First Year University Experience

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Apparently I’ve just finished my first year at university? I say apparently because I have no idea where those 9 months have gone, they have quite literally flown by. I didn’t really get off to the best start at university, don’t get me wrong, the first 3 months were amazing, but upon returning after the Christmas break it just went to absolute shambles. I missed home, my mental health was awful and I was just unhappy. Having said this, I’m in a much better place now, a few more months down the line, and I’m bloody excited for second year, I cannot tell you.

Here’s what my first year at university was like…it was an interesting one that’s for sure.

Halls – Halls are both the best and worse places to live. You’ll attend some of the best flat parties ever, and meet some of the best people, that’s the good part. The trouble started when people didn’t clean up after themselves and started taking my food. To be fair my flat mates weren’t terrible, but I’m pretty sure I was the only one that even touched the hoover the entire time we were living there, I must have been the only one that knew how to use a disinfectant wipe for the kitchen as well… Another thing that I never thought I’d have to deal with is someone taking my food, to be fair it was only tea and ketchup of mine that went walk abouts, but still, am not one for sharing any food, particularly my tea.

Money – Money wasn’t too big of a concern to me, as I had worked very hard the summer previous to save up enough to get me through it. What I wasn’t best pleased with is that I got the smallest amount of student loan, how any student is meant to live on that is beyond me. But I mustered through nonetheless, next year I plan on not being so protective over it, just spend it and enjoy myself, after all university will only happen once for me – I don’t want to look back on it and think, oh I wish I hadn’t been so tight and gone out more.

Freshers Week – I was the unfortunate one that got struck down with freshers flu within the first 4 days of moving in, so I only really enjoyed the first week. Freshers was an interesting one for me because I don’t drink a lot, I was always the one that people would come to in the morning to ask how much they had ruined their lives the night previous thanks to one too many cocktails.

Lectures – I absolutely loved my lectures, I think I may be the only student to ever say that? So I study Textile Design which is of course very practical, therefore it was always nice to have a lecture once or twice a week to shake things up. I struggled with sitting still for so long when I first joined, but I soon got used to it.

Friends – I have made some of the best friends at university, who I will definitely have for life. Like anything in life you’re never going to get along with everyone and this became apparent to me within the first couple of months, but this didn’t matter as long as I had my little group. Making friends I didn’t struggle with too much, I think this was down to me just faking my confidence and talking to literally everyone, had I not done this I’m sure it would have been a much different story.

My first year could have gone a lot better, but overall it was a massive learning curve, I now definitely know what I would/will be doing differently come September!

Any of you who have been to university, what was your first year experience like? This always interests me!

All my love,

Han.

Fitbit Alter HR Review

“Running keeps me sane”

I used to be the girl that hated PE and would do almost anything to get out of my PE lessons. There was nothing that appealed to me about getting red and sweaty for an hour, just to get changed back into a heavy blazer and attend another lesson – make up sliding down my face and hair looking like I’ve just been dragged through a bush…I mean I’d rather not. You also always had those girls that took PE way too seriously, babe it’s not the Olympics, chill; these were my least favorite type of people at school.

Ironically I now love fitness.

About 2 years ago now I picked up running. I was going through a very dark time with my mental health, and my Dad told me all about the benefits of running, how he was 99% sure it would help me. Surprisingly, it did. 2 Years down the line, the girl who once needed her inhaler to run to the corner shop, can now run 10K in an impressive 44 minutes.

So now that I’ve started to take my training more seriously, instead of it just being a hobby, I’m now racing and constantly looking to get a new PB – I thought it was about time I got myself a Fitbit.

I had been skeptical about buying one of these mainly because I hate spending money, and its no secret that Fitbits are rather expensive…the one I wanted being just shy of £200 – granted that’s not a lot of money, but for a student, it’s a bit of an investment. I also wasn’t too sure how well it would benefit me, but long story short, it’s been the best thing I have treated myself to in a long time.

Choosing to go for the Fitbit Alta HR, rose gold series, of course. Sometimes fitness watches can look a bit bulky, not very ‘pretty’, but this one is completely different. It’s a very dainty, pretty watch. I think the colour scheme helps this as well. It’s got a beautiful dusty pink strap (which is interchangeable), complimented by the rose gold hard wear.

