Student Stuff: Deadlines and Overhauling my Approach to Studying

All summer during the lead-up to returning to uni I was telling myself, and my family, that this year was going to be different. I was going to take my studies, health and general life more seriously. I had meal plans, a limit on how much alcohol I could drink a week and I had a LOT more time I could dedicate to studying. Naturally, I didn’t know until I actually moved back to Glasgow to start my third year whether or not this plan for my ‘new life’ would actually come to fruition.

Thankfully, I took it seriously this time. There have been soo many times in the past where I’ve told myself I’d try harder next term and actually get proper sleep etc but when it came around to it I was the same disorganised, drunk, self-detrimental girl as I had been every time previous. Obviously I’ve not become a completely different person. I’ve improved my ways significantly but I still have days when the alarm goes off and I just CAN’T make it to that 9am lecture. For the most part, however, I am going into uni (unlike last year when making it to one hour a week was a success), I am cooking all my meals for myself instead of relying on Deliveroo and I’ve even managed to submit an assignment almost 24 hours early!

22831424_1699741506703806_1515162674_o

How did I do it? To be honest I think the majority of reasons are environmental factors. I’ve moved into a new flat which allows me to live a far more functional life and, consequently, get more studying done! I’ve started my third year which counts for 40% of my final degree classification… which basically means work bitch or you’re gonna get a third class degree! It’s really important to mention that, despite these things that have helped a LOT, I have made an active effort to get myself more organised in terms of reading and a plan of attack for studying and I have also given myself a kick up the back side in terms of motivation. I have a question that I ask myself whenever I’m going to cop out of something: “What’s stopping you?” if the answer is “myself” I HAVE to do it anyway. It seems to be working so far! 🙂

This plan isn’t foolproof and I have still managed to fall behind with reading a little bit but FAR FAR less than I have done in previous years. There’s been years where I’ve left everything so disgustingly last minute that I’ve had to read two novels the day before an exam. I don’t recommend this technique to anyone who wants to a) achieve anything at uni or b) remain mentally stable. It has been these experiences, however, that have allowed me to revamp the way I approach studying and life in general.

On that note I wish you all luck with your upcoming deadlines and exams as we’re coming towards the halfway point of semester 1. Remember, if I’ve managed to pass thus far SO CAN YOU!

Until next time,

J x

‘Student Stuff’ is a new series I’ll be writing on my blog for online student community Campus Society relating to the many experiences I’ve had as a student over the past 3 years. Hopefully I can impart some wisdom or even just warn you what to absolutely avoid doing!

Advertisements

Recipe: Easy Healthy Bolognese

*Disclaimer* This recipe is not vegetarian, however, by removing mince and beef oxo cubes it can easily be a delicious veggie dish.

This recipe is for a large pot, most of which I freeze away for future meals.

Ingredients:

  • Rapeseed oil (you can use other oils but rapeseed oil is the healthiest due to the fact that it has a higher smoke point than most oils: it takes higher temperatures for it to begin to release toxins).
  • 2 white onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 packet less than 5% fat beef mince
  • 2 Beef Oxo cubes
  • 3 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • Tomato puree
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • Basil (fresh or dried)
  • Oregano
  • Paprika 
  • Worcester Sauce (a generous splash)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Peppers (2-3 depending on size)
  • 2 Courgettes
  • 3 carrots

Method:

  • Dice onions (and try not to cry like I did). Oil pan and begin to sweat the onions and brown mince. Once they are somewhat cooked crush and finely chop your garlic and add to pot.
  • Add a beef oxo cube to the mix and stir.
  • Once both onion and garlic have gone mostly clear add 2-3 tins of chopped tomatoes and bring to simmer while beginning to chop your other veg.
  • Once chopped, add your carrots, courgettes and peppers and stir in. Bring back to simmer.

Now time to season this bad bitch:

  • Boil the kettle and prepare some stock by adding a vegetable stock cube to a mug of water and dissolving then add to pot. I often add another veg stock cube straight into the pot for more flavour. Then add a splash (but not too much) of Worcester sauce (this isn’t vital).
  • Add a generous shake of salt and black pepper.
  • Add a tablespoon or oregano, basil (if fresh quite a lot of leaves because they wilt down and they’re just bloody delicious) and paprika and stir in.

At this stage the mix should be looking quite nice. Allow to simmer for ten minutes and then have a taste of the liquid. If it needs more seasoning you’ll know best what to do but I usually add a bit more salt and pepper and maybe a bit more stock if it really needs a kick.

If the mixture is too thin add a generous amount of tomato puree and stir, this will thicken it up. Sometimes I like to keep it thin though, especially if I’m using the sauce to make a lasagna.

Simmer for about another 40 minutes (making sure you stir so that the ingredients don’t stick to the bottom) and it should be ready to serve!

