How To Pick The Perfect University Courses For You

Picking university courses can be extremely stressful and if you’re not careful you can end up with a really horrible schedule that can ruin your whole semester. Here are some tips to help you pick the perfect courses for you!

Are you actually interested in the topic?

The first thing to think about is if you really like the subject or whether you’re taking it just because it fits into your schedule. If you don’t like the subject very you may not like the course and are more likely to not do well in it. Take things you’re passionate about- you’ll end up enjoying the course more and will likely therefore do well in it.

Is your professor any good?

ALWAYS check your professor on ratemyprofessor before you take a course. Even if you love the subject a crappy professor can really ruin your semester. I made this mistake before and have definitely learnt my lesson.

Does it fit your schedule?

You don’t want to end up with a messy schedule that has you running from one side of the place to another so try to plan out your classes in a way that there’s enough time in between to get to your class on time. However, make sure you don’t have too much free time in between classes because then you’ll end up wasting too much time at school.

What’s the workload like?

Some professors are very understanding and go easy on you with the assignments and stuff but others are less then understanding so make sure to find the course syllabus and look through that before picking it because you may just end up with a crazy workload!

How big is the class?

Sometimes when classes are really big in size it’s really difficult to ask questions or even feel comfortable. This obviously isn’t the case for everyone but I’m more of an introvert and prefer smaller classes so if you’re like me and don’t like really big classes make sure to check before you pick the course especially for first year courses because those are usually packed.

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Well-Being Tips For Students (Guest Post)

Student life has many ups and downs, you meet lots of new people and soon realise just how appalling your cooking ‘skills’ really are. But not to worry, here are some ways you can make being a student a walk in the metaphorical park:

1. Meals
a) Eat Right, Eat Regularly

I made the mistake or trying to save money by reducing my weekly grocery shop and as a result became damn near skeletal. In other words please do not starve yourself to save money. It really isn’t smart, sure you have that extra cash to splurge at the weekends with your friends but what’s the point when you have headaches and grumbling stomachs for the rest of the time? Your grades will suffer, in fact, your overall lifestyle will. If you do find money is tight see b)

b) Saving money

If you want to save money, do it the safe way. One great way is through making your own lunch to bring with you as oppose to buying it out of cafes, restaurants or food trucks during the week. Relatively inexpensive, nutritious and filling recipes can be found easily enough online, some go to websites of mine are:
 Food Network
 BBC Good Food
 Delicious Magazine
Online sites catered to students for tips on budgeting and offering discounts can be found too. Some I used were:
 Student Beans
 Money Saving Expert
 Groupon

2. Social
a) Join a club

Even if you feel like sitting in your room watching cooking shows all day, you will most likely find more enjoyment going for a walk with your course mate than watching Gordon Ramsay almost get food poisoning (okay maybe not). To be honest, I didn’t go out enough in my first year at college and my mood dropped a lot, it’s only when I started going to the pub or the park with my peers that I soon realised that sometimes you have to do what’s uncomfortable for it to pay off. Sure it was easier being socially awkward and sitting in my room but was it doing me good in the long run? Definitely not. Not everyone’s idea of fun is going out to get absolutely wasted at nightclubs and this is fine. But instead of just sitting at home why not invite people round for a games night, have a movie night at someone’s or a bake off? Low cost, lots of people – high reward.

b) Do some volunteering in the local area

There’s always someone’s granny who needs their dog walked or garden de-weeding, right? Doing something for the local community not only benefits them but also you too. I’ve heard of certain organisations that kill two birds with one stone in that you have to jog from place to place to help the local community. Do good and feel good, sounds like a plan.

