Other University Factors

What Would You Tell Your Fresher Self?

If you are a current student at Portsmouth I’m sure this will resonate with you. If you will be starting university in this coming September, or even the following one, then congratulations! I am overly excited for you. It really is ridiculously exciting (and terrifying)!
These are, of course, only my experiences. Your first week may be entirely different. My advice to freshers:

  • The first night will probably be a let down, everyone is too overexcited so it’s likely to be not that great. Mine was such an anticlimax…
  • But that’s okay! It will get so much better! Just wait a while until you know people a little more and the fun will really start.
  • STUDENT LOANS ARE NOT A BOTTOMLESS PIT! I know it is so mad that you suddenly have all this money but remember you need to eat, you need to pay your rent and you need to buy books. It sounds so super boring but you will reach the end of it and overdraft is not a place you want to be.
  • So, look at budgeting, set a much higher amount of money you’re allowed to spend in Freshers and, after that, stick to a more realistic amount.There are websites like this which help you to do so. Boring, yes, but so valuable.
  • Getting a job is a really good idea. I didn’t want one as I’d worked two part time jobs whilst doing my A Levels full time and it was just too intense. I was looking forward to not having to do this at uni, however, instead of living off of last year’s earnings, I put them into an ISA. I will now have so much more money at the end of uni. I work, now, for treats and use my loan for food, rent and basic living only. It not only helps me manage my money but also I have met so many fantastic people there who I otherwise would never have encountered.
  • Make a huge effort with people on your course from the beginning. It’s very easy to get caught up in your flatmates as they are who you see most often and are going to be around a lot. I got on very well with mine and so didn’t panic about not having friends and barely spoke to people on my course. This made me feel quite excluded and not a part of the little groups which formed which made coming to seminars and lectures quite sad sometimes. Luckily I have now found many good friends on my course but it was a lot more difficult later on into the year to befriend people.
  • Don’t assume everyone you befriend in freshers is going to be your best friend forever. There’s just so many people and you probably won’t find your people for a little while – and that’s okay!
  • Get people’s numbers! This will probably mean that by the end of the first week you have 53 new contacts, most of whom you have no clue what their real name is as they are saved as ‘girl shorts blue’ or ‘curly hair’ or ‘tom maybe?’ but it will also mean for those, you do remember you can contact. Say, someone on your course, you can send them a message about a lecture and agree to meet beforehand. I found this so comforting in the first few weeks, being able to go into a lecture or seminar with someone else and sit with them.
  • BE BRAVE! As scary as it is, just go up to people and talk! Everyone is secretly begging for you to so that they don’t have to make the first move. ‘Fake it till you make it!’ Pretend you are super confident and people will be drawn to you. Say to a group at the end of a lecture “who fancies going for a coffee?” and I promise you people will want to come. Everyone wants to get to know people so be that person who enables them to do so. You’ll be glad (and it turns out people aren’t that scary)!

Good luck and enjoy. It’ll all be okay. If I could do it again, I would!

Course, Portsmouth

MA Digital Marketing… What is it?


So, as I’m slowly getting deeper into the first semester of my postgraduate year and more in depth in my course, my first assignment’s due date is reaching and I think that I’m kind of nervous but more excited overall to hand in my first assignment! I have about another week to go, but I still need to focus and give in a great essay.

If you don’t know already, I am studying MA Digital Marketing,  a course I really wanted to get involved to as soon as I saw it on the university’s postgraduate course list, since I have always been passionate about all things related to Internet , online marketing , social media and of course blogging! So far my course has been all about marketing theories, analyzing systems of a marketing plan as well as a few business concepts but pretty soon we’re going to start working on practical tasks and applications, such as Photoshop since the university has very gratefully given us MacBook Air laptops to work on! (yep, you read that right 🙂 ).

