Friday, 19 August 2016

10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE STARTING UNIVERSITY!



First things first, Congratulations on getting into University!!!!

You are probably excited, nervous, slightly terrified and just want to go to university now. Yes, most of us have had them feelings as well. You are excited to move away, meet new people and start a new chapter of your life. University can be a great place, but there is a few things you should know before starting university. Here are 10 things which I wish I had known and should have done when I went off to university last September. 

1. Just say 'HI'
When you are all in the same boat, then at first everything can seem quite awkward. On your first day just say 'hi' to all your new flat mates, and introduce yourself. Maybe take some food, like biscuits or sweets to break the ice. Same in lectures/seminars/classes. Just say hi to the person next to you, or maybe offer them some sweets if you happen to be getting them out of your bag for yourself. 

2. Procrastination is REAL
Don't worry if you procrastinate. Everyone does it. Whether its writing or planning an essay, revising for a test, not planning your presentation to the night before, skim reading what you need to know for a discussion at 9am the next morning, not going to the library or even not going to some lectures. It happens to us all. The best thing to do, is not to stress, because you will do it because you know you actually want to achieve and get a good grade after paying £9000 a year. 

3. Don't be scared of the lecturer
At the end of the day if the whole group fails, it will kinda be somewhat down to them and somewhat down to the individuals. They are quite a friendly bunch, as long as you email them formally, they don't mind all of your questions. Go along to their office hours and they will help you, and you will probably learn more and get a better grade. 

4. There are a lot of fake people at university 
Don't except to be best buddies with your flat mates or that person you sat next to in your first lecture, because a lot of the time that won't happen. People can be lovely at first, but then awful as you progress throughout the year. Go out and meet people like yourself, and don't change to try and fit in with your flat mates. 

5. Budgeting doesn't make you a loser
Yes, some people won't budget and think its okay and quite funny to be 1000s into their overdrafts, and then can't afford the basics like food and toiletries or (alcohol), they may think they are the best person because they just keep getting into more debt. At the end of the day, you have got to feed yourself for the first time, buy books for your course, have transportation costs, and other unexpected costs. Get your self a meal planner, plan out your meals and trust me you will have some extra dosh. 

6. Missing a lecture isn't the end of the world, but don't make it a habit
Missing one or two lectures aren't the end of the world. Most lectures put their powerpoint up on Moodle or some other university system, and you can catch up. Just remember they don't always put them up, and will say more important things that you need for a test rather than it being on a powerpoint. Also, when you attend more lectures you are more likely to get a higher grade. 

7. Join societies and sports clubs
This is something that I deeply regret doing. Go out of your comfort zone and join as many societies and sports clubs. You may drop out of some, but you will also make friends and meet people with similar interests as yourself. 

8. University isn't a fashion show 
You are not walking in London Fashion Week, you are walking into a lecture to sit there for an hour or two, and no one really gives a crap what you are wearing or how much or how little make up you have on your face. If its a 9am, in the middle of winter and you have had 2 hours sleep, then you don't have to be dressed up to the nines. Just go in what makes you comfortable, and if that is heels and a dress, then rock that; or if it is tracky bottoms and a plain tee and trainers, then rock that too. Trust me, no one cares. 

9. Presentations and participation sucks 
You may have to do them, but they suck. Presentations actually suck more when you are in the group, because the person that doesn't do any work still gets the same grade as you. Participation sucks, because the lectures make you talk, and if you don't talk or don't know something they will mark you down. Personally I don't think this is far, especially when they will outright tell you that, that answer you just said was wrong. You then don't want to talk again. 

10. Finally, have a ball!
Have fun at university. Enjoy your self. University isn't just about the academic side, but its also about having fun, finding yourself and having the best experience you can possible have.

Love Alicia x
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Thursday, 18 August 2016

THE BODY SHOP HAUL




When O2 Priority offers you 35% of The Body Shop, then one can simply not say no, especially when you need a top up of your favourite little skin care pieces. 

Now let me tell you, my face currently hates me. Well actually my whole body hates me right now. The amount of bites I have over my body is disgusting. I would mind, but until four weeks ago, I had never been bitten in my life. Now, I think a nat has found refuge in my room and refuses to leave. Love it!

