Blake's View, Clubs and societies, Course, Free time, Island Experience, Nightlife, Sport, Travels

Blake’s View: It’s Not What You Know

They say it’s not what you know in life, but who you know.

It might seem strangely ironic coming from a University student, but the greatest thing I’ve learned so far is the truth of this statement!

Reading Richard’s recent post ‘Friends will be Friends’ really got me thinking.

You see, like my fellow blogger, I had never really ‘met’ anyone who was not British before. Sure, I had been on holiday to foreign lands. But all the friends I had ever had were British. It seemed likely to continue that way for ever.

Yet, one of the best things about University for me has been meeting new people, people who in my average life I would never have had reason to meet. By joining societies, learning a new language and participating in extracurricular activities, I now have friends from far-flung corners of my own country, as well as a variety of places in Europe, Africa and Asia.

People will tell you that University is all about studying, gaining ‘life skills’ or just getting the certificate to improve your prospects of employment. Certainly these were the main reasons in my mind when I convinced myself to give a University degree a second chance. In fact, they’re all good things about University.

But if you look a little deeper, you start to realise that University provides a meeting ground for a wide range of individuals, with different backgrounds, beliefs and abilities. If you make the effort to join a society, take up a sport or learn a language, you will find that you encounter an amazing array of new people. People who, under normal circumstances, you may never have met.

In the future, the friends I have made here will allow me to have new experiences, visit new places, and learn new things. I’ve really enjoyed studying the Americas in my course. But the best thing I will take away with me will be the friends I have made, the happy memories they have provided, and some fantastic opportunities for the future.

Free time, Other University Factors, Travels

Give It A Go…

Why come to university? For a degree? To become more employable? For the experience?

Well yes, all of those and so much more. Being in my second year, I’ve realised what university is all about. Things get a lot harder in the second year and sometimes it’s difficult to keep up with it all. Can’t think what my last year will be like but thats 2 years away for me yet. But being at uni is about developing yourself as a person, creating memories that last a lifetime and experiencing all you can!

I recently visited the Beautiful city of Amsterdam with the Union for a very reasonable price and I want to encourage as many of you as possible to get involved in the Give It A Go Trips. How many people can say they’ve been to Disneyland Paris and Amsterdam in a year as a student? These opportunities don’t last forever so take everything that’s thrown at you!

This time of year is stressful for everyone, with deadlines suddenly upon us and exams right round the corner, there’s hardly time to have a life but be positive and use every second you have. I know students have a tendency to be lazy and waste days lying in bed but this isnt the time to be doing nothing. I have so much on my plate at the moment but the best feeling is knowing that i am doing everything that is given to me and well I may add.

It’s finally time to start living my life, my way with as much as possible in it!


Clubs and societies, Free time, Music, Nightlife, Travels

Day Tripper

Saturday morning arrived, and I found myself on the train to London to meet with friends. An exciting, Japanese-themed day out lay ahead of us.  Once I had met my comrades, we were straight on the Underground to see a LOLcats art exhibition (take a look at this link to get an impression of what we went to see!

We then browsed a few shops, before descending once again for a Tube ride to Piccadilly Circus to find Japan Centre. After scoffing a hot and spicy Japanese chicken dish, there wasn’t much time to take a look because we were once again navigating the Underground system to make it to the Saddler’s Wells theatre. We arrived with little time to spare, and caught a performance of “The Shogun and the English Samurai” at 7.30pm.

The theatre was packed out, and being sat right at the very back we still had an excellent view of the production – though it was unbelievable how high above the stage we were! The play was mostly in Japanese (with English titles), and there were moments of hilarity and sadness, as well as samurai battles and great oriental music. It was definitely worth it.

By the time this had finished at 10.45pm, it was a mad dash back to Victoria to nab the last National Express coach back to Porty.

Even arriving home in the early hours of the morning, I was still buzzing. I had a great time! You can’t beat an excellent day out with a group of friends.

Clubs and societies, Course, Free time, The Galleon, Travels

Super busy.

Well, the past months of university, and life in general, have been ridiculously busy. I guess this is what being an actual proper grown up feels like (turning 22 in November has definitely reminded me I’m getting older now)! Third year has been a whirlwind of reading, essays, editing, going to gigs, reviewing, socialising, and applying for jobs, and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down.

My course

Whilst attempting my dissertation work, there’s been work for other units to contend with and it always seems like time is just slipping away and there aren’t enough hours in the day to fit everything in. Thankfully, a few (a lot of) lengthy days in the library paid off and I managed to do all my work in the end. I haven’t been happy with results I’ve been getting so far this year but a good friend of mine reminded me if I’d tried my hardest then I should be proud of whatever I’ve achieved. I know I’ve been working super hard so if I’m heading for a 2.2 then I’m proud of that in itself, especially with the amount of work experience I’ve been doing.

The Galleon

Speaking of work experience, I can’t believe we’re halfway through The Galleon issues for the year. I’ve had a blast so far in my position of Music Editor and I’ve no doubt at the end of the year I’ll be really sad to let it go. It’s not too late to get involved so if you fancy writing for the music section e-mail me at Otherwise, check out for more info on other sections, meetings, etc.


As soon as you hit third year there’s a lot of pressure on to apply for jobs for after university, in the form of graduate schemes, placements, and internships. Unfortunately, unless you’re interested in engineering, finance, business or IT you’ll struggle to find a role you’d like to apply for in these sorts of jobs. All I can suggest is if you want to do something just make sure you do whatever you can to make yourself stand out from the crowd. I’ve just started applying for highly-competitive work experience but I’m hoping, because of all the writing I’ve done (unpaid!) so far, I’ll get accepted somewhere eventually. Yes, your degree is important but remember to think about what’s going to happen after uni.


