Architecture, Christmas, Course, Free time, Portsmouth

Update: Design Project and Christmas Spirit

Yesterday I had the final review for my first major project of this year. I’m sure I’ve explained what a review is before but basically we have to stand up in front of our studio groups and present our project, in the same way you would to a client. After the review we get feedback from peers and tutors to improve on our work for our final portfolio. As always the build up was STRESSFUL (notice the capitals) and it was in the last week that my housemates and I realised just how much more demanding second year is.  However, its all over now, and finally an opportunity to catch up on some much needed sleep – not that we’re given long, with our next project being set tomorrow!

After review on Tuesday, one of my housemates Aimee and I went for a walk; just to clear our heads, get out of ‘work mode’ and a get a bit of fresh air. As the evening set in we took a stroll down Palmerston Road where sparkling Christmas lights greeted us along with market stalls selling cute gifts and delicious looking food, Christmas cupcakes decorated with miniature Christmas trees and Father Christmas’ though of course I gave into the warm mince pies with brandy cream. I was told that on Saturdays there is a much bigger market, so I’m heading down there again this weekend with some friends who are coming to visit from home. Going for a walk really got me into the Christmas/wintery mode, walking along the seafront as the sun was setting really made me appreciate how much I enjoy living in Portsmouth, and what a lovely city it is!

Tonight I’m going out on a social, at the beginning of this year I joined UPEC – University of Portsmouth Equestrian Club – and we’ve got a Harry Potter themed social tonight! As HP is one of my favourite things of all time its safe to say I’m just a little bit excited about it!

Just a short update for today, time for classic pesto pasta and dressing up as Ginny Weasley!


Free time, Music, Study

Nearly Christmas!

It’s November 25th! Which means it’s one short month until the big day!

Now, I appreciate Christmas isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s always an exciting time of year for me. The air is cold, the nights are dark and there are sparkly decorations everywhere, so the Christmas feeling is here.

Although I feel I am behind with some of my essays, and especially my dissertation (gulp!), I cannot quite believe that I am ahead with my Christmas shopping! I’ve bought presents for everyone, except for my Dad (Dads are notoriously difficult to buy for.) Of course there is still a long list of cards to write, and several hours of wrapping to be done. But still, this is a real achievement for me. I don’t think I’ve ever been this prepared (I certainly wasn’t last year, when I found myself shopping in Sainsbury’s on Christmas Eve!)

There can be only one way to celebrate this momentous day – with some cheesy Christmas music! So raise a glass of sherry, bite into a warm mince pie and snuggle up next to the fireplace. Christmas is nearly here, and for once I am prepared.

Course, Free time, Music, Study

Being Here, Looking Forward

University, like all things, must end. When you’ve developed into the habit of studying and University life, it becomes difficult to imagine what to do next. Long ago I began to plan what I would do after graduation, but now that it is nearly time to make that choice, I’m not so sure what to do anymore!
I had always said I wanted to be a teacher. I might still want to be a teacher one day. However right now I’m not sure I want to spend an entire year teacher training. I think it is something to leave until I can be 100% confident that is what I want to do. That said, I still very much want to teach English abroad, ideally in Japan, in which case I require TEFL certification which would take a year of evening classes at college to complete.I’ve also considered taking a Masters, as it might be beneficial to have a postgraduate certificate and continue to study something of interest to me, but I’m not certain about that, either. I actually feel it is my time to move on.

I realised the mistake I made upon leaving college was to do something ‘just because there was nothing better to do’. I came to university having made no effort to look into my options. As I found out, this method didn’t work, as I ended up in a degree which didn’t suit my style of learning or my interests.It was only after a year’s break from education and some soul searching that I found my way back to University to take American Studies.