3. Well-Being
College/University is a time when you will probably meet more people in that time frame than ever again in your life. As great as this is, it’s also important to not forget about ‘you’.

a) Pamper yourself

Maybe do this once a week. Perhaps treat yourself to a lunch where you eat out, that isn’t your usual ham and cheese roll each Friday. That way you have it to look forward to at the end of the week. Why not slap on a hair and face mask that evening too? Hard study needs rewarding, wouldn’t you agree?

b) Speak to a counsellor or your doctor

If you do ever feel that college life is getting too much at times, do not bottle this in. Admitting you are struggling is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength. Strength in that you are hopeful in finding a way to overcome the pressures you may feel you are facing. I wasn’t enjoying my course at university and found it very helpful to speak to a counsellor once a fortnight to get it off my chest.

Each of us having different coping mechanisms to stress, and feeling stressed at some stage of education is normal, it means you care. But don’t let pressure build up, it’s only detrimental to you then. Seek help if you need it.

c) Spend time on your own

I don’t mean all day mind you, but sometimes just going to a coffee shop and reading The Wind in The Willows is just what you need to keep those cortisol levels down. Whether it’s going to the gym or taking a walk in the park, if you need your own space then don’t feel bad about it. It doesn’t mean you’re unsocial or selfish if anything it allows you to clear your head, put your best foot forward and infact be the best version of yourself towards those around you.

4. Study

I almost forgot about this one, easily done when you have a hair mask to put on, friends to meet tomorrow evening and an innocent kitten to rescue from a tree.
Obviously the main reason you pay thousands in cash each year is for a piece of paper at the end of it saying that you aren’t just a pretty face. Keep this in mind, procrastination is one thing but don’t make it a permanent thing. If you’re struggling with your degree be it for the level of difficulty or lack of interest you may have in it then voice this and get help. College isn’t for everyone, think wisely about your career goals and how college fits into this. On the other hand if you do enjoy the course and are working hard at it then don’t forget to reward yourself every once in a while. It’s easy to become too hard on ourselves, setting high goals does not mean we have to set hard punishments on ourselves. Perhaps try the carrot before the stick.

Being a student enriches your life in many more ways than simply knowing why the sky is blue or why we yawn, it offers a plethora of memories to take with you in your future. But the key thing is, if you are a student now. live in the present and look after yourself.

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I’m Free!!

My exams are finally over I’m so happy you guys!

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Not going to lie you guys these exams really tore me a new one. This whole semester did to be completely honest it’s been a long three and a half months.

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I’m glad it’s over and I’m glad I have a few days of doing absolutely nothing because I seriously need that.

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I’m also looking forward to being more active on the blog since I can’t do that as much as I want to while I’m going to school.

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So looking forward to this break! Let me know in the comments what your plans are for your Christmas break!

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Auf Wiedersehen Kenya!

If you’re reading this I’m on my way to the airport! I can’t wait to see Canada and everything that awaits me there! And of course you guys will come along on this adventure with me!


Another Update!

So I’m going to be leaving for Canada soon!!

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And I just wanted to let you know I won’t be blogging as regularly if at all because I’ll be pretty busy for the first few weeks but after that I’ll be blogging regularly like I usually do!!

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I just need to get everything set up there and then the blog will be back to normal. I’m really sorry if I miss your posts and don’t like or leave a comment like I usually do but I will try to catch up when I can. Also I may not be as active as usual because I’ll be busy with university but I’ll try my best!

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The Truth About Studying Abroad

I had done some posts a while ago on Universities and Studying Abroad which had some great feedback and I wanted to do a post on what it’s like once you actually get to university but as you probably know I’m taking a gap year right now. So I asked one of my best friends Natasha if she would write a few posts on what it’s like in the first year of studying abroad since she is studying in Malaysia at the moment and she wrote this incredible post! I really hope this helps everyone 🙂

Leaving home is no child’s play. As much as I was looking forward to studying abroad and being on my own for a while, the moment I realized just how far away I am from my family and friends, I wasn’t looking forward to it anymore. I’m going to be honest, my first month in university abroad was hell. Now you’re probably wondering, where on earth did I end up? The answer to that is Malaysia. As it turns out, lots of people opted or are opting to study in Malaysia now as opposed to the UK and USA.