Anyway, back to the whole 'my face hates me' saga. Currently, my chin area and lower face has just come up and I just can't deal with it. Hence why 'The Body Shop' was calling out for me.

One product in particular that my face was in need of, was the Tea Tree Overnight Lotion, which if you have read my blog before then you would have probably have already heard me rave about this little tube of genius. Honestly, I love this product. Put it on the spot, and bam, wake up the next morning and it is reduced. It may not be completely gone, but wow does this product get to work. Would highly recommend, even if you only get the occasionally blemish or spot pop up, because it actually works.

Now, I could do a haul from The Body Shop and not include a face mask. I am a lover of face masks. Love the buggers. So this 'new' Tea Tree one caught my eye. I can't really say much about this '3 in 1' wash/srcub/mask, as I haven't tried it out yet, but heres hoping it is good.

Finally we have a product I have a bit of a love hate relationship with. Now, I actually like this Tea Tree face wash, but only when my face needs it. If my face is going good then it can be too harsh and actually break me out, but when my face is bad it works and helps to improve my face.

Have you ever tried out the Tea Tree range from The Body Shop?

 Love Alicia x
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Monday, 15 August 2016

WHAT IS CLEARING REALLY LIKE?


Not going to lie, but this is probably the hardest post I have ever written. It wasn't because I didn't know what to say, but I felt angry at myself for letting myself down on results day last year. I went through clearing, and that is something I never wanted to do. I wanted to go to my first choice university I wanted to move away from home, but I didn't.

This isn't a negative post about clearing. Clearing can be great. You can change your course. Go to a university you never considered before and actually like where you go.

I know what this week feels like, leading up to them A-Level results and finding out if you got into the university of your first choice or not.

What happened then?

To keep things simple, I didn't get the grades to read Economics at the University of Kent or University of Reading and I was derversated. Actually, I sat on my bed crying when I received the emails at 7am in the morning. I hated myself. I didn't know what I was going to do and started looking on the UCAS clearing page from that moment and I still didn't know my grades. Let's just say it was a shit day. 

The dreaded 'Clearing'!

Clearing isn't that bad. Yes you heard my correct, clearing really isn't that bad. 

For me, clearing put my in a position to change what degree I wanted to do. Yes this wasn't at the university where I had my heart set, but maybe that didn't matter. 

Clearing almost put me in charge of my own life. Yes with shitty grades, which where then re marked and I went up a grade. Thanks for that OCR marking me 10 marks down. Love you for that one, NOT! As for my English Literature grade, I blame that on the school for not sending of my paper to be remarked because it would cost them too much. With English literature, even my teachers were like 'you got A's on all your mocks, so how the hell did this happen'. Fucking exam boards, and yes I am still fuming to this day. 

The day started out crap, but by the end of the day I had offers from every university I phoned up. I had about 10 or 12 offers. Some of these universities I didn't want to go, but I still phoned up. In the end I got into the University of Essex studying International Relations with a year abroad. That wasn't something I had planned. I didn't want to go to Essex. Not because I thought it was a rubbish university, because it isn't, but because it was only 20 minutes up the road. I want to go further, but I didn't and that is really my own fault. 

That day really wasn't that bad. My teachers helped me out a lot and I actually became more confident in myself. I had to phone universities up. It was my choice. I wanted to go to university, so I had to get out of my comfort zone and phone as many universities as possible.

It's okay!

Don't think that because you are going through clearing, or got a place at university through clearing makes you a failure. At the end of the day, its three or four letters on a piece of paper, that once you have got your degree and the relevant experience count for nothing. 

I got a high 2:1 in my first year of university, and I am bloody proud of that. I know I could have got a first, but I hated one of the modules and that let me down. 

Personal, I don't think I would have enjoyed Economics. I love my course. It was a course i never even thought about till after my exams. So it is kinda a good thing that I had to go through that process. 

