Hitting the deadlines

teaThis week marks the return to university from placement in the hospital, and the return to responsibilities. When you are on placement, even for only 5 weeks, university and assignments seem a distant memory.
These last few days have been a bit of a wake up call. With an assignment due Friday and another in a couple of weeks time, it is time to knuckle down and get things done.
I spoke with a lecturer today, and she asked me how I cope when I am stressed. The truth is, I drink tea and cuddle my cats a bit tighter than they would like. As such, this evening has consisted of cookies, tea and folders to get tasks completed. (The cats seemed less than interested in a snuggle.)

Now I am feeling relaxed and motivated to get these deadlines met.

Good luck with any deadlines of your own.



Student blog 1: week 7, 3815 miles…. (109 miles a day multiplied by 5 days a week multiplied again by 7 weeks for those of you who care.)

So a bit of back ground as I am new to this whole blogging thing.(You may also figure out from reading this I am also no literary genius either….)

Never blogged before so be patient with me if I am rubbish, Please?

I studied an undergrad BA business studies at Portsmouth, this was a 4 year course with my third year working full time at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in the marketing department. So after 4 years I decided I wanted to take a Masters, but I was also fed up of being a broke student…

So solution: I work full time for a vehicle leasing and insurance broker as well as studying full time at Portsmouth for the MSC and I also travel to and from Surrey every day as although it’s a massive pain its cheaper than renting a place in Portsmouth end result I’m kind of busy.  Which is why end result you haven’t heard a peep from me until now.

So nothing super exciting for you the reader has happened as far as lectures go. But what has happened is a lot of running around the city to and from my car to lectures back to the car to move it again so I don’t get a ticket (Still managed to get one this year as I paid for parking then put the wrong ticket in the window….) great way to get fit but a giant waste of time so looking into faster ways to get to and from the car.

Oh as if I am not busy enough at the moment I am also saving for my wedding to my fiancé of two years who I met in my first year of university (Rees halls, for anyone feeling particularly nosey.) And I am back and forth with a solicitor working on my hopefully not too far away new company (its super-secret for now so shhhh!) So will it all work out or will I be overloaded and burn out?

Oh and I bought a drone, a big one to go out and about and take some pics from the sky so I may share some of them if any of them are interesting.

Honestly I don’t know so if you stick about you will find out with me.

I think I am done boring you to death for now if you have read this far thank you, and if you are a final year undergrad stressing…. Don’t, if you do your work it’s a breeze, a slow one granted but a breeze none the less

See you next time



Picking Portsmouth

With the recent and upcoming open days here I felt it would be apt to write a post about my memories of my very first open day at The University of Portsmouth.

I remember the first time I ever saw the uni website. I was sat in the silent study area of my sixth form desperately trying to find more unis I could research and maybe visit. I study Creative Writing and not many universities actually offer my course. Added to the fact I knew I wanted to be within a 2 and a half hour radius from home that left me with very limited choice. I didn’t look at Portsmouth because the course was entitled Creative & Media Writing and I was really put off by the Media aspects of this, having not studied it before. After an assembly from my head of year in which he said if the course has the same UCAS code it is very likely to be the same despite having a different name I decided to check out the website.

I was immediately drawn to the style of the website. I loved that it didn’t look like any other university website I’d looked at. I loved the quirky artsy style in wonky purple font. I was shown beautiful images of the sea and it excited me immediately. I knew before even reading about it that I was interested.

And so, not too long after my mum and I got up nice and early one morning to take the now ever-familiar trundle down to Portsmouth. It was sweltering hot and as we wound down the windows on the drive into the city I remember feeling this anticipation building. She pointed out the Spinnaker tower to me and I pictured doing this drive in a few months time as a fresher.

We parked up and wandered the streets. The sun was kissing our skin pink as we searched for the building I had my welcome talk in. Immediately I had fallen in love with the city. I don’t know whether it was the heat, the mood or, forgive the cliche but, fate.

We had lunch in The Fleet which was so cheap and cheerful. I remember chatting to a girl who was working behind the bar about uni life and feeling the excitement bubble up inside of me. She later served our food to us and she exclaimed what a lot of work my course was but it didn’t put me off one bit. No, it made me feel even more determined to get myself down there and prove myself. When the waitress left I told my mum this was where I wanted to be. ‘I can see myself living here’, I told her, beaming. I remember it so clearly, sat at that table which I sit at so often now. This feels right. It’s bizarre, like a sixth sense, finding the uni which is right for you. You just know. And I knew.

It was only cemented even further when I attended my course presentation. I listened to the lecturers talk about the course and for once I didn’t spend the duration playing with my hair and checking my watch and phone. I was fully engaged. I was excited. The head of my course encouraged us to speak and we even did some writing activities. Every lecturer seemed enthusiastic about what they were doing. I could see myself speaking to them about my work. I already wanted to pick their brains, as respected authors.

