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!


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!


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.


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).



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


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

Life Update: Moving and University

Tomorrow I am moving. A few months ago in a previous life update I mentioned that I had a new flat. So far I’ve lived somewhere different for every year of uni (I’m going into third year now) and I’m hoping that this flat will be the one I stay in from now on!

Key differences between new flat and old flat include:

  • New flat is not infested with mice.
  • New flat has a living room.
  • New flat has a properly fitted kitchen with a window.
  • New flat is just for Ellie and I so we can do whatever we want.

I am SO glad that when I get off the train tomorrow and get in a taxi home it won’t be to my old flat. It was a second story tenement that had been lazily looked after and was rented out at a ridiculous price to students who knew no better (me). Living there was a total misery. I woke up in my room, studied in my room, ate my meals in my room and socialised in my room (or Ellie’s). There was no communal area to spend time in. We weren’t even allowed to keep a table in the hallway so our dining room was literally in Ellie’s room which was disgusting.

It’s a miracle that I passed the year and made it into honours to be honest. I didn’t study and I didn’t go to classes. In fact it got so extreme once that I read two novels in a day right before an exam once. Somehow I got my first A at university in my honours subject English Literature, but I also got a G in another subject so you know… that wasn’t so great haha.

Over the summer I’ve had plenty of time to think about how I want to go forward in my third year. I’ve overhauled my diet (which was genuinely shocking last year) and exercise routing and I’ve decided that I want my whole lifestyle to be different. It probably sounds like a cliche, I mean I say “i’m going to work harder this time” at the start of every term but deep down I do always know I don’t mean it. This time, I really do and I’m taking steps towards it already. I’ve got started reading books for my Victorian Literature course and I really believe that living in a new flat that is actually fit for human habitation will allow me to lead a more stable life with a routine.

The days of being so hungover I spend most of the day in front of the toilet at least twice a week and buying a bottle of wine (to sit and drink by myself) on my way home from the one class of the week I actually attended are over. They need to be. Spending like a third of my life hungover is maybe the biggest reason I never got any work done and also it just feels HORRIBLE. Anyone who’s ever been a big drinker will probably have come to a point in their life where they’ve either had some kind of intervention or done it for themselves.

Anyway, enough of that alcohol talk. Tomorrow I am getting on a train, probably not very gracefully because I will be struggling with a lot of luggage, and heading back down to Glasgow for round 3. Also my brother is coming with my to come to an open day, so I won’t be completely by myself when I arrive at the flat. That’ll be nice because coming from a house of 4 people and 2 cats to an empty flat can be daunting! I’m always the first one in the flat.

Well that’s about all I have to update right now. Oh and in a week I’m going to Valencia with a few friends!!!

Until next time,

J x

Muddy welly boots in Scottish Festival

Life Update – Belladrum Festival and Turning 21

The chances are, unless you’re from the Highlands of Scotland, you have no idea what Belladrum Festival is. Oh also unless you’re my cousin who travelled all the way from Cornwall for it.

The best way I can describe it is a local festival. There’s music, food, comedy, films, camping and…alcohol. When I was younger I knew Belladrum as a place where underage people go to get drunk for a few days in the summer. This year though my mum bought us tickets as the weekend fell over my 21st birthday. She spent a lot of money on tickets for the family, flights from Cornwall for my cousin and tents and shower passes for everyone. It really meant a lot to me that she organised all that for me, even if it did rain the whole weekend.

Camping in a four person tent in Scotland

Camping in Scotland in a four person tent

This was the tent situation. I’m not going to lie, I’m not the most outdoorsy person and I think after this weekend of camping my cousin Ellie and I both decided that camping isn’t really for us. We probably prefer a city break in a hotel (or more realistically a Holiday Inn Express). It was certainly an experience though!

On the first night the sun did actually come out for a while and we went and listened to some music. We saw some local bands and also some random men singing in Welsh in one of the pub/huts.

Belladrum Festival in Scotland

This was the entrance to the main venue from our camping area. I thought it looked quite cute, especially before the whole place turned to sludge.

Festival in Scotland

Some of the acts that played were Franz Ferdinand, Twin Atlantic, Sister Sledge, KT Tunstall and Birdy.

A blurry gif of local celebrities Twin Atlantic performing No Sleep No Sleep Spotify (if you do click this link be prepared for an intense scottish accent that everyone at the concert mimicked despite not actually sounding like that).

