Look, Read, Watch and Follow

photo by cintascotchLOOK … @cintascotch on Instagram

Ever looked at your everyday household objects and wondered if they could be made into some more creative? Have you ever looked at a pair of scissors and seen a ballet dancers legs? No, didn’t think so. But now, thank god, you don’t have to imagine it ever again. ‘Cintascotch’ has done it for you only ten times better. Run by Javier Pérez, this Instagram account is wacky and pretty damn awesome. Pérez says that the most common daily objects appear most attractive to him. “Everything inspires me”, he says.

You might see a bunch or juicy grapes but Pérez sees a handful of balloons, or that paperclip holding your essay together, that’s a trumpet in the eyes of Pérez the household object artist. Amazing.

READ … Freshers’ Fun and Frolics

This is a sweet little blog I stumbled across a while ago whilst I was setting up mine. It tracks the life of a university student in her first year. Maybe it’s not the craziest, most hilarious blog you’ll ever read, but it’s honest and I found myself agreeing with everything the author says. It’s some light, easy to read, procrastination with a cheery style and a few interesting facts thrown in.

Look out for her tips on mastering student life from budgeting and saving money, to getting over homesickness and settling in.

Or, you know, there’s this little awesome blog called hashtagstudentproblems. I hear it’s pretty great… and it’s author *cough* me *cough* is pretty awesome too. Day to day, typical student problems that I’m pretty sure we can all relate to. Have a read and see what you think. Or not. Whatever.

sourcefed-subscribers-600x369WATCH … SourceFed on YouTube

It has to be SourceFed. It was created by Philip DeFranco, so you just know it’s going to be good. If you haven’t seen it, feel ashamed, feel very very ashamed. It’s hilarious, it’s quick witted and it’s even educational. It’s 20 minutes day split into 5 videos about the best, weirdest or most interesting news stories of the day. But the presenters… oh the presenters, they are a-ma-zing!

The original trio of Joe Bereta, Lee Newton and Elliot Morgan was unstoppable and now there’s a whole host of new shows and presenters to keep it fresh and new – Steve Zaragoza is particularly entertaining. They all have their own little quirks and they’re all fabulous. Watch out for Lee Newton’s hysterical obsession with dinosaurs and everyone’s ability to talk super-fast so they can cram everything into their 20 minute daily quota. And once you’ve become addicted to their fast paced videos, look out for their individual YouTube channels. Definitely worth a watch.

5dfcf1d3f8bdfd0f1dc7a1c80006b13a_400x400FOLLOW … Student Problems @ProblemsAtUni 

The one twitter account that perfectly sums up your uni life in just 140 characters. It makes you feel that little bit better about yourself and a little less guilty about all that procrastination you’ve done. It’s perhaps a bit worrying how accurate it is; maybe they’re stealing my tweets…

Created by just another typical student, 19 year old Dom McGregor studies at the University of Manchester and has generated over 124,000 followers since he set it up. If only my procrastination was as productive as that.

It certainly won’t do anything to convince your parents that uni is actually pretty hard. Instead it’ll only confirm their fears that you sleep all day and binge watch Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad instead of ‘working’. But hey, it’s humourous and light hearted.

Plus, with all those exams and deadlines, it’s reassuring to remind myself that I’m not the only student panic revising and living in a little corner of the library. Definitely wish I was sleeping all day and binge watching programs now!



The 6 Housemates You Love to Hate


The Second Year Home

The Second Year Home

Student living isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be. That feeling of freedom quickly turns into dread when you realise you have to do this thing called cooking every day. And what’s washing? That sounds like a lot of effort. But for many, of all the trials and tribulations we students wrestle with every day, it seems there’s one that outdoes them all. That one person that you once wanted to spend every minute of the day with, has become the one you spend every minute of the day trying to avoid: Your so-called friend has become your housemate from hell.

Here are a few examples you might just recognise:

1) The one who borrows money from you and just hopes you’ll forget about it.

We’re students. Our student loan is all we have, so borrow some of it and you’re borrowing part of our souls. Don’t pay us back and we will hunt you down. No exaggeration.

2) The one who smells weird.

They’ll spend the longest in the shower and use all the hot water, yet still emerge looking grubby and smelling worse than when they went in. What even is that? Body odour or gone off milk? Meanwhile, the bath is covered in a thick layer of grime. Maybe I’ll give that shower a miss. I’ll just dab cold water on my face instead…

I’ll do it in a minute…

3) The one who never does any washing up.

That mountain of mouldy dishes will start growing life forms before someone thinks about edging it towards that waterfall of cleanliness that falls from the tap.

