Home, Reflection, Student, Uni Life

“What’d I miss?!”

As some of the eagle-eyed amongst you may have realised, the title of one of the songs from the musical “Hamilton”, which recently I have become absolutely OBSESSED with. I can wrap “Guns and Ships” almost perfectly and know near enough 70% of the words to the rest of the musical. However, some of you may also have noticed I haven’t blogged since November…last year…. I could make lots of excuses but the main reason has been that work in year 2 is a whole step up from that in year 1. The course this year contains a number of group projects so you can see why I have been slightly stressed and away! So in case, you were asking me….”What’d I miss?!” I thought I would share a few photos and things that I have been up to since November last year!

In November I turned 20… I was very thankful to have a very long birthday as I celebrated with my family and friends. For my party, I wanted to unleash my inner child so we headed to Playzone in Hilsea which was amazing!  We got the train and then walked which was a lot cheaper and a lot easier than getting a taxi and I would highly encourage it if you want to go but are a little low on money! I also managed to beat my nerves and go down the red slide, which was very scary but I would definitely do it again!



My birthday “Millie’s Cookie”!

The lead up to Christmas was slightly mad, to say the least, but was probably the most enjoyable time so far! I was lucky enough to present the “Bingo” section at the Annual Members Meeting with Andy, the science faculty rep! It was good fun and I loved my time on the stage!


Every weekend in December I disappeared back home to present “Radio Christmas”, a charity radio station that raises money for “Street Kids Direct Uk”. It was great to be back on the radio every weekend for two hours on my show that I named, “Tinsel and Tunes!”. The radio station was created in somebody’s house which was a very new to me  but an amazing experience  nonetheless and I want to thank everyone at Radio Christmas for their support and feedback!


In the studio for Radio Christmas.

When I left University for Christmas and finally settled at home, the run-up to Christmas seemed longer than usual, but maybe the 5-year-old in me was still too excited!! I could write a whole blog post about the run up to Christmas and the days themselves but what I can say is that they were amazing and I was very lucky and grateful! I was so excited to see all my family, some who I do not get to see that regularly at all so was great to catch up with them. Below is a photo from Olympia the international horse show. Being a horse rider myself this always gives me so much enthusiasm and inspiration for the sport.


Olympia- the horse show.


This year I am aiming to get fitter and healthier and beat my time in the Great South Run from last year and jump more confidently and higher on horses.

I will try and get back into a routine with this blogging businesses but until next time…




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.



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


Fizz (2013)




My first pony club camp on Lily.


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

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!

Free time, Other University Factors, Reflection, Student, Uncategorized, Uni Life, Work experience

Not-Quite ‘Bucket Lists’

Anyone who has read any of my posts before knows I am a list maker. I LOVE WRITING LISTS. They keep me feeling calm and organised (even when I’m not!).

In case anyone missed the post I wrote back in January, I have started a little tradition with myself at the New Year. Here‘s the link for anyone curious. I don’t quite think I can call my mini ‘bucket lists’ a tradition yet as I’ve only done one, but I wrote a ‘to do’ list for the academic year.

On my very first day in my new house in Portsmouth, 4th September 2015, I sat down and I wrote a list of everything I wanted to achieve this year. This included things like actually getting into the sea (still haven’t done it – it’s so cold!), pitching an article to The Debrief (I did it!), travelling to Budapest or Croatia (Budapest is booked for June), performing at an open mic poetry night (I now help to run one as well) and finally showing people my music (I have my fifth gig on Tuesday). So all-in-all seems successful. I feel like I may have forgotten some things I haven’t done so I am going to have another look over it and see what else I can tick off before September comes around again.

First year went so quickly for me and I felt, whilst I loved every second, I could have done more. I could have made the most of it more and pushed myself even further. I wanted to ensure that now I am settled in Portsmouth that I did more. My list has helped me to do that, to ensure I am achieving all the things I want to achieve. It helps me to push myself and focus on my goals.

Of course there is the argument that if I find, come September, that I have failed many of my goals I may feel unnecessarily sad despite what I may have achieved. I prefer to look at it like this: say I haven’t achieved half of my goals, that would be a shame, but I HAVE ACHIEVED THE OTHER HALF. Even if I only achieve one goal, that’s still one goal more than I had the previous year. Here’s a little advice on how to get started.


  1. Don’t set unreasonable goals – you’ll only be disappointed.
  2. Really think what it is what want to achieve. It’ll help motivate you.
  3. Don’t set too many! Pick your top five uni/career goals and your top five life/leisure goals. Do a few simply because they’re fun!
  4. Push yourself, but not too hard. Know your limits. Have you always been too scared to try out for a sports team or too shy to talk to that girl in your Monday afternoon class who seems great? Push yourself to do the things you want to do but don’t say you want to achieve a first in every single piece of work you hand in. That’s pushing yourself too far and setting unrealistic goals (unless you are a complete genius – but even genius’ mess up sometimes!).
  5. Don’t stress too much over it. I find mine helps me focus and subconciously makes me do things I perhaps would normally shy away from.
  6. Have fun!

If you give it a go, let me know. It’d be great to hear what some of you are putting on your lists. I’m off to begin writing mine for next year now!


