a little sad to not be attending Leeds this year, as prior to this I’ve been every year since 2009. I watched the Arctic Monkey’s set at Reading Festival on BBC Three and was a little gutted that I wouldn’t be seeing them the next day at Leeds- they’re set looked amazing and they’re my favourite band.

Overall I’m glad that I made the most of the weekend. I’m not looking forward to getting up early to go back to work, but it’s now less than a month until uni starts up again and that’s something that I am really looking forward to.

Freshers Week!

So, last week was an exciting one! Firstly, everyone got their A Level results. It’s 3 years now since I got my results but it’s been amazing seeing how well my younger friends and relatives have all done.

On the same day the Edge Hill Freshers Week line-up was announced and I have to say I’m very excited.

HERE is the Facebook event that details all the different things going on.

I’m most excited about the Monday night. I’m a massive Game of Thrones fans and had heard that Kristian Nairn (The actor who plays Hodor) was a DJ and toured, so I was incredibly excited when I heard that he’d be DJing at Edge Hill during a night aptly named ‘Rave of Thrones’.

I’m also excited for ‘Takeover Liverpool’ on the Tuesday night. I’ll be living in Liverpool soon, so a night out close to home will be really convenient. It’s in a club called ‘Level’, which I’ve never been to, but I love finding new clubs.

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I didn’t make it to many of the freshers events last year so I’m really looking forward to making the most of it this time round.

You can buy your tickets for the Liverpool Takeover HERE.

Back to School

Today I walked into Tesco to buy some lunch and ended up leaving with a week planner, a ring binder and some pens. The shops are currently full of ‘Back to School’ supplies, and while it’s not school that I’m returning to I can’t resist being lured in by colourful new stationary.

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One of the things that university has in common with college is that you’re responsible for obtaining all your own stationary. I like to have a folder for each module, so overall my uni work takes up a lot of space. I fill the folders with research and work that I’ve done, as well as also typing up all my notes after each lecture and putting those in. Having my notes all filed together in order makes things a lot easier when it comes to revising, and it’s necessary for me to type everything up because I write so fast in lectures that after a few days I can no longer decipher my own handwriting!

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One of the most useful things that I’d recommend that every student gets is post-it-notes in a variety of colours. I use them when finding quotes and research from books to use in essays, and then I mark the pages with different coloured post-it-notes depending on which aspect of the essay it will help me with.

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As a Creative Writing student I also keep a ‘Writer’s Journal’. This is a notebook that I carry around and use to jot down ideas that come to me. I also sometimes jot down interesting/funny snippets of conversations that I hear that I might want to adapt to include in a story one day. I find keeping a Writer’s Journal really useful when it comes to organising my thoughts, and it’s especially good when I’m struck by inspiration when away from my laptop.

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For anyone looking for stationary I’d recommend Tesco, W H Smith and Rymans.

My Descent into Becoming a Crazy Cat Lady

This week has been really exciting because two new kittens arrived at my family home! This means that we now have five cats (we’re all a bit cat-mad) and we also have a dog.

(left to right) Jet, Marla, Button and Pepsi.
(left to right) Jet, Marla, Button and Pepsi.

We weren’t planning to get anymore cats, but when my friends cat had a kitten we decided to adopt one. A few weeks later a friend was moving into a new house and he spotted four feral kittens living in the garden. We contacted an organisation in Southport who catch feral cats and rehome them, and after meeting the kittens we decided that we’d love to adopt one of them as well.

Dexter (top) was handled a lot as a kitten, whereas Juno (bottom) wasn't used to humans.
Dexter (top) was handled a lot as a kitten, whereas Juno (bottom) wasn’t used to humans.

I’m really enjoying spending lots of time with the kittens and giving them loads of cuddles, it’s just a shame that they’ve come only a couple of months before I move into my new house in Liverpool. It’s going to be very strange living in a cat-free house! Like most rented accommodation my new house doesn’t allow pets, although I contacted the landlady and she agreed that I could get a hamster. Some landlords will allow pets on the condition that the tenant pays a deposit so that any damage is covered.

Adopting two kittens from two different litters has been a new experience for us. We’re used to giving a kitten time to warm to us, but also having to allow kittens time to feel comfortable with each other is challenging. At first they were very wary of each other, but today they wrestled for the first time, and even cleaned each other. The next hurdle will be introducing them to all are other animals!

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Whilst I am sad that I won’t get to see them very often I am excited about moving into my new house. I’ve been staying there some weekends and I love being in such close proximity to my friends and being able to socialise whenever I want. But until I move in properly I’m going to spend as much time as I can at home with these adorable kittens.

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Deals and Loyalty Cards

Recently when I was in the Body Shop I noticed that they had a really good offer. They were offering a rewards card that entitles the owner to 10% off, as well as birthday rewards and free gifts and they were offering this free to all students. After signing up for my own I called my friend over so that she could get one too.

My new Body Shop card
My new Body Shop card

Like all students I know how important it is to make the most of all the deals that are out there. NUS Extra cards offer discounts in a lot of high-street shops. You can apply for one once you’re registered as a student. You can also sign up to UniDays. UniDays offer discounts at online clothes shops like asos and motel among others. I’d also recommend getting a Boots card and a Tesco Clubcard, as well as being sure to make the most out of the loyalty cards that coffee shops giveaway and stamp.

As you can see I like to make the most of the deals and offers available
As you can see I like to make the most of the deals and offers available

When I used to go shopping and was offered a loyalty card when I paid I used to automatically say no. But then I got a job somewhere that offered a loyalty card. Working at Subway it always amazed me how people could spend so much money yet constantly turn down a loyalty card. On a few occasions we worked out how much free food certain regular customers had missed out on, all because they wouldn’t take a free card.

Of course, there is the danger of your purse/wallet starting to look like this...
Of course, there is the danger of your purse/wallet starting to look like this…

You can get a Body Shop card HERE.

You can sign up to UniDays HERE.

And once you’re a registered student you can get your NUS card from HERE.