God forbid anyone have any cutlery or plates or utensils to cook with. Not even a passive aggressive note will sort this one out.

It’s odd how quickly you adjust to eating your dinner out of a bowl with any form of cutlery available. May I suggest trying a steak knife and a chopstick for a ‘bowl’ of beans on toast. It’s an experience to say the least.

Back away from my food!

4) The one who thinks it’s okay to eat all your food.

“Oh sorry, I thought that really expensive piece of steak was mine” or “Oh I thought you bought that bottle of French wine for me, oops”.

Cleaning products? What the hell are they?

5) The one who never does any cleaning.

And my Mum thought I was messy! Apparently (or so I’ve heard) some guys think they’re best off living with girls because they’ll have someone ‘to clean up after them’. Nope. Don’t think you’ve got that right. Try again. But rest assured, if they do have an out of body experience and start tidying away all their endless shit, they’ll decide to do it at 2am, the day before an exam, when you’re trying to sleep.

6) The one who plays ridiculously loud music at the most inconsiderate times of the day.

Your music is rubbish and nobody wants to hear it. I will send you passive aggressive texts to get you to turn it down and you will not like it. Deal with it.

I think I can see a plate in there somewhere…

Sound familiar to anyone?

If it doesn’t and you’ve managed to avoid these housemate horrors, I applaud you for navigating the mind field of student living successfully and reaching housemate heaven.

But take a minute and feel for those of us who have that one housemate who manages to encompass every types of housemate. How? I do not know but, somehow, they make it possible for you to hate them 6 times over.

So I Made a Magazine…

For a recent module on my degree, one of the final assessments was to create your own magazine. Probably the best module I’ve ever taken, and definitely the only time I’ll ever say I enjoyed an assessment.

Using my Photoshop and In Design skills and in true predictable style, I opted to create a student based publication called ‘Studentypical’. Typical. Student. Stereotypical. Get it? Yeah, I know, it sounded a lot better in my head.

I’m actually pretty damn proud of it and I spent a gazillion hours writing and making it (you may recognise a few of the articles), so without further ado, here’s the finished product.

Any feedback or comments on it would be greatly appreciated.

Unfortunately WordPress doesn’t let you embed cool stuff like this, so instead, click on the link below and head to the mystical site of Issuu.com. (If possible, look at it on a computer rather than your phone, otherwise it doesn’t show up properly)


The Uni Summer Ball Take Two

photo (2)Summer ball 2014. The one night of the year when students dust off their suits, probably the same one from prom night, and discover that there is an iron lurking in the, what’s it called? Cleaning cupboard?

There’s always that fear that the months of anticipation will result in a massive anti climax, but this year, for me at least, it was a resounding success. I’ll be brutally honest: I wasn’t that fussed about who was on stage or what music was playing and perhaps I was a bit too intoxicated to even realise what tent I was in but, for me the night was more about saying goodbye to those who had finished uni, those I10462930_10154222863405263_6155561794303247763_n wasn’t sure when I’d next see. #Emotional.

The night was more about the pre-drinking in front of the library and those unorganised group pictures of everyone laughing and joking and reminiscing about last year.

The event itself, as always, was very well organised. The hours that must have gone into preparing and setting it up are unimaginable. A thanks to the organisers and staff is definitely needed.

10352928_10203175770849269_8873376278044448277_nThe dodgems were a highlight but my now bruised and battered body suggests I may have a bit of road rage to sort out. The Pimms stand was a nice summery addition, but only because it had the shortest queue. I admit, I didn’t even attempt buying a drink inside the tents; I learnt from last years mistakes.

The atmosphere inside the tent really was insane. Plenty of bumping into friends and “Oh my god, how are you”s to be had. Zane Lowe was a particular favourite, as immersed in the music as every student and clearly having a good time.

As Kent Union predicted, I did lose most of my friends, I did have to take my heels off and I did take a gazillion (mostly blurry) photos but I did definitely have a great time. As always, a great end to the year.

Dublin: An Irish Adventure

The Student Travel Guide

Dublin: The friendliest, most welcoming city I’ve visited, crammed full of endearing Irish charm. And Guinness, lots of Guinness. But being the birth place of that weird burnt flavoured stout is just the tip of what Dublin has to offer, and it is pretty kind on us students too.

