Pinch me, I’m blogging for The Telegraph

Apologies to those of you who have had to listen to me ramble and squeal about this for the last two months, but for those of you who missed it… I recently started writing for The Telegraph Student Life Blogs! They’re articles that fit perfectly with the theme of my blog so I thought it would be nice to share them with you too.

Below, the images are links to each article, so get clicking. Feedback and comments are greatly appreciated. Thank you to everyone to has read or shared my articles already. You’re, wait for it… “Simply the best!”

Forget the degree; this is what university is for
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The eight university students you love to hate

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Coffee Shop Cosiness

Photo by Alaric King

Photo by Alaric King

I felt inspired to write today, for the first time in ages and it got me thinking. Uni life, especially third year, and especially two weeks before the end of term can be beyond stressful. I don’t think I’ve slept properly in weeks, my head is all over the place and I feel like I’m ambling aimlessly through one day to the next. I feel on edge all the time and I hate it. So that’s why everyone needs to find that one place where you feel comfortable and relaxed. It’s important to get away from the stress and just give yourself a break. And no, I don’t mean the silent area of the library. I mean somewhere so detached from uni that you can escape the campus bubble and remember what it felt like to live without deadlines. Here’s what happened when I found mine:

Today, I found my own little slice of heaven. And it was glorious.

Having bravely ventured into the center of Canterbury on the first Saturday of December, I felt overwhelmed, suffocated and incredibly claustrophobic. I needed to get out of there. So I walked, and I kept walking until I found my new home.

A quaint, hidden away, cosy coffee shop. It was peaceful and secluded and cut off from the Christmas crazed shoppers outside. With a coffee and my writing journal, I sat back and just wrote.

For the first time in months, I didn’t feel stressed. I actually felt happy.

It’s one small room laid out like someone’s living room (with a till and a coffee machine in the middle), with snug sofas and dining tables where we all huddled round and wondered if we were sat next to the next great author. Who knows. But it felt like an exclusive little club of people, all content that they had found this small haven in among Canterbury’s mishmash of shops and cobbled streets.

I love this small, homely city, but now I really truly love it. Now I have found somewhere that I can relax and look forward to visiting.

Today, I sat among writers and workers, busily scribbling thoughts and ideas into their journals. It made me smile and there seemed to be some kind of unspoken pleasantness and understanding between us all. A brief warm smile or a small nod of the head as if to say, “I understand. This is my heaven too.” As bizarre and cliched as it sounds, I felt like I’d finally found people like me, who shared the same thoughts and understood why I was there but without needing to question me. They left me to it and let me write away to my heart’s content.

Now there’s no way I’m giving you the name or location of this haven because it’s all mine and I feel I can be selfish about it and not share it. But I suggest you go and find your slice of heaven, hold on to it and never let it go.

Now back to reality, and that dreaded library. Deadlines await!

Black Friday: “We’re consumed by desire and greed”

It’s Black Friday; it’s half price; it’s the last TV in the shop and you’re not the only one who wants it. What do you do?

You fight to the death. You don’t leave that shop until you’re dragging that TV out the door with your bloodied teeth. Right?

Well the scenes of Black Friday would certainly make you think so.

It’s the latest unwelcome tradition from across the pond and apparently we’ve fallen head over heels for it. We all love a good bargain; I’ll be the first to admit that. But this. This was unbelievable. And there’s never any excuse for such barbaric behaviour.

I watched countless videos of human beings morphing into animals, and the most unevolved ones at that, brawling over electricals. Lions and cheetahs fight over the watering hole, over their next mate or over the remains of a carcass: water, life and food. We fight over TVs, mobile phones and iPads.

And what’s worse is that I wonder how many of those crazed shoppers know the real origins of ‘Black Friday’. One highly debated, but recognised understanding of the phrase is that it was once the day after Thanksgiving, when slave traders would sell off their slaves for a discount. Half-price sale doesn’t have the same meaning now does it?

Essentially, by buying into this craze, we’re advocating a racist tradition and reducing the value of a human being to the value of a trivial material possession. It’s just plain offensive.

And so what if you can’t afford a full priced TV? Who needs a TV to survive? Look around; why not have a conversation with the people sat with you instead. Watching scenes of people clambering to discounts they didn’t need, it felt like we’d taken another step towards becoming completely consumed by desire and greed and I for one refuse to follow.

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.

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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!