Accomodation, Home

On Being The Only Girl in an All-Male Household

Before the inevitable spill of ‘I just get on with guys better, I’m just one of the guys’, I don’t and I’m not. It just appears to have worked out like this.
Throughout my secondary school years I was in a mixed friendship group, pretty much an equal split of girls and boys. Come my sixth form years, this changed. I became part of a tight knight girl group. As much as I loved this, I knew at university I wanted to have male friends as well. I think it’s nicer to have a balance and I missed my guy friends. Girls are great, really! With girls you can be as emotional as you want, swap clothes, go shopping – all those beautifully cliched truths! But guys you tend to get this no-nonsense attitude. And that’s necessary.
I think at heart I am a girls’ girl. But almost all my friends at uni have ended up being male.
I live in a house with 4 guys. Never would I think I’d end up like Jess from New Girl; the only woman in an all male household.
Interestingly enough last year, in halls, I lived with 4 girls. Across the corridor from us was a flat of 5 men with whom I bonded with almost instantly. One of these men has now ended up being my boyfriend (also see New Girl). Whilst it was lovely living with girls and it definitely has it’s perks, I think I prefer living with guys.
People are always amazed when I tell them about my living situation, asking things like ‘but boys are dirtier than girls, how do you cope?!’ Honestly, I think I may be one of the messiest in the house. I remember last year, in the boys flat, a picture of a fork on the floor was posted in our group chat with the caption ‘to whom does this belong?’. They’re ever so tidy. So, no, boys are not dirtier than girls and I am usually going to be the one they are moaning at to not leave dirty plates on the side or to pull all the hair out of the drain because ‘it’s all mine anyway.’
5 of us

This is the response I received when I asked for someone to send me a nice photo of the 5 of us for the student blog! Never a dull moment!

There is never a dull moment in our house. It brightens my day just to sit and watch them. From obsessively clicking each others backs to the constant abuse (all in good spirit and humour) they are just hilarious to be around. There’s always a very positive atmosphere in the house which makes coming home really nice.

I think a lot of this atmosphere stems not just from the fact we all get on so well but also from how honest we all are with each other. If something upsets or irritates one of us we just come out and say it. I think this is a really healthy way to deal with issues because there are no pent up grudges and everyone knows where they stand. Nine times out of ten that person is likely to agree that ‘yes, you’re right, we don’t need the heating on 23 hours a day’ or ‘yes, I’m sorry, I know my washing up has been on the side for 2 days, I’ve been really busy but I’ll sort it now’. It’s a lot better than silence and holding it all in.
Another remark I get often is ‘gosh, you live with your boyfriend! That’s a big step, isn’t it?’. Well, yes and no. We practically lived together last year (it’s how we met!) so it would actually have felt more strange and a bit of a step back to then go to living in different buildings. We both have our own rooms (on different floors!). I think this is really important; having your own space to go to. Honestly I can’t imagine not living with him. We live with our best friends and I wouldn’t wish for a single one of us to be apart.

They look after me, make sure I don’t walk home after dark alone, battle off creepy guys for me, tell me when I look stupid/need to get some sleep/will need a jacket out/need to get off the sofa and do some work.

They really are brilliant – and you don’t get so many passive aggressive notes in the kitchen!

I couldn’t find a (nice) photo of the 5 of us so Chris is missing here! This photo was taken in Bateson Halls where we all lived last year.

Here’s one of me and Chris at Isle of Wight Festival over the summer so he doesn’t feel left out!

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Uncategorized

Back in Pompey!

So after what felt like a never ending summer, I finally got back to Portsmouth in September! It’s been a month and a bit since then and I can safely say I’ve re-adjusted to the usual Uni routine, although those 9 AM starts don’t get any easier! I’m a second year here studying Geography (or ‘advanced colouring in’ to all you comedians!!) . I really enjoyed last year due to the great variety of topics covered in the modules, but this also gives me the problem of explaining to people what is it I exactly study. This year I focus more on the human branch of Geography which to put it basically, is the study of the interaction between human beings and their environment.

This year I live in a house in Southsea just by the Common, which is a nice 10-15 minute walk to the Uni. I’ve found that there are a lot of cool and quirky places in Southsea that as freshers we are completely oblivious to. Believe me, there is more to student life in Portsmouth than Guildhall Walk, Commercial Road and Tiger Tiger! There are loads of great bars and pubs down Albert Road which are definitely worth a try, Little Johnny Russell’s and The One Eyed Dog are two that I quite enjoy visiting. I also live close to Clarence Pier which if you haven’t yet been to, is your typical seaside amusement pier with a big arcade and funfair. The hovercraft which goes to the Isle of Wight also departs from right next to the pier and despite being 500 metres away, I can still hear come in and out of the beach. As you can probably imagine, it’s pretty noisy!

