Course, The Galleon

The D word.

It’s official. I can’t keep denying it and longing for the days when I lived at Langstone and I was only 19. I am a third year student. I’m graduating next summer (unless something goes terribly wrong…) and it’s finally happening: the dissertation.

Thankfully I chose a dissertation topic that I’m really interested in and I’m lucky enough to have a great supervisor, so it’s going well so far, but I don’t want to spend too long talking about it just in case it goes really badly (and you’ll be looking back at this, pitying me for ever thinking it would go well). I’d say as long as you make sure you do at least a little bit towards your dissertation every day, you’ll be okay. Then you’ll avoid ever feeling as though you haven’t done any work and there shouldn’t be a huge mountain of work that’ll come crashing down around you one tragic day in the library.

Another thing that’s taking up a lot of my time at the minute is my new position as the Music Editor of The Galleon. If you haven’t picked up a copy of the university paper before make sure you do because it’s a pretty good read (especially the Music section!) and the amount of work that the whole team puts in to it is ridiculous. I’m so busy with it all at the minute but I think I’m just about getting my head around it all at the minute.

If you’re interested in writing for the Music section of the paper e-mail me at!

Clubs and societies, Course, Exams, Work experience

The Final Year

So here I am, a 3rd year Psychology student, about to start the work on my dissertation, and the next graduation at the University of Portsmouth will be MINE.

The time really flies and you don’t realise until you get to the point where I am right now. A 3-year undergraduate course my seem like quite a bit of time when you first start University, but with all the fun, partying, drinking, lecturing and report writing going on… I have no idea where the time went.

Uni officially started a month ago, but only now I found some time to write. And to be honest, it seems like only about a couple of weeks passed by. That’s what happens when you have a busy schedule. I started off my year with the Freshers Fayre, of which I was part of again this year, promoting Film & Photo Society. I loved every minute of being there, despite the long hours, the noise, the issues with Union; even despite the fact that after two days of shouting at people (not in the mean way – it was just very loud in the tents 😉 ) I almost lost my voice. But as I always say, this will always be one of my favourite experiences at Uni. Below is the photo of me and Iain – society’s Vice President – at our stand.

But society isn’t just fun and play. Running it requires a lot of planning and preparation, which is something that takes quite a lot of my time in the week. And it needs to be fitted around all the Uni activities. Fair enough, I’m only in three days a week, but this is where independent studies come in to the picture. Independent study was never my favourite thing; in fact, I tried to stay as far away from it as possible. And I managed to “wing” my way through the first two years 😉 That’s obviously a joke, I actually managed to get to this stage with good marks, but this time, I really need to spend a lot of my time doing research and background reading to graduate with the mark I want.

So, lectures. This year I actually get to study exactly what I want as all my modules are all electives. I am not so happy about having the exams at the end of year though, but now that I think about it, it’s probably better this way. For third years anyway. With the dissertation hand-in day being early March, we really don’t need exams in January. Even if I only have two.

One of my modules is a work placement, and for this I am actually continuing with my volunteering at Salisbury Hospital. Since summer ended, I’ve had two real, all-day shifts and I’m beginning to feel more confident with what I’m doing with every shift. Sadly, this means I have to get up at 6am every Tuesday, work all day, and then run to the society’s meeting straight from the train station… But hey, who said this was going to be easy? Welcome to the real world. I’m only hoping I can get used to getting up so early.

A month into Year 3, and I’m already looking forward to a break. Now let me get back to my dissertation research…

Clubs and societies, Free time, Music, Nightlife

I’m On The Air!

At Freshers Fayre this year I joined up with Pure FM, the University’s student radio station. Live broadcasts started this week, and I have been given my own regular show! You’ll be able to catch my programme, Blakey’s ShakeUp, from 8-10pm every Wednesday. I’ll play a range of music with commentary and a bit of banter. Each week will also feature the ShakeUp, a section of the show when I will focus on a particular theme – a specific decade or style of music.

I am of course very nervous, but I am really looking forward to this challenge.

The best way to hear Pure FM is via the Facebook player here. View the range of shows on the official page here. And why not go to my show’s Facebook page here – don’t forget to leave a Like!

Clubs and societies, Course, Free time, Other University Factors

Second Year!

Well, I love Pompey but I am a bit disappointed with the number of uni buses provided. Once every 20 minutes isnt really enough for us lot far out of the city centre. Living near to Fratton Park has highlighted it’s difficulties as well as its strengths. For example, I feel there are not enough buses for the amount of people, I can’t always get on in the mornings which is not fun when its raining! Why cant there be buses every 10 minutes in peak times? Also walking in is a new experience, we’re like walking traffic with the amount of students trekking it in.

One Way Street

However being away from the university centre always means that I have to be even more organised with my days and plan activities to do within my frees. Maybe it will help with my studies this year, as year two has stepped up a level. Only being back a couple of weeks and I have already found out that the work load has increased, but I kind of like it. Having stuff to do and being busy always makes life a bit more fun and interesting.

I have become Events Organiser of Show Choir this year, which is exciting as well as scary. The amount of responsibility is incredible but I also have to be organised and determined. At the moment I am organising a Christmas Event so stay tuned!

Along with Show Choir, I am also doing Rock Climbing, something new to me but good exercise and the people are lovely! I would recommend to freshers (well everyone actually) to get envolved with anything and everything. Give new things a go, you dont have to continue with them if your not enjoying it!


Clubs and societies, Course, Island Experience, Music, Nightlife, The city

Dark, Cold Nights

Back in July I reminisced about a rainy afternoon spent down the pub with a friend. I wasn’t expecting that three months later I’d be at my laptop once again writing about the rain… but here we are! Fortunately we had some great weather for Fresher’s Fayre but since then it’s been wet, cold, blowy and overcast. I’ve was lugging my umbrella around with me last week, and I’m already wearing socks in bed and jumpers around the house!

