A Little Catch Up #2

Lifestyle

Helloooooo lovely people!!!

What’s this? A blog post??? An actual, fully published blog post? I know, I’m as shocked as you are. I have returned (again)!! I think it’s pretty safe to say at this point that I simply cannot uni and blog at the same time. I thought I was a great multi-tasker (and don’t get me wrong, I still tell everybody I am) buuuuuut that’s evidently not the case. I think a little life update is welllllll over-due as I owe you an explanation for my complete lack of blogging over the past few months (I’m the absolute worst).

Where have I been?!?!

So uni is hard. I can’t lie to you, second year has hit me like a tonne of bricks. Through many a late night in the library and emotional breakdown, I have finally seen the light at the end of tunnel in the form of my summer holiday.  I have had the CRAZIEST final semester of second year, which, realistically, I only have myself to blame for. Something inside of me thought auditioning for a musical, co-directing an MT showcase whilst having two performance exams within the space of two weeks was a fab idea???? Ok honey pie, nice one. Looking back now, I don’t regret a single second but, if you’d have asked me at the time how I was feeling, I may have burst into tears as a result of the stress (lol). So many of my friends would come up to me and say “I really don’t know how you’re doing it all” and my response was NEITHER DO I. That being said, I thought it would be cute to give you a little insight into what I’ve been up to uni-wise in 2018.

The Wedding Singer

One of the biggest parts of my year so far has to be the university musical. This year I was fortunate enough to have been cast as Julia in our production of The Wedding Singer (you’ve probs seen the film. A baby-faced Drew Barrymore wearing a hideous selection of 80’s clothing and Adam Sandler being…well, Adam Sandler). The rehearsals for this show took up SO MUCH of my time, I practically disappeared for a while. Luckily, most of my friends were also involved in the production so it didn’t mean that I was missing out on spending time with them – we were all just being little hermits together. All in all, it was an amazing experience and I loved every part of it. Post-show blues are still in full force.

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The Last Five Years

As soon as The Wedding Singer ended, I hopped straight into rehearsals for The Last Five Years, where I was lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to play Cathy, a character on my musical theatre bucket-list (who, realistically, I never thought I’d get the chance to play)!! This was a really special production for me because this show has always been one of my all-time faves so getting to be a part of it was honestly incredible. It also allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and work with a group of brand spanking new people who turned out to be a bunch of absolute angels. Whilst this show came about at an incredibly stressful time for me, it was the release I needed to stay SANE so I’m super thankful for that.

Socialisin’ (Well, trying)

I like to think that I’m quite the social butterfly, especially when it comes to uni. BUT I’ve most definitely been in hibernation over the past ten weeks or so which makes me sad. That being said, there were a few events/birthdays/REQUIRED FRIEND TIME situations I could not say no to. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the people I have met at university are honest-to-God some of the best people I know. Whenever I’m stressing (which is a lot I cannot lie to you) or upset, they genuinely lift me up so much. Sooooo of course, a night out or two is necessary every once in a while (or twice in a while, or three times in a while…).

 

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Exams, Exams, Exams

This semester I really had to wise up and realise that however much I liked being sociable or however much my course could frustrate me at times, I, in actual fact, enrolled at university to get a degree and getting a degree required taking EXAMS (*noise of someone vomming*).  As I study Theatre, as well as essay-writing for coursework, we also have performance exams (as you’d expect) which require, you guessed it, MORE rehearsals. Here’s a little sneak-peek into the average conversation of mine:

Friend 1: Hey G, we’re going for drinks at 7. Do you wanna come?

Me: Ohhhh I totally would but I have rehearsals.

Friend 2: Hiiiiii, you going out later?

Me: I wanted to but I’ve got rehearsals!

Friend 3: Shopping tomorrow?

Me: REHEARSALS.

You get the idea. I’m honestly a broken record of “sorry I can’t, I’ve got rehearsals” and this semester was no exception. I was rehearsing for 4 different performances at the same time. ARE THERE EVEN THAT MANY DAYS IN THE WEEK?!?!?! (Overdramatic moment. Can confirm my awareness that there are in fact seven days in a week). I had an experimental theatre performance, a dance performance, The Last Five Years and the musical theatre Summer Showcase allllll going on at once. Honestly am amazed I made it out alive. Chin bloody chin to me.

