Course, Free time, Nightlife, The Galleon

Third year!

I know it’s been a while since I’ve written and I’m not sure where to begin really but, I’m not gonna lie, third year is slightly terrifying.

I’ve been in Portsmouth for nearly three weeks now and my friends and I have had some awesome nights together before the weather turned sour: BBQs, late night impromptu trips to the beach, the list goes on… Going back to uni has been a weird transition. It always is when you’ve had three months away from academia and you’ve probably been working a job or dossing around for a while.

Thankfully, I’ve got a great dissertation supervisor and I’ve already met him twice (with another meeting arranged). He seems to think my idea has a lot of promise (yay!) and I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into it, even though it’ll be pretty stressful. I just need to believe that I’m actually smart enough to do it rather than crumpling into a heap in the aisles of the library.

My other two units are pretty cool as well and I’m definitely in the right mindset to actually work hard this year.

Other than that I have a meeting with The Galleon tonight and an interview to be the Music Editor on Friday. Wish me luck!

I’ll make sure I keep you posted more often from now on!

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Clubs and societies, Course, Music, Nightlife, Sport, Study, The city

And So It Begins Again

Wednesday and Thursday this week were the induction days for Year 2 students in the School of Languages and Area Studies. The lecturers did not waste any time in getting to the big topic – dissertations! As it turns out, preparation for our 10,000 word final-year piece starts early, and by the end of this academic year I will have submitted my finalised research proposal. Although this will undoubtedly take a lot of time and thinking, at least we have been told well in advance – so I’d better make sure I start researching and write a great dissertation!

There wasn’t time to get too caught-up in such thoughts just at the minute, as I made sure to attend the Freshers Fayre in Ravelin Park on both days. What everyone knows about Freshers is the is the free pizza. I’m not entirely sure of free-food etiquette, so I didn’t see any harm in taking (several) second-helpings! There was some great music blasting out of the loudspeakers and tents were packed with revellers and an astonishing array of clubs and societies. I really could not believe that the University has so many different activities to take part in. The weather was great on both days, and being surrounded again by so many other students in the festival-like atmosphere, I felt right at home.

I’m really pleased to be back. I know its going to be a great year. My work this year could be crucial in determining the grade of my degree, so I’m looking forward to getting stuck in to my studies – lessons start on Monday!

Check out the University of Portsmouth Student’s Union (UPSU) for the variety of Sports on offer and Societies to join. Click here for the University’s sports clubs and here for some fantastic societies, using the links on the left to search different categories.

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Free time, Travels

Trip to Romania

This post is dedicated to the little trip to Romania I took towards the end of August. The reason I think it’s relevant to this blog is that I was actually visiting a friend that I have met at University!

Because my summer plans did not work out, my friend Maria offered to have me over for a bit at her home in Bucharest, Romania. I was very excited about going because I have never been to Romania, and I really like visiting new places.

So on the morning of 27th of August I set off for Bucharest, and after a 3-hour flight I was met by my friend and a heat wave… which then turned out to be normal weather conditions for this country. My friend put a lot of effort into showing me everything I needed to see during my time there. The first half of the trip we spent in Bucharest, where not only did I see beautiful places, but also learnt a lot about the country’s history.

One place I visited was the People’s Palace, which was originally being build for the Romanian dictator for the purpose of him living there, but he was caught and executed a year before the building works ended. Now it is mainly used for conferences and political meetings, as well as little art gallery. The Palace is very impressive! It’s huge and from what they say, the underground of the Palace is much bigger that what you can see above the ground! (For a great photo of the Palace I suggest you check out the Timeline cover photo of Bon Jovi’s facebook page 😉 ) From the top of the Palace you could see most of the amazing city of Bucharest, including Romanian equivalent of the Champs-Élysées, which looks a lot like the French one.

For the second half of my stay, we went up to a town called Sibiu in Transylvania. Although it was a 6-hour train ride one way, it was really worth it! Starting with the lovely views on the way there (we went through the mountains), ending on a beautiful historic city, which hosted a Gypsy Festival the weekend we were there. Can I just say, the gypsy market was absolutely great!