I basically have only two classes for each semester and in this one, I’m currently studying for Essentials of Marketing as well as Digital Marketing Strategy Development and Management. They sound hard, but both are extremely interesting and I personally have learnt a lot so far about marketing that I didn’t know even existed!   Essentials of Marketing is more or less about the most important theories of marketing in depth, while in the Digital Marketing Strategy Development and Management class we are currently analyzing the different systems that marketing has to analyze and promote a company’s elements and characteristics. By the end of this semester, we will also have to present business proposals to clients as a part of our project for this specific tutorial – so the pressure is really on!

Next semester I’m going to be attending another two classes called Digital Media Development & Application and Contemporary Issues in Marketing, which I don’t have much to say about them since they haven’t started! However, judging from their names, the first one is regarding the different applications that we’re going to use on the Macbook through marketing prospectives, while the second one will be examining the current trends in the marketing world.

Summarising, MA Digital Marketing is extremely intriguing and stimulating for anyone that is interested in modern – day marketing. From my point of view,  I’m learning so much about this field, so I would definitely recommend it to anyone that wants a career in marketing as this specific program is incredibly diverse with great support from professors.


I know it’s irrelevant but I wanted to share with you a selfie of my friends and classmates on Saturday(17/10) , where we went to Pitcher and Piano restaurant in Southampton! Great times 🙂

XOXO Ntina

Course, Other University Factors

My University Journey

How to sum up the last four years? That’s a difficult question.

Overall, I would say that I have loved my course and everything I have learnt and experienced through it. But University is not just about the course you choose to study, its a number of other factors. At university, you learn to be independent, move away from home, juggle responsibilities and build friendships. These were my challenges. I haven’t had the best luck or experience with housemates over the two years I lived at university, this final year has been the best as I live with my boyfriend and have finally got a great group of girl friends on my course.

First year, living in halls is a new experience and you have to embrace it. At the time it was ok but looking back on it now, I remember the bad bits more than the good. Having to live with four boys and one girl, I didn’t really get on with had its challenges. Second year, I nearly broke and left university due to my housemates. Luckily I found my boyfriend at this time and he helped me through. From these two living situations, I am not in contact with any of the people I lived with, I guess that sums up a lot. Even Placement year, living at home with the parents and earning money, wasn’t what I had planned. The job opportunity I organised in the Caribbean fell through at the last minute which lead to the back up plan, which wasn’t as good and caused a lot of stressing at the time. But I guess every cloud has a silver lining, my last year has been the hardest in terms of course but the best. I feel I have found myself and who I want to go on to be. I want to be strong and confident, to enjoy life with all my family and friends that I have made for life!

I am proud of myself for pushing through the difficult times as it has made me the person I am today. I have got a university degree under my belt which will always hold the strong memories of ups and downs in the last four years!

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…


Course, Other University Factors, Portsmouth

The Final Year

I have been at Portsmouth University for 3 years now and I am now heading into my final year here. Coming back after placement year has been a bit of a shock. While I was away, I worked in Legoland as a food and beverage assistant for 6 months, then onto Jurys Inn as a receptionist for 10 months or so.

Having the year out was a learning curve and an experience I will be able to use in my future career. I did learn a lot while I was on placement but it was really interesting to see what the rest of my course mates had gone through too. Over our induction week, we had to do a presentation to the second years who are planning their placements now, but it was also a time where we could see how everyone else got on. Some of my course mates didn’t enjoy their time and many changed there plans during their year. I guess I did too by doing two placements.

Being back at Portsmouth is great! I love this city and I am lucky enough to live with my boyfriend this year. Its new responsibilities for the both of us with the bills and keeping the flat to a nice standard is difficult. But it has been great to see the familiar faces of course mates and lecturers. Getting used to where all the buildings were again was a challenge but I think Ive got it.

Coming back to finish my degree is the basic aim, this year Im really trying to push myself to get that first overall. Its time to study and finish what I started. This year, I am ready for it!