Home, Portsmouth, Reflection, Year Abroad

Exchange student more than one year Abroad

How the title says, I’m an Exchange Student and I come from very far- I’m from Brazil and I arrived here in May when I started to do PSE (Pre-Sessional English Course), a course to help non-English speakers to improve their English level. So far I can say the experience with the University is really different from Brazil, here we need to be more organized, with time in Brazil we used to have lectures all day, everyday (Mon-Fri) or lectures from 8 to 12. But this is not my real challenge, the real challenge is cooking. Before I arrived in Portsmouth, my skills in the kitchen was near to zero, now I can say: “Cooking is possible to me, thank you Google!”

Well, let me introduce myself my name is Wesley Reuel, I’m from Natal in Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil, one of the hottest cities in my country. I used to say we have four seasons “Summer, Warm, Hot and Super Hot”, if you like a real beach that is the city you need to go to. I’m doing Software Engineering, and this week I got homesickness. Since the Autumn started it is almost impossible not to feel melancholy. I see leaves falling from trees for the first time because the Autumn is really beautiful but it makes me remember my home where we just have Sun all the time. Besides the homesickness the Autumn colours are really amazing and I think I will miss this time when I’m back home.


Missing Home

Missing Home

Architecture, Course, Reflection, Study

Third Year is Approaching. Fast.

I’m finding it very hard to digest the thought that I am now what is known as a ‘third year.’ The fact that I have completed two years of my degree already is so scary, and actually really sad. It feels like only yesterday that I was moving into A-1-1 of James Watson and meeting my flat mates for the first time. Despite the fact I lived with the most amazing bunch and complete mix of people in my first year, I never really knew my place, within my course or my accommodation. I always felt as if I was just ‘bumbling along’ but I never felt entirely comfortable. This year however, has been a difficult year for many personal reasons but on the whole I feel like at the end of Year Two I’ve finally found my place. I know this time next year I am going to be absolutely devastated to be leaving.

I’m not quite sure what it is that has made this year so fulfilling. I think perhaps moving into the new wing of Eldon Building, which had been specifically designed for my course, has been a factor. It really feels like a second home in there now, we have our studios with cupboards to store belongings and work, we have sofas and tea and coffee making facilities’, a fridge and a microwave. You literally could live there if they allowed it! When we moved in after Christmas it became a lot easier to get coursework done and I really felt like I got into a good, productive routine.

Architecture is unlike a lot of courses because we spend an awful lot more time in university than others. We have a ‘studio day’ where we’ll be in uni for the whole day, working in groups of around 20 people. A lot of people choose to work in studio at other times of the week as well, which means you end up getting to know people a lot more than just the odd ‘hello’ when you see them in a lecture twice a week. We’re a pretty sociable bunch, and I’m really lucky to have such a close friendship group within my course. We all tend to help each other out as well, particularly as it nears hand-ins and everyone is getting stressed and tuning into panic mode, it really helps having someone to reassure you who actually understands what you’re going through. I have relied on my course friends a lot this year, it seems like there is someone in the group to fit any purpose, someone for advice, others to make you laugh and cheer you up and others you can sit and chat for hours about absolutely everything with. In all honesty, if it hadn’t been for my incredible friends there is every chance I wouldn’t have completed this year. I’ve had such an astonishing turnaround since Christmas, I now don’t want to leave!

I’m currently trying not to think about the fact I only have one year left at University. All I can say to any fresher’s, or even second years, is to make the most of your time at Portsmouth. Take any opportunities you are given, the time you spend here will go so quickly, and they are years you will remember for the rest of your life.

Halls, Home, Reflection

Lessons Learnt

I can’t help but feel my blog has been (ever so slightly) neglected this term, and I can only apologise for that! For reasons I’m not going to go into on here, I didn’t feel in a position to write anything that would benefit my readers, due to events that happened over Christmas.

Moving onto a slightly more positive note, I thought I would write about what I have learnt about myself as a person since being at University, especially over the past few months. There are a lot of things I couldn’t do this time two years ago, this time last year, and even things I couldn’t do two months ago.

Living in a house compared to living in halls teaches you a lot: how to pay and manage bills, how to work a boiler, just simple things that give you that little extra boost of independence. Fortunately for me, before I started university I was able to cook an array of meals and do my washing, though I know many who didn’t have the faintest idea of where to start. Even so, my cooking skills have improved, and cooking has become a task I really enjoy. I find also that being responsible for myself at University makes me more aware of how much my Mum does for me and the rest of my family at home and as a result of this I feel I’m more likely to offer help around the house – though Mum may not agree! On a more personal level, I have learnt how to live with people that I’m not used to living with, how to react to different peoples personalities and how to manage my life around other peoples.

In terms of the last few months, I have learnt that where before I may have felt dependent on people for support, I’m actually more independent that I thought. Homesickness has always been something I’ve struggled with whilst I’m at Uni, but I’m actually better at dealing with it that I thought, and I have come to realise that I don’t need anyone to help me get through it. Keeping busy with friends and putting all my effort into my coursework are the best remedies!

With the end of second year approaching a lot faster that I would like and anticipated, I’m struggling to come to terms with the fact that I’m over half way through my degree, its exciting yet incredibly scary – the thought of the amount of work I have to get through before I graduate is enough to start a mild panic attack! However, I know with careful planning and consistent effort, plus my new found motivation will be enough to get me through and to a standard I am happy with.