Home is where the heart is…

IMAG0183Its weird because this time last year in my first year as November approached I found myself already thinking about where to live next. I did the typical first year on campus with the convenience of a weekly cleaner, daily bin removals, and the comfort of my friends being a few floors away.

This year things have completely changed. I live of campus in a house with friends…which is what all my other friends have done…but again already in my mind I’m thinking what am I doing next year?

Pro’s- Halls and Accommodation on Campus

1) Convenience – Waking up late and never worrying about lateness
2) Ease of access- Close proximity to city centre and broad street, brindley place and all the best Birmingham has to offer
3) Warm- Close to friends
4) Lack of commuting
5) Safety- These student designed places often have security which makes you feel safer etc

Pros of an off campus house
1) New setting and environment that can often be a breath of fresh air after lectures and hectic practicals
2) Cost its often cheaper despite the £400ish one of cost for a bus ticket
3) Freedom to live with friends although this can be done on campus in the ASV too
4) Opportunity to explore
5) Literally a home away from home. Instead of scanning and lifts and stuff at my house this year I feel warm and cosy and really at home.

But everyone is different. We all want different things, one thing for sure is that my friends preferred to stay on campus but it something we all think about… Aston is really helpful in finding accommodation with the student union pad, the hub etc.

UPDATE!

On reflection I cant quite decipher why I am unable of coming up with a normal title and sticking to it. Lets stick with UPDATES…a bit dramatic maybe but now that I have you here …

Hey all. 

I have just finished my last lecture from this first week. I’m tired, excited, urm anxious, confused …let me explain.

Tired

So entering second year I looked at my timetable and my oh my I could have collapsed at the sight. Most of my days except Wednesdays are 9-5 with a one hour break. So having had four months of doing nothing…well a less structured routine…it was hard getting back into the swing of things! However it is possible I assure you.

Excited 

Again sitting in my lecture day dreaming a bit I found myself realising the importance of my first year lectures. Lucky me! I attended them all and therefore had a vague idea of what was going on. But also what excited me was stuff I came across at GCSE and A level also got mentioned 😀 *happydays*

I have also been meeting so many people. People I recently met through my university society, family members I hadn’t seen in YEARS, reuniting with my flatmates from last year and coursemates the list goes on. Even tonight I will be having dinner with a few friends. I guess it seems like there is a positive correlation between increasing workload and social demands…I’m excited to see what the future holds!

Anxious

Will I cope! Oh wait …I actually have to cope 😛 The great thing about Aston is the support is wonderful. I for have amazing friends and coursemates for whom I am eternally grateful. In the face of anxiety about workload, anxiety about time management we have support in the library, in the students union which really does help.

Confused

Life is like that isn’t it! As a student its the thought of what should I be doing and when should I be doing it. To be honest the future is uncertain. We often make plans but as was said in Of mice and Men ” the best laid schemes of man often go askew”. So yeah I know what I want to be doing and when…whether or not that will happen is totally out of my control. As someone who has grown up with faith and religion I guess I’m going to sit back and what happens happens for a reason. But what is within my control e.g. revision, making time for friends, eating healthy, visiting family back home…I will do.

So this weekend is to just chill and lay back. I think the song below describes how I’m hoping it will be this weekend. Enjoy! 

 

Student Guide to Aston Part II

IMAG0191
#firstwalkinbrum #library #beautiful #takenbyme!

One thing that bugged me this time last year was …why was I starting so late…it seemed as if by mid September most of my friends had packed, said their goodbyes and were off to start the new and exciting life that came with university.
I envisioned my closest friends living it up and couldn’t wait to be exchanging stories and other stuff.
And yet one thing uni teaches you is with new experiences and settling time seems to fly such that the people you once help dear and spoke to endlessly became people that got the odd text at holidays..but hey thats a conscious choice!

Accommodation

So part 2 will be talking about the moving in details! Its common that first years would live in Halls *squeals with excitement*. At Aston we call it the student village! Its the most close nit warm and homely place ever.
I lived in James Watt last year which is one of the four bits that make up Astons student village, I was met and welcomed by people from other flats as well as my own. My flat and I would often go to the common room which is where I got to meet one of my closest friends and he is AWESOME. Aston accommodation is perfect because they have tolleys and a friendly face to help move your stuff from car to room.
They have Aston aunties who encourage you to socialise and ensure everything is okay, so really any anxiety and nerves about living need not be there because even if you forget toilet roll there is a Tesco on campus for ease and convenience!