This year I rejoined the Uni Rugby Club, which is great fun and I would definitely recommend to anyone, especially with the ongoing Rugby World Cup happening in England, it’s a great time to join! I’ve played a few games this season, admittedly I don’t think I’ve been on the winning side yet but it’s not even a month into the season so I think that can be excused! There were loads of other cool societies out showcasing at Freshers Fayre which was great to see and goes to show how there really is something for everyone here!

That’s all from me for now, enjoy the rest of your day!

Luka

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Other University Factors

What Would You Tell Your Fresher Self?

If you are a current student at Portsmouth I’m sure this will resonate with you. If you will be starting university in this coming September, or even the following one, then congratulations! I am overly excited for you. It really is ridiculously exciting (and terrifying)!
These are, of course, only my experiences. Your first week may be entirely different. My advice to freshers:

  • The first night will probably be a let down, everyone is too overexcited so it’s likely to be not that great. Mine was such an anticlimax…
  • But that’s okay! It will get so much better! Just wait a while until you know people a little more and the fun will really start.
  • STUDENT LOANS ARE NOT A BOTTOMLESS PIT! I know it is so mad that you suddenly have all this money but remember you need to eat, you need to pay your rent and you need to buy books. It sounds so super boring but you will reach the end of it and overdraft is not a place you want to be.
  • So, look at budgeting, set a much higher amount of money you’re allowed to spend in Freshers and, after that, stick to a more realistic amount.There are websites like this which help you to do so. Boring, yes, but so valuable.
  • Getting a job is a really good idea. I didn’t want one as I’d worked two part time jobs whilst doing my A Levels full time and it was just too intense. I was looking forward to not having to do this at uni, however, instead of living off of last year’s earnings, I put them into an ISA. I will now have so much more money at the end of uni. I work, now, for treats and use my loan for food, rent and basic living only. It not only helps me manage my money but also I have met so many fantastic people there who I otherwise would never have encountered.
  • Make a huge effort with people on your course from the beginning. It’s very easy to get caught up in your flatmates as they are who you see most often and are going to be around a lot. I got on very well with mine and so didn’t panic about not having friends and barely spoke to people on my course. This made me feel quite excluded and not a part of the little groups which formed which made coming to seminars and lectures quite sad sometimes. Luckily I have now found many good friends on my course but it was a lot more difficult later on into the year to befriend people.
  • Don’t assume everyone you befriend in freshers is going to be your best friend forever. There’s just so many people and you probably won’t find your people for a little while – and that’s okay!
  • Get people’s numbers! This will probably mean that by the end of the first week you have 53 new contacts, most of whom you have no clue what their real name is as they are saved as ‘girl shorts blue’ or ‘curly hair’ or ‘tom maybe?’ but it will also mean for those, you do remember you can contact. Say, someone on your course, you can send them a message about a lecture and agree to meet beforehand. I found this so comforting in the first few weeks, being able to go into a lecture or seminar with someone else and sit with them.
  • BE BRAVE! As scary as it is, just go up to people and talk! Everyone is secretly begging for you to so that they don’t have to make the first move. ‘Fake it till you make it!’ Pretend you are super confident and people will be drawn to you. Say to a group at the end of a lecture “who fancies going for a coffee?” and I promise you people will want to come. Everyone wants to get to know people so be that person who enables them to do so. You’ll be glad (and it turns out people aren’t that scary)!

Good luck and enjoy. It’ll all be okay. If I could do it again, I would!

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fitness, Free time, Portsmouth, Sport

Weekend Running

How often do you wake up in the morning and feel like you wish to be more fit? Sometimes not only to feel better with your body, but as well as a matter of health?

There are several reasons why one should choose running out of other ways to keep fit. First, is a very affordable way to practice some sport. You just have to find really good sneakers to endure your practice over time, so that your feet won’t get hurt by the continuous training. Everything else comes with time. Sure it is also important to think on sports clothing, but just to start, you just need something comfortable.

Doctors and psychologists believe that running improves several different areas of body development, since not only is it good for your heart, as it might increase your life span and decreases the probability of contracting some diseases, but also it can be an activity working for your self-esteem, social skills and to run the stress away. And you can run wherever you wish and enjoy the sights as you go. And if you do run, maybe you can join next year’s Great South Run.

Last Sunday Portsmouth was invaded by its usual (Morrisons) Great South Run and several athletes (and non-athletes as well) endorsed by a rather voluminous crowd that took over Portsmouth streets – more than 25 000 participants were seen on the run.

First edition of this Great South Run took place in 1990 and since then it turned out to be one of the Europe’s most crowded races – we all had a good look how crowded it can be, last Sunday!

The race is not categorized as a semi-marathon and it is not a 10 000 m race. It goes for a distance of 10 miles (about 16 000 m). Therefore, it is not a recognized distance by the International Association of Athletics Federations. That being so, many argue that most of the elite athletes were absent this year since they could not get results for their admission for the Olympics in 2016, Brazil.

Nonetheless, one of the most notorious athletes of nowadays showed up to take the winning prize for the woman’s elite – the Kenyan Vivian Cheruiyot. After only 51 minutes and 17 seconds she cruised home and we must remember that this athlete has won on several occasions, recently on the 10 000 meters run on the IAAF World Championships, Beijing, this year. It was a great pleasure to see this top athlete in Portsmouth!