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Shindiggin’

And fiiiiiinally, I attended the end of year celebration for my course, which we call Shindig. This is where everybody studying for a Theatre degree, across all the years, gets together and – to put it bluntly – have a massive piss-up. It’s always a looooovely affair, with everyone dressing up and making an effort (which is rare for my jeans and trainer-lovin’ self). This year there was major stress around dress shopping, not only for me but some of my friends too. Admittedly, going into town THE DAY BEFORE the event with no backup options is not the smartest of moves (which I found out mid-meltdown in the Topshop dressing rooms) buuuut eventually I settled on this little gold number from Topshop. It retails at £26 (which my student budget was thankful for) and I have linked it for you because I am an angel. Although it wouldn’t have been my first choice in an ideal world for this particular event, I ended up being a pretty happy gal and having a fab night. Shindig also involved a very great moment for me when I won the “most likely to always have a glass of wine in their hand” award. Proud.

 

 

So there you have all my excuses for being a terrible blogger. I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me (lol) and hopefully you’ll love all the content I’m planning on uploading over this summer. I’m really wanting to get more into the beauty blogging realm, posting makeup looks so do let me know if that’s something you’d want to see/read. However, I am going to Portugal on a girly trip with my lovely Mom next week so keep your eyes peeled for some (fingers crossed) pretty, scenic pics on the old Instagram (follow me: @geeblogs) and potentially a post on here too.

Have a lush week & I hope to be back very soon (look at me being all non-committal and not making promises that I’ll break…I’m learning!!!!).

G X

Instagram: @geeblogs

Twitter: @geeheasel

Top Tips For Starting University

Lifestyle

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It’s still crazy to me that I’ve completed an entire year at university. Thinking back to this time last year, I was super excited to branch out into the world and make my own little home and community somewhere else to where I’d grown up. Whilst I was mostly excited and curious as to what university life had to offer me, I cannot lie and say that I wasn’t a little bit scared. I have a lot of friends who are the academic year below me and a few have asked me questions or have wanted some tips on what to do/not to do when starting university. I thought I’d share some of my tips with anyone who is interested (these tips are not proven facts but they worked for me and I’m still – just about – alive)…

1- Take a door stop

This is actually a piece of advice I received myself before I started university last year. Whilst it may initially seem like a silly little thing, having a door stop means you can keep your door propped open (especially during the first few weeks) which makes you appear more sociable and approachable to your flat. Even if they just pop in and say ‘hey’ on their way to the kitchen, it may lead to some conversations that start to cement your friendship.

2 – During Freshers’ Week, take every opportunity

As much as it nearly killed me off, Freshers’ Week was still one of the highlights of my first year. I went out to every event which, yes, my health eventually paid for but it was so worth it because of all the friends and memories I made. Also, if your university organises talks or activities in the day GO AND DO THEM!!!! You will honestly regret sitting in your room having not participated in any of these things. Even if they turn out to be rubbish, at least you’ve tried them.

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3 – A mattress topper will save your life

It’s a known fact that university beds are pretty much made from the hardest stone imaginable (slightly dramatic). The best thing I did was take a memory foam mattress topper which took my bed’s comfort rating from a (generous) 3/10 to a solid 8. Trust me on this one.

4 – Plan your meals in advance

If you’re non-catered, the best piece of advice I can give to you is to plan your meals ahead of time. The amount of times I had a late rehearsal then went back to an empty fridge was pretty devo. It then means you’re ‘forced’ to order a takeaway which isn’t great for your health or your bank account (let me tell you, once this becomes a habit it’s a very slippery slope lol).

5 – Join a society

During my first year, I joined Theatre Society and Musical Theatre Society. MT honestly was a saving grace last year and so many of my closest friends were made because of it. Joining a society gives you such a sense of community and belonging (especially if you’re living far away from home) so I would 100% recommend it. It also opens up friendships with people other than those on your course so you’re widening your circle as well as having a good time bonding over a subject you all enjoy.

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6 – Download the Spoons app

There is no doubt that when going out, your night will involve a Spoons at some point. Having the app was a life-saver for me as it meant you could scout a table as soon as you got inside and didn’t have to battle the queue. Also, I’m lazy so I like my alcohol being brought to me lol.

7 – Have funnnnnn

Probably not the wisest piece of advice I’ll ever give, but having fun was a big priority for me during my first year. On my course, I only needed to PASS the year (gaining over 40% in each module) to carry on so – as much as I still worked hard – I did sometimes prioritise being sociable and going out over doing work. I’m not telling you to disregard any work that you have but if you’re missing out on forming new friendships or making memories then I think, in the long run, that will be a lot more damaging to your university experience than starting an essay a little bit later than planned. What I’m saying is, if your friends invite you to the pub…GO TO THE PUB!

