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Revision Revision Revision

Hello all. 

It’s coming up on exam time, and I am knee deep in some serious revision. As such, I thought it would make sense to share a few of my top tips to make it less stressful and as interesting as it can posssibly be. 

  1. Flash cards are your friend!Different colours and sizes can help visualisation as well as condensing your notes into more manageable chunks. 
  2. Lecture schedules. Ticking off a lecture schedule helps you ensure that there aren’t notes missing or areas you’ve forgotten to revise. 
  3. Past papers. Going through exam style questions can help you get in the mindset. Also, it helps cement knowledge to write down the answers to the areas you’ve been revising. 
  4. Keep a well organised folderDividers and typed up notes help keep things clear in your mind. It’s good to separate subjects in your folder and head. 
  5. Draw diagrams Drawing diagrams can help you visualise difficult areas. If there are things that you just have to learn (such as the arteries above) it’s good to cover the answers and check that you’re right. (Going back to the good old days of year 1 doing “look, cover, write, check”.)

I hope my whistle stop tour of what helps me get through exams helps you out too. 

All the best,

Felicity 

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Uncategorized

Staying at home is great too!

Hello,

University has been busy, busy, busy recently. Deadlines keep approaching and everyone is hard at work. 

I’ve met many prospective students around the uni at open days, and many of them are dubious about living with their parents whilst at uni. 

For many people university is a chance to gain some independence. But I chose to stay at home, and it was certainly the best decision for me. I still have independence, I commute into the city, I’m in charge of my time and my finances. But when I get home I can cuddle my pets, there’s food in the fridge and I’m surrounded by countryside and peace and quiet. 

Staying at home isn’t for everyone, but moving out also isn’t for everyone. It’s good to weigh up the pros and cons and find what suits you. It’s not true that you don’t get ‘the university experience’ by living at home. Plus you can save money up for a home of your own, like I’m doing. 

I hope you make the right decision for you. 

Felicity

(I’d miss their cute little faces too much) 

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Coursework, Future, Student, Study, Time Management, Uncategorized, Uni Life

Tackling the Dreaded Dissertation

I shall begin by letting you know my dissertation is almost definitely different to yours. Mine is split into two halves, both worth 50% of my final grade. My first half, a 10,000 word creative piece, was due in December. The final half is my essay, due at the end of April, like most other courses. Luckily this submission is only 5,000 words!

Having already done the bulk of it in December and receiving a good mark in January I feel I am in a good position to discuss how to tackle them! I am well on my way to finishing my first draft of April’s submission now and am finding myself with even more tips for the essay.

1. Start early!

You will hear stories about the girl who did it in 16 hours and still managed a 2:1. Okay, maybe that girl was super-woman and managed it but chances are she’s lying. Start reading and making odd notes over the summer between second and third year. Buy a journal/notebook and start noting things down – potential questions, interesting points on the subject area, a little reading list, the occasional quote you’ve found, chapters of particularly useful books (ANYTHING).

2. Read! Read! Read!

You cannot write if you do not read. Start collecting some useful books or at least titles you can look up. Use the library website to search for books, journals and articles which may be of use and write them down in your notebook. Print articles off and get highlighting! Once you’ve done the reading you can start the writing. Little and often, little and often.

3. Pick something you’re genuinely interested in.

This is so so important. How on earth are you going to write 10,000+ words on something you don’t care about?! Don’t dread writing your dissertation because you aren’t interested in what you’re writing about – that’s no fun! Pick a topic which you can’t wait to find out more about, pick something you are motivated to research and make your essay something you’d want to read. Don’t see it as a chore but as something you actually want to do. I am excited to learn more about my subject. The beauty of dissertations is that you can pretty much do whatever you want, within reason. You can tailor your research and question to a topic which you are enthused by.

4. Do the bibliography as you go along. 

DO NOT leave the bibliography until the end. It will seem like such a chore! Portsmouth has an absolutely incredible referencing tool – so good that other Universities use it! So make the most of it! If you haven’t got to grips with it yet this tool is sure to help you – it’s a real life saver. You can compile your bibliography before even writing your essay. Every time you read something put it in your bibliography, fully referenced. That way, when you are writing in your essay, it’s already there ready and done. You can always keep adding to it and if you find you don’t read a source you thought you would then just take it out.