I sometimes wish I wasn't a Essex University though. Not because of the course, but because of the location. It is very close to home, so close that I am actually commuting next year. However, I never imagined Essex University to be quite what it is like in terms of sometimes feeling in the minority. I'm not going to go into too much detail, but I wish I had gone further up North, but this has nothing to do with clearing. 

What I am trying to say is that, even if you have picked a university with your heart set on, the open days, prospectus, university website and social media pages don't always display an accurate representation of the university. That might be the same when you think of a said university during clearing and its not what you expect. 

My course on the other hand goes above my expectations, although I didn't think foreign PHD students would be marking my essays and given me feedback with spelling and grammar errors. 

What to do?

If you have to go through clearing don't worry. 

As soon as you get your results, go on UCAS and start calling up every university that you like the look of and the look of the course. If you don't like the look of the university or the course, then don't phone up. 

Try to stay calm and try as many universities as possible. 

You will get a place. 


Love, Alicia x


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Friday, 12 August 2016

AUTUMN & WINTER WANT LIST

It's cold. It is also the 11th August and feels more like the middle of October or February. This is NOT summer. How are we supposed to be having a heat wave for the next two weeks is beyond me. 

Since this 'Great British Summer' is not exactly the best, but then we all know that, I have been on a bit of a pinning hype recently, mostly to do with autumn clothes and more importantly boots. 

It may be a bit early, but there is something about autumn and winter clothes that gets me excited. Although I will probably not end up buying any of this, because that seems to be what generally happens after I do these posts, but hey ho. 



ASOS V Neck Bodies in Black & White

Topshop Lottie Suede Loafers




Topshop Patchwork Tote Bag

Topshop MOM Jeans


River Island Leather Jacket 

Topshop Lace Up Midi Bodycon Dress 


Office Black Suede Justine Boots

ASOS Cold Shoulder Cami Top  






To see the rest of the autumn and winter want list, check out my Pinterest!


 Love Alicia x
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Monday, 8 August 2016

SUMMER HAUL

Can we officially say it's summer yet? I mean, the weather is slightly improving now, in terms of that having to take a jacket out with you.

I have been ermming about this post for a while now. Back in May time I was going to create a proper professional post with amazing outfit photos with New York and Spain in the backdrop, but that never really happened. So instead I have decided to pick out a few of my favourite pieces that I have been loving so far this summer and share, with a mirror for a backdrop. 


Okay, so this Missguided dress was a 'love at first sight' sort of purchase, just a few days before I went to New York, but never actually ended up wearing it. So here is a mirror selfie, that does not do this dress justice. I just wish I could wear it more in England, but the weather isn't exactly brilliant, is it? 


There is just something so pretty about this ASOS top, and whenever I wear it someone always comments of how cute this top is. Not going to lie, the material at the bottom is quite sheer and I wasn't expecting that, but I not really like it. 

I have paired the ASOS top with these River Island shorts, which are actually not denim for once. These are my first pair of tailored shorts and I bloody love them. They fit perfectly, don't show any bum cheek and look so flattering which means bonds points as well. 

The sandals are also from ASOS, although sadly they are now broke. 


These beauty of a bardot dress is from River Island as well. Lately, I have been loving RI. I don't know why, but their stuff has been on point and I need more money. I actually brought this dress for Summer Ball, but I also decided to wear it on my birthday in Spain.


This River Island skirt is probably my favourite thing from this haul. I have literally been wearing it all the time, except for work because its a little short and if you bend over, your bum is on display to the whole world; not a good look. I'm also excited to wear this in winter, with cute little ankle boots and tights and a jumper.

Now I am on to talking about the bargin of the season, that read Hollister top. It was $10, yes thats right $10 and I brought it in the Fifth Avenue store in New York. Yes it might have been in the sale, but when can you ever get a decent, well made and pretty top for £7 in England - like never.

On to the final piece of the selection of decent photos I have find, is this gorgeous maxi dress from Boohoo. Oh My. I saw this and I was like 'NEEEED'. Although it is slightly too booby for someone who doesn't have much and the slit literally does go up to your hips, it is a flattering number which will be coming out again next summer.

I did also buy some other bits, but I have no decent photos and denim shorts from Topshop are just shorts.

Love Alicia x
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