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8 – Get used to having limited sleep

As much as you may be sat there reading this thinking ‘there is no way I’ll be going out until 4 in the morning when I have a 9am lecture the next day‘…trust me. You will.

9 – Bond with your flat

One of my biggest pieces of advice is to put time and effort into bonding with your flatmates. I was fortunate enough to absolutely love everyone I was living with and I think a huge part of that stemmed from how much time we spent together during Freshers. Throughout the year, we’d make an effort to have flat dinners and game nights. It’s definitely beneficial if you feel comfortable and ‘at home’ with your flatmates as you’re living together for at least a year. Even if there are a few people you don’t get along with so well, there is no harm in making a bit of extra effort with them to make your living space feel more welcoming and homely.

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10 – Be yourself

University is the time when you really discover yourself (without sounding like I’m trying to be Gandhi). You make lifelong friends and decide how you’re going to shape the rest of your life. The only way you can truly be happy doing this is to be yourself. You’ll find friends who are equally as weird as you (if not weirder) and you’ll eventually fall onto your own little path so there is no point trying to be somebody that you’re not along the way.

I wish everyone starting university this year soooo much luck. It honestly is the best time ever!!

G X

Instagram: @geeheasel

My First Year At University

GIRLS, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

IMG_4324DISCLAIMER: Although I am one of the least soppy people you will ever meet, I have no promises for this post…

I honestly can’t believe I am sat here writing this post having completed my first year at university; it’s absolutely crazy!! Thinking back to how hectic life was this time last year, with A levels and UCAS to worry about, I can’t help but love my younger self for making the best decision possible for me. It’s so strange to think how close I was to opting to study Law or Psychology at university, rather than studying what I really wanted to: Theatre. I definitely let peoples’ opinions get into my head about how Theatre is not an ‘academic’ subject…blah blah blAHHHHHHH (I would love for those people to attend some of my lectures as their opinion would most definitely change) but at the end of the day, I knew it was what I wanted to do.

I was then faced with the daunting decision of where to go to study. I can’t lie and say that league tables and reputations of universities did not play a part in my choices…they did. However, the most important factor for me was feeling at home wherever I was moving to. When I originally applied, I didn’t want to be too far away from home as, I’ve said before, I’m a little homebody and tend to get homesick when I’m away from my family and home comforts. Saying that, I ended up applying to Surrey, York, UEA and Royal Holloway – none of which are close to where I live at all (typical). Surrey ended up being my top choice and luckily I got in!

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I have had such an amazing first year and that can only be put down to the people I have met. I honestly did not think it was possible to meet so many like-minded people in such a small area. The friends I have made so far are the most incredible people and so similar to me it’s scary! I now understand what people mean when they say that you meet your life-long friends at university.

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A huge part of my first year has been joining Musical Theatre Society which is full of the most welcoming and talented people. Being involved in Legally Blonde was one of the highlights of my year, not only due to the performing aspect but also down to the huge sense of community that came with it. As cheesy as this sounds, MTSoc are like one enormous family; it doesn’t matter who you are, you will be welcomed in with open arms.

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Aside from meeting the best people ever, this past year I have done an insane amount of growing up (not literally, unfortunately). Living on my own was a huuuuuuge step for me, especially as Surrey is so far away from my home and family. I’ve had to cook for myself, clean (though this was very rare lol) and look after myself in terms of general life. Whilst doing this, I also had to stay on top of my work (which I did struggle with at times) as there is nobody telling you what to do and when to do it. I may actually do a separate post on the jump from A-Levels to university so let me know if you’re interested! Personally, I feel I have matured and become a lot more independent in the best way possible.

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All in all, I have had the best year. Although there have been times when I’ve felt super homesick, I’ve made the craziest and most caring friends who have always cheered me up. We’ve made the best memories and eaten so many Nando’s that I wouldn’t be surprised if I got a Black Card sometime soon (Nando’s, pls help a gal out). I also want to shout out Matthew who, after only a few months of knowing me, showed up at my door with all of my favourite foods when I was too ill to get out of bed around Christmas time. He is the cutest. Ever. Be sure to check out his blog (I shall link below)!!

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First year, it has been a blast!

G x

Matthew’s Blog: https://gayandthecitysite.wordpress.com

Follow me:

Instagram: @geeheasel

Twitter: @geeheasel