People You’ll Definitely Live With In Your Second Year House

As the first term of your first year at uni comes to an end, the stress about housing for your second year becomes very real. Chances are you assembled a group of people together as fast as you could, and when second year rolls around you realise that wasn’t the best decision. Here’s why…

The Smelly One

They’ve clearly never done anything for themselves in their entire lives, and the move from halls to a house has destroyed their bubble. They won’t use the washing machine all term, they might shower once a week, and they’ll leave dirty dishes for other people to wash. You’ll most likely need to call for an intervention.

The Anal One

They’ve probably had a sheltered upbringing with uptight parents who won’t let them wear shoes anywhere in the house or drink/eat anywhere but the kitchen table. All they do is nag, nag, nag, nag, and nag some more.

The Horny One

All you’ll hear is moaning and a squeaky bed. You’ll be woken up to moaning and a squeaky bed. And there’s nothing you can do about it because you can’t ask someone to not have sex.

The One Who’s Always Out

They’ll never remember their keys on a night out. Prepare yourself for a message to the group chat at 4am at least twice a week: “seomen lwt me in plz hant got me keyddd”. Once you’ve gotten out of bed to let them in, they’ll stumble through the front door, perch on the stairs and shout really loudly, waking everyone up in the process.

The One Who Works

The odds are you’ll have a housemate who, like myself, has to work to be able to pay rent etc. You’ll barely ever see them, but when you do all they’ll do is moan to you about how work take advantage of them and they never have time for university work. The most likely time you’ll see them is emerging from their room at 3am for more coffee as they try their best to stay on top of everything.

The One Who Does Nothing But Moan

All. They. Do. Is. Moan. About everything. About dishes. About dust. About hair in the plughole. About unopened mail. About someone using their PS3 ‘too much’. About the temperature. Absolutely everything.

 

People You’ll Live With In Halls

The one you’ll never see

You’ll spot them of the first day of Freshers holding a kettle in the hallway, looking like a deer caught in headlights. They will remain ‘Kettle Boy’ for the next two weeks, when they finally emerge from their bedroom. You’ll never see them in the communal spaces unless it’s 4am, and you’ll wonder whether they’re dead or alive for most of the year.

The ‘we need to talk about…’ lad

He’s in the end room, and all you can hear is the incessant clicking of his various varieties of Rubix Cubes. He smells, but you can’t tell him because he’ll probably come into your room while you’re sleeping and pelt you with his Rubix Cubes, wearing nothing but his dressing gown.

The one who’s never been on a night out before

She’s from a small town in the middle of nowhere with overbearing parents. She’s minted. She’s socially inept. All it takes is a sniff of tequila at predrinks and she’s laying on the kitchen floor telling you all how much she loves you and uni.

The Oxbridge reject

You’ll know all about their application process and their interviews and how they ended up ‘having to settle’ for your university on results day when they didn’t get their grades.

The rich kid

You’re on Tesco value vodka and they’re drinking Moet. You’re living on frozen food from Iceland and they’re getting food deliveries from Waitrose. You get the picture.

The fun one

They’re from up North, their banter is off the charts and their room is party central. Don’t expect to sleep any time soon if you’re in the same block of flats as them. They get on with everyone and you can’t help but join in with whatever it is they’re doing.

The last minute one

They’re fantastic at procrastinating. They’ll spend weeks watching eight seasons of House on Netflix, then suddenly they realise they have 6 hours to write an essay worth 50 per cent of their module. It’s fine though, because they’re fuelled by coffee.

The liability 

The only time they’ve drank prior to university is at a family wedding once, where they had a glass of champagne. They refuse to drink during Freshers because they ‘don’t like the taste of alcohol’. Before you know it, they’re locked in the bathroom for two hours and once you’ve managed to get the door open, all you’ll see is them sprawled naked on the floor in a pool of their own bodily fluids with their private parts in their hand.

The one you actually like

You’ll click as soon as you meet. You’re soul mates, because as Carrie Bradshaw says ‘maybe our girlfriends are our soul mates and guys are just people to have fun with’. Your bants will be off the charts, bouncing off one another’s personalities. If there’s a friend you make at university that you’ll want in your life forever, it’s them.

 

Uni Exam Tips

So, I sat my first university exams this week. If you’re wondering why I’m doing them in September rather than back in June when everyone else did them, just ask the fire door that trapped and broke my hand. (Yes, ouch). Anyway, I thought I could share some words of wisdom with those of you who have your first university exams ahead of you:

