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Time Flys By…

Its week 22! Where have the last 22 weeks gone??

Having been at Portsmouth for 4 years now, I can say “that went fast”! Coming back from my Placement year and jumping into the final year has been a real struggle. It seems that not just me but some of my classmates have found writing academia hard work after having a year in the working world and forgetting pretty much all we learnt. I have to recommend the study support staff though, they really helped me with some of my coursework and my dissertation. Take advantage of their services as much as you can!

Web: http://www.port.ac.uk/studysupport

Email: studysupport@port.ac.uk

Tel: 02392 84 4007

Therefore this year, I have spent most of my time in the library, especially this term as my dissertation deadline is fast approaching. I have found my favourite spot and the best times to go, (I would tell you but don’t want you taking my spot ;)) IMG_3464

The life of a 4th Year:

I was walking home with one of my best friends, Sophie today and we were discussing plans for the weekend. She told me that she is really excited to go home this weekend, not just to see her mum and family etc but to have a BATH! That just made me think about how much our lives have changed from starting uni till now and how the different needs of individuals have changed. Also made me giggle haha, I guess its the little things.

bubble-bath-and-candles

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Accomodation, Student Housing

The great big house hunt!

As a third year I have had 3 different housing situations; in my first year I was lucky enough to get into James Watson halls whilst my second and third years have been spent living in two different houses. Now, house hunting is exciting but it can also be frustrating and daunting so here are my top tips…

1) You don’t need to go through an estate agent!

Although agencies can seem easier and more beneficial – in the long run it is easier to go with a private landlord. Some agencies can be unhelpful and at the end of your tenancy they are notorious for billing students with extra cleaning/broken items. Nearly all agencies also carry agency fees with them which is basically you paying to sign documents. It’s all very silly! Instead try to find a private landlord… http://www.portsmouthstudentpad.com provide you with so many links to private landlords and houses. It’s also a good website if you’re flying solo looking for a house as there’s an opportunity to join a house share with people already signed up to the house.

2) Choose who you live with wisely

Living in a house is a WHOLE different world to living with someone in halls. Although halls feels communal it is when you live in a house together that you really find out about other people’s habits; sharing a bathroom, living area and kitchen… Work out who the best for you to live with are.. and remember that  it’s ok to turn someone down. It might be awkward and feel offensive but you’re better off saying no than living with someone you might not want to for the next year!

3) Imagine yourself in the house

Booking viewings is great but when you see the house imagine yourself in it.. not the person that’s there. It might be difficult but when we viewed our current house all of the occupants were girls so there were make-up items, personal photos and girly bed covers.. two of my housemates are guys so they just had to imagine the rooms as blank canvases. Remember as well that they might not look in pristine condition because of the current tenants but landlords usually make sure everything that needs refurbishing gets done over Summer.. When you visit make sure you look for any signs of mould/damp/general damage.. this is a sign the house maybe isn’t for you

4) Join a deposit protection scheme!

This ensures that your deposit is safe and protected! It’s one of the most vital things you can do so ensure that your landlord does this and you have proof of this. Any issues in the long run and this ensures that your deposit is protected

5) Go with your gut

I was in a situation where the people I lived with found a house they liked.. but I wasn’t so sure. We visited another house and all 3 of us fell in love with it (and I still love it now).. imagine if we’d’ve gone with the first house?! Always trust your instincts and go with your gut. You might feel pressurised to say ‘yes’ because all the good houses have gone but realistically there will always be good houses and some may not be released until Summer time. If you have any doubts.. go view somewhere else.

Happy house hunting!!

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Portsmouth, Year Abroad

Going back to Portsmouth

As we didn’t have Christmas Break this year we’ve just had a month off to celebrate Chinese New Year. Five amazing weeks! I kicked off my holiday with a trip back to Portsmouth. The flight from Wuhan via Hong Kong to London seemed to take forever, and when I finally landed it was a very emotional moment. After six months in China I was incredibly happy to be back on English grounds.

Arriving back in Portsmouth was so strange. The whole city seemed much smaller than it did a year ago, probably due to Wuhan being such a big city I’m just not used to the smaller ones anymore. It was nice to walk the familiar streets of the uni campus again and to see people around that I recognised. Of course I headed straight to the Student Union once I was back, for a snakebite and a catch-up with my friends!