I’ve had a brilliant Christmas holidays and I’m very fortunate to have had an amazing group of friends at home for over ten years. When you’re at uni it’s tricky to keep in touch with old friends, especially if, like me, you’ve made some great new ones at uni, but it’s definitely worth the effort. We’ve had some great nights this holiday and it’s like we’ve never been apart.

Otherwise, I’ve just been relaxing and procrastinating A LOT. I know, it’s terrible, but I’ve desperately needed after burning the candle at both ends since September.  I’m going back to Portsmouth to celebrate New Year’s Eve with my friends but then I’m off to Scotland to visit my family, before rushing back to Portsmouth again ready for my final semester at uni.

It’s emotional, but it’s growing up.

Course, Free time, Nightlife, Study, Travels

Obama and Brazil – Progressing Through the Second Year

I am pleased that Mr Obama was successfully re-elected as the President of the United States of America for a second (and final) term. My prediction was correct, and I look forward to his future policies and actions as the President.

For those interested in the Americas more generally, you can catch Michael Palin’s journey through Brazil on BBC1, Wednesday evenings at 9pm.  And of course, watching Channel 4 repeats of Friends, Frasier and The Big Bang Theory counts as studying American culture, right?

I thought I’d mention that my Second Year is progressing well, yet I am reminded that Christmas is fast approaching. I have one big essay in before the festive break – I’d really better get started on that! As the weeks go by, I find myself thinking ahead 12 months and contemplating my Final Year. I know I shouldn’t – there’s still so much to be done right now – but it seems strange that I am no longer a Fresher.

The realisation that all my work could now decide the fate of my final grade is starting to sink in!

Free time, Travels

Trip to Romania

This post is dedicated to the little trip to Romania I took towards the end of August. The reason I think it’s relevant to this blog is that I was actually visiting a friend that I have met at University!

Because my summer plans did not work out, my friend Maria offered to have me over for a bit at her home in Bucharest, Romania. I was very excited about going because I have never been to Romania, and I really like visiting new places.

So on the morning of 27th of August I set off for Bucharest, and after a 3-hour flight I was met by my friend and a heat wave… which then turned out to be normal weather conditions for this country. My friend put a lot of effort into showing me everything I needed to see during my time there. The first half of the trip we spent in Bucharest, where not only did I see beautiful places, but also learnt a lot about the country’s history.

One place I visited was the People’s Palace, which was originally being build for the Romanian dictator for the purpose of him living there, but he was caught and executed a year before the building works ended. Now it is mainly used for conferences and political meetings, as well as little art gallery. The Palace is very impressive! It’s huge and from what they say, the underground of the Palace is much bigger that what you can see above the ground! (For a great photo of the Palace I suggest you check out the Timeline cover photo of Bon Jovi’s facebook page 😉 ) From the top of the Palace you could see most of the amazing city of Bucharest, including Romanian equivalent of the Champs-Élysées, which looks a lot like the French one.

For the second half of my stay, we went up to a town called Sibiu in Transylvania. Although it was a 6-hour train ride one way, it was really worth it! Starting with the lovely views on the way there (we went through the mountains), ending on a beautiful historic city, which hosted a Gypsy Festival the weekend we were there. Can I just say, the gypsy market was absolutely great!

While going to Romania was exciting enough, the highligh of my trip was definitely seeing Red Hot Chili Peppers live at the National Arena in Bucharest! Do I even have to say the guys were amazing?  The greatest show I’ve ever seen! Simply unforgettable! 🙂

One thing that’s worth noting is that Romanians are very friendly people, and I was pleasantly surprised when I met some of Maria’s friends. Some of them actually study in London, so I’m hoping to see them again sometime.

I love the fact I got this opportunity to go and see another country; another culture, that in many ways is similar to what I know, but is also very different. And it’s all thanks to being at University and meeting new people from around the world.

Course, Free time, Relationships, The city, The Galleon, Travels

Journalism & life as an SMA.

For me, this summer has been a bit of a washout, in more ways than one. The weather is awful but, more importantly, I’ve been struggling to find a balance between work, my social life, and attempting to get ahead on my reading for my final year at uni.

One thing I’ve been working hard at is getting as much writing experience under my belt as possible. Since I came home I’ve been writing for a few web sites and online magazines and I’ve received a lot of praise for my work, which is always nice. I’m trying to spread out my writing to a wider field as well and, although I primarily focus on music journalism, I have been dabbling in other areas such as lifestyle now too. I’m really looking forward to getting involved with The Galleon again when I get back to uni (I’m still really hoping I get the Music Editor position) and it’ll be cool to meet some new writers as well.

Last week I went back to Portsmouth for a week to work both of the university Preview Days. As I’ve previously mentioned I got a job as a Student Marketing Assistant so I worked my first couple of shifts and, I have to admit, I was pretty nervous about it. On the first day I was supposed to be helping register prospective students but the area I was in was so empty that I ended up outside as “human signage”, helping people find their way around and asking them questions etc.

On the second day I was the walking tours co-ordinator which meant I was in charge of the walking tours (obviously). I even got a radio for the day (cue: me feeling really important). I have to say the job as a whole is really fun and it’s made even better by the lovely people I get to work with, especially my fellow SMAs. The weather was terrible on both days and after 9 hours outside I was soaked through, but it was really cool meeting possible future students of UoP and helping them out.

I’ve been home for a few days now but I’m going back to Portsmouth tomorrow for a week working at Graduation. It should be good fun but I’m also pretty terrified that that’s going to be me in one year! I don’t want to leave university! Eek.