  1. Give yourself enough time to study! I’ve been working over summer so haven’t really had enough time, but those of you who’ll be at uni can focus. While cramming can sometimes be useful for assignments, I definitely don’t recommend  cramming for these – try your best to not leave revision until the last minute! 
  2. Organise your study space. Make sure that wherever you’re studying is as clear as possible. Get rid of any distractions you may have and make sure you’re comfortable. Remember, good lighting isn’t just for selfies. 
  3. Look at past papers. Yes, this can be dull but there’s no better way to prepare yourself for what your exam will be like. Familiarise yourself with the layout of the exam paper and how your professors word the questions. Also, you may be able to spot trends and guess which topics may come up. 
  4. Stay hydrated! While my poison of choice is anything caffeinated, you may choose to drink gallons of water. 
  5. Talk through what you’re reading about. Whether it’s to a friend, relative or to yourself, talking out loud can be very helpful. 
  6. Get to it when your brain is most active. For some, this is the morning. For some, this is the  evening. People will drone on about how the morning is best to revise blah blah but everyone is different. Do what works for you!
  7. Spice up your notes. Highlighters, coloured post it notes, coloured gel pens – anything that might make your notes look a bit funky might make all the difference when it comes to remembering something in an exam. 
  8. Reward yourself. You’ll hear people talking about exercising and eating healthily during exams. No!! Give yourself that bit of extra motivation. Put a piece of cake in front of you.  Put a packet of biscuits in front of you. It’ll encourage you to revise so that you can fulfil your daily sugar quota. 
  9. Leave time to walk to your exam. Rather than cramming right up until you go into the exam hall, it’s best to stop revising about half an hour before your exam and start walking towards the hall. It gives you time to reflect on what you’ve been revising. 
  10. Get in there, try your best and kick ass. 

Home Away From Home

It’s that time of year again when students are packing up to either start their new adventure at university, or continue their perilous journey of student life. I thought I could share a few things that I’ve found handy in my first year in making my university room a home away from home:

  1. Photos and photo frames. You might be super excited to leave home and start your new adventure away from home, but the truth it that you will miss your loved ones for the ten weeks you’re away. Photos not only act as decor, but also make your room feel homely and give you nice little reminders about who’s waiting for you back home.
  2. Posters/keepsakes. It’s always nice to have things you like on your pin board. It makes your room less depressing and will help to cheer you up at times. I had a lot of Clinton photos (both Bill and Hills), and also a poster that reads “if britney survived 2007, you can survive today”. Sometimes it’s the little things that make living away from home that bit easier. 
  3. Fairy lights. Whether they’re draped over a mirror, your bed, your shelves or pinned on your pin board, they will make your room extra cosy. 
  4. Speakers. While you don’t want to have them too loud to avoid your flatmates hating you, these can be great for flat parties, pre-drinks and little get togethers. 
  5. Stationary. Now you don’t want to splurge lots of money on expensive stationary – get your pads, ring binders, pens etc from shops like poundland or home and bargain to keep your stationary budget minimal. Things like list making pads, however, are special and you should treat yourself to one from paper chase or a store like that. If you’re like me, you’ll love making lists and putting a big fat cross through something on that list to make you feel as though you’ve accomplished something. Also, they’re pretty. 
  6. Blankets. Blankets are SO important. Maybe I’m biased because I’m just permanently cold and want to be cosy 24/7, but having blankets is so handy. I have a cute Tatty Teddy blanket on hand at all times (even when I go to the library) – yes, I’m sad. So what?) 
  7. Cushions. Fluffy cushions are also VERY important, simply because they’re cosy and look nice. They might also help take your mind off how many people have had sex on your bed while you use it only to sleep and watch Netflix. 

University Survival Guide

So, you’ve done the hard part: you’ve conquered your A-Levels and got into the university of your choice – congratulations! Now, what on earth do you take with you?! Don’t fret, super Chloe is here…

First, a quick few boring tips:

  1. Aim to travel light! Don’t make the same mistake I did and overpack.  You’re moving into a small room with very limited storage space. Take a suitcase of clothes, a quilt, pillows, all the essentials.
  2.  Don’t splash out on expensive stuff. You’ll find perfectly decent quilts, pillows and stationery at the likes of Home and Bargain.
  3. Also, this may seem obvious but make sure you’ve checked what the uni will be providing you with before you go out and splash the cash on things you’ll end up with two of.

Now, young grasshopper, here’s a few tips for surviving your lectures and seminars:

  1. Sit where you’re comfortable in lecture theatres and seminar rooms. You don’t want to sit right near the front, especially if you’ve been graced with a haughty, arrogant (possibly verbally abusive) professor. My suggestion is the mid-back. Optimum seatage.
  2. Don’t write everything down! Writing down every word your lecturer says will give you hand cramps and brain cramps. Also, it’s actually really unimportant. You want to get down main points, key info and a few sub-points. Viola! If you write down irrelevant information about how Churchill proposed to his wife, Clemmy, in the Blenheim Palace gardens you will hate yourself and your modules.
  3. Pay attention to important themes. This really applies more to humanities, social sciences and the arts. For example, I study History and Politics, so I found that a lot of things overlapped like revolutions, ideologies and war.
  4. Learning the skill of avoiding difficult questions in seminars is a skill of mine. It’s one you should try to master ASAP. First, not making eye contact is key. Look engrossed in your notes; this is where a laptop comes in. So handy. But if you’ve only got a pad and pen with you, just look around the room and look someone in the eyes – they’ll soon speak up, before you’re asked.