After, we drove to the seafront. We parked near Rees Halls and I stared up at the building, picturing myself sat in one of those bedrooms, staring out at the sea. That could be me in a year. This could be my home. 

We bought ice-creams at Clarence Pier and I was a little child again when I saw the Winnie-the-Pooh ride which was outside the arcade. Then, we wandered along the seafront. We were covered in sun-cream and I still worried about burning. I lay on the pebbles and closed my eyes, listening to the sea and soaking in the sun. I pictured myself here, doing just this in years to come. Nothing had ever felt so right.

Now here I am, not quite laying on the beach soaking in the sun in this cold weather, but here nonetheless! Portsmouth will always have a huge part in my heart. I have found home here, found family in my housemates, even found love. Picking Portsmouth was the best decision I ever made.


What do we have here?

First of all, happy World Radiography Day 2016!

I thought that I would celebrate by giving you a taste of the life of a student therapeutic radiographer on placement. An inside look of what we have to fill our pockets with every day.

From left to right:

  • FSD reader. When we set a patient we have to check the “Focus to Skin Distance” this means how far the radiation source is from the patient. The machine projects the distance (in cm) onto the skin and we use the card to help us see.
  • Notebook – there can be some interesting tips to pick up along the way which warrant writing down. We also have to take phone calls and pass on messages.
  • My name badge. We have high security as we work with lethal doses of radiation, I can’t get into any areas without my key card!
  • TLD (attached to lanyard). This is my dose badge. We have a limit of radiation exposure each year to ensure that we do not cause ourselves damage. It gets replaced every three months after our dose reading is checked.
  • 4 fine-tip, permanent pens. We tattoo patients, we give them a little dot (nothing extravagant). We use these dots to align the patient with lasers in the room. This ensures that the patient is in the right place and we will not give radiation dose to any healthy areas, which could have detrimental effects to the patient. We use these pens to make the tattoo slightly more visible when we turn off the lights!
  • Calculator – we often get some fiddly sums when we add the cumulative dose to the patient or calculate the dose.
  • Pens and pencils – to make notes and to fill in treatment sheets.
  • Ruler – when we align the tattoos to the lasers they can sometimes be slightly off. We ensure that we make the alignment before we match to the lasers. We also use it to ensure that breast patients’ chins are out of the radiation field so that it doesn’t receive dose. Furthermore, when we treat breast patients we use the ruler to ensure the radiation field covers where we have planned it to. We measure from the edge of the beam to the tattoo to ensure we cover the whole breast sufficiently.
  • 4 colour pen – the therapy rad’s most stolen possession! we use different colours on the patient treatment sheet for different parts. E.g. fraction (treatment) number, FSD, total dose, daily dose and monitor units. They also seem to go missing all too frequently!
  • Fob watch – a wrist watch isn’t allowed as it goes against infection control procedures.

I hope you’ve found my little insight interesting. It fills out my pockets to bursting! (Also when you sit down it all falls out and the ruler leaves a permanent bruise in your abdomen!)

Best wishes,


Accomodation, Course, Student, Student Housing

Top tips for the ideal open day

The first thing on your mind with an open day should be:

What questions can I ask and what criteria can I use to see if this university and course is right for me?

Some questions which I found particularly useful to use were regarding the course – one of the most important aspects for choosing a university, these would include asking about the learning style of the course, coursework versus examinations, practice versus theory or independent work versus in-class hours. While a lot of course as well as university information can be found online, meeting course lecturers, admissions tutors and current students is invaluable and your questions shouldn’t be asked without researching whether the answers are readily available.

Preparing questions should be done as preparation but you should attempt to plan the day too, selecting where you should visit and who you should see to get the most out of the day. Try to gather a list of useful contacts (for example, course leader) then consider emailing questions if you find you still have some left after the open day.

Talks offered at open days are often well worth going to and those on certain topics such as finance shouldn’t be dismissed just because you presume you know everything about a certain topic. You should absolutely have your eyes on places of accommodation to visit; indeed, if you’re able to visit multiple places then consider different types (catered/self-catered, en-suite/shared bathroom) as this will give you insight into what you prefer when choosing halls of residence. Don’t ignore the library, as many students often underestimate the time they plan on spending at a library throughout the year, getting a feel of the place now will help you when deadlines come up in the later part of the year.

For a city university like Portsmouth I was able to explore the local area naturally when visiting the various sites throughout the city, but for a dedicated campus university the surrounding area is worth having a look at. More than likely your open day is happening in the university year, so taking a look at noticeboards advertising events can give you a good idea of night-life and what to expect from the sports or events scene.

Finally, can you see yourself maximising your time here? Able to excel and live there for at least three years? A university decision shouldn’t be made hastily despite pressures from your current academic work.

Good luck.