5. Make a note of where you found quotes.

This is crucial and I, along with many others, have fallen into this trap too many times. I was determined not to make life difficult for myself with this ever-so-important assignment. When you find a quote and copy it into your journal or word document ensure that you know the author, date and page number for citing. There is nothing more frustrating than having a perfect quote but no idea where you found it, or knowing it’s somewhere in a 500+ page book with no hope of tracking it down again without reading the entire thing cover to cover. If you don’t make note of where you got it, that quote will then be unusable and wasted.

6. Book as many tutorials as you possibly can.

All courses are different. With some you may only be able to show one draft, but with others there may be a lot more flexibility. I was able to book pretty much unlimited tutorial slots and took full advantage of this. The more feedback you have before the final submission, the more likely you are to do well.

7. Create a document or page in your journal with loads of useful quotes divided into sections/topics to use at ease when you are writing.

I have found this to be so immensely helpful. Whilst writing now if I need a quote I just consult my document with all my useful sources in. I simply copy and paste the most relevant one out of my already carefully selected quotes. Making this document is a good place to start before you actually begin writing because that way you have everything already ready and set out for you.

8. Take breaks!

The beauty of starting early means you have lots and lots of time. It is so important to take regular breaks away from you work so you can come back to it with fresh eyes and a clear mind. It will be much easier to proofread and to improve it if you’ve taken a step back. Work on it solidly for a week then leave it be for a week and come back to it. Breaks are incredibly healthy and will make the process feel a lot more natural and easy.

Good luck everyone, if you’re halfway through yours now or you’re just looking to get an early start on next years!

It is with a heavy heart that I remind you this is likely to be the last thing you will ever write for submission at the University of Portsmouth. Enjoy it!

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Health, Home, Student, Uni services

‘It’s okay not to be okay’

Often around this time of year people get homesick, the peril of freshers has blown over, a routine kicks in, deadlines approach, days are rather short, the weather’s rather gloomy and it’s easy to find yourself stressed to the max and a little down in the dumps.

Just Remember…

“it’s okay not to be okay”

Not everyday is going to be a great day. But there are sure to be many wonderful great fabulous days. And if you’re ever finding it hard to cope don’t be afraid to seek help and support! You are not alone…

Family

  • You may be hundreds (maybe thousands) of miles apart but technology these days means they’re only a phone call or text away. Be sure to stay in contact. And if you find yourself with a couple days off or a long weekend, why not give them a surprise visit?

Friends

  • Plan a few days/nights out every few weeks. Whether it’s as a reward for finally finishing that piece of coursework or just a break from revision. Nothing beats a good time with your friends.

Uni

  • Our university has an amazing Health and Wellbeing service. Having used it myself, I personally found it very useful. They offer one-off workshops and longer courses on topics relevant to students such as mindfulness and dealing with emotions and stress. They also provide a range of online resources, the staff are lovely and friendly and it’s absolutely free!!! So if you’re interested in personal development, want some advice or guidance or are feeling rather stressed out i’d recommend giving it a try!

ALSO

This Wednesday the University Wellbeing Service hosts the ‘Wellbeing Festival’ which will include a variety of activities and lots of information!

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More Information:

Information on individual topics

List of upcoming workshops this term

On a slightly lighter note we’re half way through the term. YAY! A well earned break is closer than you think.

Happy Monday,

Antonette

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Uncategorized

Doughnut Vs Dissertation

Hello all!

I’m back from placement and already well back into the swing of things. 

It’s February of my second year at university and already we are starting the formalities of 3rd year dissertation projects, and I am loving it so far. 

The best thing about your university dissertation is that it is YOUR project, it embodies your ideas and opinions. You can make it about whatever interests you. 

My lecturer gave me a top tip: buy a note book that is solely for your project. Everytime you make a search online or in a book, make a note of when, where and what you found. It makes it so much easier to compile everything at a later date. This can be applied to any essay or assignment (I certainly wish I’d known  it for my A-levels). Plus if you get yourself a new and smart looking, notebook, it encourages you to keep things neat and legible. 

I’d better get back to it!

Felicity 🙂 

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Home, Reflection, Student, Uni Life

“What’d I miss?!”

As some of the eagle-eyed amongst you may have realised, the title of one of the songs from the musical “Hamilton”, which recently I have become absolutely OBSESSED with. I can wrap “Guns and Ships” almost perfectly and know near enough 70% of the words to the rest of the musical. However, some of you may also have noticed I haven’t blogged since November…last year…. I could make lots of excuses but the main reason has been that work in year 2 is a whole step up from that in year 1. The course this year contains a number of group projects so you can see why I have been slightly stressed and away! So in case, you were asking me….”What’d I miss?!” I thought I would share a few photos and things that I have been up to since November last year!