I mainly use the Fitbit to track my daily steps, making sure I hit 10,000+ steps a day (fairly easy for me, working 9 hours on my feet most days, and training 5+ times a week) and my food intake, as it also has a My Fitness Pal type feature. Also primarily for tracking my training – the watch comes with a free app, which has an abundance of features, but the training feature kind of resembles Map My Run, but better. It helps me to track my times and speed, helping me improve and push harder each time.

Some of the other features include; distance walked/ran, calories burned, active minutes, sleep tracker, text receiving and heart rate tracker. All of these being so helpful when it comes to me tracking both my health and fitness. I’ve recently suffered with heart palpitations, which I’ve been told is linked to my anxiety, my watch helps me to track when this when it is happening, therefore helping me reduce my anxiety, which is brilliant.

Overall the Fitbit has been one of my best investments in a long time, and I’m so glad I splashed out on a nice one rather than a cheap crappy one. If any of you are into fitness, or thinking about getting into it I couldn’t recommend this product highly enough. It’s also very motivating, if you’re someone that struggles with getting up and moving – there are programed alerts to get up and move!

All my love,

Han xx

LONDON BABY

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I think the correct way to start this post off is quoting the famous Joey Tribiani with – ‘LONDON BABY’; if you know what episode I’m referring too you’ve instantly just gone up in my estimations.

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It’s not often I get the chance to head into London, mainly just through having a fairly busy schedule, that and the fact it costs and absolute bomb to get up there for me…£40 for a return on the train hahahahah Southern Rail, are you joking hun? Anyway that aside I recently headed to London for the day with my parents to celebrate my Mums’ 50th birthday – can we all just admire the fact she doesn’t look 50 at all, bloody hope I’ve inherited the good ageing genetics…

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The main reason we popped into London for the day was to visit the Royal Academy of Arts, for their 250th Summer Exhibition. So me being a typical art hoe, I was completely in my element. If you find art boring or it isn’t really your cup of tea, first of all – are u ok??? Secondly, I suggest you read no further, because this is going to be your typical arty farty post of me gawping over some incredible art works.

Having specialised in art/textiles for the past 3 years, and with the intention of pursing it as a career I’m a lover or art galleries and exhibitions. I’m lucky to have very artistic parents, one of them being a graphic designer, and the other just being very good with a set of pencils, I grew up looking around various galleries in London. Granted the first time my Dad took my to an art gallery I was far too young to appreciate it and was probably being a little shit complaining at how bored I was. Luckily, I now can’t get enough of them. I could happily spend all of my spare time walking around art galleries, I really do just go off into my own little world and it’s a very calming experience.

Since specialising I’ve found my style, which is very bold, contemporary and free – the RA  Exhibition exhibited plenty of this sort of style, I was completely in awe of some of the pieces, not to mention how much I was taken aback by their price tags. The painting of the Adidas trainers; £144,000…crazy! I mean, I know art work is expensive, but this really took me by surprise. The exhibition really did have something for everyone, I can’t see how anyone wouldn’t enjoy it. It had everything from contemporary paintings, to mixed media art works, and even architectural pieces.

As I am studying Textiles at university, any time I can get to an exhibition I generally do as I find these really help fuel my creative spark. If I have a bit of a creative artists block, I can guarantee that I’ll leave feeling inspired and with a million and one ideas, this proved when I left the Summer Exhibition. I left feeling inspired, excited and with an abundance of new project and art work ideas, it was a successful trip!

RA Summer Exhibition…A Brief Background 

2018 is a historic year for the RA as it is their foundations 250th birthday. The main objective of the academy being to establish a fine art school funded from the proceeds made at the annual summer exhibition – this year the exhibition being co-ordinated by the one and only Grayson Perry, who if you’ve never heard of before…search him up, please, you won’t regret it. The summer exhibition is a unique one, exhibiting art works from both the general public and also members of the artists trade union all under one roof. I cannot rate this exhibition enough, if you get the chance to go into London and have a look I really would, I loved it so much I’m half tempted to go again just so I can properly appreciate all of the art works.

Once we had wandered around the exhibition, that took us to nearly 3PM, by that point I was getting hangry, I hadn’t eaten since breakfast, so of course I needed feeding. We popped to Pret, I grabbed myself a salad, then we walked back to the RA and sat in the gardens at Burlington house to enjoy our lunch. We picked one of the best days to go to London as it was absolutely boiling, I’m one of the few people that adores this heatwave weather, just wanting to be out in it as much as possible!

