My University Experience: Part One

This is a post that has been long overdue, so I thought it was about time that I got it done! I have recently finished my time at university and I am very happy and proud to have graduated with a First Class Degree! I never thought that I would be able to do it, but after a lot of hard work and long nights, I finally did it!

University is hard. If you want to achieve the best grades you need to put the work in, there’s no getting around it. However, it is the most rewarding and exciting experience you will have. In this post I will go through all the different experiences I had from first to third year: from moving in, all the way to graduating (which I will discuss in part two of this post!)

Moving in day: new city and new friends

This was a very exciting day. I remember it so clearly like it was yesterday. Everything was packed and ready to be put into the car – of course, a lot of stuff had already been packed into the car the night before in order to make things easier. My new life was ready to begin. So many exciting times ahead of me, and so many amazing people I had yet to meet. I was ready to live alone and enjoy life as a young and independent nineteen year old (I had a gap year before university).

When I arrived to my new city and accomodation, I was filled with mixed emotions. I was nervous of course, but it was the most exciting thing I had experienced – you may be thinking, really? But the fact that I was now able to live on my own, free to do whatever I wanted, living in a building with new people and going on nights out – of course this was going to be exciting.

My mum and dad helped me move all of my things into my room after checking in, and I started to unpack. Yes, it was very strange knowing that I would be left there alone in this new city and new home, but I couldn’t help but feel positive about it all. Once my parents left, I began to introduce myself to my new flat mates.

The first day was the first official day of Freshers week – I didn’t go out this night, as I wanted to unpack my room and settle in first (also, no one I knew was going out either). I also used this day to explore the area and find the nearest supermarkets – I did a shop before I moved in, but I needed to buy myself food for the fridge. It was my first official day living on my own. Luckily, tea time wasn’t so difficult, as I wasn’t too bad when it came to cooking.

I remember finding it hard to sleep on the first night, because I was more aware of the fact that I was alone. The first night is probably the most difficult, because although you are excited, you don’t fully know anyone yet. So, it can get lonely.

Fresher’s week

I went out on the second day of Fresher’s week, and then proceeded to go out every night for 10 nights. It was the best time ever. I did have a new part time job lined up, but it didn’t start until the end of Fresher’s. This week was also filled with induction days for my classes, and before you say anything, I did attend them! Some people don’t, but I really wanted to make sure that I knew what I was doing in preparation for when my classes actually started.

The whole first month was amazing, I enjoyed every minute. I loved living alone and cooking my own meals. I loved being at university and learning new things. Meeting new people and living a completely different way to what I was used to. If you’re considering going to University, then definitely do it. If you are unsure of what to study, take a year out to really think about what you want to do. Of course, university isn’t for everyone, but if you are thinking of going but are too scared, just go for it! You will be amazed at how much you will learn about yourself and living away from home.

I will be doing a second part to this post which will be all about my first year of classes and my second and final year. I hope you enjoyed this post!

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5 Things I Do To Stay Calm and Relaxed

Life can get busy and stressful at times. Which is why it is so important for us to allow time for ourselves, so that we can stay calm and more relaxed. It can be difficult for us to allow a little “me time” and it can easily be forgotten about due to other commitments that seem more important. Our main goal each day should be to focus on ourselves a little more; to forget about stress, and take a moment to breathe.

This is why I have decided to share with you five things I do to help myself stay relaxed when life can get stressful. It is all about taking care of your mind as well as your body! Self-care does not just mean to look after ourselves from the outside, but the inside too.

1. Run a bath, play smooth radio or a relaxing playlist of choice, and forget about the world…

We all have most likely done this countless amounts of times. However, some of us can forget about how important the most simple rituals can be for our well being. Get some candles, (safely) light them and place around your bath. Get yourself a bath bomb or your favourite bubble bath, and relax while you listen to music. Try to do this once a week or at least once every fortnight. Pamper yourself while you are at it using a face mask and hey, grab yourself a glass of wine or a cup of tea and soak in your tub of relaxation.

2. Go for a walk…

Take a walk in the countryside or find your local park and take in the fresh air and beauty of the outdoors. Nature is a beautiful thing and if you can, try and surround yourself in it by going for a walk. My favourite kind of walk is during the summer in the late afternoon or evening. There is nothing better than walking through a field during a warm summer evening, watching the sun gradually set. There is beauty in the most simple of things when you start to notice it more. Walking is also very beneficial for you both mentally and physically. Take someone with you for company if you want, but do it either way.

3. Get creative…

Paint, draw, write. It’s up to you, but whether you are an artist or not, being creative is very calming for the mind. I find that painting or drawing can really help me to relax. Writing also can be very relaxing for me, especially when I can release my thoughts onto paper. If you are stressed or feeling down, write it down. Everything you are feeling or thinking, just take a pen and paper, and write everything down. You will feel better for it and it may just help you understand yourself a little more.

4. Listen to music…

This may be obvious, but music can lift your spirits and make a stressful situation much better. Turn on the radio or play your favourite music – I love to listen to Whitney, Nora Jones, Coldplay etc to really help me feel calm and relaxed and in a better mood. If you have a garden, sit outside and play a little music in the summer, or dance around your house and feel relaxed and stress-free. Another tip: if you’re really stressed or cannot calm down, take a moment to just breathe. Breathe in deeply and slowly, in and out. Repeat to calm down your heart rate and get back to relaxation.

