3 Things I wish someone told me before I went to university

I graduated from University of Ulster just over two years ago with a degree in sociology; but social conflict and human behaviour weren't the only things I learned about during the three years I spent there. It is a roller-coaster of emotions; some days feeling overwhelmed with support and guidance from those around you and some days feeling lonely as hell. There will be a swift transition from thinking you haven't a care in the world to feeling like you've hit rock bottom in final year, not knowing how you will see in the last six months... I remember one night looking back at the previous two years wondering where the hell I went wrong, and why suddenly, everything seemed too much. Here's three major pieces of advice I wish I was given before I went to university.

1. Be yourself!
OK, I know this is so cliché. Whether it's starting a new job, going on a date, preparing for an interview, or anything that elicits nervousness at the anticipation of new surroundings and new people; the only advice your friends and family can ever seem to give you is "just be yourself!". And we've all been there. What does that even mean? How is telling me to be me supposed to be useful advice?
Well let me tell you...
During freshers week and throughout the whole journey, you are going to come across hundreds, if not thousands of other students. But some of those people are going to understand you before they've even met you. They understand your fussy appetite or your weird sense of humour and they wouldn't judge you for watching spongebob in your pijamas with a tub of ice-cream instead of clubbing at 1am, and how? because they are just like you. You need to catch and hold on to those people. If you try to imitate someone you're not, you are going to fall in with the wrong people, and it's going to become a terrible habit and before you know it you've made "friends" with a bunch of people who don't really have that much in common with you and who won't understand you, or know who you really are. Making friends with people for the wrong reasons can eventually lead you into a lonely place and you don't need that when you reach final year. Trust me. Don't hold back, don't worry that you don't have the same quick wit that the guy sitting beside you has, don't be afraid to clap your hands erratically like a seal when you find something hilarious or something excites you, don't be afraid to talk about something you're passionate about, just because you're afraid of what people may think of you. When you let go of your inhibitions and stop trying to be someone your not, you will surround yourself with people who are best matched to your personality, and that is so important, especially when you are spending the next three or four years away from your home, and your family. Don't leave it too late to realise you fell in with the wrong crowd. Be yourself from day one.

2. £1000 is NOT a lot of money
 So you check your bank balance to see that our wonderful government has only gone and added a whopping £1900 to your bank account for your first student loan installment. After taking away rent money (which will swallow nearly half of this) you already have it spent in your head. You go shopping the very next day and buy new clothes, cute little decorations for your brand new room, stock up on booze, and then the same evening you get ready to go out and celebrate "loan day". Before you know it you check your balance to see that you've spent WAY more than you thought. "OK, well I've got £500 left and 6 weeks till my next installment, so that's nearly £100 to spend a week.. great!".. Oh but then there's that concert you wanted to go to and the tickets are £40, then you buy a nice dress to wear and shoes to go with it.. then the next day you spend £20 in Frankie and Benny's eating hangover food... You start to notice all the food in your fridge going off because you bought way too much food for one person and you've been eating out a lot and none of your food is frozen so it's going out of date pretty quickly.. You go shopping again, check your balance and oh dear, £200 left in your account.. meh, you've only got another 5 weeks till your next installament and living off supernoodles can't be that bad... right?
The bottom line is watch your money. If you really want to have nice things and go to every party going then the only way to fund it is to get a part-time job. Student areas tend to be built up places with a lot of bars and shops, so finding a job should be relatively easy providing you get to them and apply before term starts.

3. A degree is not enough
In this day and age, a degree isn't enough and employers are seeking life experience and the right personality as well as academic qualifications. An employer who is faced with two applicants: One with a first class honors degree with very little experience or extra skills, and one with a second class honors degree who is evidently a well-rounded person with plenty of extra experience like charity work and involvement in events, is more likely to offer employment to the second one. When you come to writing your CV after graduating, you don't want to be writing solely about the course you studied, and why it's relevant. Yes it's important, but it's also vital that you show your enthusiasm towards working with other people and getting involved in activities other than drinking till you can't see. The best time to get involved in clubs and events is in the first two years when the work load isn't too much!


Do you have any obsessions/addictions?