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We then took a walk back up to Victoria train station, past Queenies house – which I had a bit of a Megan Markle moment in front of, and I’d be lying if I said 10 years from now I hope to be marrying a prince too. All in all I had a lovely day in London both visiting the exhibition and celebrating my Mums big birthday. Over all too quickly and I can’t wait to get back to London some point soon! I’d love to have some blogger pals to go to London with, to explore all of the generic blogger places, take photos and sip tea, if this sounds like a plan, slide into my DMs x

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All my love,

Han xx

Why Love Island is Certified Bullshit

So aside from the World Cup, the other topic that has been on everyones lips these past few weeks is Love Island. I’m guessing you all know what Love Island is by now – if you don’t, have you been living under a rock or something? But it’s basically another dating dating show (as if there weren’t enough), where the aim of the game is to find love, with the winners winning £50,000.

I won’t lie, Love Island used to be my guilty pleasure, I’d get myself all cotch, tea within reading distance and get way too invested in the love show. But this year I have seen it get quite toxic, glorifying things that shouldn’t be, all to the point where I’ve given up wasting my time watching it and have actually watched the World Cup, shock horror. 

We’ll start with Adam. The one man (if you can even call him that), in this show that can single handedly make my blood boil. When he waltzed into the villa everyone knew from the offset that he was going to be a bit of a cock, lets be honest – so it was no surprise when he turned out to be a massive cock. It was soon common knowledge to everyone watching that Adam was your typical fuckboy, that almost all of us girls have had the unfortunate fate of dealing with. He’s jumped from girl to girl, another 2 and he’ll be able to create his own chorus to Mambo No.5. I see Adam to be a very manipulative guy, the one to make you think you’re in the wrong, when its quite clearly him. This was the first straw with me, the fact a prime time TV show was openly advocating a toxic man and not seeing the problem with it is beyond me.

I have to say the casting crew really haven’t done that well with the men this year, literally every boy in there reminds me of why I don’t trust boys. Apart from Jack, he’s an absolute angel and should be protected at all costs. Everyone else, well they’re all slowly making me lose hope in the male species…

Body image…I’ve struggled with accepting my body pretty much all my life, always being one to pick out flaws, so watching 6 beautiful girls entering the villa is always a hard watch for me – but I tend to be able to look past it. Having said this what I’ve noticed this year, is the girls that all of the guys are going for are so fakes Megan is a perfect example of this, don’t get me wrong, I see nothing wrong with getting plastic surgery, but seeing as every guy in the villa is pretty much drooling over her, no wonder us girls don’t feel good enough as we are. I can’t help but think that if the villa was full of women without any plastic surgery, a range of shapes and sizes, I’m sure I can speak for many girls when I say that we all might feel better about ourselves.

When I watched the show last year, as far as I can remember the producers didn’t seem to do too much medaling with the happy couples in their relationships, but oh no, this year it’s different. Jack and Dani, the current favourites to win, were having the time of their lives until the producers decided to throw Jack’s ex in the mix and also mess around with Danis emotions. We all like a bit of drama on telly, lets not lie, but when someone gets genuinely upset, it just isn’t pleasant to watch. How desperate must they be for views that they have resorted to making people cry on national TV??

Anyway, I think I’ve rambled on enough about Love Island, just writing about it makes me annoyed. Full of toxic men, snakey girls, peachy bottoms and fake boobs. If next years is anything like this years, you can count me out.

What’s your opinion on this years Love Island, I can’t be the only one that has a bit of a bee in their bonnet about the whole thing?!

All my love,

Han xx

Tips For Freshers

Somehow we’ve made it to that point in the year again where freshers week is just around the corner…how that came round I don’t know. But seeing as I moved out and embarked on my first fresehrs experience last year, I think it’s safe to say I learnt a thing or two throughout my first year; so here are a few tips if you’re counting down the days to fly the nest and begin your new chapter…

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Pack Sentimental Items – I’m 19 and I still have the same stuffed rabbit that I have had since I was born, no shame in saying that of course came with me to uni, along with plenty of photos of my favourite memories (and doggo, ofc). For me I moved very far away from home, so packing sentimental things really helped me to settle in and remind me of home.

Be Friendly to Everyone – and I mean everyone. Of course you’re never going to get along with everyone in life, but pretty much everyone is all in the same boat. Moving out for the first time, not knowing people, its all-very daunting. Speak to as many people as you can, and make as many new pals as you can. When I first moved into my flat, one of the first things I did was go and introduce myself to the other flats on my floor, turned out we all got along fairly well and went on many nights out together. So don’t be afraid to go and knock on the other flats and meet your neighbors!