5. Watch a film or read a book…

After your relaxing bath, or at the end of the evening when everything is done, get yourself in your comfy pjs and watch a film or open a book and start reading. Just let yourself escape from the outside world and allow time for yourself. Make a cup of tea or your favourite drink and enjoy. Make time to do this every week, you will thank yourself for it. Prioritise these things – not just work and other commitments. Looking after yourself is the most important thing you can and will ever do. It’s not being selfish, it’s called self-care and realising that is very important.

Now you have read about the things that I do to keep myself calm and relaxed, why don’t you try it…Leave a comment below about the things you do to keep yourself relaxed.

xoxo

My Most-Used Fake Tanning Products & Review!

Let’s admit it, we all love fake tan. Instead of damaging our beautiful skin with harmful UV rays, we can all fake a summer glow within a matter of hours! Since I wear fake tan most of the time, I thought I would share with you my opinions on a range of fake tan products that I have used over the years.

1. ST. TROPEZ Bronzing Mousse in Dark (200ML)

This has to be up there with the best false tanners I have used so far. I do still need to try others such as Vita Liberata Phenomenal 2-3 Week Tan Mousse (let me know what this is like in the comments below! I will do an updated version of this once I have tried it out myself), but as it stands, ST. TROPEZ has worked very well for me. Before I apply any false tan, I make sure that my skin is exfoliated and moisturised – I usually do this the day before application and then I re-apply moisturiser to any dry areas such as my ankles and knees.

I have found that this false tan does not go as patchy as others, and it does not have that typical biscuit smell of fake tan. As this tan also has a colour guide, you can see almost instantly that the tan will develop into a lovely golden-brown tone – rather than a horrible orange colour. I have found that with my fair skin, this tan suits my complexion the best and does not look too unnatural when I am wearing it. The only con: it is quite expensive, so if you’re looking to save some money, try and look out for the deals online or in stores.

2. Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam, Dark (200ML)

OK. This tan smells amazing. I am currently using this at the moment and it is definitely worth it. I have managed to get about 6 months use out of this, applying once weekly or less, and I still have some left! Yes, this isn’t too cheap either, but it is a lot cheaper than the more high-end or pricier false tanners – I paid £14.99 for it! The colour of this tan is slightly more brown than ST.TROPEZ in my opinion, as it has a red undertone to it, rather than having an olive undertone. I personally prefer an olive undertone in false tan, but the colour of Bondi Sands is still very lovely. I have found that one pump for each arm, and two or three for each leg is enough for this! Sometimes I have found that two layers can give you a deeper tan, but it all depends on your skin tone, as mine is very fair.

3. ST. MORIZ Instant & Gradual Self-Tanning Mousse (200ML)

I have tried the regular version of this mousse, but after discovering this one, I was amazed. This worked well on my pale and fair skin, and it also developed into a lovely natural-looking tan. I find that this works best for an everyday tanned look – however, I have used this for nights out and I have found that a couple of layers works well also! This tan looks similar to ST.TROPEZ, which was a game-changer for me, as this product is practically ST.TROPEZ at a fraction of the price! I also found that it does not transfer as badly as some products, and it fades quite well too. In my experience, the tan lasts about three to four days before another application is needed.

4. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Natural Bronze Body Lotion (250ML)

I used to use this religiously back in the good old days of school – you know what I’m talking about, those dreaded P.E lessons, or those warm summer days where you had your legs out and they just HAD to be tanned. I have recently come back to this tanning lotion and out of every gradual tanning lotion I have tried, this has to be the best one. For some reason, my pale skin does not react well with gradual tanners. I never seem to get that gorgeous golden tan that everyone else manages to achieve. However, with this particular gradual tanner, I have found that my skin does go golden after one or two applications – RESULT.

5. Bondi Sands Everyday Gradual Tanning Milk (375ML)

This, again, smells amazing. It has a lovely coconut scent, and applies very evenly. It also dries very well and does not leave you feeling sticky, which is always annoying with other gradual tanning lotions. I have found that it needs a couple of applications before you see any real results, but this all depends on how dark you want to be. In my experience, any type of gradual tanner is best for a natural everyday glow – perfect for summer getaways when you need to prolong your existing tan – or if you want to look naturally sun-kissed without the worry of streaking or going patchy. You also get a lot in this bottle so it is worth your money!

6. ST TROPEZ Gradual Tanning In Shower, Medium (200ML)

I have some mixed thoughts on this product. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great product. I love how you can get in the shower and do your fake tan at the same time, no fuss, no fake tan on your sheets, no worrying about feeling sticky or smelly. It’s perfect really. Almost. The one problem with this false tan, is that it isn’t really that noticeable after the first application. I have tried this and done exactly what it says on the bottle, but I just never seem to get any real results. Now, my skin does take a while to gain any colour with the usual gradual tanning lotion, but that’s because I like to be really tanned.

Don’t be too put off, definitely give this a go if you like the idea of a stress free tan – I must point out, you do have to turn off the shower for a couple of minutes after application to let it soak in before rinsing – but do try it as I have found that after using this daily, it does begin to work quite well. This is definitely something that requires you to apply this daily for the best results – perfect for a holiday though! I haven’t tried this whilst on holiday yet, but I will be taking some with me to see what it’s like! If you want me to give a review on how it went then let me know in the comments below!