Clubs and societies, Reflection

A homage to Brawlings Farm.

Every day is another day. Another day closer to my yard at home closing down. Another day closer to knowing that my safe haven, my home, my family will no longer be. Its weird to think that I will be going somewhere else and going back to square one. A place I know only too well.

5 or so years ago we went away for new years and had booked us to have a riding lesson. The horses were a bit excited as it had snowed. We did some jumping and were told not to jumping position. I fell off and since then I became a very nervous rider. What scared me most was that I would fall off and break something to not ride for weeks on end. Riding for me was not just about being around horses and learning a new skill it was also about the people. The people I knew would be there week in, week out to tell me everything was okay and to help me when I got nervous or got on a pony I hadn’t ridden before. Everyone felt like a sister to me and I really enjoyed spending sunny days at the yard. Every year I would go to pony club camp and always had so much fun and I saw a definite improvement in my riding.

The one thing I have learnt about myself as I have got older is that I do not cope well with change, so knowing that the next time I ride at Brawlings will be my last is certainly hitting a nerve as I know I will have to find a new riding school and build up a rapport with new instructors and new people. I don’t like change and I struggle to cope with change and it is going to be very weird at first not driving to Brawlings every Saturday with the biggest smile on my face and just the happiness I cannot explain. The thing is- nothing will be Brawlings and this is something I have had to come to accept over the past weeks. Nothing is comparable to the place I loved and made so many great memories over the years.

The one person who has completely taken me under their wing is Carolyn and I know when the day comes I wont be able to say what I want  to say as I will probably be crying my eyes out but I am so thankful to Carolyn and all the instructors at Brawlings for always looking after me. Carolyn, you nurtured me after that fall and made sure I was never harsh on my self. You pushed me on difficult horses who I soon came to love and I honestly would not be where I am today without you. I have so much more confidence now and although I get frustrated easily when I have to jump but I am getting there and it is all about increasing my confidence and just having fun.

I want to say thank you to every instructor at Brawlings who has helped improve my riding and have always made me feel so welcome. The friends I have made I will cherish forever and I hope to be able to keep in contact with them for many years to come. I feel although I will never been Ben Maher I have achieved some personal goals whilst riding at Brawlings and I will never forget the laughs we had (when girths were too loose or words were said in funny ways). Thank you especially to Judy for making Brawlings the best days of my life.

 

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One of the earliest photos I can find from Brawlings. (2009)

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Fizz (2013)

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Daisy.(2013)

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My first pony club camp on Lily.

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The last christmas eve party- again on Lily. (2015)

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Clubs and societies, Free time, Home, Job hunting, Nightlife, Other University Factors

10 things year 1 has taught me…

Seeing as it is almost easter and almost the end of our teaching time for year 1 (how has that happened?!?!) I thought I would reflect on my time as a fresher and tell you 10 things year 1 has taught me….so far.

  1. To make gravy….you need HOT water….(yes I tried to add cold water to the granules and wondered why it wasn’t working….#fail)
  2. ALWAYS carry your key with you….like ALWAYS! There was a time where I got locked out and my key was in my room and I had to wait about 45 mins to be let in my room!
  3. Make good use of all the support you are offered the wellbeing service, student support managers…even the SABBS want to make sure you are doing okay!
  4. Make your room as homely as you can! I always feel so at home in my room thanks to the pictures an the little quotations and the fairy lights, it is a lot easier to settle at uni if you enjoy spending time in your room!
  5. Stay in touch with old school friends. Making new friends is great but I have had many a conversation with some old school friends. It helps if you or they are struggling as you are able to give them advice as you probably know them best.
  6. Buy food for lunch/dinner you enjoy making and eating, you are more likely to want to cook after a long day at university if this is the case. (see my last blog post; https://studentblog.port.ac.uk/2016/03/10/easy-meals-for-university/)
  7. Get involved! I was elected deputy faculty rep at the start of the year and I have made so many contacts through this. It has given me a great opportunity to meet some third years and masters students who are all lovely. I have also just been elected National events officer for RAG and Donor Recruitment officer for Portsmouth Marrow, I hope to be elected as  Faculty rep next year…..phew!
  8. Try new things! One thing I was adamant about when I came to uni was that I wasn’t going to go out. However supported by my UAB family I managed to stay out for almost 2 hours ….now I want to go out again!!
  9. Volunteer- but not just for your CV! I emailed a lot of performing arts schools to see if they would give me a job- I found a company looking for a volunteer and I took that on instead. It was honestly the best thing I have done. The director (Bekki) is so lovely and I really enjoy going there every Wednesday.
  10. Andddd 10. Get the balance of going home right. When I first started university I was told by my violin teacher not to go home for at least 3 weeks. It worked a treat as I was homesick but not too much. I kept myself busy and looked forward to going home. I have also made little surprises home as well this year which are a really nice thing to do and make you feel really good about yourself.
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Clubs and societies, International, Uncategorized

Street and Break dance at Portsmouth University!