Never Have I Ever…It’s a deadly game, but a great way to break the ice before a night out – it’s one of the best ways to get to know your new friends, a great laugh (this game had me in fits of laughter multiple times) and is definitely an ice breaker, I now have plenty of people walking round Leicester that know far too much about me!

Make The Most of Your Freedom – Make the most of freshers week, it’s the 2 weeks of the year you wont have the looming prospect of deadlines, early lectures and the worry of an emotional breakdown through stress. Alongside this, just make the most of everyday at university, my first year went by so quickly and I wish I had made more of the experience.

Explore the City – (Or town) – Chances are, if you’re reading this your moving away to a new place for the first time, when you get the chance in freshers week go and explore it! Within the first week of me being in Leicester I has sought out the best hot chocolate place and also the best place for porn star martinis…I think that more or less sums me up!

My first year was absolute shambles – break downs, break-ups, tears, self doubt, dropping out, the whole lot, I’ll probably do a post all about my experience at some point. But the most important thing is to just make the most of it because I will put money on you regretting it if you don’t!

All my love,

Han xx

 

What To Do When Your Brain Is Being a Dick

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I’m currently sat in my little room feeling more anxious than I have done in a long time. I’m desperately trying to not question it and let it pass over, but thats easier said than done. I’ve been doing exceptionally well recently, so why this has come over me I don’t know, but here were are and instead of shutting myself off, I’m doing something about it…

It’s not new news that I suffer with anxiety, and it fucking sucks sometimes, ALWAYS – but its one of those things I’m unfortunately always going to have the pleasure of dealing with, as are many other people. I’ve taught myself that its something I just need to accept, and when it comes on bad, like it has done tonight, to just distract myself, accept it, and not question why – this used to be my biggest downfall when it came to dealing with it is I would alway tell myself I wasn’t meant to feel like it, when who says I shouldn’t?

So with anxiety and many other mental health issues being part of my daily life, I thought I’d chat through how I distract myself when I’m having a bad day…

Blogging – We’ll start with the most obvious one for me, blogging, what I’m doing right now to distract myself from that little annoying voice in my head. Since I picked up blogging last year, its been a way for me to express myself in another form. Not only this, but I have met the most wonderful people through my little corner on the internet – which means that when I am feeling particularly bad, like I am tonight, I know that I have so many blogging girls that I can turn to for a good chat to take my mind off things.

Drawing – Put a pen in paper in front of me and I literally zone out completely, I’m in my happy place. I find that drawing particularly helps after I’ve had a panic attack, I’m not sure what it is that it so soothing, but it calms me down so much which is exactly what I need after I’ve worked myself up over something silly.

Running – A little saying that I resonate with massively is “Running saved me from myself”. Had I not picked up running when I did, I can honestly say that I don’t think I would be where I am today. It keeps me sane, takes my mind of things and also is an amazing stress outlet. Once I get into my zone, music on, I’m unstoppable when it comes to running – I have a lot to thank it for. Thanks Dad, for dragging me out training with you when you did x

Reading – One of the best ways to get out of your own head for a while is to get properly stuck into a good book. I’m a lover of crime books, so these are perfect when I need something to take my mind of things. I find it’s sort of like living a life that isn’t really your own for a while – which I like the thought of.

Seeing my friends – If I’m totally honest, going out and seeing people when I am anxious is literally the last thing I want to do, but I always feel better for doing it. Its a tough battle because I know my head doesn’t want me to go out, but I’m so stubborn and I just want to challenge it and prove to myself that I can do things I enjoy without my anxiety stopping me.

Getting myself ready – This might sound like an odd one. But if I wake up feeling anxious, I can’t even bring myself to get ready sometimes – but much like the pushing myself to go out with friends situation, if I force myself to get ready, do my hair, I know I’ll feel so much better for it, and it normally takes my anxiety down a notch too which is what I need to remind myself.

And there we have it, anxiety is a bitch, but it’s part of who I am. Learning to deal with it has been a struggle and a half, I’d be lying if I said at some points I wanted to give up, and some days I still do, but I know that I’m stronger than that. Lets face it, after suffering with my mental health since I was about 6, I’m pretty thick skinned and can get through a lot, stronger on the other side.

I’m intrigued to know how you all keep your mind busy when you get anxious, even if you don’t have anxiety, how do you keep yourself busy during tough times?

All my love,

Han xx