Course, Coursework, Exams, Free time, Future, Island Experience, Portsmouth, Reflection, The city, Uncategorized, Uni Life

Two Years Down, One To Go

I feel like I should be feeling a lot more relieved right now than I actually do. I HAVE FINISHED MY SECOND YEAR AT UNIVERSITY. Wow.

There are so many mixed emotions which come with finishing a year of study. On one hand I feel immensely proud of everything I have done. I have achieved so so much and come so far in the last year. Yet also I feel quite sad. The looming reality of life after uni is starting to really dawn on me. One. More. Year.

It’s insane how quickly the time seems to be going; it feels like mere months ago I was a fresh-faced first year, battling my way up the stairs in Bateson Halls armed with a load of cooking utensils I would never take out of the packaging but needed ‘just in case’, ready to meet my new housemates. It feels like weeks ago I moved into my house I have now been living in for 8 months. I feel a little scared if I’m honest.

I can’t believe my time at Portsmouth is slowly but surely drawing to an end. My heart is sinking as I am writing this just to think about the prospect of leaving. I am so blessed to have spent the time here that I have. A year seems so far away: so much will happen in that time… And yet I think back on the past two and fear that the third will disappear into memories just as quickly.

For now, I am going to enjoy the sea, take trips to my favourite little cafes, exploit the fact we have countless outlet stores at Gunwarf Quays, ride my bike around the most flat city ever and breathe in the sea air! I love Portsmouth so much. I am going to make the most of my remaining time here like I have tried to for the previous two years. I am lucky enough to have the advantage of my course finishing early, meaning I have free time to appreciate Portsmouth.

To all students here: enjoy your time here, do not take it for granted. To future students: coming to Portsmouth will almost certainly be the best three(+) years of your life. And to myself? Here’s to the next and final year!

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Free time, Island Experience, Nightlife, Portsmouth

What I Love About Living in Portsmouth

Whilst I am feverishly jealous of the freshers coming in to begin their journey at Portsmouth, I also feel lucky to be where I am now. I know the city: where’s good, who’s good, what’s good. Writing this blog post has really got me thinking: reflecting both on the last year spent here and the two I have to come. My heart feels swollen with love for the place. When I think of Portsmouth, the first thing I think of is the beach.

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I love living in a seaside city. It’s absolutely magnificent to be able to trundle down to the beach to unwind. There’s something ever so therapeutic about the sea. Being able to lay on the beach whenever you want is just amazing, whether you are going to watch the sunset, to have a daring dip in the water, to calm down, to read, to run, to just lie on the pebbled shore and listen to the waves, it is simply indescribable and certainly an irreplaceable feeling.

If you’re into alternative/indie music then there is this amazing night at Scandals. It is an underground cellar bar and provides an amazing alternative to your usual club night out in Portsmouth. Not to say that the occasional purple Wednesday out at The Fleet and Popworld isn’t welcome!

When I think of Portsmouth I think of independent unique little shops and pubs and cafes. Portsmouth is bursting with hidden gems: take a walk down Albert Road and you’ll always find something going on, from silent discos, to unique little cafes, from live music to tiny artsy antique shops. A personal favourite of mine is Southsea’s Pie & Vinyl which you’ll most likely pass on a meander down towards the seafront. Their pies are outstanding. It’s an adorably quirky place with some very unique pies. You can get anything from fish and chips (yes, in a pie!) to your classic steak and kidney. Being a big music fan I also adore spending an afternoon flicking through their records with a glass of their very own cordial in hand.

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I was so unsure about the move when I arrived in Portsmouth, full of crippling nerves and doubt, but now I couldn’t be happier. It’s a beautiful place to live and study. I’m overwhelmingly excited to be able to spend (at very least) the next two years here, exploring and discovering new places which I’m dying to share with people.

 

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Free time, Island Experience, Nightlife, Portsmouth

Fireworks at Gunwharf Quays

As my friends already know, I love photography and they will always see me with my Nikon walking around the city. When I came here in Portsmouth one of the first things that I did was look up the Photography Society (http://www.filmandphoto.org/).

So, on October 31 the Gunwharf Quays were doing a Fireworks show with some promotions and I went to Gosport with the Photography Society. I can say the show was really amazing! I took some pictures. I just started with this new hobby, it is not so easy as you need to study and read a lot if you want to have good shoots!

We caught the ferry which was just £3.10 return, leaving Portsmouth between 6pm arriving by 6h10pm and waited until 7h20pm when the Fireworks started. Between the arrival point and the place on the pier which is where our leader chose for us to be, we saw a lot of photographers waiting for the show.

The main intention of this post is show the pictures of the Fireworks, if you missed this spectacle here is a little bit of it. If you are interested in seeing more of my photos follow the links below:

Instagram

Flickr

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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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Free time, Island Experience, The city

A Refreshing New Year

Despite the ominous weather England has experienced over this festive season, the clouds gave a small break today and I managed a walk along Southsea seafront, which helped clear my mind and get my body moving again after many days of eating, drinking and sitting around!

The effects of the recent stormy weather and very strong winds were apparent right along the shoreline. The main road following the seafront was closed off, with parts of the promenade and road covered by shingle and debris which had been blown or washed up from the beach. The sea was still quite choppy, with occasional large waves breaking over the sea defences and splashing the unwary passers-by. Several starfish, sadly dead, were also strewn over the beach. Workmen were already at work, starting to clear the road and move pebbles back to the beach.

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It was odd to see the tangible effects of the power of nature, but perhaps a shake-up is good once in a while. It can make you appreciate things all the more, and provide a fresh canvas for new ideas.

It was good to get out for a refreshing walk and catch the rays of sun while they lasted. It might have only been me, but I’m sure there was a relaxed feeling permeating the air, a kind of post-celebration happiness.

It’s been nice to have some time off, but I’m feeling ready to get stuck back into University and finish off the year. A shift back to a working routine will be good for my studies, as I need to focus. This is it, my final term. Ever. I must do well!

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Free time, Island Experience, The city

Autumn at the Park

As October rushes past, the autumn feeling can be felt from the chill in the air, the abounding grey skies, dark evenings and falling yellow leaves which line the pavements with a splash of colour.

In between lectures, I always find it a treat to stroll around Victoria Park, literally two minutes’ walk from the Guildhall. This hidden paradise is a great place to get some air and see nature in the city. Squirrels can be seen jumping between the trees and digging for nuts, there are several water fountains and monuments to admire, and plenty of benches to sit quietly for a few minutes. Animal lovers and children alike will enjoy the miniature zoo at the centre of the park, which has guinea pigs, rabbits and a variety of exotic birds to admire.

Check out the park if you have a while spare – I always find it a really relaxing place to unwind between studying!

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