Events

To be honest I went with the flow of what was going on in my first week. I know for the first day after I had said my hello’s I felt the need to explore. I remember walking around Birmingham allowing myself the opportunity to potentially get lost but being taken aback by the size, the smells. the volume of people all around! Take it as it comes, dont be afraid of anything go out, socialise that week is perfect to realise and take in the new environment and let go of any anxieties and insecurities because is the perfect place for anyone and you will never be out of place!

Societies

This year I am VP for one of the societies, keep an eye out if you are there 😉 So I will be arranging events such as the acoustic night with my society which I am SUPER EXCITED about. I bought a new guitar with the hope of being able to sing and play !
Societies come in all shapes and sizes, at Aston we have something around 100 societies each of which is unique and has different personalities that meet to share a common interest. It is more than okay and I would advice to join more that one, to attend the meetings or events when you can and get to know more people #networking. For some you do pay others you can try before you buy! But either way I recall the hive of activity on Freshers sunday and signing up to so many societies which is where I found a large number of my friends!

 

I guess I like to keep things short and sweet 🙂 the aim will be to look at courses lectures seminars and what all these foreign words potentially mean when you start of Uni!
But I think day one and week one are awesome to redefine yourself of maybe rediscover yourself. Its an opportunity to explore unchartered territory and Aston for me offered the right environment the right feel…#TeamAston!!

Student Guide to Aston Part I

2014-06-12 12.09.34As I write this I want to be fully confident and articulate myself with the wisdom that comes from nineteen years of being on planet earth and blah blah blah.
And yet I realise I genuinely don’t know much and have so much to learn yet! I have in my possession a years worth of pharmaceutical knowledge. I study pharmacy …
A years worth of living away from home…about to add another ..
A years worth of beautiful memories

Ladies and gents I am excited to welcome you to my student guide to Aston. My little Gem of Birmingham, and my second home. Aston university is nestled right in the centre of Birmingham which is a live and thriving city I will discuss in a few blogs to come.

Convenience at your door

One thing Aston has is the perfect location and the perfect size and the perfect student atmosphere. Aston is that place that has it all at your door step. The high end fashion shops are only a few minutes walk away, places to get your groceries …also a few minutes walk away. The ideal venues to go out on a friday night are also a few minutes walk away…what more could one ask for. Astons location omits the stress of having to get buses to go and have a good time or to go and do the weekly shop. I always found myself heading to the city centre for some retail therapy not because I was stressed but simply because I could…its that close!

Atmosphere

 Aston has this unique feel I cant really explain, but I have felt its absence during the summer holidays. I can recall the 8:50 rush as we all made our way to lecture, the 12:00 wave of people exchanging between lectures and lunch, the 9:00pm laughter as we all prepared to go out on a friday…or whatever other day of the week when there was a student event 😛 . I think the atmosphere is neither threatening nor intimidating in fact its welcoing and warm! You will never feel out of place.

Shoes 

Aston is home to people from many walks of life. I once watched this project where it showed that we all wear different shoes, some old, some new, some comfortable some not, some colour…some not. Regardless of this…each pair of shoes shows that we are all different. we have walked and come from different paths, and yet we are a single united community. Thats what I love about Aston. So many shoes, so many stories, and yet a single thriving community.

 

I guess maybe in the next we will explore the day one experience, societies and other random stuff including my course, but maybe the take away message for today from would be I really enjoyed coming to Aston. Some would say its small but they say the best things come in the smallest of packages and thats what makes me love Aston that little bit more 😉

 

Summer…lessons…life

Just so you know…my summer song officially became waves after my 4 weeks work as a mentor with young people aiming to come to Uni. The reason I started with filling you in on this is because I am that person that has a song for every moment. It helps me remember stuff. This song became the song my young played as we did what we did but thats all explained below.

 

It was my intention this year that come what may I would have a summer job. University made me think about using my time more wisely. They say university will give you the best years of your life and for sure my first year seems to have flown by. So my advice is enjoy every minute of everyday doing what you love, painting memories onto the blank canvas that is life, such that when you look back you just think WOW!