A blog post from one of our International Student Ambassadors.

maralBy Maral Amini

Do you enjoying dancing? Do you want to find brilliant inspired friends at Portsmouth University? Do you want to compete for street and break dance society? If YES you are in a right place!

Firstly let’s see- what’s street and break dance?

The University of Portsmouth offers a range of different classes for street and break dance from beginner to intermediate. Street dance covers locking, house, popping, whacking. We learn different routines with different style each time. Each routine takes about 3 weeks and after 3, 4 routines we will get ready for performances and competitions. I myself joined this society one year ago and I was a beginner. However I improved a lot. I believe the most interesting fact about this society is the people who make it a friendly environment. We have socials every other 2 weeks. We go out and dance! We also practice and show off our moves in the club! 90 % of all the members are international students and I myself, as an international student really enjoy this friendly society. We have students from china, Malaysia, Poland, Iran, Spain etc. I found very close, good friends of mine from this society. We are like a small family for each other. I participated in 2 competitions since I joined this society . The experience is remarkably enjoyable. You have to train more for the competitions, so you get a chance to be with the crew more often. One of the fascinating facts about the people in the society is they are very supportive. I myself sometimes couldn’t get the moves as fast as the others in the crew but the members were so patient and friendly and they help me to improve massively.

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The competitions are really good experience as you have a chance to see other dance groups and many professionals. This can inspire you to train harder and harder. We also have some charity activities such as dancing to raise money. This is a fantastic opportunity to express yourself and have a chance to get involved in charity activities such as RAG. This society changed my lifestyle! I experienced new things, meet new people and understood that university is more than studying! You will learn to be more competitive, supportive and also increase your teamwork and leadership.

maral competition

So don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy, get fit, meet new people and have fun at university of Portsmouth!

Join to our Facebook page to get more information:   https://www.facebook.com/groups/uopbreaking/

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Architecture, Clubs and societies, Course, Coursework, Free time, Home, Portsmouth

New Term

It takes a little while after summer to get back into the swing of things at Uni. Getting up at a reasonable time, going to bed at a reasonable time and sticking to a routine is not necessarily something that happens during the summer months. Luckily I was really looking forward to getting started again, dare I say it but our break was almost a bit too long, I wanted to see my Uni friends again and actually have a purpose to my life! The novelty of summer wears off pretty quickly when you realise you haven’t actually got many plans. That being said, I went away with friends to Wales and Turkey, went to Cornwall with my boyfriend and family, as well as going to Victorious Festival here in Portsmouth! I also did some part-time work and had plenty of pyjama days.

Starting back with our course was as busy as we anticipated; as per usual our tutors had no delays in dishing out the work. Our first project was set during induction week, though we’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that induction week just doesn’t exist in architecture, there was no plan to coax us back in slowly. It was inevitable from the start that this year is going to be tougher. Our current design project is twice the size of our last and worth half the credits, plus we have half the time! Just a small challenge! However I’m really happy with my tutor this year, he’s been one of my favourite lecturers throughout my first two years and is really constructive when we’re talking about our designs.

One of the most exciting things about this year is that I’ve made it onto teams for the University of Portsmouth Equestrian Club. I was part of the club last year but I can’t wait to get into it a bit more and ride on a regular basis. It’s so nice to still be able to carry on with a sport I really enjoy, even when I’m away from home and my pony!

I’ll be going home for the first time this term next weekend, which is a record for me! I’m still a home girl at heart but I am finding it easier to spend longer periods of time away from my family. That being said, I’m really looking forward to going home and seeing everyone, mostly for going to my brother’s tennis club on Saturday morning where they make the yummiest cakes ever! It’ll be lovely to have one of Mum’s roasts too…

x

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Clubs and societies, Course, Free time, Nightlife, The city

Chaplaincy

Located on the ground floor of the Nuffield Centre there’s a space called the Chaplaincy, and in today’s blog I wanted to highlight this great place.

