How to survive your first year of university

After my first, and certainly entertaining, year studying English Literature and Spanish at the University of Birmingham (and inspired by a wonderful piece by Juliette Rowsell) I thought it might be best to impart some wisdom for apprehensive new students to take with them when they embark on their first year of undergraduate adventures this September.

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Book List / My Life in Books

I’ve loved reading for as long as I can remember. English was my best subject at school and I loved it (so much so I now study it at university). I’d always be that kid in class who would revel in ‘quiet time’ so I could get on with the next chapter of the book I was reading. Books are the perfect companion: on long journeys, while abroad in the sun or even just when you need consoling at 3am… books are always the thing I go back to…

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Book List / Perfect Reads to Wind Down

Sometimes the stress gets too much for you. You’re sick of rereading your essay title and trying to come up with a thesis. You’re having a crappy day and need to take your mind off it. Sometimes the best thing to do is take a break. Make yourself a hot drink, snuggle up in an armchair or even propped up with some cushions in bed and escape into the world of someone else for a bit of down time (plus they all have film adaptations either released or in the making if you don’t want to read). These are some of my recommendations…

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Breaking social media barriers

I don’t have to be the one to remind you that the world we live in nowadays is a digital one. Hell, you’re probably reading this on a phone screen or some other kind of tablet that’s yet to be invented.  We were always told at school: ‘don’t talk to strangers’. It was practically drummed into us really, plastered all over walls, Powerpoint presentations and in campaign video after campaign video. However, I think our world has changed.

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Loner in London

I love London a hell of a lot. Having not been there since December with my best friend, it was time to revisit one of my favourite places in the country. I ended up selling one of my tickets for Catfish and the Bottlemen at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, mainly due to lack of money (and lack of friends willing to travel to the capital with me). This meant that as I was desperate to see them live, I’d make the trip down by myself.

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