Course, Portsmouth, Student, Study, The city, Uni Life

First Year in a Nutshell

Exactly 419 days ago I travelled a fair few miles down to the South coast of England to embark on a new chapter of my life. I waved Goodbye to my family, Goodbye to my friends, Goodbye to food, Goodbye to sleep, Goodbye to all sense of sanity and settled into a new city that would be my home for the next three years.

20150913_123544I had soo much stuff!  It was a struggle to get it all in the car #throwback

This was the first time I had ever really been away from home by myself so I was a little out of my comfort zone. Although I was well-equipped with how to look after myself I had never cooked a proper meal in my life nor had I ever had to do everything for myself, so it took a bit of getting used to.

I must point out that I was also one of the few that unfortunately didn’t get a place in the university halls so I was even more nervous as I was quite a walk from the University and had no idea where anything was. Google Maps definitely helped me through my first few weeks and by then I had scoped out the area, found my University buildings and the local shops.

The city itself was a little different to what I was used to, it was a lot smaller and I soon noticed that aside from the mass of students it was very quiet. I rather enjoyed this though, it made life seem more calm and relaxed.

Freshers week was a real laugh. I didn’t go overboard but I still had tons of fun. I loved the fact that everyone was so open and talkative, happy and enjoying themselves, living in the moment. I met a lot of people from different parts of the UK which was quite nice and some of whom I’m still friends with now. I would encourage everyone to go and have fun, that’s what freshers is all about! And if the freshers parties and club events are really not your thing, you can still go the freshers fayre and attend the variety of society tasters they have going on.

After a couple weeks I had settled into a whole new routine, met some wonderful new people and got stuck into my course. At first, I admit I found my course rather challenging. It is quite a difference to Sixth form or College but more in terms of teaching than content in my opinion. A lot of my first year units built on what I had already learnt so having that foundation made it a lot easier. I’d say the step up from College to University was fitting in terms of my course, especially having done such relevant A-levels (Biology, Chemistry, Maths). The assignments were quite time-consuming but I found them rather enjoyable. I loved doing more research and learning more about different areas of my course. If anyone is debating University because of the work load the only thing I’d mention is that you do have a lot of time. By far a lot more than I had at College. It does depend on the course, but most of the time university hours are equivalent to only 3 days a week.

Although I spent a lot of my free time going out and having fun with my friends I was often found in the library hard at work, especially close to exam time. I managed to finish with the equivalent to a 2:1 which is pretty good.

A year and a half later and here I am. In contrast, I can now successfully cook myself dinner (and I promise it’s not just pasta everyday), I’m managing my schedule pretty well, aiming for a first class grade and almost half way through my degree which I must stay is pretty scary. It’s definitely gone by quick. I’d stay that the first year was quite a learning curve for me and so i’ll leave you with the three most important lessons I learnt…

1. Stay true to yourself

You’ll meet tons of different people, from different upbringings and with different morals. Some people think that they have to change to fit in but University gives you the platform to express yourself, and be you. There is something for everybody. You can still be you and do your own things, just in a different surrounding with lots of opportunities to do things you’ve always wanted to do.

2. Make the most of it

You’re not going to be at University all your life (unless you decide to study forever and become a lecturer) so make the most of the time you have there. Try different things, go out, explore, maybe even join a club or society. One day you’ll look back at your University days, so make it something to remember.

3. Don’t forget what you’re there for

Coming from experience it’s important to keep the right balance between work and play.

“Work hard, play harder”

There is nothing better than celebrating success. Having a good night out after finishing exams or finally handing in that assignment. But don’t be that person with nothing to celebrate.

Hope you enjoyed my post, See you soon 🙂



Remember remember the 5th November…

Remember remember, the 5th of November,

Gunpowder, treason and plot,

I see no reason why Gunpowder, treason,

Should ever be forgot. 


Bonfire night. Guy Fawkes night. Fireworks night. Bonfires are lit and fireworks are sent into the sky creating beautiful displays for all to see. This year I came home for fireworks night to go and see my local fireworks display. With a few lot of layers on we braved the cold and went to see the display.



The bonfire.

The field, when we arrived, was already absolutely packed. Luckily it was on a hill so we headed to the very top to get the best view, (also helped as I am quite small..)  The fireworks were a little late but eventually the countdown began and the first firework raced into the sky. The fireworks display is set to music but you couldn’t really hear it over the fireworks.


The finale was crazy there were so many fireworks being let off at once you didn’t really know where to look!



I do not think the photos quite showed how amazing the last seconds were so I will post the video. (Sorry for the camera movement but as you can see there was just SO much going on!!)

Bonfire night also marks a week till my birthday, which I am very excited about!! The next time I write on my student blog I will be 20…..oh goodness….I may do a special extra blog post next week but we will have to see how much work I have to do! I am hoping to have none on my birthday!!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I made a slideshow using WordPress as there were SO many photos and I could not possibly fit them all on a page! This blog post has had a lot of photos but I love photos of fireworks so hopefully, you will too!

See you next week! 🙂

Rhi x