By day three the place looked less like a cute, sunny festival with fairy lights everywhere and more like… well this

Muddy welly boots in Scottish Festival

This was me on my way back from the portaloo toilets one morning. Trying to get up a hill that’s essentially a mud slide has its challenges.

After sharing a box of wine with Ellie, followed by not nearly enough food and some straight vodka just before I turned 21 it’s safe to say the following morning wasn’t much fun for me.

I tried and failed to keep a bacon roll down and wanted a proper bed more than I can even express.

To anyone who has never been to a festival in Scotland (I’m assuming most of you) here’s a little taster of what you can expect:

Mel Gibson, Braveheart at Belladrum Festival Scotland

Obviously that’s a bit of a joke but it is a legit picture from the festival.

So that’s what I’ve been up to recently, I’m currently off (having taken flexi time off work) recovering from the experience and I have a new found appreciation for my bed (as if I could love bed anymore).

Until next time,

J x

Is our self-image based on what other people think?

This is a bit of a different post today. As my first Thursday post I thought I’d talk about something that’s been on my mind quite a lot recently. Something myself and quite a few of my friends that I’ve seen recently have been thinking about a LOT. Self-worth. I feel like almost every girl I’ve ever spoken to has had some form of struggle with self-image and self-esteem. It’s a horrible internal turmoil brought on by the social pressures of modern society. Almost everywhere we go whether it’s on the internet, at work, the supermarket or even just the somewhere like the dentists we are bombarded with images of perfection, images that are edited and filtered, images that we could never realistically compete with.

A question that I find I ask myself a lot is “Is my self-image based on what I think or what other people think?”

There’s a massive statement being made at the moment, particularly within feminist circles, that women do not do things, like wear makeup and dress a certain way, to gratify men. I agree with this, we don’t. We do it to make ourselves feel more confident and self-assured… but I guess the question I’m asking is what defines the things that make us feel confident and good about ourselves?

Yes wearing makeup makes me feel more confident and when I’m buying/applying makeup I’m definitely not thinking about what men will think of it when I’m out… but why does makeup make us feel more confident?

I can’t help but think it’s because women are kind of deemed more attractive by society when they are wearing makeup? Women in the public eye are often shamed for their “no makeup face” or when they leave the gym in an outfit that isn’t considered stylish. Having this essentially hammered into our brains for our whole lives naturally ends in us internalising these standards, right?

We see videos of “amazing transformation” makeup videos on our Facebook feeds and our peers are congratulated for uploading a makeup selfie of themselves on Instagram. When we look at a girl with makeup on compared to the same girl without makeup on… which do we think is more attractive? I think most people would answer the former. Perhaps I’m wrong, I’m open to discussing this further with anyone who wants to.

To me this means that the standards we hold ourselves to and the things we do and don’t like about ourselves are essentially decided by society… not us. This makes practicing self-love incredible difficult and, to be honest, impossible for some people.

It would be a very unpopular thing to say, particularly at the moment, that my self-image is based on what other people think. Having thought about it a lot recently though, I’m not sure if saying anything otherwise would simply be a lie in my case…

I don’t necessarily think this is something I need to punish myself for. I think it’s pretty normal to be honest. I suppose the journey is trying to accept the parts of myself that maybe society won’t accept so much. I also don’t think there’s any shame in body alterations or surgery if a part of your body is causing you extreme stress, as long as the risks are weighed up with the benefits. I’m just about to get braces put on to straighten out my teeth that are a little crooked. Yes maybe that’s me conforming, but if it’s what will make me feel good about myself, to be honest, I don’t care.

Please please please share your thoughts in the comments because I appreciate that this is such a sensitive topic for a lot of people. This was just my own thoughts on something that’s been a big part of my own, and a lot of people around me, life(s) at the moment.

Until next time,

J x


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inverness sunset, scotland sunset

Life Update – New Flat, Diet and Summer Work

As you can tell from the title there’s fun times to be had all round here.

Uni is officially finished and as relieved as I am about that (here’s hoping I passed everything) you know the old saying, when one door closes another door opens. Except in this case it’s less “get’s rejected for a job but then finds dream job” and more “last exam is over okay now time for a few months of unrewarding work because you need the money”… “oh and it’s also time to go on a diet”.

