Monday, 14 September 2015

Starting University

Regular readers of my blog will know that today is the day I start University. I’m no stranger to higher education, with this being my third (or fourth, if we’re pedantic about it!) attempt to get a degree. My first University experience was when I moved down to study Childhood and Youth Studies at Portsmouth. I managed 4 months of the course before I had to leave and move back home, as unfortunately my health went downhill pretty quickly and I wasn’t able to live away from home any more. My second attempt was with the Open University and I studied for nearly 4 years for a degree in Psychology. Sadly my health put an end to that too, when I ended up having to spend 4 months in hospital, followed by another 6 months as a day patient.

By the time I was ready to study again I had lost the motivation to continue with the psychology degree, and decided to look into being an Occupational Therapist. I didn’t have the right qualifications to go straight to University, so for the last year I have been studying for an Access to Higher Education Diploma on the Nursing and Midwifery route. It was a brilliant opportunity to remind myself how to study and organise myself, but was also a chance to learn how to socialise with people of my age again. After going to a few interviews for places on OT courses, I came to realise that my health just wasn’t good enough to allow me to continue with that line of study. It was a massive blow and I’ll admit I still feel quite sad about it, but there’s no point in just sitting and wallowing about something I physically can’t do right now. Instead, I had a think about the things I CAN do and looked into local degrees that would make the most of these skills. Journalism kept popping up and, after looking into it and researching a local University, I realised that it should suit me perfectly. So that’s where I am today – starting at a new University on a brand new path. I’m both excited and terrified, but I’m hoping once I’ve settled into a routine the worry will lessen and the excitement will continue.

One of my favourite things about starting a new academic year is stocking up on all the new equipment you will need for the year ahead. Pens, pencils, highlighters, folders and more – it’s a stationery addict’s dream! So, I thought I would show you a few of the bits I’ve been buying over the summer, ready for my course to start today.

How pretty are these rainbow of Sharpies?! They were on offer in Tesco and were such a bargain that I couldn’t stop myself putting them in the trolley! I’m not quite sure what I’m going to use them for yet, but I’m sure I’ll find something!

I actually bought this pencil case last year, before I started college, but it’s lasted so well that I didn’t see the point in buying a new one this year. It came from one of my favourite places, Paperchase and I know they have similar designs in store at the moment. I really like the style of this one because it has a separate zipped pocket in the middle, with a pocket either side, so you can organise your stationery into different compartments so it’s easy to find. I also had to get a reporter’s notebook (pretty essential for a Journalism course!) and came across a pack of three for a really good price in Rymans. Whilst I was in Rymans I also picked up some new highlighters. I had the same ones last year and most of them are still working now, so I know they’re great quality and it’s nice to have a choice of colours.

This cute notebook also came from Paperchase last year, but I didn’t use it all that much during my time at college, so I thought I’d pop it in my rucksack in case I need to make any notes. Last year it seemed to end up with various plans for blog posts in it, so that may be what happens again! I also picked up this awesome Unicorn Academic Planner in Paperchase for £8, which I thought was really good value. I’ll be using it to record any work I need to do at home, as well as reminders for deadlines and appointments.

As I mentioned in my Sunday Snippets post, we were also asked to get ourselves an address book. Studying Journalism, it’s so important to make contacts with other people in the business, so I wanted something that looked pretty but something that would also be sturdy and large enough to fit in a good number of contacts. I found this lovely floral address book on Amazon for around £9, although it looks like the price has increased a bit since I bought it.

The last thing I picked up on my stationery-shopping trip was these cute little page markers from Paperchase. I’m always terrible for finding something good in a book and then forgetting where I found it, so I’m hoping if I start using these I will be a lot less stressed about what I’ve forgotten! I can’t find these ones on the Paperchase website, but these are very similar and come in at a very reasonable £3.50.

So, that’s everything really. I’m using the rucksack I used for college last year, which I picked up in Accessorize. And I’ve also picked up a couple of new folders from Tesco – they’ve got some great bargains in there if you’re still looking for stationery for school/college/university! Wish me luck! I’ll update you soon about how I’m getting on.

Are you starting University this year? Or simply a new year at school/college/university? Have you treated yourself to some new stationery?

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  1. Good luck with starting university! I'm currently in my third year!! I love the address book - the cover is so pretty! And the sticky tabs are really cute!

    1. Thank you Serena - stationery shopping is always my favourite! xx

  2. I love everything, its like heaven =]

  3. I've just finished university and am really missing the stationery shopping!

    1. Ah I can imagine it must feel strange when you don't have to do it anymore! You'll have to find another excuse to buy stationery! xx