Chances are that many students are not aware of it. It’s a quiet, interfaith area, where students can relax on sofas and beanbags to chat or chill-out in a peaceful and civilised environment. Fairy lights strung up the walls and classical music playing gently in the background give the Chaplaincy a hospitable feeling. There are even free tea and coffee making facilities – useful to know when your wallet’s empty but you could do with a hot drink to help you recharge! If you ever have time in-between lectures and don’t have a place to turn, I’d wholeheartedly recommend the Chaplaincy. Just respect that it’s a quiet place, and it should stay that way.

Take a look here to find out more. The Chaplaincy is a place for people of any faith, or none at all. Although I’ve never met with a chaplain myself, they’re always around to speak to if you have any problems, and you don’t even need an appointment.

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Clubs and societies, Course, Free time, Island Experience, Nightlife, Study, The city

Hello February!

I can’t believe it has been a whole month since Big Ben struck twelve and the date ticked over to 2014. It’s certainly been a very wet and windy start to the year!

Although my dissertation was looking quite pitiful at the beginning of this second term, somehow the word-count now reads nearly 7000, and I’ve finally emailed my work to my supervisor for review – I’m eagerly awaiting the feedback!

While I try to muster up my energy for the next bout of disso writing, the ebb and flow of life pushes me softly onwards, and time slips by like water through open hands. I took a few minutes to complete the Nation Student Survey and got a free lunch voucher. (The information from the NSS goes to Unistats, a great website for comparing University courses.) Then I went to see the powerful and emotional film ‘12 Years A Slave‘ with group of coursemates last week. You can’t look at slavery the same once you’ve seen such a movie, and it really does hammer home the learning from my current two units, ‘African American History and Culture’ and ‘Civil Rights in the USA’. Yes, watching a film really can count as studying.

On a lighter note, I also spent a weekend with my girlfriend cooking Japanese food and playing Pokémon Crystal on Gameboy, because it’s cool to be retro. Everyone deserves a break at the weekend, right?

So now February has arrived, and another month of universitying and dissertationing lies ahead. Bring it on!

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Clubs and societies, Course, Free time, Island Experience, Music, Nightlife, Sport, The city

Freshers!

I remember my first ever experience of Freshers Fayre at the University of Portsmouth – it seems like such a long time ago! Wherever I went there were people in the streets handing out leaflets and free things: a flyer for Ken’s Kebabs, a bag of coupons for a restaurant I’d never heard of, a free can of drink from club I would never visit, a free haircut, lollipops, badges and discount shopping vouchers. It was overwhelming! And that was even before I’d pushed my way towards Ravelin Park!

Already my hands were aching from carrying so many flyers. Then I was hit by the noise and the sheer amount of people mingling in the park. More vouchers were thrust into my hands, and then inside the tents so many societies vying to attract new recruits. It seemed like total chaos, and I remember going home to feel relieved to be alone again.

Freshers Fayre is pretty much like that, but I’ve learned to love it during my time. Rather than getting frustrated at the constant leafleters, I smile and gladly take their offerings in the hopes of finding a free pen or some sweets buried amongst the multitude of leaflets in their advertisement packs. I can feel the music pulsing through me at I get nearer to Ravelin Park, and I sense a twinge of excitement as I marvel at the huge number of sports clubs and societies there are on offer. You could never join them all – though what a blast it would be if you could! And I can’t really complain about queuing for one (or six) free slices of pizza from the Domino’s stand.

What to my younger self seemed like pure disorder has actually become one of my favourite times of the academic year. I now come back from Fresher’s feeling pumped and tingling, enthused to start a new year of study.

I was even lucky enough to spend this Fresher’s Fayre with a great bunch of my friends, representing the Japanese Language and Culture Society. How strange it was to be on the other side of this whole little festival. No longer was I the bemused boy wandering around in confusion – now I was the guy behind the stall, standing with the kimono girls and telling potential members about our great new society. It was a lot of fun!

The moral? Enjoy Freshers Fayre, and seriously sign up to some clubs. Any clubs. There’s no excuse for not finding at least one which interests you. Please take it from me: you will have a load more fun at uni if you get involved and meet some new people!  

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