So today was my first day at my new temporary job and, to be fair, it was actually a lot better than expected. I worked a few jobs last summer that I absolutely hated: one involved standing beside the reception desk from 9-5 every day and not being allowed to sit down or even do anything like answer the phones and another involved straightening clothes on a rack for 9 hours a day in a cold tent. So getting to sit at a desk in a large atrium and answer a variety of queries (as mundane as it may sound) is actually a vast improvement!

I have also undertaken what is possibly my biggest shift in lifestyle EVER this past few weeks. I’ve gone from eating the worst I’ve ever eaten to probably almost the best. Instead of pizzas multiple times a week I’m not having salad for lunch every day and a low calorie dinner with a LOT more exercise in between. Here’s a small sample of my new menu, not exactly instagram worthy, but maybe wordpress worthy.

healthy snack, apricots

That, my friends, is a snack I had one evening. It’s brown toast with DIABETIC JAM (i’m not diabetic, just trying to cut out sugar) and 3 apricots. Sorry for picture quality this picture was taken in the evening with only my dull lamp as lighting.

I’m really curious about what everyone else is up to this summer? Perhaps it’s a bigger change for me than most because I’m living on the academic year rather than the calendar year at the moment, so summer is really my transition time. I’m not going to keep this diet up forever, but I do want to take elements of it with me when I move back to Glasgow in September.

Speaking of which my cousin and I have secured a new flat for next year! It’s SO much nicer than the one we’re in now (aka not infested with mice) and has a large kitchen which will allow us to cook more! Here are some pictures in a snazzy little slide show:


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Despite not having as many friends, bars and cafes around (and not to mention less free time) being back in Inverness does have some good points. It’s bloody lovely here and I think sometimes I forget that. There’s a lot to be said for being able to walk just about anywhere and have stunning scenery all around!

inverness sunset, scotland sunset

I know this post wasn’t about anything much but I just thought I’d write a little something to signify the start of the summer 🙂

What are your plans this summer?

Until next time,

J x

Campsie Glen monument

Bad at Spontaneity

It’s not too often that I’m spontaneous, but when I am I suck at it!

I can recall a couple of times over the past few years that I’ve been spontaneous and it’s actually gone well. One time I decided I was going to go see Ariana Grande live that weekend in Glasgow. It just so happened to coincide with my friend moving out of her flat and coming home for the summer so we went together and travelled back up to Inverness together. You could say it was a success.

Other times haven’t gone quite so well. I recently spontaneously decided to go to Amsterdam for a few nights and also bought a ticket for TRNSMT (a summer festival in Glasgow) because all my friends are going (and they’re enablers that convinced me to come). I had a great time in Amsterdam and I’m sure I will at the festival too but these split decisions have also resulted in me being at the bottom of my £600 overdraft for the past few months.

Yesterday, however, was perhaps my biggest fail at being spontaneous. My cousin and I had just signed the lease on our flat for next year (side note, it’s a lovely flat and we’re super excited!) and we went for lunch and cocktails to celebrate. Yeah I know what you’re thinking, that sounds like a nice way to spend the day? It would’ve been had we been satisfied with that. But, alas, no. We decided to go to the bus station and get on a bus somewhere, with the idea that we’d have a little walk and find a pub to have a few more drinks in. We ended up on a bus to a place called Campsie Glen.

Once we arrived in Campsie Glen we quickly realised that we’d got off at the wrong stop and basically had to walk 4 miles to the village! This really wouldn’t have been so bad had it not been pissing it down with rain and we were dressed up nicely after signing the lease which (for some reason) resulted in a few men in vans beeping their horns and shouting at us. Charming. It also would have been fine if, when we arrived in the village, the pub had been OPEN!

Yes, the pub was shut. We walked even further to another pub and walked in to the welcome of the judging stares of the locals. Also to be told that they don’t accept card and we had no cash. By this point we were both just so done. So we decided to write it off as a MASSIVE fail and get the bus back to Glasgow.

What later occurred was the consumption of a disturbing amount of alcohol, an impromptu night out and a HORRIBLE hangover today.

So there you have it. I’m a fail, no surprises there. Some good came of it though because I took some cute pictures in Campsie Glen. May as well focus on the silver lining eh?

Campsie Glen signpostCampsie Glen Aldessan Gallery and Coffee ShopCampsie Glen monumentCampsie Glen LakeCampsie Glen sheep, Cheviot sheep, Scotland
Until next time,

J x