When it comes to living in halls…

  1. Build a support system. Your flatmates are your family away from home; the people who you will need to turn to for advice at 2 in the morning, and to rant to about how much that goddamn annoying ‘Making History’ module is. NOONE CARES ABOUT THE ‘HISTORY OF SPACE’!! WHAT EVEN IS THAT?? WHO CARES ABOUT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AGES AND THEIR VIEW OF HOW MANY CONTINENTS THERE ARE?? WHO!! CARES!!
  2. Try to put off washing your clothes for as long as possible when you’re living in halls. It costed me a fiver to do a wash and tumble dry this year. Once you reach second year and you have the beauty of a washing machine in your house, you can use it to your heart’s content.
  3. Make simple food. Your essentials should include pasta, pasta sauces and frozen food from Iceland (the shop, dummy). Cheap and easy. Love it.
  4. If you’re crossing the North-South divide like I did, the cost of a night out will really shock you. To keep the cost down, I suggest getting some cheap ale in – £3.40 wine from Tesco, The Straw Hat, is a personal fave of mine – and then just get yourself a couple of cheapo shots when you’re out.

The most important thing about First Year, though, is that you have fun. That’s what your first year is for! Yes, studying is important, but it’s all about the personal experience. Now, down it FRESHAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

Being Northern at a Southern University

Before you say that Uni of Warwick is in the West Midlands: I am very aware of this, however, IT’S STILL VERY BLOODY SOUTHERN TO ME.

Moving to university can be a big upheaval, and those of you who are going to cross the north-south divide are going to witness some very real culture shocks. Never fear though, for Chloe is here! Here is a brief list of WEIRD differences in the south to prepare you:

1. The Price of a Pint

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Time to say goodbye to two quid pints of Carling and Carlsberg. Say hello to £3.50 and up. This photo on the left is my look of outrage and disgust upon hearing that a round of drinks for four of us was 20 quid.

Oh, and you can kiss goodbye to £1 shots too. I miss you, Black Rabbit. I miss you, Concert Square. I MISS YOU LIVERPOOL.

My tip: pre-drinking is your best mate on a night out. Can’t beat a cheapo bottle of wine.

 

2. Your accent is stronger than you think.jamie_carragher_2563483b

Were you called posh in school? Did you think you had an all right voice? An RP accent? WELL, YOU’RE WRONG. Once you get to uni, you’ll soon know the pain of having your posh southern mates laugh at you. I mean, for god’s sake, I’m from the Wirral – not Liverpool – and when I rang the campus hairdressers to book an appointment, they actually asked me if I was the female Jamie Carragher. Then again, a Geordie once asked me if my accent was Dutch… It’s almost as if you drop a couple of vowels and suddenly you’re speaking a foreign language.

My hint: embrace it. Take the mick out of yourself. Besides, your accent may unintentionally get you some free drinks. (Yes, this happens).

3. “Where are you from?”

Oh, the dreaded question. Southern understanding of northern geography is not up to scratch. You can say ‘up north’ and they’ll ask whereabouts. Never try. NEVER. Try explaining to a Central Londoner where Birkenhead is. Let me ask you this, reader, do you know where Birkenhead is? SHOULD I STOP WRITING? I’M NOT FROM LIVERPOOL. STOP TELLING ME I’M FROM LIVERPOOL. I KNOW WHERE I’M FROM.

My hint: Basically, just send them to your general area or county. That’s why I say ‘Merseyside’.

4. Curry and gravy

Southerners think it’s weird that we have gravy on chips. They think it’s weird that we have curry on chips. They think it’s weird that we have cheesy chips smothered in mayo. It’s not weird. THEY’RE WEIRD. Chips and gravy is a delicacy and you can’t tell me otherwise. Oh, and Greggs serves some of the finest cuisine known to mankind.

My hint: NEVER STOP LOVING CHIPS N GRAVY OR CHIPS N CURRY.

5. Weather

The weather is a bit less gloomy down here, in all honesty. You know how us northerners are brave when it comes to weather because we’re so used to it? Southerners, not so much. They fight to the death to keep their umbrellas up in gale force winds. They wear jackets on nights out. If you aren’t warm, you haven’t had enough to drink. UP YOUR GAME, SOUTHERNERS.

My hint: go out there and FLAUNT THAT NORTHERN SPIRIT. (And also take advantage of the extra sun while you’re down south).

 

6. Slang

This is similar to my point on accents, but southerners just don’t get our slang. Just how we don’t get theirs. The only difference is that we understand theirs, we just don’t understand why they use the phrases they do. Here’s a list of common phrases/words from back home that I taught my flatmates:

  • antwacky (old)
  • arlarse (harsh)
  • bevvy/bevvied (bit obvious, don’t you think?)
  • scran (food)
  • nonce (this means paedophile, but we mostly use it ‘for bants’)
  • trabs (shoes)
  • bins (glasses)
  • skint/brassic (poor)

My hint: compare slang/phrases with your southern friends. Maybe you’ll laugh, maybe you’ll end up arguing about whether you call it a ‘batch’ or not (you know what I’m talking about, fellow Wirralians).