In November I turned 20… I was very thankful to have a very long birthday as I celebrated with my family and friends. For my party, I wanted to unleash my inner child so we headed to Playzone in Hilsea which was amazing!  We got the train and then walked which was a lot cheaper and a lot easier than getting a taxi and I would highly encourage it if you want to go but are a little low on money! I also managed to beat my nerves and go down the red slide, which was very scary but I would definitely do it again!

 

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My birthday “Millie’s Cookie”!

The lead up to Christmas was slightly mad, to say the least, but was probably the most enjoyable time so far! I was lucky enough to present the “Bingo” section at the Annual Members Meeting with Andy, the science faculty rep! It was good fun and I loved my time on the stage!

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Every weekend in December I disappeared back home to present “Radio Christmas”, a charity radio station that raises money for “Street Kids Direct Uk”. It was great to be back on the radio every weekend for two hours on my show that I named, “Tinsel and Tunes!”. The radio station was created in somebody’s house which was a very new to me  but an amazing experience  nonetheless and I want to thank everyone at Radio Christmas for their support and feedback!

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In the studio for Radio Christmas.

When I left University for Christmas and finally settled at home, the run-up to Christmas seemed longer than usual, but maybe the 5-year-old in me was still too excited!! I could write a whole blog post about the run up to Christmas and the days themselves but what I can say is that they were amazing and I was very lucky and grateful! I was so excited to see all my family, some who I do not get to see that regularly at all so was great to catch up with them. Below is a photo from Olympia the international horse show. Being a horse rider myself this always gives me so much enthusiasm and inspiration for the sport.

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Olympia- the horse show.

 

This year I am aiming to get fitter and healthier and beat my time in the Great South Run from last year and jump more confidently and higher on horses.

I will try and get back into a routine with this blogging businesses but until next time…

Rhi

🙂

 

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Future, Job hunting, Student, Uni services

Purple Door Are So Underrated

If you are a student at the University of Portsmouth there is no way you’ve got this far and not heard about Purple Door. Just in case you have managed to miss their existence altogether (really where have you been?) Purple Door offer support to students, and even graduates, on career planning, work experience, volunteering, part-time jobs, placements, business startup and graduate jobs. They will do anything from helping you find a little job for a few hours a week, to just chatting about what you think you might want to do, to helping you write or polish up a CV, to working towards that all-important application to your dream graduate job.

The classic phrase I seem to come back to time and time again is I am a worrier by nature. I am a worrier by nature and so the idea of graduating in a few short months is just terrifying! I am so scared of ending up with no job or, perhaps even worse, a job I absolutely can’t stand and feel trapped in. I don’t want to be living off my parents in my childhood bedroom for the next 10 years. I am determined to succeed!

So, last week I went to Purple Door. I had been once before to discuss part-time work but it had only been rather brief. You can book in-depth 40 minute meetings for careers advice and the like but also it is probably easier to just walk in. On both occasions I have just walked in. They’ll ask for your student number and name and then you’ll sit and wait for a couple of minutes whilst someone becomes available.

The man I spoke to was incredibly patient and listened to me babble about my uncertain future. I had brought in a recent CV which I knew needed a little makeover. I thought this would help him to assess where I needed to go from here before applying for jobs, in terms of experience. He went through it thoroughly, bit by bit and we redrafted a new one.

He told me that the nature of my field means I can’t start applying yet. Employers who are recruiting now for my industry will need someone who cans start pretty much immediately. Jobs in other fields like law or engineering have graduate schemes and will begin scouting and interviewing around this time, and even earlier! As a writer and aspiring editor/publisher there is little I can do in terms of graduate jobs right now. In a few months I was advised back to Purple Door with my newly formatted CV and I can begin the job hunt!

For now, I just need to keep on doing what I’m doing. I need to keep my eye on job websites to help me see what is out there and the kind of things I would like to be applying for. The Guardian Jobs is a great one, as well as using the Purple Door search itself. I need to calm down and remember I still have time to get my life all figured out. I’m only 20! It is comforting to know that Purple Door will be there for me for the next 5 and a half years if I need help. Going there restored a confidence in myself and my achievements. It made me excited to start the next chapter of my life as a graduate. I can’t wait to see what the future will hold.

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