Course, Time Management


I’ve been sitting in front of my computer for a good three and a half hours trying to make a start to this research project. The result – two pages of notes. This project has been looming over me since the 8th of January and I thought it may finally be time to make a start! I’m usually so caught up in my design work that my other units get pushed to the side, but as I’m (sort of) up to date with my current design work (see previous post ‘New Project – the panic has just about subsided – for now!) that I thought it might be time to give History and Theory some TLC. So far, checking emails, updating twitter, upgrading my phone contract, searching Spotify and painting my nails seem to have distracted me some what. What’s worse is knowing that over the road in Yates sits my boyfriend and my flatmates, having a few drinks and watching the football. If it wasn’t due to my stubborn nature of hating football and refusing to go and watch it I would also be over there with them.

The annoying thing is that this work isn’t particularly difficult. It’s partly a group project and partly individual, we’ve each been given a building that we have to research, and then we have to come together as a group and compare our buildings and present our research to everyone else. I’m lucky in that my building is quite well known in the world of Architecture and has a fantastic website which has the majority of the information I need. If you’re interested here is the link – http://www.casabatllo.es/en/. It’s a really interesting building and I’m actually finding the research quite enjoyable, the only problem is that its a little too easy to click on ‘Open new tab’ and go onto Facebook – which in fact hasn’t changed since I looked at it 5 minutes ago. Note to self: Self-control needs to be worked on.

Ironically, I am now writing this blog in order to put off my work, but I’m reassuring myself that at least this is a productive distraction!

Ah well, off to make a cup of tea – and what I will not be doing is finishing off my tub of Ben&Jerry’s (currently 2 for £6 in Sainsburys in case anyone was interested 😉 )



New Project

There’s always a mixture of feelings that comes with a ‘New Project’. There’s the excitement of not knowing what its about and what you’re going to be asked to design, hoping that its something you can relate to, or something you know you’ll have plenty of ideas for, but that is always coupled with a certain fear, as you’re undoubtedly going to be expected to complete it to a higher standard than your previous work. Depending on how the last project went, for example if I didn’t enjoy it, I always look forward to starting afresh and not having to worry about previous work that I maybe wasn’t happy with, being able to put that away to worry about at a different time, however there is also the slight apprehension that this project might be just-as-bad-if-not-a-bit-worse than the last, in which case you know you’re in for another six weeks of trying to find inspiration to complete something which you just don’t find inspiring!

Your true feelings are confirmed as the brief is flung onto the desk in front of you. What’s the title? Is there a picture on the front? This brief uses a lot more paper than the last, it feels heavier, is this a good thing or a bad thing? Sometimes it takes a few goes at reading it through and highlighting bits to truly understand what they’re asking for, each page is feeding you more and more information and its hard to tell if this is complicating matters or clarifying your thoughts in your head. The brief is discussed in peer and studio groups, what does everyone else think of the New Project?  Usually the general feelings are the same, but a mixture of emotions is always inevitable because of the ways people react to them and the ways in which they proceed. There’s also one person who sits quietly panicking to themselves  the one who is excited and already has ideas flowing, the one whose getting angry and complaining that ‘we can’t possibly complete something like this!’

Of course this varies with each project. We’ve had a mixture this year, some have been short, maybe one or two weeks. The length of time always reflects the depth and detail of work the tutors expect. Some projects are completed in groups – something I’ve had mixed feelings about. As a rule I find it quite difficult to work in a group, but this is a skill I have developed over this year and now have a more mature attitude towards – so at least a positive has come out of it!

My New Project (and final project of the year – scary!) is still being processed in my head. I’m feeling excited, as I know this project is more like ones that you would get in ‘real life’ and its also something that you could envisage happening in the future. However it’s also a lot bigger and a lot more complicated that any of the projects we’ve completed in the past. The requirements are larger and more detailed than before, and although we have more time to complete it in, I know already that it’s going to be more intense and compact than than any other work I’ve done this year.

Scared yet excited are definitely my emotions at this moment in time. In the past two days I’ve also experienced panic and hysterical panic, so I think for now we are moving in the right direction.