I’m currently situated at my desk, a lamp casting warm light over me as I work while a new tune from Muse pumps through the speakers. The lonely wind is gusting against the windows in the deep blackness of the night, but I refuse to give it any attention.

I already feel plunged in with university work, and I’m currently signing up for several activities and clubs to join – so I’ve had to go to many meetings and information evenings over the last week and a half. There’s a lot going on, I’ll keep you informed of how things go!

Course, Halls

Freshers Fortnight

As I write on the first day of October I’m thinking back to the first two weeks of being at University. So many emotions have been running through me in these short two weeks. There’s been the homesickness, the excitement, the initial motivation of starting new projects followed by the all to familiar feeling of trying to choose between having some more sleep or actually writing up my notes. I tried to make the most of ‘Freshers’ and in my terms I think I did. Three nights in a row was the maximum for me as I know I don’t function well on zero hours of sleep! I really enjoyed it though and think I found a good balance between social and nightlife to getting involved with my induction lectures and getting organised for everything to start properly.

I’m really lucky that I’ve bonded well with my flatmates and we all get on – we’ve organised ‘flat nights’ where we going to have games nights, take aways, film nights and so on. I think living in halls (James Watson for me) so far has been a really good experience. It’s so easy to make friends, as straight away you’ve met five new people who are all in your position, there’s automatically some common ground that you can cover. I also really like the fact that we’re from all over the world, we’ve got a Geordie, someone from Kent, Sussex and even Cyprus! It really adds a bit of culture – everyone eats different food and has different stories and ways of doing things which is really interesting to discover. We’ve also met quite a few people on our floor so it’s nice to have some other people to go and socialise with, just to get a change of scenery and see some different faces. It’s amazing how quickly you make friends just from meeting friends of friends and so on. I’m also lucky enough to know some people in second year as well so it’s good to have them around for advice and help with anything I need.

So far my course is going really well, we’ve already finished one project and we’re on to the next! I straight away realised that I was going to have to be dedicated from the start, there was no messing about from our lecturers in setting coursework and research tasks! I’ve found it all really interesting though, and as I’m studying a subject which I haven’t done before, it’s all new and exciting.

I’ve also joined ‘Pompey Snow’ the ski and snowboard society. They go once a month to the Milton Keynes SNO!zone, so I’m really looking forward to the first of those in a few weeks time. On top of that, they a run a Christmas and Easter Ski trip and this year they’re to Val Thorens and Les Arcs respectively.  I’ve been to Val Thorens before, so I’m hoping to go with Pompey Snow at Christmas as well! Joining a society is a really good way to meet even more people, and especially to meet people in second, third and even fourth year. They have weekly socials at a local pub on a Sunday, where everyone just chills out, has a roast dinner and a drink. It’s a really friendly atmosphere and a nice way to end the week.

It’s so strange to think that already I have been here over two weeks. In some ways it’s gone quite slowly, it feels like we’ve been here ages just because the people I’ve met I could have been friends with for years. I’ve learnt so much in the last two weeks though, like to always put detergent in the washing machine, and to make sure you’re heating up the right hob ring when cooking pasta! I’m enjoying living as a student, having to look after myself, make my own food and clean up after my cooking, (which some of my flatmates seem to find difficult!) but it does go without saying that I am definitely looking forward to going home this weekend and having Mum cook my dinner!


My University Experience

When I tell people that I am a 3rd year Computer Games Technology student, I get 3 responses. The first is a long held out ‘Ooooh’ as they try to figure out in their mind what that actually means. The second is a nod of the head and an awkward silence as the person mentally labels me as one of those students. Those students take courses which are easy and mean they can sleep all day. Those students are lazy and don’t come to lectures. Those students won’t make anything of their lives. The third and final response is where they ask ‘So what do you do on that course?’ A simple enough question but, due to the previous experiences, I always find myself stumbling over words trying to defend my course’s honour. I end up saying things like “it has a lot of maths in it!” and “I do complicated programming which involves physics and really hard science things!” because I assume this will impress them.

I am going to be honest now. I decided my university course on the flip of a coin. Heads, I would take medieval history with a future in archaeology, travel the world unearthing historical ruins and revealing the past. Tails, I would do something with that Computing A Level I did really well in and look towards the future instead of the past. So here I am, on the flip of a coin at Portsmouth University, doing something with that Computing A Level, looking towards the future. I have never made a better decision in my life.

Thinking back over my last few years at University, the experiences I’ve had and the highs and lows, I wouldn’t be who I am now without them. I like me. When I started University, I was a quiet, awkward teen who moved into halls, terrified of what to expect. Rightly so, it turns out, as it was quite a terrifying experience for an introvert who lacked proper social skills. But there I met my first proper friend at Uni. I have lived with her for the last two years and I don’t think anyone understands my quirky, awkward nature as much as her.

When I started the course I had the same worries as a lot of people. Was this course going to be rubbish? Will everyone look at me and sneer at my inferiorness (That’s a word)? Am I doomed to be stuck in a dead-end job forever?  I remember sitting in a computer lab in my 1st year looking at 3rd years and hearing them talking about complex things and using long words I didn’t like the sound of. I would never be as good as them. I was doomed to fail. Now I am one of them. I use big words. Sometimes even in the right context. I can look back at old self and chuckle at my naivety. My confidence in myself has improved no end; I faced my fears head on and came out (mostly) unscathed.  I no longer have fears of inferiorness (still a word). I don’t care what people thing about my course. I know it is amazing and I have the skills and friends to prove it. Also hopefully soon, a shiny degree to hang up on my wall with pride.