1. Perfume. I buy way too much perfume. I can name at least ten fancy, day-light robbery type perfumes from the top of my head that I own, without mentioning the less costly ones. I can't name a favorite because I'm so fickle. Maybe one day I will find my signature scent and stick to it :)

2. Socks. Socks socks socks. If you don't know what to buy me for Christmas/Birthday, just buy me socks. I will be delighted. Life's too short to waste time matching them though.

3. Hand Cream. I go through at least one bottle a week. My hands constantly feel dry and long to be moisturized at least every hour of the day.

4. Caffeine. Gotta have that espresso first thing on a morning. In fact make that two... or three.

5. Drugs. Just kidding.

Black and white always does us justice ;) Follow me on instagram fiona_ellen8


The 21 questions thing

1. What do you order at Starbucks?
Most probably an americano or caramel macciato

2. What's one thing in your closet that you cannot live without?
Skinny Jeans!

3. What's one thing that most people probably wouldn't know about you?
I get severe travel sickness to the point where I used to walk for an hour to school some mornings when I felt like I couldn't face the bus (5 minute journey)

4. Name one thing that you want to do before you die
Jump out of a plane (with a parachute and a professional of course)

5. What's one food that you cannot live without?

6. What quote/phrase do you live your life by?
Never a failure. Always a lesson

7. Do you have any phobias?
Some kind of Sensory Defensiveness I cannot bare the feel of my hands when i have just dried them i have to put lotion or cream or something on them lol... not sure whether a phobia or an OCD but it's hard to explain. I am a nervous passanger in cars too

8. What's your number one most listened to song on iTunes?
At the moment it's "I Remember - Deadmau 5 & Kaskade"

9. What kind of style would you define yourself as having?
I don't try to follow fashion but I buy most clothes from TK Maxx. If I like it and it looks good on me I will wear it. Simples

10. Favorite number
8 but I don't know why

11. Two hobbies
I have so many. But mostly a love for learning languages, music and walking :)

12. Three pet peeves
Fickleness, Rude people and Spoilt people

13. Guilty Pleasure
I "secretly" still watch the S club 7 series "Miami 7" and "LA 7"

14. If you could change things about your personality what would they be?
Be less clingy, Be more laid-back

15. If you could change too things about your appearance what would they be?
I wish I were taller, and have nicer skin

16. Pizza topping?
Chicken and sweetcorn on BBQ base Thin & Crispy 

17. What was your favourite subject at school?
18. What was your worst subject at school?
19. What is your all time favourite movie?
20.Ideal date?
A nice long walk along the beach (aha who am I kidding)

21. Favourite word?
"Twilight". But I hate the film

Indian style elephant drawing in colour by me... Not great but it's a start. Need to get back into art again :)


Arty Nails!

I tend to go for Barry M varnishes due to the wide range of beautiful and vibrant colours. Also, the prices aren't too bad either :) A top coat with Sally Henson "Hard Nails" finishes the job off nicely, and once dry, the varnish usually lasts for well over a couple of weeks with minimal chipping!


Happy Birthday Zalando! #zalandoturns2

I would like to say a "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" to Zalando, the successful online clothes store, which has been up and running now for 2 years.

Take a look at their latest offers and new looks: http://www.zalando.co.uk/zalando-second-birthday/


Addicted to Candles right now o.O

MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15

I was quite suprised by my expeience with this product. One of my friends who is very good with make-up recommended this to me. She said it was amazing coverage and looked really natural. Now, one thing I can say about this foundation, which I can say about a lot of Mac products, is that you can buy it in literally any shade.Back in the day when I was pale, I went to the Mac counter at debenhams and explained to them that I had looked everywhere for a foundation pale enough for my skin, but couldn't find a good ones and none of them would perfectly match my skin. The lady was extremely helpful. She took a look at my skin and brought to me a sample of this foundation. I cannot remember the name of the shade she gave me but it was extremely fair. She put some on my skin and I have to say it looked like there was nothing there; in a good way. It looked completely natural, because the shade completely matched my skin tone. I bought it, but when using it, I found that it didn't cover me up very well at all. It would be OK, for someone who has a few spots or blemishes but its not great for someone like me. However it is buildable. If you have a spare half hour in the mornings just for putting foundation on perfectly, then fair enough you might get this one to work, but I just don't. So, overall, for me, the foundation wasn't a great cover-up, but was lovely in every other way. The feel of it, the texture, the shade, everything about it was right, except it just didn't cover me up very well.