I’m from Kenya, which is halfway across the world, almost fourteen hours away from Malaysia. I’ve got to say, I had a major culture shock upon arrival. Things here are so different from back home. Although English is spoken here as a second language, not everyone can speak it (more about the same will be in an upcoming post).

Don’t get me wrong, Kenya does have some brilliant universities. There are however several reasons I chose to study abroad.

First off, I am a very reserved and shy person. Those who know me well are aware that I do not make friends easily. I decided that I have got to leave my comfort zone and try new things, studying abroad being one of them. I think this move to study in a foreign country has exposed me to what else is out there. I now know of a different life from what I was living back home. I’ve only been abroad a month, and it wasn’t easy, but I hope for the best in the months and years to come.

Secondly, I needed room to grow. Not in size (I’m plenty grown in size). I have never been away from my family or on my own for the duration that I’m going to be, and being the way I am, if I hadn’t made the move to study abroad I would be miserable and perhaps even more closed off than I already was. I am definitely more aware of a whole other lifestyle now. Never in my life would I have imagined myself where I am today. The truth is, when you’ve got it all planned in your head, be prepared for it to all fall apart and turn out completely different or even the complete opposite of what you imagined. It happened to me.

Next, no matter how close you are to your family, as a teenager and young adult, you will want your own space. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be independent and alone for a while. We all need a break. For me, university was that space. I remember being frustrated with situations at home almost every day, and I could not wait to leave. When I did leave and began to realize how difficult it was for me settle into university life, I really started to appreciate being near loved ones. Sure, they drive you up the wall sometimes, but they’re important in your life. It was hard waking up and realizing that I had a whole day ahead of me to figure things out alone. It’s easy to get mad at people. When I think of all the times that I got mad or angry at the most insignificant things I want to kick myself.

When you’re on your own, you appreciate doing things for yourself. I have to make time for laundry and cleaning and also grocery shopping, which I prefer to do on my off days or the weekends. Like any hostel, mine has rules, and one of the many rules is that we cannot cook in our apartment. It does sound ridiculous and I have been getting takeaways for dinner almost every day. I do not eat fast food as often as you may think, because even as a foodie, I cannot eat fried food every day. This has given me a chance to try out different types of food and once in a while I do treat myself to lavish meals. Not too lavish if I may add, obviously being a student I’m on a budget.

I do share my apartment with four other girls, and space in common areas like the fridge and cabinets can be an issue. That shouldn’t stop you from buying your essentials however. Housemate fights are common from what I have heard. Although I haven’t been in any, and I don’t plan to be, I have had to make some adjustments in order to feel at home. Be friendly to your housemates. Two out of the five of us are international students. This is a good chance to make new friends and get to know about new things, which is part of the growth process I mentioned earlier. As it has been only a month, we’re not the best of friends. That will take some time of course. We’re all away from our family and friends, and it’s vital that we maintain a good relationship. And who knows, we could end up staying in touch way after university is over too.

I will conclude by saying that although I have had some tough times in the past month, I am doing my best to make things work. I have three years to work on what I want to be in the future, and who knows the challenges that lie ahead. My advice to those of you who are going to start university or college soon, or who have already started, is that it’s okay if it doesn’t end up being the way you imagined. Not everything can go our way, and we have to deal with disappointment sometimes. I did have second thoughts when I started out. I felt lonely and I cried every chance I got, but it all starts taking shape in due course. It is difficult, but what I have learnt is that you have to make it work for yourself. Make it turn out the way you want. Fill yourself with positive thoughts and try to focus on what you’re actually there for. Travel around the country too, it can’t be all work and no play. This also applies to those of you who want to stay back in your home towns and go to university. Take the time to do things you wouldn’t normally do, and you could turn out to be a totally different person at the end of it all.

I would like to thank one of my best friends PoojaG for suggesting that I do this post. Putting my experience down in words has made me feel much better. Thanks Pooj for giving me this platform to get the message to people out there. I miss you so much and I hope to feature in your blogs in the future! You’re a phenomenal writer, and I wish the best for you!

I wish all of you the very best in your future endeavours!

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