I find that whenever I’m at a time of change, I always start to look back. I don’t think this is negative. The reason why I look back is to reassess myself. To remind myself how and why I got here, and to contemplate how much I’ve changed and what I’ve learnt in the meantime.
When I look back at myself from five years ago, even three years ago, I find myself face to face with all the fears I had at that time –  my mind swirling with employment concerns, preconceptions of the world, fears and an overriding feeling of being lost, even trapped. How differently I see myself, and my world, now!

As I approach the final stages of my degree my outlook is filled with many opportunities and ideas which have arisen from the people I have met and the things I have learnt from this university experience. When I walk away from University next year, the most important thing I will take away will not be a scroll. It will be the memories, emotions and life experience locked away in my mind.

So, as much as I look forward to the future, I cannot help but look back. In doing so, I hope to enjoy and appreciate all that university has to offer in my last moments of this journey, though I know that writing my dissertation will be stressful!

Overall, I have been hit by the realisation that once again I may soon face a similar situation to five years ago, and the same old questions are beginning to return: What job do I want? What do I want from life? Where will I be happy?

My time at University may not have answered those questions, but it has given me a better idea of where to look, and higher chances that I will achieve what I want.
But for now I’m happy to enjoy my final few months at University – I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.

As always, Jack Johnson has a great song which accompanies the feeling of this post nicely.


A New Start …

Tomorrow is a big day for me as I’m starting my new job. May sound strange coming from a uni student, but being on placement is all about getting the most out of the year. After doing nearly 6 months at Legoland, I am ready to find a new challenge. My new role is as a receptionist, something I have done before but not on this big scale.  When I went for my interview they explained to me how busy the hotel could become and explained I may be there alone to deal with about 5 different things at once, you can imagine how I’m feeling now…I’m glad it isn’t in the food and beverage sector as I feel I have completed that role as much as I can at the moment and hope this new role allows new doors to open.

My placement year isn’t at all how I imagined it would be. When I set out for the course back in 2011, I felt like it would boost my CV and make me stand out for when I leave university. Now that I’m actually doing it, sometimes it feels like a waste of time. However having this new job, I hope to feel like I’m more on the right path and have a chance to finally get on with my placement and learn as much as I can from the industry.

The possibilities are endless (just need to survive tomorrow)

Architecture, Course, Reflection, Time Management

Update: Half Way Point

Last week we shockingly reached the half way point of the first term and I cannot believe how quickly this year has gone already! The fact that it is now November and the countdown to Christmas is beginning is scary – I feel like I’ve only just started writing 2013 as the date instead of 2012!

The term so far has gone reasonably smoothly, Architecture is one of the courses that has a ‘research week’ in week 6 which means we have a week with no lectures – a perfect opportunity to catch up on overdue coursework! As always though, I planned to get loads done, and although I did do some work, being at home during my brothers half term was too much of a distraction and I ended up spending a lot of time with family and catching up with friends (which was lovely!) The date of our final review for our first major project is quickly approaching, and panic is just about to set in. I’m getting through this week trying to tie up loose ends and then knuckling down on Monday, as this weekend I’m taking my two lovely housemates home with me for the weekend so they can experience a traditional Sussex Bonfire night!

I’m feeling like this week hasn’t been terribly productive, but then again, I have had conjunctivitis so I have to cut myself a bit of slack! I’m always so hard on myself if I don’t spend my days constantly doing work, probably why this blog gets neglected some of the time. However I don’t think this is a bad thing, at least it shows I care about my work and want to do well!

Second year is already completely different from first year – in good ways and bad, there’s always that underlying thought of ‘this year actually counts’ which definitely adds a bit of pressure. Second year so far has been like the end of first year in terms of workload, but they seem to be expecting more work in a smaller time frame! There’s also more to think about in terms of our building design, everything just needs to be more detailed and refined, and we’ve also got the added pressure of trying to teach ourselves a gazillion different CAD software’s all at the same time!

One thing I’m definitely sure of, is I 100% chose to live with the right people, I know for sure I wouldn’t be able to get through Uni without them!