If you try this recipe I hope you enjoy it, I definitely feel better about my life when I add loads of veggies to normal dishes because it’s a yummy way to sneak nutrients into my diet 🙂

Until next time,

J x

 

 

 

The Addams Family Musical

I am currently lying in my bed, trying not to feel guilty about it because it’s Sunday, still suffering from Friday night when I went to see The Addams Family Musical (followed by a big night out) as my birthday present from one of my friends.

Since then I have been hungover singing the songs, thinking about the performance and what it must be like to perform in a professional touring show like that.

The opening number of the show “The Addams Family Theme” was an amazing number and the choreography was awesome. I immediately thought that the casting of Cameron Blakely as Gomez and Samantha Womack as Morticia was spot on. I’ve linked to a video of the opening number with the current cast https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jum02Ku4ylU

I loved the story that was chosen for this musical, Wednesday’s sort of coming of age story which I don’t think has really been told before. Songs like “Crazier Than You” and “Pulled” are absolute classics and Carrie Fletcher’s (who played Wednesday and who I’ve watched on youtube since about 2012) voice was so strong and clear. It was amazing to be sat in the audience watching.

Going to see things at the theatre is not something I do often. I went to see Wicked in London a couple of years ago and going to see The Addams Family in Glasgow is the only thing I’ve seen since, however, I’ve decided I definitely want to go to more shows like this. The rush it gave me was amazing. I spend a fair bit of money on going to music concerts and the feeling I had when leaving the show on Friday night was the same feeling I have when I leave a particularly good concert (such as Lorde who I saw recently, but that’s for another time).

Actually seeing this show live took me back to when I used to take drama classes. I tried to imagine what it must be like to have thousands watching you every single night. I can’t even imagine the nerves of standing in the wings waiting to begin a show, I’m not sure if I could cope with that. I did a few shows with my drama group but only to an audience of friends and family. I remember one time I had a costume change where I had to put a shirt on and button it up in the space of like one minute and I didn’t quite get it done so you could still see my red t-shirt underneath when I went on stage. I don’t think anyone really noticed or cared but it was enough to nearly send me into full on panic. I also remember one time I was doing a short performance from a section of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie with a few other young girls and we got on stage, the lights went up and one of the girls (who was to start the whole piece off) muttered under her breath “I can’t remember my lines”. Luckily after a few seconds of sheer panic she remembered them and began, but what if that were to happen on stage at an actual theatre?! Obviously these actors/actresses are professionals and have done it hundreds of times but there’s nothing preventing somebody from just having a mind blank one day.

Anyway enough of my rambling because none of that happened, the show went flawlessly and I left feeling exhilarated and wishing I could go again the next night (until I woke up with my hangover).

Until next time,

J x

Life Update: Valencia, sunburn and Starting Third Year

So I’ve been absent recently and haven’t really written any blog posts. Sorry about that, I’ve just been super busy getting settled into another year of uni to be honest and I’m so tired all the time!

Anyway I thought I’d do another little life update because I’ve been up to quite a bit recently.

So, instead of going back to Glasgow for freshers week this year me and some of my friends decided that we’d go away for the week instead. We figured that if we go cheap we’ll probably only spend about as much as we would’ve spent in the clubs at home anyway. We decided on Valencia (because it was cheap) and headed out there on the 11th of this month. This is how blue the sky was.

22163980_1676577185686905_1013919996_o.jpg

we stayed in an apartment with a private terrace with sun loungers on it. It was roasting all the time (over 30 degrees most days) so we spent a fair bit of time there!

On the first day we went looking for a restaurant to have dinner at, but we went at an awkward time and for that reason we could only find one place. I’m a big lover of prawns but in the UK they usually do all the dirty work for you so when a big plate of fully shelled prawns arrived I was a little intimidated. I had to rip the head off (at which point a load of brown goop fell out onto the plate) and then wipe the poo track out… to be honest by the time I’d done all that the idea of the prawn wasn’t so appetising anymore!

We went to a beach club one of the days as well and the sun was super hot and we just lay on sun loungers drinking cocktails and occasionally dipping in the pool to cool down (aka it was absolute bliss).

22251455_1680926891918601_303123222_o

22279028_1680927055251918_282931227_o

This was a berry mojito, ,very nice.

We headed to Marina Beach on our last day and I was …very burned from the day before

22139754_1676581745686449_717861491_o

so I stayed in the shade but it was a beautiful day nonetheless and I enjoyed sitting reading my book and cracking open a few cans of shandy from our cheap cooling bag that ripped as soon as we lifted it up to leave the hotel 🙂

Most of the food we ate was amazing. Caprese salad was a favourite with the group and also the classic Patatas Bravas. I’m getting hungry now writing this (but when am I not hungry)!

Now I’m back in Glasgow my workload has increased a lot. I have novels to read and essays to write and a 2 hour lecture at 9am on a Monday morning… who’s idea was that?

Anyway I’ll hopefully get past to posting about weekly now, I won’t be able to do two posts a week anymore as I’m back at uni and in third year so it all counts now!

Until next time,

J x