I worked as a youth mentor. This was a really unique opportunity that helped me gauge how much Aston had helped me morph into this confident outgoing creature with leadership skills 😉 …Thanks Aston lol

On a serious note I was dealing with a group of young people looking to me for advice and sound judgement as they went to fundraise and raise awareness for Leicester Hospitals charity. Their aim was to raise a portion of £60,000 with my help …little old me
We did it. We raised awareness and stood busking in the centre of Leicester of Leicester as crowds passed by as we made melodies to Bob Marleys’ One love, Rihanna’s We found love …
We stood and held a mini cake sale in Boots, and a raffle in Matalan passionate for a cause we chose, determined to rise above above all odds. I take this opportunity to shout out to my amazing team!

Having finished I look back and I realise that university is an opportunity to learn not only academic information, but information about yourself!
The way you work, what you are passionate about. I thoroughly enjoyed, and ultimately I now miss, my summer job.
I learnt to lead, from the group work we had to do and present as part of a pharmacy module, I learnt organisation w2014-08-27 15.42.07hen I realised that my pre lab questions needed to be completed on time or else I would get the mark, I learnt the value of being outgoing because you should never be under the illusion that University will never have people who share the same common ground as you, I learnt to be myself and to love me as me and as I did my summer job I now look back to this time last year, and the me that had the ultimate summer job…my oh my what a change a year can make 🙂

First Aston Summer Holiday

#Ayr #Scotland #Summer
#Ayr #Scotland #Summer

I guess Summer came for me when I officially received my results to my house in the post. Although the results were released online, it wasn’t official for me until 2 days or so later the envelope stamped Aston university came with a wodge of my results transcript.

So far it had been endless days of catching up with Game of Thrones,  a four week summer job mentoring but after that the highlight for me so far…. my road trip to Scotland came!!. I think I have had my license for just over a year but never have I driven for as long as I did on the way to Scotland. It was filled with all the advice from the experienced drivers ” Don’t exceed the speed limit” “slow and steady” ” Take plenty of breaks”. I would like to think I listened to most of them :P.

With my mum backseat driving, the car packed full of suitcases, my auntie and cousin also joining us this was surely going to be a journey to remember!

4am struck and my alarm went off. I remember frantically sticking bags in the boot, yelling to wake everyone up..I mean who  would  really want to get caught up in the Monday morning rush hour traffic?

5am, and I had everyone getting into the car, saying their prayers for the 300 mile Journey ahead haha. I guess looking back when I had my first lecture Monday 9am *story for another day* -shy little me- I never saw myself being capable of doing that 6 hour journey. Its all part of this journey where I am learning more about myself and I guess it all began when I came to uni.

But yeah… Scotland was fun! We didnt get lost, except on the way back when we went up to Glasgow and bewildered by the enormity of the roads I missed my turn. However it has been a fun summer. 7 nights, most o f them rain filled, a beach 5 minutes walk from our accommodation, and really cool accents.

 

What more could I ask for ? Now the prep for going back to Aston slowly…and I mean very slowly …begins. 😛

The Little Turtle :)

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe the ideal blog would be an insight into the greatest thing about uni and what it teaches you but maybe we can save that for another day.

Sooo… amidst the seemingly daunting aspect of eternal loneliness, inability to make  new friends, exams that mean you wont sleep at all, getting lost on your first day of lectures, even knowing what exactly a lecture will be …
To me university opens doors and creates a new mind-set of challenge adventure, growth, learning to love, to have fun, to try out new things, speak to people who on a day to day basis you wouldn’t speak to, go for a walk without map… excited to see what exactly is out there, what food, smells and potentially awkward encounters await LOL! 😛

So I guess maybe this first blog is a little introduction into my world and my experience, and the impact my first year has had on me. I can say that as I write this, university taught me to be a bit open. I guess you could call me the turtle that emerged from its nice… cosy…safe and sheltered shell, to a world that …wasn’t so bad, scary…maybe big but all the more exciting.

I was and maybe I still am, a little bit of an introvert but I can surely say maybe this turtle Is slowly starting to emerge from the shell and thats not really a bad thing!

Before coming I was advised to aim high and keep going to me Aston Uni is BEST UNI EVERRRR!
Lesson 1 on life at Aston : Don’t be shy to step out and try new things!