While going to Romania was exciting enough, the highligh of my trip was definitely seeing Red Hot Chili Peppers live at the National Arena in Bucharest! Do I even have to say the guys were amazing?  The greatest show I’ve ever seen! Simply unforgettable! 🙂

One thing that’s worth noting is that Romanians are very friendly people, and I was pleasantly surprised when I met some of Maria’s friends. Some of them actually study in London, so I’m hoping to see them again sometime.

I love the fact I got this opportunity to go and see another country; another culture, that in many ways is similar to what I know, but is also very different. And it’s all thanks to being at University and meeting new people from around the world.

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Accomodation

In retrospect: Shared student house

Going on last minute holiday slightly disturbed my already poor flow of writing (more about this in the next note), but I’m back on track and ready to tell you all about my experiences of living in a shared student house.

 

They say that you never really know a person until you live with them. And you know what? It’s true. Last year I decided to move in with two people from my course. One of them lived on the same floor as me in halls, we used to hang out quite a bit, so it’s fair to say we kind of knew each other; the other I had only just met. My biggest fear back then was that we would not get along. I guess that’s the risk everybody has to take at some point during university. Luckily, despite all our differences in personalities and opinions, and a few little arguments, we are still getting along well and decided to stay together for our final year. Luckily, because I know a number of people who have been living with different people each year because of the differences between them that they could not overcome.

But yes, when you already have housemates, there are other things that need to be considered. For all those lucky ones who had en-suite rooms in halls it might be a little difficult to share the bathroom with other people, some of whom might be total strangers! What comes with that is actually making sure you leave the place clean for the other people to use. Same goes for the kitchen, and living room (for those who have them). Oh, and the cleaning rotas! This has never really worked in our house, we try to clean as we go, whenever we can, whenever there is a need.

And of course, the bills. Halls rent included everything, so one did not have to worry about other payments, but living in a shared house takes away this convenience. This time you actually have to decide what gets paid (do we get TV licence? Extra TV package?), and who pays what. For me, the hardest thing was overtaking the already existing bills, as this required ringing the company, and as I have previously mentioned, I don’t like phone conversations… But once that’s done, the only thing you have to worry about is that everyone pays up when the time comes.

 

If you asked me now, I would say that I prefer the shared house over Uni halls, but that’s mainly due to the fact that I matured mentally over the past couple of years and am on a straight road to a proper adult life, with full time job and real-life commitments. Besides, living in a house feels more homely and natural to me, whereas halls seemed very “part-time”.

So, all prospective students! Choosing where you are going to live at university is a very tough decision, so make sure you give it enough thought, and that your choice fits with your preferences and your lifestyle. I’m sure you’re going to enjoy your time here wherever you end up!

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Free time, Island Experience, Nightlife, Sport, The city

September – Signs of a New Season

It’s September at last, but still a few weeks to go before Uni starts. I’m really looking forward to settling back into a scholarly routine.

The past few days I’ve noticed a some distinct changes which have reminded me that Autumn is nearly here – the new season officially starts on 22 September (the day after the autumn equinox).

The first thing to strike me was the encroaching darkness. It’s now getting dark by 8pm, which is a shock after the late summer nights! Then, on a short walk the other day, I noticed blackberries growing in the brambles – I have good memories of picking these fruits at this time of year. Finally, the mornings are distinctly chilly. It can still get very warm in the daytime, but there is a slight frostyness about early in the day, which is pleasantly refreshing!

The long summer is finally at an end – bring on Year 2!

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Free time, Other University Factors, The city

Back in Pompey …

Second Year is here, I have just moved into my house (yesterday) and its been interesting. We have learnt alot in a small space of time. For me, I did it all on my own, I packed all my stuff over August, trying to decrease the amount of stress that comes with moving. I recommend planning and having time to sort everything out. I managed to get everything into boxes for easy packing and was even able to magically fit it all in my car and still see out the back – Bonus!

I was very proud of myself for sorting my life out and having a job over summer. Make sure you are prepared for the bills and costs this following year will bring. I live in a house with four of us but currently there is just two, so we have been left to live in a bit of mess. However with the right tools and attitude we have successfully cleaned up and survived! We even sorted Internet today so when the others move in, its gonna be like paradise haha.

Im looking forward to getting back into the Uni life, just curious to see how getting there and back goes. So glad there is a uni bus otherwise I’d have a half hour walk everyday 😦

However I feel very lucky and privileged to be here, knowing that Im not paying the huge student loan the newbees are, and to have this house and this room, I did well.

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