As for the elite men, victory smiled upon Uganda’s Moses Kipsiro, 46 minutes, though closely followed by the Kenyans Kipsang (46 minutes, 08 seconds) and Bett (46 minutes and 11 seconds).

Several athletes and supporters appeared on the morning race, though the majority were running for charities. A good purpose to run for. More details about these charities and how to join for next year’s run click here.

If you are interested to get a detailed view on the course of the race, just click here.

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To participate you have to keep up and endure this race (it is not a short one) and to be able to enjoy while you compete with yourself, one should practice a while. There are different starters groups. Colored orange went first, followed by the white and then green athletes upon their personal results/time.

There are some groups running at weekends and you will surely find many people running near the seafront. It can be busy sometimes. Southsea parkrun is advertised in several social networks (in the University of Portsmouth facebook page at least) and it seems a good way to join people who are into running, Saturdays at 9am.

Hope this was interesting and if you missed the chance to cheer for the Great South Run athletes, don’t forget there is more next year 😉

Ines

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Free time, Other University Factors, Portsmouth

A Reason To Say Yes… Opportunity!

When I was a humble 16 year old boy I took part in the National Citizen Service, which is an opportunity for 15-17 year olds to give back to their community which runs nationwide. It was from this moment that I knew I would definitely go to university. It was only when I got to university this year that I would be gaining more than just a degree.

I had heavily underestimated the amount of activities, societies and sports clubs there were. I chose to join the lacrosse club – which was completely new and foreign to me but I absolutely love it! I joined the karate club – which I had been doing for nearly 4 years and the club were so welcoming and friendly! Aside from these clubs and the societies I joined I really wanted to push myself and expand my skill set… So I did the completely natural thing and decided to start learning Mandarin.

I figured that if 850 million people could speak Mandarin, then what was stopping me from learning it?

I soon realised that this challenge I set myself was probably the epitome of the word challenge. Between remembering the simple phrases and written language that go with it, there really is a lot to learn! However even though I have only been doing it for around a month I feel so enriching knowing that I can have a basic conversation with someone who cannot speak English, not to mention the conversations I can have with myself!

你好。我叫 Kieran。我十八岁。我很好你呢?我的生日是一九九七年四月一七号。今天是二零一五年十月二十五号,星期天。

Translation:
Hello my name is Kieran. I am 18 years old and you? My birth date is 17th April 1997. Today is the year 2015, the month is October and it is the 25th day, a Sunday.

As you can see, in only 5 weeks you can learn a lot! And that’s not even all I’ve learnt there is a whole plethora of conversation to be had!

If you take away anything from reading please let it be to give everything a chance and say yes to opportunity!

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Course, Portsmouth

MA Digital Marketing… What is it?

Ciao!

So, as I’m slowly getting deeper into the first semester of my postgraduate year and more in depth in my course, my first assignment’s due date is reaching and I think that I’m kind of nervous but more excited overall to hand in my first assignment! I have about another week to go, but I still need to focus and give in a great essay.

If you don’t know already, I am studying MA Digital Marketing,  a course I really wanted to get involved to as soon as I saw it on the university’s postgraduate course list, since I have always been passionate about all things related to Internet , online marketing , social media and of course blogging! So far my course has been all about marketing theories, analyzing systems of a marketing plan as well as a few business concepts but pretty soon we’re going to start working on practical tasks and applications, such as Photoshop since the university has very gratefully given us MacBook Air laptops to work on! (yep, you read that right 🙂 ).

I basically have only two classes for each semester and in this one, I’m currently studying for Essentials of Marketing as well as Digital Marketing Strategy Development and Management. They sound hard, but both are extremely interesting and I personally have learnt a lot so far about marketing that I didn’t know even existed!   Essentials of Marketing is more or less about the most important theories of marketing in depth, while in the Digital Marketing Strategy Development and Management class we are currently analyzing the different systems that marketing has to analyze and promote a company’s elements and characteristics. By the end of this semester, we will also have to present business proposals to clients as a part of our project for this specific tutorial – so the pressure is really on!

Next semester I’m going to be attending another two classes called Digital Media Development & Application and Contemporary Issues in Marketing, which I don’t have much to say about them since they haven’t started! However, judging from their names, the first one is regarding the different applications that we’re going to use on the Macbook through marketing prospectives, while the second one will be examining the current trends in the marketing world.

Summarising, MA Digital Marketing is extremely intriguing and stimulating for anyone that is interested in modern – day marketing. From my point of view,  I’m learning so much about this field, so I would definitely recommend it to anyone that wants a career in marketing as this specific program is incredibly diverse with great support from professors.

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I know it’s irrelevant but I wanted to share with you a selfie of my friends and classmates on Saturday(17/10) , where we went to Pitcher and Piano restaurant in Southampton! Great times 🙂

XOXO Ntina

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