ImageThe Ultimate “Hey look at me! I’m a tourist!” Trip
The Hop On Hop Off Sight Seeing Bus: No, it’s not the coolest way to travel, but yes, it will get you where you want to go. It’ll certainly minimise the amount of time you spend emptying the contents of your rucksack to find your overly large tourist map from your “Dublin: Top 10 attractions” guide (remember Joey from Friends getting inside his map trying to explore London?). Its €18 for two days and I was genuinely surprised at how many sights there were to see. It takes you on two different routes, one around the main city and one around the docks, pretty good value for money if you use it as your main form on transport.

And unlike the tours in London, Paris and Rome (yes, I’ve unashamedly done them all) you get a live commentary from every jolly bus driver. I would honestly pay the €18 just for the chance to listen to that charming Irish accent and listen to their self-deprecating jokes. Don’t try and imitate the accent though, it’s just downright awkward.

The “I’m guaranteed to get a free drink” Tourist AttractionImage
Before I left for Dublin, I really thought I would give the legendary Guinness Storehouse a miss. I don’t like Guinness, at all; although I probably wouldn’t run through the crowded streets of Dublin yelling such an obscenity. I really didn’t think this attraction would be for me. But to be honest, there’s a reason it has been voted the top attraction to see in the city time and time again. It’s actually really interesting, it’s well set out and packed with surprising facts along the way. Three hours later and we still hadn’t reached the top floor. From food tasting to the history of the company’s advertising, you get a (literal) taste of what the Guinness brand really is.
e it to the fifth floor and you’ll get the chance become a master in the art of pouring the drink itself. Being a highly skilled bar assistant at the one and only Kent Union nightclub, Venue (N.B. the previous statement may be an exaggeration of the truth) obviously meant I didn’t need my pint pouring qualification (or rather I couldn’t be bothered to wait in the queue). But I guess if you haven’t had the pleasure of pouring your first pint, spilling it everywhere and carrying around the luscious odour of “Eau de Beer” all night, then it’d be worth a go. I hear you even get a certificate for all your effort (ooh la-di-da).

The pinnacle of the trip though, has to be the seventh floor Gravity Bar with 360 degree views of Dublin. And as promised, every ticket to the storehouse includes a free pint of Guinness or a soft drink if you’re under 18 (or can’t handle your ale like me). All in all, a must see attraction.

The “I’m trying to be all educated and knowledgeable” Tourist Attraction
Perhaps not the happiest hour of my life but a tour around Kilmainham Gaol is my number one attraction and for a student it costs just €2! It felt very much like being in Shawshank Redemption (but as a child, I did want to be an actress, so I guess this is the next best thing). The former prison saw countless leaders of Irish rebellions come and go with many being executed for their crimes. Seeing the cells and the places of execution was really fascinating. Maybe I need to get out more, but I love all the gory historical stuff. The tour guide literally knew everything about the history of the gaol and I’m still in shock that it only cost €2! Definitely worth a visit.

The Stereotypical “AImagect like an Irishman” Night Out
The Irish are renowned for their drinking and dancing, with over 1000 bars and restaurants in Dublin alone. If you want to find the hub of city on any given night, head to Temple Bar, a collection of typically Irish bars and clubs; every single one of them with a live band usually playing some traditional Irish tunes.

And you can guarantee there’ll be a raucous gathering of rather tipsy Irish men and women doing some weird jigging and jumping around in front of the band. I’m reliably informed that this is called “Irish Dancing” (Yeah… sure). Just one tip though, if you’re planning to get a little merry, stick to the beers and ales (probably Guinness to be on the safe side). What were essentially two shots of Malibu and a can of coke cost us over €16! Bloody cheek. But they’re just so humble and friendly, how could you argue with an Irishman?

The “Other bits and bobs I forgot to mention”Image
If you end up at the docks, stop off and have a quick look at the theatre. As I’ve mentioned before, it;s worth seeing if there are any cut price tickets left for that night. €25 to see War Horse for a seat that would cost you upwards of £60 in London. Bargain! Absolutely incredible play if anyone’s interested. (Watch out for a review in the near future).

If it’s shopping you want head to Grafton Street, but (for me) even better, go when the shops are closed and the street en
tertainers come out. There’s a truly amazing atmosphere at night. Or in the day, on the same street, try out afternoon tea at Bewley’s with a view over the shoppers’ hustle and bustle.

And for some more cultural beauty, head to the Phoenix Park to see where the President sleeps at night. Pretty impressive house but no matter how long we waited,he didn’t invite us in for a cuppa. Not as friendly as we first thought then.
Whatever it is you want to do, Dublin probably has it. All I need now is one of those I love Dublin t-shirts and a stuffed leprechaun to cuddle at night. Irish Adventure complete!