I stayed in the UK for two weeks of my holiday. A few days after I arrived in Portsmouth I went on an overnight trip to Brighton. This was my first time in Brighton, and I must say I fell in love with the Pier area straight away. People were not joking when they told me Brighton is nice. We were lucky with the weather when we were there and I got to witness a really nice sunset from the beach while watching a massive flock of birds playing on the sky. Incredible! I also saw some of the other famous sights of the city, like The Lanes, The Royal Pavilion, and Hove. I also dropped by the village of Angmering on the way back to Portsmouth. Back in Norway I grew up watching English crime series on TV and have always had a thing for cute English villages, and Angmering fits the description of a stereotypical English village perfectly.

Back in Portsmouth I spent most days catching up with different friends and eating my favourite foods. As I don’t have a kitchen in my halls in China it was nice to finally cook again! I appeared on Pure.fm with two of the other student bloggers. I had never been on the radio before and I really enjoyed it. I was quite nervous before I went on because I always giggle when I’m in front of a camera so I thought I would do the same on the radio. But it went alright! I also ran for the position of President of the University of Portsmouth Cinema Society for when I return next year, and I got it! So happy! I was Vice President of the society last year, and I’m excited to be on committee again next year. Hopefully I will make a decent President and not screw it up!

My two weeks in Portsmouth went by so quickly, and I had such a great time. I even got to celebrate Valentine’s Day, have Sunday Roast and see the annual Chinese New Year Show in King’s Theatre. Thank you for everyone who made my two weeks a great stay and I can’t wait to be back 100% in September.

The next two weeks of my holiday I spent traveling around China, which I is what my next post will be about!

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BUCS

For the past year I have been competing for the University Equestrian Club in the British University and Colleges Sports (BUCS) competitions. I can honestly say I have had so much fun competing and I have made the best friends out of it too.

To give you a rough idea of how it works – in each league there are four teams from different Universities made up of four riders each (making sixteen riders in each competition). Each University hosts a competition meaning we have four league competitions in total over the academic year. In my league we compete against Brighton, Southampton and Kent, meaning there’s been quite a bit of travelling over the year!

Each competition is made up of two phases, a dressage phase (everyone saw the horses dancing in the Olympics right?!) and a showjumping phase. The unique thing about BUCS Equestrian is you don’t have to have your own horse to take part, in fact, it’s against the rules to compete on your own horse! At each competition the home team selects eight horses, four each for dressage and jumping, and each rider picks out of a hat to select their horses. As we have never ridden the horses before, it’s a test of the rider’s ability and you get marked on your style and technique.

My team and I have done really well over the season, with a team 1st, 2nd and two 3rd’s as well as several individual placing’s. We finished our league 2nd overall, which is better than we ever imagined doing!

All I can say about BUCS, Equestrian or other, is that is the best fun I have had whilst being at Uni, as is being part of a Sports Club or Society in general. Anyone in their first or second year who considered signing up for something at Freshers Fayre but never got round to it, I would 100% encourage you to do so next year! It’s so good to meet people with similar interests to you, and just to have another group of people to socialise with. I love having an escape from my Uni work and being able to go and spend an afternoon with my team girls and some ponies! (Yes I was the crazy horse girl in school incase you were wondering.)

For anyone interested in finding out more about the Equestrian Club,

find us on: Facebook at ‘UPSU Equestrian Club,’

follow us on Twitter: @UoP_Equestrian

visit our blog: http://uniofportsmouthequestrianclub.weebly.com

Our first competition at home on November 5th where we came 2nd and Izziey came 1st individually

Our first competition at home on November 5th where we came 2nd and Izziey came 1st individually

Our second competition at Kent, 3rd as a team and 3rd individually for me!

Our second competition at Kent, 3rd as a team and 3rd individually for me!

Our third competition down the road at Southampton, which we won! I also came 2nd as an individual which was an added bonus!

Our third competition down the road at Southampton, which we won! I also came 2nd as an individual which was an added bonus!

Our last competition at Brighton on March 4th 2015, 3rd as a team, 5th for Izziey and 7th for me!

Our last competition at Brighton on March 4th 2015, 3rd as a team, 5th for Izziey and 7th for me!

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